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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Hermann Frehse * 1896
Dammtorstraße 28 (Oper) (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
1933 Polizeigefängnis Hütten
further stumbling stones in Dammtorstraße 28 (Oper):
Gustav Brecher, Dr. Max Fraenkel, Camilla Fuchs, Mauritz Kapper, Jacob Kaufmann, Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann, Kurt Abraham Salnik, Joseph Schmidt, Magda Spiegel, Viktor Ullmann, Bruno Wolf
Hermann Wilhelm Frehse, born 26 July 1896, imprisoned twelve times between 1926 and 1938, died sometime after May 1940, date and place unknown
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 11 and Dammtorstraße 28 at the Hamburg Opera
Hermann Frehse was born in Rendsburg and grew up in Harburg. After his schooling he attended a conservatory, after which he worked as a music director. Unfortunately nothing is known about his performances.
Frehse’s police records lists ten investigations "on the suspicion of homosexual activity” between 1926 and 1937, as well as several terms served in detention and prison.
Frehse’s first conviction was on 6 January 1933 by the Hamburg District Court. He was sentenced to one month in prison for "assault,” i.e. homosexual advances, according to Section 185 of the Reich Criminal Code. He was again on trial in January 1936, this time before the Hamburg Regional Court, and was sentenced to ten months in prison on three accounts of violation of Section 175 of the Reich Criminal Code (homosexuality laws). While he was serving this term, he once again had to appear in court on 5 June 1936 on another homosexuality charge – he had bought a 19-year-old man a beer and made an obscene proposition. This charge brought another year of prison. After his release from prison, he was put into "protective custody” from 5 May to 8 November 1937 in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp.
Shortly after his release, on the night of 14 January 1938, Frehse once again found himself in the clutches of the police because he had been reported by a person on the street. What had happened? Hermann Frehse had spoken to a 20-year-old man on the Reeperbahn and propositioned him with "lewd phrases.” The man fetched a police officer, who took Frehse to the nearest precinct, where he was charged with assault. He was in "protective custody” again in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp from 17 to 31 January 1938.
The incident on the Reeperbahn was enough to prompt the district court judge Detlefs and his assessors to sentence Hermann Frehse to two years in prison for an attempted violation of Section 175 a, subsection 3 of the Reich Criminal Code. His ruling, from 7 May 1938 reads: "The accused’s previous convictions and the police investigations of him must lead to the conclusion that the accused is an incorrigible sexual offender. He poses a grave danger, especially to young people. The accused must therefore be harshly sentenced. Only the fact that the witness felt he had suffered no damage can be considered as a reason to mitigate the sentence.”
Hermann Frehse entered a clemency plea on 18 July 1938, citing the worsening of head pain as the grounds. The plea was denied by the administration of the Bremen-Oslebshausen prison.
After he had served his sentence, Frehse was turned over to the Hamburg police, who sent him to the Hütten prison in Hamburg’s city center. All trace is lost of him there. He was probably sent to a concentration camp, since he never registered another address in Hamburg after the war, and the city records have no date of death.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Bernhard Rosenkranz(†)/Ulf Bollmann
Quellen: StaH 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Abl. 2, 451 a E 1, 1 b; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, A05460/30 und 4984/38; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Abl. 13 und 16.