Julius Dorpmüller
Julius Heinrich Dorpmueller (24 July 1869 in Elberfeld
Elberfeld is a municipal subdivision of the German city of Wuppertal; it was an independent town until 1929.-History:The first official mentioning of the geographic area on the banks of today's Wupper River as "elverfelde" was in a document of 1161...

 - 5 July 1945 in Malente
This Article is about a German location. For the DJ with the same name, see Malente .Malente is a municipality in the district of Ostholstein, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is about 5 km northwest of Eutin and 35 km north of Lübeck....

) was general manager
General manager
General manager is a descriptive term for certain executives in a business operation. It is also a formal title held by some business executives, most commonly in the hospitality industry.-Generic usage:...

 of Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft
Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft
The Deutsche Reichsbahn – was the name of the German national railway created from the railways of the individual states of the German Empire following the end of World War I....

 from 1926-45 and the German Reich Transport Minister from 1937-45.


Dorpmueller was the son of a railway engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

, and studied railway and road construction from 1889 to 1893. After graduating in 1898, Dorpmueller was active in the Prussian state railway administration. In 1907 he stepped down as an executive of the technical office and went into the service of the Schantung railway in Tsingtao. In 1908 he was appointed chief engineer for the German section of the new Chinese Imperial state Tianjin-Pukou railway. Due to the declaration of war by China against the German Reich, he returned as a refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

 in 1918, passing through Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 and Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 to Germany. In the light railway
Light railway
Light railway refers to a railway built at lower costs and to lower standards than typical "heavy rail". This usually means the railway uses lighter weight track, and is more steeply graded and tightly curved to avoid civil engineering costs...

 service he was active in the management of the Transcaucasian SFSR
Transcaucasian SFSR
The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic , also known as the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian SFSR and the TSFSR for short, was a short-lived republic of the Soviet Union, lasting from 1922 to 1936...

 railways. In 1919 he became departmental head with German Reich Railways (Deutsche Reichseisenbahnen) in the Stettin district. From 1922 to 30 September 1924 he was a president in the Deutsche Reichseisenbahnen in the Oppeln district, and from 1 October 1924 to 1925 he was president in the Ruhr district; due to his comprehensive experience in light railways, Dorpmueller was consulted as part of the Dawes plan
Dawes Plan
The Dawes Plan was an attempt in 1924, following World War I for the Triple Entente to collect war reparations debt from Germany...


After 1925 the Board of Directors of the German Reich Railway (Deutsche Reichsbahn Gesellschaft) created a position entitled Permanent Representative of the General Manager (Head of the Railway), as General Manager Rudolf Oeser was seriously ill; Dorpmueller was appointed to this post on 3 July 1925. In December 1925 RWTH Aachen
RWTH Aachen
RWTH Aachen University is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with roughly 33,000 students enrolled in 101 study programs....

, in acknowledgment of his services to railways awarded him a doctorate in engineering. On 3 June 1926, the day of Rudolf Oeser's death he was selected by the Board of Directors to become the German railway's General Manager. Due to political considerations it was only confirmed on 18 October 1926 by the President of Germany.

On 2 February 1937 Dorpmueller became the Reich Transport Minister. On 11 July 1939 the "law concerning the Deutsche Reichsbahn
Deutsche Reichsbahn
Deutsche Reichsbahn was the name of the following two companies:* Deutsche Reichsbahn, the German Imperial Railways during the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich and the immediate aftermath...

" (German Reich Railway) was issued and Dorpmüller was confirmed as transport minister and also General Manager of the Deutsche Reichsbahn. On 20 January 1943, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 sent a letter to Dorpmüller on the subject of the Holocaust trains
Holocaust trains
The Holocaust trains were railway transports run by German Nazis and their collaborators to forcibly deport interned Jews and other victims of the Holocaust to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps....

, in support of the Final solution
Final Solution
The Final Solution was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust...

: "need your help and support. If I am to wind things up quickly, I MUST HAVE MORE TRAINS."

Dorpmüller stayed in post until the formation of the 1945 Flensburg government
Flensburg government
The Flensburg Government , also known as the Flensburg Cabinet and the Dönitz Government , was the short-lived administration that attempted to rule the Third Reich during most of May 1945 at the end of World War II in Europe...

. The British then asked Dorpmueller to takeover reconstruction of the German railways: Dorpmueller and his representative Albert Ganzenmueller were brought by air, by the US, to Chesnay in Paris, in order to meet for negotiations over the reorganization of German transport. The American general Carl Gray had expressly recommended Dorpmueller to General Dwight D Eisenhower for "re-instatement to his old office", because he - as also "our secret service confirms" - had been neither a "Nazi sympathizer nor activist". With difficulty, as he was suffering from cancer, Dorpmueller returned on 13 June 1945 to Malente and from there, gave advice on reconstruction. On 23 June 1945 he was operated on - again - but his digestive system no longer functioned, so his health deteriorated rapidly. Despite this, he led official discussions, in full coherence, until two days before his death.

Dorpmueller died on 5 July 1945 and was buried in Malente.

After his death

In accordance with an October 1949 letter from Lübeck's denazification
Denazification was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of any remnants of the National Socialist ideology. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering...

 main committee to Maria Dorpmueller, Julius's sister, he was said to have obtained "relief" under category V classification. In the honours lists of the Aachen university 1995 anniversary publication, he was listed as an honorary doctor (1925) and an honorary senator (1939), with no further details. In the Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 transport museum and in the "Dorpmueller Hall" of the main station of Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

 there were bust
Bust (sculpture)
A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of the upper part of the human figure, depicting a person's head and neck, as well as a variable portion of the chest and shoulders. The piece is normally supported by a plinth. These forms recreate the likeness of an individual...

s of Dorpmueller, until 1985, when they were removed during preparations for celebration of the sesquicentenary of the introduction of railways to Germany. In the Essen
- Origin of the name :In German-speaking countries, the name of the city Essen often causes confusion as to its origins, because it is commonly known as the German infinitive of the verb for the act of eating, and/or the German noun for food. Although scholars still dispute the interpretation of...

 railway's head office there was once a "Dorpmueller room", which was renamed in 1985 to "Small meeting room"; the bust there also disappeared. Roads in the cities Wuppertal
Wuppertal is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in and around the Wupper river valley, and is situated east of the city of Düsseldorf and south of the Ruhr area. With a population of approximately 350,000, it is the largest city in the Bergisches Land...

, Minden
Minden is a town of about 83,000 inhabitants in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town extends along both sides of the river Weser. It is the capital of the Kreis of Minden-Lübbecke, which is part of the region of Detmold. Minden is the historic political centre of the...

 and Hameln, were originally named after Dorpmuller and have also been renamed.

In September 1994, someone from Ratingen, complained to German railways about Dorpmueller's "badly-maintained" grave. In a letter from them in response in January 1995, they said that the former BD Hamburg had maintained the grave until the end of 1991, a decision by the former executive committee of the German Federal Railroads meant there was no more provision for maintenance thereafter. In the middle of 1995, someone from Hamburg tidied-up the grave and took over care at their own expense.

Honors and medals

  • 1925 Honorary Doctorate of Engineering, University of Aachen
  • 1934 Golden medal of the Prussian Academy for Construction
  • 1939 Eagle Shield of the German Reich
  • Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross (Twice: one with Swords and one without Swords)

External links

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