Klopfer was born in Schreibersdorf, Silesia (now in Poland), in 1905. He studied law and economics and in 1931 became a judge in Düsseldorf, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, he joined the Nazi Party and the SA (Sturmabteilung) along with the Gestapo (Secret State Police) the following year. In 1935, he became a member of Rudolf Hess's staff and the SS (Schutzstaffel) with the honorary SS rank of Oberführer (Senior Colonel). In 1938, he became responsible for the seizing of Jewish businesses for questions about mixed marriages between Gentile and Jewish Germans and general questions about occupation of foreign states.
As State Secretary of the Parteikanzlerei (Party Chancellery), Klopfer represented Bormann, who was head of the Parteikanzlei, at the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942 in which the details of the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" were formalised, policies that culminated in the Holocaust. Along with Helmuth Friedrichs Klopfer was the highest-ranking bureaucrat behind Bormann in the Chancellery. This position gave him extensive power of patronage within the Nazi Party as Bormann often left appointments to party positions to Klopfer and Friedrichs.
As the Red Army closed in on Berlin in 1945, Klopfer fled the city. He was captured and imprisoned and was charged with war crimes but was released for lack of evidence. He became a tax advisor in the city of Ulm (Baden-Württemberg). He was the last surviving attendee of the Wannsee Conference, dying in 1987.
References[edit | edit source]
- Dietrich Orlow, The History of the Nazi Party 1933-1945 Volume 2, David & Charles, 1973, p. 426
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gerhard Klopfer.|
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|