Gau Cologne-Aachen

Gau Cologne-Aachen
Gau of Nazi Germany



Capital Cologne
  19311945 Josef Grohé
  Establishment 1926
  Disestablishment 8 May 1945
Area 7,100 km2 (2,741 sq mi)
Density 323.9 /km2  (839 /sq mi)
Today part of  Germany

The Gau Cologne-Aachen (German: Gau Köln-Aachen) was an administrative division of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 in the north-central part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Before that, from 1931 to 1933, it was the regional subdivision of the Nazi Party in that area.


The Nazi Gau (plural Gaue) system was originally established in a party conference on 22 May 1926, in order to improve administration of the party structure. From 1933 onwards, after the Nazi seizure of power, the Gaue increasingly replaced the German states as administrative subdivisions in Germany.[1]

At the head of each Gau stood a Gauleiter, a position which became increasingly more powerful, especially after the outbreak of the Second World War, with little interference from above. Local Gauleiter often held government positions as well as party ones and were in charge of, among other things, propaganda and surveillance and, from September 1944 onward, the Volkssturm and the defense of the Gau.[1][2]

The position of Gauleiter in Cologne-Aachen was held by Josef Grohé throughout the history of the Gau.[3][4] Grohé made an unsuccessful suicide attempt at the end of the war, escaped under a false name, was arrested in 1946 and sentenced to four and a half years in prison but never repented his views and died in 1987.[5]

The Gau had a size of 7,100 km2 (2,741 sq mi) and a population of 2,300,000, which placed it in mid-table for size and population in the list of Gaue.[6]


  1. 1 2 "Die NS-Gaue" [The Nazi Gaue]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  2. "The Organization of the Nazi Party & State". The Nizkor Project. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  3. "Übersicht der NSDAP-Gaue, der Gauleiter und der Stellvertretenden Gauleiter zwischen 1933 und 1945" [Overview of Nazi Gaue, the Gauleiter and assistant Gauleiter from 1933 to 1945]. (in German). Zukunft braucht Erinnerung. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  4. "Gau Köln-Aachen". (in German). Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  5. "Josef Grohé (1902-1987), Gauleiter der NSDAP" [Josef Grohé (1902-1987), Gauleiter of the Nazi Party]. (in German). Landschaftsverband Rheinland. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  6. "Gau Köln-Aachen" [Gau Cologne-Aachen]. (in German). Landschaftsverband Rheinland. Retrieved 26 March 2016.

External links

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