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Konstantin Hierl

(1875 - 1955)

Konstantin Hierl was a major figure in the administration of the Third Reich, and head of the Reichsarbeitsdienst as well as an associate of Adolf Hitler before he came to power.

In 1919, as a major in the Reichswehr's Political Department in Munich, Hierl ordered the ex-soldier Adolf Hitler to attend a meeting of the German Workers Party (which soon became the Nazi Party).

On June 5, 1931, two years before the Nazi party ascended to power, Hierl became head of the FAD (Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst), a state sponsored voluntary labour organization that provided services to civic and agricultural construction projects. There were many such organzations in Europe at the time, founded to provide much-needed employment during the Great Depression.

At the time, Hierl was already a high-ranking member of the NSDAP and when they took power in 1933, he remained the head of the labour organization - now called the Nationalsozialistischer Arbeitsdienst, or NSAD. In 1934, it was yet again renamed, this time as the Reichsarbeitsdienst, and Hierl would control it to the very end of World War II.

When the Nazi Party came to power, Hitler named Hierl as the State Secretary for Labor Service, a Reich Labor Leader in 1935, a Reichsleiter in 1936, and a Reichsminister in 1943. He was tried and found guilty of “major offenses” after the war, and spent five years in a labor camp. He died on September 23, 1955, in Heidelberg, Germany  at the age of 80.

Sources: Wikipedia. The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL