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Josef Florczak * 1905

Öjendorfer Weg 11 (Ortsamt) (Hamburg-Mitte, Billstedt)

JG. 1905

Joseph Florczak, born 15 Mar. 1903 in Schiffbek, died 14 Mar. 1933 in the Bad Oldesloe District Hospital

Öjendorfer Weg 11 /Stolperstein at the local administrative offices, Spinnhäuser 151

Joseph Florczak’s parents, Johann and Constancia, née Schmeigielsky, were among the large number of Catholic factory workers who immigrated to Germany from Poland and the Sudetenland at the turn of the turn of the century. Johann Florczak worked at the Norddeutsche Jute-Spinnerei und Weberei (North German Jute Spinning and Weaving Mill). Joseph was born in 1903, his brother Johann two years later. The family lived in a company-owned apartment, Spinnhäuser 151, in what is today the center of Billstedt. Both sons were christened at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

Joseph Florczak became a manual laborer like his father and joined the KPD (German Communist Party). Immediately after the Reichstag Fire in Berlin, Reich President Hindenburg, at the urging of Reich Chancellor Hitler, issued the "Decree for the Protection of the People and State,” which nullified all civil liberties. The members of the Communist Party were the first to feel the decree’s effects. Hamburg’s police commissioner Schönfelder (SPD), under pressure from the national government, closed the party’s office. Flyers, posters, and publications for the Reichstag election campaign, which was already underway, were confiscated on 5 March 1933. 75 Communist functionaries were arrested and others were persecuted.

With the headlines "Shooting in the Border Area” and "Armed Communist shot on the Run,” the Hamburg newspapers reported on 7 March 1933 on a shooting on the borders of Hamburg: "On election night, police in Billstedt captured a known Communist who was carrying a gun. When he did not remain standing as ordered, the police shot at him.” The armed Communist was Joseph Florczak, who had not used his weapon. He suffered a gunshot wound and was treated at the Bad Oldesloe District Hospital. Preliminary proceedings were begun under the case number LASH Dept. 352/Nr. 9436 with the Altona District Court, but were discontinued upon his death on 14 March 1933.

Joseph Florczak was buried at the cemetery in Kirchsteinbek. Many of his comrades attended the ceremony. His brother, who was also unmarried, died on 24 January 1934 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Hamburg-Hohenfelde.

Translator: Amy Lee

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Jan Jacobs

Quellen: Hamburger Anzeiger, 7.3.1933; Hamburger Adressbuch 1923, Schiffbek; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 7153+78/1934; 7230+583/1939; Diözesanarchiv Hamburg, Taufregister St. Paulus/Billstedt; Stadtarchiv Bad Oldesloe, Bestand 16, Sterberegister 1933; Bauche (Hrsg.), "Wir sind die Kraft."; Ziegenbalg, Schiffbek.

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