Reichskommissariat (English: lit. Realm Commissariat; plural Reichskommissariate) is the German designation for a type of administrative office headed by a government official known as a Reichskommissar (English: Realm Commissioner). Although many different such offices existed primarily throughout the Imperial German and Nazi periods in a number of different fields (such as public infrastructure, spatial planning, ethnic cleansing, etc.) it is most commonly used to refer to the quasi-colonial territorial units established by Nazi Germany in several occupied countries during World War II. While officially located outside of the German Reich in a legal sense, these entities were directly controlled by their supreme civil authorities (the Reichskommissars), who ruled their assigned territories as German governors on behalf of and as direct representatives of Adolf Hitler.

The introduction of these territorial administrations served a number of purposes. Those established or planned to be established in Western and Northern Europe were in general envisioned as the transitional phases for the future incorporation of various Germanic countries outside of pre-war Germany into an expanded Nazi state. Their eastern counterparts served primarily colonialist and imperialist purposes, as sources of future Lebensraum for German settlement and the exploitation of natural resources.

Another contrast was the level of administrative overhaul implemented in these two types. As in most other territories conquered by the Germans, local administrators and bureaucrats were pressured to continue their regular day-to-day operations (especially at the middle and lower levels) albeit under German oversight. Throughout the war the Reichskommissariate in Western and Northern Europe simply retained the previously existing administrative structure however, while in the eastern ones completely new such structures were introduced.

All of these entities were nonetheless intended for eventual integration into a Greater Germanic Reich (Grossgermanisches Reich) encompassing the general area of Europe stretching from the North Sea to the Ural mountains, for which Germany was to form the basis.

Read more about Reichskommissariat:  Western and Northern Europe, Former Soviet Territories

Other articles related to "reichskommissariat":

Reichskommissariat Moskowien - Territorial Planning
... Russian parts of the Caucasus region were to be controlled by a separate Reichskommissariat Kaukasus, while the rest of southern Russia was to be integrated into ... were the Pskov, Smolensk and Leningrad areas (included in the Reichskommissariat Ostland), and Eastern Karelia and the Kola peninsula, which were promised to ... Its final territory was to be bounded on the west by the Reichskommissariat Ostland and the border with Finland, on the north by the Arctic ocean, in the east by the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and in the ...
Reichskommissariat - Former Soviet Territories
... Soviet territory should be administered in the following five Reichskommissariate Reichskommissariat Ostland (RKO) (The Baltic countries and Belarus, extended eastward by ... Reichskommissariat Ukraine (RKU) (Ukraine minus East Galicia, Romanian Transnistria and the Crimea, but extended eastward up to the Volga) 1941–1944 ... Reichskommissariat Moskowien (RKM) (Moscow metropolitan area and the rest of European Russia minus Karelia and the Kola peninsula, promised to Finland) never fully established ...
Reichskommissariat Norwegen
... The Reichskommissariat Norwegen was the civilian occupation regime set up by Nazi Germany in German-occupied Norway during World War II ... Its full title in German was the Reichskommissariat für die besetzten norwegischen Gebiete ("Reich Commissariat for the Occupied Norwegian Territories") ...
Reichskommissariat Niederlande
... The Reichskommissariat Niederlande was the civilian occupation regime set up by Germany in the German-occupied Netherlands during World War II ... the Reich Commissariat for the Occupied Dutch Territories (German Reichskommissariat für die besetzten niederländischen Gebiete) ...
Third Realm - Geography - Occupied Territories
... under newly-created German administrations included the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Reichskommissariat Ostland (encompassing the Baltic states and Belarus), and Reichskommissariat Ukraine ... The governments of Denmark, Norway (Reichskommissariat Norwegen), and the Netherlands (Reichskommissariat Niederlande) were placed under civilian administrations staffed largely by natives ... More such districts, such as the Reichskommissariat Moskowien (Moscow), Reichskommissariat Kaukasus (Caucasus), and Reichskommissariat Turkestan (Turkestan) were also proposed in the ...