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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Adolf Schröder * 1885

Bogenstraße 23 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

KZ Neuengamme
ermordet 12.1.1945 KZ Neuengamme

further stumbling stones in Bogenstraße 23:
Gertrud Baruch, Elisabeth Bruhn

Adolf Schröder, born 1/6/1885, perished at Neuengamme concentration camp

Bogenstrasse 23

Adolf Schröder was born on 1/6/1885, and, like most men of his age, took part in World War I. He was a metalworker by trade, and married to Anna Schröder. During the Weimar Republic, he had joined the SPD; after 1933, he was active in the resistance against the Nazi regime.

According to the Hamburg address book, Adolf and Anna Schröder lived at Bogenstrasse 56 ("Ad. Schröder, Arb.") until 1943. In the Nazi era, the Schröders met Gustav and Elisabeth Bruhn, who had both been active in the Communist party KPD prior to 1933, and then joined the anti-fascist resistance, from 1941 also the Bästlein organization. The couples became friends and shared political convictions.

The Bruhns were among the first to be arrested and jailed by the Gestapo on October 18th, 1942 in the crackdown on the Bästlein organization. Adolf and Anna Schröder took care of the prisoners. When Gustav and Elisabeth Bruhn – like other remand prisoners – were given eight weeks’ leave from jail on August 4th, 1943 after the devastating bombing of Hamburg the end of July, Adolf Schröder didn’t hesitate to give them shelter in his home, and also supported other temporarily freed prisoners from the Bästlein organization. Anna Schröder later described the situation:

"Gustav Bruhn had been arrested with the Bästlein group in October 1942, and, like many others, given leave from remand for eight weeks in the summer of 1943; we then took in Gustav Bruhn and his wife at our home in Lange Reihe. Four people living in a single room all the time, and so Gustav moved to another illegal lodging – with Friedrich Löhn in Kanalstrasse 33, where he was in good hands.

The political prisoners on leave made the emergency food dispensary set up in Moorweide after the air raids meeting-point to discuss their future strategy. Opinions differed, ranging from wait and see if the Gestapo would act again after the period expired to going underground. Most agreed not to report back in jail after the eight weeks’ leave, and went underground.

Adolf Schröder continued to support Gustav and Elisabeth Bruhn after his wife had been evacuated following the air raids of July/August. Gustav Bruhn had found shelter with good friends, the Tennigkeit family, his wife Elisabeth with Klara Dworznik, who had rented an apartment at Bogenstrasse 23 in Eimsbüttel. The support Adolf Schröder provided for Gustav Bruhn included bringing him supplies, e.g. food, clothing, etc. he had collected for him. If this was already more than merely doing him a favor, Schröder’s taking part in discussions and his knowledge of events within the Bästlein organization could be interpreted as participation in resistance activities. Thus, Schröder was informed about the incident at Klosterstern, where the Gestapo wanted to arrest Walter Bohne, a leading member of the Bästlein organization; however, Bohne was shot by Gestapo officer Helms. Schröder had also, together with Elisabeth Bruhn, taken part in a meeting at the home of Friedrich Löhn (with whom Gustav Bruhn had temporarily stayed) to discuss the events that had led to Bruhn’s arrest. The Gestapo informer Alfons Pannek, however, temporarily was also a confident of Friedrich Löhn – the trust in Pannek was so great that Bruhn had even accepted Pannek’s offer to move to his apartment.

During that meeting at Löhn’s home, however, the suspicion arose that Pannek might be a Gestapo informer. Since Elisabeth Bruhn from her new shelter in Bogenstrasse had again made contact with remaining groups of the Bästlein organization, she – as well as her contacts – were now imminently threatened by arrest, all the more since Pannek had been repeatedly seen near Bruhn’s shelter.

Pannek’s activity, who had met the whole circle of underground friends, led to the arrest of all of them: Gustav Bruhn in December 1943, Elisabeth Bruhn, Adolf Schröder, Rudi Esser, Klara Dworznik, Gertrud Plock, Käte and Richard Tennigkeit and others in February 1944.

Adolf Schröder was arrested on February 3rd, 1944, accused of "preparing high treason” and admitted to the Fuhlsbüttel police jail. In the summer of that year, he was transferred to the Neuengamme concentration camp. In the winter of 1944/45, he fell severely ill and caught dysentery. Without medical attention, he perished on January 12th, 1945 (according to another source on January 18th). The death book of the sick bay at Neuengamme main camp 6 gives "bronchio-pneumonia” as cause of death.

Translation by Peter Hubschmid 2018
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: January 2019
© Peter Offenborn

Quellen: Informationen der KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme; FZH 13-3-1-2 (Gestapo in Hamburg); FZH 13-3-2-2 (Widerstand in Hamburg 1933-1945; Prozesse/Hinrichtungen); Ursula Puls, Die Bästlein-Jacob-Abshagen-Gruppe, S. 123/125, 216; Ursel Hochmuth, Niemand und nichts, S. 46; Ursel Hochmuth/Gertrud Meyer, Streiflichter, S. 385; Für Freiheit und Demokratie.

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