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Andrzej Szablewski * 1913

Poppenbüttler Hauptstraße 44 (Wandsbek, Poppenbüttel)

JG. 1913

Andrzej Szablewski, born on 3 Jan. 1913 Stary-Radziejow (Poland), executed on 13 Mar. 1942 in Hamburg

On 13 Mar. 1942, the Hamburg Gestapo had Andrzej Szablewski executed on the grounds of the Hohenbuchen estate in Poppenbüttel in the presence of 200 Polish forced laborers due to an alleged love affair with a German woman. The woman was committed to the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp for three years. The "special treatment” ordered by the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was the first against a forced laborer in Hamburg.

Andrzej Szablewski grew up in a large family with four sisters and four brothers.
He was 27 years old when he was forcibly deported to Hamburg with his brother and his acquaintance Jan Kardasz for forced labor. Since 17 Apr.1940, he shared quarters with his brother and the Polish man Boleslaw Zawidzki on the Hohenbuchen estate. At the beginning of 1940, he had married Irena Malicka, only 16 years old, whom he would have liked to bring to Hamburg. His brother Kasimierz often wrote letters to her; Andrzej himself was illiterate.

The administrator of the estate, Walter Grimm, mostly assigned to the Polish forced laborers heavy and dirty jobs. After the war, Boleslaw Zawidzki stated in a trial administrated by the British occupying power against those responsible for Szablewski’s execution that Walter Grimm maintained very good relations with the Gestapo in his function as Nazi party (NSDAP) local peasant leader (Ortsbauernführer); that he had forbidden them to wash clothes and often threatened them with calling the Gestapo.

Andrzej Szablewski was one of 39,000 foreign workers forced to work in Hamburg in the spring of 1942. In contrast to many of their fellow sufferers, the supply of food was sufficient for these forced laborers in the countryside, especially as Andrzej Szablewski received food packages from his parents on several occasions.

Twenty-year-old Hildegard Lütten worked as a harvest hand on the estate. She was married and had a little son. When she turned down Grimm, who wanted to start a relationship with her, he took revenge. He managed to fabricate an affair between Szablewski and the young woman, and both were arrested. During the interrogation, Mrs. Lütten was misled into admitting this invented relationship by the promise that she would then be allowed to return to her child. Instead, she remained first in the Fuhlsbüttel prison and later in the Ravensbrück concentration camp in "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”).

Andrzej Szablewski was imprisoned in Fuhlsbüttel and hanged from a tree at his former place of work on 13 Mar. 1942, without a sentence.

In 1942, his mother received a letter from Hamburg informing her that her son had been hanged because of a love affair with a German woman. The records office in Wellingsbüttel certified the death only on 22 Apr. 1942 upon written notification by the Secret State Police. According to the document, he had died on 13 Mar. 1942 at 13.15 p.m. in police custody.

After the end of the war, his brother Kasinin Szablewski succeeded in having the case investigated. The British sentenced three people involved in the execution to death. Walter Grimm and Gestapo employee Karl Mumm were executed in Hameln on 8 Oct. 1946.

Andrzej Szablewski is commemorated today by a plaque on the Alster hiking trail near the Hohenbuchen estate and a Stolperstein in front of the Hohenbuchen children’s day care center.

Andrzej Szablewski’s widow, as well as the other relatives, learned only in Mar. 2003 that her then husband had not had a love affair with a German woman and that a gravestone at the Ohlsdorf cemetery commemorates her former husband.

Hildegard Lütten survived the several years of imprisonment in Ravensbrück.

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

Stand: June 2020
© Andreas Seeger

Quelle: Andreas Seeger, Der Tod eines Zwangsarbeiters. Mit einem Nachwort von Gerhard Fuchs, Bremen 2003, 2. Auflage 2017.

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