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Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart was a Nazi Party lawyer

Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart (November 16, 1902 - November 15, 1953) was a Nazi Party lawyer and official, and a state secretary in the German Interior Ministry.

Stuckart was born in Wiesbaden. He joined the Nazi Party in 1922. He was heavily involved in the early Nazi approach towards Jews, co-writing the anti-Jewish "Nuremberg Laws" imposed by the Nazi-controlled Reichstag in 1935.

Stuckart later represented Wilhelm Frick, the Interior Minister, at the Wannsee conference on January 20, 1942, which discussed the imposition of the "Final Solution of the Jewish question in the German Sphere of Influence in Europe".

It has been speculated by looking carefully at the edited conference minutes that at this conference Stuckart objected to the aforementioned laws being ignored by the SS in fulfilling the "Final Solution", and pointed out the bureaucratic problems of such a radical course of action - insisting that mandatory sterilization would be a better option in preserving the 'spirit' of the Nuremberg laws. However, the Conference Chairman, SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, informed Stuckart that the decision to exterminate the Jews had been made by Adolf Hitler and that according to the Führerprinzip, Hitler's word was above all written law. It is worth noting also that Stuckart and several others at the conference realized that Hitler did not give this order in writing, as was usual when he gave particularly secret or controversial orders (citation required).

Stuckart served briefly as Interior Minister after the fall of Heinrich Himmler in 1945.

After the war, Stuckart was arrested by the Allies for war crimes, tried, and convicted in the Ministries Trial. He was sentenced to time served and released in April 1949. Despite his heavy involvement with the most murderous of Nazi policies, his defense was able to call upon the testimony of men such as former aide Hans Globke, who portrayed Stuckart as a loyal Nazi but one also interested in the rule of law, defending the Interior Ministry against political hacks, and mitigating the effect of racist legislation on so-called "half Jews."

Stuckart was killed in November 1953 near Hanover, West Germany in a car accident, though there has been speculation that the accident was set up by persons hunting down Nazi war criminals still at liberty.

Stuckart has featured in popular culture:

  • in the 1984 film Wannseekonferenz he was played by Peter Fitz.
  • in the 2001 BBC/HBO film, Conspiracy he was played by Colin Firth
  • in the alternate history novel, Fatherland, written by Robert Harris, Stuckart is one of the Wannsee attendees who is hunted down by the 1960s Nazi regime.

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