Born in 1907 in Prussia, Germany, to a German father and an Anglo-American mother, Baldur von Schirach joined the NSDAP in 1925, becoming head of the Hitler Jugend in 1933. Personally attractive and popular, regarded as both a moderate and something of an idealist, and a sincere believer in the values of the NSDAP. After a long period as Education Minister in the Government of National Concentration, von Schirach became Chancellor in 1962 amid a brief political struggle with Arthur Seyss-Inquart, replacing Alfred Rosenberg. He was the nominee of the new Reichsprasident, Erwin Rommel, and of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, Arthur Nebe. He was in turn replaced by Albert Speer in 1973.

The early years of his Chancellorship saw him consolidating his power through the removal of the supporters of Seyss-Inquart from office, greatly assisted by the support of Arthur Nebe. He continued many of Rosenberg's colonial policies, and oversaw the dissolution of the Generalgouvernment and the full integration of the former Poland into the Reich. He relaxed some of the more draconian laws in effect in the Protectorates of Bohemia and Moravia. His premiership also saw the first major use of Germany's colonial troops outside the German sphere, in the Empires of other great powers, specifically those of France and Great Britain.