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Gustav Mösing * 1904

Bernstorffstraße 155 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)

JG. 1904
TOT 6.10.1942

Gustav Karl Ernst Mösing, born 05/23 /1904, died 10/06/1942 in Isokumpu near Taivalkoski/Finland

Bernstorffstrasse 155

Gustav Mösing was born in 1904 as the son of the plumber Jacob Mösing and his wife Bertha Boye in Hamburg and was baptized a Lutheran Protestant. His mother died in the aftermath of his birth before his parents could marry. His father died in World War I in 1916, so that Gustav Mösing grew up with his paternal grandparents. After graduating from elementary school, he absolved a three-year apprenticeship as a blacksmith. Unable to get a job in his trade, he worked as a messenger, before he went to sea. In 1924, he first signed up as a telegraph boy, later as mass steward and finally as a steward on various passenger boats of the Kosmos and HAPAG shipping companies. In 1925 and 1926, he had sexual relationships with women, later, however, exclusively with men. He found his partners among the passengers and his own colleagues on board of the liners, in foreign ports and in bars in Hamburg’s St. Pauli amusement district.

In January, 1936, he married Irmgard Zobal, born 1909 in Prague, whom he had known since 1931. As he had no sexual intercourse with his wife, she considered him to be "gay”, which, however, he denied to her. His father-in-law set up a shoe store for his wife, which she ran on her own when Gustav was at sea. The couple lived at Semperplatz 2 in Winterhude. On April 23rd, 1938, a 17-year-old apprentice reported to the police that he had been indecently touched and incited to homosexual actions by Gustav Mösing that evening at "Oskar’s market stall” in Pferdemarkt (the "horse market” in the square today called Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz in downtown Hamburg).

The market stall of Oskar Kertscher (born 1893, died 1956, survivor of the Neuengamme concentration camp and one of the unsuccessful plaintiffs against Art. 175 before the Federal Constitutional Court in the 1950s) was a well-known meeting point of homosexual men. After intensive questioning, Gustav Mösing was jailed at 0:30 a.m. of April 24th, 1938. On account of his comprehensive confession, he was spared detention at the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp and instead transferred to the remand center at Holstenglacis on April 26th. The investigations in Mösing’s private environment by the "fulfillment support for penal justice” in the course of the proceedings before the Hamburg court of appeals rendered an unfavorable characterization of Gustav Mösing. His wife wanted to divorce him, his paternal relatives who previously supported him in previous years and gotten him his job as a steward now avoided him on account of his alcohol dependency and characterized him as "dishonest and unreliable from his youth on.”

Due to his homosexual orientation he was described as "a limp and floundering person so deeply rooted in his abnormal sexual drive that recurrences must be reckoned with.” His wife gave the investigators "a number of slips of paper” which she thought contained "addresses of partners.” On July 14th, 1938, Gustav Mösing was sentenced to a total of one year and six months in jail pursuant to Arts. 175 and 175a no. 3. Because his actions were considered continuous, the law tightened in 1935 was also applied to the acts committed prior to the aggravation. The indecent touching of the 17-year-old juvenile was not judged to be a physical insult according to Art 185, but as an "attempted crime” pursuant to Art. 175a no. 3. His appeal for probation in April, 1939 was rejected because he was divorced from his wife since October 25th, 1939 and was thus "completely on his own”, which was considered as a hazard of reoffending. He thus served his complete sentence until October 24th, 1939 in the Fuhlsbüttel and Altona prisons.

On April 15th, 1940, he was drafted into the air force and trained as a pilot. Already in November, 1940, a new investigation pursuant to Art. 175 was pending against him, which was initially conducted by the court martial of the higher flight training command 2 in Rostock. On August 26th, 1940, the court martial of the commanding general and commander of the air force region II in Radom (now Poland) sentenced him to three years and nine months in prison for "perverted buggery and threatening", which he began to serve at the Pilsudski barracks in Radom the day of sentencing. On November 15th, he was transferred to the Wehrmacht prison in Graudenz (now Grudziądz in Poland). On May 15th, 1942, he arrived in Torgau. His admittance to a military hospital is recorded on July 20th, 1942. On October 6th, 1942, he died, allegedly of "heart paralysis” in Isokumpu in Finland, near the Arctic Circle. It could not be determined why he was there. Possibly, he had been released on probation and was again serving as a pilot at the airfield there, or called to work at the building of a 178 km long railway line the Germans were constructing from Hyrynsalmi to Kuusamo in wartime. The work force consisted mainly of Polish and Russian prisoners of war and German political prisoners. Many prisoners died there on account of the brutal, inhuman conditions. Gustav Mösing was buried at the local cemetery in Taivalkoski, today, his remains rest at the war cemetery in Rovaniemi-Norvajärvi.

Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: April 2018
© Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaH, 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 7891/38; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, 22043 und Ablieferungen 13; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 5431 (Eintrag Nr. 634); StaH 332-8 Meldewesen, A 34/1 (= 741-4 Fotoarchiv, K 4501); Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V., Internetseite, abgerufen am 19.8.2014; Mit Dank an Rainer Hoffschildt und William Schaefer, Hannover, für Hinweise aus dem Bundesarchiv, Militärarchiv Freiburg, Bestand I 10 Ost Spezial, 2011; Hinweise zu Taivalkoski unter, und zur Bahnstrecke Hyrynsalmi nach Kuusamo unter, jeweils zuletzt abgerufen im Oktober 2014.

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