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Josef Bühler
Josef Bühler (also referred to as Joseph Buehler) (February 16, 1904 – August 22, 1948) was state secretary and deputy governor to the Nazi-controlled General Government in Krakówmarker during World War II.


Bühler was born in Bad Waldseemarker into a Catholic family of 12 children. His father was a baker. After obtaining his degree in law he would come to work under Hans Frank, a legal advisor to Adolf Hitler and NSDAP, and a member of the Reichstag, when Frank was appointed Minister of Justice for Bavariamarker in 1933. Bühler became a member of NSDAP on April 1, 1933, according to his own testimony at the Nuremberg Trialsmarker, and was appointed administrator of the Court of Munichmarker. In 1935 he became district chief attorney.

In 1938 Hans Frank, now Reich Minister without portfolio, put him in charge of his cabinet office. After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in September 1939, Frank was appointed Governor-General for the occupied Polish territories and Bühler accompanied him to Kraków to take up the post of State Secretary of the General Government, also serving as Frank's deputy. He was given the honorary rank of SSmarker-Brigadeführer by SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler around this time.

Bühler attended the Wannsee Conferencemarker on January 20, 1942 as the representative from the Governor-General's office. During this conference – which discussed the imposition of the 'final solution of the Jewish Question in the German Sphere of Influence in Europe' – Bühler stated to the other conference attendees the importance of solving 'the Jewish Question in the General Government as quickly as possible' .

After the war, Bühler testified on Frank's behalf at the Nuremberg Trials. He was later extradited to Poland and tried before the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland for crimes against humanity, condemned to death and the forfeiture of all property on July 10, 1948, and executed in Kraków. His death was announced August 22 by Polish authorities and noted in the New York Times the following day.

In popular media

Bühler played a major part in the alternate history novel Fatherland, written by Robert Harris. In Fatherland's alternate history, Nazi Germany defeated the Soviet Unionmarker during the Second World War. As a result of this, Bühler continued to serve in the General Government until 1951, when he was wounded by Polish resistance forces and was forced to retire.

Bühler's main role in Fatherland is that he was murdered by the SSmarker during April 1964 in an attempt to cover all traces of the Final Solution, which Bühler helped to instigate. The discovery of Bühler's corpse in the Havelmarker sparks the investigation by Xavier March that uncovers the conspiracy.

In the 2001 HBO film Conspiracy, which portrayed the Wannsee Conference, Bühler was played by the British actor Ben Daniels.


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