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Alfred Beckmann * 1904
Lange Straße 23 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)
Alfred Wilhelm Ernst Beckmann, born on 12 Apr. 1904, committed to the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Langenhorn in 1937, murdered on 13 May 1943 at the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Meseritz-Obrawalde/Brandenburg
Alfred Beckmann was born in Stettin (today Szczecin in Poland) as the son of a shipbuilder. In Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg he attended the eight-year elementary school (Volksschule). Afterward, he completed training as a lathe operator at the Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke (United German Metalworks) in Bahrenfeld.
As a 25-year old, he made friends with a partner who was also homosexual. The relationship lasted for two years. In Oct. 1931, he met Wilhelm Wilck, with whom he was in a relationship until his arrest in 1937. Since Alfred Beckmann was unemployed, he accepted the offer of helping out at the bread shop operated by Wilck’s parents. The two friends moved into a joint apartment on Pinnasberg. In 1934, Alfred Beckmann went to Dessau because he got a job there. Upon returning to Hamburg in 1935, he no longer lived together with his friend but they continued to be a couple.
In 1937, Wilhelm Wilck’s brother reported his own brother to the criminal investigation department for violations against Sec. 175 of the Reich Criminal Code (Reichsstrafgesetzbuch – RStGB). In doing so, he also drew the attention of the officers within the Nazi machinery of persecution to Alfred Beckmann. The latter was arrested on 17 Feb. 1937 and taken into so-called "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”). Another "protective custody prisoner” identified Alfred Beckmann by means of a photo index as a former acquaintance with whom he had had sexual contact.
The Chief Public Prosecutor at the Hamburg Regional Court (Landgericht) commissioned the Public Health Department with preparing a forensic pathologist’s report about Alfred Beckmann. When it was compiled on 12 June 1937, Alfred Beckmann was at the military hospital of the pretrial detention center for treatment of a syphilis infection. His treatment there involved a malaria injection, at the time a perfectly acceptable method since antibiotics were not available yet. In the course of therapy, Alfred Beckmann became increasingly restless and confused, which prompted the medical expert to assess him as unfit to be questioned and to advocate committal to a sanatorium and nursing home.
In accordance with the court order, he was committed to the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Langenhorn on 6 July 1937. This order was confirmed by the Hamburg District Court (Amtsgericht) on 21 Jan. 1938. About five years after the judgment had been pronounced, on 2 Apr. 1943, Alfred Beckmann was transferred from the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Langenhorn (today: Asklepios-Klinik Nord-Ochsenzoll) "in the course of a general transfer action” to the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Meseritz-Obrawalde/Brandenburg, which had been converted into a euthanasia killing center, where he was murdered on 13 May 1943.
Wilhelm Wilck, born on 9 Feb. 1892 in Hamburg, had to serve a 15-month sentence because of his relationship to Alfred Beckmann. From the Neusustrum prison camp, he returned to Hamburg, where he found work as a fitter and messenger. In 1943, he moved with his mother to Schwarzenbek. After that, all traces of him disappear.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Bernhard Rosenkranz (†) und Ulf Bollmann
Quellen: StaH, 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Ablieferung 2, 451 a E 1, 1 a; StaH 213-11, Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 4036/37 und 2752/38; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, 10829; StaH 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Ablieferung 1995/1, 24165; Thomas Beddies 2006, in: http://www.deathcamps.org/euthanasia/obrawalde_de.html (eingesehen am 17.11.2014) und Beddies, Die Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Meseritz-Obrawalde, S. 231–258; Rosenkranz/Bollmann/Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 58 und 199.