Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Greiser file photo [8144]

Arthur Greiser

Given NameArthur
Born22 Jan 1897
Died14 Jul 1946
CountryGermany, Danzig


ww2dbaseArthur Greiser was born in Schroda, Posen, in the Kingdom of Prussia to a minor local official. In 1903, he began to study at the Könglich-Humanistische Gymnasium (Royal Humanities College) in Hohensalza, Posen. In Aug 1914, he joined the navy, and in 1917 became a naval aviator. For his WW1 service on the Western Front, he earned the Iron Class medal, First and Second Class, among others. After WW1, he returned home to Posen, which was now part of Poland, and developed prejudice against the Polish people. Between 1919 and May 1921, he was a member of the para-military Freikorps Grenzschutz Ost organization. He joined the Nazi Party and SA on 1 Nov 1929, and became a part of the SS on 30 Jun 1931. In 1935, he became the Senate President of the Free City of Danzig. On 8 Sep 1939, after Germany invaded Poland, he was named the head of the military government in Poland. On 21 and 26 Oct, he was appointed the Gauleiter and administrator of Reichsgau Posen (renamed Wartheland on 29 Jan 1940), positions he would hold until the end of the war. Before the European War began, he was among the key Nazi German figures that provoked Poland to deteriorate relations. He removed Polish civilians from successive regions and resettled them with Germans, 350,000 of whom were ethnic German refugees from Eastern European nations occupied by Russia; some of the people removed were executed systematically, while others were deported to the east. A Polish servant working for Greiser in this period described

you could see his arrogance, his conceit. He was so vain, so full of himself-as if there was nothing above him, a god, almost. Everybody tried to get out of his way, people had to bow to him, salute him. And the Poles, he treated them with great contempt. For him the Poles were slaves, good for nothing, but work.

ww2dbaseGreiser authorized the formation of SS detachments that essentially acted as mobile execution squads that murdered Jews, mental patients, and other groups deemed subhuman by Nazi philosophies. Wilhelm Koppe, an ardent Nazi subordinate to Greiser, was the man placed in charge of the Holocaust, who between late 1941 and Apr 1942 alone killed 150,000 Jews using gas vans. Greiser was fully aware of the efforts and results of the mass murders. On 20 Jan 1945, he was contacted by Martin Bormann, notifying Adolf Hitler's orders for him to flee from Reichsgau Wartheland, though he was to instruct his troops to hold the Fortress City of Posen at all costs; Posen fell under Russian control on 28 Jan. He surrendered to the Americans in Austria near the end of the European War. He was tried by the Polish Supreme National Tribunal after the war. His defense against war crimes charges was that he was following orders from above, but he was still found guilty of several charges, including genocide, torture, and the systematic destruction of Polish culture and identity. He was executed by hanging on slope of Fort Winiary in Poznan (restored Polish name of what Germans formerly referred to as Posen) in what would become the last public execution in Polish history.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2009


Danzig Senate President Greiser and his wife taking a walk in their garden, Free City of Danzig, 1936Danzig Senate President Greiser and his wife at a ball, 5 Nov 1937
See all 14 photographs of Arthur Greiser

Arthur Greiser Timeline

22 Jan 1897 Arthur Greiser was born.
1 Nov 1930 Arthur Greiser joined the Nazi Party.
30 Jun 1931 Arthur Greiser joined the SS organization of the Nazi Party.
8 Sep 1939 Arthur Greiser was named the head of the military government in Poland.
21 Oct 1939 Arthur Greiser was named the Gauleiter of Reichsgau Posen.
26 Oct 1939 Arthur Greiser became the administrator of Reichsgau Posen in occupied Poland.
7 Mar 1944 German Gauleiter Arthur Greiser, governor of the Wartheland in occupied Poland, reported to Heinrich Himmler that the Jewish population of Warthegau had nearly been wiped out.
20 Jan 1945 Martin Bormann ordered Arthur Greiser to flee Reichsgau Wartheland.
22 Jun 1946 The trial against Arthur Greiser at the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland began.
7 Jul 1946 The trial against Arthur Greiser at the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland ended.
14 Jul 1946 Arthur Greiser passed away.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
3 Nov 2013 09:39:58 AM

they acted like they were gods ---they had the guns and ammo strength--but were sheer cowards inside--yes---they did treat the many peoples with such disdain and contempt--like they were'''the #1 raace....BUT--when they lost and got caught---they killed themselves (some) ran like cowards and cried --YES cried like big babies---the once tough boot kickin' *** -sholes CRIED LIKE BIG BABIES!!!!!! SO REMEMBER------they only act supreme because it is all outer--inside they are mush......
2. Anonymous says:
7 Jan 2016 04:05:08 AM

thats my family member. Lay off.
3. Stephaie Greiser says:
21 Oct 2023 09:19:44 AM

just learned im related to him and im trying to back track

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on Arthur Greiser
Event(s) Participated:
» The Danzig Crisis

» No. 26: Message from Greiser to the Polish Commissioner-General

Arthur Greiser Photo Gallery
Danzig Senate President Greiser and his wife taking a walk in their garden, Free City of Danzig, 1936Danzig Senate President Greiser and his wife at a ball, 5 Nov 1937
See all 14 photographs of Arthur Greiser

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!