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Erich Kromberg * 1910

Harburger Ring 8 / Stolperstein in der Nähe (Harburg, Harburg)

JG. 1910
TOT 9.1.1945

further stumbling stones in Harburger Ring 8 / Stolperstein in der Nähe:
Wilhelm Waltereit

Erich Kromberg, born 13 Apr. 1910 in Harburg, killed on 9 Jan. 1945 while fighting with the 999th Light Afrika Division

Harburg-Altstadt, Harburger Ring 8 (Friedrichstraße 2a)

Erich Kromberg, a manual laborer, and his wife Else Brockmann (*8 Oct. 1906 in Jännersdorf in the Prignitz district) had three children: Ursula (*15 Oct. 1930 in Marmstorf), Karl-Heinz (* 9 Oct. 1931 in Harburg), and Erich (*16 May 1937 in Harburg). The family lived at several addresses in Marmstorf and Harburg: Am Exerzierplatz 1a, Lassallestraße 10, and Reinholdstraße 5. Their last address was Friedrichstraße 2a, which was renamed Amalienstraße after 1945. The area in which they lived was demolished when the city center was redeveloped.

Erich Kromberg was a member of the KPD (German Communist Party), and was unemployed for many years. When the KPD was banned after the Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, the party went underground. Erich Kromberg was involved in the resistance activities of the Berthold Bormann group. They distributed leaflets, sold the banned Norddeutsche Zeitung, and collected donations for the Rote Hilfe (the German affiliate of the International Red Aid). The Harburg group also had contact to resistance groups in Winsen, Lüneburg, and Neuhaus (see Berthold Bormann). In July 1933, Bormann was taken into "protective custody,” and more members of the group were arrested in the autumn, including Erich Kromberg. He was held first at the police jail on Wetternstraße, and then in pre-trial detention in Lüneburg.

The trial for "intent to commit high treason” took place in May 1934 in Lüneburg before the Berlin Chamber Court. Most of the defendants were from Lüneburg, except Berthold Bormann, Erich Nollmeyer, and Erich Kromberg, who were from Harburg. Erich Kromberg was sentenced to prison. He served his prison term at the Hanover Penitentiary, and was released on 15 July 1935. After his release, he found employment in 1936 with Johann Heuer at Schloßstraße 26, and then in 1937 as a stoker at the Brinckmann & Mergell oil refining plant in Harburg (present-day HOBUM Oleochemicals).

Beginning in 1942, many former political prisoners were conscripted into penal battalions (see Fritz Dringelburg). Later, when the need for soldiers grew more desperate, convicted criminals were also conscripted, sometimes directly from the prisons. They were deployed to particularly dangerous war zones, especially in Yugoslavia and Greece, where partisan groups were highly active. The political prisoners were generally not sent to the Eastern Front, as it was feared they would defect to the Red Army. On 25 June 1943, Erich Kromberg was conscripted into the 999th Light Afrika Division, stationed at the Heuberg military training ground in the Swabian Alps. He was deployed to south-eastern Europe. He was killed in the fighting around Vlasenica in Yugoslavia on 9 January 1945.

Translator: Amy Lee

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Hans-Joachim Meyer

Quellen: VVN-BdA Harburg (Hrsg.), Die anderen, s. Personenverzeichnis; StaH, 332-8 Meldewesen, A46; StaH, 351-11, AfW, Erich Kromberg; StaH,, Adressbücher Harburg-Wilhelmsburg und Hamburg.

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