Stürtz was born in Wieps, a village outside of Allenstein, East Prussia. He grew up in Königsberg, and after attending the Friedrich Bessel High School, joined the High Seas Fleet as a sailor. He served aboard the SMS Seydlitz and participated in the Battle of Jutland of 1916 during World War I. In 1918, he lost his commission and became a war pensioner after a serious illness. He then worked in various jobs as an automobile driver and repairman.
Rise to Power
In 1925, Stürtz joined the National Socialist German Worker's Party, and then became the NSDAP district leader in the city of Dortmund in 1926. By 1929 he became Party District Manager of Siegerland and also a democratically elected Member of the Westphalian Provincial Parliament. Stürtz became Party District Manager of Gau Westfalen-Süd in 1930 and by September was elected to the national Reichstag for Weimar Republic Electoral District 18 (Westfalen-Süd). In October of the same year, the party appointed him acting Gauleiter of Gau Westfalen-Süd itself.
Upon the Machtergreifung (Nazi seizure of power) in 1933, Stürtz became a member of the Prussian Council of State. In 1935, Germany's constituent states were dissolved and their responsibilities replaced by the NSDAP Gaue. In August 1936, Stürtz succeeded Wilhelm Kube in the powerful role of Gauleiter of Gau Kurmark, and in 1937 he was appointed the more ceremonial role of Oberpräsident of Brandenburg. After reorganization of the Gaue, Gau Kurmark became Gau Mark Brandenburg and Stürtz remained its leader.
World War II
At the outbreak of World War II on September 1, 1939, Stürtz was appointed Reich Defense Commissar German: Reichsverteidigungskommissar (RVK) for Military District III, which encompassed Brandenburg and other areas surrounding Berlin. Important sectors of military and civilian administration were now directly or at least de facto subject to his control. On April 21, 1945, during the Battle of Berlin, Stürtz went missing.
After his widow searched for him unsuccessfully for ten years - even amongst the late repatriates (German: Spätheimkehrern) - he was officially declared dead in 1957 by the District Court of Düsseldorf, the city of his residence. The court fixed his date of death to 31 December 1945. It was assumed that he was captured by Soviet troops and died in detention.
- Lilla Joachim (ed.): The NSDAP Gauleiter, Koblenz, 2003, p. 93 (materials from the Federal Archives, No. 13) ISBN 3-86509-020-6.
- Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. P. 513
- Karl Höffkes : Hitler's Political Generals: The Gauleiters of the Third Reich. Grabert-Verlag, Tübingen 1997, ISBN 3-87847-163-7.
- Erich Stockhorst : 5000 Heads - Who Was Who in the Third Reich. Arndt, Kiel 2000, ISBN 3-88741-116-1 .