Gau Silesia

Gau Silesia
Gau of Nazi Germany




Capital Breslau
  19261934 Helmuth Brückner
  19341941 Josef Wagner
  Establishment 1926
  Disestablishment 1941
Today part of  Germany

The Gau Silesia (German: Gau Schlesien) was an administrative division of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1941 in the Prussian Province of Silesia. From 1926 to 1933, it was the regional subdivision of the Nazi Party for these area. The Gau was split into Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia in 1941. The majority of the former Gau became part of Poland after the Second World War, with small parts in the far west becoming part of the future East Germany.


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 Silesia was held by Helmuth Brückner from 1926 to 1934 and Josef Wagner from 1934 to 1941.[3][4] Brückner was removed from his position after the Night of the Long Knives and expelled from the Nazi Party. He died in Soviet captivity after the war.[5] His successor Wagner, who was also Gauleiter of Westphalia-South, was stripped of his Gauleiter position in 1941 and expelled from the Nazi Party. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 died in May 1945 under unclear circumstances.[6]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Die NS-Gaue" [The Nazi Gaue]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  2. "The Organization of the Nazi Party & State". The Nizkor Project. Retrieved 29 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 29 March 2016.
  4. "Gau Schlesien" [Gau Silesia]. (in German). Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  5. "Brückner, Helmuth". (in German). Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  6. "Wagner, Josef". (in German). Internet-Portal "Westfälische Geschichte". Retrieved 29 March 2016.

External links

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