Baldur von Schirach

(1907-1974)


Baldur von Schirach was born in Berlin on 9th March, 1907. At the age of ten he became a member of the Young Germans' League where he developed racist views and in 1925 he joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).

In 1926 Schirach met Adolf Hitler who took a liking to him and advised him to move to Munich. Three years later Hitler appointed Schirach as head of the National Socialist Students' Union. Satisfied with his work Hitler promoted him to the post of Reich youth leader of the Nazi Party and in 1933 he took over the leadership of the Hitler Youth.

Schirach wrote prayers that praised Hitler and had to be read by members of the various Nazi youth organizations before they had their meals. He also wrote a book explaining his views on the Hitler youth movement, Revolution in Education (1938).

In 1940, Schirach joined the German Army and won the Iron Cross in France. Later that year Hitler appointed him as the Gauleiter of Vienna. Over the next few years Schirach was responsible for moving Jews from Vienna to Poland.

Schirach was captured by Allied troops at the end of the Second World War. At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Schirach said that he did not know about the extermination camps. He also provided evidence that he had protested to Martin Bormann about the inhumane treatment of the Jews.

Along with Albert Speer Schirach denounced Adolf Hitler before the tribunal. He was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Baldur von Schirach died on August 8, 1974.


Source: Spartacus