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Carl Boldt * 1887

Soltaustraße 12 (Bergedorf, Bergedorf)

1943 KZ Neuengamme
Mai 1945 untergegangen mit 'Cap Arcona'

Carl Hans Rudolph Boldt, born 3 Feb. 1887 in Vorderhagen/Mecklenburg, arrested 3 Aug. 1943, taken from the Neuengamme concentration camp to the ship "Cap Arcona,” died there in a bombing attack on 3 May 1945

Soltaustraße 12

Carl Boldt was the child of Carl Wilhelm Anton Boldt and Dorothea Catharina Sophie Henriette Boldt, née Hinzmann. Nothing is known about his childhood and youth. He was married to Olga, née Elmers (born in Hamburg in 1899), and had three children: Frieda (born 1908), Karl (born 1909), and Emma (born 1912). According to a relative, Emma joined the communists in the 1930s and was active in the resistance.

In the surviving documents, Boldt is called a "machinist”; he worked at the Bergedorf Ironworks (Bergedorfer Eisenwerk) for several years. He was a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) before World War I, and from 1919 on, he was active in the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD) in Bergedorf. This party had been founded by former members of the SPD who no longer wanted to support their party’s political truce ("Burgfriedenspolitik”)—and thus the war policy of Imperial Germany. The USPD Bergedorf (and with it Carl Boldt) joined the local chapter of the Communist Party (KPD) in 1920.

The Boldt family lived at Gaertnerstraße 12 (today: Soltaustraße) for several years and it moved to Ellernweg 8 in the 1930s, to an older house at the edge of the Eschenhofsiedlung, which was then a new development.

From 1927 to 1930, Carl Boldt was a representative in the Bergedorf local parliament and became a member of the building and finance committees, among other things. On 24 Mar. 1931, he held the eulogy for Ernst Henning (q. v.), who had been murdered, at the Bergedorf cemetery. In spring of 1933, he was arrested and taken to the Fuhlsbuettel concentration camp, but was released after several months without a trial. He then found work as a senior boilerman with Dynamit AG in Kruemmel. He remained an opponent of the Nazis—which in the end sealed his fate. On the side, he operated a machine for sealing cans in his house. It sealed cans with fruits, vegetables, and the like that people had put up themselves. On 3 Aug. 1943, shortly after the severe bombings of Hamburg in the "Operation Gomorrha,” a laborer by the name of Buffleben, who was allegedly a "cell leader” ("Zellenleiter”) of the NSDAP, came to Carl Boldt to have some cans sealed. Carl Boldt made some dismissive comments about the Nazis in his presence. Buffleben passed these comments on to the head of the local chapter of the NSDAP ("Ortsgruppenleiter”), and the Gestapo was informed as well. Carl Boldt, whose political background in Bergedorf was known, was arrested and taken to the Neuengamme concentration camp without a trial. There, he was assigned the prisoner number 22584. His task was to operate the switching panel at the brick-making works.

When the concentration camp was cleared in late April 1945, he and other inmates were taken to the steamship "Cap Arcona” in Neustadt Bay. Roughly 7,000 inmates from the Neuengamme and the Fuerstengrube concentration camps were held on this ship and the nearby "Thielbek” in appalling conditions. They were guarded by members of the navy and the SS. On 3 May 1945, there was a major British bombing attack on German ships in the Bays of Kiel and Luebeck which was intended to prevent German troops from withdrawing. Mistakenly considered to be personnel carriers, the "Cap Arcona” and the "Thielbek” were sunk, and 6,400 inmates, including Carl Boldt, met their deaths.

The location of the Stumbling Block is not identical to Carl Boldt’s last residence. The street previously named Ellernweg, where he lived with his family, was renamed Boldtstraße in 1949 in his honor; the house where he lived, previously number 8, was given the number 20.

Translator: Sandra H. Lustig
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: StaH 351-11, Abl. 2008/1 091199 Boldt, Olga; StaH 415-12/1 Bb8 Band X (Protokolle der Berged. Bürgervertretung, 1927); StaH, Auskunft von Herrn Bollmann, Mail 17.08.2010; VVN-Akte Olga Boldt; Karin Orth, Planungen und Befehle der SS Führung zur Räumung des KZ-Systems, in: Detlef Garbe, Häftlinge zwischen Vernichtung und Befreiung. Die Auflösung des KZ Neuengamme und seiner Außenlager durch die SS im Frühjahr 1945, Bremen 2005; Heinz Schön, Die Cap Arcona-Katastrophe, Stuttgart 1989; Rudi Goguel, Cap Arcona. Report über den Untergang der Häftlingsflotte in der Lübecker Bucht am 3. Mai 1945, Frankfurt/M 1972; De Latücht, Juni 2008; Alfred Dreckmann, Wer nicht getauft ist, aufsteh’n!, Hamburg, 1987, S. 124,129; ders., In Bergedorf war alles genauso (Schlossheft Nr. 9), 2. Aufl., Bergedorf 2004;; Mail von Herrn Rolf B., 6.5.2011; tel. Auskunft Landesbetrieb Geoinformation und Vermessung, 10.09.2010.

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