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Nils Nissen * 1909

Von-Graffen-Straße 10 Kehre vor Parkplatz (Hamburg-Mitte, Borgfelde)

JG. 1909
ERMORDET 18.11.1941

Nils Nissen, b. 6.8.1909 in Bergedorf, detention, 1935–1939 Hamburg and Emsland camps, 1941 Sachsenhausen concentration camp, dying there on 11.8.1941

Von-Graffen-Strasse 10, curve before the parking lot (Grevenweg 37)

The warehouse worker Nils Claus Nissen was born in Bergedorf on 8 June 1909. After his parents separated, the twelve-year old was sent to his grandparents where he grew up in "orderly circumstances." After finishing primary school, he took a commercial apprenticeship. From 1929 to 1931, he worked as a clerk in a transport business. From 1932, until his first conviction for violation of §175 in 1935, he was employed as an accountant.

His detention in the summer of 1934 because of "crimes against morality" remained unprosecuted. In December 1935, Nils Nissen was sentenced by the Surrogate Court of Altona to nine months’ imprisonment for "unnatural acts." He completed this sentence on 26 July 1936, but immediately was held for interrogation on grounds of a further violation of §175 for which he was condemned in December 1936 to a 16-month imprisonment by the District Court of Hamburg. He served his sentence until 17 February 1938, in the Emsland Camp VI Oberlangen, among others.

A year later, in February 1939, Nils Nissen again came to the attention of the criminal police. During an interrogation, a young male prostitute named him as one of his johns. The two had come to know one another in October 1938 at "the anchor," a gay bar in the St. Pauli district. Nils Nissen was arrested and first held, on 14 April 1939, in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp and then taken to the detention center of the City of Hamburg.

In the official physician’s report of June 1939, Dr. Wildhagen wrote about Nils Nissen:
"That with Nissen we are dealing with one of the questionable cases of innate homosexuality is to be rejected. Rather, it indisputably stems from a prehistory of enticement contingent upon connection to homosexual circles, in which material considerations have played a role ... Nissen is an unstable person, whom an energetic woman would find easy to influence and to lead ... The question of preventive detention is not, in my opinion, so pressing that we cannot give an unstable person, who has consorted for such a long time with homosexual circles, the opportunity to right himself in normal sexual matters, always reckoning with a relapse, especially in the beginning. Then again the successes with preventive detention among homosexuals is quite problematical. From a medical point of view, preventive detention in the case before us is not to be recommended ."

In October 1939, Nils Nissen was sentenced by the Hamburg State Court to 18 months detention. He served this sentence in Hamburg and from January 1940 in one of the Emsland camps, this time in Camp V Neusustrum. After completion of the sentence on 22 October 1940 he was, contrary to the assessment of the court physician, sent from the Kiel detention center in February 1941 as a "prisoner under temporary protective custody/§175" to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, receiving there the prisoner number 35033. In April 1941 he was verifiably in the infirmary; also documented is his transfer to the Natzweiler concentration camp on 21 May 1941; he probably returned from there on 24 June 1941. On 14 November he was once again taken to the infirmary at Sachsenhausen, where he died on 18 November 1941.

Translator: Richard Levy

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: November 2017
© Bernhard Rosenkranz (†)/Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaH, 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 10934/39; 242-1II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferungen 13 und 16; 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Ablieferung 2, 451 a E 1, 1 d; Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen, Archiv JSU 1/97, Bl. 171 u. 311; D 1 A/1220, Bl. 6 u. 15 und D 1 A/1054, Bl. 95, 118 u. 121; Rosenkranz/Bollmann/Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 240.

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