cabinet of Nazi Germany
|Date formed||30 January 1933|
|Date dissolved||30 April 1945|
|People and organisations|
|Head of state||
Paul von Hindenburg|
|Head of government||Adolf Hitler|
|Deputy head of government||
Franz von Papen|
(30 January 1933 – 7 August 1934)
German National People's Party (dissolved on 27 June 1933)
|Status in legislature||
Nazi-led coalition government|
(until June 1933)
Nazi single-party government
(after June 1933)
Social Democratic Party of Germany
|Opposition leader||Otto Wels|
|Election(s)||German federal election, November 1932|
|Legislature term(s)||7th legislature of the Reichstag|
|Predecessor||Von Schleicher Cabinet|
|Successor||Schwerin von Krosigk Cabinet|
The Hitler Cabinet de jure formed the government of Nazi Germany between 30 January 1933 and 30 April 1945 upon the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of the German Reich by president Paul von Hindenburg. Contrived by the national conservative politician Franz von Papen, who reserved the office of the Vice-Chancellor for himself. Originally, Hitler's first cabinet was called the Reich Cabinet of National Salvation, which was a coalition of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and the national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP), it became an exclusively Nazi cabinet when the DNVP was intimidated into dissolving itself.
The Enabling Act of 1933, passed two months after Hitler took office, gave the cabinet the power to make laws without legislative consent for four years. In effect, this power was vested in Hitler, and for all intents and purposes it made Hitler a dictator. After the Enabling Act's passage, serious deliberations more or less ended at cabinet meetings. It met only sporadically after 1934, and last met in full on 5 February 1938. Nonetheless, it grew immensely in size on paper, due to the addition of the commanders of the armed services and several ministers without portfolio.
The Reich cabinet consisted of the following Ministers:
|Chancellor of the German Reich||Adolf Hitler||30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Vice-Chancellor of the German Reich||Franz von Papen||30 January 1933 – 7 August 1934||none (Centre until 1932)
|Hermann Göring||10 February 1941 – 23 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs||Konstantin von Neurath||30 January 1933 – 4 February 1938||none (Nazi Party from 1937)|
|Joachim von Ribbentrop||4 February 1938 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister of the Interior||Wilhelm Frick||30 January 1933 – 24 August 1943||Nazi Party|
|Heinrich Himmler||24 August 1943 – 29 April 1945|
|Reich Minister of Finance||Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk||30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945||none (Nazi Party from 1937)|
|Reich Minister of Justice||Franz Gürtner †||30 January 1933 – 29 January 1941||German National People's Party (Nazi Party from 1937)|
|Franz Schlegelberger (acting)||29 January 1941 – 24 August 1942||Nazi Party|
|Otto Georg Thierack||24 August 1942 – 30 April 1945|
|Reich Minister of the Reichswehr (from 1935, Reich Minister of War)||Werner von Blomberg||30 January 1933 – 5 February 1938||none|
|Wilhelm Keitel (as Chief of the OKW)||5 February 1938 – 30 April 1945|
|Reich Minister of Economics||Alfred Hugenberg||30 January 1933 – 29 June 1933||German National People's Party|
|Kurt Schmitt||29 June 1933 – 3 August 1934||Nazi Party|
|Hjalmar Schacht||3 August 1934 – 26 November 1937||none (Nazi Party from 1937)|
|Hermann Göring||26 November 1937 – 15 January 1938||Nazi Party|
|Walther Funk||5 February 1938 – 30 April 1945|
|Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture||Alfred Hugenberg||30 January 1933 – 29 June 1933||German National People's Party|
|Richard Walther Darré||29 June 1933 – 23 May 1942||Nazi Party|
|Herbert Backe||23 May 1942 – 30 April 1945|
|Reich Minister for Labour||Franz Seldte||30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister for Postal Affairs||Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach||30 January 1933 – 2 February 1937||none|
|Wilhelm Ohnesorge||2 February 1937 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister for Transport||Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach||30 January 1933 – 2 February 1937||none|
|Julius Dorpmüller||2 February 1937 – 30 April 1945||none (Nazi Party from 1941)|
|Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda||Joseph Goebbels||13 March 1933 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister of Aviation||Hermann Göring||27 April 1933 – 23 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister for Science, Education and Culture||Bernhard Rust||1 May 1934 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister for Church Affairs||Hanns Kerrl †||16 July 1935 – 15 December 1941||Nazi Party|
|Hermann Muhs (acting)||15 December 1941 – 30 April 1945|
|Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition
(from 1943, for Armaments and War Production)
|Fritz Todt †||17 March 1940 – 8 February 1942||Nazi Party|
|Albert Speer||8 February 1942 – 30 April 1945|
|Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories||Alfred Rosenberg||17 November 1941 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Reich Minister for Bohemia and Moravia||Karl Hermann Frank||20 August 1942 – 30 April 1945||Nazi Party|
|Ministers without portfolio
(from 1938 Reich Ministers)
|Hermann Göring||30 January 1933 – 27 April 1933||Nazi Party|
|Ernst Röhm (SA Chief) †||1 December 1933 – 1 July 1934|
|Rudolf Hess (Deputy Führer)||1 December 1933 – 10 May 1941|
|Hanns Kerrl||16 April 1934 – 16 July 1935|
|Hans Frank (Governor-General from 1939)||19 December 1934 – 30 April 1945|
|Hjalmar Schacht||26 November 1937 – 22 January 1943|
|Otto Meissner (Chief of Presidential Chancellery)||1 December 1937 – 30 April 1945|
|Hans Lammers (Chief of Reich Chancellery)||1 December 1937 – 30 April 1945|
|Arthur Seyss-Inquart||1 May 1939 – 30 April 1945|
|Martin Bormann (Chief of Nazi Party Chancellery)||12 May 1941 – 30 April 1945|
|Wilhelm Frick (Reich Protector)||24 August 1943 – 30 April 1945|
|Konstantin Hierl (Chief of the Reichsarbeitsdienst)||24 August 1943 – 30 April 1945|
- March 1933: Joseph Goebbels enters the cabinet as Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
- April 1933: Franz Seldte becomes a member of the Nazi Party; Göring takes a portfolio as Reich Minister of Aviation.
- June 1933: Kurt Schmitt succeeds Hugenberg as Reich Minister of Economics. Richard Walther Darré succeeds Hugenberg as Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture.
- December 1933: Ernst Röhm and Rudolf Hess enter the Cabinet as Ministers without portfolio.
- May 1934: Bernhard Rust enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister of Science and Education.
- June 1934: Hanns Kerrl enters the Cabinet as a Minister without portfolio. Röhm, Minister without portfolio, is murdered.
- July 1934: Göring takes another portfolio as Reich Minister of Forestry.
- August 1934: Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen leaves the cabinet. A new Vice-Chancellor is not installed. Hjalmar Schacht succeeds Schmitt as Reich Minister of Economics.
- December 1934: Hans Frank enters the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.
- March 1935: Göring takes yet another portfolio as Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe.
- May 1935: The title of Reich Minister of Defense is replaced by that of Reich Minister of War. Blomberg retains the office.
- July 1935: Hanns Kerrl takes a portfolio as Reich Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
- April 1936: Werner von Fritsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and Erich Raeder, Commander in Chief of the Navy, join the Cabinet.
- February 1937: Wilhelm Ohnesorge succeeds Eltz as Reich Minister of Posts. Julius Dorpmüller succeeds Eltz as Reich Minister of Transport.
- November 1937: Hermann Göring succeeds Schacht as Reich Minister of Economics. Schacht becomes Minister without portfolio.
- December 1937: Otto Meissner enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister of State and Head of the Chancellery.
- January 1938: Walther Funk succeeds Göring as Reich Minister of Economics.
- February 1938: Joachim von Ribbentrop replaces Neurath as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Neurath becomes Minister without portfolio. Blomberg resigns as Reich Minister of War and his office is abolished. His role is taken by General Wilhelm Keitel as Director of the High Command of the Armed Forces. Walther von Brauchitsch succeeds Fritsch as Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
- May 1939: Arthur Seyss-Inquart enters the Cabinet as Minister without portfolio.
- March 1940: Fritz Todt becomes Reich Minister of Armaments and Ammunition.
- January 1941: Franz Schlegelberger succeeds Gürtner as Reich Minister of Justice.
- May 1941: Rudolf Hess is dismissed from the Cabinet.
- July 1941: Alfred Rosenberg enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
- December 1941: Hanns Kerrl, the Reich Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, dies. He is not replaced. Hitler himself takes up the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
- February 1942: Albert Speer succeeds Todt as Reich Minister of Armaments and Ammunition.
- May 1942: Herbert Backe succeeds Darré as Reich Minister of Food.
- August 1942: Otto Georg Thierack succeeds Schlegelberger as Reich Minister of Justice.
- January 1943: Karl Dönitz succeeds Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.
- January 1943: Hans Lammers appointed President of Reich Cabinet (Cabinet President in Hitler's absence)
- January 1943: Hjalmar Schacht departs the Cabinet.
- June 1943: Albert Speer's ministerial authority is extended to cover the entire German war industry, and is elevated to Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production.
- August 1943: Heinrich Himmler succeeds Frick as Reich Minister of the Interior.
- August 1943: Konstantin Hierl enters the Cabinet as Reich Minister without portfolio.
End of Cabinet
The last meeting of Hitler's cabinet took place on 5 February 1938. As the Third Reich government was disintegrating at the end of the Second World War and following Hitler's death on 30 April 1945, it was succeeded by the short-lived Cabinet of Schwerin von Krosigk commonly known as the Flensburg government.
- Kershaw, Ian (2010). Hitler: A Biography. New York: Norton. p. 253. ISBN 9780393075625.
- The Brown Plague: Travels in Late Weimar & Early Nazi Germany
- Evans, Richard J. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin Books. p. 645. ISBN 0-14-303790-0.
- Stackelberg, Roderick (2002). Hitler's Germany: Origins, Interpretations, Legacies. New York: Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 9780203005415.
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