Military Wiki
Karl Holz
Gauleiter of Gau Franconia

In office
November 1944 – 20 April 1945
Preceded by Himself
Succeeded by Office abolished

In office
19 March 1942 – November 1944
Preceded by Hans Zimmermann
Succeeded by Himself
Personal details
Born (1895-12-27)27 December 1895
Nuremberg, German Empire
Died 20 April 1945(1945-04-20) (aged 49)
Nuremberg, Nazi Germany
Political party Nazi Party
Other political
German Socialist Party
Military service
Allegiance  German Empire
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Germany Army
SA-Logo.svg Sturmabteilung
Years of service 1915–1918
Rank Gruppenführer
Unit Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 16
Infanterie-Regiment 144
Infanterie-Regiment 79
Jäger-Regiment 2
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Karl Holz (27 December 1895 in Nuremberg – 20 April 1945 in Nuremberg) was a German Nazi Party politician. He was Gauleiter of Gau Franconia and rose to the rank of Gruppenführer in the Sturmabteilung (SA).


He was born the fifth child of a heliographer, also named Karl Holz. He finished Volksschule and an apprenticeship as a salesman, working thereafter as a clerk.

During World War I, Holz served in a number of prussian units between 1915 and 1918: Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 16, Infanterie-Regiment 144, Infanterie-Regiment 79, and Jäger-Regiment 2 on the Western Front. He sustained a number of wounds. After the war ended, he returned in September 1919 and took a job as an official in Nuremberg. In 1920 he joined the German-Socialist Party (Deutschsozialistische Partei). In 1921 its chairman, Julius Streicher joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP), bringing with him enough members of the German-Socialist Party to almost double the size of the NSDAP overnight.[1][2] Holz officially joined the Nazi Party on 11 November 1922 and his membership number was 77. Holz joined the Sturmabteilung (SA).

Quite early on, Holz established a close relationship with Streicher. In 1924, Holz was elected to Nuremberg City Council, which he quit the following year. Between 1927 and 1933, he held the post of editor-in-chief of Der Stürmer, Streicher's anti-Semitic weekly newspaper. In 1933 he was given the position of ministerial adviser.

As of 1 January 1934, Holz operated as Streicher's representative in his capacity as Gauleiter of Franconia. In July 1934, Holz was appointed NSDAP Kreis leader of Nuremberg-town, and in November was promoted to the rank of SA-Brigadeführer.

In 1940, in connection with the Streicher irregularities involving the Aryanization of Jewish assets, Holz was temporarily stripped of all his offices. Appointed Reich Defence Commissar of Franconia as of November 1942, he was also assigned the Gau leadership on 8 March 1943. Although Streicher was still Gauleiter, Adolf Hitler appointed Holz as such in November 1944.

After American troops of the 3rd Infantry Division had all but taken Nuremberg on 18 April 1945, Holz barricaded himself in the Palmenhofbunker at the Nuremberg Police Presidium along with a small group, among whom was the city's mayor, Willy Liebel. It has been assumed that Holz shot Liebel in the Palmenhofbunker owing to the latter's efforts to surrender the city to put a stop to the fighting, and because there had been a rivalry between the two men for years over who should have the power within the local Nuremberg Nazi Party. Holz met his own end in the same place on 20 April – coincidentally Hitler's birthday – but whether it was suicide or an injury sustained in the battle is unknown.[3]

Akin to his predecessor as Gauleiter, Julius Streicher, Holz boasted many penalties for political crimes (by his own count 17, and among those 5 prison sentences). The Gauleiter office in Upper Franconia, which was already much striven-after even before the Nazis seized power, was successfully disputed by the Bayreuth Kreisleiter Hans Schemm, despite Streicher's support for Holz.



  • Evans, Richard J. (2003). The Coming of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-303469-3. 
  • Fest, Joachim (1974). Hitler. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.. ISBN 0-15-141650-8. 
  • Miller, Michael D. and Schulz, Andreas (2012). Gauleiter: The Regional Leaders of the Nazi Party and Their Deputies, 1925-1945 (Herbert Albreacht-H. Wilhelm Huttmann)-Volume 1, R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 978-1932970210
  • Rees, Laurence (2017). The Holocaust: A New History. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-61039-844-2. 

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