Born: 27 May 1879 in Lublinitz, German Empire.
Died: 4 January 1962 in Düsseldorf, West Germany.
Chief of the Reich Chancellery 30 January 1933 to 24 April 1945
Cabinet Minister Without Portfolio or (Title Post - 1938) Reich Minister 1 December 1937 to 24 April 1945
President Of The Reich Cabinet (Presiding Officer In Hitler's Absence) January 1943 - 24 April 1945
Hans Heinrich Lammers was born on 27 May 1879 and became a German jurist and prominent Nazi politician. From 1933 until 1945 he served as head of the Reich Chancellery under Adolf Hitler.
Born in Lublinitz (Lubliniec) in Upper Silesia, the son of a veterinarian, Hans Lammers completed law school at the universities of Breslau (Wroclaw) and Heidelberg, obtained his doctorate in 1904, and was appointed judge at the Amtsgericht of Beuthen (Bytom) in 1912. As a volunteer and officer of the German Army Hans Lammers received the Iron Cross, First and Second Class during World War I, then resumed his career as a lawyer and joined the national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP), reaching the position of a Undersecretary at the Reich Ministry of the Interior by 1922.
In 1932, Hans Lammers joined the National Socialist Party and achieved rapid promotion, appointed head of the police department, and in the course of the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933 a Secretary of State and Chief of the Reich Chancellery. At the recommendation of Reich Minister Wilhelm Frick, Hans Lammers became the centre of communications and chief legal adviser for all government departments. From 1937, he was a member of Adolf Hitler's cabinet as a Reich Minister without portfolio, and from 30 November 1939 a member of the Council of Ministers for the Defence of the Reich. In this position Hans Lammers was able to review all pertinent documents regarding national security and domestic policy even before they were forwarded to Adolf Hitler personally.
Beginning in January 1943, Hans Lammers served as President of the cabinet when Adolf Hitler was absent from their meetings. Along with Martin Bormann, Hans Lammers increasingly controlled access to Adolf Hitler. In February 1943, following the Battle of Stalingrad, Martin Bormann with Hans Lammers attempted to create a three-man junta representing the Party Martin Bormann, The State (Hans Lammers), and the Army which would have been led by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the OKW (armed forces high command). This Committee of Three would have exercised dictatorial powers over the home front. Joseph Goebbels, Albert Speer, Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler all saw this proposal as a power grab by Martin Bormann and Hans Lammers and a threat to their power, and combined to block it. However, this scheme eventually collapsed due to the frequent infighting and mistrust the party, military, and the various ministries had amongst one another as Hans Lammers himself eventually lost power and influence due to the increasing irrelevancies of his post due to the war.
Hans Lammers in 1947 facing trial for crimes against humanity In April Hans Lammers was arrested by Adolf Hitler's forces during the final days of the Third Reich, in connection with the upheaval surrounding Hermann Göring, who thought that Adolf Hitler had stepped down. Adolf Hitler vehemently opposed giving up power and wanted Hans Lammers shot. Hans Lammers was rescued when he was captured by American forces, but in the meanwhile his wife committed suicide near Obersalzberg (the site of Adolf Hitler's mountain retreat) in early May 1945, as did his daughter two days later.
After the war in April 1946 Hans Lammers was a witness at the Nuremberg tribunal. In April 1949 Hans Lammers was put under Subsequent Nuremberg Trials in the Ministries Trial and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to 10 years by U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy, and Hans Lammers was finally pardoned and released in 1952. Hans Lammers died on 4 January 1962 in Düsseldorf, and was buried in Berchtesgaden in the same plot as his wife and daughter.
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