Hermann Giesler

Hermann Giesler

German architect during Nazi times
Date of Birth: 02.04.1898
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Hermann Giesler
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Architectural Career
  4. Later Career and Controversy
  5. Post-War Life
  6. Later Years and Legacy

Biography of Hermann Giesler

Hermann Giesler was a German architect during the Nazi era and was one of two architects who gained special favor from Adolf Hitler. Alongside Albert Speer, Giesler received numerous awards and special appointments from the Führer.

Hermann Giesler

Early Life and Education

Hermann Giesler was born on April 2, 1898, in Siegen, Nordrhein, Germany. He completed his architectural studies at the Academy for Applied Arts in Munich and began working as an independent architect in 1930.

Hermann Giesler

Architectural Career

In 1933, Giesler became responsible for building construction in the Sonthofen area. He was promoted to the position of professor of architecture in 1937. In 1938, Giesler designed the 'Ordensburg' barracks building in Sonthofen, which Hitler used for training military personnel. One of the most famous students at the 'Ordensburg' was actor Hardy Krüger. During the war, the barracks also served as a military hospital. Giesler was also involved in the reconstruction of various buildings, including the 'Elephant' hotel in Weimar. In 1938, he received a commission to build Hitler's house in Munich, and the same year, Hitler appointed Giesler as the chief building inspector for the reconstruction of Munich.

Later Career and Controversy

Giesler later became the director of the Todt Organization, a military construction group, and subsequently served as one of the directors of Working Group VI. In 1941, Giesler received an order from Hitler to develop a plan for the reconstruction of the entire city of Linz, which he began working on in 1942. He became a member of the Reichstag in August 1943.

Giesler joined the Nazi Party in 1941 on behalf of the Todt Organization. He led Einsatzgruppe 'Russia North' from 1942 to 1944 and served as the chief of Einsatzgruppe VI. Throughout World War II, Giesler and Speer frequently engaged in heated disputes regarding different architectural styles.

Post-War Life

In September 1944, Giesler was named one of the most important masters of the Reich on the Nazi's 'Gottbegnadeten-Liste' ('God-gifted list'). However, in 1945, he was arrested by the American army and interned as a Nazi. Giesler was charged in 1946, and in 1947, an American military court found him guilty of war crimes in the Mühldorf concentration camp, a subcamp of Dachau.

Giesler, Hitler's personal architect, was sentenced to life imprisonment, but on May 6, 1948, the sentence was reduced to 25 years. Subsequently, on July 7, 1951, his sentence was further reduced to 12 years. Giesler was released on October 18, 1952, and settled in Düsseldorf, where he worked as an independent architect and writer from 1953 onwards.

Later Years and Legacy

Giesler published his autobiography and also released a work titled 'Ein anderer Hitler' ('Another Hitler'), in which he shared his personal relationship with the dictator. Hermann Giesler passed away on January 20, 1987, in Düsseldorf.