Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk was in Adolf Hitler’sfirst cabinet as Reich Minister of Finance. Von Krosigk was an ardent Nazi and even served in the short-lived Dönitz government.


Krosigk was born on August 22nd 1887. After school, he attended Lausanne University where he studied law and politics. After this Krosigk became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. In 1909 he started a legal career having qualified as a barrister. From 1909 to 1910 Krosigk served in the 2ndPomeranian Uhlans Regiment as part of his one-year voluntary service. During World War One, Krosigk served in the trenches and was awarded the Iron Cross First and Second classes. After the end of the war, he served as a government assessor in Hindenburg and from 1921 to 1932 Krosigk held a number of positions in the Ministry of Finance.


On June 2nd 1932, Franz von Papen named Krosigk as his Finance Minister. He maintained this post throughout the life of the Third Reich. His special brief under Hitler was financing rearmament. In 1935 Krosigk was given the legal authority to raise money through loans and credit – even if the money was to finance weapons of warfare. Krosigk clashed with Schacht over how best to raise money for rearmament.


Krosigk believed that Hitler’s campaign against the Jews was justified. On the day after Krystalnacht he said:


“We must do all we can to shove the Jews into other countries.”


In the final days of the Third Reich Donitz named Krosigk as Foreign Minister in what was effectively an inconsequential government.


In 1949, Krosigk was tried before a court at Nuremburg and found guilty of war crimes. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but released in 1951.


Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk died in 1952.


September 2012