The Info List - Gregor Strasser

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GREGOR STRASSER (31 May 1892 – 30 June 1934) was an early prominent German Nazi official and politician who was murdered during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.

Born in 1892 in Bavaria , Strasser served in World War I
World War I
in an artillery regiment, rising to the rank of first lieutenant . He joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1920 and quickly became an influential and important figure. He took part in the abortive putsch in Munich
in 1923 and was imprisoned, but released early on for political reasons.

Strasser joined a revived NSDAP in 1925 and once again established himself as a powerful and dominant member, hugely increasing the party's membership and reputation in northern Germany . Personal and political conflicts with Adolf Hitler led to his death in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives .


* 1 Early life

* 1.1 World War I
World War I
* 1.2 Paramilitary career

* 2 Political career

* 2.1 Nazi Party activities * 2.2 Role in NSDAP\'s national organisation * 2.3 Conflicts with Hitler

* 3 Later life

* 3.1 Life after politics * 3.2 Death

* 4 See also

* 5 References

* 5.1 Citations * 5.2 Bibliography

* 6 External links


Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser
was born on 31 May 1892 into the family of a Catholic judicial officer who lived in the Upper Bavarian market town of Geisenfeld . He grew up alongside his younger brother Otto , who was considered the more intellectual of the two. He attended the local Gymnasium and after his final examinations, served an apprenticeship as a pharmacist in the Lower Bavarian village of Frontenhausen from 1910 until 1914.


When war broke out in Europe in 1914, Strasser suspended his studies at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich to enlist as a volunteer in the German Imperial Army . He served in the 1st Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment, rising to the rank of Oberleutnant and winning the Iron Cross
Iron Cross
of both classes for bravery. In 1918, he resumed his studies at Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg . He passed his state examination in 1919 and in 1920 started work as a pharmacist in Landshut .


In 1919, Strasser and his brother joined the right-wing _ Freikorps _ led by Franz Ritter von Epp . The aim of the group was to suppress Communism
in Bavaria. He established and commanded the _Sturmbataillon Niederbayern_ ("Storm Battalion Lower Bavaria"), with the young Heinrich Himmler employed as his adjutant. By March 1920, Strasser's Freikorps was ready to participate in the failed Kapp Putsch , whereas his brother Otto had turned to the left of the political spectrum and helped combat this right-wing coup d\'état .


Hitler and other top SA officials at a party rally, 1928


By 1920, Strasser, and his paramilitary group, had joined forces with Adolf Hitler 's Nazi Party (NSDAP), another far-right political party seated in Munich
. During the autumn of 1922, Strasser officially became a member of the NSDAP and the SA . Strasser's leadership qualities were soon recognized and he was appointed as regional head of the _ Sturmabteilung _ ("Storm Detachment"; SA) in Lower Bavaria . In November 1923, he took an active part in the unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch , a coup attempt by Hitler and Ludendorff against the Weimar Republic . He was tried with other putschists shortly after Hitler's trial, convicted of aiding and abetting high treason on 12 May and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and a small fine.

After a few weeks Strasser was released because he had been elected a member of the Bavarian Landtag for the NSDAP-associated "Völkischer Block" on 6 April and 4 May (in the Palatinate) 1924, respectively. In December 1924 Strasser won a seat for the "völkisch" National Socialist Freedom Movement in the Reichstag . He represented the constituency Westphalia North.

Because Strasser led up to 2,000 men in Landshut and was overworked, he began looking for an assistant. Heinrich Himmler, who obtained the job, was tasked with expanding the organization in Lower Bavaria. After the refoundation of the NSDAP by Adolf Hitler on 26 February 1925, Strasser became the first _ Gauleiter _ of Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate . After the partition of this Gau , he was _Gauleiter_ of Lower Bavaria from October 1928 until 1929. From September 1926 until the end of December 1927, he was the NSDAP's national leader for propaganda.


In January 1928, Strasser became leader of the NSDAP's national organisation. He reorganised the party's structure, both in its regional formation and its vertical management hierarchy. The party became a strictly centralist organization with the party's own control machinery and high capability for propaganda. Through much of 1925 Strasser took full advantage of his liberties as a member of the Reichstag, traveling extensively throughout northern and western Germany appointing Gauleiters, setting up party branches and delivering numerous public speeches.

After 1925, Strasser's organizational skills helped the NSDAP make a big step from a marginal south German splinter party to a nationwide mass party. While it received 2.6 per cent of the national vote in the 1928 General Election, it rose to become the second largest party in the Reichstag with 18.3 per cent of the vote in September 1930. Strasser established the NSDAP in northern and western Germany as a strong political association which quickly attained a higher membership than Hitler's southern party section. The party\'s own foreign organization was formed on Strasser's initiative. Together with his brother Otto, Strasser founded the Berlin
_Kampf-Verlag_ ("Combat Publishing") in March 1926, which went on to publish, among others, the left leaning weekly newspaper the _Berliner Arbeiterzeitung_ (" Berlin
Workers Newspaper").

The Strasser brothers advocated an anti-capitalist social revolutionary course for the NSDAP which at the same time was also strongly antisemitic and anti-communist .


The Great Depression greatly impacted Germany and by 1930 there was a dramatic increase in unemployment. During this time, the Strasser brothers started publishing a new daily newspaper in Berlin, the _Nationaler Sozialist_. Like their other publications, it conveyed the brothers' own brand of Nazism, including nationalism, anti-capitalism, social reform, and anti-Westernism. Goebbels complained vehemently about the rival Strasser newspapers to Hitler, and admitted that their success was causing his own Berlin
newspapers to be "pushed to the wall". In late April 1930, Hitler publicly and firmly announced his opposition to Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser
and appointed Goebbels as Reich leader of NSDAP propaganda. When Hitler visited Goebbels' on 2 May 1930, Goebbels banned the evening edition of the _Nationaler Sozialist_. Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser
distanced himself from his brother and relinquished his position as publisher of the _Nationaler Sozialist_ by the end of June, while Otto left the Party at the beginning of July.

In August 1932, Hitler was offered the job of Vice-Chancellor of Germany by then Chancellor Franz von Papen at the behest of President Paul von Hindenburg , but he refused. Hitler saw this offer as placing him in a position of "playing second fiddle" in the government. While many in his inner circle, like Goebbels, saw his resistance as heroic, Strasser was frustrated and believed Hitler was wrong to hold out for the Chancellorship. The ideological and personal rivalry with Hitler worsened dramatically when the successor Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher had discussions with Strasser as to becoming Vice-Chancellor in December 1932. Schleicher hoped to disunite the NSDAP with Strasser's help and to pull the left wing of the NSDAP over to his "national conservative" side, so as to prevent a revolution or takeover by Hitler. Hitler was furious and demanded that Strasser refuse Schleicher's offer.

Strasser resigned from his party offices on 8 December 1932, just seven weeks before the NSDAP obtained political legitimacy. He off