|Gau of Nazi Germany|
|Nazi Germany showing its administrative|
subdivisions (Gaue and Reichsgaue). Gau Franken in dark brown.
|•||1940–1942 (acting)||Hans Zimmermann|
|•||1942–1944 (acting)||Karl Holz|
|•||Establishment||30 January 1933|
|•||Disestablishment||8 May 1945|
|•||17 May 1939||1,065,122|
|Today part of||Germany|
Gau Franconia (German: Gau Franken) was an administrative division of Nazi Germany in Middle Franconia, Bavaria, from 1933 to 1945. Before that, from 1926 to 1933, it was the regional subdivision of the Nazi Party in that area.
The Nazi Gau (plural Gaue) system was originally established in a party conference on 22 May 1926, in order to improve administration of the party structure. From 1933 onward, after the Nazi seizure of power, the Gaue increasingly replaced the German states as administrative subdivisions in Germany.
At the head of each Gau stood a Gauleiter, a position which became increasingly more powerful, especially after the outbreak of the Second World War, with little interference from above. Local Gauleiter often held government positions as well as party ones and were in charge of, among other things, propaganda and surveillance and, from September 1944 onward, the Volkssturm and the defense of the Gau.
The position of Gauleiter in Franken was originally held by Julius Streicher until 1940 when he was removed from the position. Streicher was later executed for crimes against humanity on 16 October 1946. The position of Gauleiter was not filled again until 1944, with Hans Zimmermann (1940–42) and Karl Holz (1942–44) being the acting Gauleiter. Holz officially took up the post in 1944 and held it until his own death in April 1945.
- Bayrisches Landesamt für Statistik, accessed 26 June 2008.
- "Die NS-Gaue" [The Nazi Gaue]. dhm.de (in German). Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "The Organization of the Nazi Party & State". nizkor.org. The Nizkor Project. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- "Gau Franken". verwaltungsgeschichte.de (in German). Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "Übersicht der NSDAP-Gaue, der Gauleiter und der Stellvertretenden Gauleiter zwischen 1933 und 1945" [Overview of Nazi Gaue, the Gauleiter and assistant Gauleiter from 1933 to 1945]. zukunft-braucht-erinnerung.de (in German). Zukunft braucht Erinnerung. Retrieved 24 March 2016.