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Erzählerin: Christine Jensen
Sprecher: Jared Dibaba

Heinrich Hartwig * 1919

Anton-Ree-Weg 1 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hammerbrook)

gedemütigt entrechtet
Flucht in den Tod 07.03.1939

Heinrich "Heinz” Gerhard Johann Hartwig, born on 19 Jan. 1919, suicide on 7 Mar. 1939 in Hamburg

Anton-Rée-Weg 1 (previously Campestrasse 13)

Heinrich Hartwig was born in Schüttorf, County of Bentheim, in 1919. In 1933, he joined the Hitler Youth (HJ). In the winter of 1936/37, he volunteered for the [Reich] Labor Service. After quitting several apprenticeships, he learned the trade of car mechanic. He had a long-standing relationship with a travelling salesman of Adam Opel GmbH.

On 7 Mar. 1939, around 1:45 a.m., Heinrich Hartwig was found seriously injured near Tiefenstack train station. He had jumped out of a K.d.F. train ("Kraft durch Freude” = "Strength through Joy,” an organization of the German Labor Front [DAF] for company leisure activities), which was scheduled to take him and his HJ comrades from Berlin to Hamburg.

On the way to the Harbor Hospital, he died of his injuries. As the police investigations revealed, he had committed suicide "because of shame that the relationship would be discovered.” He left a farewell letter to a friend.

Berlin, 6 Mar. 1939
Dear Richard.
You are going to laugh but we will not see each other anymore. Why? For the simple reason that I will not come back to Hamburg alive. I have reached the end. I know, you will consider me a fool. But you know from your own experience with me that it is not much of a loss. Unfortunately [I am] a human being without any good characteristics. HJ leader? I never had what it takes for that. So what remains? Nothing and not even nothing. So, Richard, I shall depart. My parents will believe it was an accident.
I greet you for the last time,
Long live love and the surrounding beer villages!

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Bernhard Rosenkranz/Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaHH, 331-5 Polizeibehörde – Unnatürliche Sterbefälle, 531/39.

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