Press Release

Berlin, 14.04.2011

Memorial plaque for executed gay police men revealed

Yesterday evening, on April 13th, a memorial plaque remembering four gay police men who were executed by the Nazis was revealed at the building of the police district 21 on Moritzstrasse in Berlin-Spandau. Senator of the Interior Dr. Ehrhart Koerting and chief of police Dieter Glietsch presented the bronze table during a ceremonious hour of remembrance to the public.

[Translate to English:] MANEO-Mitarbeiter legten ein Blumengesteck nieder.[Translate to English:] MANEO-Mitarbeiter legten ein Blumengesteck nieder.

During the last days of war in April 1945, the inmates of the Moritz-barrack in Spandau were pardoned and released in a summary trial because of the approaching end of the war. The only exemptions were four Berlin police men, taken into custody because of suspicions of homosexual tendencies. Otto Jordan, Reinhard Höpfner, Willi Jenoch and a man named Bautz, whose identity could not be clarified until today, were executed on April 24, 1945, and buried anonymously close to the place where the memorial plaque is now.

The infringement of homosexuality seems to have been to grave to the executors as to pardon the men like the other inmates because of the oncoming capitulation.

In an extensive speech the Berlin chief of police Dieter Glietsch committed to the severe legacy of the Nazi regime the police has to still carry today. In his speech he elaborated, that the execution of the four police men is just an example of the homophobic and inhuman attitude within the police organizations at that time. Furthermore, the institution “Police” played an important role at the time of the National Socialist rule, supporting and enabling the discriminating and violent wheelings and dealings of the Third Reich. The mission of the police to protect and defend the dignity and rights of the people in spite of origin and ethos or sexual orientation, had been shamefully disregarded, especially in dealing with homosexuals.

With the table the Berlin police force does not only want to set a monument for the four executed police men, but also win back the gay people’s confidence in the police force step by step.

“The police have made many mistakes in the past, even until the fifties, sixties, many mistakes in their contact and dealings with homosexuals, even in their own ranks. The gay people’s confidence in the police force is still damaged and we have to continuously work towards changing this. The establishment of the position of a representative of homosexual issues in the nineties or the revealing of the memorial plaque are supposed to set signal on this way”, says Dieter Glietsch, Berlin’s chief of police.

MANEO appreciated this commitment of the Berlin police force: “We thank Mr Glietsch for his important speech and this signal. Much more effort is needed to win back the confidence of the gay men and bisexuals, transgender people and lesbians. We are glad that we have found such a brave supporter in the chief of police in Berlin.”.

In remembrance of the four victims and all the other persecuted and murdered homosexuals during the Nazi regime, MANEO employees laid a wreath at the end of the event.

 

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