Carl Friedrich Goerdeler

Carl Friedrich Goerdeler ( 31 as July as 1884 – 2 as February as 1945 ) was a politician, executive, monarchical economist and conservative German member of, opponent dogged the Nazi regime and participant of the movement “Widerstand” plot of July 20 , 1944 to To assassinate Hitler.

Had it been successful , he would have been the new German chancellor . When the conspiracy failed, he was arrested, tortured, tried and hanged.


He was born in Schneidemühl (Piła, Poland ), the old Prussia . His parents were members of conservatism since 1899. 1 Born and raised in a cultured, Lutheran, conservative and nationalist family. 2

He studied economics and law in Tübingen from 1902 to 1905, 2 3 working in public office since 1911. That year he married Anneliese Ulrich, with whom he had five children.

During World War I he fought in the Eastern front being promoted to captain. 3 In 1918, it was part of the German military government in Minsk 3 and in Danzig ( Gdańsk ). 3 The relay was integrated in the conservative national party of the town and like the majority of the German town rejected the Treaty of Versailles .

In 1922, Goerdeler was elected mayor ( Bürgermeister ) of Königsberg (today Kaliningrad , Russia ) and in 1930 mayor of Leipzig . 3 4 In 1931 Chancellor Brüning, entrusted the inflationary policies of the Reich. 5

In 1932 it was candidate to chancellor but was Franz von Papen finally the chosen one. 6 Goerdeler initially opposed the Nazis when they rose to power and left the DNVP Popular Party when this movement began to collaborate with National Socialism .

In the early 1930s, he regarded Hitler as an “enlightened dictator” who, with appropriate advice, could draw Germany out of the economic meltdown 7 but after 1933 was one of the few personalities he strongly opposed. The 1 of April of 1933 , when the first was ordered boycott of Jewish businesses, Goerdeler appeared dressed in his uniform Oberbürgermeister ordering the Sturmabteilung (SA) end the oppressive measure and releasing several prisoners Jews SA. Referring to Fig.

In spite of the strong pressures that the Nazi party exerted in the German society, never adhered to the Nazi party 9 and by 1935 was completely disappointed by Hitler, considering that the economic policies based on the floating debt were highly irresponsible. 9 Appointed in 1934, he was again commissioner of the Third Reich to combat the galloping inflation originally generated. October November 1936 publicly opposed the demolition of the monument to composer Jewish-German Felix Mendelssohn . 12

Before traveling to Finland he met with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels , receiving the false promise that nothing would happen to the statue of the musician. 13 The statue was demolished and its return was questioned its prosemita attitude towards the “Jewish Question”. 13 Goerdeler resigned to propose again to its position of mayor in Leipzig resigning the 31 of March of 1937.

He was offered a high position in the firm Krupp AG . 14 but Hitler prevented it. 14 3 From that moment he was actively involved in anti-Nazi plots, traveling to France , the United Kingdom , the United States , the Balkans , Canada , warning of the dangers of Nazi policies. 14 15

He became a member of the private staff of General Ludwig Beck , an opponent of Hitler. 16 He met with Winston Churchill and Robert Vansittart. 17

In November 1938, in the face of the policy of expulsion of the Jews, he tried to intercede for England to receive 10,000 Polish Jews that the Germans had expelled from Germany and which Poland refused to accept. 18

In 1939-1940, Goerdeler joins Ulrich von Hassell , General Ludwig Beck , and Johannes Popitz , and an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler is planned . 19

In September 1943, Goerdeler asks Jacob Wallenberg to ask the British government to suspend the bombing of Berlin, Stuttgart and Leipzig.

Unlike the Kreisau Circle , Goerdeler, as an economist, was a propeller of capitalism . 20 Some historians as Christof Dipper and Martin Broszat claim that Goerdeler was as antisemitic as the Nazis. 21 In contrast Peter Hoffmann in “The German Resistance and the Holocaust” it rehabilitates. 22

On Sunday, July 16, 1944, he saw his wife and children in Leipzig for the last time, marching to Berlin to prepare the attack in which Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg would intervene as executive promoter. If successful, he would be named chancellor. 2. 3

Failed to “putsh”, he escaped from Berlin but was arrested on 12 August in Marienwerder ( Kwidzyn ). 3 Eight family members were sent to concentration camps , 24 his brother Fritz Goerdeler was sentenced to death and executed on 1 March 1945. 25

Interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo admitted that the Holocaust was the main reason to overthrow Hitler. 26 On 9 September he was tried in the People’s Court and sentenced to death by the infamous Judge Roland Freisler . He was tortured for months. 27 Days before his execution he wrote a letter testifying that the “Jewish Reinstallation” was the worst of all Nazi crimes. 8 It was hung the 2 of February of 1945 in the prison of Plötzensee in Berlin. Earlier, he wrote a letter that ends with “I ask the world to accept our martyrdom as an apology to the German people . 28


  1. Back to top↑ Ritter, Gerhard The German Resistance page 17
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Ritter, Gerhard The German Resistance page 17
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g Encyclopaedia Britannica Volume 10 Garrison-Halibut, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969, page 521-522
  4. Back to top↑ Rothfels, page 84.
  5. Back to top↑ Tooze, page 22.
  6. Back to top↑ Wheeler-Bennett, page 246.
  7. Back to top↑ Müller, Klaus-Jürgen “The Structure and Nature of the National Conservative Opposition in Germany up to 1940” pages 133-178 from Aspects of the Third Reich edited by HW Koch, Macmillan: London, United Kingdom page 148
  8. ↑ Jump to:a b Hoffmann, Peter “The German Resistance and the Holocaust” pages 105-126 from Confront! Edited by JJ Michalczyk, Peter Lang Publishers, 2004, page 112
  9. ↑ Jump to:a b , Müller page 148.
  10. Back to top↑ Tooze, page 704.
  11. Back to top↑ Kershaw, Ian Hitler Hubris , New York: Norton, 1998, 1999 page 578.
  12. Back to top↑ Hoffmann, pages 113-114.
  13. ↑ Jump to:a b Error in quotation: <ref>Invalid label ; The content of the so-called references has not been definedHoffmann114
  14. ↑ Jump to:a b c Wheeler-Bennett, page 386
  15. Back to top↑ Rothfels, page 85.
  16. Back to top↑ Müller, Klaus-Jürgen “The Structure and Nature of the National Conservative Opposition in Germany up to 1940” pages 133-178 from Aspects of the Third Reich edited by HW Koch, Macmillan: London, United Kingdom page 152
  17. Back to top↑ Rothfels, page 126.
  18. Back to top↑ Error in quotation:<ref>Invalidlabel; The content of the so-called references has not been definedHoffmann115
  19. Back to top↑ Wheeler-Bennett page 462.
  20. Back to top↑ Rothfels, pages 103-104.
  21. Back to top↑ Dipper, Christof “Der Deutsche Widerstand und die Juden” pages 349-380 from Geschichte und Gesellschaft , Volume 9, 1983; Broszat, Martin “Plaieyer für Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus from Merkur , Volume 39, 1985 pages 382-383.
  22. Back to top↑ Hoffmann, page 112.
  23. Back to top↑ Ritter, Gerhard, The German Resistance page 285.
  24. Back to top↑ Wheeler-Bennett, page 686
  25. Back to top↑ Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
  26. Back to top↑ Hoffmann, page 117.
  27. Back to top↑ Ritter, Gerhard The German Resistance pages 311-312
  28. Back to top↑ Rothfels, page 152