|Gauleiter of Gau Franconia|
November 1944 – 20 April 1945
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
19 March 1942 – November 1944
|Preceded by||Hans Zimmermann|
|Born||27 December 1895|
Nuremberg, German Empire
|Died||20 April 1945 (aged 49)|
Nuremberg, Nazi Germany
|Political party||Nazi Party|
|German Socialist Party|
|Allegiance|| German Empire|
|Service/branch|| Germany Army|
|Years of service||1915–1918|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
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. 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.
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 2003, p. 188.
- Rees 2017, p. 23.
- "Holz, Karl" (in German). Bayerische Landesbibliothek. http://verwaltungshandbuch.bayerische-landesbibliothek-online.de/holz-karl.
- 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. https://archive.org/details/hitler00joac.
- 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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