Fritz Bracht

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Fritz Bracht
Bundesarchiv R 49 Bild-1731, Kattowitz, Fritz Bracht vor Dorfmodell.jpg
Gauleiter of Lower Silesia
In office
1941–1945
Preceded by Josef Wagner
Succeeded by None
Oberpräsident of the Province of Lower Silesia
In office
1941–1945
Preceded by Josef Wagner
Succeeded by None
Personal details
Born (1899-01-18)January 18, 1899
Heiden, German Empire
Died May 9, 1945(1945-05-09) (aged 46)
Bad Kudowa, now Kudowa Zdrój, German Reich
Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)

Fritz Bracht (18 January 1899 in Heiden, part of Lage near Detmold – 9 May 1945 in Bad Kudowa, now Kudowa Zdrój, Poland) was the Nazi Gauleiter of Upper Silesia.

After training as a gardener, Bracht performed military service beginning in 1917, and was deployed at the front until the end of World War I. Thereafter, he found himself a prisoner of the British, until 1919.

On 1 April 1927, Bracht joined the Nazi Party and was appointed leader of the NSDAP district of Sauerland in November 1928. He held the same function as of 1 March 1931 in Altena.

Elected to the Prussian Landtag for the Nazis in 1932, he took on the post of acting Gauleiter of Silesia on 1 May 1935.

After Gauleiter Josef Wagner, in whose shadow Bracht had been standing for quite a while, fell out of favour with Adolf Hitler on 9 November 1941 and was removed from office and kicked out of the Party, Silesia was split into two Gaue, Upper and Lower Silesia, with Bracht taking an appointment as the new Gauleiter of the former. From February 1941, he was moreover given the function of High President (Oberpräsident) of the Province of Upper Silesia, and in November 1942 the office of Reich Defence Commissar in his Gau. In 1944, he was also promoted to SA Obergruppenführer. Within Bracht's jurisdiction was the extermination camp Auschwitz.

Right before the Red Army marched into Germany, with capture and internment at Soviet hands looming, Bracht and his wife both committed suicide by poisoning themselves with potassium cyanide.

Bracht had long been pushed into the background and dominated by his predecessor Josef Wagner, who in the years leading up to World War II had been much esteemed and very influential. In 1944, when with war threatening, Bracht ordered that air defence facilities in his Gau be upgraded and made stronger, he could not prevail upon the Armament Ministry to do so.

Literature[edit]

  • Joachim Lilla (Bearbeiter): Statisten in Uniform. Die Mitglieder des Reichstags 1933–1945. Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2004, ISBN 3-7700-5254-4.
  • Joachim Lilla (Bearbeiter): Die stellvertretenden Gauleiter und die Vertretung der Gauleiter der NSDAP im „Dritten Reich“. Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Bremerhaven 2003, ISBN 3-86509-020-6 (= Materialien aus dem Bundesarchiv, Heft 13).
  • Michael Rademacher: Handbuch der NSDAP-Gaue 1928–1945. Die Amtsträger der NSDAP und ihrer Organisationen auf Gau- und Kreisebene in Deutschland und Österreich sowie in den Reichsgauen Danzig-Westpreußen, Sudetenland und Wartheland. Lingenbrink, Vechta 2000, ISBN 3-8311-0216-3.
  • Wolfgang Stelbrink: Die Kreisleiter der NSDAP in Westfalen und Lippe. Versuch einer Kollektivbiographie mit biographischem Anhang. Nordrhein-Westfälisches Staatsarchiv, Münster 2003, ISBN 3-932892-14-3 (= Veröffentlichungen der staatlichen Archive des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Reihe C, Band 48).
  • Gauleiter: The Regional Leaders Of The Nazi Party And Their Deputies, 1925-1945 (Herbert Albrecht-H. Wilhelm Huttmann)-Volume 1 by Michael D. Miller and Andreas Schulz R. James Bender Publishing, 2012.

References[edit]

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