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Brunswick 1930-1945

Lion of Brunswiek General overview
  1. BRUNSWIEK at the end of the Weimarer republic
  2. The situation of the jews from 1933
  3. Situation of the 'Sintis' (Gipsy)
  4. Justice and NSDAP
  5. Church and NSDAP
  6. Back to the homepage

The other city tour - select to you your station...
  • Am Gaußberg 1 - 'Judenhäuser'
  • 'Gestapoplace' - Leopoldstraße
  • Eichtalviertel (near Hospital Celler Street)
  • 'Home for delivery of workers from the east'
  • MIAG - Ernst-Amme-Street
  • Synagoge - Alte Knochenhauerstreet
  • Rennelberg
  • Upper country court
  • AOK - 'Am Fallersleber Tore
  • Church St. Blasius - Dom
  • Nußberg
  • Schloß - 'SS-Junkerschool'
  • Main cemetery - Helmstedter Street
  • Peoplefriendhouse - Schloßstreet
  • Concentration camp: Schillmonument
  • Lehndorf
  • Newbuildings of barracks
  • Two examples
  • Compulsionworkercamp: Griegstreet
  • Conclusion
  • 'Akademy for youth leadership'
  • 'Adolf-Hitler-House' Wolfenbüttler Street
  • Source

  • Link to "Vernetztes Gedächtnis"


    The city of Brunswick was a part of the former free state Brunswick. In the free state Brunswick the social democrats with the Prime Minister Dr. Heinrich Jasper ruled till 1930.
    The first purpose at the civil parties with the regional elections of 1930 was to overthrow the social-democratic alone government. In addition the civil parties had united under leadership of the German national, a legal-conservative party, to a unity list. Results of the election 1930
    However, the expected election success for the civil unity list was missing. They received only 11 of 40 Landtag seats. An unexpected success reached against however the NSDAP. It had increased their mandate number of from 1 to 9. Above all, impoverished citizens from the middle class had elected by the economic crisis the NSDAP of which they expected that their situation would be improved. Both Labor Parties SPD and KPD remained by these elections in the minority. The state party, liberal democrats, received 1 seat.
    Because no party could arrange an alone government after these elections, the civil unity list with the NSDAP came to an agreement to establish a coalition in which the NSDAP the Ministry of the Interior received. Thus the National Socialists had the control of the police and of the school system in Brunswick since end of 1930. Dietrich Klagges (NSDAP) became 1931 Minister of the Interior and provided for the fact that Hitler received the German citizenship in 1932 from the Brunswick government.
    To demonstrate their power, the National Socialists organised on the 17th/18th of October, 1931 a big marching up in Brunswick. Hundred thousand of Saturday men from the whole German empire had been brought to Brunswick. The Nazis attacked street passers-by, people were knocked together brutally. Two workers left behind the Nazis during their night demonstration as a victim. A worker had become so seriously injured from the stabs of Saturday men that he succumbed to his injuries. Another worker who left behind five children and a wife had been murdered by a National Socialist sniper. Besides there was more than 100 injured persons. On the occasion of the funeral of both dead people to whom 25,000 people took part it was worked in Brunswick in no factory. The organised Brunswick work force made in this manner their refusal of the National Socialist terror clear.
    But also the mass meetings of the Brunswick work force could not mislead about the fact that the Brunswick labour movement was German empire - in the defensive - like the labour movement, on the whole. Beside the hostile posture of enterprisers and imperial government had to these two causes:
    1. both Labor Parties SPD and KPD fought against themselves on the most violent one. KPD called SPD social-fascistic party which is to be fought on the most sharp one. The social democrats equated the communists with the National Socialists and rejected every form of collaboration with this party. With these mutual slanders a collaboration was not possible.
    2. beside the political splitting of the labour movement the work force was strongly weakened by the unemployment. In the beginning of 1932 there was in Brunswick a rate of unemployment of 27%. The mass unemployment entailed that the trade unions could represent only insufficiently the interests of the work force. In many companies the enterprisers forced wage shortenings. A support of the national socialism was not possible for the Brunswick work force. In the Brunswick companies the National Socialists could not gain a foothold. The workers remained organised mainly union and they chose furthermore both Labor Parties SPD and KPD.

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    A Brunswick Jew reports for the time in 1933/38:

    "We had a textile business on the middle course, my husband (Leo Rosenstock) with his cousin together. After the actions SA in April, 1933 against the Jewish shops where they scored which people wanted to shop with us we might give no more advertisements in the newspaper. Therefore, my man and his cousin allowed to print promotional leaflet which they distributed in the city. They were indicated by some people because they believed, they distributed communist propaganda. They were arrested, but then were dismissed again when turned out that this was a mistake. A little later the National Socialists organised a great move. We stood at the Old Town market and had a look at the play. The hand lift to the German greeting we were not allowed as Jews and we also did not want. Suddenly came out one of the crowd and hit my husband in the middle in the face with a big top glove because we had not lifted the hand.
    'Jews enter this place in own risc' The pursuit went on during the next years. In 1935 all Jews who were not born in Brunswick had to give up in Brunswick business. My man also had to close his business. Now they were fetched to the work by the airport construction in Waggum. They had to clear, for example, the Stubben and take away on big tipping wagons. Besides, the foremen kicked and harassed them.
    My man was kicked by a foreman, so that he fell about such a tipping wagon and injured himself. In the rusty truck he got a blood poisoning. When I phoned a doctor and said he should come, I would see a red stripe, he answered: ' So the Prussians do not shoot fast '. To it to me, finally, succeeded a doctor in finding who was ready to treat my man, he was quite unconscious. This doctor brought him immediately in the Vinzenz hospital where it remained a year.
    When my brother-in-law came for a few days from Poland, we wanted to bring the omitted help achievement of the doctor to the announcement and turned to the treating doctor, Dr. W., that said:'A crow hacks other no eye is over'. When we tried, nevertheless, the announcement, now one said to us:'You, nevertheless, are Jews! ' - in other words: ' There we do not need to look further around '.
    My man lay till May, 1938 seriously ill and then has passed away. Then I was alone with my both children, still had to promise to him on the deathbed that we go out from Brunswick to America. "
    (Interview with Eva Helene Teidge, widowed Rosenstock)

    Since 1933 the anti-Semitism Nazi regimes stood out in the free state Brunswick in frightening measure. It came to pursuit, maltreatments and to the tyrannizing of this population group. On the 11th March SS men smashed the shop-windows of Jewish shops in the city centre. When for foreign-policy reasons such actions were prohibited, the Nazis tormented Jewish inhabitants of Brunswick by night phone phone calls and raids. As a result many Jews gave up their shops and prepared their emigration.
    The special hatred of the Nazis applied for the Polish Jews. They were arrested on 27./28.10.1938 in a flash action and were pushed away to Poland. This practise was imperial-far exercised.
    After the Jewish pupil Herschel Grynspan shot the German ambassador of Rath in Paris in protest against the deportation of his relatives in the 11/7/1938, the imperial government arranged 'spontaneous' anti-Semitic demonstrations.
    Two days later it came in Brunswick to a full-scale arrest wave. 149 Jews were kidnapped in concentration camp. In Brunswick, Helmstedt, Schöningen and Bad Harzburg smashed Nazi Jewish shops. They set on fire in Wolfenbüttel and Seesen the synagogues and laid waste the Brunswick prayer house. Four weeks after their arrest one let out the locked up of the KZ's and many of them used the opportunity for the crossing the border. 226 Jews nevertheless remained after statement of the Gestapo in 1939 in Brunswick for whom the most dreadful chapter of the pursuit began...

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    After many centuries of the pursuit the Sinti experienced a short time of the breathing by the equalization of all citizens in the Weimar republic. But already since 1929 became permanently against the 'Gipsy's being' gone forward, around in police applications the usual caravan places on the edge of the cities as eyesores wegzusanieren. After 1933 a systematic Kriminalisierung which flowed into racial pursuit like with the Jewish fellow citizens developed from it.
    A terminus for most Brunswick Sinti were Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau. In Auschwitz out there was a regular gypsy camp.
    After the war settled in Brunswick approx. 30 Sintifamilies. All families have lost in 1933-45 members by the pursuit. Almost all old people have been even in Auschwitz, Dachau or Buchenwald and have only survived because they were still children or escaped as 'incapacitated' the destruction.
    Unfortunately, the pursuit of the Sinti has not stopped after the war. A reparation was kept many. If, nevertheless, it occurred, it was a ridiculous arrangement. The 'Gipsy's card indexes' of the land criminal offices were simply continued after the war and there were bad grounds for the refusal of a reparation: The pursuit measures with Gipsies are not caused racially, but 'crime precaution'. In many areas the Sinti also have to fight even today against discrimination. (Written by pastor Herbert Erchinger, working group the Holocaust)

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    The German justice apparatus adapted itself to the change of the Weimar time to the National Socialist leadership without crossing and without great obstacles.
    Quite early the conservative ' German judge's alliance ' expressed itself for a Hitler's regime and joined in 1933 voluntarily to the ' alliance of National Socialist German lawyers '. It was the only professional organisation which agreed without great clamour of the general 'forcing into line'. On the other hand the oppositional 'republican judge's alliance' with the seizure of power of Hitler was forbade and its members of their office were released. The only social-democratic judge in Brunswick, Dr. Staff, was dismissed in 1933 from the justice service and still was arrested at times. This happened without protest of his colleagues. Also in many other cases not the opposition marked the relation of the Brunswick justice to the National Socialist politics, but keeping out. The inhuman, crude action of the NSDAP against Brunswick Jew, to trade unionists, communists and social democrats was tolerated by the judges and public prosecutors. With few exceptions applied the motto: ' See Nothing, nothing hear, nothing say '. These called the same judges and public prosecutors looking back after 1945 as a ' internal emigration ' and withdrew on the neutrality of their professional group.
    The adaptation of the Brunswick justice to the existing system cost the life to many innocent people. The case of Erna Wazinski is characteristic for this. The 19-year-old was sentenced to death for the theft of some clothes and a silvered jewellery small box under use of the 'national damage order', although the judges owned the possibility to avenge the offence with fine or imprisonment. The enforcement of the death sentence occurred on the 23rd November, 1944 in the Richthouse of the penal prison of Wolfenbüttel through decapitation (about this case Adam Seide informs: The Brunswick broad Johanna - a German requiem, syndicate publishing company, Frankfurt in 1986).

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    'By Hitler Christ has become powerful in us... Because we believe God, we believe in Germany and its divine task in the growing church and are therefore German Christians... Every servant of God must be a National Socialist of the action in our national community.' (Priest of Greens during the Third Reich in the local letter the Brunswick Saint Martini municipality)
    In the Lutheran church municipality of Brunswick it ruled at the moment of the social-democratic controlled government in the end of the 20s discontent. The ideal as well as financial separation of church and state was carried out. Thus the priests experienced the ideological crisis also aggravates as existential ones. The schools were took away from the ecclesiastical influence. In the end, the church pipelines to the rapidly rising escape figures faced helplessly. The guilt saw the church in the Marxist coloured and anti-Christian posture of the social democrats. Therefore, it also referred to the Brunswick regional elections in 1930 unambiguously position: ' By no means social democrats! ' The wishful thinking of the priests was directed on a restoration of the old authority's structure. In this choice drew the NSDAP with in the country government (Landtag).
    Now contented the church saw itself again in the favour of the government (NSDAP/civil unity list). They received full subsidies again, and in the schools could be educated again like a Christian. The church management ascertained content parallels to the program points of the NSDAP:
    · the arrangement of the torn German people.
    · the fight against the penetrating Marxism.
    Thus the church opened to the national socialism as a more favorably partner even more independent nevertheless at first. After Hitler had called himself in 1933 Christian authority, the Brunswick church also rejoiced, and in a zeal like in no other German country mixed church and party: Almost one third of the priests entered in the 5/1/1933 into the NSDAP, brown uniforms filled the churches, and already to the church congress in 1933 all synods appeared in SA uniform. The return to the ' monarchist, Christian authority's structure ' seemed guaranteed. The churches entry figures shot up upwards - how those of the NSDAP. The Protestant auxiliary-willing of the like a Christian being called dictatorship gathered already in 1932 as ' German Christians ' who aimed at the plan into each other from church and party. By the elections for the church parliaments in 1933 they hit with 82% more list careful on distance ' Gospel and church '. In dealing with the opposition the new ecclesiastical leadership style stood out: It was dismissed, moved and threatened with concentration camp.
    In 1934 church and party went again more on distance, after the Nazi bishop Beye had denounced because of collection embezzlement and had been dropped. It developed a relation of peaceful coexistence. The church accompanied the events before and during the war with ask and thanksgiving services and considered Hitler "as a God-artificial" state power which it, to the patriarchal body of thought according to Luthers, had to support. The war was not questioned; especially the Russia campaign found wide approval as a 'crusade', nevertheless, he was directed against own ideological main enemy. To become one-sided already in 1935 begannn the assistance of the church. Christian contents stepped back in favour of the National Socialist racism to which an aryan oriented church had to submit. Hymns were circumscribed, sermons were monitored and censored, pastors with speech ban booked and services were disturbed. The church reacted not with opposition, but gave up more and more Christian contents to prove her loyalty compared with the state. The oppositional group which had met on the Barmer synod in 1934 remained in Brunswick without importance.

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