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I was employed as part time worker [Hilfsarbeiter] by the former Trade Union society, Munich, beginning 11 November 1911. During the years 1914-1918, I was in the World War.
After the revolution in November 1918 I was elected Executive Chairman of the General German Trade Union Association [Allgemeiner Deutcher Gewerkschaftsbund], Local Committee, Munich. I held this position without interruption until 9 March 1933.
On that day the Nazis stormed the Munich Trade Union Headquarters Building, 40/42 Prestalozzistrasse. The offices remained closed until 15 March. On 13 March my late colleague Erhard Kupfer, former District Secretary of the General German Trade Union Association [ADGB] and I had to report to the, then, State Commissar Wagner, and were ordered to reopen the Munich Trade Union Headqearters Building, and with it the offices, by 15 March, and to resume normal activity within the framework of the trade unions.
Since I was at the same time chairman of the Munich Trade Union Headquarters Building, Inc., it became my task to take over the house in its entirety, and with it the individual offices of the trade unions.
Because safes and strong-boxes, in fact everything that was locked, had been smashed open, and because safes and tills, in the main, were empty, I refused to take over the house and offices in their present condition. I stated that I would take over the house only in the condition in which it was when it was taken away from us on 9 March.
The house had been taken over on 9 March 1933 by Herr Kurt Frey, and returned to us on 15 March by the former executive secretary of the Hotel, Restaurant, etc. Employees' Association, Herr Reichart. This Nazi, with whom I did not get along too well because of his equivocal attitude, believed that the opportunity had arrived to wreak his vengeance on me.
I was dragged to the great hall, paper and pencil put before me with the challenge to designate these Nazis who had committed thefts during the period of 9 to 15 March 1933. I could not do that, since I did not know the individuals. As I refused my signature about 10 Nazis beat me promiscuously and indiscriminately until I collapsed. Upon that they seized me and threw me into the bottom of the light shaft of the Trade Union Headquarters Building. After lying there for some time I summoned up my strength and tried to rouse myself. When the Nazis noted that, they again dragged me into the hall and beat me until I collapsed and fainted. My colleagues Josef Gessl, former executive secretary of the Cobblers' Association, and Richard Moses, employee of the General Mutual Benefit Local Pay Office [Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse], Munich, grabbed me and brought me in this condition to the Munich-Schwabing hospital. In addition to many other injuries, Professor Dr. Kerschensteiner, director of this institution, diagnosed serious concussion of the brain with hemorhage into the brain. I remained from 15 March to 5 May 1933. On 5 May the Precinct Physician, at that time already a Nazi, certified that I was sufficiently fit for arrest. On 5 May I was transported to the Ettstrasse Police Prison, and from there to Stadelheim. I remained in Stadelheim until 25 August 1933.
It is due to an extraordinarily fortunate circumstance that I was saved from Dachau in 1933. Medical Privy Councillor Dr. Geisendoerfer, who was chief physician in Stadelheim, knew me from the Cooperative Sickness Benefit movement (I had been on the Committee of the General Mutual Insurance Local Pay Office [Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse], Munich, for 25 years). Through the many negotiations with the physician I had been in close touch with the above-named gentleman. During my stay in Stadelheim the Gestapo had me examined five times by the chief physician, who always held a protective hand over me, and to whom I am also indebted for my early release, due to a serious illness (intestinal gap of 15 cm depth and 7-8 cm length).
I was then sick and unable to work until 24 December 1933. On that day I was sent away by the Trustee Physician of the General Mutual Benefit Local Pay Office, Munich (city), in spite of my request to allow me to draw sickness benefits until the eve of the New Year. He said that there was no reason to grant the request. As far as I know this Trustee Physician was Medical Councillor Dr. Plate.
I was then unemployed until May/June 1934 and then accepted various jobs as representative. After my release from Stadelheim I had to report to the police every third day for almost 2 years. Constant police supervision was one of the simplest cases of chicanery.
Upon the initiative of my colleague Wilhelm Leuschner, Berlin, I joined the movement against the Nazi system in good time; and it was exclusively due to the steadfastness of my colleague Leuschner that I, like many other friends, am still alive.
After the assassination attempt on Hitler on 20 July 1944, I was again arrested and shipped to Dachau Concentration Camp. As is well known, that project was called "Gitter."
On 6 October 1944 I was released without any interrogation. I was extraordinarily fortunate. Since 2 May 1945 I am again active, in the trade union as well as the political movement and also in social work and life.
As witnesses for the correctness of my statements I name the persons already mentioned above, who brought me to the Schwabing hospital (Josef Gessl and Richard Moses).
And how decent were we once more in the year 1945. Not a hair on the head of any of these swine was harmed on behalf of the trade unions. We bore witness, and still bear witness today, for human dignity and justice.
Other liberated colleagues of the Free Trade Unions got away with beatings in the cellar of the Trade Union Headquarters Building in the beginning. Among others my colleague, Anton FRiebl, now living at 4 Gabrielenstrasse, 2nd floor. Many deceased colleagues, such as Georg Kandlbinder, Josef Ertl, Heinrich Gassner and many others.Munich, 17 October 1945
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946