Albert Maria Forster


1902, July 26 (Bavaria, Germany)




Politician: Gauleiter of Danzig-West Prussia (1935-1944), Governor of the Generalgouvernement (1944-1961), Reichsminister for the Colonies (from 1961)




A member of the NSDAP and SA from the age of 21, Forster rose through the ranks to become Gauleiter of Danzig-West Prussia in 1935. During the war, the Germanization campaign in his Gau was so successful that he was appointed to replace Hans Frank as Governor of Generalgouvernement of the occupied Polish territories (the former Poland) in 1944.

Here again, Germanization proceeded rapidly under his direction, and in March 1961 the Generalgouvernement was abolished, its territory fully integrated into the Reich as a number of new Gaue by 1965. Forster, still a relatively young man, joined the German cabinet (the Government of National Concentration) as head of the Colonial Ministry (formerly the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories).

Forster had a long-standing rivalry with the Gauleiter of neighbouring Warthegau, Arthur Greiser. This rivalry ended in 1944 with Greiser's execution for his role in the Himmler-Putsch. Greiser had been a protege of Himmler, and reliant on the support of the most extreme sections of the SS, purged after the 1944 putsch.