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National Socialism 1933-1945

Saxony under the Swastika

As part of the »Law for Coordination«, Martin Mutschmann, a trusted associate of Hitlers, is made Reich Governor of Saxony. The Free State loses its legal standing on January 30th, 1934, after the state government surrenders its autonomy to become subject to the Reich. Under Mutschmann, one of the most powerful state politicians in National Socialist Germany, thousands of Jews are deported in 1938. Sachsen was nonetheless one of the centres of resistance for the National Socialists, and the Schumann-Engert-Kresse Group was one of the most active resistance groups in Germany in 1943/44. Saxony suffers heavy losses during the Second World War, with the destruction of Dresden in particular symbolising the physical effects of war.


March 10th 1933 Abdication of the government on the basis of the Edict for Protection of People and State, initiated on February 28th; Manfred von Killinger of the NSDAP (National Socialist Party) is appointed Reich Commissary.

May 1933 In line with the »Synchronisation of the States«, Saxony is put under the rule of NSDAP governer Martin Mutschmann. Von Killinger becomes Prime Minister.

January 30th 1934 The Landtag is dissolved on the basis of the Law for Reconstruction of the Reich. The state government surrenders its souvereignty to become subject to the Reich. In effect, the Free State of Saxony ceases to exist as a legal entity.

From 1934 The National Socialists imprison their political opponents in the Bautzen and Waldheim penitentiaries, and the military prison in Torgau. The euthanasia laws lead to tens of thousands of disabled people being put to death in Bernburg and Pirna-Sonnenstein. Concentration camps are built at Hohnstein Castle, Königstein Fortress, Colditz Fortress, and elsewhere. Mass deportations begin with the transport of 5,000 Jews from Leipzig (where 15,000 of the 23,000 Jewish population lived) in October 1938

1939-1945 During the Second World War, Saxony suffers substantial losses of life and cultural treasure. The destruction of Dresden in particular (February 13th - 15th) symbolises the physical effects of war.

April/May 1945 Occupation by Soviet (American troops (until July 1, 1945).



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