Seyss-Inquart then became the Reich representative in the former Austria and minister without portfolio in Hitler's cabinet. When Germany conquered Poland in September 1939, Seyss-Inquart served as deputy governor there under Hans Frank. Displeased with the atrocities committed by Schutzstaffel (SS) forces and unable to exert any influence over policies, he asked for a new appointment.
In May 1940, Seyss-Inquart became Reich commissioner of the newly occupied Netherlands. He tried to come to terms with the Dutch and have them carry out a nazification program. But instead of achieving collaboration, Seyss-Inquart found himself dealing with the Dutch Nazi movement. In Seyss-Inquart's view, Dutch Nazi leader Anton Mussert's followers were unsuited for German occupation policy. They were only a small minority with no real support from the Dutch population and no administrative experience. Therefore, Seyss-Inquart preferred to work with the traditional elites. He sought to resign his post, but Hitler refused his request, believing that Seyss-Inquart's moderate approach would achieve the desired results. Seyss-Inquart was nominally responsible for recruitment of Dutch workers to be relocated in the Reich, the deportation of Jews to the extermination camps, and German exploitation of the Dutch economy, but he never managed to restrain the SS from interfering in the Netherlands.
Seyss-Inquart was charged with war crimes and tried at Nuremberg. He was found guilty and hanged on 16 October 1946.
Hirschfeld, Gerhard. Nazi Rule and Dutch Collaboration: The Netherlands under German Occupation, 1940–1945. New York: Berg, 1988.; Pauley, Bruce F. Hitler and the Forgotten Nazis: A History of Austrian National Socialism. London: Macmillan, 1981.