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Hinrich Lohse

Hinrich Lohse
Hinrich Lohse was a Nazi German politician.

Hinrich Lohse (born 2 September 1896 in Mühlenbarbek, Schleswig-Holstein; died 25 February 1964 in Mühlenbarbek) was a Nazi German politician.

Lohse, who trained as a salesman, was born into a family of crofters. From 1903 to 1912 he went to the Volksschule in his hometown, and afterwards the higher trade school. In 1913 he worked as an employee at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg. During the First World War, he served from 23 September 1915 until his discharge for war wounds on 30 October 1916 in the army.

Lohse was first from 1919 an associate at the Schleswig-Holstein Farmers' Association, and then as of 1920 General Secretary of the Schleswig-Holstein Country Party. In 1923 he joined the Nazi Party and became on 27 March 1925 the NSDAP Gauleiter for Schleswig-Holstein. In 1924, as a member of the Völkisch-Sozialer Block list, he became the only Nazi to be elected to the city representative college (Stadtverordnetenkollegium) of Altona/Elbe. During this time, he led various nationally-oriented farming associations in northern Germany, such as the Landvolkbewegung ("Country People's Movement"), into the Nazi Party. Between 1928 and 1929, Lohse also temporarily administered the Nazi Gau of Hamburg.

Lohse, who had been a member of the Reichstag since 1932, was appointed shortly after the Nazis' seizure of power as High President (Oberpräsident) of the Province of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1934, he took over the chairmanship of the Nordic Company (Nordische Gesellschaft). In 1942, Lohse was appointed Reich Defence Commissar, as were all Gauleiters.

After the German occupation of parts of the Soviet Union came Lohse's appointment as Reich Commissar for the Ostland on 17 July 1941. Lohse nevertheless retained his functions in Schleswig-Holstein and shuttled between Riga and Kiel. After taking office, Lohse filled all kinds of important posts with likeminded old friends from Schleswig-Holstein. He held this function until he left, or rather fled, the Reichskommissariat Ostland in the autumn of 1944. In Schleswig-Holstein during the time when Nazi Germany was fast being eroded away, he exercised as Reich Defence Commissar almost absolute rule.

On 6 May 1945, owing to British demands, Lohse was unseated as High President of Schleswig-Holstein by Reich President Karl Dönitz. Shortly thereafter, he was seized by the British military. Lohse was sentenced in 1948 to 10 years in prison, but was nonetheless released in 1951 owing to illness. Two inquiries were launched by prosecutors against him; the grant of a High-Presidential pension which Lohse was fighting for was withdrawn under pressure from the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag. Lohse spent his twilight years in Mühlenbarbek.

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