Arthur Seyss-Inquart (22 July 1892 – 16 October 1946) was an Austrian Nazi Party official who served as the last Chancellor of the First Republic of Austria. His term lasted only for two days – 11–13 March 1938 – before the Anschluss merged Austria with Nazi Germany; on the last day, he also served as the Acting President. During World War II, he served the Third Reich in the General Government of occupied Poland and as Reichskommissar in the Netherlands, which made him the de facto head of government. In all capacities, Seyss-Inquart was an enthusiastic participant in anti-Semitic policies and furtherance of the Holocaust.
Before he committed suicide, Adolf Hitler dictated his will, which appointed Seyss-Inquart to the office of foreign minister, not that it mattered at this stage. For his part, Seyss-Inquart led a tenacious defense of the Netherlands throughout 1944 and into 1945. He was captured on 7 May 1945. He was a defendant at the Nuremberg Trials where he was convicted, and executed by hanging in 1946.
Arthur Seyss-Inquart in The Man With the Iron Heart
Arthur Seyss-Inquart was one of nearly two dozen German officials who were captured by the Allies at the end of World War II. The Allies sought to try Seyss-Inquart and the other men for war crimes. These plans were stopped twice by the German Freedom Front, first in November 1945 when the GFF destroyed the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg and second in 1946, when the GFF destroyed the American residency zone in Frankfurt with a radium bomb.
In 1947, the Soviets decided to try the officials in their zone. The GFF prevented this by crashing a plane into the courthouse, killing all the lawyers and judges, but leaving the accused unharmed.
Arthur Seyss-Inquart in "The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging"
When talking about her life with a group of eighth-graders from Junipero Middle School in 2013, Anne Berkowitz referenced Arthur Seyss-Inquart, and the fact that so many of the Dutch people hated him that they were willing to keep Jews such as Berkowitz and her family safe.
Berkowitz also held Seyss-Inquart responsible for the Hunger Winter of 1944.
|Chancellor of Austria
March 11-13, 1938
Title next held byKarl Renner
|Federal President of the Federal State of Austria|
13 March 1938
Joachim von Ribbentrop
|Foreign Minister of Germany
April 30-May 2, 1945
Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk
Alexander von Falkenhausen (military governor)
|Reichskommissar for the Occupied Dutch Territories
29 May 1940 – 7 May 1945