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Nazi Nobleman

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"During my wartime years in the United States, I heard not a single 'morale-building' story about Central Europe that did not involve a 'Nazi nobleman.'"
Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited

The Nazi Nobleman is an arrogant aristocrat who has embraced Nazi ideology: might makes right, he would agree, and the strong should dominate the weak. As he is to his fellow Germans, Germany will be to the world.

He disdains democracy and egalitarianism, and hates Communism with a passion; he might believe in Nazism sincerely, or might be using Hitler (who he might know personally) to preserve his family fortune. He could be a leading scientist, an industrial business employer, a sadistic jailer or even a genocidal colonialist, but is likeliest to be a Cultured Warrior — if you don't look too closely at how his troops behave. His uniform is immaculately starched and pressed, his last name begins with "Von", and a monocle is mandatory. He probably has a Dueling Scar, from his university days. As the page quote suggests, this is a very appealing trope, fusing two classic villain archetypes, the decadent nobleman and the genocidal fascist, thus also making a good example of Evil Colonialist in some cases.

This was more complicated in real life. There really were Nazi noblemen of exactly this type, especially in the SS, which only accepted applicants who could prove their non-Jewish ancestry back to the 1700s (which aristocrats tended to find much easier, given that their livelihoods literally depended on having provable genealogies, and who historically would not have married Jews, partly for religious reasons but also because they would not have the right pedigree). The Wehrmacht also had a long aristocratic tradition; that tradition wasn't enough for them to act honorably, but it was enough to make Hitler nervous. He weakened the German military by giving the SS a parallel army, didn't trust the army until he had filled high command with possibly incompetent yes-men, and had a point in his mistrust: the most serious attempt on his life came from an Army aristocrat, whose fellow conspirators were also disproportionately aristocratic. See the analysis page for more information.

There were Nazi noblemen, La Résistance noblemen, and various people in between; but the German nobility had irresponsibly flirted with race-supremacist (or race-and-class-supremacist) ideas for a long time, and was almost reflexively hostile to the Jews. This trope isn't for racism or anti-Semitism outside the 1920s-1940s, though; it should be limited to German aristocrats supporting the Nazi Party, or approximations of the same.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Flame Of The Alpen Rose: Count Gourmant is a French nobleman who supports the Nazis financially, and aids their silent invasion of Switzerland. He also has a Villainous Crush on Jeudi because she looks like the woman he once loved. That woman was Jeudi's mother, and ironically, she's an anti Nazi activist and joined La Résistance.
  • Prince Gihren Zabi of Mobile Suit Gundam is what happens when this trope meets A Nazi by Any Other Name. He's a Social Darwinist who sees Adolf Hitler as someone to look up to, going so far as to take being compared to him as a compliment ("I'll show you what a man who follows in Hitler's footsteps can accomplish!"). He's also The Evil Prince and a member of the ruling Zeon nobility.

    The comparison was made by no less than his own father, Degwin Sodo Zabi, the ruler of the Principality of Zeon, and Degwin pointedly did not intend the remark as a compliment. The scene may count as a final definitive confirmation that Gihren has crossed the Moral Event Horizon by his pride in being compared directly to Hitler.

    Comic Books 
  • Baron Heinrich von Helsingard, despoiler of ancient civilizations, arch-enemy of Atomic Robo, and Brain-In-A-Jar of Science. Also, doesn't know when to quit while he's ahead.
  • Many war-themed comics set in WW2, such as Commando Comics would inevitably have stories portraying German Officers as Evil Noblemen.
  • The DCU:
    • Baron Blitzkrieg, a Prussian nobleman and personal friend of Adolf Hitler, gained superpowers and became one of the Nazis' top super agents.
    • Blackhawk's Token Motivational Nemesis Von Tepp was retconned into a Baron in some later retellings, though originally the title belonged to his (equally evil) brother. And of course, lesser Nazi nobles showed up all over the stories, such as this torture-loving chap from a 1942 issue.
    • Wonder Woman villain Baroness Paula Von Gunther, who's eventually revealed (possibly an early retcon) to be working for the Nazis because her daughter was held captive by them. It's interestingly averted with her husband Gottfried, a Baron who almost immediately opposed the Nazis and got shot for it.
    • Wonder Woman (1942) villain Rudolph Hessenpfeffer (the Gentleman Killer) is a Nazi spy and nobleman who wears a monocle and nearly kills Steve Trevor.
  • The Marvel Universe has a plethora of Nazi barons:
    • Baron Heinrich Zemo, a Nazi super-scientist and enthusiastic believer in his own racial superiority.
    • Baron Zemo's son Helmut, the second Baron Zemo, is a subversion. While he was brought up to follow in his footsteps, he's generally an Equal-Opportunity Evil type employer. He's also more of an Anti-Villain, and was, for a while, actually Reformed, but Rejected. He's still generally seen as a Nazi, but he apparently doesn't actually hold the same views.
    • Baron von Strucker, a Prussian nobleman who was the arch-nemesis of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, and later went on the head the Nebulous Evil Organisation Hydra.
    • Baron von Blitzschlag; in this case a Nazi scientist modeled on Werner von Braun.
    • Because three German Nazi barons weren't enough, Marvel also created Baron Boche, a Nazi spymaster whose name ("Boche") is an anti-German slur from the French language. It's hard to tell from such a small picture, but he appears to be complete with monocle.
    • One shows up in the Garth Ennis version of Nick Fury's WWII career. However, it turns out he's part of a plot against the regime. When he tries to get friendly with the English soldiers who've caught him by telling them he might have known one soldier's father at Oxford, the soldier replies "If you mean in the biblical sense, I believe you. Father's proclivities never cease to amaze me."
    • Non-German example: Baron Blood, a Nazi vampire British aristocrat and foe of Captain America and the Invaders.
    • While neither a true Nazi nor a true nobleman, X-Men villain Mr. Sinister has seen his character increasingly take on the trappings of this trope due to Flanderization after a 2002 storyline made his character take a veer from "mysterious Mad Scientist with a fixation on Cyclops" to "immortal British Expy of Josef Mengele".
    • In the Avengers/Defenders War, the Swordsman finds a castle in South America built by an escaped Nazi who modeled it after his original castle in Germany.

    Film — Animation 
  • Count Volpe in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio is really trying to become this, as he's a former aristocrat stuck with a Crappy Carnival who decides to exploit Pinocchio to get back to the top through a song-and-dance number that embraces Fascist ideologies, with the goal of impressing Benito Mussolini.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Address Unknown, made in 1944, has a classic example of this trope in "Baron von Freische" (Carl Esmond). Turner Classic Movies is helpful enough to provide two clips of the Baron being as haughtily aristocratic and casually anti-Semitic as you'd expect, even praising the Führer to the stars in the latter.
  • Baron von Sepper (Richard Burton) in Bluebeard (1972).
  • This trope possibly appears in the 1943 war movie Bombers Moon; the villain of the piece is a Luftwaffe Major named Von Streicher — given the name, very likely an aristocrat of some kind. While it can't be said for sure whether he is an actual Nazi ideologue or just an ordinary soldier, he displays the kind of ruthlessly amoral behavior one would expect of a Nazi, such as machine-gunning an unarmed man.
  • Johann Schmidt in Captain America: The First Avenger. While it's hard to tell if he's actually a noble descendant and he actually renounces any ties to the Nazis, he deliberately invokes this Nazi Nobleman imagery anyway with his fancy suits, handsome rubber masks, and love of portraits of himself, not to mention Social Darwinism so strong he believes Psycho Serum Makes Right.
  • The Damned (1969) has a whole family of Nazi noblemen (and women) backstabbing each other to curry favor with Hitler's government. It's not exactly a feel-good movie.
  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid features as its main villain a "Field Marshall von Kluck" (Carl Reiner), whose surname, in combination with his starched-and-pressed uniform and neatly shined boots, suggest a probable aristocratic background. He is also an enthusiastic Nazi, referring to the heroine's family as members of an "inferior race", and trying to destroy the Third Reich's enemies long after the war has ended. It may be worth mentioning that von Kluck was an actual German general in World War I, whose inability to coordinate with von Bülow's signaled the failure of the Schlieffen Plan and led to the extended trench warfare of that conflict.
  • The film Enemy at the Gates depicts a ruthless Bavarian aristocrat sniper by the name of Erwin König; in real life it is not clear that König even actually existed, though the film is supposedly based on a true story. Supposedly. Though in König's case it wasn't so much Nazi ideology as it was his wish to avenge his son's death, his son having been killed in the earliest days of the battle. However, the Soviets invoke the trope because their guy is a poor peasant who learned shooting hunting goats for food. The German guy learnt sniping on his family estate. They turn the sniper duel into class warfare.
  • Erich von Stroheim was famous for playing villainous German officers before and during the war, always with a monocle and cigarette holder. In Five Graves to Cairo he portrayed the Magnificent Bastard Erwin Rommel.
  • Adrien Brody's Dmitri Desgoffe und Taxis becomes one of these in the third act of The Grand Budapest Hotel, where the "ZZ" stormtroopers are effectively Putting on the Reich.
  • 1945's Hotel Berlin features an apparent Nazi blueblood named "Von Stetten" who attempts to escape to South America and start a new Nazi regime there.
  • The Master Race, made in 1944, depicts unrepentant Nazi "Colonel Friedrich Von Beck" deviously fomenting hatred and dissent in a liberated Belgian town.
  • 1942's Nazi Agent stars Conrad Veidt as a Nazi spymaster named "Baron Hugo von Detner", the twin brother of a kindly American stamp dealer (also played by Conrad Veidt), playing this trope completely straight. The Nazi aristocrat in question even has an old family butler. Veidt pretty much codified the trope. As early as 1940, he played an aristocratic Nazi general opposite Norma Shearer in Escape. His character runs like a list of everything associated with this trope. Monocle... check. Fanboying Wagner... check. Talking about the survival of the fittest... check. Chatting casually about concentration camps... check. Veidt hated the Nazis in real life, though, and only agreed to play them because the movies were good anti-Nazi propaganda. He donated his entire salary from Escape to help the British war effort.
  • Obliquely referenced in the Marx Brothers movie A Night In Casablanca. The Nazi agent Heinrich Stubel goes by the assumed identity of "Count Pfferman"; while his noble title appears to be false, he nonetheless projects a vaguely aristocratic image, in keeping with this trope.
  • Once Upon a Honeymoon, a 1942 Leo McCarey film, features an Austrian Baron named "von Luber", played by Walter Slezak, who provides P.R. for the Nazis in countries they are planning to annex.
  • Captain von Berkow in The Passage. He even smokes a cigarette in a fancy cigarette holder.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show invokes this trope in typical B-movie style (which is to say, reversed) where referring to Dr. Scott as Dr. Von Scott is enough to establish him as a Nazi (even though this is never actually said). He's presumably a former Nazi scientist, rather than a nobleman. The United States recruited such scientists in droves after the war in an effort to keep them from being recruited to the USSR instead. "Von" typically indicates nobility in Germany. As the intro and Comicbook section to this page indicates, science is a quite popular career choice for Nazi Noblemen in fiction, so it was probably both this trope and the evil scientist one.
  • In Sahara (1943), we get Luftwaffe pilot Captain von Schletow, who is every bit the dedicated, arrogant Nazi, up to and including flying into a rage and assaulting the Italian soldier who talks smack about Hitler. He is also startlingly racist, refusing to let a black soldier search him when he's captured.
    • These elements of von Schletow's character are downplayed somewhat in the 1995 remake. There, the character of Major von Falken (who was also in the original film) is a fervent Nazi supporter, even shooting his own men for weakness.
  • Secret Service In Darkest Africa, a 1943 film about an American agent battling Nazis in Africa, features a "Baron von Rommler" as the head of a sinister Nazi conspiracy.
  • Colonel von Waldheim in The Train (1964) is not explicitly stated to have a title, but the "von" in his name, along with his demeanour and taste in art, suggest that he comes from an upper-class background.
  • Subverted in Von Ryan's Express. German prison train commander Major von Klement isn't actually a nobleman. As is discovered by the main character, the "von" in his name is self-given.
  • In Where Eagles Dare, we have Gestapo officer Major von Hapen. His name aside, though, he otherwise seems like a typical working-class SS man, and it is the Wehrmacht's General Julius Rosemeyer who more fits the aristocratic Nazi trope, monocle and all.

  • Biggles' arch-nemesis Erich von Stalhein, both during and after the war.
  • Graf Otto von Schlick, whose identity was taken over by Dr. Perseus Friend, in the Young Bond novel By Royal Command.
  • The von Shrakenbergs in The Draka novels fit this trope... never mind that at one point they were fighting the actual Nazis.
  • P. G. Wodehouse included a British variant in his Jeeves and Wooster stories. Roderick Spode, 7th Earl of Sidcup, is the founder of a Fascist organisation informally known as the "Blackshorts" (so named because "by the time [he] founded his organisation, there were no shirts [as in shirt colours] left"). Fortunately, Wodehouse knew enough to depict Spode correctly as an exception to the general rule — most of the other upper-class characters think he is bonkers.
    • It should be pointed out that Spode abandons his attempts to become a dictator precisely when he succeeds to the title. Moreover, when "Joy in the Morning" was written, Wodehouse probably had not yet invented a title for Spode to inherit.
  • Norman Katov's novel The Judas Kiss depicts an Austrian Nazi Baron who collaborates with Hitler in torturing prisoners.
  • Several members of the Vanger family in The Millennium Trilogy were enthusiastic supporters of Nazi ideology.
  • The short story "Poison Victory" uses a Nazi Nobleman, and lampshades the inaccuracy by having one character remark "Another Nazi nobleman... And to think how Hitler hated the aristocracy!"
  • The 1952 novel The Sound of His Horn features the hero being captured by a sadistic Nazi Nobleman who hunts human beings for sport.
  • Leader von Braun, the ruler of the neo-Nazi state in post-apocalyptic Victoria, claims to be one. However, protagonist John Rumford doubts whether his name and title are legitimate.
  • Erik von Ulrich from Winter of the World is technically this, but his parents' lifestyle is not very typical for aristocrats. Ironically, a straighter example would be his cousin Boy Fitzherbert's short stint at being a British Union Of Fascists Nobleman.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Colonel Gustav Wendt of Babylon Berlin is an interwar example of this trope. A supremely arrogant, hyper-conservative Prussian aristocrat and military officer, he is working under wraps with the Nazis to sow political chaos and bring a right-wing government to power in Germany. Although the Nazis' views and goals broadly align with his own, he has a more traditionalist bent and he views the Nazis as merely useful pawns and thugs to be used for his grand design.
  • The Champions (1968) episode "The Final Countdown" features Nazi war criminal Field Marshall von Splitz being released from prison and attempting to detonate a German atom bomb in order to start World War III; given his name, he is almost certainly an aristocrat of some stripe.
  • The Crown deals directly with the Nazi associations of several of the Royal Family's relations. The most shocking (in-universe at least) is the revelation of the Nazi sympathies of the Duke of Windsor (i.e. the former Edward VIII), but references to Prince Philip's heavily Nazi family (several of his sisters married high-ranking German nobles who joined the Nazi apparatus) are also common.
  • Enemy at the Door: Hauptmann von Bulow, the title character of "The Prussian Officer", is a Prussian nobleman but objects to being called a Nazi, and explains at length that he is not a Party member and that people of his class regard the Nazis as inferior and common but temporarily useful in the pursuit of increasing Germany's imperial dominance.
  • Colonel Wilhelm Klink from Hogan's Heroes was depicted as a man of Prussian aristocratic descent (if somewhat impoverished), though his apparent lack of enthusiasm for Nazi ideology may exempt him from this trope.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: Lord Sidcup, mentioned in "Literature" section above, made an appearance on several episodes.
  • The Rat Patrol gives us the insane SS officer Colonel von Helbing and the vengeance-hungry Evil Cripple Major von Brugge.
  • "Max Otto von Stierlitz" from Seventeen Moments of Spring pretends to be one (in reality, he is a Soviet spy and a former Red revolutionary).
  • Timeless: Flynn poses as one in "Party at Castle Varlar".
  • The aforementioned "Baroness von Gunther", from the Wonder Woman franchise, made an appearance on the 1970s TV show.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Many Nazi enemies from Rocket Age fit neatly into this category.

  • Baron Max von Alvenstor from Margin for Error is blond-haired, blue-eyed, and helped beat a Jew to death in Berlin on the night of November 7th, 1938. Though a loyal German, he speaks perfect Oxford English, and his Nazi sympathies are doubtful, especially after it's revealed that his grandmother was Jewish.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Of the Nazi characters from Dies Irae, two are confirmed to be of noble birth, Eleonore von Wittenburg and Beatrice Waltrud von Kirscheisen. Eleonore fit's into the archetype quite neatly, being a Fundamentalist Female Misogynist and is the most openly racist out all the characters. Beatrice meanwhile plays with it as while she is both of nobility and part of the Nazi party, she is the Foil to Eleonore by being an unfailingly good and kindhearted woman who is the Token Good Teammate of the Longinus Dreizehn Orden. How she became part of the Nazis is never elaborated upon but is implied to be due to her family and misplaced idealism.


    Western Animation 
  • Von Reichter in Cybersix. Despite his name implying German nobility, he is a former SS member.
  • The Simpsons: In the "Flying Hellfish" episode, Abe Simpson's platoon acquired a highly valuable art collection from one of these. At the end of the episode, said art collection is returned to the wealthy Eurotrash descendant of the original owner, who is even stated to be a baron.
  • Baron von Unterbheit from The Venture Bros. is royalty of a country that is fairly Nazi-like.

    Real Life 
  • Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia, son of former emperor Wilhelm II and SA-Obergruppenführer.
    • Wilhelm II himself was something of an aversion. He lived into WWII, dying in 1941. While very definitely anti-Semitic and racist, he had little use for Hitler or the Nazis, seeing them as jumped-up parvenues of no breeding. He still tried to use them to get back in power and was in turn used by them. In the 2020s a public debate in Germany erupted over precisely how much contribution the House of Hohenzollern made to the rise of Hitler
  • Infamous Otto von Bolschwing, one of the Holocaust masterminds, also known as "The Butcher of Bucharest".
  • Successful tank commander and nobleman Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Camminetz nicknamed by his troops der Panzergraf (Tank Count).
  • German night fighter ace Major Heinrich Alexander Ludwig Peter Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a night fighter pilot with the Luftwaffe with eighty-three aerial victories to his name before he was killed in action by the Royal Air Force. Despite his undeniably superlative flying ability, he was something of an Insufferable Genius and Spoiled Brat, at one point confining his radar operator to quarters for three days in retaliation for losing a contact and also ordering his wingmen to leave enemy planes airborne for him to kill. Despite this, his contemporaries say he became disillusioned with the Nazi regime and may even have been planning to kill Hitler before he was shot down by the RAF in 1944.
    • His equally aristocratic colleague, Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld, also a night-fighter ace in his own right, is another example. The two are buried together in the massive German cemetery at Ysselsteyn in the Netherlands.
  • Franz Pfeffer von Salomon, first commander of the SA after 1925.
  • Wolf-Heinrich, Count von Helldorf - a bit zigzagging real-life example - an Impoverished Patrician turned ardent Nazi official (and a really Dirty Cop), but later became disillusioned and tentatively joined the anti-Hitler plot.
  • Hermann Göring started styling himself as one once in power, and by the end of the war he had made it the last "job" he actually did.
  • At least one aristocratic German relative of Britain's Prince Philip attained a high position in the Nazi Party. Prince Christopher of Hesse-Cassel was an intimate of Hermann Göring and became head of the Forschungsamt wiretapping unit organized by Göring that became the forerunner to the Gestapo. The aforementioned Major Heinrich Alexander Ludwig Peter Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was also closely enough related to British royalty for it to be notable, and he remains the only "British royal" to have - officially - received the Iron Cross for bravery in WW2.note 
  • The Mitfords were perfect examples of British nobility who sympathised with the Nazis; though a distinct minority, their massive publicity over the years has caused many in the public to believe their position was reflective of opinion among the vast majority of British nobility. As among German nobility, it wasn't. It wasn't even a majority position within the Mitford family: Of the eight Mitfords whose political opinions are known or at least guessed at, only two were full Nazi sympathisers; of the remaining six, two were quasi-fascist British ultra-nationalists, two were more or less classic Tories, one was a socialist, and another was a communist, as follows:
    • First of all, there is the patriarch, David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, an ardent reactionary and xenophobe, he was described as "one of nature's fascists" (by his own daughter, no less—and it was meant as a compliment). However, his sympathy for the Nazi party was tempered by his knee-jerk hatred for the Germans and his fierce patriotism.
    • The most strongly Nazi Mitfords were Unity (whose middle name was Valkyrie, once traveled to Germany just to fangirl over Hitler—the Fuehrer put her in his inner circle to give it a bit of the feminine touch and declared her "a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood", and attempted suicide when Britain declared war on Germany) and Diana (who married Sir Oswald Mosley—for whom see below). Of the two, Unity was by far the more committed; she had a massive crush on Hitler (she was 19 when he took over Germany) and is rumoured to have had an affair with him.
    • Their brother Thomas was vaguely fascist, and refused to serve in Europe; however, he gladly served in Burma, where he was killed by the Japanese in the last year of the war.
    • Pamela and Deborah were more or less typical British gentry, unimpressed with Nazism and content with the British system as it stood (although some say Pamela was a rabid antisemite in private). Deborah and her husband (the Duke of Devonshire) actually joined the Social Democratic Party when it formed in 1981, attracting much-needed attention to the party from centrist Tories who were increasingly alienated by the hard-right government of Margaret Thatcher (just as the "Gang of Four" original party founders drawn from the Labour Party right were alienated by the more left-leaning Labour leadership).
    • Nancy, the eldest, was a moderate socialist and could be fairly said to have hated the Nazis. In 2003, newly released MI5 documents revealed that Nancy had spied on her fascist sisters. In the file, Nancy said that Diana "sincerely desires the downfall of England and democracy in general."
    • Finally, the second-youngest Mitford, Jessica- who shared a room with Unity (she and Unity had been inseparable as children, even developing a private language)- was an ardent communist—she was blacklisted when her move to Hollywood happened to coincide with the McCarthy era. Indeed, Jessica later recalled that the room she shared with Unity was starkly divided with a chalk line down the middle, with Unity's side being decorated with swastikas and portraits of Hitler, while Jessica's was decked out in hammers and sickles and pictures of Lenin. The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry, indeed.
  • Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet, was a real-life example of the British variant (though technically not a true "Nobleman", he was the equivalent of a German "Junker"), and was the inspiration for Roderick Spode, listed above. He was married to Diana Mitford (see above).
  • Josias, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont became a senior SS officer and served as High Commissioner of Police in German-occupied France. He served three years in prison after the war. Himmler was godfather to his son.
  • Franz von Papen was an opportunistic supporter of the Nazis and Hitler's vice-chancellor from 1933 to July 1934. He was a widely disliked figure and German political exiles compared him to Judas or even to Satan. This was not least because until 1932 he had been a member of the Centre (Catholic) party, one of the pillars of the Weimar Republic, and then formed a government that did not dispose of a majority in the Reichstag but governed via the emergency powers of President von Hindenburg; Chancellor von Papen's antidemocratic cabinet consisted in the majority of noblemen and was called "the cabinet of barons". Some of the most momentous acts of the short-lived Papen government were the rescinding of the ban on the SA and SS, and the deposition of the democratic government of the Free State of Prussia in a military coup. In WW1, Papen had been the head of Imperial Germany's intelligence effort in the US, where his recommendation that German submarines should start sinking American merchant ships did so much to keep America neutral and win the war for the Kaiser. He was appointed Hitler's deputy by President von Hindenburg, who figured that Papen would be just the fellow to keep this damned "Bohemian corporal" in line. However his ineptitude allowed Hitler to outmanoeuver him after the burning of the Reichstag, and his most notable act as vice-chancellor was the signing of the concordate between the Reich and the Vatican in 1933, which only helped Hitler to achieve a better standing with German Catholics. Papen sometimes appeared as a kind of opponent of the Nazis (though counterproductive to say the least) prior to the Night of the Long Knives when various associates of his including his personal adviser were were killed, and he personally only "narrowly escaped" Hitler's purge by the SS. After this he became Hitler's ambassador in Vienna and helped prepare the Anschluss (fortunately for him, this help didn't take the form of Hitler's original plan, which was to have von Papen assassinated and pin it on the Austrians to give him a pretext for invasion). Furthermore, he had the dangerous combination of a delight in intrigue with an overestimation of his strategic talent. When an attempt was made on his life in Ankara the Turkish investigators were presented with a problem well known from detective novels: anyone might have wanted to kill him.
  • Baldur von Schirach was Reichsjugendführer, leading the Hitler Youth and other Nazi youth organizations.
  • General Franz Ritter von Epp (1868-1946), a decorated officer of Imperial Germany's war against the Herero in Southwest Africa (1904-1908) and World War I. Born Franz Epp, he was knighted after fighting with the Bavarian Leibregiment in the battle of Verdun. In 1919 he founded a free corps (at first sponsored by the central German government), which participated in the bloody suppression of the Munich soviet republic in 1919 and the Kapp-Putsch of 1920 (in the process deposing the democratically elected Bavarian government). The "Freikorps Epp" was eventually absorbed into the Reichswehr, and Epp through his chief of staff, Ernst Röhm, used his position to supply arms to right-wing paramilitary formations. Epp became involved with the Nazis from the earliest days of their existence at the beginning of the 1920s, but only officially joined the party in 1928. He used 60,000 Reichsmarks from secret army funds to help fund the Nazi newspaper, the "Völkischer Beobachter", and even provided the khaki uniforms that would later become the iconic brown shirts of the SA from Imperial Germany's army surplus.
  • Hans von Tschammer und Osten (1887-1943) was the head of German sports organizations in the Third Reich; he instituted the German Football Cup competition (the original trophy was the "Tschammer-und-Osten-Pokal").
  • Rocket scientist Wernher Freiherr (baron) von Braun was a member of the Nazi party, rose to the rank of Sturmbannführer (major) in the SS and would have had to face trial for war crimes, especially regarding the use of slave labour in the building of V2 rockets, if he had not been considered too useful by the Americans for their space program. His association with the Nazis is generally considered to have been opportunistic; joining the SS was the best way to guarantee his rockets got built, so join the SS he did. Or as Tom Lehrer put it on That Was the Year That Was:
    "Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down?
    That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.
  • Erich Ludendorff, even though his mother came from an ennobled family, chose not to become ennobled during World War I, when he was essentially co-dictator of Germany through 1917-18. The author of the stab-in-the-back legend, Ludendorff's refusal to admit that Germany had been beaten in World War I was the seed from which the Nazis were eventually born. While never officially a Nazi, he sympathized heavily with the movement and helped kick off the Beer Hall Putsch. Ludendorff turned on Hitler only when he realized that the Nazis were co-opting the ultranationalist movement away from him.
  • While not a Nazi himself, president Paul von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg was the man responsible for bringing Hitler to power. That said, he beat Hitler in Weimar Germany's last presidential election and tried to prevent that "Bohemian Corporal" from forming a government after the Nazis held the most seats in the Reichstag.
    • Hindenburg still is a bit of a controversial figure to this day, as it was long believed that he was too senile to be held responsible for bringing Hitler to power, with a lot of emphasis being put on the back-chamber dealings between people like compulsive conspirator Franz von Papen and Hindenburg's son, General Oskar von Hindenburg (the "son of the president not provided for in the constitution"). However, more recent evaluations would indicate that Hindenburg did not do anything he did not want to do, and he apparently had no second thoughts about appointing Hitler chancellor. Indeed, shortly before his death, he congratulated Hitler on the "Night of the Long Knives".
  • After Hindenburg's death, Field Marshal August von Mackensen (1849-1945) became the "venerable old soldier" to be featured at official occasions, prompting the nickname Reichstafelaufsatz (table decoration/conversation piece of the Reich). His position was ambiguous; although he hated the Weimar Republic and vaguely sympathized with the Nazis, he was not blind to what they did and e. g. used his influence to protect oppositional Protestant pastors and during World War 2 protested against atrocities that came to his knowledge. But to the end, he considered Hitler innocent of any evil committed by the Nazi party and Hitler's government. However, Mackensen was only ennobled in 1899.
  • Even after World War II was over, the Allies were convinced that it was "Prussian militarism", embodied by the German landowning nobility ("Junkers") that was to be blamed for Germany going to war again, not merely the Nazi Party and its ideology. The Free State of Prussia was thoroughly dismantled in 1947 in an attempt to deprive the supposed Prussian militarists from their powerbase. Considering the track record, they had a little justification for thinking so, but that never meant the Junkers were Nazis. And what remains of the Prussian traditions later found its way to East Germany via Wehrmacht officers who had enough of that Austrian lowlife & surrendered with their men to the Red Army earlier in the war, with the little-changed uniforms of the East German army as a visual example.
    • The eastern part of Prussia was even thoroughly de-Germanized, divided between Poland and USSR, and resettled by Poles, Lithuanians, and Russians; this was not entirely about the Junkers and "Prussian militarism", however, as the Soviets took a massive chunk of pre-war Poland to give to itself and were "compensating" the Poles with the German land. Of course, the Soviets planned to have Poland as a buffer state in case the Western Allies tried anything funny, so the further away from Moscow Poland's western border could be, the better. After the end of the Cold War, the land that was once East Prussia remains in this state to this day, divided between Poland, Lithuania, and the Russian Federation's Kaliningrad Enclave.
  • Josef Terboven, the Reichskommisar of Norway, was the son of landed gentry. He joined the Nazi Party early on, however, and never actually managed his family's holdings. He was close enough with Hitler that the glorious leader was a guest at his wedding, and as the reichskommisar of occupied Norway, he developed a reputation for being a particularly nasty tyrant.
  • The close blood ties between the British and German royal houses meant that strange anomalies happened, such as Major Heinrich Alexander Ludwig Peter Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a second cousin of King George VI who was closely enough related for him to be - theoretically - on the line of succession to the British thronenote  - who won the Iron Cross as a night-fighter pilot for shooting down British planes. The abdicated King Edward VIII has been alleged, with good circumstantial evidence, to have been a Nazi sympathiser and fellow traveller. His meetings with Hitler in the 1930s are well documented. Given a sinecure and honorary General's rank in 1939, it is alleged he passed French military secrets to German intelligence, in return for a guarantee that when Germany defeated the western allies, he would be re-instated as King and head of a puppet government. (The mechanism for passing on these secrets was via contacts with German noblemen in then-neutral Holland; one boasted in February 1940 that Edward was a spy working for Germany). He was abruptly relieved of duties as a liaison officer with the French Army, and when he was reluctant to leave France during the 1940 surrender, was forcibly evacuated back to Britain at gunpoint, then packed off as Governor of The Bahamas, a backwater Caribbean colony a long way from Europe (but a short distance from the US - all the easier to keep an eye on him). Documents relating to the former King's conduct in WW2 are permanently locked and will never be released on grounds of "national security"; and up to her death in 2002, the Queen Mother, widow of George VI, adamantly refused to have anything to do with him and blocked all moves for him to be reinstated as a working royal with full status. Edward, Duke of Windsor, died in exile in Paris in 1972.
  • Gabriele d'Annunzio was a proto-fascist and friend of Mussolini who appearance-wise fit the trope pretty well.
  • Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria. He lost his status as a British prince after serving the Kaiser. He also backed the loser in WW2.
  • Francisco Franco was descended from the Galician-originnote  Andrade noble family on his mother's side. After he won the Spanish Civil War he declared himself Captain General (a title used by Kings), Caudillo of Spain by the Grace of God (the latter italics a formulation only previously used by absolute kings - and he did have absolute power) and walked under a canopy (a privilege usually reserved for kings). After he died, the new Spanish king Juan Carlos gave one of Franco's children the title Duke of Franco and made his widow Lady of Meirás and a Grandee of Spain.
  • Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari, was Benito Mussolini's son-in-law (he married the latter's oldest daughter, Edda). He participated in 1922's March on Rome and from 1936 to 1943 became Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Italian Fascist government, although he voted for Mussolini's dismissal in 1943. He was executed for "treason" (i.e. having voted for Mussolini's dismissal) by Mussolini's Italian Social Republic puppet government.
    • As was his father, Costanzo Ciano, 1st Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari, who was a founding member of the National Fascist Party and also took part in the March on Rome.
  • Ziggzagged by Julius Evola. For starters, his noble ties were rather loose. Secondly, though respecting the SS he didn't have the highest view of Hitler. That said he did (if perhaps somewhat jokingly) call himself a superfascist. Additionally, his ideas and works both emphasized race and class; however, unlike most fascists, they had a spiritual basis instead of a biological one.
  • Pyotr Krasnov, a Russian Cossack nobleman, hated Jews and communists so much after his defeat in the Civil War that he headed a Cossack organization in the Third Reich. For this, he was sentenced to death in 1947.

Alternative Title(s): Nazi Noblewoman