Gregor Strasser

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We National Socialists want the economic revolution involving the nationalization of the economy...We want in place of an exploitative capitalist economic system a real socialism, maintained not by a soulless Jewish-materialist outlook but by the believing, sacrificial, and unselfish old German community sentiment, community purpose and economic feeling. We want the social revolution in order to bring about the national revolution.
~ Strasser in a 1925 speech to the Reichstag.

Gregor Strasser (German: Gregor Straßer) (31st May 1892 - 30th June 1934) was a senior German politician from 1922 - 1933.

Biography

Strasser was born in Upper Bavaria in 1892. When World War I broke out in 1914, Strasser and his brother Otto joined the Imperial German Army, with Strasser being promoted to Oberleutnant and winning the Iron Cross medal for bravery. He and his brother later joined a paramilitary unit in 1919, with Strasser participating in the Kapp Putsch, a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Germany. The group later merged with the political party known as the NSDAP in in 1920. Strasser became an official member of the NSDAP (known as the Nazi Party for short) and its paramilitary wing the Sturmabteilung in 1922.

In 1923, party leader Adolf Hitler and his ally Erich Ludendorff unsuccessfully attempted a coup known as the Munich Putsch, or Beer Hall Putsch, in which Strasser played an active role, recruiting soldiers to fight for the NSDAP. He was arrested for this and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. However, he was released from jail after a few weeks as he had been elected a member of the Bavarian Parliament. He later won a seat in the Reichstag, the German seat of government, in 1924, making Heinrich Himmler his assistant. When the Nazi Party was reformed following its dissolution after the Beer Hall Putsch, Strasser was appointed Gauleiter of Munich and Bayreuth, and became head of the party's propaganda.

In 1930, Strasser entered into conflict with Hitler after his propaganda newspaper, the Nationaler Sozialist, began pushing Strasser's own idea of Nazism which espoused anti-Capitalism and Socialism. As a result, Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels head of propaganda, allowing Goebbels to ban the publication of the Nationaler Sozialist. Hitler later forced the Reichstag to publicly condemn Strasser after he attempted to form a coalition with his rival Kurt von Schleicher. As a result Strasser resigned his post in 1933. The same year, the Nazis, who had by this point taken power, discovered that Strasser had been offered a seat in the Weimar Government, and decided to execute him in the purge known as the Night of the Long Knives. After being arrested, Strasser was shot in his cell by a member of the Schutzstaffel on the 30th of June 1933. Although shot in a main artery, Strasser did not die instantly, and general Reinhard Heydrich, who was present at the time, ordered that he be left to bleed to death, which took almost an hour.