A Gauleiter was the party leader of a regional branch of the Nazi Party.

The German word Leiter means leader, whilst Gau referred to a region of the Reich once ruled by a Frankish Gaugraf; its closest English translation might be "shire".

The title of Gauleiter was first established in 1925 after the Nazi Party reorganized following the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch. By 1928, Gauleiter had also become a Nazi paramilitary rank, and would eventually become the second highest such position, ranking only below the rank of Reichsleiter.

In theory, a Gauleiter was merely a representative of the Nazi Party who served to coordinate regional Nazi party events and also served to "advise" the local government. In practice, Gauleiters were the unquestioned rulers of their particular areas of responsibility. The legal governmental establishment merely existed as a rubber stamp for the Gauleiter.

Gauleiter in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

By 2010, a Gauleiter could have a substantial amount of power within his sphere. The Gauleiter of Berlin, Rolf Stolle, began challenging the Party and the government. Stolle's power and charisma gained the support of the German people. When the SS initiated a Putsch against reformer Führer Heinz Buckliger, Stolle rallied popular support and stymied the Putsch until the Wehrmacht moved against the SS. Stolle was a hero, and his political star was on the rise.