The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VI
The Organization of the Nazi Party & State
(Part 1 of 2)

[Page 175]


In the opinion of the prosecution, some preliminary references must be made to the National Socialist German Labor Party, the NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) which is not itself one of the defendant organizations in this proceeding, but which is represented among the defendant organizations by its most important formations, viz., the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party (Das Korps der Politischen Leiter der NSDAP), the SS (Die Schutzstaffeln der NSDAP), and the SA (Die Sturmabteilungen der NSDAP).

The prosecution has prepared a chart (Chart No. 1) showing the structure and organization of the NSDAP substantially as it existed at the peak of its development in March 1945. This chart has been prepared on the basis of information contained in important publications of the National Socialist Party, with which the defendants must be presumed to have been well acquainted. Particular reference is made to the Organization Book of the Party (Das Organsationsbuch der NSDAP) and to the National Socialist Year Book (Nationalsozialistisches Jahrbuch), of both of which Robert Ley was publisher. Both books were printed in many editions and appeared in hundreds of thousands of copies, throughout the period when the National Socialist party was in control of the German Reich and of the German people. This chart has been certified on its face as correct by a high official of the Nazi party, viz. Franz Xaver Schwarz, its Treasurer (Reichsschatzmeister der NSDAP), and its official in charge of party administration, whose affidavit is submitted with the chart.

Certain explanatory remarks concerning the organization of the National Socialist party may be useful.

The Leadership Corps of the NSDAP, named as a defendant organization comprised the sum of the officials of the Nazi party. It was divided into seven categories:

1. The Fuehrer
2. Reichsleiter
3. Gauleiter         |
4. Kreisleiter       |
5. Ortsgruppenleiter |  [3 through 7 collectively = Hoheitstraiger]
6. Zellenleiter      |
7. Blockleiter       |

The Fuehrer was the supreme and only leader who stood at the

[Page 176]

top of the party hierarchy. His successor designate was first, Hermann Goering, and second, Rudolf Hess.

The Reichsleiter, of whom 16 are shown on the chart, made up the Party Directorate (Reichsleitung). Through them, coordination of party and state machinery was assured. A number of these Reichsleitet, each of whom, at some time, was in charge of at least one office within the Party Directorate, were also the heads of party formations and of affiliated or supervised organizations of the party, or of agencies of the state, or even held ministerial positions. The Reichsleitung may be said to have represented the horizontal organization of the party according to functions, within which all threads controlling the varied life of the German people met. Each office within the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP executed definite tasks assigned to it by the Fuehrer, or by the leader of the Party Chancellory (Chef der Parteikanzlei), who in 1945 was Martin Bormann and before him, Rudolph Hess.

It was the duty of the Reichsleitung to make certain these tasks were carried out so that the will of the Fuehrer was quickly communicated to the lowliest Zelle or Block. The individual offices of the Reichsleitung had the mission to remain in constant and closest contact with the life of the people through the subdivisions of the party organization, in the Gaue, Kreisen, and Ortsgruppen. These leaders had been taught that the right to organize human beings accrued through appreciation of the fact that a people must be educated ideologically (weltanschaulich), that is to say, according to the philosophy of National Socialism. Among the former Reichsleiter on trial in this cause are the following defendants:

Alfred Rosenberg -- The delegate to the Fuehrer for Ideological Training and Education of the Party. (Der Beauftragte des Fuehrer's fuer die Ueberwachung der gesammten geistigen und weltanschaulichen Schulung und Erziehung der NSDAP).

Hans Frank -- At one time head of the Legal Office of the party (Reichsleiter des Reichsrechtsamtes).

Baldur von Schirach -- Leader of Youth Education (Leiter fuer die Jugenderziehung).

and the late

Robert Ley -- Leader of the Party Organization (Reichsorganisationsleiter der NSDAP) and Leader of the German Labor Front (Leiter der Deutschen Arbeitsfront).

[Page 177]

The next categories to be considered are the Hoheitstraeger the 'bearers of sovereignty." To them was assigned political sovereignty over specially designated subdivisions of the state of which they were the appointed leaders. The Hoheitstraeger may be said to represent the vertical organization of the party. These leaders included all:

a. Gauleiter, of which there were 42 within the Reich in 1945. A Gauleiter was the political leader of the largest subdivision of the State. He was charged by the Fuehrer with political, cultural, and economic control over the life of the people, which he was to coordinate with the National Socialist ideology. A number of the defendants before the bar of the Tribunal were former Gauleiter of the NSDAP. Among them are Julius Streicher Franconia) whose seat was in Nurnberg, Baldur von Schirach (Vienna), and Fritz Sauckel (Thuringia).

b. Kreisleiter, the political leaders of the largest subdivision of a Gau.

c. Ortsgruppenleiter, the political leaders of the largest subdivision of a Kreis consisting of several towns or villages, or of part of a larger city, and including from 1500 to 3000 households.

d. Zelienleiter, the political leaders of a group of from 4 to 8 city blocks or of a corresponding grouping of households in the

e. Blockleiter, the political leaders of from 40 to 60 households.

Each of these Hoheitstraeger, or "bearers of sovereignty," was directly responsible to the next highest leader in the Nazi hierarchy. The Gauleiter was directly subordinate to the Fuehrer himself, the Kreisleiter was directly subordinate to the Gauleiter, the Ortsgruppenleiter to the Kreisleiter, and so non. The Fuehrer himself appointed all Gauleiter and Kreisleiter, all Reichsleiter, and all other political leaders within the Party Directorate Rechsleitung) down to the grade of Gauamtsleiter, the head of a subdivision of the party organization within a Gau.

The Hoheitstraeger and Reichsleitung together constituted the powerful group of leaders by means of which the Nazi party reached into the lives of the people, consolidated its control over them, and compelled them to conform to the National Socialist pattern. For this purpose, broad powers were given them, including the right to call upon all party machinery to effectuate their plans. They could requisition the services of the SA and of the SS, as well as of the HJ and the NSKK.

[Page 178]

The controlled party organizations (Gliederungen der NSDAP) actually constituted the party itself, and substantially the entire party membership was contained within these organizations, viz.:

SA -- NS Storm Troops (Sturmabteilungen). SS -- NS Elite Corps (Schutzstaffeln). NSKK -- NS Motor Corps (Kraftfahrkorps). HJ -- Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend). NS Women's Organization (Frauenschaft). NS German Students' Bund (Deutscher Studentenbund). NS University Teachers' Bund (Deutscher Dozentenbund).

There were additional affiliated organizations (Angeschlossene Verbaende der NSDAP). Among these were included the following:

DAF -- German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront). NS Public Welfare Organization (Volkswohlfahrt). NS War Victims' Organization (Kregsopferversorgung). NS Bund for German Technology (Bund Deutscher Technik). German Civil Service (Reichsbund der Deutschen Beamten). NS Physicians' Bund (Deutscher Aerztebund). NS Teachers' Bund (Lehrerbund). NS League of Legal Officials (Rechtswahrerbund).

A third group of organizations was officially known as supervised organizations (Betreute Organisationen der NSDAP). These included the following:

German Women's Work (Deutsches Frauenwerk). German Students' Society (Deutsche Studentenschaft). NS Bund of Former German Students (Altherrenbund der Deutschen Studenten). Reich League "German Family" (Reichsbund Deutsche Familie) . German Communal Congress (Deutscher Gemeindetag). NS Bund for Physical Exercise (Reichsbund fuer Leibesue

According to the official party designations, there was a fourth classification known as Weitere Nationalsozialistische Organsationen, and in this category the following organizations appeared:

RAD -- Reich Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst), at one time subordinate to the Reich Labor leader (Reichsarbe1tsfuehrer).

[Page 179]

NS -- FKNS Flying Corps (NS -- Fliegerkorps), which was subordinate to the Reich Minister for Aviation.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

[ Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.