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Otto Karl Gessler (or Geßler) (February 6, 1875 – March 24, 1955) was a German politician during the Weimar Republic. From 1910 until 1914, he was mayor of Regensburg and from 1913 to 1919 mayor of Nuremberg. He served in Weimar cabinets from 1919 until 1928, usually as Minister of Defence.
Gessler was born in Ludwigsburg in the Kingdom of Württemberg. He studied law in Erlangen, Tübingen and Leipzig and received his doctorate there in 1900. Later he became mayor of Regensburg and lord mayor of Nuremberg. Because of a disease he was not actively involved in World War I.
Gessler was one of the founders of the DDP in 1919. After the Kapp Putsch he assumed the office of the Reichswehrministerium from Gustav Noske, of which he was in charge of for different chancellors. As Reichswehrminister he worked closely with the head of the Heeresleitung Hans von Seeckt. With the accusation of financial anomalies in his ministry associated with the secret re-armament of the Reichswehr (the Phoebus scandal) Gessler was forced to resign in January 1928. From 1928 to 1933 he was president of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission) and of the Bund zur Erneuerung des Reiches. After the Machtergreifung of the Nazis, he retired from politics in 1933. He was initiated in the plans of the resistance and was arrested after the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944. He was detained in a concentration camp until the end of the war.
After the end of World War II, Gessler became involved in the German Red Cross, of which he was chairman from 1950 to 1952.
From 1950 to 1955 Gessler was member of the Bavarian senate.
The hospital in Lindenberg im Allgäu is named for Gessler.
- ^ Quigley, Carroll (1966). Tragedy And Hope. New York: Macmillan. p. 425. ISBN 0-945001-10-X.