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Friedrich Gevert * 1899

Eppendorfer Landstraße 132 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)

JG. 1899
TOT 22.4.1945

further stumbling stones in Eppendorfer Landstraße 132:
Eva Petersen

Friedrich called Karl Gevert, born on 29 Oct. 1899, died on 22 Apr. 1945 in the Wolfenbüttel penitentiary

Eppendorfer Landstrasse 132 a

Friedrich Ludwig Karl Gevert was born as the second son of the journeyman painter Karl Gevert and Emma, née Schalk, in Hamburg on 29 Oct. 1899. In 1906, the mother, along with his older brother, committed suicide in the Alster River. The father got married a second time to Anna, née Krieger. This marriage produced three half-siblings of Karl Gevert. After attending the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule), he initially began an apprenticeship as a plumber, which he had to stop, however, due to an injury to one finger. In the First World War, he was drafted into the army in 1917, though he sustained injuries to his left leg during his first mission on the front and was discharged from military service in 1919. In 1916, one year before serving in the military, he was employed as a worker in the laundry of Barmbek hospital, where he also worked as a truck driver until his dismissal in 1942.

In 1919, Karl Gevert, who during the Nazi period confessed to his homosexual tendencies vis-à-vis police, was sentenced for the first time to a fine for "causing a public nuisance” along homosexual lines in accordance with Sec. 183 of the Reich Criminal Code (Reichsstrafgesetzbuch – RStGB). In 1927, he was given a fine of 80 RM (reichsmark) after a conviction pursuant to Sec. 175 RStGB. Yet another fine amounting to 100 RM after a conviction in accordance with Sec. 183 RStGB in 1935 was remitted later after an amnesty.

After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he was drafted to serve in the military but discharged as unfit after ten months due to "complete nervous depression” in 1940. Owing to a bike theft committed in 1940, Gevert, who was already considered a "criminal” because of his homosexuality, again attracted the attention of police. Within the probationary period imposed on him until 1944 in lieu of a fine, he was taken into police custody on 20 Jan. 1942 on the evidently unfounded suspicion of having approached a child. In the course of interrogations, he admitted to homosexual contacts with men unknown to him by name at public restrooms, and based on this confession, in Mar. 1942, he was sentenced by the Hamburg District Court (Amtsgericht) to eight months in prison for "repeated homosexual intercourse” in accordance with Sec. 175 RStGB. He served his prison term in the Hamburg penal institutions of Fuhlsbüttel and Glasmoor. After his release in Oct. 1942, he was employed as a worker in the armament companies of Dynamit AG in Krümmel and Hanseatische Kettenwerke (HAK) in Langenhorn.

In Feb. 1944, he was proven a homosexual by a plain-clothes detective used as a stool pigeon in a public restroom at the intersection of Lange Reihe/St. Georgskirchhof. During pretrial detention, he was examined by forensic pathologist Hans Koopmann because of a possible castration. Koopmann, known for harsh commentary as an expert, lived up to his reputation in the case of Karl Gevert, too, advocating castration: "Based on this, G. is a sexually driven, weak-willed, homosexual masturbator … The criminal-biological [kriminalbiologische] prognosis seems unfavorable. After the previous convictions of G., one must reckon with him … becoming a repeat offender. … The best safeguarding measure that comes into question is castration.”

Since in the course of police interrogations, Gevert admitted to additional sexual contacts with men unknown to him, the Hamburg Regional Court (Landgericht) sentenced him to two years and six months in prison in Apr. 1944, a sentence he served from May 1944 onward in the Wolfenbüttel penitentiary. In Aug. 1944, the "voluntary castration,” for which Karl Gevert applied himself in the face of the threatening situation in prison, was approved by the Hamburg senator of health, Dr. Friedrich Ofterdinger. The prison physician in the Kassel-Wehlheiden penitentiary, who was responsible for Wolfenbüttel, delayed the castration due to unknown considerations, which prevented the procedure from being carried out in the end, even though the Hamburg public health authority pushed for its implementation as late as Apr. 1945. After the prison temporarily came under self-administration following the occupation of Wolfenbüttel by Allied forces around 11 Apr. 1945, Karl Gevert died in the local penal institution shortly before the end of the war, on 22 Apr. 1945.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Bernhard Rosenkranz (†) / Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: StaH, 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 2638/42, 2850/42 und 2249/44; StaH, 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferungen 13 und 1998/1; StaH, 352-12 Gesundheitsbehörde – Sonderakten, Ablieferung 1999/1 Gevert; StA Wolfenbüttel, 43 A NEU 4 Jg. 1944 Nr. 74; Auskünfte Rainer Hoffschildt, Hannover und Christian-Alexander Wäldner, Ronnenburg-Weetzen; Rosenkranz/Bollmann/Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 213.

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