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Franz Xaver Schwarz (27 November, 1875 - 2 December, 1947) was a Germanmarker politician who served as Reichsschatzmeister (National Treasurer) of the Nazi Party during most of the Party's existence.

Early life

He was born in Günzburgmarker the seventh of eight children, where his father was a master baker. He was educated to a high school level at the Günzburger vocational training school. Schwarz married Berta Breher on August 26, 1899. He was involved in the military and city government of Munichmarker between 1900-1925. He began service by volunteering at the Günzburger District Court, and then worked as a notary.

WWI

Schwarz served in World War I as a second lieutenant in the infantry. Due to gastric troubles which afflicted him his entire life (he was considered 30 percent disabled in that war), he was spared field duty beginning in 1916.

National Socialism

Schwarz joined the Nazi party in 1922. He participated in the failed Beer Hall Putschmarker of November 1923. With the re-establishment of the Nazi party in Germany on February 27, 1925 Schwarz became party member six. On March 21, 1925 he became full-time treasurer of the Nazi party, rebuilding the financial and administrative functions. In April-May 1930 Schwarz negotiated the purchase of the party headquarters, the Brown Housemarker at 45 Brienner Straße in Munich.

He was elected to the Reichstag in 1933, representing the Franconia electoral district and continued thus to the end of the war.

Party Administrator

On March 23, 1934 Hitler gave Schwarz full authority for the financial affairs of the party. Hitler attended the 60th birthday of Schwarz on November 27, 1935. Hitler's will of May 2, 1938 (which left his entire fortune to the party) included the provision that it be opened in Schwarz's presence.

Besides the party treasury (largely based on membership dues), he was also responsible for the central assignment of NSDAP unique membership numbers. When members died or stopped paying dues, the old numbers were not freed up for new members (and if old members picked up their dues later a new party number would be assigned).

Ten million membership numbers had been assigned by 1945, with about 2.4 million active members. Schwarz's able administration of party funds insured a cash balance of one billion reichmarks by the end of the war.

Schwarz was regarded as an able administrator who generally kept out of party politics. For instance he is only mentioned twice in Joseph Goebbels's diaries. The first time on April 9, 1926 Goebbels wrote dismissingly of him. But by November 1944, the Propaganda Minister's attitude had changed, he now regarded Schwarz as one of the most reliable and respectable party men.

SS Membership

In June 1933, Schwarz joined the SS and on July 1, 1933 he was appointed SS-Obergruppenführer. He was only one of four people to have held the rank of SS-Oberstgruppenführer and, of the four, the only one to hold the rank as an honorary title without equivalent Ordnungspolizeimarker or Waffen-SS rank. That high rank was granted him on April 20, 1942 (Hitler's birthday).

War Years

On June 5, 1944 he was granted a high military award (the Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern) by Hitler for his work during the Munich air raids of April 24-25.

Schwarz led a Volkssturmbataillons in Grünwald at the end of the war. He was arrested by the Americans.

Death

Schwarz died in an Allied internment camp near Regensburgmarker on 2 December, 1947 due to recurring gastric troubles.

In September 1948, Schwarz was posthumously classified by the Munich de-Nazification court as a “major offender”.

Legacy

Schwarz remains an enigmatic member within Hitler's inner circle. This is because the former Nazi Party treasurer, died without being properly interrogated. His diaries and other papers had also been burned in the Munich Brown House in April, 1945.

Due to this, there are considerable gaps in the historical record especially in regards to how the Nazi Party was financed and where its money went after the war.

References

  • Hallgarten, George W. F. " Adolf Hitler and German Heavy Industry, 1931-1933" The Journal of Economic History, 1952.
  • Orlow, Dietrich. The History of the Nazi Party: 1933-1945. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973.
  • Weinberg, Gerhard L. "Hitler's Private Testament of May 2, 1938", The Journal of Modern History, 1955.


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