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Erzähler: Thomas Karallus
Sprecher/in: Daniela Sting & Michael Latz
Biografie: Ulf Bollmann

August Haucke * 1890

Hansaplatz 13 (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Georg)

JG. 1890
TOT 3.5.1945

Otto August Kurt Haucke, born on 19 Dec. 1890, detained in 1941 and 1942, died probably on 3 May 1945 aboard the Cap Arcona

Hansaplatz 13

A denunciation by the 15-year-old Jürgen F., who worked as a stool pigeon for the criminal investigation department sealed the fate of August Haucke, a native of Schraplau (Lake District of Mansfeld), today in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt – he was not to be free again.

After completing the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule), August Haucke attended the Präparandenanstalt (a former designation of the lower grades of a teacher training college) in Eisleben for three years and then the teacher training college in Mühlhausen (Thuringia) for another three years. Since 1914 until the outbreak of World War I later that year, he worked as an elementary school teacher in Mühlhausen (Thuringia). During the war, he was wounded twice, fighting in the battle of Verdun, and ending in French captivity in 1917, from which he was released only in 1921. Until 1931, he worked again as an elementary school teacher. In 1932, he was pensioned off due to a heart condition. From then on, he lived on a monthly pension of 190 RM (reichsmark). In addition, he performed as a singer in musical plays and concerts until 1936. In 1938/39, he helped in his brother-in-law’s painting company.

August Haucke had to stand trial for the first time on charges of homosexual acts on 29 Jan. 1935. The Erfurt District Court (Amtsgericht) sentenced him to nine months in prison for "unnatural sexual offenses” ("widernatürliche Unzucht”) in accordance with Sec. 175 of the Reich Criminal Code (Reichsstrafgesetzbuch – RStGB). On 21 July 1936, he was once again convicted by the same court for this offense. This time, the sentence was twice as high – one year and six months in prison. On 21 Nov. 1937, Haucke had served his penalty in Mühlhausen.

On 28 Dec. 1940, he solicited the machine-building apprentice F. on Steindamm, arranging to meet him on 2 Jan. 1941 at the intersection of Steindamm and Lindenstrasse. Haucke had estimated F. to be approx. 19 years old. F. later stated: "Right away, I felt that I was dealing with a homosexual … I reported this incident to the 47th K. K. [Kriminalkommissariat – 47th Office of the Criminal Investigation Department] on 31 Dec. 1940. There I was told that I should keep the appointment and immediately call a police officer if the man became obtrusive in any way. I also told my mother about the incident.”

After the two had met up, they visited a number of bars in St. Georg and then went to Haucke’s apartment, where overtures to sexual contact took place. As a result of this, F. wanted to bring August Haucke in to the police station, threatening him with a "blackjack.” Haucke managed to escape by way of a backyard.

Following the first interrogation in the Stadthaus [the headquarters of the Hamburg Gestapo], August Haucke was arrested and detained in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp until 17 Jan. 1941. In the course of the investigation, the criminal investigation department also questioned his sister Gertrud Stange, who in her letter to the "Investigative Assistance for Criminal Justice” (Ermittlungshilfe für Strafrechtspflege) asked for understanding for her brother. The following is an excerpt from the police report dated 7 Feb. 1941:

"During a brief visit by my husband in those days, my brother confessed his tendency. I only saw my brother again after he had served his sentence. With the disguising mask now torn off, I was able to see the deep misery that oppressed my brother. He always had an appreciation of family life and domestic bliss and was unable to attain it because he, as he believed, would thus entangle a woman in the tragedy of such a life. During visits, especially after the first punitive detention, my brother then frequently spoke with my husband about these things from a scientific perspective. And often, the thought that came to the fore was that a medical practitioner would be more necessary than a legal practitioner. I know what the judgment generally is about people [like this], and in the past, I did not think about such matters, as they were foreign to me. However, since I got to know this ailment in such close family connection, compassion is the predominant sentiment. After all, I see my brother in a different way, I see him weak, as it were, quickly beginning to feel affection, harmless, naïve, and these are things that make him all the more pitiable to me as I know now that time and again, extortionists of all sorts approach such people. He is in fact a very naïve character, made blind by his unnatural tendency, and not on his guard as any normal man, who would, without any effort, defend himself by virtue of the animal instincts resting in the subconscious, i.e., I do not know to what extent my brother is the one seduced. But even seen from a different angle, as far as he is to be considered the active part, it is ultimately again the accumulation of all non-male character traits that do not afford people the ability to push away that which is unnatural. Probably it is very difficult to comprehend for a person with a normal disposition, as it is located on a different level. It is only drawn into the criminal sphere by all of the accompanying circumstances.”

On 11 June 1941, Haucke was sentenced by the Hamburg Regional Court (Landgericht) to 15 months in prison in accordance with Secs. 175 and 175a Item 3. An excerpt from the verdict: "The witness admitted during the trial that what mattered to him from the outset was to entrap the defendant.” Moreover, the judge confirmed that "according to his outward appearance” one might "deem” Jürgen F. "much older.”

August Haucke served his penalty until 9 Apr. 1942 in the Fuhlsbüttel penitentiary and in the Harburg court prison. The plea for clemency by his lawyer was unsuccessful. After his release, Haucke was taken into "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”) and initially detained in the Hütten police prison, from 10 to 16 Apr. 1942 in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, and afterward once again in the Hütten police prison. On 3 May 1942, he filed an application from there for "voluntary castration.” Nevertheless, on June 1942, he was committed to the Neuengamme concentration camp with the reference "B.V.” ("Befristeter Vorbeugungshäftling,” i.e., "temporary preventive detention prisoner"), where he received prisoner number 7,193.

On 2 Nov. 1942, Hamburg Senator Dr. Friedrich Ofterdinger approved the castration, which was carried out in the Harbor Hospital by Prof. Dr. Henning Brütt on 3 Dec. 1942. On 16 Dec. 1942, Haucke’s return transport to Neuengamme took place. On 10 Feb. 1943, the Hamburg Public Health Authority asked the commandant’s office of the Neuengamme concentration camp to bring him to the "forensic pathology service” ("Gerichtsärztlicher Dienst”) of the Harbor Hospital for a follow-up examination.

Another follow-up examination was impossible to implement at the Harbor Hospital in June 1944 because by then Haucke had been transferred to the Hannover-Stöcken external camp to perform forced labor. Instead, he was examined by the camp physician of the Neuengamme concentration camp on 23 Jan. 1945. He established in his findings, "The operation has achieved the desired purpose. No risk of a relapse appears to exist. There are no objections from a medical perspective to a release from concentration camp.” Since his belongings from the Neuengamme concentration camp have been kept at the International Tracing Service [of the Red Cross] in Arolsen, one must assume that August Haucke was not released. He probably perished on 3 May 1945 during the sinking of the Cap Arcona. With respect to a further follow-up examination relating to the castration, the Hamburg Health Administration asked the residents’ registration office to establish Hauck’s whereabouts in Apr. 1946, but the public authority was unable to do so.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Bernhard Rosenkranz/Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaHH, 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 6782/41; StaHH, 352-12, Gesundheitsbehörde – Sonderakten, Ablieferung 1999/1 Haucke; StaHH, 242-1II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferungen 13 und 16; StaHH, 331-1II Polizeibehörde II, Ablieferung 15 vom 18.9.84, Band 1 und Band 2; Bundesarchiv Berlin NS 3/1755, Hollerith-Vorkarteikarte des SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungs-Hauptamtes Amtsgruppe D. Konzentrationslager vom Sommer bis Herbst 1944.

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