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Nazi propaganda photograph of Hinrich Lohse, as published in a Latvian newspaper in 1941.
|Reichskommissar of Reichskommissariat Ostland|
17 July 1941 – 26 September 1944
|Appointed by||Adolf Hitler|
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Erich Koch|
|Oberpräsident of the Province of Schleswig-Holstein|
25 March 1933 – 6 May 1945
|Preceded by||Heinrich Thon|
|Succeeded by||Otto Hoevermann (acting)|
|Gauleiter of Gau Schleswig-Holstein|
27 March 1925 – 6 May 1945
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|Born||2 September 1896
|Died||25 February 1964 (aged 67)
Hinrich Lohse was born in the town of Mühlenbarbek in Province of Schleswig-Holstein. He was born into a small farming family. From 1903 to 1912 he attended the Volksschule in his hometown, and afterwards the higher trade school. In 1913 he worked as an employee at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg. During the First World War, he served in the Imperial German Army from 23 September 1915 until his discharge for war wounds on 30 October 1916.
Nazi Party career
From 1919, Lohse was first an associate at the Schleswig-Holstein Farmers' Association, and then as of 1920 General Secretary of the Schleswig-Holsteinische Bauern- und Landarbeiterdemokratie. In 1923 he joined the Nazi Party and became on 27 March 1925 the NSDAP Gauleiter for Schleswig-Holstein. In 1924, as a member of the Völkisch-Sozialer Block list, he became the only Nazi to be elected to the city representative college (Stadtverordnetenkollegium) of Altona/Elbe. During this time, he led various nationally-oriented farming associations in northern Germany, such as the Landvolkbewegung ("Rural People's Movement"), into the Nazi Party. Between 1928 and 1929, Lohse also temporarily administered the Nazi Gau of Hamburg.
Lohse, who had been a member of the Reichstag since 1932, was appointed shortly after the Nazis' seizure of power as Oberpräsident (High President) of the Province of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1934, he took over the chairmanship of the Nordic Association (Nordische Gesellschaft). In 1942, Lohse was appointed Reich Defence Commissar, as were all Gauleiters.
Occupation official in the Baltic states
On 17 July 1941, after the German occupation of Baltic states from the Soviet Union, Lohse was appointed the "Reichskommissar for the Ostland". Lohse retained his functions in Schleswig-Holstein and shuttled between his two seats of Riga and Kiel. After taking office, Lohse filled many important posts with likeminded old friends from Schleswig-Holstein. He held this function until he left, or rather fled, the Reichskommissariat Ostland in the autumn of 1944. In Schleswig-Holstein, during the time when Nazi Germany was losing power, he still exercised absolute rule as Reich Defence Commissar.
Post-war trial and life
On 6 May 1945, owing to British demands, Lohse was unseated as High President of Schleswig-Holstein by Reich President Karl Dönitz. Shortly thereafter, he was seized by the British Army. Lohse was sentenced in 1948 to 10 years in prison, but was released in 1951 due to illness. Two inquiries were launched by prosecutors against him; the grant of a High-Presidential pension which Lohse was fighting for was withdrawn under pressure from the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag. Lohse spent his twilight years in Mühlenbarbek.
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