Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk
1932 portrait by Robert Sennecke
|Leading Minister of Germany|
2 May 1945 –23 May 1945
|Preceded by||Joseph Goebbels|
|Succeeded by|| Konrad Adenauer |
(1949; Chancellor of West Germany)
(1949; Prime Minister of East Germany)
(1990; Chancellor of United Germany)
|Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs|
5 May 1945 –23 May 1945
|Preceded by||Arthur Seyss-Inquart|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Reich Minister of Finance|
1 June 1932 –23 May 1945
|Preceded by||Hermann Dietrich|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
Johann Ludwig von Krosigk
22 August 1887
Rathmannsdorf, Duchy of Anhalt, German Empire
|Died||4 March 1977 89) (aged|
Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
|Political party||Nazi (1944)|
|Alma mater|| University of Halle |
University of Lausanne
Oriel College, Oxford
Johann Ludwig "Lutz" Graf –4 March 1977) was a German senior government official who served as Minister of Finance of Germany from 1932 to 1945 and de facto Chancellor of Germany in May 1945.Schwerin von Krosigk (Born Johann Ludwig von Krosigk; 22 August 1887
In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even if not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law. Unofficial customs that are widely accepted are sometimes called de facto standards.
The title Chancellor has designated different offices in the history of Germany. It is currently used for the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the head of government of Germany.
A non-partisan conservative, he was appointed to the post by Franz von Papen in 1932. At the request of President Paul von Hindenburg, he continued in that office under Kurt von Schleicher and Adolf Hitler. He and his ministry were involved in the persecution of German and European Jews, including by stealing their property, and laundering money. During May 1945, after the suicides of Hitler and his designated successor Joseph Goebbels, he also served as "Leading Minister" of the short-lived Flensburg government of President Karl Dönitz. Schwerin von Krosigk also held the essentially nominal offices of Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in the provisional government that controlled only a small, progressively shrinking portion of Germany, due to the rapid advance of the Allied forces who finally dissolved it and arrested its members.
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 1933–34.
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known generally as Paul von Hindenburg, was a German Generalfeldmarschall and statesman who commanded the Imperial German Army during the second half of World War I before later being elected President of the Weimar Republic in 1925. He played a key role in the Nazi "Seizure of Power" in January 1933 when, under pressure from advisers, he appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of a "Government of National Concentration", even though the Nazis were a minority in both the cabinet and the Reichstag.
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.
Besides Adolf Hitler himself, Schwerin von Krosigk and Wilhelm Frick were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death. By receiving the golden National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) Badge from Adolf Hitler, given for honour on 30 January 1937, he became a member of the NSDAP (membership number: 3,805,231). He also joined the Academy of German Law in 1937.
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.
Wilhelm Frick was a prominent German politician of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), who served as Reich Minister of the Interior in the Hitler Cabinet from 1933 to 1943 and as the last governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After World War II, he was tried and convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials and executed by hanging.
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At the 1949 Ministries Trial, he was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 10 years in jail; his sentence was commuted in 1951. He later worked as an author and publicist.
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Born as Johann Ludwig von Krosigk into a family of traditional Lutheran Protestants in Rathmannsdorf in the Duchy of Anhalt of the German Empire, his father Erich Adolf Wilhelm was a member of an old noble but untitled family of Anhalt and his mother Luise Rosalie Friederike Julie Emma Ludmilla was born a countess of the Schwerin family. (In 1925 he was adopted by Alfred Wilhelm Detlof Graf von Schwerin, and promoted himself to a count, taking the name Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk).
Staßfurt (Stassfurt) is a town in the Salzlandkreis district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on both sides of the river Bode, approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) northeast of Aschersleben, and 30 km (19 mi) south of Magdeburg. Pop. (2005) 23,538.
The Duchy of Anhalt was a historical German duchy. The duchy was located between the Harz Mountains in the west and the river Elbe and beyond to the Fläming Heath in the east. The territory is now part of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.
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Krosigk studied law and political science at Halle and Lausanne and then, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Oriel College, Oxford.
The University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland was founded in 1537 as a school of theology, before being made a university in 1890. As of fall 2017, about 15,000 students and 3,300 employees study and work at the university. Approximately 1,500 international students attend the university, which has a wide curriculum including exchange programs with world-renowned universities.
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During World War I, Krosigk served in the German Army, attaining the rank of Lieutenant, and was awarded the Iron Cross. On 7 February 1918, during the war, he had married a baroness, Ehrengard Freiin von Plettenberg (1895–1979), with whom he had four sons and five daughters. In 1922, he became an Oberregierungsrat (senior government official) and in 1929, a ministerial director and head of the budget department at the finance ministry. In 1931, he joined the department of reparations payments, formed to deal with the reparations Germany still owed the Allied Powers after the Great War.
In 1932 Franz von Papen appointed Krosigk as national Minister of Finance, and at the request of President Paul von Hindenburg he continued in that office under Kurt von Schleicher and throughout the period of national socialist rule. Several members of his family took part in assassination attempts against Adolf Hitler, but not Krosigk himself. He was rarely seen in public, and Hitler did not hold regular cabinet meetings. Following the final meeting of Hitler's cabinet in 1938 Krosigk did not make any public political statements and instead focused on running his ministry.
Krosigk held his position under both Schleicher and Hitler as a representative of the conservative movement in Germany. While he later claimed to have remained in the role only to prevent "worse things" from happening, he welcomed the Nazi Party's rise to power and both agreed with and contributed to many of its policies. These included measures targeting Germany's Jewish community. While Krosigk's ability to shape Germany's fiscal policies was constrained by the influence of both the President of the Reichsbank and Hermann Göring (in his role as Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan), he was able to implement policies.In August 1938 Krosigk sent Hitler a memorandum which strongly argued against starting a war over the Sudeten crisis as the German economy was not yet ready, and claimed that "Communists, Jews and Czechs" were seeking to lure the country into a premature conflict. He argued that Germany should instead "await her hour" and initiate war once it had completed building up its military and economy.
From 1939, Krosigk's ministry was increasingly focused on persecuting Jews and stealing their belongings as well as illegally laundering money.
In February 1945 von Krosigk stressed the importance of preserving Germany's remaining industrial capacities in a letter to Reich Minister for Weapons, Munitions, and Armaments Albert Speer. This was motivated by his mistaken belief that the Allied bombing campaign directed at Germany had the goal of destroying the country's industry so that it could not be captured by the Soviet Union, and that retaining industrial capacity would position Germany to re-establish friendly relations with the western Allies following the war. It is unclear whether this had any influence of Speer's actions to prevent the implementation of the "scorched earth" policy ordered by Hitler.
In his final testament Hitler selected Krosigk to continue as finance minister after his death.On 1 May 1945, after Goebbels's suicide, Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz asked Schwerin von Krosigk to become the Chancellor (Reichskanzler) of his new government. He declined but accepted the position of "Leading Minister" the following day. In a broadcast to the German people on 2 May 1945, he became one of the first commentators to refer to an "Iron Curtain" across Europe, a phrase he had picked up from an article by Joseph Goebbels and which was later made famous by Winston Churchill.
Rapidly advancing Allied forces limited the jurisdiction of the new German government to an area around Flensburg near the Danish border, where Dönitz's headquarters were located, along with Mürwik. Accordingly, this administration was referred to as the Flensburg government. Dönitz and Schwerin von Krosigk attempted to negotiate an armistice with the Western allies while continuing to resist the Soviet Army. On 7 May 1945, Dönitz authorised the signature of the German Instrument of Surrender to the Allies, which took place in Rheims before General Dwight D. Eisenhower; Dönitz would later authorise the Wehrmacht to sign another instrument of surrender in Berlin, in a ceremony presided over by the Soviets. On 23 May 1945, the Flensburg Government was dissolved by order of the Supreme Allied Commander and its members arrested as prisoners of war.
Krosigk was put on trial at Nuremberg, along with other leading members of the Nazi government. At the conclusion of the Ministries Trial in 1949 he was found guilty of laundering property stolen from Nazi victims and financing the concentration camps, and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.His sentence was reviewed by the "Peck Panel". He was released during an amnesty in 1951.
In later years, Schwerin von Krosigk wrote several books on economic policy and two versions of his memoirs.
Schwerin von Krosigk died in 1977 in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany, aged 89.
His elder daughter, Felicitas-Anita, Countess Schwerin von Krosigk, is the mother of Alternative for Germany Member of the European Parliament Beatrix von Storch.
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The Flensburg Government, also known as the Flensburg Cabinet, the Dönitz Government, or the Schwerin von Krosigk Cabinet, was the short-lived government of Nazi Germany during a period of three weeks around the end of World War II in Europe. The government was formed following the suicide of Adolf Hitler on 30 April 1945 during the Battle of Berlin. It was headed by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz as the Reichspräsident and Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk as the Leading Minister.
Wilhelmstrasse is a major thoroughfare in the central Mitte and Kreuzberg districts of Berlin, Germany. Until 1945, it was recognised as the centre of the government, first of the Kingdom of Prussia, later of the unified German Reich, housing in particular the Reich Chancellery and the Foreign Office. The street's name was thus also frequently used as a metonym for overall German governmental administration: much as the term "Whitehall" is often used to signify the British governmental administration as a whole. In English, "the Wilhelmstrasse" usually referred to the German Foreign Office.
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Central Continental Prisoner of War Enclosure No. 32, code-named Ashcan, was an Allied prisoner-of-war camp in the Palace Hotel of Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg during World War II. Operating from May to August 1945, it served as a processing station and interrogation center for the 86 most prominent surviving Nazi leaders prior to their trial in Nuremberg, including Hermann Göring and Karl Dönitz.
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Events in the year 1945 in Germany.
The Josef Goebbels Cabinet was named by Adolf Hitler in his political testament of 30 April 1945. To replace himself, Hitler named Admiral Karl Dönitz as Reichspräsident. The cabinet was shortlived, and was followed on 2 May 1945 by the Flensburg Government. This was caused when Josef Goebbels took his own life on 1 May and Martin Bormann did likewise the following day.
Hermann R. Dietrich
| Minister of Finance |
| Chancellor of Germany |
| Minister for Foreign Affairs |