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Erich Klausener (25 January 1885 – 30 June 1934) was a German Catholic politician who was killed in the "Night of the Long Knives", a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from 30 June to 2 July 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders.
Born in Düsseldorf to a strict Catholic family, he was a distant member of the Cluysenaar family. Klausener followed his father's career in public service, serving for a time in the Prussian Ministry of Commerce.He served as an artillery officer in Belgium, France and on the eastern front of World War I, and was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class in 1914 and the Iron Cross First Class in 1917. Klausener's participation in a boycott during the French occupancy of Ruhr in 1923 and 1924, however, earned him a sentence of two months in prison.
From 1924, Klausener served in Prussia in the Ministry of Welfare, and later headed the police division Ministry of Interior of that state. From 1928, Klausener became head of the group Catholic Action (German : Katholische Aktion). Before 1933, he strongly supported the police battle against illegal Nazi activities. After Adolf Hitler and Nazis came to power in 1933, Hermann Göring became minister-president of Prussia. Klausener was displaced from the ministry of transport of Prussia when Göring started to Nazify the Prussian police, and Klausener was transferred to the Reich Ministry of Transportation.
A close associate of Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, Klausener contributed to his Marburg speech delivered on 17 June 1934. The speech, though moderate in tone, criticized the violence and repression that had followed since Hitler became Chancellor. Klausener spoke at the Catholic Congress in the Berlin's Hoppegarten on 24 June 1934. His passionate criticism of the repression was viewed by the Nazis as an open challenge.
Six days later, during the "Night of the Long Knives", SS officer Kurt Gildisch was ordered by Reinhard Heydrich to go to Klausener's office at the Ministry of Transport to assassinate him. After the killing, Gildisch was promoted in rank to SS- Sturmbannführer .
After the end of the Nazi regime and after World War II, a monument was erected to Klausener in Berlin. In 1963, his ashes were buried in a grave in the Catholic Church Maria Regina Martyrum, in commemoration of the martyrs of the Nazi era. His grave is in the Friedhof St. Matthias, Berlin.
The Night of the Long Knives, or the Röhm Purge, also called Operation Hummingbird, was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power and alleviate the concerns of the German military about the role of Ernst Röhm and the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazis' paramilitary organization. Nazi propaganda presented the murders as a preventive measure against an alleged imminent coup by the SA under Röhm – the so-called Röhm Putsch.
Rudolf Diels was a German civil servant and head of the Gestapo in 1933–34. He obtained the rank of SS-Oberführer and was a protégé of Hermann Göring.
The Reichstag Fire Decree is the common name of the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State issued by German President Paul von Hindenburg on the advice of Chancellor Adolf Hitler on 28 February 1933 in immediate response to the Reichstag fire. The decree nullified many of the key civil liberties of German citizens. With Nazis in powerful positions in the German government, the decree was used as the legal basis for the imprisonment of anyone considered to be opponents of the Nazis, and to suppress publications not considered "friendly" to the Nazi cause. The decree is considered by historians as one of the key steps in the establishment of a one-party Nazi state in Germany.
Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen, Erbsälzer zu Werl und Neuwerk generally known as Franz von Papen, was a German conservative politician, diplomat, nobleman and General Staff officer. He served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933 and 1934.
Kurt Ferdinand Friedrich Hermann von Schleicher was a German general and the last Chancellor of Germany during the Weimar Republic. A rival for power with Adolf Hitler, Schleicher was murdered by Hitler's SS during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.
Edgar Julius Jung was a German lawyer born in Ludwigshafen, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
The early timeline of Nazism begins with its origins and continues until Hitler's rise to power.
Kurt Max Franz Daluege was the chief of the national uniformed Ordnungspolizei of Nazi Germany. Following Reinhard Heydrich's assassination in 1942, he served as Deputy Protector for the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Daluege directed the German measures of retribution for the assassination, including the Lidice massacre. After the end of World War II, he was extradited to Czechoslovakia, tried, convicted and executed in 1946.
The Preußenschlag of 1932, also known in English as the coup in Prussia or the putsch in Prussia, was the takeover of the Free State of Prussia, the largest State of German Reich, by Chancellor Franz von Papen, using an emergency decree issued by President Paul von Hindenburg under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution on July 20, 1932.
Franz Gürtner was a German Minister of Justice in Adolf Hitler's cabinet, responsible for coordinating jurisprudence in the Third Reich. He provided official sanction and legal grounds for a series of actions under the governments of Franz von Papen, Kurt von Schleicher and Hitler from 1932 until his death in 1941.
Hans von Dohnanyi was a German jurist of Hungarian ancestry, Righteous Among the Nations, and German resistance member against the Nazi régime.
The Marburg speech was an address given by German Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen at the University of Marburg on 17 June 1934. It is said to be the last speech made publicly, and on a high level, in Germany against National Socialism. It was done in favour of the old nationalist-militarist clique that had run Germany in the Kaiser's time, who had helped Hitler to power as a prelude to their return, only to find themselves instead pushed aside by the New Order.
Carl Fedor Eduard Herbert von Bose was head of the press division of the Vice Chancellery (Reichsvizekanzlei) in Germany under Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen. A conservative opponent of the Nazi regime, Bose was murdered during the Night of the Long Knives in the summer of 1934.
The Free State of Prussia was a state of Germany from 1918 to 1947.
Victims of the Night of the Long Knives – the Nazi purge in which Hitler and the Nazi regime used the Schutzstaffel (SS) to deal with the problem of Ernst Röhm and his Sturmabteilung (SA) brownshirts, as well as past opponents of the party – numbered at least 85 people murdered. It took place in Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934.
Kurt Gildisch became the third commander of Adolf Hitler's personal bodyguard on 11 April 1933. He was a trained teacher, who had failed to find a classroom job and thereafter joined the Prussian police force. Like his successor Bruno Gesche, he was sacked for his Nazi affiliations, and joined the Sturmabteilung (SA) in 1931. Later that year he transferred to the SS. During World War II, Gildisch was wounded and fell into Soviet captivity during the Battle of Berlin. He was released in August 1946. In May 1953, he was convicted in the murder of Dr. Erich Klausener, head of Katholische Aktion group, during the "Night of the Long Knives" in 1934. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and died in 1956.
Josef Albert Meisinger, also known as the "Butcher of Warsaw", was a SS functionary in Nazi Germany. He held a position in the Gestapo and was a member of the Nazi Party. During the early phases of World War II Meisinger served as commander of Einsatzgruppe IV on Poland. From 1941 to 1945 he worked as liaison for the Gestapo at the German embassy in Tokyo. He was arrested in Japan in 1945, convicted of war crimes and was executed in Warsaw, Poland.
Events in the year 1934 in Germany.
The Borsig Palace was an iconic building at the corner of Voßstraße and Wilhelmstraße in the center of Berlin and one of the grandest Italianate villas in Germany. Completed in 1877 for industrialist Albert Borsig, who died before he could move in, the building served for a time as a bank. In 1933 it became the residence of Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, where dramatic scenes relating to the Night of the Long Knives would play out just one year later. In the aftermath, Palais Borsig was converted into the new headquarters of the Sturmabteilung on Adolf Hitler's direct orders. It was then integrated into the New Reich Chancellery by Albert Speer in 1938. The palace was severely damaged in World War II and, together with Hitler's Chancellery, demolished by the Soviet forces in 1947.