Hubert Klausner

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Hubert Klausner (1 November 1892 - 12 February 1939) was an Austrian officer and Nazi politician. He served as Gauleiter of Reichsgau Kärnten and Landeshauptmann (premier) of Carinthia in from 1938 to 1939.


Born in Raibl (today: Cave del Predil, Tarvisio) in the Carinthian Val Canale, the son of minor customs official, he attended the Gymnasium in Villach. Taking his Matura exams in 1912, he completed his military service as an Einjährig-Freiwilliger ("one-year volunteer") in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Thereafter he served in World War I; in the rank of a Lieutenant in Galician, where he was seriously wounded in 1915, and reached the rank of an Oberleutnant at the Italian Front. In 1916 he was transferred to the reserve, commanding a casualty assamblies in Klagenfurt and Trento.

When the war ended, Klausner from 1919 fought in the Volkswehr paramilitary forces in the armed conflicts against Yugolsav troops, which led to the Carinthian Plebiscite of 1920. Afterwards he joined the Federal Army of the First Austrian Republic and was promoted to the rank of a Captain (Hauptmann). Having initially joined the Greater German People's Party, he switched to the Austrian Nazi Party in 1922, which he again left in 1927, after the ill-fated Beerhall Putsch. In 1930 he was promoted to Major – the highest rank that he would reach in the Austrian Army before he had to leave for political reasons in 1933.

In February 1931, he once again joined the NSDAP, which won influence in local council and provincial elections in Carinthia in 1931 and 1932. Klausner styled himself as an early proponent of Nazism in Carinthia, he was appointed acting Gauleiter in January 1933 and four months later, in May 1933, he took over the leadership of the still-outlawed Nazi Party in Carinthia. During the time of Austrofascism in the Federal State of Austria (Ständestaat), Klausner was interned for a few months several times in 1935, 1936 and 1937. Neither his arrest for political reasons nor his removal by rivalling Josef Leopold, however, could keep him from doing further work for the Nazi movement. His home in Latschach near Finkenstein became a venue for leading Carinthian Nazis such as Friedrich Rainer and Odilo Globocnik. They reached the removal of Leopold from power by Adolf Hitler, and on the eve of the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938 received SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler at the Vienna airport. Klausner announced the Anschluss on Austrian radio and joined the SS immediately afterwards, in which he was given the rank of Oberführer.

The next day, Klausner was appointed by the Nazi chancellor Arthur Seyss-Inquart to be a "Minister for Political Will Formation" in the first National Socialist cabinet, and on 22 May of the same year he became Reichskommissar Josef Bürckel's deputy, as well as Austrian Interior Minister at the same time. Upon the German election on April 10, he obtained a seat in the Nazi Reichstag. Along with all this, he also held, as of 1 June 1938, the office of Gauleiter and Landeshauptmann of Carinthia, with the assigned functions exercised by his deputies Franz Kutschera and Wladimir von Pawlowski.

Hubert Klausner died suddenly on 12 February 1939 in his home in Vienna, officially of a stroke. Even Adolf Hitler together with Reinhard Heydrich and Rudolf Hess attended Klausner's state funeral in Klagenfurt, and he delivered the commemorative address.