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Wilhelm Buchholz
© Privatbesitz

Wilhelm Buchholz * 1888

Tiefenstraße 10 (Harburg, Neuenfelde)

JG. 1888
ERMORDET 12.2.1945


Wilhelm Buchholz, born 16 Sep. 1888 in Hasselwerder, died 12 Feb. 1945 in the Langer Morgen work camp

Hamburg-Neuenfelde, Tiefenstraße 10

The master cabinet maker Wilhelm Buchholz was born in Hasselwerder (Jork administrative district) in the house that today has the address of Tiefenstraße 10 in Neuenfelde. He lived there until his arrest in the winter of 1944/45. The Hasselwerder and Nincop communities were merged with Neuenfelde in 1929. Neuenfelde became a part of the Harburg administrative district in 1935, and, after the Greater Hamburg Act was passed in 1937, Harburg was merged with Hamburg.

Photos of Wilhem Buchholz indicate that he was fond of children and animals. He played in a band in Neuenfelde and performed at marksmen’s festivals and other local events. His daughter described him as funny and always up for practical jokes.

Wilhelm Buchholz was one of the first in Neuenfelde to own a camera. Many passport photos that he took of residents of Neuenfelde still exist. Photography was his hobby, and he developed the film himself. He was also politically active and opposed the National Socialists. He often argued with his son, who was a Hitler supporter. He refused to hang the Nazi flag during parades or other celebrations or holidays.

The Gestapo arrested him in 1944/45 and sent him to the Langer Morgen work camp in Wilhelmsburg. The Gestapo had about 200 of these camps. Langer Morgen was the only one on Hamburg territory. The camps were allegedly for "shirkers” (especially those in companies which had been declared strategically important for the war), but many of the inmates had been sent there because they had made unfavorable political comments or listened to "enemy radio,” or after having served a prison sentence. Unlike a concentration camp, the term in a work camp was limited to 56 days, but it could be extended. Many of the inmates were forced laborers. The Langer Morgen camp was planned for 800 prisoners, but was constantly overfilled. The women’s barracks were meant to house 250, but at times up to 600 women were crowded into it.
The camp got its name from the street on which it was located, Langer Morgen. It ran parallel to Eversween, where the marshalling yard for the port of Hamburg is located. Remnants of the camp can still be seen between the tracks.

The reason for Wilhelm Buchholz’s incarceration in the camp is uncertain. Either a neighbor had denounced him to the Gestapo, or he had refused to work in the armaments industry. After Joseph Goebbels proclaimed total war in his speech at the Berlin Sportpalast on 18 Februar 1943, only products that were considered by the Nazis to be strategically important for the war were to be manufactured. Wilhelm Buchholz had his own cabinetmaker’s workshop. It is said that he refused to close it and go to work at Deutsche Werft, which built U-boats for the Kriegsmarine.

After the morning roll call, prisoners at Langer Morgen were sent to Wilhelmsburg or to the port, where they were in constant danger from air raids. As in all of the camps, the food rations were insufficient. The hygienic conditions were beyond description. There wasn’t even soap for washing, and the phrase "the stink of the Langer Morgen camp” became proverbial.

Wilhelm Buchholz died in the camp on 12 February 1945, aged 58. He was allegedly beaten to death by the guards. His body was sent to Neuenfelde, but his daughter, who inspected the casket, found a woman’s body in it. The family hopes that Wilhelm Buchholz was nevertheless buried at the Neuenfelder Cemetery.

© Hans-Joachim Meyer

Quellen: Lotfi, Gabriele: KZ der Gestapo. Arbeitserziehungslager im Dritten Reich, Stuttgart/München 2000; VVN-BdA Harburg (Hrsg.), Die anderen, S. 271ff.; Literatur über die Arbeitserziehungslager; alle Angaben zu Wilhelm Buchholz verdanken wir der Kirchengemeinde Neuenfelde, Verwandten oder Nachbarn, besonders seinen Enkelinnen Anna Köster und Gunda Neumann-Henneberg.

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