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Baldur Benedikt von Schirach (9 May 1907 – 8 August 1974) was a Nazi German politician who is best known for his role as the German Nazi Party's national youth leader and head of the Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
from 1931 to 1940. He later served as Gauleiter
Gauleiter
and Reichsstatthalter
Reichsstatthalter
("Reich Governor") of Vienna. After World War II, he was convicted of crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg trial
Nuremberg trial
and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Military career and the Nazi Party 3 Trial and conviction 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Schirach was born in Berlin, the youngest of four children of theatre director, grand ducal chamberlain and retired captain of the cavalry Carl Baily Norris von Schirach (1873–1948) and his American wife Emma Middleton Lynah Tillou (1872–1944). A member of the noble Schirach family, of Sorbian West Slavic origins, three of his four grandparents were from the United States, chiefly from Pennsylvania.[1] Through his mother, Schirach was a descendant of Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
and an indirect descendant of Arthur Middleton, two signatories of the United States
United States
Declaration of Independence. English was the first language he learned at home and he did not learn to speak German until the age of five. He had two sisters, Viktoria and the opera singer Rosalind von Schirach, and a brother, Karl Benedict von Schirach. His brother committed suicide in 1919 at the age of 19. On 31 March 1932 Schirach married the 19-year-old Henriette Hoffmann, the daughter of Heinrich Hoffmann, Adolf Hitler's personal photographer and close friend. Schirach's family was vehemently opposed to this marriage, but Hitler insisted.[2] Gregor Strasser dismissively described Schirach as "a young effeminate aristocrat" upon whom Hitler bestowed both Henriette and the Hitler Youth position. Through this relationship, Schirach became part of Hitler's inner circle. The young couple were welcome guests at Hitler's "Berghof". Henriette von Schirach gave birth to four children: Angelika Benedikta von Schirach (born 1933), lawyer Klaus von Schirach (born 1935), businessman Robert von Schirach (born 1938) and sinologist Richard von Schirach
Richard von Schirach
(born 1942). The lawyer and best-selling German crime writer Ferdinand von Schirach
Ferdinand von Schirach
is the couple's grandson.[3][4] They are also the grandparents of the philosopher and critic Ariadne von Schirach and of the novelist Benedict Wells.[5] Schirach was a published author, contributing to literature journals, and an influential patron of the arts.[6]

Schirach (extreme left) watches as Hitler greets his Chancellery chief Phillip Bouhler
Phillip Bouhler
in Munich 1938.

Schirach (right) with Hitler, Bormann and Göring
Göring
at the Obersalzberg.

Military career and the Nazi Party[edit] Schirach joined a Wehrjugendgruppe (military cadet group) at the age of ten and became a member of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
(NSDAP) in 1925. He was soon transferred to Munich, and in 1929 became leader of the National Socialist German Students' League (Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund; NSDStB). In 1931 he was named as Reichsjugendführer (Youth Leader) of the Nazi Party, and in 1933 was made head of the Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
(Hitlerjugend) and given an SA rank of Gruppenführer. He was made a state secretary in 1936. Schirach appeared frequently at rallies, such as the Nuremberg rally of 1934, when he appeared with Hitler in rousing the Hitlerjugend audience. The event was filmed for Triumph of the Will
Triumph of the Will
the propaganda film made by Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl
for the Nazi Party. Schirach set the militaristic tone of the youth organisation, which participated in military-style exercises, as well as practising use of military equipment, such as rifles. In July 1939, Schirach paid Passau
Passau
a formal visit.[7] In July 1940, when a new play by Hans Baumann was staged there, Schirach insisted that 2,000 local Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
members be part of that performance.[8] In 1940 Schirach organised the evacuation of five million children from cities threatened by Allied bombing. Later that year, he joined the army and volunteered for service in France, where he was awarded the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
before being recalled. He served with the 4th (Machine Gun) Company of Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland
Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland
in the rank of Gefreiter.[9] During the French Campaign
French Campaign
he was promoted to Leutnant and decorated for bravery.[10] Schirach lost control of the Hitler Youth to Artur Axmann, and was appointed Governor ( Gauleiter
Gauleiter
or Reichsstatthalter) of the Reichsgau Vienna,[11] a post in which he remained until the end of the war. An anti-Semite, Schirach was responsible over the next few years for sending Jews from Vienna
Vienna
to Nazi concentration camps. During his tenure 65,000 Jews were deported. In a speech on 15 September 1942 he said that their deportation was a "contribution to European culture."[11] Later during the war, Schirach pleaded for a moderate treatment of the eastern European peoples and criticised the conditions in which Jews were being deported. He fell into disfavour with Hitler in 1943, but remained at his post in Vienna.[12] Schirach was notoriously anxious about air raids. He had the cellars of the Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace
in the Vienna
Vienna
city centre refurbished and adapted as a bomb shelter, and the lower level of the extensive subterranean Vienna
Vienna
air defence coordination centre in the forests to the west of Vienna
Vienna
held personal facilities for him. The Viennese promptly dubbed this command and control centre the "Schirach-Bunker".

Baldur von Schirach
Baldur von Schirach
at the Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
(in second row, second from right)

Trial and conviction[edit] Schirach surrendered in 1945 and was one of the officials put on trial at Nuremberg. At the trial Schirach was one of only two men to denounce Hitler (the other was Albert Speer). He said that he did not know about the extermination camps. He provided evidence that he had protested to Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann
about the inhumane treatment of the Jews. Schirach claimed at the trials that the roots of his anti-semitism could be found in the readings of Henry Ford's The International Jew. He was originally indicted for crimes against peace for his role in building up the Hitler Youth, but was acquitted on that charge. He was found guilty on 1 October 1946 of crimes against humanity for his role in the deportation of the Viennese Jews to certain death in German concentration camps located in German-occupied Poland. He was sentenced and served 20 years as a prisoner in Spandau Prison, Berlin. On 20 July 1949 his wife Henriette von Schirach (3 February 1913 – 27 January 1992) divorced him while he was in prison. He was released on 30 September 1966 after serving his full sentence, and retired quietly to Southern Germany. He published his memoirs, Ich glaubte an Hitler ("I believed in Hitler") and died on 8 August 1974 in Kröv. Von Schirach is mentioned in Philip K. Dick's 1962 alternate history novel The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle
as a candidate for Führer
Führer
after the previous holder of the office, Martin Bormann, dies.[13] See also[edit]

Glossary of Nazi Germany List of Nazi Party
Nazi Party
leaders and officials

References[edit] Notes

^ Michael H. Kater, Hitler Youth, Harvard University Press, 2009, p. 17, ISBN 0674039351 ^ The Mind of Adolf Hitler, Walter Charles Langer, New York 1972, pp. 99–100 ^ Ferdinand von Schirach
Ferdinand von Schirach
(September 23, 2011). "A Third Reich Past: Why I Cannot Answer Questions about My Grandfather". Spiegel Online.  ^ Von Schirach: Der verschrobene Star hinter „Schuld“on Schirach: Der verschrobene Star hinter „Schuld“, Focus ^ Interview mit Ariadne von Schirach: Spross einer bekannten Familie, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 2 May 2014 ^ Gerwin Strobl (2007). The swastika and the stage: German theatre and society, 1933–1945. Cambridge University Press. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-521-88076-3. Retrieved 20 September 2010.  ^ Anna Rosmus
Anna Rosmus
Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 212f ^ Anna Rosmus, Hitlers Nibelungen (Samples Grafenau, 2015), p. 255f ^ Spaeter, Helmuth, "The History of Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland" p. 70 (English edition) ^ Spaeter, Helmuth, p. 137 ^ a b Robert S. Wistrich (7 November 2001). Who's who in Nazi Germany. Psychology Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-415-26038-1. Retrieved 20 September 2010.  ^ Baldur von Schirach ^ Dick, Philip (1962). The Man in the High Castle. pp. 24, 98, 102. ISBN 978-0-547-57248-2. 

Further reading

Fest, Joachim C. and Bullock, Michael (trans.) "Baldur von Schrach and the 'Mission of the Younger Generation'" in The Face of the Third Reich New York: Penguin, 1979 (orig. published in German in 1963), pp. 332–354. ISBN 978-0201407143.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Baldur von Schirach.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Baldur von Schirach

Timeline of Schirach's life (in German) Baldur von Schirach
Baldur von Schirach
at Find a Grave Short biography of Baldur von Schirach Revolution der Erziehung (Revolution of Education) by Baldur von Schirach Die Hitler-Jugend – Idee und Gestalt (The Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
– Idea and Character) by Baldur von Schirach Die Fahne der Verfolgten (The Flag of the Persecuted), collection of poetry Goethe an uns (Goethe to Us) by Baldur von Schirach Das Lied der Getreuen (The Lay of the Faithful); more poetry United States
United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum – Baldur von Schirach Biography: Baldur von Schirach Interview with David Frost

v t e

National Socialist German Workers' Party

Leader

Anton Drexler
Anton Drexler
(1919–1921) Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(1921–1945) Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann
(1945)

Related articles

Germany and World War I Stab-in-the-back myth Weimar Republic Treaty of Versailles Occupation of the Ruhr Politischer Arbeiter-Zirkel German Workers' Party Thule Society National Socialist Program Nuremberg Rally Ranks and insignia Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
(SA) Beer Hall Putsch Brown House, Munich Horst-Wessel-Lied Party songs Adolf Hitler's rise to power Night of the Long Knives Schutzstaffel
Schutzstaffel
(SS) Enabling Act of 1933 NSDAP/AO Greater German Reich Hitler Youth World War II Operation Werwolf Denazification Article 21 Paragraph 2 (de facto prohibition) National Socialism German Question Jewish Question Anti-Semitism in Germany

Party offices

NSDAP Office of Racial Policy NSDAP Office of Foreign Affairs NSDAP Office of Colonial Policy NSDAP Office of Military Policy Hitler's Chancellery Nazi Party
Nazi Party
Chancellery Amt Rosenberg

Publications

Völkischer Beobachter Das Schwarze Korps Das Reich Innviertler Heimatblatt Arbeitertum Der Angriff

Members

Gottfried Feder Dietrich Eckart Alfred Rosenberg Joseph Goebbels Heinrich Himmler Reinhard Heydrich Hermann Göring Gregor Strasser Otto Strasser Albert Speer Rudolf Hess Ernst Kaltenbrunner Adolf Eichmann Joachim von Ribbentrop Houston Stewart Chamberlain Hans Frank Rudolf Höss Richard Walther Darré Baldur von Schirach Artur Axmann Ernst Röhm Wilhelm Frick Josef Mengele Ernst Hanfstaengl Julius Streicher Hermann Esser

Derivatives

Black Front (Strasserism) / German Social Union Deutsche Rechtspartei (through entryism) / Deutsche Reichspartei / National Democratic Party of Germany Socialist Reich Party

v t e

Major defendants at the Nuremberg trials

Sentenced to death

Martin Bormann1 Hans Frank Wilhelm Frick Hermann Göring2 Alfred Jodl Ernst Kaltenbrunner Wilhelm Keitel Joachim von Ribbentrop Alfred Rosenberg Fritz Sauckel Arthur Seyss-Inquart Julius Streicher

Imprisoned (terms)

Karl Dönitz (10 years) Walther Funk
Walther Funk
(life) Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
(life) Konstantin von Neurath
Konstantin von Neurath
(15 years) Erich Raeder
Erich Raeder
(life) Baldur von Schirach
Baldur von Schirach
(20 years) Albert Speer
Albert Speer
(20 years)

Acquitted

Hans Fritzsche Franz von Papen Hjalmar Schacht

No decision

Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach3 Robert Ley4

1 In absentia. Remains discovered in Berlin
Berlin
in 1972 and conclusively identified in 1998; confirmed to have committed suicide on 2 May 1945 2 Committed suicide on 15 October 1946 before sentence could be carried out 3 Found unfit to stand trial 4 Committed suicide on 25 October 1945

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 34465111 LCCN: n84158458 ISNI: 0000 0000 8113 000X GND: 118607804 SUDOC: 027546764 BNF: cb11956400f (data) BIBSYS: 90772568 MusicBrainz: e39118b7-d5f5-490f-8241-7811ccacda91 NDL: 00540653 NKC: xx0018286 SN

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