Frick, Wilhelm

(1877-1946)
   bureaucrat and politician; accommodated Hitler's* rise to prominence. Born to a schoolteacher in the Palatinate town of Alsenz, he studied law and earned a doctorate in 1901 at Heidelberg. He entered the civil service* in 1900 and became a lawyer with the Munich Police Com-mission in 1904. Although he was promoted to a judicial post in 1907, he retained his ties with the Munich police.
   Frick was appointed chief of Munich's political police in 1919. Backed by Police Commissioner Ernst Pohner, he used the position to support and en-courage the NSDAP; indeed, Hitler's* rise as a celebrated right-wing agitator would have been untenable without the aid of Munich's police. Frick contended that "we held our protective hand over Herr Hitler and the National Socialist Party* [because] we saw in them the seed for Germany's renewal." But Frick was not simply Hitler's protector; he participated in the abortive Beerhall Putsch.* Although a Munich court sentenced him to fifteen months' confinement for high treason, the sentence was suspended. In May 1924 he entered the Reichstag* as part of the National Socialist Freedom Movement (the NSDAP being banned). From 1926 until January 1930, and again from January 1932 until Hitler's seizure of power, he served in Munich's Security Office. Beginning in 1928, he led the NSDAP's Reichstag faction and during 1930-1931 held Thuringia's* portfolios for both the Interior and Education offices—the first Nazi to achieve any ministerial role in Germany. He was forced to resign the ministries in April 1931 when Thuringia's Landtag passed a vote of no confi-dence against him.
   Since Frick possessed the greatest political and administrative expertise among the leading Nazis, Hitler appointed him Interior Minister on 30 January 1933. One of the executors of Gleichschaltung, he united his office in 1934 with that of Prussian Interior Minister and thereafter retained the augmented position for ten years. When Heinrich Himmler* succeeded in ousting him in 1943, he became Minister without Portfolio and "Protector" of Bohemia and Moravia. He was condemned to death at Nuremberg.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Bracher, German Dictatorship; Neave, On Trial at Nuremberg; NDB, vol. 5.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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