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Reichsgau and General Government in 1941
A Reichsgau (plural Reichsgaue) was an administrative sub-division created in a number of the areas annexed to Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1945. It should not be confused with the Gau, an administrative region of the NSDAP (Nazi Party).

Overview

The term was formed from the words Reich and Gau, the latter a deliberately medieval-sounding word with a meaning approximately equivalent to "shire".

There were several Reichsgaue:

The Ostmark was subsequently sub-divided into seven smaller Reichsgaue, generally coterminous with the former Austrian Länder (states).

Reichsgaue established in 1938

Gau name German name Headquarters Established Notes
Carinthiamarker Kärnten Klagenfurtmarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Carinthiamarker and Eastern Tyrol, included from 1941 on parts of Sloveniamarker
Lower Danube Niederdonau Viennamarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Lower Austriamarker and northern Burgenlandmarker; included from 1939 on parts of southern Moravia
Salzburgmarker Salzburg Salzburgmarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Salzburgmarker
Sudetenland Sudetenland Reichenberg 1938 Formed from the predominantly German-speaking parts of Czechoslovakiamarker which were ceded to Germany after the Munich Agreement
Styriamarker Steiermark Grazmarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Styriamarker and southern part of Burgenlandmarker; included from 1941 on parts of Sloveniamarker
Tyrol-Vorarlberg Tirol-Vorarlberg Innsbruckmarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Vorarlbergmarker and the northern part of Tyrolmarker
Upper Danube Oberdonau Linzmarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Upper Austria and Ausseerland, a part of Styria; included from 1939 on parts of southern Bohemia
Viennamarker Wien Viennamarker 1938 Formed from the former Austrian federal state of Viennamarker and surrounding parts of former Lower Austriamarker


Reichsgaue established during the Second World War

Gau name German name Headquarters Established Notes
Danzig - West Prussia Danzig - Westpreußen Danzigmarker 1939 Formed in the Free City of Danzigmarker and the Polish region of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, which were both occupied by Germany in 1939
Wartheland Wartheland Poznańmarker 1939 Formed primarily in the Polish region of the Poznań Voivodeshipmarker and incooperated areas of surrounding Voivodeships after the German occupation of Poland


Proposed Reichsgaue in Belgium

Following Germany's invasion in 1940, Belgiummarker was placed under "temporary" military rule. In July, 1944, civilian rule was re-introduced as a step towards the country's eventual integration into "Greater Germany". In December of that year Belgium was sub-divided into the District of Brusselsmarker, covering the capital city (which remained under the direct authority of the German Reichskommissar), and two Reichsgaue. These Reichsgaue existed on paper only, due to the Allied advance.



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