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Arno Kubig * 1880

Gilbertstraße 82 / Ecke Scheplerstraße (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)

JG. 1880
VERHAFTET 1937/39/41
ERMORDET 9.5.1942

Ehregott Arno Kubig, born 15 Jan. 1880 in Dresden, died 9 May 1942 probably at Neuengamme concentration camp

Gilbertstraße/Ecke Scheplerstraße (Gustavstraße 82)

Arno Kubig was born in Dresden in 1880 as the son of Robert Kubig, a dispatch clerk at the German Bar Journal, and his wife Marie, née Nake, and he was baptized in the Evangelical Lutheran faith. He had three siblings, including his sister Elisabeth Kubig, who lived unmarried in his native town in 1934. He was only 1.65 meters tall, of slim build and started balding at an early age. After finishing elementary school, he trained at a trade school to become a merchant, but then changed to train as a vaudeville performer and worked as a cross-dressing singer or female impersonator. He explained this change by later noting in a Curriculum Vitae that he had "an exceptionally good soprano voice”. However he lost his vocal talent during WWI. Afterward he therefore worked as a payroll accountant and as a waiter in a café. From 1927 he owned an ice cream parlor which he gave up in 1931 due to poor economic conditions. Prior to 1927, he spent two years mentally ill and without work as a result of his service in the war, and from 1931 to 1935 he lived off of welfare payments of 15 RM per week. Additionally he tried to sell postcards he had painted himself. In 1935 he found work in various pubs and restaurants in St. Pauli. From 1937 to 1940 he worked in factories and then from 1940 again worked as an innkeeper’s assistant in St. Pauli and Altona, ultimately at the bar "Grenzfass” at Nobistor which was also frequented by homosexuals.

Arno Kubig’s prior criminal record showed several convictions for trade offenses. He first came into conflict with the criminal investigations police in May 1937 regarding his homosexual tendencies. It was for this reason that he was detained at Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp from 8 to 31 May, which was followed by remand custody until 4 June due to "perv[erse]. fornication”. On 4 June the Hamburg Local Court sentenced him to four months in prison for three offenses after paragraph § 175. After a brief release, he started to serve his sentence on 18 June and was released on 19 Sept. 1937. However, barely one year later he was again imprisoned at Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp from 21 to 26 July 1938. Apparently nothing could be proven against him in that instance, for he spent no further time in prison in regular penitentiaries nor was ge even convicted. That changed however following a statement made by the male prostitute Adalbert Wolf (born 1917) to the 24th Criminal Investigations Department on 20 Feb. 1939. According to Wolf, the two had met in 1937 at the homosexual bar "Monte Carlo” on the Reeperbahn. During an interrogation, Arno Kubig conceded the event which had taken place two years earlier, but emphasized in the police protocol: "If he did ‘cuddle’ with Wolf then it was only because he had a ‘good heart’.” Such details were meaningless to the criminal inspectors who often pursued the persecution of homosexuals with great passion. Kubig was imprisoned a third time at Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp from 1 to 3 Mar. 1939 and then until 5 Apr. in remand prison. He was fortunate to be tried in front of the Local Circuit Court Judge Friedrich Bertram on 1 Apr. 1939 as he was known to be harsh with his words but occasionally mild in his sentencing. Arno Kubig was only sentenced to a two-month sentence which he served until the end of April in the Harburg Prison.

From 8 to 27 Jan. 1940, he was again taken into remand custody on suspicion of "perverse fornication”, which again remained unproven and ended with Kubig’s release. What ultimately led to Arno Kubig’s downfall was his identification on 9 July 1941 in a "special photo catalogue” of homosexuals at the criminal inspection unit by a male prostitute who was already in "protective custody” for homosexual activity. New investigations into Arno Kubig ended with his fourth detention at Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp from 16 to 18 July 1941 and afterwards remand detention at Holstenglacis 3. He had met his partner at his last job at the pub "Grenzfass” in mid-June 1941 and taken him home with him. Despite the young age of his partner who at the time of the incident was only 17 years old, the judges presiding over the Hamburg District Court during the proceedings of 13 Oct. 1941 found no basis for a charge of seduction and in their judgment against Kubig on 13 Oct. 1941 imposed a prison sentence of nine months after § 175 because he was a repeat offender. He served his sentence starting on 22 Oct. at the Fuhlsbüttel Men’s Penitentiary. He should have been released on 14 Apr. 1942. When he was not released as hoped but was instead handed over to the inner-city Hütten Police Prison located at Hütten 40, it was probably clear to him as a homosexual repeat offender during war time that his situation had dramatically worsened. The question was no longer whether but when he would be transferred to a concentration camp. In his desperation, he submitted an application for "voluntary emasculation” to the responsible health administration on 23 Apr. 1942. Arno Kubig’s letter read:

"… last year I relapsed, and without wanting to exonerate myself from my guilt, I want to state that I only relapsed due to the sophistication and pushiness of the individual involved. My suffering and my despair about it today is immeasurable. In order to exclude any possibility that any kind of trouble could ever again put me into conflict and so that I no longer for a reason that in reality means nothing to me like my kind of sexual activity that was never of a severe nature, therefore I will agree to allow myself to be emasculated. My desire to return to work and a respectable life quite soon compels me to submit the sincerest request to process my case most kindly as quickly as possible. Most reverentially, Arno Kubig, currently in Hamburg, Hütten 40 (Stat. III/91).”

While his application was being processed at the beginning of May 1942 and physicians’ reports and photos were being requested within the healthcare administration, Arno Kubig appears to have already been handed over to a concentration camp, presumably Neuengamme concentration camp, as happened in similar cases. In any case the senior medical officer of health Hans Koopmann noted on 14 Aug. 1942 that "Kubig had in the meantime passed away”. A further note in his file specified this circumstance: "According to a notification from the criminal inspection department, K. died on 9 May 1942”. Since there is no entry in the civil register regarding his death, we must assume that he did not die in Hütten Police Prison but possibly at Neuengamme concentration camp. Since Arno Kubig’s last freely chosen residence was in the basement of the apartment building at Gustavstraße 82 (today Gilbertstraße) in Altona, a Stumbling Stone laid there reminds us of his fate.

Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: April 2018
© Bernhard Rosenkranz (†) / Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaH, 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Ablieferung 2, 451 a E 1, 1 b, Ablieferung 2, 451 a E 1, 1 c und Ablieferung 2, 451 a E 1, 1 d; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 2906/39 und 7593/41; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, 19763 und Ablieferungen 13 und 1998/1; StaH 331-1 II Polizeibehörde II, Ablieferung 15, Band 1; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen, A 49 Band 1 (= 741-4 Fotoarchiv, K 4777) und A 51/1 (= 741-4 Fotoarchiv, K 2387); StaH 352-12 Gesundheitsbehörde – Sonderakten, Ablieferung 1999/1 Kubig; Auskunft der KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme, Dr. Reimer Möller vom November 2008, dass in den lückenhaft überlieferten Unterlagen der Name Kubig nicht ermittelt werden kann; Müller/ Sternweiler, Homosexuelle Männer im KZ Sachsenhausen, S. 21; Rosenkranz/ Bollmann/ Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 228.

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