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Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
(12 March 1877 – 16 October 1946) was a prominent German politician of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
(NSDAP), who served as Reich Minister of the Interior in Adolf Hitler's cabinet from 1933 to 1943[1] and as the last governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. As the head of the Kriminalpolizei
Kriminalpolizei
(criminal police) in Munich, Frick took part in Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch
Beer Hall Putsch
of 1923, for which he was convicted of high treason. He managed to avoid imprisonment and soon afterwards became a leading figure of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
(NSDAP) in the Reichstag. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany
Chancellor of Germany
in 1933, Frick joined the new government and was named Reich Minister of the Interior. He was instrumental in formulating laws that consolidated the Nazi regime (Gleichschaltung), as well as laws that defined the Nazi racial policy, most notoriously the Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Laws. Following the rise of the SS, Frick gradually lost favour within the party, and in 1943 he was replaced by Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
as interior minister. Frick remained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio until Hitler's death in 1945. After World War II, Frick was tried and convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Trials and executed by hanging.

Contents

1 Early life and family 2 Nazi career 3 Reich Minister 4 Trial and execution 5 See also 6 Notes and references 7 Further reading 8 External links

Early life and family[edit] Frick was born in the Palatinate municipality of Alsenz, then part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, the last of four children of Protestant teacher Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
sen. (d. 1918) and his wife Henriette (née Schmidt). He attended the gymnasium in Kaiserslautern, passing his Abitur
Abitur
exams in 1896. He went on studying philology at the University of Munich, but soon after turned to study law in Heidelberg and Berlin, taking the Staatsexamen in 1900, followed by his doctorate the next year. Serving as a referendary since 1900, he joined the Bavarian civil service in 1903, working as an attorney at the Munich Police Department. He was appointed a Bezirksamtassessor in Pirmasens in 1907 and became acting district executive in 1914. Rejected as unfit, Frick did not serve in World War I. He was promoted to the official rank of a Regierungsassessor and, at his own request, re-assumed his post at the Munich Police Department by 1917.[2] On 25 April 1910, Frick had married Elisabetha Emilie Nagel (1890–1978) in Pirmasens. They had two sons and a daughter. The marriage ended in an ugly divorce in 1934. A few weeks later, on 12 March, Frick remarried in Münchberg
Münchberg
to Margarete Schultze-Naumburg (1896–1960), the former wife of the Nazi Reichstag MP Paul Schultze-Naumburg. Margarete gave birth to a son and a daughter.[3]

Nazi career[edit] Frick (3rd from left) among the defendants in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch trial, 1924. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
is 4th from the right. In Munich, Frick witnessed the end of the war and the German Revolution of 1918–1919. He sympathized with Freikorps
Freikorps
paramilitary units fighting against the Bavarian government of Premier Kurt Eisner. Chief of Police Ernst Pöhner introduced him to Adolf Hitler, whom he helped willingly with obtaining permissions to hold political rallies and demonstrations. Elevated to the rank of an Oberamtmann and head of the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police) from 1923, he and Pöhner participated in Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch
Beer Hall Putsch
on 9 November. Frick tried to suppress the State Police's operation, wherefore he was arrested and imprisoned, and tried for aiding and abetting high treason by the People's Court in April 1924. After several months in custody, he was given a suspended sentence of 15 months' imprisonment and was dismissed from his police job. Later during the disciplinary proceedings, the dismissal was declared unfair and revoked, on the basis that his treasonous intention had not been proven. Frick went on to work at the Munich social insurance office from 1926 onwards, in the rank of a Regierungsrat 1st class by 1933. In the aftermath of the putsch, Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
was elected a member of the German Reichstag parliament in the federal election of May 1924. He had been nominated by the National Socialist Freedom Movement, an electoral list of the far-right German Völkisch Freedom Party and then banned Nazi Party. On 1 September 1925, Frick joined the re-established Nazi Party. He associated himself with the radical Gregor Strasser; making his name by aggressive anti-democratic and antisemitic Reichstag speeches, he climbed to the post of the Nazi parliamentary group leader (Fraktionsführer) in 1928.[4] In 1929, as the price for joining the coalition government of the Land (state) of Thuringia, the NSDAP received the state ministries of the Interior and Education. On 23 January 1930, Frick was appointed to these ministries, becoming the first Nazi to hold a ministerial-level post at any level in Germany
Germany
(though he remained a member of the Reichstag).[5] Frick used his position to dismiss Communist and Social Democratic officials and replace them with Nazi Party members, so Thuringia's federal subsidies were temporarily suspended by Reich Minister Carl Severing. Frick also appointed the eugenicist Hans F. K. Günther
Hans F. K. Günther
as a professor of social anthropology at the University of Jena, banned several newspapers, and banned pacifist drama and anti-war films such as All Quiet on the Western Front. He was removed from office by a Social Democratic motion of no confidence in the Thuringian Landtag
Landtag
parliament on 1 April 1931.

Reich Minister[edit] Press session after the first meeting of Hitler's cabinet on 30 January 1933: Frick standing 4th from left When Reich president Paul von Hindenburg
Paul von Hindenburg
appointed Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933, Frick joined his government as Reich Minister of the Interior. Together with Reichstag Speaker Hermann Göring, he was one of only two Nazi Reich Ministers in the original Hitler Cabinet, and the only one who actually had a portfolio; Göring served as minister without portfolio until 5 May. Though Frick held a key position, especially in organizing the federal elections of March 1933, he initially had far less power than his counterparts in the rest of Europe. Notably, he had no authority over the police; in Germany
Germany
law enforcement has traditionally been a state and local matter. Indeed, the main reason that Hindenburg and Franz von Papen agreed to give the Interior Ministry to the Nazis was that it was almost powerless at the time. A mighty rival arose in the establishment of the Propaganda Ministry under Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
on 13 March. Frick's power dramatically increased as a result of the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933. The provision of the Reichstag Fire Decree giving the cabinet the power to take over state governments on its own authority was actually his idea; he saw the fire as a chance to increase his power and begin the process of Nazifying the country.[6] He was responsible for drafting many of the Gleichschaltung
Gleichschaltung
laws that consolidated the Nazi regime.[7] Within a few days of the Enabling Act's passage, Frick helped draft a law appointing Reichskommissare to disempower the state governments. Under the Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich, which converted Germany
Germany
into a highly centralized state, the newly implemented Reichsstatthalter
Reichsstatthalter
(state governors) were directly responsible to him. In May 1934, he was appointed Prussian State Minister of the Interior under Minister-President Göring, which gave him control over the police in Prussia. By 1935, he also had near-total control over local government. He had the sole power to appoint the mayors of all municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 (except for the city states of Berlin
Berlin
and Hamburg, where Hitler reserved the right to appoint the mayors for himself). He also had considerable influence over smaller towns as well; while their mayors were appointed by the state governors, as mentioned earlier the governors were responsible to him.

Frick (2nd from left) with Konrad Henlein
Konrad Henlein
on visit in Sudetenland, 1938 Frick was instrumental in the racial policy of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
drafting laws against Jewish citizens, like the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" and the notorious Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Laws in September 1935.[4] Already in July 1933, he had implemented the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring including forced sterilizations, which later culminated in the killings of the Action T4
Action T4
"euthanasia" programme supported by his ministry. Frick also took a leading part in Germany's re-armament in violation of the 1919 Versailles Treaty. He drafted laws introducing universal military conscription and extending the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
service law to Austria
Austria
after the 1938 Anschluss, as well as to the "Sudetenland" territories of the First Czechoslovak Republic
First Czechoslovak Republic
annexed according to the Munich Agreement.[8] In the summer of 1938 Frick was named the patron (Schirmherr) of the Deutsches Turn- und Sportfest in Breslau, a patriotic sports festival attended by Hitler and much of the Nazi leadership. In this event he presided the ceremony of "handing over" the new Nazi Reich Sports League (NSRL) standard to Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten, marking the further nazification of sports in Germany.[9] On 11 November 1938, Frick promulgated the Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons. From the mid-to-late 1930s Frick lost favour irreversibly within the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
after a power struggle involving attempts to resolve the lack of coordination within the Reich government.[10] For example, in 1933 he tried to restrict the widespread use of "protective custody" orders that were used to send people to concentration camps, only to be begged off by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. His power was greatly reduced in June 1936 when Hitler named Himmler the Chief of German Police, which for all intents and purposes effectively united the police with the SS. On paper, Frick was Himmler's immediate superior. In fact, the police were now independent of Frick's control, since the SS was responsible only to Hitler.[11][12] A long-running power struggle between the two culminated in Frick being replaced by Himmler as Minister of the Interior in 1943. However, he remained in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio. Besides Hitler, he and Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death. Frick's replacement as Reich Minister of the Interior did not reduce the growing administrative chaos and infighting between party and state agencies.[13] Frick was then appointed as Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, making him Hitler's personal representative in the Czech Lands. Its capital Prague, where Frick used ruthless methods to counter dissent, was one of the last Axis-held cities to fall at the end of World War II
World War II
in Europe.[14]

Trial and execution[edit] Frick in his cell, November 1945 The corpse of Frick after his execution at Nuremberg, 1946 Frick was arrested and tried before the Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Trials, where he was the only defendant besides Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
who refused to testify on his own behalf.[15] Frick was convicted of planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for his role in formulating the Enabling Act as Minister of the Interior and the Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Laws – under these laws people were deported to concentration camps, and many of those were murdered there. Frick was also accused of being one of the highest persons responsible for the existence of the concentration camps.[8]

Frick was sentenced to death on 1 October 1946, and was hanged at Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Prison on 16 October. Of his execution, journalist Joseph Kingsbury-Smith wrote:.mw-parser-output .templatequote overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px .mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0 The sixth man to leave his prison cell and walk with handcuffed wrists to the death house was 69-year-old Wilhelm Frick. He entered the execution chamber at 2.05 am, six minutes after Rosenberg had been pronounced dead. He seemed the least steady of any so far and stumbled on the thirteenth step of the gallows. His only words were, "Long live eternal Germany," before he was hooded and dropped through the trap.[16][17]

His body, as those of the other nine executed men and the corpse of Hermann Göring, was cremated at Ostfriedhof (Munich)
Ostfriedhof (Munich)
and the ashes were scattered in the river Isar.[18][19][20]

See also[edit] Glossary of Nazi Germany List of Nazi Party
Nazi Party
leaders and officials Notes and references[edit]

^ Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 103, .mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em ISBN 0-674-01172-4

^ Biographie, Deutsche. "Frick, Wilhelm - Deutsche Biographie". www.deutsche-biographie.de.

^ "Deutsches Historisches Museum: Fehler2". www.dhm.de.

^ a b "Index Fo-Fy". rulers.org.

^ "Nurnbergprocessen 1". www.bjornetjenesten.dk.

^ Evans, Richard J. (2003). The Coming of the Third Reich. New York City: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-0141009759.

^ " Nazi Party
Nazi Party
organizations, Reich Interior Minister: Wilhelm Frick (1933–1943)".

^ a b " Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Trial Defendants: Wilhelm Frick". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org.

^ Dr. Frick presiding the Breslau Games

^ A legalistic follower, rather than an initiator, Frick the servant increasingly lost favour with his master, apparently because he misunderstood the basic nature of the Fuhrer's governance. Whereas the Third Reich thrived on inconsistencies, rivalries, and constant evolutionary change, Frick's juristic mind longed for order and legal stabilization. The incongruity was insuperable and it was thus logical enough that in 1943 the minister, whose share of practical power had rapidly diminished in the second half of the 1930s, ultimately even lost his official post.Udo Sautter, Canadian Journal of History

^ Longerich, Peter (2012). Heinrich Himmler: A Life, Oxford University Press, p. 204.

^ Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography: Volume 1, Ulric, p. 77.

^ Hans Mommsen, The Dissolution of the Third Reich (1943–1945) Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine

^ Trial: Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
Archived 2 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine

^ "The trial of German major war criminals : proceedings of the International Military Tribunal sitting at Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Germany". avalon.law.yale.edu.

^ Joseph Kingsbury-Smith, who witnessed the execution of Wilhelm Frick and nine other leaders of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
on 1st October 1946 Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine

^ Today, one can see Wilhelm Frick's military dress uniform at Motts Military Museum in Groveport, Ohio. The uniform was found in his home shortly after Frick was arrested in 1945. The soldier who found and brought the items home was a member of the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps). Richard Roberts was an attorney from Columbus, Ohio who spent the war years in espionage and counter intelligence.

^ Thomas Darnstädt (2005), "Ein Glücksfall der Geschichte", Der Spiegel, 13 September (14), p. 128

^ Manvell 2011, p. 393.

^ Overy 2001, p. 205.

Further reading[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Wilhelm Frick

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wilhelm Frick.

Sautter, Wilhelm Frick: Der Legalist des Unrechtsstaates: Eine politische Biographie, Canadian Journal of History, April 1993 External links[edit] Newspaper clippings about Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW

Political offices

Preceded byFranz Bracht

German Minister of the Interior1933–1943

Succeeded byHeinrich Himmler

Government offices

Preceded byKonstantin von Neurath Kurt Daluege
Kurt Daluege
(acting)

Protector of Bohemia and Moravia1943–1945

Succeeded byOffice abolished

vteMembers of the Hitler Cabinet Chancellor: Adolf Hitler President of the Reichstag: Hermann Göring Deputy Führer: Rudolf Hess

Armaments Fritz Todt Albert Speer Aviation Hermann Göring Bohemia and Moravia Karl Hermann Frank Church Affairs Hanns Kerrl Hermann Muhs (acting) Eastern Territories Alfred Rosenberg Economics Alfred Hugenberg Kurt Schmitt Hjalmar Schacht Hermann Göring Walther Funk Education Bernhard Rust Gustav Adolf Scheel Finance Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk Food and Agriculture Alfred Hugenberg Richard Walther Darré Herbert Backe

Foreign Affairs Konstantin von Neurath Joachim von Ribbentrop Interior Wilhelm Frick Heinrich Himmler Justice Franz Gürtner Franz Schlegelberger
Franz Schlegelberger
(acting) Otto Georg Thierack Labour Franz Seldte Postal Affairs Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach Wilhelm Ohnesorge Propaganda Joseph Goebbels Reichswehr Werner von Blomberg Wilhelm Keitel Transport Paul Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach Julius Dorpmüller Without portfolio Martin Bormann Hans Frank Konstantin Hierl Hans Lammers Otto Meissner Arthur Seyss-Inquart

Vice-Chancellor: Franz von Papen Reichsführer SS: Heinrich Himmler Stabschef SA: Ernst Röhm

vteInterior Ministers of GermanyImperial Interior Secretaries(1871–1918) Karl Hofmann Karl Heinrich von Boetticher Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg Clemens von Delbrück Karl Helfferich Max Wallraf Karl Trimborn Weimar Republic(1918–1933) Friedrich Ebert Hugo Preuß Eduard David Erich Koch-Weser Georg Gradnauer Adolf Köster Rudolf Oeser Wilhelm Sollmann Karl Jarres Martin Schiele Otto Geßler Wilhelm Külz Walter von Keudell Carl Severing Joseph Wirth Wilhelm Groener Wilhelm von Gayl Franz Bracht Nazi Germany(1933–1945) Wilhelm Frick Heinrich Himmler Paul Giesler Wilhelm Stuckart German Democratic Republic(1949–1990) Karl Steinhoff Willi Stoph Karl Maron Friedrich Dickel Lothar Ahrendt Peter-Michael Diestel Federal Republic of Germany(1949–) Gustav Heinemann Robert Lehr Gerhard Schröder Hermann Höcherl Paul Lücke Ernst Benda Hans-Dietrich Genscher Werner Maihofer Gerhart Baum Jürgen Schmude Friedrich Zimmermann Wolfgang Schäuble Rudolf Seiters Manfred Kanther Otto Schily Wolfgang Schäuble Thomas de Maizière Hans-Peter Friedrich Thomas de Maizière Horst Seehofer

vteNazi PartyLeader Anton Drexler
Anton Drexler
(1919–1921) Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(1921–1945) Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann
(1945) History Adolf Hitler's rise to power Beer Hall Putsch Brown House, Munich Denazification Enabling Act of 1933 German Workers' Party National Socialist Program Nazism Night of the Long Knives Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Rally SA Thule Society Party offices Amt Rosenberg Hitler Youth Hitler's Chancellery Nazi Party
Nazi Party
Chancellery Office of Colonial Policy Office of Military Policy Office of Racial Policy Office of Foreign Affairs NSDAP/AO SS SS Education Office Publications Völkischer Beobachter Das Schwarze Korps Das Reich Innviertler Heimatblatt Arbeitertum Der Angriff Panzerbär Notable members Artur Axmann Houston Stewart Chamberlain Kurt Daluege Richard Walther Darré Rudolf Diels Karl Dönitz Dietrich Eckart Adolf Eichmann Hans Frank Roland Freisler Wilhelm Frick Walther Funk Joseph Goebbels Hermann Göring Ernst Hanfstaengl Rudolf Hess Reinhard Heydrich Heinrich Himmler Rudolf Höss Ernst Kaltenbrunner Robert Ley Josef Mengele Konstantin von Neurath Joachim von Ribbentrop Ernst Röhm Alfred Rosenberg Bernhard Rust Fritz Todt Baldur von Schirach Arthur Seyss-Inquart Albert Speer Gregor Strasser Otto Strasser Julius Streicher Cosima Wagner Derivatives Black Front (Strasserism) / German Social Union Deutsche Reichspartei / National Democratic Party of Germany Socialist Reich Party Related articles Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Schools German Question Horst Wessel Song Jewish Question Munich Documentation Centre National Political Institute of Education Nazi Germany Nazi songs Operation Werwolf Ranks and insignia of the Nazi Party SS-Junker Schools Stab-in-the-back myth

vteMajor defendants at the Nuremberg
Nuremberg
trialsSentenced 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 .mw-parser-output .nobold font-weight:normal (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 BNF: cb12344513g (data) GND: 119055201 ISNI: 0000 0000 8139 7169 LCCN: n92095728 NKC: xx0049586 NLI: 000049267 NTA: 071125817 SNAC: w61z5csj SUDOC: 032409850 VIAF: 59885738 WorldCat Identities
WorldCat Identities
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