Reichsgau Kärnten

Reichsgau Kärnten
Reichsgau of Nazi Germany





Flag Coat of arms
Map of Nazi Germany showing its administrative
subdivisions (Gaue and Reichsgaue).
Capital Klagenfurt
  19381939 Hubert Klausner
  19401941 Franz Kutschera
  19411945 Friedrich Rainer
  Anschluss 12 March 1938
  German surrender 8 May 1945
  1939 451,028 
Today part of  Austria

The Reichsgau Kärnten (English: Gau Carinthia) was an administrative division of Nazi Germany in Carinthia and East Tyrol (both in Austria) and Upper Carniola in Slovenia. It existed from 1938 to 1945.

It was responsible for the administration of the de facto annexed Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral (Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland, OZAK).[1]


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.[2] In 1938 Nazi Germany annexed Austria, with the latter being sub-divided into Reichsgaue.[3]

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. Local Gauleiter were in charge of propaganda and surveillance and, from September 1944 onwards, the Volkssturm and the defence of the Gau.[2][4]

The position of Gauleiter in Kärnten initially was held by Hubert Klausner from 1938 to 1939. Fritz Kutschera was acting Gauleiter from 1939 to 1941, followed by Friedrich Rainer from 1941 to 1945.[5][6]


  1. Michael Wedekind (2005). "The Sword of Science". In Ingo Haar; Michael Fahlbusch. German scholars and ethnic cleansing, 1919-1945. Berghahn Books. pp. 111–123. ISBN 9781571814357.
  2. 1 2 "Die NS-Gaue" [The Nazi Gaue]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  3. "Der "Anschluss" Österreichs 1938" [The annexation of Austria 1938]. (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  4. "The Organization of the Nazi Party & State". The Nizkor Project. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  5. "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.
  6. "Reichsgau Kärnten". (in German). Retrieved 24 March 2016.

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