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 especially 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's birth, the family moved to Aachen, where his father opened a draper's shop. When he finished his secondary education at the elite Catholic Kaiser-Karl-Gymnasium in 1916, he was drafted into the army until 1918. After World War I, he studied law and political science at the University of Bonn and the University of Cologne, graduating in 1922 from the University of Gießen with a dissertation on the immunity of the members of the Reichstag and the Landtags.

During his studies, he joined, while still in the army, the Katholische Deutsche Studentenverbindung Bavaria Bonn the Bonn chapter of the Cartellverband, the German Catholic Students' Federation. His close contacts with fellow KdStV members and with his membership from 1922 in the Catholic Centre Party played a significant role in his later political life.

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 to less recognizably Jewish names, and he followed up with guidelines for its 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 that 'co-ordinated' all Prussian parliamentary bodies.[1]

He coauthored both 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 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) for 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 because of 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, he had been slated for a ministerial position in a government led by Carl Goerdeler if 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 wurden." ("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 does not 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. That 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 trial in East Germany. 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.