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Karl Karcz * 1881
Bornemannstraße 8 (Harburg, Harburg)
IM WIDERSTAND / SPD
TOT 10. 4.1933
Karl Karcz, born on 15 Nov. 1881 in Czersk (West Prussia), seriously injured by SA men, died on 10 Apr. 1933
Harburg-Altstadt district, Bornemannstrasse 8
The metal worker Karl Karcz got married to Helene Buchholz, born on 12 Sept. 1878 in Gönne, District of Neustettin in Pommerania (today Szczecinek and, like the town of Czersk, in Poland). They lived at Juliusstrasse 8 (today: Bornemannstrasse).
After 30 Jan. 1933, when Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor by Reich President von Hindenburg, the National Socialists and their followers were caught up in a power trip and ecstasy of joy. Everywhere, torchlight processions took place, including in Harburg. One of these marches occurred in Hamburg on the evening of 6 Feb. 1933. The Harburg SA participated in the event as well. Only one guard detachment remained behind at the branch office of the Harburg NSDAP, the "Sturm Niehaus” of the "storm trooper unit II/9” (Sturmbann II/9), among them the SA men Hugo Bornemann, Bernhard Rohrbeck, and Edwin Hoffmockel. Bornemann had put in his pocket the service pistol of the police officer and NSDAP member of the provincial parliament, Heinrich Stummeyer. When the participants in the torchlight procession returned to Harburg, the three SA men were apparently roused by them to perform "heroic feats.” Together with others, they proceeded to the hated workers’ pub "Stadt Hannover,” operated by the Communist Georg Reus at Grosser Schippsee.
The Social Democrat Karl Karcz and the Communist Martin Leuschel were also among the guests of this location on the evening of 6 Feb. Shortly before midnight, one worker left the restaurant, subsequently returning covered in blood. He had been beaten up by SA men in front of the tavern. All of the guests of the locality streamed outside. At about 12:40 a.m., i.e., it was already 7 February, shots rang out. Martin Leuschel sustained a shot in the stomach, dying a few hours later in hospital. Karl Karcz was seriously injured. He, too, was taken to hospital, dying of his injuries on 10 April. There were no other victims. On 10 Feb. 1933, thousands protested in Harburg against the first political murder in the city (see biography on Martin Leuschel).
The three SA men fled, though they were arrested in the area called Auf dem Sande. The pistol that Bornemann had thrown away shortly before was seized. However, the murderers had nothing to fear. Only Bornemann was detained in the police prison on Wetternstrasse. There, 40 or 50 of his accomplices freed him by force later. Legal proceedings against him were not even initiated, since according to an ordinance by the Reich President dated 21 Mar. 1933, all perpetrators of deeds committed in connection with the "national revolution” were granted pardons. Bornemann, who was apparently unemployed, was later "rewarded” with a job as a pool attendant at Harburg’s Aussenmühlenbad outdoor pool.
Since 1988, there is a street called Karczweg (Langenbeker Feld).
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Hans-Joachim Meyer
Quellen: VVN-BdA Harburg (Hrsg.), Die anderen, S. 47ff.; VVN-BdA Harburg (Hrsg.), Stumme Zeugen, s. Personenverzeichnis; Hochmuth/Meyer, Streiflichter, S. 18ff.; StaH, 332-8 Meldewesen, A44; StaH, Adressbücher Harburg-Wilhelmsburg; Sta Stade, Rep. 171a 143; Volksblatt; Heyl/Maronde-Heyl, Abschlussbericht; Totenliste VAN.