Hans Schemm

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Hans Schemm
Hans Schem in NS-Uniform.jpeg
Hans Schemm in NSDAP uniform
Gauleiter of Gau Bavarian Eastern March
In office
1 January 1933 – 5 March 1935
Appointed byAdolf Hitler
Preceded byGau established
Succeeded byLudwig Ruckdeschel (Acting)
Gauleiter of Gau Upper Franconia
In office
1 October 1928 – 1 January 1933
Appointed byAdolf Hitler
Preceded byGau established
Succeeded byGau abolished
Head of the
National Socialist Teachers League
In office
21 April 1929 – 5 March 1935
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byFritz Wachtler
Bavarian State Minister for Education and Culture
In office
16 March 1933 – 5 March 1935
Personal details
Born6 October 1891
Bayreuth, Bavaria
Died5 March 1935(1935-03-05) (aged 43)
Bayreuth, Bavaria
Political partyNazi Germany NSDAP
Hans Schemm in NSDAP uniform

Hans Schemm (6 October 1891 in Bayreuth – 5 March 1935 in Bayreuth) was an educator who became a Gauleiter in Nazi Germany.

Early life[edit]

Schemm, whose parents ran a shoemaker's shop, first went to a Volksschule for five years and then as of 1905 to a teachers' college. In 1915 he got married; in 1917 a son was born. He taught school beginning in 1910, first in Wülfersreuth, then as of 1911 in Neufang and from 1920 at the Altstadtschule ("Old Town School"), which was later named the Hans-Schemm-Schule, in Bayreuth. During the First World War he worked at a military epidemic hospital in Bayreuth where he became infected with tuberculosis. In 1919 he belonged to the Freikorps Bayreuth, which took part in the street fighting that was common at the time among opposing political groups in Munich. On the basis of his background in bio-chemistry, Schemm became head of a bacteriological-chemical laboratory in Thale (Hubertusbad). After it closed in 1921 for financial reasons, Schemm returned to the classroom until 1928.

Nazi Party career[edit]

Schemm had joined the Nazi Party in 1922, before it was banned. On 30 September 30, 1923 he first met Adolf Hitler. With Hitler's quick confidence, Shemm became an assessor in the Bayreuth Völkischer Bund in 1924. When the Party was re-established in 1925, Schemm immediately rejoined it on 27 February, and organized the local Bayreuth Nazi Ortsgruppe (Local Group) becoming its Ortsgruppenleiter. Schemm built the organization up with determination. In May 1927 he advanced to a Bezirksleiter (Regional Leader) in Upper Franconia. On 28 April 1928, he was elected a member of the Bavarian Landtag. On 1 October 1928 when Julius Streicher’s large Gau of Northern Bavaria (Nordbayern) was broken up, Schemm became the Gauleiter of the newly established Gau of Upper Franconia (Oberfranken).[1] On 21 April 1929, Schemm founded the National Socialist Teachers League (NSLB) and was elected its leader ("Reichswalter").

Schemm also took on the role of Nazi Party publicist. Between 1928 and 1929 he was the editor of several Nazi newspapers (Der Streiter, Weckruf and Nationale Zeitung). In August 1929, Schemm founded his own newspaper, the Nationalsozialistische Lehrerzeitung ("National Socialist Teachers' Newspaper"), that became the journalistic organ of the NSLB. On 1 October 1930 came the first edition of the weekly newspaper Kampf für deutsche Freiheit und Kultur ("Struggle for German Freedom and Culture"), which was published by Schemm, and whose circulation rose from 3,000 in the beginning to 20,000 by 1932. In 1931, Schemm founded the Bayreuth National Socialist Cultural Publishing House (Nationalsozialistischer Kulturverlag Bayreuth), which beginning on 1 October 1932 published the daily newspaper Das Fränkische Volk (circulation: 10,000).

On 8 December 1929 he became a member of the Bayreuth Stadrat (City Council) and chairman of its Nazi faction. In September 1930, Schemm was elected a member of the German national parliament, the Reichstag, from electoral constituency 26, Franconia. On 1 January 1933, the Gau of Upper Franconia, led by Schlemm, was merged with the Gau of Lower Bavaria-Upper Palatinate (Niederbayern-Oberpfalz) to form the Gau Bavarian Eastern March (Gau Bayerische Ostmark). Schemm became the Gauleiter of the enlarged Gau.[2] Furthermore, he became an SA-Gruppenführer and an honorary citizen of Bayreuth. On 16 March 1933, the Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor) of Bavaria, Franz Ritter von Epp, appointed Schemm as the Acting State Minister for Education and Culture. On 12 April he was made permanent minister and "Leader of Cultural and Educational Affairs of Bavaria". On 4 January 1934, Schemm was named head (Hauptamtsleiter) of the Main Office for Education in the national headquarters of the NSDAP.[3]

Schemm has been described as "perhaps the most skilled and dynamic of Franconia's Nazi leaders."[4] However, his political positions were clearly antidemocratic, anti-Semitic and anti-Communist, as can be seen in some of his quotations:

  • "We are not objective – we are German!" [5]
  • " ... that a Jew should dangle from every lamppost." [6]

In April 1933, when Schemm arrived in Passau to attend the laying of the corner stone for the Hall of the Nibelungs, he addressed the masses.[7] Passau honored Schemm by dedicating a street and a school to him.[8]


On 5 March 1935 Schemm was seriously injured in an aircraft crash. Although Hitler personally ordered noted surgeon Professor Ferdinand Sauerbruch to fly to Bayreuth, Schemm succumbed to his injuries that same day before the professor's arrival. He was succeeded by his Deputy, Ludwig Ruckdeschel, as Acting Gauleiter until Fritz Wächtler was appointed the permanent replacement on 5 December.[9] The Nazis posthumously honored Schemm as a publicist and educator by naming multiple schools, streets, and halls after him.


  • Der rote Krieg. Mutter oder Genossin, 1931


  1. ^ Karl Höffkes: Hitlers Politische Generale. Die Gauleiter des Dritten Reiches: ein biographisches Nachschlagewerk. Grabert-Verlag, Tübingen, 1986, 9. 293, ISBN 3-87847-163-7.
  2. ^ Höffkes, 1986, p. 294.
  3. ^ "Schemm, Hans". verwaltungshandbuch.bayerische-landesbibliothek-online.de (in German). Bayerische Landesbibliothek. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  4. ^ Zofka, Zdenek (1988). "Between Bauernbund and National Socialism. The Political Reorientation of the Peasants in the Final Phase of the Weimar Republic". In Childers, Thomas (ed.). The Formation of the Nazi Constituency 1919-1933. Croom Helm.
  5. ^ Mosse, George Lachmann (1966). Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich. University of Wisconsin Press. p. xxxi.
  6. ^ Allen, Arthur (2015). The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brace Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis. Norton.
  7. ^ Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, p. 99
  8. ^ Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 212ff
  9. ^ "Schemm, Hans". verwaltungshandbuch.bayerische-landesbibliothek-online.de (in German). Bayerische Landesbibliothek. Retrieved 20 April 2016.

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