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Lutz Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk, born Johann Ludwig von Krosigk and known as Lutz von Krosigk (22 August 1887 – 4 March 1977)[A], was a German senior government official who served as Minister of Finance of Germany
Germany
from 1932 to 1945 and de facto Chancellor of Germany
Germany
in May 1945. A non-partisan conservative, he was appointed to the post by Franz von Papen in 1932. At the request of President Paul von Hindenburg, he continued in that office under Kurt von Schleicher
Kurt von Schleicher
and Adolf Hitler. He and his ministry were involved in the persecution of German and European Jews, including by stealing their property, and laundering money. During May 1945, after the suicides of Hitler and his designated successor Joseph Goebbels, he also served as "Leading Minister" of the short-lived Flensburg government
Flensburg government
of President Karl Dönitz. Schwerin von Krosigk also held the essentially nominal offices of Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in the provisional government that controlled only a small, progressively shrinking portion of Germany, due to the rapid advance of the Allied forces who finally dissolved it and arrested its members. Besides Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
himself, Schwerin von Krosigk and Wilhelm Frick were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death. By receiving the golden NSDAP
NSDAP
Party Badge from Adolf Hitler, given for honor on 30 January 1937, he became a member of the NSDAP
NSDAP
(membership number: 3,805,231). He also joined the Academy of German Law [4] in 1937. At the 1949 Ministries Trial, he was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 10 years in jail; his sentence was commuted in 1951. He later worked as an author and publicist.

Contents

1 Early life and education 2 Nazi years

2.1 Pre-World War II 2.2 World War II

3 After World War II 4 Works 5 References and Notes

5.1 Sources

6 External links

Early life and education[edit] Born as Johann Ludwig von Krosigk into a family of traditional Lutheran
Lutheran
Protestants
Protestants
in Rathmannsdorf, Anhalt, Germany, his father was a commoner from an old noble family of Anhalt
Anhalt
and his mother was born a countess of the von Schwerin family. (In 1925 he was adopted by a count, Alfred Graf
Graf
von Schwerin, and promoted himself to a count, taking the name Johann Ludwig Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk).[1] Krosigk studied law and political science at Halle and Lausanne and then, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Oriel College, Oxford. During World War I, Krosigk served in the German Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant, and was awarded the Iron Cross. On 7 February 1918, during the war, he had married a baroness, Ehrengard Freiin von Plettenberg (1895–1979), with whom he had four sons and five daughters. In 1922, he became an Oberregierungsrat (senior government official) and in 1929, a ministerial director and head of the budget department at the finance ministry. In 1931, he joined the department of reparations payments, formed to deal with the reparations Germany still owed the Allied Powers after the Great War. Nazi years[edit] Pre-World War II[edit]

The cabinet in February 1934, with Krosigk second from left.

In 1932 Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen
appointed Krosigk as national Minister of Finance, and at the request of President Paul von Hindenburg
Paul von Hindenburg
he continued in that office under Kurt von Schleicher
Kurt von Schleicher
and throughout the period of Nazi rule. Several members of his family took part in assassination attempts against Adolf Hitler, but not Krosigk himself. He was rarely seen in public, and Hitler did not hold regular cabinet meetings. Following the final meeting of Hitler's cabinet in 1938 Krosigk did not make any public political statements and instead focused on running his ministry.[2] Krosigk held his position under both Schleicher and Hitler as a representative of the conservative movement in Germany. While he later claimed to have remained in the role only to prevent "worse things" from happening, he welcomed the Nazi Party's rise to power and both agreed with and contributed to many of its policies. These included measures targeting Germany's Jewish community. While Krosigk's ability to shape Germany's fiscal policies was constrained by the influence of both the President of the Reichsbank
Reichsbank
and Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
(in his role as Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan), he was able to implement policies.[3] In August 1938 Krosigk sent Hitler a memorandum which strongly argued against starting a war over the Sudeten crisis
Sudeten crisis
as the German economy was not yet ready, and claimed that "Communists, Jews and Czechs" were seeking to lure the country into a premature conflict. He argued that Germany
Germany
should instead "await her hour" and initiate war once it had completed building up its military and economy.[4] World War II[edit]

Krosigk and Goebbels salute at the Reichstag

From 1939, Krosigk's ministry was increasingly focused on persecuting Jews and stealing their belongings and illegally laundering money.[3] In February 1945 von Krosigk stressed the importance of preserving Germany's remaining industrial capacities in a letter to Reich Minister for Weapons, Munitions, and Armaments Albert Speer. This was motivated by his mistaken belief that the Allied bombing campaign directed at Germany
Germany
had the goal of destroying the country's industry so that it could not be captured by the Soviet Union, and that retaining industrial capacity would position Germany
Germany
to re-establish friendly relations with the western Allies following the war. It is unclear whether this had any influence of Speer's actions to prevent the implementation of the "scorched earth" policy ordered by Hitler.[5] In his final testament Hitler selected Krosigk to continue as finance minister after his death.[3] On 1 May 1945, after Goebbels's suicide, Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz
asked Schwerin von Krosigk to become the Chancellor (Reichskanzler) of his new government. He declined but accepted the position of "Leading Minister" the following day.[6] In a broadcast to the German people
German people
on 2 May 1945, he became one of the first commentators to refer to an "Iron Curtain" across Europe, a phrase he had picked up from an article by Joseph Goebbels[7] and which was later made famous by Winston Churchill. Rapidly advancing Allied forces limited the jurisdiction of the new German government to an area around Flensburg
Flensburg
near the Danish border, where Dönitz's headquarters were located, along with Mürwik. Accordingly, this administration was referred to as the Flensburg government. Dönitz and Schwerin von Krosigk attempted to negotiate an armistice with the Western allies while continuing to resist the Soviet Army. On 7 May 1945, Dönitz authorized the signature of the German Instrument of Surrender to the Allies, which took place in Rheims before General Dwight D. Eisenhower; Dönitz would later authorize the German military
German military
to sign another instrument of surrender in Berlin, in a ceremony presided over by the Soviets. On 23 May 1945, the Flensburg
Flensburg
Government was dissolved by order of the Supreme Allied Commander and its members arrested as prisoners of war. Krosigk was put on trial at Nuremberg, along with other leading members of the Nazi government. At the conclusion of the Ministries Trial in 1949 he was found guilty of laundering property stolen from Nazi victims and financing the concentration camps, and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.[8] However, he was released during an amnesty in 1951. After World War II[edit]

Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk on trial in Nürnberg

In later years, Schwerin von Krosigk wrote several books on economic policy and two versions of his memoirs. Schwerin von Krosigk died in 1977 in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany, aged 89. His elder daughter, Felicitas-Anita, Countess Schwerin von Krosigk, is the mother of Alternative for Germany
Alternative for Germany
Member of the European Parliament Beatrix von Storch. Works[edit]

Es geschah in Deutschland, 1951. Die große Zeit des Feuers – Der Weg der deutschen Industrie, 3 volumes, 1959. Alles auf Wagnis – der Kaufmann gestern, heute und morgen, 1963. Persönliche Erinnerungen, memoirs, 3 volumes, 1974. Staatsbankrott (Studie über die deutsche Finanzpolitik von 1920 bis 1945), 1975. Memoiren (short version of Persönliche Erinnerungen), 1977.

References and Notes[edit]

^ Lebendiges Museum Online, retrieved 1 January 2018  ^ "Johann Ludwig Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk 1887-1977". Lebendiges Museum Online. Retrieved 15 April 2017.  ^ a b c Hürter, Johannes (2010). "S. von Krosigk (bis 1925 von Krosigk), Johann Ludwig (Lutz) Graf". Deutsche Biographie. Retrieved 15 April 2017.  ^ Tooze, Adam (2007). The Wages of Destruction : The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. London: Penguin. pp. 272–273. ISBN 9780141003481.  ^ Kitchen 2015, p. 261. ^ Hillmann, Jörg; Zimmermann, John (2014) [2002]. "Die »Reichsregierung« in Flensburg" [The "Government" in Flensburg]. Kriegsende 1945 in Deutschland (in German). Munich: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 47. ISBN 9783486833324.  ^ "Das Jahr 2000", Das Reich, 25 February 1945, pp. 1–2 ^ Maguire, Peter (2010). Law and War: International Law and American History (Rev. ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 156–157. ISBN 0231146477. 

^ Regarding personal names: Until 1919, Graf
Graf
was a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin. In Germany
Germany
since 1919, it forms part of family names.

Sources[edit]

Kitchen, Martin (2015). Speer: Hitler's Architect. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300190441.  Klee, Ernst (2005). Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945 (Zweite Auflage ed.). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag. p. 574. ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8.  Götz Aly: Hitlers Volksstaat. S. Fischer, Frankfurt 2005. ISBN 3-10-000420-5. Friedenberger, Martin: Die Reichsfinanzverwaltung im Nationalsozialismus. Darstellung und Dokumente, Ed. Temmen, Veröffentlichungen der Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz 1, Bremen 2002. ISBN 3-86108-377-9. Johnson, Eric A.: Terror: Gestapo, Juden und gewöhnliche Deutsche, Siedler, Berlin
Berlin
2001. ISBN 3-88680-619-7.

External links[edit]

Media related to Lutz Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk at Wikimedia Commons Biography (Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin)

Political offices

Preceded by Hermann R. Dietrich Minister of Finance 1932–1945 Position abolished

Preceded by Joseph Goebbels Chancellor of Germany 1945

Preceded by Arthur Seyss-Inquart Minister for Foreign Affairs 1945

v t e

Chancellors of Germany

North German Confederation
North German Confederation
Bundeskanzler (1867–1871)

Otto von Bismarck

German Empire
German Empire
Reichskanzler (1871–1918)

Otto von Bismarck Leo von Caprivi Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst Bernhard von Bülow Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg Georg Michaelis Georg von Hertling Prince Maximilian of Baden Friedrich Ebert

Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
Reichskanzler (1919–1933)

Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(as Ministerpräsident) Gustav Bauer
Gustav Bauer
(as Ministerpräsident and Chancellor) Hermann Müller Konstantin Fehrenbach Joseph Wirth Wilhelm Cuno Gustav Stresemann Wilhelm Marx Hans Luther Wilhelm Marx Hermann Müller Heinrich Brüning Franz von Papen Kurt von Schleicher

Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Reichskanzler (1933–1945)

Adolf Hitler Joseph Goebbels Count
Count
Schwerin von Krosigk (as Leading Minister)

Federal Republic Bundeskanzler (1949–present)

Konrad Adenauer Ludwig Erhard Kurt Georg Kiesinger Willy Brandt Helmut Schmidt Helmut Kohl Gerhard Schröder Angela Merkel

List of Chancellors of Germany

v t e

Finance Ministers of Germany

German Empire (1871–1918)

Adolf von Scholz Franz Emil Emanuel von Burchard Karl Rudolf Jacobi Baron Helmuth von Maltzahn Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner Max Franz Guido von Thielmann Baron Hermann von Stengel Reinhold Sydow Adolf Wermuth Hermann Kühn Karl Helfferich Siegfried von Roedern

Weimar Republic (1918–1933)

Eugen Schiffer Bernhard Dernburg Matthias Erzberger Joseph Wirth Andreas Hermes Rudolf Hilferding Hans Luther Otto von Schlieben Hans Luther Peter Reinhold Heinrich Köhler Rudolf Hilferding Paul Moldenhauer Heinrich Brüning Hermann Dietrich

Third Reich (1933–1945)

Lutz Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk

East Germany (1949–1990)

Hans Loch Willy Rumpf Siegfried Böhm Werner Schmieder Ernst Höfner Uta Nickel Walter Romberg Werner Skowron

Federal Republic of Germany (1949–)

Fritz Schäffer Franz Etzel Heinz Starke Rolf Dahlgrün Kurt Schmücker Franz Josef Strauss Alex Möller Karl Schiller Helmut Schmidt Hans Apel Hans Matthöfer Manfred Lahnstein Gerhard Stoltenberg Theo Waigel Oskar Lafontaine Hans Eichel Peer Steinbrück Wolfgang Schäuble Peter Altmaier(Acting) Olaf Scholz

v t e

Foreign Ministers of Germany

  German Empire
German Empire
(1871–1918)

Thile Balan B. E. von Bülow Radowitz Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst Limburg-Stirum Busch Hatzfeld zu Trachenberg Bismarck Marschall B. von Bülow Richthofen Tschirschky-Bögendorff Schoen Kiderlen-Waechter Jagow Zimmermann Kühlmann Hintze Solf Brockdorff-Rantzau

Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
(1918–33)

Brockdorff-Rantzau Müller Köster Simons Rosen Wirth Rathenau Rosenberg Stresemann Curtius Brüning Neurath

Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
(1933–45)

Neurath Ribbentrop Seyss-Inquart Schwerin von Krosigk

 German Democratic Republic1 (1949–90)

Dertinger Ackermann Bolz Winzer O. Fischer Meckel de Maizière

 Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
(1949–present)

Adenauer von Brentano Schröder Brandt Scheel Genscher Kinkel J. Fischer Steinmeier Westerwelle Steinmeier Gabriel Maas

1 East Germany

v t e

Members of the Hitler Cabinet

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(Chancellor / Führer) Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
(President of the Reichstag) Ernst Röhm
Ernst Röhm
(Stabschef-SA) Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
(Reichsführer-SS) Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
(Deputy Führer)1 Franz von Papen
Franz von Papen
(Vice-Chancellor)

Acting officeholders shown in italics

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Konstantin von Neurath Joachim von Ribbentrop

Minister of the Interior

Wilhelm Frick Heinrich Himmler

Minister of Finance

Lutz Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk

Minister of Justice

Franz Gürtner Franz Schlegelberger Otto Georg Thierack

Minister of the Reichswehr

Werner von Blomberg Wilhelm Keitel

Minister of Economics

Alfred Hugenberg Kurt Schmitt Hjalmar Schacht Hermann Göring Walther Funk

Minister for Food and Agriculture

Alfred Hugenberg Richard Walther Darré Herbert Backe

Minister for Labour

Franz Seldte

Minister for Postal Affairs

Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach Wilhelm Ohnesorge

Minister for Transport

Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach Julius Dorpmüller

Minister of Aviation

Hermann Göring

Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda

Joseph Goebbels

Minister for Science and Education

Bernhard Rust

Minister for Church Affairs

Hanns Kerrl Hermann Muhs

Minister for Armaments and Ammunition

Fritz Todt Albert Speer

Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories

Alfred Rosenberg

Minister of State for Bohemia and Moravia

Karl Hermann Frank

Minister without portfolio

Hans Frank Otto Meissner Arthur Seyss-Inquart Martin Bormann Hans Lammers Konstantin Hierl

1 Until May 1941.

v t e

Schwerin von Krosigk Cabinet (2–23 May 1945)

Graf
Graf
Schwerin von Krosigk (Chief Minister, independent) Wilhelm Stuckart
Wilhelm Stuckart
(NSDAP) Albert Speer
Albert Speer
(NSDAP) Franz Seldte
Franz Seldte
(NSDAP) Otto Georg Thierack
Otto Georg Thierack
(NSDAP) Grand Admiral Dönitz (independent)1 Julius Heinrich Dorpmüller (NSDAP) Herbert Backe
Herbert Backe
(NSDAP)

1 In his capacity as Reichskriegsminister.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 5723753 LCCN: n50003894 ISNI: 0000 0000 8353 3187 GND: 118612212 SELIBR: 90665 SUDOC: 060614250 BNF: cb12790028w (data) NKC: xx0076586 SN

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