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Carl Friedrich Goerdeler

July 31, 1884 - February 02, 1945
Carl Friedrich Goerdeler Carl Friedrich Goerdeler 

Carl Friedrich Goerdeler had been mayor of Leipzig since 1930, and in the final phase of the Weimar Republic he also served as Reich commissar for price regulation. He was married to Anneliese Ulrich, with whom he had two daughters and three sons. He remained in office as mayor after the National Socialist takeover, and in 1934-35 he again assumed responsibility for price regulation, becoming a vocal critic of rearmament. From 1935 on, Goerdeler had a series of vehement disputes with the NSDAP. He tendered his resignation in 1936. After his dismissal as mayor in April 1937, Goerdeler worked as a consultant for the Bosch corporation and traveled extensively throughout Germany and abroad. In doing so, he attempted to win support for the oppositional goals of his anti-National Socialist policies. From 1938 on, Goerdeler became the focus of the civilian resistance circles. Goerdeler was designated to become chancellor following the successful assassination of Hitler. Goerdeler initially criticized specific manifestations of Hitler's armaments and economic policy in numerous memoranda during the late 1930s, warning that the consequences of these policies would necessarily lead to war. Primarily for the benefit of his political friends, he later drafted position papers for discussion regarding basic issues of the reorganization of political life in Germany following a successful coup. Some of these papers were the subject of heated controversy. He proposed a renewal of political life based on extensive political autonomy, albeit autonomy defined by social class. Goerdeler was wanted by the Gestapo even before July 20, 1944, and was forced to go underground. He initially succeeded in avoiding arrest after the attempted coup but within a short time was reported to the authorities. On September 8, 1944, he was sentenced to death by the People's Court under Roland Freisler. On Hitler's orders, he was only murdered in Berlin-Plötzensee five months later on February 2, 1945, after undergoing exhaustive interrogations and preparing written statements describing the proposed new order.