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Introduction

The Neuengamme concentration camp, a Nazi concentration camp, was established in 1938 by the SS near the village of Neuengamme in Bergedorf district within the City of Hamburg,Germany. It was in operation from 1938 to 1945. By the end of the war, more than half of its estimated 106,000 prisoners had died. After being used for two prisons by the Hamburg authorities from 1948 to 2004, the site now serves as a memorial. It is situated 15 km southeast of the centre of Hamburg in the Vierlande area.

The sculpture „Der sterbende Häftling“ (The dying prisoner) by Françoise Salmon.

Extermination through labour

The camp served the needs of the German war machine and also carried out exterminations through labour. The inmates were spread over the main camp and approximately 80 subcamps across north Germany. At least 50,000 succumbed to the inhumane conditions in the camp from hard manual work with insufficient nutrition, extremely unhygienic conditions with widespread disease, and violence from the guards.

Work at the mother camp was centered on the production of bricks. This included the construction of a canal to transport the bricks to and from the site. Inmates had to excavate the heavy, peaty soil with inadequate tools and regardless of weather conditions or their health state.From 1942, several armaments companies (e.g. MessapJastram, and Walther-Werke) established facilities directly next to the Neuengamme concentration camp.

Victims A sick Polish survivor in the Hannover-Ahlem concentration camp receives medicine from a German Red Cross worker.

Inmates were from 28 nationalities (Soviets (34,350), Polish (16,900), French (11,500), German(9,200), Dutch (6,950), Belgian (4,800), Danish (4,800)) and also from the local Jewishcommunity,[2] but also included communistshomosexualsprostitutesGypsiesJehovah's Witnessesprisoners of war and many other persecuted groups. Of 106,000 inmates, almost half died.[5][6] 20,400 victims, listed by name on the camp memorial Neuengamme, died in the camp and the subcamps. In actuality, an estimated 26,800 victims are known to have died there. During the last days of the camp and “evacuation” about 17,000 people died. At least 42,900 victims can be verified.

Inmates census Neuengamme concentration camp Location of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg A sick Polish survivor in the Hannover-Ahlem concentration camp receives medicine from a German Red Cross worker. More than 80 subcamps were part of the Neuengamme concentration camp. First in 1942, inmates of Neuengamme were transported to the camp Arbeitsdorf. The dimensions of the camps differed from about 2,000 inmates to 10 or less. Several of these subcamps have memorials or at least plates, but as of 2000 at 28 locations there is nothing. Dr. Garbe, from the Memorial Museum of the Neuengamme concentration camp, wrote, "The importance of the satellite camps is further highlighted by the fact that toward the ends of the war three times more prisoners were in satellite camps than in the main camp."

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Commonwealth occupied by Nazi Germany. The Germans built four Neuengamme subcamps on Alderney Island—the Alderney concentration camps—and named them after the Frisian IslandsLager NorderneyLager BorkumLager Sylt and Lager Helgoland. The Nazi Organisation Todt operated each subcamp and usedforced labour to build bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters, and concrete fortifications. The Alderney concentration camps had a total inmate population of about 6,000.

Norderney camp housed European (usually Eastern but including Spaniard) and Russian enforced labourers. The prisoners in Lager Norderneyand Lager Sylt were slave labourers forced to build the many military fortifications and installations throughout Alderney. Sylt camp heldJewish enforced labourers and was a death campLager Borkum was used for German technicians and volunteers from different countries of EuropeLager Helgoland was filled with Russian Organisation Todt workers.

In 1942, Lager Norderney, containing Russian and Polish POWs, and Lager Sylt, holding Jews, were placed under the control of the SS Hauptsturmführer Max List. Over 700 of the inmates lost their lives before the camps were closed and the remaining inmates transferred toGermany in 1944.

Camp personnel The place of the former crematorium.

Female guards were trained at Neuengamme and assigned to one of its female subcamps. There were no SS women stationed at Neuengamme permanently. Many of these women are known by name, including Kaethe BeckerErna DickmannJohanna FreundAngelika Grass, Kommandoführerin Loni Gutzeit (who also served at Hamburg-Wandsbek and was nicknamed "The Dragon of Wandsbek" by the prisoners), Gertrud HeiseFrieda Ignatowitz, Gertrud Moeller, who also served at Boizenburg subcamp, Lotte Johanna Radtke, chief wardress Annemie von der Huelst, Inge Marga Marggot Weber. Many of the women were later dispersed to female subcamps throughout northern Germany. Today it is known that female guards staffed the subcamps of Neuengamme at BoizenburgBraunschweig SS-Reitschule, Hamburg-Sasel, Hamburg-Wandsbek,Helmstedt-BeendorfLangenhornNeugrabenObernheideSalzwedel, and Unterluss (Vuterluss). Only a few have been tried for war crimes, such as Anneliese Kohlmann, who served as one of only six woman guards at Neugraben.

Alfred Trzebinski (1902 – 1946) was an SS-physician, sentenced to death, and executed for his involvement in war crimes committed at the Neuengamme subcamps.

During the period as a sub-camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp the following SS-officers served as Lagerführer:

As an independent concentration camp from June 1940 the following were camp commanders:

Timeline Aerial shot of the Neuengamme camp taken by British aviation on 16 April 1945 1938

In September 1938 the German Earth & Stone Works Company bought the defunct brickyard(German: Klinkerwerk) in Neuengamme. On December 13, 1938 the Neuengamme concentration camp was set up with 100 prisoners from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

1940

In April 1940, the SS and the city of Hamburg signed a contract for the construction of a larger brick factory, and on June 4, the Neuengamme concentration camp became an independent main camp.

942

According to the testimony of Wilhelm Bahr, an ex-medical orderly, during the trial against Bruno Tesch, 200 Russian prisoners of war were gassed by prussic acid in 1942. In April 1942, acrematorium was constructed at the camp, prior all bodies were taken to Hamburg for cremation.

1943

In late 1943, most likely November, Neuengamme recorded its first female prisoners according to camp records.

1944

In the summer of 1944, Neuengamme received many women prisoners from Auschwitz, as well other camps in the East. All of the women were eventually shipped out to one of its twenty-four female subcamps.

In July 1944, a camp section for prominent prisoners from France was set up. These were political opponents and members of the French resistance who had taken arms against German forces. They included John William, who had participated in the sabotaging and bombing of a military factory in Montluçon. William discovered his singing voice while cheering his fellow prisoners at Neuengamme and went on to a prominent career as a singer of popular and gospel music.

At the end of 1944 the total number of prisoners was around 49,000, with 12,000 in Neuengamme and 37,000 in the subcamps.

1945

On March 15, 1945, the transfer of Scandinavian prisoners from other camps to Neuengamme started. This was part of the White Busesprogram. On March 27, a Scandinavian camp was established at Neuengamme. On April 8, the air raid of a train with prisoners led to theCeller Hasenjagd massacre.

On April 26, 1945, about 10,000 surviving prisoners were loaded into four ships - the passenger liners Deutschland and Cap Arcona and two large steamers, SS Thielbek and Athen. The prisoners were in the ship's holds for several days without food or water.

The order to transfer the prisoners from the camps to the prison ships came from Hamburg Gauleiter Karl Kaufmann, who was himself acting on orders from Berlin. Kaufmann later claimed during a War Crimes Tribunal that the prisoners were destined for Sweden, however, at the same trial Bassewitz-Behr, the head of the Hamburg Gestapo, said that the prisoners were in fact slated to be killed in compliance with Himmler's orders, and it has been suggested that the plan called for scuttling the ships with the live prisoners still aboard.

On May 3, 1945, the ships were attacked by three squadrons of Royal Air Force Hawker Typhoons. The RAF believed the ships carried SSpersonnel who were being transferred to Norway, intelligence that the ships carried concentration camp prisoners did not reach the squadrons in time to halt the attack. The Thielbek was sunk and the Cap Arcona and Deutschland set on fire, they both later sank; survivors who jumped into the water were strafed with canon-fire by the RAF aircraft. Thousands of dead were washed ashore just as the British Army occupied the area; the British forced German prisoners-of-war and civilians to dig mass graves to dispose of the bodies

On May 2, 1945 the SS and the last prisoners left the Neuengamme camp.

After the war

Following the end of the war, the camp was initially used as a Russian DP (Displaced persons) Camp, German prisoners of war were held separately. After June 1945 the camp was used by the British forces as an internment camp for SS members and Nazi officials.

Following guilty verdicts given in the Neuengamme War Trials, on 8 October 1946 British executioner Albert Pierrepoint hanged the following 11 people at Hamelin Prison for war crimes perpetrated at Neuengamme concentration camp during the war:

  • Max Pauly
  • SS Dr Bruno Kitt
  • Anton Thumann
  • Johann Reese
  • Willy Warnke
  • SS Dr Alfred Trzebinski
  • Heinrich Ruge
  • Wilhem Bahr
  • Andreas Brems
  • Wilhelm Dreimann
  • Adolf Speck

Others convicted of crimes committed at Neuengamme received varying terms of imprisonment.

The Civil Internment Camp No. 6 was closed on 13 August 1948. Since 1948 the city of Hamburg used the camp as a prison. Several original buildings of the camp continued to serve as locations in this prison (for example Building Number 9), until February 2006. Since the demolition of the new-build structures in 2007 the whole area is used as a memorial.

Memorial The memorial tower at the former concentration camp Neuengamme.

The KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme (Neuengamme memorial site) is located at Jean-Dolidier-Weg 75 in Bergedorf. A first memorial was erected in 1953 on the site of the former camp garden. It was expanded in 1965, and a "document house" was added in 1981. In 1989, the Hamburg Senatedecided that the prisons erected in 1950 and 1970 on the camp site should be relocated. The older one was closed in 2003, the newer in 2006. In 2005 a new memorial site and museum were opened. Since 1985, there are also memorials at the subcamps Fuhlsbüttel and Sasel, and in theBullenhuser Damm school, where a number of children were murdered after being subjected to medical experiments.

Three of the camp's outposts also serve as public memorials. These are located at Bullenhuser DammKritenbarg 8 and Suhrenkamp 98.

The first of these is a memorial to the murder of 20 children from the Auschwitz concentration camp who had been taken to the main camp at Neuengamme and abused for medical experiments. On April 20, 1945, only weeks before the war was over, they were killed at the Bullenhuser Damm school in Hamburg to cover up that crime. The second is an outpost of Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg-Sasel where Jewish women from the ?ód? Ghettoin Poland were forced to do construction work. The third one is located inside the gatehouse of theFuhlsbüttel penitentiary. Parts of this complex served as concentration camp for communists, opponents of the regime and many other groups. About 450 inmates were murdered here during the Nazi reign.

Ongoing historical research Reconstructed railway wagon at the Neuengamme memorial in which prisoners were transported.

Due to the demolition of the Neuengamme camp and its records by the SS in 1945 and the transportation of inmates to other subcamps or other working locations, the historical work is difficult and ongoing. For example: in 1967 the German Federal Ministry of Justice stated the camp from September 1, 1938 until May 5, 1945. In 2008, the organisation of the Neuengamme memorial site (German: KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme)—an establishment of the Hamburg Ministry of Culture, Sports and Media—stated that the empty camp was explored by British forces on May 2, 1945 and the last inmates were liberated in Flensburg on May 10, 1945. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stated that the camp was established on December 13, 1938 and liberated on May 4, 1945.

 

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Alfred Trzebinski

Alfred Trzebinski 

(29 August 1902 – 8 October 1946)

was an SS-physician at theAuschwitzMajdanek and Neuengamme concentration camps in Nazi Germany. He was sentenced to death and executed for his involvement in war crimes committed at the Neuengamme subcamps.

Trzebinski was born in JutroschinProvince of Posen (now Rawicz County). After his study and graduation he became a physician in Saxony. Trzebinski was a member of the Nazi Party and SS. SS-Stubaf Dr. Trzebinski was acamp physician (German: Lagerarzt) at Auschwitz concentration camp from July 1941 to October 1941, and from October 1941 to September 1943 at the Majdanek camp. He was then transferred to Neuengamme concentration camp. At Neuengamme he was the supervisor for SS physician Kurt Heißmeyer. Heißmeier had done medical experiments on Soviet prisoners of war and children. Trzebinski was liable for the medical care of the inmates of the Neuengamme camp and all its subcamps. Of 100,000 inmates, at least 42,900 died between 1938 and 1945.

Trzebinski was involved in the murder of 20 children at the subcamp Bullenhuser Damm, a former school partly destroyed during the bombing of Hamburg in World War II. Heißmeyer had ordered 20 Jewish children (10 boys and 10 girls) from Auschwitz to continue his experiments. His purpose had been to inject tuberculosis bacteria and to excise the axillary lymph nodes. On the night of 20 April 1945, Trzebinski injected morphine into the children (to sedate them) after which they were hanged in the boiler room of the Bullenhuser Damm school. That same night, 28 adults died as well, mostly Soviet prisoners of war.

Trzebinski was able to escape at the end of the Second World War. On February 1, 1946 he was arrested—after working for the British forces in the POW camp Neumünster—because of the persistency of Walter Freud, a grandchild of Sigmund Freud. Trzebinski was sentenced to death during the "Curiohaus processes" in Rotherbaum in March 1946, also for his complicity in the homicide of the children. At his trial he confessed freely and frankly, saying, "If I had acted as a hero the children might have died a little later, but their fate could no longer be averted" and admitted "you cannot execute children, you can only murder them" but they were "only" Jews. Trzebinski was executed byhanging on 8 October 1946 by Albert Pierrepoint at Hamelin Prison.

 

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Anneliese Kohlmann

Former camp guard Anneliese Kohlmann stands as a prisoner in the recently liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, near the towns of Bergen and Celle, Germany, May 1945. (Photo by George Rodger/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

GERMANY - MAY 01: Former camp guard Anneliese Kohlmann is forced to bury the victims at the liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony, during World War II, May 1945.

 

 

 

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Walter Eisfeld

Walter Eisfeld 

(born 11 July 1905 in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt - died 3 April 1940 in Dachau)

was a German Schutzstaffel officer and Nazi concentration camp commandant.

Eisfeld had been a member of the Artamanen-Gesellschaft, a völkisch back-to-the-land movement, before becoming involved with the Nazi Party and its organisations.

Whilst Schutzhaftlagerführer at Sachsenhausen in January 1940 he was sent to Silesia to examine the possibility of establishing new camps. Against Eisfeld's advice a site at Auschwitz was chosen.

Having risen to the rank of Sturmbannführer, Eisfeld succeeded Hermann Baranowski as commandant at Sachsenhausen concentration campbefore being replaced by Hans LoritzHeinrich Himmler visited Sachsenhausen in early 1940 and, seeing disciplinary problems amongst the guards, ordered Eisfeld to be replaced as camp commandant. He was sent to command the new Neuengamme concentration camp, at the time a sub-camp of Sachsenhausen.

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Martin Gottfried Weiss

 

SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain) Martin Gottfried Weiss, alternatively spelled Weiß

 (3 June 1905 – 29 May 1946)

was the Commandant of Dachau concentration camp in 1945. He also served as the commandant of Neuengamme concentration camp from April 1940 until September 1942.

Weiss was born in Weiden in der Oberpfalz. He was tried during the Dachau Trials of 15 November — 13 December 1945, found guilty, and was executed on 29 May 1946.

Martin Weiss (foreground right, from behind) in the witness box during the Dachau Processes.

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Max Pauly

Max Pauly (June 1, 1907 – October 8, 1946) was an SS Sturmbannführer who was the commandant of Stutthof concentration camp from September, 1939 to August 1942 and commandant of Neuengamme concentration camp and the associated subcamps from September 1942 until liberation in May 1945.

During his tenure as commandant of Neuengamme numerous atrocities occurred including medical experimentation. In 1944 Kurt Heissmeyer conducted experiments on 20 Jewish children in an effort to develop new drugs to treat tuberculosis. The children were brought fromAuschwitz specifically for this purpose. The children and their four Jewish caregivers were murdered by being hanged from hooks on the wall in April 1945 in the basement of theBullenhuser Damm School in Hamburg which had been used as a subcamp.

Pauly was tried by the British for war crimes with thirteen others in the Curio Haus in Hamburgwhich was located in the British occupied sector of Germany. The trial lasted from March 18, 1946 to May 13, 1946. He was found guilty and sentenced to death with 11 other defendants. He was executed by hanging (Tod durch den Strang) by Albert Pierrepoint in Hamelin prison on October 8, 1946

Official Portrait

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Albert Pierrepoint

Albert Pierrepoint 

(30 March 1905 – 10 July 1992)

is the most famous member of the family which provided three of the United Kingdom's official hangmen in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Clayton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and lived in BradfordLincoln,Oldham and the seaside resort of Southport.

Following the Second World War, the British occupation authorities conducted a series of trials of concentration camp staff, and from the initial Belsen Trial 11 death sentences were handed down in November 1945. It was agreed that Pierrepoint would conduct the executions, and on 11 December he flew to Germany for the first time to execute the 11, plus two other Germans convicted of murdering an RAF pilot in the Netherlands in March 1945. Over the next four years, he was to travel to Germany and Austria 25 times to execute 200 war criminals. The press discovered his identity and he became a celebrity, hailed as a sort of war hero, meting out justice to the Nazis. The boost in income provided by the German executions allowed Pierrepoint to leave the grocery business, and he and Anne took over a pub on Manchester Road,Hollinwood, between Oldham and Failsworth, named "Help the Poor Struggler". He later moved to another pub, the "Rose and Crown" at Much Hoole, near Preston

It is believed that Pierrepoint executed at least 433 men and 17 women, including six U.S. soldiers at Shepton Mallet and some 200 Nazi war criminals after World War II. He asserted in his autobiography never to have given a precise number of his executions, not even when giving testimony to the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment of 1949. A figure of 608 people was given in the credits at the end of the filmPierrepoint, although there is no reference for it..

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Rein Boomsma

Reinder ("Rein") Boomsma 

(19 June 1879, SchagenNorth Holland - 27 May 1943,

 Neuengamme concentration camp) was a Dutchfootballer, who played for Sparta and the Dutch national team.

Boomsma was born in SchagenNorth Holland in 1879, and moved to Rotterdam in 1888. He started to play football on the streets, where he was noticed by Kees van Hasselt. He joined Sparta sometime around 1895. He would remain with the club until his retirement from football in 1907. A year later, in 1908, he was made honorary member of the club.

Boomsma scored the only goal for Sparta in the league game against reigning champions RAP of Amsterdam on October 29, 1899. The match was the first charity game in the Netherlands, held to support the Boer cause in the Second Boer War. The match grossed 1,201guilders and 51.5 cents.

Boomsma was also part of the first Dutch national football team, that played against Belgium on April 30, 1905. He also played for the Netherlands in the return match in Rotterdam on May 14, 1905. These would remain the only matches Boomsma played for the Netherlands.

Boomsma volunteered to join the Royal Netherlands Army on July 1, 1898, and eventually became a colonel. Boomsma was stationed inAssen when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940; Boomsma's unit was moved to Rotterdam to defend the city. After the Dutch surrender, Boomsma retired from the army and joined the Dutch resistance. He was betrayed, and died in the Neuengamme concentration camp.

 

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Claude Bourdet

Claude Bourdet (28 October 1909, Paris - 20 March 1996), son of the dramatic author Édouard Bourdet, was a writer, journalist, polemist, and a militant French politician, who was born in 1909 and died in 1996 in Paris. He was a son of the poet Catherine Pozzi.

He left the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich with an engineering diploma in technical physics in 1933. After his military service in the Artillerie de Montagne, he was put in charge of a mission for the Economy Ministry, during the government of the Front populaire.

He was very active in French Resistance movements. He participated in the foundation of the resistance newspaper Combat along with Frenay, of which he was a member of the management committee, until the departure of Frenay to London and later Algeria in 1943, when he was made its representative. From 1942 he took part in the creation and development of the newspaper with the task of dividing the public administrations.

In 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo, and after being imprisoned at Fresnes, he was deported to various concentration camps, including NeuengammeSachsenhausen and Buchenwald.

After the war, he continued to write in Combat, but his conflict with the owner of the newspaper, Henri Smadja, returned. He left the newspaper in 1950.

With Gilles Martinet and Roger Stéphane in 1950 he formed L’Observateur, which became L’Observateur Aujourd’hui in 1953, and then theFrance-Observateur in 1954. Claude Bourdet defended the union of the left and social justice. He supported the anti-colonial fight, denouncing repression in Madagascar and torture in Algeria.

In 1961 he investigated and denounced the prefect of the police force Maurice Papon in connection with the shootings of Algerian FLN demonstrators on October 17 of that year, in the Paris massacre of 1961.

His political militancy created tensions which led to a major rupture of the France-Observateur team in 1963, and his subsequent departure from the newspaper.

He continued to publish articles in Témoignage chrétienPolitique Hebdo or Politis, and took part in the special numbers of the Nouvel Observateur.

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Emil František Burian

Emil František Burian 

(June 11, 1904 – August 9, 1959)

was a Czech poet, journalist, singer, actor, musician, composer, dramatic adviser, playwright and director. He was also active in Communist Party of Czechoslovakia politics.

Burian was born in Plze?Czechoslovakia, where he came from a musical family. His father, Emil Burian, was an opera singer. E. F. Burian is the father of singer and writer Jan Burian. In 1927, he graduated from the Prague Conservatory, in the class of J. B. Foerster, but he began participating in cultural life much sooner. E. F. Burian was a member of Dev?tsil, an association of Czech avant-gardeartists. In 1926–1927, he worked with Osvobozené divadlo, but after disputes with Jind?ich Honzl, he and Ji?í Frejka left the theatre. Later, they founded their own theatre, Da-Da. He also worked with theModerní studio theatre scene. In 1927 he founded the musical and elocutionary ensemble Voiceband.

In 1923, he joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. His work, strongly influenced by communist ideas, bordered on political agitation. In May 1933, he founded the D 34 theatre, with a strongly leftist-oriented program.

In 1941, Burian was arrested and spent the rest of World War II in German concentration camps at the Small Fortress Theresienstadt,Dachau and finally in Neuengamme. He helped to organize illegal cultural programs for the inmates. In 1945, he survived the RAF attack against the prison ship Cap Arcona, and returned to Czechoslovakia, where he was already presumed dead. After the war, he founded D 46 and D 47 theatre, and led theatres in Brno and the operetta house in Karlín. After Victorious February in 1948, he worked as a member of the Czechoslovak communist parliament. In the post-war time, he became one of the leading promoters of the communist cultural nomenclature. He attempted to reorganize theatres, with a goal of placing communists into leadership posts of theatres.

Burian died in 1959 in Prague.

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Michel Hollard

Michel Hollard is a French wartime resister and engineer that founded theespionage group Réseau AGIR during World War II.

His contribution was recognised by the British with the award of the Distinguished Service Order having "reconnoitered a number of heavily guarded V1 sites and reported on them". Hollard's efforts included 49 trips smuggling reports to a British attache in Switzerland.

nitially serving in World War I, Hollard subsequently became an engineer and was employed by Maison Gazogène Autobloc, a manufacturer of wood gas generators. Hollard founded the AGIR in 1941.

Following his capture in February 1944, he was tortured and imprisoned first at Fresnes Prison and in June 1944 as a forced laborer at the main Neuengamme concentration camp (prisoner "F 33,948"). In 1945, as a result of Swedish intervention Hollard had been one of a group of prisoners transferred to the ship Magdalena after being evacuated on April 20 via the prison ship Thielbek. The Thielbek was sunk on May 3 by a Royal Air Force attack on German shipping.

V-1-site no. 685, Val Ygot near Ardouval(Seine-MaritimeFrance); V-1 on a reconstructed ramp torso.

Post-war, Hollard "was given the rank of Colonel" and, despite the V-1's destruction of over 800,000 London houses through September 1944, Sir Brian Horrockscalled him "the man who literally saved London".

 

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Anton de Kom

Cornelis Gerard Anton de Kom 

(22 February 1898 – 24 April 1945)

was a Surinamese resistance fighter and anti-colonialist author.

De Kom was born in ParamariboSuriname to farmer Adolf de Kom and Judith Jacoba Dulder. His father was born a slave. As was not uncommon, his surname is a reversal of the slave owner's name, who was called Mok.

De Kom finished primary and secondary school and obtained a diploma in bookkeeping. He worked for the Balata Compagnieën Suriname en Guyana. On 29 July 1920 he resigned and left for Haiti where he worked for the Societé Commerciale Hollandaise Transatlantique. In 1921, he left for the Netherlands. He volunteered for the Huzaren (a Dutch cavalry regiment) for a year. In 1922 he started working for a consultancy in The Hague. One year later he was laid off due to a reorganization. He then became a sales representative selling coffee, tea and tobacco for a company in The Hague, where he met his future wife. In addition to his work, he was active in numerous left-wing organizations, including nationalist Indonesian student organisations and Links Richten (Aim Left).

De Kom and his family left for Suriname on 20 December 1932 and arrived on 4 January 1933. From that moment on he was closely watched by the colonial authorities. He started a consultancy in his parents' house. On February 1, he was arrested while en route to the governor's office with a large group of followers. Both on February 3 and the day after, his followers gathered in front of the Attorney General's office to demand De Kom's release. On February 7, a large crowd gathered on the Oranjeplein (currently called the Onafhankelijkheidsplein). Rumor had it that De Kom was about to be released. When the crowd refused to leave the square, police opened fire, killing two people and wounding 30.

On May 10, De Kom was sent to the Netherlands without trial and exiled from his native country. He was unemployed and continued writing his book, Wij slaven van Suriname (We Slaves of Suriname) which was published in a censored form in 1934. De Kom participated in demonstrations for the unemployed, traveled abroad with a group as a tap dancer, and was drafted for Werkverschaffing (unemployment relief work), a program similar to the AmericanWPA, in 1939. He gave lectures for leftist groups, mainly communists, about colonialism andracial discrimination.

After the German invasion in 1940, De Kom joined the Dutch resistance, especially the communist party in The Hague. He wrote articles for the underground paper De Vonk of the communist party, mainly about the terror of fascist groups in the streets of The Hague (much of their terror was directed against Jews). On 7 August 1944, he was arrested. He was imprisoned at the Oranje Hotel in Scheveningen, and transferred to Camp Vught, a Dutchconcentration camp. In early September 1944, he was sent to Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, where he was forced to work for the Heinkel aircraft factory. De Kom died on 24 April 1945 oftuberculosis in Camp Sandbostel near Bremervörde (between Bremen and Hamburg), which was a satellite camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp. He was buried in a mass grave. In 1960, his remains were found and brought to the Netherlands. There he was buried at the Cemetery of Honours in Loenen.

De Kom was married to a Dutch woman, Petronella Borsboom. They had four children. Their son, Cees de Kom, lives in Suriname.

The University of Suriname was renamed The Anton de Kom University of Suriname in honor of De Kom.

Anton de Kom was listed in De Grootste Nederlander (The Greatest Dutchman/Dutchwoman) as #102 out of 202 people.

In Amsterdam Zuidoost a square is named after him, the Anton de Kom plein. It features a sculpture of Anton de Kom as a monument to his life and works, sculpted by Jikke van Loon.

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Henry Wilhelm Kristiansen

Henry Wilhelm Kristiansen 

(12 February 1902 - 16 January 1942)

was a Norwegian newspaper editor and politician for the Communist Party. He served as party chairman from 1931 to 1934, and then as editor-in-chief of the party organ Arbeideren from 1934 until 1940. Due to the Nazi German occupation of Norway, the newspaper was closed in 1940, and Kristiansen was deported together with his wife in 1941. He died in Neuengamme concentration camp in 1942.

 

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Fritz Pfeffer

Friedrich "Fritz" Pfeffer 

(30 April 1889 – 20 December 1944)

was a German dentist and Jewishrefugee who hid with Anne Frank during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands, and who perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp in Northern Germany. In Anne Frank's posthumously published diary, all names, apart from those of the Frank family, were changed to preserve the privacy of individuals mentioned. Pfeffer was given the pseudonym Albert Dussel.

Fritz was born in Gießen, Germany, one of the five children of Ignatz Pfeffer and Jeannette Hirsch-Pfeffer, who lived above their clothing and textiles shop at 6 Marktplatz in Giessen. After completing his education, Fritz trained as a dentist and jaw surgeon, obtained a license to practice in 1911 and opened a surgery the following year in Berlin.

He served in the German Army during the First World War and afterwards, in 1921 married Vera Bythiner (31 March 1904 – 30 September 1942), who was born in Posen in Imperial Germany(now Pozna?, Poland). The marriage produced a son, Werner Peter Pfeffer (3 April 1927 – 14 February 1995), then the couple divorced in 1932. Fritz was granted custody of the boy and raised him alone until November 1938, when the rising tide of Nazi activity in Germany persuaded him to send him into the care of his brother Ernst in England. Werner emigrated to California in 1945 after his uncle's death and changed his name to Peter Pepper, later establishing a successful office supplies company under that name.

The tide of antisemitism in Germany, which increased from the election of Adolf Hitler in 1933, forced most of Fritz's relatives to flee the country. His mother had died in 1925; his father remarried and remained in Germany, only to be arrested; he died in Theresienstadt in October 1942. His elder brother Julius Pfeffer had died in 1928, Emil Pfeffer emigrated to South Africa in 1937, Ernst Pfeffer moved to England and died in 1944, and Hans left for New Jersey. Their sister Minna remained with their father in Germany and died in Nazi custody. Vera escaped to Holland but was arrested in 1942 and died in Auschwitz.

Fritz Pfeffer and Charlotta Kaletta, 1939

In 1936 he met a young woman Charlotta Kaletta (1910 – 1985), born in Ilmenau, Thuringia in Central Germany, who shared his history of a broken marriage. She was estranged from her first husband, Ludwig Lowenstein, and their son Gustaf. Neither survived the war. (Photos of Ludwig Lowenstein and his son, Gustav, can be found on the Yad Vashem website.) The couple moved in together but were prohibited from marrying under the 1935 Nazi Nuremberg Laws which forbade marriages between Jews and non-Jews.

Kristallnacht cemented their decision to leave Berlin and they fled to Amsterdam in December 1938. They were there for two years before the German invasion, and subsequent anti-Jewish laws which did not permit the co-habitation of Jews and non-Jews, forced them to officially separate and register under different addresses. After establishing a dental practice in Amsterdam's Rivierenbuurt he became acquainted with the Van Pels and Frank families. Miep Gies met Pfeffer at one of the Franks' house parties and became a patient in his dental practice.

In the autumn of 1942, he decided to go into hiding and inquired with Miep Gies about suitable addresses. She consulted Otto Frank, who, with his and the van Pels family, was being hidden by her in secret rooms in the Franks' office building. Frank agreed to accommodate Pfeffer and he was taken into their hiding place on 16 November, where his medical degree came in handy as they could not contact a doctor while in hiding.

Margot Frank moved into a room with her parents, to allow Pfeffer to share a small room with Anne, beginning what would become a torturous relationship for both. It has been suggested by at least one biographer that Anne's extreme discomfort at sharing her room with a middle aged man while she was going through puberty may have been at the root of her problems with Pfeffer but the pressures of being in hiding and the generational differences of the forty year age gap between them undoubtedly exacerbated the differences in their natures. Pfeffer felt his age gave him seniority over Anne and wrote off her writing activities as unimportant compared to his own studies. His observance of orthodoxJudaism clashed with her liberal views; her energy and capriciousness grated on his nerves, while his pedantry and rigidity frustrated her. Anne's irritations and growing dislike of Pfeffer led to complaints and derisory descriptions of him in her diary, against which his son Werner and wife Charlotta defended him once the book was published.

Pfeffer left a farewell note to Charlotta and they stayed in touch through Miep, who met her on a weekly basis to exchange their letters and take provisions from her. His letters never disclosed the location of his hiding place and Miep never revealed it, but on 4 August 1944 Pfeffer and the seven other occupants of the hiding place were anonymously betrayed and arrested for deportation to Nazi concentration camps.

With the rest of the group and two of their protectors, Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler, Pfeffer was taken to the Nazi headquarters in Amsterdam-South, then to a prison for three days before being transported to Westerbork on 8 August. Pfeffer was taken to the Punishment Barracks with the others, where he undertook hard labour, until he was selected for deportation to Auschwitz on 3 September. He was separated from the others on arrival on 6 September and sent to the men's barracks, where he was reunited with Otto Frank. On 29 October he was transferred with 59 other medics to Sachsenhausen and from there to Neuengamme on an unknown date, where he died of according to the camp's records, enterocolitis, in the sick barracks on 20 December 1944 at the age of 55.

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David Rousset

David Rousset (January 18, 1912, RoanneLoire — December 13, 1997) was a French writer and political activist, a recipient of Prix Renaudot, a French literary award. Survivor of the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp, he is famous for his books about concentration camps.

He was the first person to use the term "Gulag" in French language, revealing to French the Soviet system of labor camps. In 1949, learning that the concentration camps destroyed in Nazi Germany still existed in the Soviet Union, he appealed to former inmates of Nazi camps to form a commission to inspect the USSR camps, which became the "International Commission Against Concentrationist Regimes".

For his efforts he was attacked by the French communist newspaper French Letters (fr:Les Lettres françaises), which accused him of slander of the Soviet Union, forging the texts of the Soviet laws, and misinformation. Rousset brought charges against the newspaper, and in 1951 he won the case.

 

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Dr. Kurt Schumacher

Dr. Kurt Schumacher 

(13 October 1895 - 20 August 1952),

was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany from 1945 to 1952.

Kurt Schumacher was born in Kulm in West Prussia (now Che?mno in Poland), the son of a small businessman. He was a brilliant student, but when the First World War broke out in 1914 he immediately abandoned his studies and joined the German Army. In December, west of ?owicz in Poland, he was so badly wounded that his right arm had to be amputated. He returned to his studies in Berlin, graduating in law and politics, and became a dedicated socialist.

In 1918 Schumacher joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and led ex-servicemen in forming Workers and Soldiers Councils in Berlin during the revolutionary days following the fall of the German monarchy. He opposed various attempts by Communist groups to seize power. In 1920 the SPD sent him to Stuttgart to edit the party newspaper there, the Schwäbische Tagwacht.

Schumacher was elected to the Württemberg Landtag (state legislature) in 1924 and in 1928 became the SPD leader in the state. When theNazi Party rose to prominence, Schumacher helped organize socialist militias to oppose them. In 1930 he was elected to the national legislature, the Reichstag. In August 1932 he was elected to the SPD leadership group; at age 38 he was youngest SPD member of the legislature.

Schumacher was staunchly anti-Nazi. In a Reichstag speech on February 23, 1932, he excoriated Nazism as "a continuous appeal to the inner swine in human beings" and stated the movement had been uniquely successful in "ceaselessly mobilizing human stupidity." The inability of the SPD and the German Communist Party to form a united front meant that they couldn't prevent the Nazis coming to power in January 1933. Schumacher was arrested in July and was severely beaten in prison. He spent the next ten years in concentration camps atHeubergKuhbergFlossenbürg and Dachau. The camp at Dachau was intended for people whom the Nazis wanted to keep alive, and the fact that he was a disabled ex-service man gained Schumacher some leniency, but he risked his life through repeated defiance and hunger strikes.

In 1943, when Schumacher was near death, his brother-in-law succeeded in persuading a Nazi official to have him released into his custody. He was arrested again in late 1944, and he was in Neuengamme concentration camp when the British arrived in April 1945.

 

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Johann Trollmann

 

Johann Wilhelm Trollmann 

(27 December 1907 - 9 February 1943)

was a German Sinto boxer.

Trollmann became prominent in the late 1920s. On 9 June 1933, he fought for the German light-heavyweight title and although he clearly led by points over his opponent Adolf Witt, the fight was judged "no result". The audience rebelled, and the Nazi officials were forced to acknowledge Trollmann as the victor. Six days later, however, he was again stripped of the title. A new fight was scheduled for 21 July, with Gustav Eder as Trollmann's opponent. Trollmann was threatened that he had to change his "dancing" style or lose his license. Trollmann, of Sinti heritage, arrived the day of the match with his hair dyed blonde and his body whitened with flour, the caricature of anAryan. He took the blows of his opponent for five rounds before he collapsed.

The persecution of Sinti and Roma in Germany dramatically increased in the following years.Sterilization often prevented their internment in concentration camps, and Trollmann too underwent this operation. In 1939 he was drafted into the Wehrmacht, and fought on the eastern front. He was wounded in 1941 and was returned to Germany as a result. The Gestapo arrested him in June 1942, and he was interned in Neuengamme concentration camp. He tried to keep a low profile, but the camp commandant had been a boxing official before the war and recognized Trollmann. He used Trollman as a trainer for his troops during the nights. The prisoners committee decided to act, as Trollman's health deteriorated. They faked his death and managed to get him transferred to the adjacent camp of Wittenberge under an assumed identity. The former star was soon recognized and the prisoners organized a fight between him and Emil Cornelius, a former criminal and hated Kapo (a prisoner given privileges for taking on responsibilities in the camp). Inevitably Trollmann won. Cornelius soon sought revenge for his humiliation and forced Trollmann to work all day until he was exhausted, before attacking and killing him with a shovel. Trollmann was just 36 years old.

In 2003 the German boxing federation decided to recognize Trollmann as the winner of the 1933 championship.

 

 

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Remy Dumoncel

Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2010 by joedresch

Remy was born in a small French town to Catholic parents.  In 1913, after studying law at the University of Paris, he joined the Tallandier publishing house in Paris.  During World War I, he served in the French army and was wounded five times.  He returned to work at Tallandier after the war, and in 1919, he married Germaine Tallandier, the daughter of the owner.  They had five children, whom they raised as devout Catholics.

1933-39: In 1935, Remy became the mayor of Avon, a small town about 35 miles southeast of Paris.  Remy was proud of his town, which was famous for its royal palace and nearby forest of Fontainebleau.  A strongly patriotic Frenchman, he distrusted Germany after Hitler came to power there in 1933.

1940-44: In June 1940, the Germans defeated France and occupied Avon on the 16th.  Remy resolved to remain mayor and became active in a resistance group called “Velite Thermopyles.”  He gave financial support to Jewish and other writers whose works could no longer be published.  He sheltered some Alsatian Jews in Dordogne, where he owned a home.  Using his office as mayor to protect Jews and other fugitives, he provided them with false papers, and helped them flee south to the unoccupied part of France, or to safe houses.

On May 4, 1944, Remy was arrested in Avon by the Gestapo upon returning from a business trip to Paris.  He died in the Neuengamme concentration camp on Mary 15, 1945.

Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_oi.php?lang=en&Moduleld=10005539&Mediald=254

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