Erich Klausener

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Erich Klausener (January 25, 1885, June 30, 1934) was a German Catholic politician who was killed in the "Night of the Long Knives", a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders.


Born in Düsseldorf to a strict Catholic family, Klausener followed his father's career in public service, serving for a time in the Prussian Ministry of Commerce. Klausener served as an artillery officer in Belgium, France and the This front of World War I; was awarded the Iron Cross second class in 1914 and with the Iron Cross First Class in 1917. The share of Klausener in boycott during the French occupancy Ruhr in 1923 and 1924 earned him a sentence of two months in prison.

From 1924, Klausener served in the Prussia n the Ministry of Welfare, and later headed the police division Ministry of Interior of that state. From 1928, Klausener became head of 'group' 'Katholische Aktion "(Catholic Action). Before 1933, Klausener strongly supported the police battle against illegal Nazi activities. After Adolf Hitler and Nazis came to power in 1933, Hermann Göring became minister-president of Prussia. Klausener is displaced from the ministry of transport of Prussia when Göring started its Nazify the Prussian police.

A close associate of Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, Klausener contributed to his address Marburg delivered on 17 June 1934. The speech, though moderate in tone, criticized the violence and repression that had place since Hitler became Chancellor. Klausener spoke at the Catholic Congress in the Berlin's Hoppegarten, June 24; improvised passionate repression of its opponents Nazi criticism was viewed by the Nazis as an open challenge.

Six days later, during the "Night of the Long Knives", SS officer Kurt Gildisch was ordered by Reinhard Heydrich to Klausener's office at the Ministry of Transport to shoot him. After the killing, Gildisch was promoted in rank to SS-Sturmbannführer.[1]

After the end of the Nazi regime and after World War II, a monument was erected to Klausener in Berlin. Since 1963, his ashes are buried in a grave in the Catholic Church Maria Regina Martyrum, in commemoration of the martyrs of the Nazi era.

Klausener relationship with the future Pope Pius XII has sometimes been controversial. While authors like Guenter Lewy have expressed criticism of Pius for not intervening more forcefully in the case, other authors like Joseph Bottum and David G. Dalin have presented a more positive assessment of the attitude of Pius XII during that time.




  1. Hoffmann, Peter (2000) [1979]. Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Führer 1921-1945, p. 49, ISBN 978-0-30680-947-7.
  2. The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, by Guenter Lewy
  3. The Pius war: responses to the critics of Pius XII, by J. Bottum, David G. Dalin

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