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Josef Wagner (Gauleiter)

Josef Wagner 12 January 1899 – 22 April or 2 May 1945 was from 1928 the Nazi Gauleiter of the Gau of Westphalia-South, and as of January 1935 also of the Gau of Silesia In 1942 he was expelled from the Nazi Party NSDAP and imprisoned by the Gestapo, dying at some point in 1945


  • 1 Early life and First World War
  • 2 Joining the Nazis
  • 3 Career – 1936 to 1939
  • 4 Dismissal and death
  • 5 Selected works
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life and First World War

Josef Wagner was born in Algrange, Alsace-Lorraine, to miner Nikolaus Wagner Beginning in the summer of 1913 he went to the teachers' seminary in Wittlich, and as of June 1917 he was a soldier at the Western Front during the First World War There he ended up as a prisoner of war of the French, but managed to escape in 1918 In 1919 he returned to Germany by way of Switzerland He ended his training as a Volksschule teacher and first worked as a finance official in Fulda, and by 1921 at the Bochumer Verein

Joining the Nazis

Wagner joined the Nazi Party quite early on, in 1922, and founded the NSDAP local Ortsgruppe in Bochum In 1927, he was a Volksschule teacher at the Volksschule Horst-Emscher – and by 1928 at the Gelsenkirchen branch – from which he was fired for political reasons In 1928, he was appointed Gauleiter of the Gau of Westphalia, and after the Gau was split in two in 1931, he was given the office of Gauleiter of Westphalia-South, whose seat was in Bochum From 1928 to 1930, Wagner was among the NSDAP's first twelve members of the Reichstag in Berlin

Career – 1936 to 1939

Beginning in 1934, Wagner – who had been a Prussian State Councillor since 1933 – also led the Gau of Silesia in Breslau nowadays Wrocław, Poland He was appointed High President Oberpräsident of the Prussian province of Lower Silesia in Breslau, and furthermore administered the Upper Silesian High President's business After Silesia was reunited into one province, Wagner became its High President in 1938, until the province was split again in January 1941

On 29 October 1936, Wagner was appointed Reichskommissar for Pricing From the outbreak of the Second World War on 1 September 1939 he was also Reich Defence Commissar for Silesia Defence District VIII

Dismissal and death

On 9 November 1941, Wagner was dismissed as Gauleiter directly by Adolf Hitler[1] This outcome was due to a letter Wagner's wife had sent to their daughter, which had come to official attention The Wagners were Catholics,[2] and she disapproved of her daughter's planned marriage to a non-Catholic SS man on religious grounds His successor as NSDAP Gauleiter was Fritz Bracht On 12 October 1942 Wagner was expelled from the Party[2]

Wagner moved back to Bochum and lived there Later when suspected of involvement in the attempt on Hitler's life at the Wolf's Lair on 20 July 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo after its failure His name had appeared in a document prepared by the conspirators It referred to "upright and capable" individuals who should be approached to be "convinced of the necessity of such a step and to support it eg Gauleiter Wagner"[3] The circumstances of his death in 1945 are unclear Either he was put to death by the SS in Berlin, or he was shot by a Soviet soldier[citation needed]

Selected works

  • Leitfaden der Hochschule für Politik der NSDAP, Munich 1933, published by the Hochschule für Politik der NSDAP editor
  • Die Reichsindexziffer der Lebenshaltungskosten Ein Beitrag zu ihrer Reform diss rer pol Munich 1935, Würzburg 1935
  • Die Preispolitik im Vierjahresplan Kiel discourses 51, Jena 1938
  • Gesunde Preispolitik, Dortmund 1938


  1. ^ Peter Hüttenberger: Die Gauleiter Berlin 1969 p 143
  2. ^ a b Detlef Mühlberger, Hitler's Voice: Organisation & development of the Nazi Party, Peter Lang, 2004, p 224
  3. ^ Peter Hoffmann, Behind Valkyrie: German Resistance to Hitler, Documents, McGill-Queen's Press, 2011, p 326

External links

  • Brief biography and photo in German
  • Online-Biography of Josef Wagner
  • Newspaper clippings about Josef Wagner in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW

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