Cabinet of Nazi Germany
|30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945|
First session of the cabinet, 1933
|Date formed||30 January 1933|
|Date dissolved||30 April 1945|
|People and organisations|
|Head of government||Adolf Hitler|
|Deputy head of government||Franz von Papen|
(30 January 1933 – 7 August 1934)
(10 February 1941 – 23 April 1945)
|Member parties||Nazi Party|
German National People's Party
(30 January 1933 – 27 June 1933; dissolved itself on 27 June 1933)
|Status in legislature||Nazi Party – led coalition government|
(30 January 1933 – 27 June 1933)
Nazi Party dominate-party government
(27 June 1933 – 5 July 1933)
Nazi Party one-party government
(5 July 1933 – 30 April 1945)
|Opposition parties||Centre Party|
(30 January 1933 – 5 July 1933; dissolved itself on 5 July 1933)
Communist Party of Germany
(30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945; officially banned on 6 March 1933)
Social Democratic Party of Germany
(30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945; officially banned on 23 June 1933)
|Opposition leaders||Ludwig Kaas|
(30 January 1933 – 5 July 1933)
(30 January 1933 – 18 August 1944)
(6 March 1933 – 30 April 1945; leader of the Communist Party of Germany in exile)
(30 January 1933 – 23 June 1933)
(30 January 1933 – 16 September 1939; chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in exile from 23 June 1933 – 16 September 1939)
(30 January 1933 – 30 April 1945; chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in exile from 23 June 1933 – 30 April 1945)
|Outgoing election||Nov. 1932|
|Legislature term(s)||7th legislature of the Diet of the Realm|
1st legislature of the Greater-German Diet of the Realm
|Predecessor||Von Schleicher Cabinet|
The Hitler cabinet was 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. It was originally 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:
- 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.
- May 1941: Martin Bormann succeeds Hess as Minister without portfolio.
- 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.
- April 1945: Hermann Göring and Hans Lammers forced to resign from the cabinet.
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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