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Friedrich Dicke * 1890
Haderslebener Straße 11 (Hamburg-Nord, Dulsberg)
Friedrich Dicke, born on 16 Aug. 1890 in Wuppertal/Barmen, killed in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp on 28 May 1937
Haderslebener Strasse 11
In the 1890s, not long after the birth of their son Friedrich, Friedrich Dicke senior and his wife moved with their family from Wuppertal to Hamburg, where their son attended the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) from 1897 to 1905. From 1905 to 1908, he completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter, then spending some time as a journeyman in Holstein and the Rhineland before settling in Hamburg as a carpenter for good. From 1911 to 1913, he did his military service with the topographical recording department of the German Army and after his discharge, he was employed by the surveyor’s office of the building authority. When war broke out in Aug. 1914, Friedrich Dicke was immediately drafted for military service and deployed to the western front. Already in Sept. of that year, he came into French captivity after being seriously wounded. He had sustained a severe injury to his spinal cord, as a result of which he was paralyzed for a year and a half. Released from captivity to Hamburg only in Feb. 1920, he was able to return to his old job with the surveyor’s office, though working there no longer as a carpenter but as a surveying assistant because of the reduction in full earning capacity due to his war injury. In the 1930s, he was put in charge of managing the surveying authority’s maintenance workshop with a staff of five.
In 1922, he married Elfriede Wirtz (born in 1895) who was also a native of Barmen. With her he had sons Friedrich (born in 1923), and Karl-Heinz (born in 1925), and daughter Helga (born in 1936). By the beginning of the 1930s at the latest, the family lived in a one-bedroom apartment at Haderslebener Strasse 11 in Dulsberg. Since 1910, Friedrich Dicke was politically active in the SPD. In the early 1930s he joined the "Iron Front” ("Eiserne Front”), an alliance founded for the defense of the Weimar Republic by his party, by the Republican military association of the "Black, Red, and Gold Banner of the Reich” ("Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold”), by the Social Democratic trade unions, as well as by workers’ sports clubs. It is not known whether he was engaged actively in political resistance after 1933. However, long after the war his sons stated that they were able to recall that once the treasurer of an organization paid them a visit at home, calling Hitler a "criminal,” to which the Dicke parents reacted frightened, keeping the treasurer away from the children. In fact, the operation that the Gestapo carried out the night of 26 May 1937 was not directed specifically at Friedrich Dicke but at smashing a group of the "Banner of the Reich” and of the "protective units” supposedly active in Dulsberg. Apart from their father, the Dicke sons reported, "five or six” comrades were arrested in the small Haderslebener Strasse alone and additional ones in neighboring streets in Dulsberg.
For Friedrich Dicke, this arrest was to have fatal consequences: Only two days later, his wife received the official notification that her husband had died in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp ("Kola-Fu”). Apparently, the letter also indicated that he had been arrested because of "preparation to high treason” and "illegal political activity.” Subsequently, his oldest son Friedrich and his younger brother went to a private general practitioner on Erdkampsweg to fetch the death certificate for him. It reportedly indicated: "Death occurred due to strangulation.” Whether it really constituted a suicide or – as in a considerable number of cases in the "Kola-Fu” – a judicial murder was impossible to determine any longer after 1945. After the end of the war, an SPD comrade and fellow prisoner confirmed that back then he had heard in prison that Friedrich Dicke had hanged himself.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Benedikt Behrens
Quellen: StaH 351-11, AfW, 16978; StaH 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft OLG – Verwaltung, Abl. 2, 451a E 1, 1b; Interview Hans Jürgen Plaumann mit Friedrich und Karl-Heinz Dicke v. 23.7.1992, in: Archiv Geschichtsgruppe Dulsberg; VVN-Archiv; VAN (Hrsg.), Totenliste Hamburger Widerstandskämpfer und Verfolgter 1933–1945, Hamburg 1968; Diercks, Herbert, Gedenkbuch Kola-Fu, Hamburg 1987, S. 17; Plaumann, Hans Jürgen, Nacherkundungen zu "Spurensuche des Nationalsozialismus und des Widerstandes am Dulsberg", Hamburg 1998, S. 70.