Josef Grohé

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Josef Grohé
Josef Grohé.jpg
Grohé in Nazi uniform
Gauleiter of Cologne
In office
Leader Adolf Hitler
Reichskommissar for Belgium and Northern France
In office
18 July 1944 – 15 December 1944
Appointed by Adolf Hitler
Preceded by none (position created)
Succeeded by none
Personal details
Born November 6, 1902
Gemünden im Hunsrück, German Empire
Died December 27, 1987 (1987-12-28) (aged 85)
Köln, West Germany
Political party NSDAP

Josef Grohé (6 November 1902 – 27 December 1987), was a German Nazi Party official. He was the Gauleiter of Cologne and Reichskommissariat of Belgium and Northern France.


Grohé was born in Gemünden im Hunsrück as the son of a shopkeeper.[1] He finished secondary school in 1919 and worked as a clerk in the hardware industry.[1]

Politics and official positions[edit]

Grohé was already active in anti-democratic and racist organizations as an adolescent. He joined the anti-Semitic Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund and the Nazi Party in 1921.[1] He was co-founder of the Nazi organization in Cologne in 1922 and founder of its newspaper, the Westdeutscher Beobachter.[1] In 1931 he was appointed Gauleiter (regional party leader) of Cologne-Aachen, and in 1932 he was elected to both the Reichstag and the Prussian Staatsrat (State Council).[1]

In July 1944, in addition to these posts, he was made the Reichskommissar of the newly created civilian administration in German-occupied Belgium and Northern France.[1] From September 1944, however, the territory's liberation by the Allies begun. In 1945, he organized the Cologne Volkssturm and ordered the demolition of five large bridges over the Rhine.[1]

He was arrested by the British occupation authorities in Cologne in 1945 and imprisoned until 1950.[1]


After the war, Grohé remained dedicated to the Nazi cause for the rest of his life and showed no remorse.[1] In 1950, he was sentenced to a four and a half years imprisonment (time served) by a court in Bielefeld for being a part of the political leadership of the Nazi party.[2] He had known of the Holocaust, but the court was not able to prove his involvement in atrocities.[2] After being released from imprisonment, he continued his professional career as a sales representative for German toy manufacturers.[2] He died on 27th of December 1987 in Brück, Cologne.[2]


Further reading[edit]

  • Ernst Klee, Das Personen-lexikon zum Dritten Reich (Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt-am-Main, 2005), 202
  • Gauleiter: The Regional Leaders Of The Nazi Party And Their Deputies, 1925-1945 (Herbert Albreacht-H. Wilhelm Huttmann)-Volume 1 by Michael D. Miller and Andreas Schulz R. James Bender Publishing, 2012.