Danzig Nazi HQ

In late May 1933, the nazis won a crushing victory at the elections in the free city of Danzig (now Gdansk). The supreme Nazi leader of the Danzig Albert Forster thus obtained a power base from which he could infiltrate the rule of the free city. Danzig had been a free city since 1920, with a form of shared rule between Germany and Poland under the auspices of the League of Nations. The city remained a strong Nazi stronghold and a catalyst for the outbreak of the second world war in September 1939.

Hitler demanded that Danzig and the corridor that cut Germany off from East Prussia be returned to the German empire. Hitler had in October 1930 appointed Forster as Gauleiter (highest Nazi political leader) in the free city of Danzig. As Gauleiter, Forster was only responsible to Hitler, which gave him a great influence and political advantage over potential competitors, including against Arthur Greiser who was outmaneuvered in the fall of 1939. Greiser became Gauleiter in the Wartheland.

In October 1939, the free city was dissolved and became part of the district of Danzig-Western Prussia. The district was incorporated into the German empire and Hitler appointed Forster as Governor and Gauleiter. Forster was thus Hitler’s extended arm with the task of ensuring that Nazi politics and ideology were introduced with the means required by the task. Forster became directly responsible for the crimes the Nazis committed in the district between 1939 and 1945. Among other things, for the massacres carried out on Polish citizens and the deportations of both jews and poles to other areas or camps.

Within the district was also the Stutthof concentration camp where about 100,000 people were imprisoned between 1939 and 1945. Although the camp was under the control of the SS and Forster thus had no direct responsibility over the camp, as Gauleiter he was involved in its establishment. His office and staff placed Forster in a larger fashionable villa just outside the city center. At the end of the war Forster fled westward but was captured by the English. He was extradited to Poland, where he was tried and sentenced to death. He was hanged at the Mokotow prison in Warsaw in 1952.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished (2021).

Location: 54°21' 51.00" N 18°38' 06.58" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

When I visited the villa it was dilapidated and surrounded by a high fence to keep people out. Could not see that there was any kind of activity so the feeling is that its future is uncertain. Either it will probably be demolished or it has been bought by some wealthy person who lets renovate the house. Museum is most unlikely, there is a lot of museums in and around Gdansk about the Second World War.

Follow up in books: Miller, Michael D: Gauleiter: The Regional Leaders of the Nazi Party and their Deputies, 1925-1945 (2012).