Bouhler (1899-1945), Philip

23 February, 2009
Bovy Daniel

Bouhler was already member of the Nazi party in 1920. He then took Axmann’s function as manager of the party finances. He was one of the putschists of 1923 and became chief of the Führer chancellery in 1934. One of his tasks consisted in writing Hitler’s decrees. Considered as a discreet person, Bouhler was nevertheless one of the most important men in the Nazi state apparatus. He was largely involved in the euthanasia operations practiced in the psychiatric establishments and also in the Eastern territories. Shortly after the invasion of Poland, on September 1, 1939, Hitler named him responsible for the euthanasia operations in a letter that constitutes one of the rare written orders signed by the Führer himself. Bouhler was the coordinator of the whole operation but delegated its working process to Victor Brack. The euthanasia program was called “T4” because the head office was located at number 4 in the Tiergartenstrasse. After the suspension of the operation, a major part of the staff was sent to death centers located in the Eastern territories and operated within the Reinhard Action. Later on, Bouhler advised Himmler during the gassing operations of the action 14f13. Goebbels, in his diary, confirmed that Bouhler was the right person at the right place. Bouhler committed suicide a few hours before the allied forces arrived.


Arad, Y., Gutman, Y., Margaliot, A. (Eds.), 1981, Documents on the Holocaust, Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland and the Soviet Union, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, Document nº. 212, pp. 471-473.

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Bovy Daniel, Bouhler (1899-1945), Philip , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 23 February, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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