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Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2006-1128-501, Berlin, "Fest der deutschen Reise"

Hermann Esser (29 July 1900 – 7 February 1981) entered the Nazi party with Adolf Hitler in 1920, became the editor of the Nazi paper, Völkischer Beobachter, and a Nazi member of the Reichstag. In the early history of the party, he was Hitler's de facto deputy.

Esser was born in Röhrmoos, Kingdom of Bavaria. He did service in World War I in the Kgl. Bayerischen 19, Fussartillerie-Regiment and was for a short time a Social Democrat.

He was an effective public speaker and was the Nazi party's first chief of propaganda. After the Beer Hall Putsch fiasco, he was excluded from the party, along with Julius Streicher, under the temporary leadership of the Strassers. He was a renowned pervert and after being involved in a scandal in which he sexually assaulted the underage daughter of a businessman, disgusted other top Nazis, leading to his suspension from the organisation. Even Hitler said of him: 'I know Esser is a scoundrel, but I shall hold on to him as long as he is useful to me.' But he knew too much to be cast aside, and Hitler gave him various minor roles in the party. He was a good public speaker and was later re-admitted by Hitler and became influential in the reorganisation of the party. From 1929 to 1933, he was the party's floor leader in Munich's city council. Afterwards, he became a member of the Reichstag and Bavaria's minister of economics. From 1939 to the end of the war he served as the undersecretary for tourism in the Reich propaganda ministry.

He was imprisoned twice for a total of four years and died in Dietramszell, Bavaria aged 80 in 1981.


  • Gauleiter: The Regional Leaders Of The Nazi Party And Their Deputies, 1925-1945 (Herbert Albrecht-H. Wilhelm Huttmann)-Volume 1 by Michael D. Miller and Andreas Schulz R. James Bender Publishing, 2012.

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