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Dirk G.A. Dubber * 1925

Sierichstraße 43 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

KZ Fuhlsbüttel April 42
Freitod 28.09.1942

Dirk Gerhardt Arthur Dubber, born on 6 May 1925 in Hamburg, died on 28 Sept. 1942 in Hamburg (suicide)

Dirk Dubber belonged to the "Swing Youth” ("Swing-Jugend”) in Hamburg. Probably rather apolitical at the beginning, he refused to undergo the required adaptation to the norms of his family and the Nazi state. From that developed a dynamic that was fatal for him.

Dirk Dubber was the son of the lumber and veneer dealer Arthur Dubber and his wife Doris, who was a native of Britain. He had three siblings. The family was well-to-do and lived in a villa on Sierichstrasse. The father, Arthur Dubber, expanded his business by means of an "Aryanization” in 1938: He took over the competing Benjamin E. van Cleef company (see entry on van Cleef). Young Dirk Dubber was oriented toward the English lifestyle, wearing "suits made after the English fashion,” as his mother stated in evidence after the war, and listening to swing music with friends. He refused to give up his contact with "non-Aryan” acquaintances, visited "secret English discussion evenings,” rejected service in the Hitler Youth, and declined to show up at the medical examination for military service. At first, this resulted in confrontations at home.

The family conflict also caused him political difficulties. The attempt by the "school Hitler Youth leader” to have him ejected from high school, the Wilhelm-Gymnasium, failed as yet. However, due to the denunciation by a long-standing school friend, he was arrested by the Gestapo in Apr. 1942, interned in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, and mistreated during interrogations. The Gestapo searched his parental home, confiscating his correspondence and his records. Severely traumatized, he was released again at the end of May 1942.

He was prohibited from maintaining any contact to his old friends and from participating in any festivities. In addition, he had to report to Gestapo headquarters at Stadthaus Bridge (Stadthausbrücke) on a regular basis. In case of disregarding the Gestapo conditions, he was threatened with repeated concentration camp detention, which caused him to live in constant panic. Apparently, he did not receive any adequate support from his parents, and a surviving farewell letter reveals that he felt misunderstood and rejected by them.

Since he was not able to bear the isolation forced on him, he visited the Nienstedten funfair with a few old friends on 27 Sept. 1942. Needless to say, he was discovered there and threatened by one of his Gestapo tormentors. Completely intimidated and distraught, he said to a friend afterward, "I will not live to see my eighteenth birthday.” The next day, he shot himself with his father’s revolver on a sailboat on the Alster River.

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

© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: 4; StaHH 331-5 Polizeibeh., Unnatürliche Sterbefälle 1942/1768; Herbert Diercks, Gedenkbuch Kola-Fu Hamburg, 1987; Gedenkstätte Ernst Thälmann (Bericht der Mutter Doris Dubber).
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