There were Reichstag elections in 1933 (twice), 1936 and 1938. There was an election for Berlin's city parliament in March 1933 (as seems to have been the case everywhere in Prussia), but apparently Berlin's municipal parliament stopped convening in June, 1933, and elsewhere these bodies seem to quickly have become meaningless as well. I have not found evidence for local or regional elections after March, 1933.

Does this mean there never were any local or regional elections after 1933? How were mayors and the like appointed in Nazi Germany?

(For some very rough analogies, East Germany was another (essentially) one-party state with no legal opposition and did have local and regional elections roughly every five years. The Soviet Union also seems to have had local elections regularly, though I find it a bit hard to find info on local elections for the Soviet Union as well)

1 Answer 1


Under the terms of the Enabling Act of 1933 the Reichstag on March 31, 1933, passed the First Gleichschaltung [Synchronization] Law which:

[D]issolved the diets of all Länder (except the recently elected Prussian parliament, which the Nazis already controlled);

[O]rdered the state diets reconstituted on the basis of the votes in the last Reichstag election (with the exception of Communist seats); and

gave the state governments the same powers the Reich government possessed under the Enabling Act.

On April 7, 1933, the "Second Gleichschaltung Law" was passed, appointing one Reichsstatthalter, or Reichs Governor, in every state other than Prussia. Reperting to Interior Minister Wilhem Frick, these officials had "near-complete control over the state governments.".


Updates from the comments (comments being ephemeral, and all that) below

  • Per Jan:
    "[T]he state parliaments were ... abolished in January 1934" by the Law on the Rebuilding of the Empire:

    Through the Reich Reconstruction Act, the sovereignty of the states of the German Reich , which were now directly subordinate to the Reich government, was abolished . This led to an intensification of imperial power and a loss of the quality of the state in the states.

  • Per Mark Johnson:
    "*On the 30th of January 1935, the Deutsche Gemeindeordnung – German municipal code was introduced, which dealt with everything under the state level: Counties, Cities and Towns (Kreise, Städte und Gemeinden) and also lead to the elimination of elections and voting:

    With the introduction of this centralized regulation , more than 30 municipal constitutions under state law , such as the Bavarian Municipal Code, the Hessian Municipal Code or the Prussian Municipal Constitution Act , were dissolved.

Thank you, gentlemen, for your contribution.

  • 1
    Good points. I think it would be worth mentioning that the state parliaments were only abolished in 1934 (as I just found out on google). de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Jan
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 0:03
  • 2
    On the 30th of January 1935, the Deutsche Gemeindeordnung – Wikipedia (German municipal code) was introduced, which also lead to the elimination of elections and voting. Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 12:09
  • 2
    Answer accepted. Would it be possible to work the content from the comments ,(de jure abolition of regional and local elections) into the answer?
    – Jan
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 22:46

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