On 5 August 1946, the residents of Stuttgart announced Hitler was no longer an honorary citizen of their city.

Hitler’s personality cult in Germany enjoyed all-out popularity and he received his first honorary citizenship on 26 February 1932 from the city of Coburg. On the same day the Führer also became a German citizen.

Almost all German and Austrian cities made Hitler an honorary citizen. However, he refused the title in Vienna. 

In every city, a main street or square was named after Hitler by decree of the Ministry of the Interior. Bridges and stadiums were also named after the Nazi leader. Numerous posters and stamps depicted him as Siegfried in armour. When the Sun peeked out from behind the clouds during the Nazi rallies in Nuremberg, the crowd shouted: “The Führer is watching us”. Even after the Nazis were defeated, news of Hitler's death on 30 April 1945 sparked a wave of suicides in Germany.

After the war there was a legal hitch. A directive from the Allied Control Council made it compulsory for war criminals to have their honorary citizenship revoked. Yet Hitler was not on trial and was therefore not considered a criminal. Local authorities in many cities did not revoke his citizenship, arguing that honorary citizenship itself ceased upon his death. Conflicts over this issue would continue into the 21st century.

In Stuttgart, the decision to revoke his honorary citizenship was done via a City Council vote. Yet, these decisions were often taken under heavy pressure from the occupation authorities – the British, Americans, French, and Soviets – who controlled the occupation zones and were unanimous on the issue. The denazification of the consciousness of Germans would take a very long time.


Alfons Heck, “A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika”, Arizona: Renaissance House Publishers, 1985