Nazi Party Chancellery
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (June 2011)|
Since 1933 the party office with its seat in Munich had been under Adolf Hitler's Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess in the rank of a Reich Minister in Hitler's cabinet. Hess's department was responsible for handling party affairs; the settling of disputes within the party and acting as an intermediary between the party and the state regarding policy decisions and legislation. The organisation rivaled for influence not only with the Reich Chancellery under Hans Lammers but also with the Führer's Chancellery and the Nazi Gau- and Reichsleiter. Martin Bormann, personal secretary and chief of staff to Hess was the one in charge. Bormann used his position to create an extensive bureaucracy and involve himself in as much of the decision making as possible. Bormann soon became an efficient and indispensable representative of the party's interests, disempowering the regional leaders on intermediate level and reaching the party's involvement in the enactment of laws and Führer's decrees. In 1939, Hitler gave Bormann control his personal finances. Bormann set up the Adolf Hitler Fund of German Trade and Industry, which collected money from German industrialists on Hitler's behalf. Some of the funds received through this programme were disbursed to various party leaders, but Bormann retained most of it for Hitler's personal use.
After Hess' flight to the United Kingdom to seek peace negotiations with the British government on 10 May 1941, Hitler abolished the post of Deputy Führer on 12 May 1941. Hitler assigned Hess's former duties to Bormann, with the title of Head of the Parteikanzlei (Party Chancellery). In this position he was responsible for all NSDAP appointments, and was answerable only to Hitler. Bormann used his position to restrict access to Hitler for his own benefit and, supported by deputies like Albert Hoffmann, Gerhard Klopfer and Helmuth Friedrichs, to further party influence in areas such as armaments and manpower. Armaments Minister Albert Speer complained about Bormann's interfering with his staff in this manner. On 12 April 1943, Bormann was officially appointed the Führer's Private Secretary, reaching a unique position of power and trust with Hitler. By that time, Bormann had de facto control over all domestic matters. He held the position of leader of the Nazi Party Chancellery until 30 April 1945.
- Lang, Jochen von (1979). The Secretary. Martin Bormann: The Man Who Manipulated Hitler. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-50321-9.
- McGovern, James (1968). Martin Bormann. New York: William Morrow & Company. OCLC 441132.
- Miller, Michael (2006). Leaders of the SS and German Police, Vol. 1. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender. ISBN 978-93-297-0037-2.
- Speer, Albert (1971) . Inside the Third Reich. New York: Avon. ISBN 978-0-380-00071-5.
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