Wilhelm Friedrich Loeper

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Wilhelm Friedrich Loeper (13 October 1883 in Schwerin – 23 October 1935 in Dessau) was a Nazi politician and a Nazi Gauleiter in the Gau of Magdeburg-Anhalt.

Life[edit]

First Loeper became an ensign (Fahnenjunker) in Pioneer Battalion 2 in Spandau and then completed training at the Neiße Military School. Already in 1904 he was made a lieutenant, and after various other commands, eventually a first lieutenant in 1912. Then came his transfer to the Magdeburg Pioneer Battalion 4. Here he took over command of a searchlight platoon.

After the First World War broke out, Loeper was then deployed between 1914 and 1918 at the Western Front as a captain and company chief of Pioneer Battalion 19. He was wounded several times. In 1915 he was decorated with the Iron Cross and the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Military Merit Cross (Mecklenburg-Schwerinsches Militärverdienstkreuz), First Class.

After the war ended, Loeper became leader of a Freikorps that saw deployment both in the Baltic States and the Ruhr area. In this capacity, he was involved in quelling the Spartakus uprising.

With the founding of the Reichswehr, Loeper became company chief of Pioneer Battalion 2. In 1923, he worked as a teacher at the Pionierschule in Munich, and got to know Adolf Hitler there. Loeper took part in the Beer Hall Putsch on 9 November 1923 and aimed at getting the Pionierschule to fall in and follow Hitler's orders. After the putsch had been put down, Loeper was discharged from the Reichswehr in 1924 for his participation.

Loeper now began to get involved in the NSDAP. In 1925 he joined the Party. He moved to Dessau and first led the Nazi local (Ortsgruppe) there. In the same year he became the Gau's manager and in the end, in 1927, Gauleiter of the Gau of Magdeburg-Anhalt, succeeding Hermann Schmischke. Loeper gave himself over to building the Party up in his Gau, and fought against the Bauhaus, which was located in Dessau at that time. In a letter in 1930 he wrote "as the Bauhaus belongs to Jerusalem and not to Dessau". Loeper later had a decisive part in stripping this institution of its assets.

In 1928, Loeper became a member of the Anhalt Landtag. Anhalt had a Nazi Land government as early as 1932. As of 1930, Loeper was also a member of the Reichstag for electoral district 10 (Magdeburg).

Loeper became leader of the Nazi Party's personnel office and publisher of the Trommler. In 1932 he instituted at Schloß Großkühnau (in Dessau) the first Stammabteilung and the Führerschule of the Reichsarbeitsdienst. In the same year came Loeper's appointment to provincial NSDAP inspector for Middle Germany-Brandenburg.

After the Nazis' nationwide seizure of power, Loeper became Reich Governor in Braunschweig and Anhalt. He set up office in Dessau. Also in 1933, the city of Magdeburg made him an honorary citizen, a distinction of which he was posthumously stripped in 1946. In 1934, he was appointed an honorary SS Gruppenführer and an honorary Gau leader of the Reichsarbeitsdienst. In 1935, he became a member of the Academy for German Law (Akademie für Deutsches Recht).

On 23 October 1935, Loeper died of neck cancer. His burial took place in the Napoleon Tower (Napoleonturm) in Mildensee near Dessau. Various honours flowed from the region. The Magdeburg borough of Ottersleben named a street Hauptmann-Loeper-Straße after him. After the Nazi régime fell, though, such honours quickly disappeared.

Literature/Source[edit]

  • Gerald Christopeit, Magdeburger Biographisches Lexikon, 2002, Magdeburg, ISBN 3-933046-49-1