Martin Bormann (1900-1945) waa an exremely powerful Nazi administrator, as head of the Chancellery of the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler's private secretary. He was unaccounted at the end of the Second World War but tried and condemned in absentia by the International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg); now generally believed to have died during the final breakout from Hitler's bunker in Berlin.
Bormann, who was unpopular with most other officials, derived his power from being indispensable to Hitler. Of the three Chancelleries, the Chancellery of the Fuehrer under Philip Bouhler and the Chancellery of the Reich under Hans Lammers, his accumulated the most authority.
He served briefly in a World War I artillery regiment, and, after the war, joined the Freikorps Rossbach, and the Fehme killings. In March 1924, he was sentenced a year in prison, as an accomplice of Rudolf Hess in the brutal, vengeance murder of Walther Kadow (his former teacher at elementary school), who had supposedly betrayed the proto-Nazi martyr Leo Schlageter to the French occupation authorities in the Ruhr.
On leaving prison, he joined the Nazi Party, becoming its regional press officer in Thuringia and then business manager in 1928. From 1928 to 1930 he was attached to the SA Supreme Command and in October 1933 he became a Reichsleiter of the NSDAP, the highest party rank. In November, he was elected to the Reichstag.
From July 1933 until 1941 Bormann was the Chief of Cabinet in the Office of the Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess, acting as his personal secretary. When Hess flew to Britain, Bormann avoided involvment, and, while never named Deputy Fuehrer, took over Hess' declining authority and began to increase it.