Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg

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Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg
Reichsgau of Nazi Germany



Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Location of Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg
Map of Nazi Germany showing its administrative
subdivisions (Gaue and Reichsgaue).
Capital Innsbruck
 •  1938–1945 Franz Hofer
 •  Anschluss 12 March 1938
 •  German surrender 8 May 1945
 •  1939 330,892 
Today part of  Austria

The Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg (English: Gau Tyrol-Vorarlberg) was an administrative division of Nazi Germany consisting of Vorarlberg and North Tyrol (both in Austria). It existed from 1938 to 1945. After the Italian Armistice with the Allies the Italian provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino were placed under direct German control as the Operational Zone of the Alpine Foothills (Operationszone Alpenvorland, OZAV), which was de facto annexed and administered as part of Tirol-Vorarlberg.[1]


The Nazi Gau (plural Gaue) system was originally established in a party conference on 22 May 1926, in order to improve administration of the party structure. From 1933 onwards, after the Nazi seizure of power, the Gaue increasingly replaced the German states as administrative subdivisions in Germany. In March 1938 Nazi Germany annexed Austria, with the latter being sub-divided into Reichsgaue.[2][3]

At the head of each Gau stood a Gauleiter, a position which became increasingly more powerful, especially after the outbreak of the Second World War. Local Gauleiter were in charge of propaganda and surveillance and, from September 1944 onwards, the Volkssturm and the defence of the Gau.[2][4]

The position of Gauleiter in Tirol-Vorarlberg was held by Franz Hofer throughout the Reichsgau's history from 1938 to 1945.[5][6]


  1. ^ Michael Wedekind (2005). "The Sword of Science". In Ingo Haar; Michael Fahlbusch. German scholars and ethnic cleansing, 1919-1945. Berghahn Books. pp. 111–123. ISBN 9781571814357. 
  2. ^ a b "Die NS-Gaue" [The Nazi Gaue]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Der "Anschluss" Österreichs 1938" [The annexation of Austria 1938]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Organization of the Nazi Party & State". The Nizkor Project. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Übersicht der NSDAP-Gaue, der Gauleiter und der Stellvertretenden Gauleiter zwischen 1933 und 1945" [Overview of Nazi Gaue, the Gauleiter and assistant Gauleiter from 1933 to 1945]. (in German). Zukunft braucht Erinnerung. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg". (in German). Retrieved 24 March 2016. 

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