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Roland Freisler

(1893 - 1945)

Roland Freisler was born in Germany in 1893. He joined the German Army and during the First World War he was captured by the Russian Army and was a prisoner of war.

On his return to Germany he joined the German Communist Party. After studying at university he became a lawyer. His political views gradually moved to the right and in 1925 he joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).

When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 Freisler was appointed chief personnel officer in the Prussian Ministry of Justice. The following year he became state secretary in the Prussian and then the federal Ministry of Justice.

In July 1942, Freisler joined Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Muller and at Adolf Eichmann the Wannsee Conference where they discussed the issue of the large number of inmates in Germany's concentration camps. At the meeting it was decided to make the extermination of the Jews a systematically organized operation. Eichmann was then placed in charge of what became known as the Final Solution. After this date extermination camps were established in the east that had the capacity to kill large numbers of inmates.

Freisler was appointed as president of the “People's Court” in August 1942. The court had been set up to judge "political crimes" and presided over the trial of those involved in the July Plot.

Roland Freisler was killed during an Allied air raid when he was hit on the head by falling masonary in February 1945.

Sources: Spartacus Educational