Schirach, Baldur von, 1907-1974

Schirach was the leader of the Hitler Youth movements from the late 1920s until August 1940 when, too old for this job, he was made Gauleiter and Defense Commissioner of Vienna to replace an incumbent veteran member of the Austrian Nazi Party. HITLER gave Schirach this position reasoning that Vienna was a good city for a man of his cultural pretensions. However he was a total disaster for the party, rejected by everyone and exerting no influence in Vienna. No suitable replacement could be found however and he therefore remained in his post until the end of the war. As Gauleiter, Schirach organized the forced deportation of thousands of young people from eastern occupied countries to Germany and the deportation of 60,000 Jews from Vienna. He claimed not to have known about the extermination camps. Though he successfully escaped after the liberation and was working for the Allied occupation forces, Schirach surrendered in June 1945, unable to live with his guilt. He was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment.

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