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Führer
Führer
(German pronunciation: [ˈfyːʁɐ], commonly spelled Fuehrer when the umlaut is not available) is a German word meaning "leader" or "guide". As a political title it is most associated with the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, who was the only person to hold the position of Führer. The word Führer
Führer
in the sense of "guide" remains common in German, and it is used in numerous compound words such as Oppositionsführer ( Leader
Leader
of the Opposition). However, because of its strong association with Hitler, the isolated word usually comes with stigma and negative connotations when used with the meaning of "leader", especially in political contexts. The word Führer
Führer
has cognates in the Scandinavian languages, spelled fører in Danish and Norwegian and förare in Swedish, which have the same meaning and use as the German word, but without necessarily having political connotations.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Origin of the title and its use as party leader 1.2 As a political office 1.3 Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer 1.4 Military usage 1.5 Germanic Führer

2 Hitler's honorary titles 3 Military usage 4 Modern German usage 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] Origin of the title and its use as party leader[edit]

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v t e

Führer
Führer
was the unique title granted by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
to himself, in his function as Vorsitzender (chairman) of the Nazi Party. It was at the time common to refer to party leaders as Führer, with an addition to indicate the leader of which party was meant. Hitler's adoption of the title was partly inspired by its earlier use by the Austrian Georg von Schönerer, a major exponent of pan-Germanism and German nationalism in Austria, whose followers also commonly referred to him as the Führer
Führer
without qualification, and who also used the Heil Hitler
Hitler
salute, known as the "German greeting".[3] Hitler's choice for this political epithet was unprecedented in Germany. Like much of the early symbolism of Nazi Germany, it was modeled after Benito Mussolini's Italian Fascism. Mussolini's chosen epithet il Duce
Duce
("the Leader"), from the Latin
Latin
Dux, was widely used, though, unlike Hitler, he never made it his official title. The Italian word Duce
Duce
(unlike the German word Führer) is no longer used as a generic term for a leader, but almost always refers to Mussolini himself. Hitler
Hitler
saw himself as the sole source of power in Germany, similar to the Roman emperors and German medieval leaders.[4] After the death of Paul Hindenburg in 1934, the Badonviller Marsch
Badonviller Marsch
as well as the personal standard of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
were used to evoke the presence of Hitler
Hitler
as leader and personification of the German state.[5] As a political office[edit] After Hitler's appointment as Reichskanzler (Chancellor of the Reich) the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act which allowed Hitler's cabinet to promulgate laws by decree. One day before the death of Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler
Hitler
and his cabinet decreed a law that merged the office of the president with that of Chancellor.[6] Hitler
Hitler
therefore assumed the President's powers without assuming the office itself – ostensibly out of respect for Hindenburg's achievements as a heroic figure in World War I. Though this law was in breach of the Enabling Act, which specifically precluded any laws concerning the Presidential office, it was approved by a referendum on 19 August.[1][2][7] Hitler
Hitler
used the title Führer
Führer
und Reichskanzler (" Leader
Leader
and Chancellor"), highlighting the positions he already held in party and government, though in popular reception, the element Führer
Führer
was increasingly understood not just in reference to the Nazi party but also in reference to the German people and the German state. Soldiers had to swear allegiance to Hitler
Hitler
as " Führer
Führer
des deutschen Reiches und Volkes" ( Leader
Leader
of the German Realm and People). The title was changed on 28 July 1942 to " Führer
Führer
des Großdeutschen Reiches" (" Leader
Leader
of the Greater German Realm"). In his political testament, Hitler
Hitler
also referred to himself as Führer
Führer
der Nation ( Leader
Leader
of the Nation).[8] Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
cultivated the Führerprinzip
Führerprinzip
(leader principle),[9] and Hitler
Hitler
was generally known as just der Führer
Führer
("the Leader"). Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer[edit] One of the Nazis' most-repeated political slogans was Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer
Führer
– "One People, One Empire, One Leader". Bendersky says the slogan "left an indelible mark on the minds of most Germans who lived through the Nazi years. It appeared on countless posters and in publications; it was heard constantly in radio broadcasts and speeches." The slogan emphasized the absolute control of the party over practically every sector of German society and culture – with the churches being the most notable exception. Hitler's word was absolute, but he had a narrow range of interest – mostly involving diplomacy and the military – and so his subordinates interpreted his will to fit their own interests.[10] Military usage[edit] Further information: Military career of Adolf Hitler According to the Constitution of Weimar, the President was Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Unlike "President", Hitler
Hitler
did take this title (Oberbefehlshaber) for himself. When conscription was reintroduced in 1935, Hitler
Hitler
created the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, a post held by the Minister for War. He retained the title of Supreme Commander for himself. Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, then the Minister of War and one of those who created the Hitler
Hitler
oath, or the personal oath of loyalty of the military to Hitler, became the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces while Hitler remained Supreme Commander. Following the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair
Blomberg–Fritsch Affair
in 1938, Hitler
Hitler
assumed the commander-in-chief's post as well and took personal command of the armed forces. However, he continued using the older formally higher title of Supreme Commander, which was thus filled with a somewhat new meaning. Combining it with "Führer", he used the style Führer
Führer
und Oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht (" Leader
Leader
and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht"), yet a simple "Führer" since May 1942. Germanic Führer[edit] Further information: Greater Germanic Reich

Advertisement for the Dutch translation of Mein Kampf. Hitler
Hitler
is referred to as "the Führer
Führer
of all Germanics" (1939)

An additional title was adopted by Hitler
Hitler
on 23 June 1941 when he declared himself the "Germanic Führer" (Germanischer Führer), in addition to his duties as Führer
Führer
of the German state and people.[11] This was done to emphasize Hitler's professed leadership of what the Nazis described as the "Nordic-Germanic master race", which peoples such as the Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, and Dutch, etc. were considered members of in addition to the Germans, and the intent to annex these countries to the German Reich in 1933. Waffen-SS
Waffen-SS
formations from these countries had to declare obedience to Hitler
Hitler
by addressing him in this fashion.[12] On 12 December 1941 the Dutch fascist Anton Mussert
Anton Mussert
also addressed him as such when he proclaimed his allegiance to Hitler during a visit to the Reich Chancellery
Reich Chancellery
in Berlin.[13] He had wanted to address Hitler
Hitler
as Führer
Führer
aller Germanen (" Führer
Führer
of all Germanics"), but Hitler
Hitler
personally decreed the former style.[13] Historian Loe de Jong
Loe de Jong
speculates on the difference between the two: Führer
Führer
aller Germanen implied a position separate from Hitler's role as Führer
Führer
und Reichskanzler des Grossdeutschen Reiches (" Führer
Führer
and Reich Chancellor of the Greater German Empire"), while germanischer Führer
Führer
served more as an attribute of that main function.[13] As late as 1944, however, occasional propaganda publications continued to refer to him by this unofficial title as well.[14] Hitler's honorary titles[edit] National Socialist propaganda
National Socialist propaganda
occasionally used a number of honorary titles when referencing Hitler.

Supreme Judge of the German People (German: Oberster Richter des Deutschen Volkes) – Announced by Hitler
Hitler
on 30 June 1934 after the "Night of the Long Knives"[15] First Soldier of the German Reich (German: Erster Soldat des Deutschen Reiches) – This title was assumed by Hitler
Hitler
at the start of World War II on 1 September 1939. Addressing the Reichstag in the Kroll Opera House, Hitler
Hitler
appeared in a grey military uniform, declaring that he wanted "to be nothing but the first soldier of the German Reich", and pledging not to take it off until after victory had been achieved.[16] First Worker of the New Germany (German: Erster Arbeiter des neuen Deutschland).[17] Greatest Military Commander of All Time (German: Größter Feldherr aller Zeiten) – A title bestowed on Hitler
Hitler
by General Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
Wilhelm Keitel
after the successful western campaign against France and the Low Countries
Low Countries
in the summer of 1940.[18] Shortened derisively to "Gröfaz". Military Leader
Leader
of Europe (German: Heerführer Europas) – Bestowed on Hitler
Hitler
after the start of Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
by the Nazi propaganda ministry in order to portray Hitler
Hitler
as the leader of a continental European struggle against Soviet Bolshevism.[19] High Protector of the Holy Mountain (German: Hoher Protektor des heiligen Berges) – After the Axis occupation of Greece
Axis occupation of Greece
in 1941, the monks of the monastic state of Mount Athos
Mount Athos
asked Hitler
Hitler
to place the state under his personal protection, seeing him as a natural ally against the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
and Jews. Hitler
Hitler
agreed, and the monks henceforth referred to him by this title until the authority of the Greek government was re-established near the end of the war.[20]

Military usage[edit] Führer
Führer
has been used as a military title (compare Latin
Latin
Dux) in Germany since at least the 18th century. The usage of the term "Führer" in the context of a company-sized military subunit in the German Army referred to a commander lacking the qualifications for permanent command. For example, the commanding officer of a company was (and is) titled "Kompaniechef" (literally, Company Chief), but if he did not have the requisite rank or experience, or was only temporarily assigned to command, he was officially titled "Kompanieführer". Thus operational commands of various military echelons were typically referred to by their formation title followed by the title Führer, in connection with mission-type tactics used by the German military forces. The term Führer
Führer
was also used at lower levels, regardless of experience or rank; for example, a Gruppenführer
Gruppenführer
was the leader of a squad of infantry (9 or 10 men). Under the Nazis, the title Führer
Führer
was also used in paramilitary titles (see Freikorps). Almost every Nazi paramilitary organization, in particular the SS and SA, had Nazi party paramilitary ranks incorporating the title of Führer. The SS including the Waffen-SS, like all paramilitary Nazi organisations, called all their members of any degree except the lowest Führer
Führer
of something; thus confusingly, "Gruppenführer" was also an official rank title for a specific grade of general. The word Truppenführer was also a generic word referring to any commander or leader of troops, and could be applied to NCOs or officers at many different levels of command. Modern German usage[edit] In Germany, the isolated word Führer
Führer
is usually avoided in political contexts, due to its intimate connection with Nazi institutions and with Hitler
Hitler
personally. However, the term -führer is used in many compound words. Examples include Bergführer (mountain guide), Fremdenführer (tourist guide), Geschäftsführer ( CEO or EO), Führerschein (driver's license), Führerstand or Führerhaus (driver's cab), Lok(omotiv)führer (train driver), Reiseführer (travel guide book), and Spielführer (team captain — also referred to as Mannschaftskapitän). The use of alternative terms like "Chef" (a borrowing from the French, as is the English "chief", e.g. Chef des Bundeskanzleramtes) or Leiter (often in compound words like Amtsleiter, Projektleiter or Referatsleiter) is usually not the result of replacing of the word "Führer", but rather using terminology that existed before the Nazis. The use of Führer
Führer
to refer to a political party leader is rare today and Vorsitzender (chairman) is the more common term. However, the word Oppositionsführer ("leader of the (parliamentary) opposition") is more commonly used. See also[edit] Soviet and Russian terminology related to Führer

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Fascism
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Nazi German terminology derived from Führer

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Other

List of German expressions in English Tenno Il Duce Supreme Leader
Leader
(other) President for Life Zucht und Ordnung

References[edit]

^ a b Thamer, Hans-Ulrich (2003). "Beginn der nationalsozialistischen Herrschaft (Teil 2)". Nationalsozialismus I (in German). Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2011.  ^ a b Winkler, Heinrich August. "The German Catastrophe 1933–1945". Germany: The Long Road West vol. 2: 1933–1990. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-0-19-926598-5. Retrieved 28 October 2011.  ^ Mitchell, Arthur H. (2007). Hitler's Mountain: The Führer, Obersalzberg, and the American Occupation of Berchtesgaden. Macfarland & Company Inc., Publishers, p. 15. ^ Die Aussenpolitik des Dritten Reiches 1933–1939, Rainer F. Schmidt, Klett-Cotta, 2002 ^ Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier Henry Picker, 5 March 2014 ^ Gesetz über das Staatsoberhaupt des Deutschen Reichs, 1 August 1934: "§ 1 The office of the Reichspräsident is merged with that of the Reichskanzler. Therefore the previous rights of the Reichspräsident pass over to the Führer
Führer
and Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler. He names his deputy." ^ " Führer
Führer
– Source".  ^ "NS-Archiv : Dokumente zum Nationalsozialismus : Adolf Hitler, Politisches Testament".  ^ "Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State (Part 4 of 55)".  ^ Joseph W. Bendersky (2007). A Concise History of Nazi Germany: 1919–1945. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 105–6.  ^ De Jong, Louis (1974) (in Dutch). Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de tweede wereldoorlog: Maart '41 – Juli '42, p. 181. M. Nijhoff. ^ Bramstedt, E. K. (2003). Dictatorship and Political Police: the Technique of Control by Fear, pp. 92-93. Routledge. ^ a b c De Jong 1974, pp. 199-200. ^ Adolf Hitler: Führer
Führer
aller Germanen. Storm, 1944. ^ "Münchener Studien zur Politik". Beck. 1 January 1969 – via Google Books.  ^ Toland, John (1977). Adolf Hitler, pp. 569-570. Book Club Associates, Doubleday & Company, Inc. ^ Kerschbaumer 1988, Faszination Drittes Reich: Kunst und Alltag der Kulturmetropole Salzburg, p. 53 ISBN 3-7013-0732-6 ^ Neumann, Bernhard Josef (2010) Däh, jetz ham mer den Kriech (da, jetzt haben wer den Krieg – 1939–1945), p. 401. Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt. ^ Erdmann, Karl Dietrich (1978). Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte: Deutschland unter der Herrschaft des Nationalsozialismus, p. 541. Klett. ^ "The Hitler
Hitler
Icon: How Mount Athos
Mount Athos
Honored the Führer". Retrieved 22 May 2013.

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of Führer
Führer
at Wiktionary

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Führer
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Headquarters

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(half-sister) Paula Hitler
Hitler
(sister) Leo Rudolf Raubal Jr. (half-nephew) Geli Raubal
Geli Raubal
(half-niece) William Patrick Stuart-Houston (half-nephew) Heinz Hitler
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(half-nephew) Pets: Blondi
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(dog)

Other

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Category

v t e

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Leader

Anton Drexler
Anton Drexler
(1919–1921) Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(1921–1945) Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann
(1945)

Related articles

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Derivatives

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