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Philip Bouhler

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A powerful but obscure figure in Nazi German, Philip Bouhler (1899-1945) (also Philipp and Philippe) was an early Nazi whose influence grew through his administrative skills, until he reached his final position as head of the Chancellery of the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler's personal secretariat. In that role, he carried out secret projects such as directing the Nazi euthanasia program. Little is known because he and his wife committed suicide before capture at the end of the war, so that he never came to trial.

After service in World War I, he worked with several publishing companies, and also studied philosophy at the University of Munich. Leaving academia in 1922, he joined the staff of the Völkischer Beobachter, and was Party Secretary in 1924-1925, as part of the Munich faction. As Secretary, he tried to establish centralized control, to the objections of the northern faction that would become the Working Association of the North and West. [1] Northern leaders including Joseph Goebbels issued their own membership cards in defiance of Bouhler, accused him of not understanding local conditions, and also accused the headquarters of not helping field activities. They said it was impossible to expect their members to pay local and national fees.[2]

In 1925, he became business manager for the Nazi Party. He held that role until 1935, being elected to the Reichstag in 1933 as well as receiving the high party rank of Reichsleiter.[3]


  1. Ian Kershaw (2000), Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubris, W.W. Norton, p. 274
  2. Joseph Nyomarkay (1967), Charisma and Factionalism in the Nazi Party, University of Minnesota Press, p. 79
  3. Robert Solomon Wistrich (2002), Who's who in Nazi Germany, Psychology Press, p. 11