To say no at all costs: by choice, by dignity, by moral stature.

On June 13, 1936, we met on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the Host ship;
Meanwhile, an adoring crowd greets the arrival of Adolf Hitler. All but two of them are still standing.
They are those of August Landmesser.
This gentleman worked at the Blohm+Voss shipyard, and until the last moment, he decided not to submit to the Führer’s wishes.
The story began in 1931 when the man took the National Socialist Party card to get a job, but he soon sensed the movement’s violent drift.
In 1934 Landmesser had fallen in love with a Jewish woman – Irma Eckler – who was immediately married in 1935 (although the marriage was never recognized because Nuremberg’s laws had come into force since August of that year). Daughters Ingrid (1935) and Irene (1937) were unable to take their father’s surname at the behest of the Hamburg City Council and assumed their mother.
Landmesser was accused of “dishonoring the race” and expelled from the party.
In 1937 he tried to flee to Denmark with his family but was blocked at the border.
He was first imprisoned for a short time and freed for continuing his relationship with the woman, provided he did not repeat the crime, and in 1938 he was sentenced to 30 months’ hard labor in a concentration camp. He would never see his wife again, arrested and sent to a concentration camp in Hamburg, before being transferred to two women’s camps: Oranienburg and Ravensbruck. She died in 1942 at the Bernburg Health Institute, where euthanasia was practiced for the mentally ill.
The daughters were placed in the care of relatives.
Released from prison in 1941, Landmesser forced into forced labor.
In 1944 he was enlisted in the Wehrmacht and assigned to the 19th Infantry Criminal Infantry Battalion, consisting of soldiers sentenced by court-martial and common crimes.
On December 20, 1939, the district court of Hamburg-Altona declared Irma dead, indicating April 28, 1942, as the most probable date of her murder, while Rostock’s district court declared August Landmesser dead on August 1, 1949. Only in 1951, the marriage was recognized, and their father’s surname could call the daughters.

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