|Gau of Nazi Germany|
|Today part of||Germany Poland|
The Gau Silesia (German: Gau Schlesien) was an administrative division of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1941 in the Prussian Province of Silesia. From 1926 to 1933, it was the regional subdivision of the Nazi Party for these area. The Gau was split into Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia in 1941. The majority of the former Gau became part of Poland after the Second World War, with small parts in the far west becoming part of the future East Germany.
The Nazi Gau (plural Gaue) system was originally established in a party conference on 22 May 1926, in order to improve administration of the party structure. From 1933 onwards, after the Nazi seizure of power, the Gaue increasingly replaced the German states as administrative subdivisions in Germany.
At the head of each Gau stood a Gauleiter, a position which became increasingly more powerful, especially after the outbreak of the Second World War, with little interference from above. Local Gauleiter often held government positions as well as party ones and were in charge of, among other things, propaganda and surveillance and, from September 1944 onward, the Volkssturm and the defense of the Gau.
The position of Gauleiter in Silesia was held by Helmuth Brückner from 1926 to 1934 and Josef Wagner from 1934 to 1941. Brückner was removed from his position after the Night of the Long Knives and expelled from the Nazi Party. He died in Soviet captivity after the war. His successor Wagner, who was also Gauleiter of Westphalia-South, was stripped of his Gauleiter position in 1941 and expelled from the Nazi Party. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 died in May 1945 under unclear circumstances.
- Gauliga Schlesien, the highest association football league in the Gauliga from 1933 to 1941
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