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Robert T. Odeman

Hamburg, Germany

Born Martin Hoyer, Robert took Robert T. Odeman as his stage name when he began a professional career as an actor and musician. A classical pianist, Robert gave concerts throughout Europe, but a hand injury tragically ended his concert career.

1933-39: In 1935 Robert opened a cabaret in Hamburg. One year later the Nazis shut it down, charging that it was politically subversive. Robert then moved to Berlin where he developed a close relationship with a male friend who was pressured to denounce Robert to the Gestapo. In November 1937 Robert was arrested under paragraph 175 of the Nazi-revised criminal code, which outlawed homosexuality. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

1940-44: Robert was released from prison in 1940 but remained under police surveillance. They monitored his correspondence with a half-Jewish friend in Munich and with friends abroad. In 1942 Robert was arrested again under paragraph 175 and deported to theSachsenhausen concentration camp. There he was assigned an office job. On a forced march from the camp towards the Baltic in April 1945, 40-year-old Robert escaped with two other "175ers."

After the war, Robert returned to Berlin, where he worked as a writer and composer. He died in 1985.

 

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