|Cabinet of Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk|
The Flensburg Government
Cabinet of Nazi Germany
|Date formed||2 May 1945|
|Date dissolved||23 May 1945 (de facto)|
5 June 1945 (de jure)
|People and organisations|
|Head of state||Karl Dönitz|
|Head of government||Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk|
|Member party||Nazi Party|
|Successor||Allied Control Council|
First Adenauer cabinet
(from 20 September 1949)
Council of Ministers of East Germany
(from November 1950)
The Flensburg Government (German: Flensburger Regierung), also known as the Flensburg Cabinet (Flensburger Kabinett), the Dönitz Government (Regierung Dönitz), or the Schwerin von Krosigk Cabinet (Kabinett Schwerin von Krosigk), was the short-lived government of Nazi Germany during a period of three weeks around the end of World War II in Europe. The government was formed following the suicide of Adolf Hitler on 30 April 1945 during the Battle of Berlin. It was headed by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz as the Reichspräsident and Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk as the Leading Minister. The administration was referred to as the "Flensburg Government" because Dönitz's headquarters had been relocated to the port of Flensburg in northern Germany on 3 May 1945.
At the time of its formation, forces loyal to the Nazi regime still held control of most of Austria and the Sudetenland, which had been annexed by Germany in 1938. In addition, the German military continued to occupy considerable non-German-speaking territories in disparate locations across Europe. However, in addition to losing most of its wartime conquests by this point, German forces had already been driven out of the vast majority of Germany's post-Anschluss territory, in addition to Luxembourg as well as the Polish and French territories Germany had either annexed or placed under direct German administration in the early stages of the war.
Therefore, due to the rapid Allied advance, the Flensburg government's nominal civil jurisdiction at its formation was essentially limited to those parts of Austria and the Sudetenland its forces still controlled as well as a narrow wedge of German territory running from the pre-1938 Austrian and Czechoslovak borders through Berlin to the Danish border. Since 25 April 1945, these lands had been cut in two by the American advance to join with Soviet forces at Torgau on the Elbe. Following the capitulation of all German armed forces on 8 May, the Flensburg government lost all direct territorial, military or civil jurisdiction, and all diplomatic relations were withdrawn. The western Allies allowed the Flensburg government to continue to meet and conduct what business it could until 23 May when British troops arrested its members as prisoners of war, effectively dissolving the government; the dissolution being formalised by the four Allied Powers on 5 June 1945.
- Jones 2015, p. 88.
- Jones 2015, p. 323.