|German Chancellery Chief of Staff|
28 October 1953 – 15 October 1963
|Preceded by||Otto Lenz|
|Succeeded by||Ludger Westrick|
Hans Josef Maria Globke
10 September 1898
Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
|Died||13 February 1973 (aged 74)|
Bonn, West Germany
|Known for||Advisor to Konrad Adenauer|
Hans Josef Maria Globke (10 September 1898 – 13 February 1973) was a German lawyer, high-ranking civil servant and politician who was Under-Secretary of State and Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery in West Germany from 28 October 1953 to 15 October 1963. During World War II, Globke, a Ministerialdirigent in the Office for Jewish Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior, wrote a legal annotation on the antisemitic Nuremberg Race Laws that did not express any objection to the discrimination against Jews, and placed the Nazi Party on a firmer legal ground, setting the path to the Holocaust. Globke later had a controversial career as Secretary of State and Chief of Staff of the West German Chancellery. In this role, he was responsible for running the Chancellery, recommending the people who were appointed to roles in the government, coordinating the government's work, and for the establishment and oversight of the West German intelligence service and for all matters of national security.
Globke became a powerful éminence grise of the West German government, and was widely regarded as one of most influential public officials in the government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Globke had a major role in shaping the course and structure of the state and West Germany's alignment with the United States. He was also instrumental in West Germany's anti-communist policies at the domestic and international level and in the western intelligence community, and was the German government's main liaison with NATO and other western intelligence services, especially the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During his lifetime, his role in the Nazi state was only partially known.
Early life and education
Globke was born in Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, the son of the cloth wholesaler Josef Globke and his wife Sophie (née Erberich), both Roman Catholics and supporters of the Centre Party. 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, serving until the end of World War I in an artillery unit on the Western Front. After World War I, he studied law and political science at the University of Bonn and the University of Cologne. In 1922 Globke qualified as a doctor of law (Dr. jur.) at the University of Giessen, with a dissertation on The immunity of the members of the Reichstag and the Landtag (German: Die Immunität der Mitglieder des Reichstages und der Landtage).
While studying, Globke, a practising Catholic, joined the Bonn chapter of the Cartellverband (KdStV), the German Catholic Students' Federation. His close contacts with fellow KdStV members and his membership from 1922 in the Catholic Centre Party played a significant role in his later political life.
In 1934 he married Augusta Vaillant, with whom he had two sons and one daughter.
Globke finished his Assessorexamen in 1924 and briefly served as a judge in the police court of Aachen. He became vice police-chief of Aachen in 1925 and governmental civil servant with a rank of Regierungsassessor (District Assessor) in 1926. In December 1929, Globke entered the Higher Civil Service in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, secured his final takeover in the Prussian civil service.[clarification needed]
In November 1932, about two months before Hitler became chancellor, Globke wrote a set of rules to make it harder for Germans of Jewish ancestry in Prussia to change their last names to less obviously Jewish names, followed by guidelines for their implementation in December 1932. An excerpt stated:
Every name change makes it harder to determine family ties, true marital status and ancestry. Therefore the name can only be changed if an important reason exists.
This unequal treatment of the Jews in the final phase of the Weimar Republic, in which Globke played a major role, is considered by researchers and in the earlier case law of East Germany to be a precursor to name-related discrimination during the National Socialist era, and a sign of Globke's anti-Semitic tendencies.
Career during Nazism
After the seizure of power by the Nazi Party in early 1933, Globke was involved in the drafting of a series of laws aimed at the co-ordination (German: Gleichschaltung) of the legal system of Prussia with the Reich. In December 1933, he was appointed to the upper government council, which Globke later said had been postponed due to his doubts over the legality of the so-called Prussian coup of 1932, which was well known in the Ministry. Globke helped to formulate the Enabling Act of 1933, which 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.
On 1 November 1934, following the unification of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior with the Reich Ministry of the Interior, Globke took a position as a speaker in the newly formed Reich and Prussian Ministry of the Interior under Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, where he worked until 1945. In 1938 Globke received his final promotion of the Nazi period, to the ministerial council.
Measures to exclude and persecute Jews
From 1934 onwards, Globke continued to be responsible mainly for name changes and civil status issues; from 1937, international issues in the field of citizenship and option contracts were added to his brief. As a co-supervisor, he also dealt with "general race issues", immigration and emigration, and matters related to the anti-Semitic "racial shame" (German: Rassenschande) laws covering sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans. 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, as well as various legal regulations, such as an ordinance that required Jews with non-Jewish names to take on the additional first names Israel or Sara, an "improvement" of public records that later facilitated to a great extent the rounding up and deportation of Jews during the Holocaust. Globke's work also included the elaboration of templates and drafts for laws and ordinances. In this context, he had a leading role in the preparation of the first Ordinance on the Reich's civil law (enacted on 14 November 1935), The Law for the Defense of German Blood and Honor (enacted 18 October 1935), and the Civil Status Act (enacted on 3 November 1937). The "J" which was imprinted in the passports of Jews was designed by Globke.
In 1938, Globke was appointed Ministerialrat (Undersecretary) 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 Wilhelm Frick as "the most capable and efficient official in my ministry" when it came to drafting anti-Semitic laws.
He applied for membership of the Nazi Party for career reasons in 1940, but the application was rejected on 24 October 1940 by Martin Bormann, reportedly because of his former membership of the Centre Party, which represented Roman Catholic voters in Weimar Germany.
At the Nuremberg trials, he appeared at the Ministries Trial as a witness for both the prosecution and the defence. When questioned in the trial of his former superior Wilhelm Stuckart, he confirmed that he knew that "Jews were being put to death en masse". He had known at that time that "the extermination of the Jews was systematic", but, he said, restricting his statement, "not that it referred to all Jews".
During the war
At the beginning of the war, Globke was responsible for the new German imperial borders in the West that were the responsibility of the Reich Ministry of the Interior. He made several trips to the conquered territories. The historian Peter Schöttler suspected that Globke was probably the author of a memorandum to Hitler in June 1940 discussing the idea of State Secretary Wilhelm Stuckart proposing a far-reaching annexation of the East French and Belgian territories, which would have involved the deportation of about 5 million people.
At the beginning of September 1941, Globke accompanied Interior Minister Frick and State Secretary Stuckart on an official visit to Slovakia, which at that time was a client state of the German Reich. Immediately following this visit, the government of Slovakia announced the introduction of the so-called Jewish Code, which provided the legal basis for the later expropriations and deportations of Slovak Jews. In 1961, Globke denied there was any connection between the two events and the allegation that he had participated in the creation of the Code. Clear evidence for it was never verified. According to CIA documents, Globke was possibly also responsible for the deportation of 20,000 Jews from Northern Greece to Nazi extermination camps in Poland.
On the other hand, Globke maintained contacts with military and civilian resistance groups. He was the informant of the Berlin Bishop Konrad von Preysing and had knowledge of the coup preparations by the opponents of Hitler Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Ludwig Beck. According to reports by Jakob Kaiser and Otto Lenz, in the event that the attempt to overthrow the National Socialist regime had succeeded, Globke was earmarked for a senior ministerial post in an imperial government formed by Goerdeler. However, no evidence ever emerged to support Globke's later assertion that the National Socialists wanted to arrest him in 1945, but were prevented by the advance of the Allies.
The need for Globke's expertise after the war became so great, that the British were willing to take a chance in employing him, in the drafting of election law. Once freed from British obligation on 1 July 1946, he was appointed as the city treasurer in Aachen, a position he held for three years.
During the process of denazification, Globke stated that he had been part of the resistance against National Socialism, and was therefore classified by the Arbitration Chamber on 8 September 1947 in Category V: Persons Exonerated. Globke was a witness for both the defence and the prosecution at the Wilhelmstraße trial. At Stuckart's trial, he testified as a witness for the defendant, "I knew that the Jews were mass murdered".
Career in the Adenauer government
In the post-war era Globke rose to become one of the most powerful people in the German government. In 1949 he was appointed undersecretary at the German Chancellery. In 1951, he wrote a law that restored back pay, pensions, and advancement to civil servants who had served under the Nazi regime, including himself. John Le Carré wrote that these were "rights as they would have enjoyed if the Second World War hadn't taken place, or if Germany had won it. In a word, they would be entitled to whatever promotion would have come their way had their careers proceeded without the inconvenience of an Allied victory". At the end of October 1953, following Otto Lenz's election to the Bundestag in the election of the previous month, Globke succeeded Lenz as Secretary of State at the Federal Chancellery, wielding a great deal of power behind the scenes and therefore an important pillar of Konrad Adenauer's "chancellor democracy" (German: Kanzlerdemokratie).
Globke served as Chief of Staff of the Chancellery from 1953 to 1963. As such he was one of the closest aides to Chancellor Adenauer, with significant influence over government policy. He advised Adenauer on political decisions during joint walks in the garden of the Chancellor's office, such as the reparations agreement with Israel. His areas of responsibility and his closeness to the Chancellor arguably made him one of the most powerful members of the government; he was responsible for running the Chancellery, recommending the people who were appointed to roles in the government, coordinating the government's work, for the establishment and oversight of the West German intelligence service and for all matters of national security. He was the German government's main liaison with NATO and other western intelligence services, especially the CIA. He also maintained contact with the party apparatus and became "a kind of hidden secretary general" to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and contact with the Chancellor usually had to go through him. As Adenauer and everyone else knew of his previous career, the Chancellor could be assured of his absolute loyalty.
Globke's key position as chief of staff to Adenauer, responsible for matters of national security, made both the West German government and CIA officials wary of exposing his past, despite their full knowledge of it. 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.
Globke left office together with the Adenauer administration in 1963, and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by President Heinrich Lübke. He remained active as an adviser for Adenauer and the CDU during the 1960s. After retirement Globke decided to move to Switzerland. However, the Swiss government declared him an unwanted foreigner and denied him entry. Globke was buried in the central cemetery in Bad Godesberg in the district of Plittersdorf.
Globke's Nazi past
In a parliamentary debate on 12 July 1950, Adolf Arndt, the spokesman for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), read an excerpt from the commentaries on the Nuremberg Laws in which Globke discusses whether or not "racial shame" committed abroad could be punished. Federal Interior Minister Gustav Heinemann (then CDU) referred in his answer to the exonerating testimony of the Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Kempner, that Globke had served with his willingness to testify. Although Globke was controversial because of his Nazi past, Adenauer was loyal to Globke until the end of his term in 1963. On one hand, he commented on the debate over Globke's participation in the drafting of the Nuremberg race laws with the words "do not throw dirty water away, as long as you do not have clean" (German: Man schüttet kein schmutziges Wasser weg, solange man kein sauberes hat). On the other hand, he said in a newspaper interview on 25 March 1956 that claims Globke was a willing helper of the Nazis lacked any basis. Many people, including from the ranks of the Catholic Church, certified that Globke had repeatedly campaigned on behalf of persecuted people.
However, loyalty to Globke increasingly proved to be a burden on Adenauer's government, especially after 1960, when the Israeli intelligence service Mossad tracked Adolf Eichmann down in Argentina. Eichmann was living in Buenos Aires and working at Mercedes-Benz, and the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) had been aware since 1952 that he lived there.
West German investigation
The former administrative officer of Army Group E in Thessaloniki, Max Merten, had accused Globke of being heavily responsible for the Holocaust in Greece, as he could have prevented the deaths of 20,000 Jews in Thessaloniki when Eichmann contacted the Reich Interior Ministry and asked for Globke's permission to kill them. When these accusations became known, they prompted preliminary criminal proceedings to be initiated against Globke by Fritz Bauer, the chief public prosecutor of Hesse. The investigation was transferred to the public prosecutor's office in Bonn in May 1961 after an intervention by Adenauer, where it was closed due to lack of evidence.
Trial in East Berlin
In the early 1960s, there was a vigorous campaign in East Germany, led by the Politburo member Albert Norden of the Ministry of State Security, against the so-called "author of the Nuremberg Blood Laws" as well an "agitator and organiser of the persecutions of the Jews". Norden's goal was to prove that Globke was in contact with Eichmann. In a 1961 memorandum, Norden stated that "in collaboration with [Erich] Mielke, certain materials should be procured or produced. We definitely need a document that somehow proves Eichmann's direct cooperation with Globke".
Globke became a central target of Soviet propaganda, not so much because of his career during the Nazi era, but because of his powerful position in the West German government and his trenchant anti-communist stance. In 1963 East Germany convicted him in a show trial in absentia; however, such East German trials were not recognised outside of the Soviet bloc, least of all by West Germany. On the 10 July 1963, the affair was denounced by the West German Government as a show trial. The fact that much of the criticism of Globke came from the Soviet bloc, and that it mixed genuine information with false accusations, made it easier for the West Germans and the Americans to dismiss it as communist propaganda.
In 1961, civil activist Reinhard Strecker wrote a book, Hans Globke - File Extracts, documents based on Strecker's research in Polish and Czech archives, which was published by the Bertelsmann publishing house Rütten & Loening. Globke tried to block further publication in court with an interim injunction. The BND, under the leadership of the former Wehrmacht General Reinhard Gehlen, spent 50,000 marks trying to take the book off the market. When a court then discovered two minor mistakes (the publisher had caused one of them by abbreviation) and imposed a restraining order, Bertelsmann caved in, and cancelled a new edition of the book. The government is thought by historians to have threatened that no official agency would have acquired a book from the publisher again.
In June 2006, it was announced that the Adenauer Government had informed the CIA of the location of Adolf Eichmann in March 1958. However, according to US historian Timothy Naftali, through contacts at the highest level, it had also ensured that the CIA did not use that knowledge. Neither the federal government nor the CIA passed the new information on to the Israeli government. Naftali suggested that Adenauer had wanted to prevent pressure on Globke regarding Eichmann. Eichmann had previously given extensive interviews on his life to Dutch journalist and former SS agent Willem Sassen, on which his memoirs were to be based. Since 1957, Sassen's attempts to sell this material to US magazine Life had been unsuccessful. This changed with the spectacular kidnapping of Eichmann by Mossad in May 1960, made possible by an unofficial tip-off by the Hessian Attorney General Fritz Bauer, and the preparation of the Eichmann trial in Israel. Life published extracts from Sassen's material about Eichmann in two articles, on 28 November and 5 December 1960. His family wanted to use the royalties from the articles to fund his defence in court. However the federal government, already worried about the campaign in East Berlin, contacted the CIA to ensure that any material regarding Globke was removed from the Life coverage. In an internal memo dated 20 September 1960, CIA chief Allen Dulles mentioned "a vague mention of Globke, which Life omits at our demand".
In 2009, a monograph by the historian Erik Lommatzsch was published by Campus-Verlag. Lommatzsch had investigated Globke's estate in the archive of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. However, Globke's actual relationship to National Socialism and his influence on the government of Adenauer are not really clarified, which, according to reviewer Hans-Heinrich Jansen, "in view of the sourcing, which for many central issues, turned out to be slim, after all" is not conclusively possible. The background of the Stasi campaign against Globke remains largely unknown; however, this aspect of Lommatzsch's biography was in any case only intended as a digression, since it requires separate treatment. However, Lommatzsch mentions a number of examples of Globke campaigning for the persecuted, his commentary on the Nuremberg Laws was aimed at defusing the regulations, and he had not played the dominant role in the postwar period, the Adenauer opponents had assumed.
Various federal agencies have been investigated in relation to their Nazi past, with and without government support, including the Federal Foreign Office. A research deficit in the processing of NS continuity in the Federal Republic of Germany still exists in particular at the German Chancellery. A subsidy program worth a total of 4 million euros was included in the 2017 federal budget, which is intended to process the Nazi past of central authorities, especially the federal ministries, across departments. The concrete conceptual and content-related design of the research program is currently being discussed by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Federal Archives and representatives of science for example a collective biography of all state secretaries, in which Globke would be "only one of many"
Honours and awards
- Honor Cross for Front Fighters (1934)
- Medal commemorating the 13th of March 1938 (1938)
- Sudetenland Medal (1939)
- Silver Loyalty Merit Sign (1941)
- War Merit Cross 2nd Class (1942)
- Commander's Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania (1942)
- Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria (1956)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1956)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Oak Crown of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (1957)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Christ of Portugal (1960)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1963)
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hans Globke.|
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- "Response of the Federal Government to the Small Question on the Federal Government's Plans to Investigate the History of the Federal Chancellery German:Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage zu den Plänen der Bundesregierung zur Untersuchung der Geschichte des Bundeskanzleramtes" (PDF). Sigrid Hupach. German Federal Government. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
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- für 25-jährige Beamtentätigkeit unter Anrechnung des Militärdienstes
- verliehen von der Antonescu-Regierung
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 26. Retrieved 2 October 2012.