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Ferdinand Buhk * 1909

Rothenhauschaussee 217 (Bergedorf, Bergedorf)

KZ Fuhlsbüttel
tot nach Folter 1934 KZ Fuhlsbüttel

Ferdinand Buhk, born 2 Nov. 1909 in Hamburg, possible suicide 14 Sep. 1934 in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp

Rothenhauschaussee 217

Ferdinand Buhk was the illegitimate child of Emilie Buhk (*16 Apr. 1887 in Besenhorst near Lüneburg) and the painter Wladislaus Surdukowski (*21 May 1889 in Gniezno, Poland). He lived with his mother until he was eight years old, when the child welfare agency gave custody to his father. Thereafter he lived with his father in Bergedorf at Rothenhauschaussee 217. He became a mechanical engineer.

In the 1930s he worked at Weil & Reineke, a manufacturer of technical items, at Grüner Deich 108. He was a member of the Republikanische Pfadfinder, a youth organization similar to the Boy Scouts with close ties to the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany), and of the International Organization of Good Templars. He left the Pfadfinder in 1931 to join the Communist Youth Organization of Germany (KJVD). He went on outings and participated in training courses with the Bergedorf KJVD group. When the Nazi Party took power and Communist organizations were banned, he remained with the KJVD in the underground.

On 26 March 1933, Ferdinand Buhk and other members of the group were arrested when they were caught painting anti-Nazi slogans on houses and streets. They were taken to the Schwarzenbek prison, where the director allowed friends to supply them with food. Ferdinand Buhk was charged with "conspiracy to commit high treason”, but the charges were dropped on 29 May 1933 and it didn’t come to a trial. The group was released at the end of April.
After this experience, Ferdinand Buhk became the political leader of the Bergedorf KJVD group. With the help of an informant in the regional leadership of the organization, the Gestapo arrested a young woman from the group. Under the pressure of a Gestapo interrogation, she named other members of the group.

Ferdinand Buhk and some of his comrades were arrested on 13 September 1934. He was interrogated and severely maltreated in the Hamburg Gestapo headquarters at Stadthausbrücke. That evening he was transferred to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp. He was given his morning ration of coffee the next morning at 7:00, and the guards loosened the shackles on his wrists enough so that he could drink it. He was found dead in his cell at 8 a.m. He had allegedly hanged himself with his handkerchief on the hook of the air vent. The district attorney’s office questioned the official cause of death, "suicide by hanging,” instituted proceedings, and had the body examined.

The autopsy report by Johannes Rode, commandant of Fuhlsbüttel states: "The examination of the body of Buhk by the camp medic and myself showed that Buhk must have received blows to the buttocks during his interrogation at Gestapo headquarters. The buttocks are bruised and have welts on both sides. I advise against allowing family members to see the body, and the body should be transferred immediately to the crematorium.” At the insistence of the District Attorney, the body was examined once more at the Hafenkrankenhaus. The medical examiners there reported severe maltreatment, and certified the cause of death as "death by hanging.” The investigation was closed, and the District Attorney was put on leave by the Hamburg Minister of Justice, Curt Rothenberger.

After the war, Wladislaus Surdukowski submitted a request to the Restitution Agency for a parent’s pension as a surviving dependant. The request was denied because the records containing the official recognition of his paternity could not be found, and because his son was illegitimate, he was not considered to be a relative according to the restitution law.

Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Björn Eggert, Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: StaH 332-5, 9867 142-1934; StaH 351-11, 11495; StaH, Auskunft von Herrn Bollmann, Mail 17.08.2010; FZH, 353-38, Kolafu, Pol. Verfahren Buhk; Alfred Dreckmann, In Bergedorf war alles genauso (Bergedorfer Schlosshefte 9), 2. Aufl., Bergedorf 2004, S. 177ff; Herbert Diercks, Gedenkbuch Kola-Fu, Hamburg 1987, Seite 16f; VVN /BdA Fuhlsbüttel-Langenhorn-Norderstedt, Gestapo-Gefängnis Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg 1983, S. 63; Ursel Hochmuth, Gertrud Meyer, Streiflichter aus dem Hamburger Widerstand, Frankfurt 1980.

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