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Johannes Baucke * 1890

Eichenstraße 58 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

KZ Neuengamme
ermordet 25.2.1945

Erdmann Johannes Baucke, born on 17 Mar. 1890 in Hamburg, died on 25 Feb. 1945 in the Neuengamme concentration camp

Eichenstraße 58

Johannes Baucke was born on 17 Mar. 1890 in Hamburg-Barmbek, one among eleven children of the Lutheran customs inspection supervisor Cäsar Baucke and his wife Catharina Maria, née Soldwedel.

Since 1922, Johannes Baucke had been working as a real estate agent and finance broker in Hamburg. In 1929, he came into conflict with the law for the first time because of his homosexuality. On 13 Mar. 1930, the Altona District Court (Amtsgericht) sentenced him to a penalty of 50 RM (reichsmark) on charges of "assault and battery.” On 17 Mar. 1933, legal action for libel followed because of derogatory comments about the Nazi regime. The Altona District Court (Amtsgericht) passed a sentence of 60 RM (reichsmark).

Rather unusual for the period of the mid-1930s and during the Nazi era very dangerous on top of that, Johannes Baucke lived together with several men, including his nephew, the export trade apprentice Gerhard Baucke, in a kind of communal residence in Winterhude. After he and his roommates had been denounced by neighbors as homosexuals in Mar. 1936, extensive investigations by police ensued: "…the bachelors … [, who] live communally in a four-bedroom apartment on Gryphiusstraße, were suspected by their neighbors for a long time of [carrying out] homosexual acts with young men.” Therefore, Johannes Bauke was in pretrial detention from 8 May until 24 Sept. 1936, and for some time he was even committed as a "protective custody prisoner” ("Schutzhäftling”) to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp from 18 to 29 May. On 7 Aug. 1936, the Hamburg Regional Court (Landgericht) passed the following judgment: Due to illicit sexual relations among men pursuant to Sec. 175 [of the Reich Criminal Code], Johannes Baucke has to serve a three-year prison sentence. During the prison term in the Fuhlsbüttel men’s prison, which lasted until 14 June 1939, he made a suicide attempt that failed. As of 20 Oct. 1936, he was also subjected to a ban from his occupation as a broker by the industrial inspection agency.

After his release, he was taken in by his sister and his brother-in-law, Henry Maack, to live in their apartment at Eichenstraße 58, third floor. In the summer of 1942, he was caught once again in the clutches of the Nazi machinery of persecution because of a denunciation, and he was put under arrest on 11 June. The reason: He had apparently grabbed an apprentice’s behind at a restaurant. From 13 to 17 June, the 24th Office of the Criminal Investigation Department responsible for "homosexual offenses” imposed "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”) on him in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, until he was transferred to regular pretrial detention. On 19 Nov. 1942, he was sentenced to a prison term for "assault and battery” and for "causing a public nuisance.” He served the penalty at Fuhlsbüttel.

The prisoner file card of the Fuhlsbüttel men’s prison shows an entry indicating that after serving his prison term, he was released on 12 June 1943 via the "BK 1” police authority. Presumably, he was transported – like many of his fellow sufferers – from there to the Neuengamme concentration camp, without ever attaining freedom, since at the concentration camp, he had prisoner number 22,459, which corresponded to committal in July 1943. An excerpt from a letter by the administration of the Neuengamme concentration camp dated 16 Mar. 1944 to the Hamburg Public Health Authority: "Upon exhortation of the above mentioned [i.e. Johannes Baucke] to submit a new application for voluntary castration, he indicates that he no longer intends to have himself castrated.”

Johannes Baucke died in the Neuengamme concentration camp on 25 Feb. 1945, supposedly of pulmonary tuberculosis. He is commemorated by a Stolperstein in front of Eichenstraße 58, the last residential address of his own choosing.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Bernhard Rosenkranz(†)/Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaHH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 196/37 und 26/43; 352-12 Gesundheitsbehörde – Sonderakten, Ablieferung 1999/1, Baucke; 241-1 I Justizverwaltung I, 2911; 331-1 II Polizeibehörde II, Ablieferung 15 Band 2; 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferungen 13 u. 16; Rosenkranz/Bollmann/Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 199.

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