Hans Globke

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Hans Globke
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F015051-0008, Hans Globke.jpg
Born Hans Josef Maria Globke
(1898-09-10)10 September 1898
Düsseldorf, Germany
Died 13 February 1973(1973-02-13) (aged 74)
Nationality German
Occupation Lawyer, Politician
Known for Advisor to Konrad Adenauer
Political party CDU
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Augusta Vaillant

Hans Josef Maria Globke (10 September 1898 – 13 February 1973) was a high-ranking public servant after World War II in the Federal Republic of Germany. His antisemitic activities as a high-profile civil servant and jurist before and specially during the Nazi period resulted in controversies after the war that troubled his protector and only supervisor Konrad Adenauer, who had recruited him to serve in his administration.

Early life and studies[edit]

Globke was born in Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, to Josef Globke and his wife Sophie (née Erberich), both Roman Catholics and Centre Party-supporters. Shortly after Hans Globke's birth the family moved to Aachen, where his father opened a draper's shop. When he finished high school at the Catholic Kaiser-Karl-Gymnasium in 1916, he was drafted into the army until 1918. After World War I, he studied Law and Political Sciences at the universities of Bonn and Cologne, graduating in 1922 from the University of Gießen with a dissertation on the immunity of the members of the Reichs- and Landtags.

During his studies – having joined while being enlisted in the army – he was a member of Katholische Deutsche Studentenverbindung Bavaria Bonn, which was the local chapter of the Cartellverband. The close contacts with fellow KdStV-members together with his membership since 1922 in the Catholic Centre Party played a significant role in his later political life. In 1934, he married Augusta Vaillant, the sister of a fellow fraternity member.

Pre-World War II service and Nazi activity[edit]

Having finished his Assessorexamen in 1924, he was briefly active as a judge in the police court of Aachen, after which he climbed to vice police-chief of Aachen in 1925 and Regierungsassessor in 1926. In December 1929, Globke entered the Higher Civil Service at the Prussian Ministry of the Interior.

In November 1932, about two months before right-wing parties made Hitler chancellor, Globke wrote a set of rules to make it harder in Prussia for Germans of Jewish ancestry to change their last names into less recognizably Jewish names, and he followed up with the guidelines for implementation in December 1932.

He helped to formulate the Enabling Act of 1933, the law that effectively gave Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers. He was also the author of the law of 10 July 1933 concerning the dissolution of the Prussian State Council, and of further legislation which 'co-ordinated' all Prussian parliamentary bodies.[1]

He co-authored the official legal commentary on the new Reich Citizenship Law, one of the Nuremberg Laws introduced at the Nazi Party Congress in September 1935, which revoked the citizenship of German Jews[1][2] and co-authored various legal regulations, such as an ordinance that required Jews with non-Jewish names to take on the additional first names of Israel or Sara, an "improvement" of public records that later facilitated to a great extent the rounding up and deportation of the Jews during the Holocaust.[3] He also served as chief legal advisor in the Office for Jewish Affairs in the Ministry of Interior, the section headed by Adolf Eichmann that implemented the Holocaust bureaucratically.[4]

In 1938, Globke was appointed Ministerialrat (Deputy Director) due to his "extraordinary efforts in drafting the law for the Protection of the German Blood". On 25 April 1938 Globke was praised by the Reich Interior Minister Dr. Wilhelm Frick as "the most capable and efficient official in my ministry" when it came to drafting anti-Semitic laws.[5]

His membership application for the Nazi Party was rejected on 24 October 1940 by Martin Bormann, reportedly due to his former membership in the Centre Party, which represented Roman Catholic voters in Weimar Germany.[6]

Globke maintained contacts with figures in the German anti-Nazi resistance, notably Bishop Konrad von Preysing, and according to postwar testimony by Jakob Kaiser had been slated for a ministerial position in a government led by Carl Goerdeler in the event that the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler had succeeded.

Post-World War II public service and controversy[edit]

Globke's trial in absentia taking place in East Germany, July 1963

At the Nuremberg trials, he appeared at the Ministries Trial as a witness for both the prosecution and the defense. Notably, when interrogated in the trial of his former superior Wilhelm Stuckart, he said explicitly: "Ich wußte, daß die Juden massenweise umgebracht warden." ("I knew, that the Jews were being put to death en masse.")

He was Director of the Federal Chancellory of West Germany between 1953 and 1963 and as such was one of the closest aides to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. As Adenauer – and everyone else – knew of his previous career, the Chancellor could be assured of his absolute loyalty. Adenauer himself reportedly said: "Man schüttet kein schmutziges Wasser weg, solange man kein sauberes hat" ("One does not throw out dirty water so long as one doesn't have any clean water.")

Globke's key position as a national security advisor to Adenauer despite his known involvement with the Nuremberg Laws made both the West German government and CIA officials wary of exposing his past. This led for instance to the withholding of Adolf Eichmann's alias from the Israeli government and Nazi hunters in the late 1950s, and CIA pressure in 1960 on Life magazine to delete references to Globke from its recently obtained Eichmann memoirs.[7][8][9]

In 1963 Globke's past became an embarrassment for the Adenauer government, as he was given a life sentence in absentia at a show trial in East Germany with the obvious intention of painting the anti-Communist, West German government as "old Nazi wine in new flasks". Gertruda Sekaninová-Čakrtová, a Czech-Jewish lawyer and politician, testified at that trial.[10]

Honours and awards[edit]


  • Globke, Hans (1922). Die Immunität der Mitglieder des Reichstages und der Landtage. Gießen, Germany: n/a. 
  • Stuckart, Wilhelm; Hans Globke (1936). Kommentar zur deutschen Rassengesetzgebung. Munich, Germany: n/a. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wistrich, Robert (2002). Who's Who in Nazi Germany. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-26038-8. 
  2. ^ Bartosz Wieliński (2006). "CIA kryła Eichmanna". Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish) (8 June 2006). Retrieved 2006-06-08. 
  3. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,754133-2,00.html
  4. ^ http://www.spiritone.com/~gdy52150/betrayalp12.htm
  5. ^ Tetens, T.H. The New Germany and the Old Nazis, New York: Random House, 1961 page 39.
  6. ^ Norbert Jacobs (1992). "Der Streit um Dr. Hans Globke in der öffentlichen Meinung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1949–1973". 
  7. ^ Yen, Hope (6 June 2006). "Papers: CIA knew of Eichmann whereabouts". Associated Press. Retrieved 2006-06-07. [dead link]
  8. ^ Shane, Scott (6 June 2006). "Documents Shed Light on CIA's Use of Ex-Nazis". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-06-07. 
  9. ^ Weber, Gaby (4 March 2011). "Die Entführungslegende oder: Wie kam Eichmann nach Jerusalem?". Deutschlandradio. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  10. ^ "Poslanecká sněmovna Parlamentu České republiky, Čtvrtek 24. září 1964" (in Czech). Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 26. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 


  • Teitelbaum, Raul. Hans Globke and the Eichmann Trial: A Memoir, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol. V, No. 2 (2011)
  • Tetens, T.H. The New Germany and the Old Nazis. Random House/Marzani & Munsel, New York, 1961. LCN 61-7240.