Gau East Prussia

Gau East Prussia
Gau of Nazi Germany





Flag Coat of arms
Map of Nazi Germany showing its administrative
subdivisions (Gaue and Reichsgaue).
Capital Königsberg (now Kaliningrad)
GauleiterErich Koch
  Establishment 30 January 1933
  Disestablishment 8 May 1945

Gau East Prussia was formed in 1933 in Nazi Germany initially as a district within the Free State of Prussia. In 1935, Germany's constituent states were dissolved and the Gaus replaced the states and their responsibilities. In 1939, East Prussia expanded following the annexation of the Klaipėda Region from Lithuania and the occupation of Poland, while a sliver of territory from the gau was transferred to Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. After Germany's attack on the USSR, the Belarusian city of Hrodna (German: Garten) also became part of the Gau.

After the war, the territory of the former Gau became part of the RSFSR enclave of Kaliningrad in the Soviet Union, major sections were given to Poland, and the area of the Klaipėda Region was returned to the Lithuanian SSR and Hrodna - to the Belarusian SSR within the Soviet Union.


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 onward, 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 East Prussia was held by Erich Koch for the duration of the existence of the Gau.[3][4]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Die NS-Gaue" [The Nazi Gaue]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 24 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 24 March 2016.
  4. "Gau Ostpreußen". (in German). Retrieved 24 March 2016.

External links

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