Franz Schlegelberger - in The Nazi Party

In The Nazi Party

Among Schlegelberger's many works in this time was a bill for the introduction of a new national currency which was supposed to end the hyperinflation to which the Reichsmark was prone. After Franz Gürtner's death in 1941, Schlegelberger became provisional Reich Minister of Justice for the years 1941 and 1942, followed then by Otto Thierack. During his time in office the number of death sentences rose sharply. He authored the bills such as the so-called Poland Penal Law Provision (Polenstrafrechtsverordnung) under which Poles were executed for tearing down German posters. Schlegelberger's attitude towards his job may be best encapsulated in a letter to Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery Hans Heinrich Lammers:

“Most Honoured Mr. Reich Minister Dr. Lammers!

“Upon the Führer-order of 24 October 1941 forwarded to me through Mr. State Minister and Chief of the Führer's and Reich Chancellor's Presidial Chancellery, I have handed the Jew Markus Luftglass, sentenced to 2½ years in prison by the Special Court in Katowice, over to the Gestapo for execution.

Heil Hitler!
most obedient

However, to "spare" some of the half-Jews, he suggested in a letter on 5 April 1942 to Hans Heinrich Lammers, they be given a choice between the "evacuation" or sterilization:

“The measures for the final solution of the Jewish question should extend only to full Jews and descendants of mixed marriages of the first degree, but should not apply to descendants of mixed marriages of the second degree.

“With regard to the treatment of Jewish descendants of mixed marriages of the first degree, I agree with the conception of the Reich Minister of the Interior which he expressed in his letter of 16 February 1942, to the effect that the prevention of propagation of these descendants of mixed marriages is to be preferred to their being thrown in with the Jews and evacuated. It follows therefrom that the evacuation of those half-Jews who are no more capable of propagation is obviated from the beginning. There is no national interest in dissolving the marriage between such half-Jews and a full-blooded German.

“Those half-Jews who are capable of propagation should be given the choice to submit to sterilization or to be evacuated in the same manner as Jews.”

Upon his retirement from the position on 24 August 1942, Hitler gave Schlegelberger an endowment of RM 100,000; in 1944, Hitler allowed him to buy an estate with the money, something that only agricultural experts were entitled to under the rules in force at the time. This would later weigh against him at Nuremberg, for it showed that Hitler thought highly of Schlegelberger.

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