Netzwerk Erinnerung+Zukunft in der Region Hannover

Förderverein Gedenkstätte Ahlem e.V.
Heisterbergallee 8
30453 Hannover
Tel. Förderverein (0511) 47 39 76 98
Tel. Netzwerk (0511) 47 39 76 99
Bild 4: Zeitungsausschnitt „Arbeitsverweigerer...“ (Quelle: Gedenkstätte Neuengamme)
Photo 4: Newspaper excerpt “Work Refuser Goes to Concentration Camp”. (Source: Memorial Neuengamme)

Social Exclusion and Persecution

National Socialism developed the ideology of a society without criminality and social deviation on the basis of a biologistic conception of humankind.

Spectacular raids against beggars already took place by 1933. The result was that many people from the overcrowded working houses were taken into concentration camps such as Dachau.

A new and nation-wide phase of persecution by the Gestapo and criminal police started in 1938. During the 'Aktion Arbeitscheu Reich' ("Initiative to combat work refusal") 10,000 men were accused of being "asocial" and were sent to concentration camps. At this time prisoners with black triangular badges (by which they were classified as ‘asocial’) constituted the largest group of prisoners in camps like Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen. According to official documents, in the week of 13 June to 18 June, 1938, “138 asocials and 21 Jews” from the administrative district of Hanover “were taken into preventive detention and put into the concentration camp Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg, close to Berlin”.

Altogether, the police transported more than 70,000 people due to ‘criminal’ and ‘asocial’ behaviour to these concentration camps. About half of them were killed there. No memorial commemorates this group of victims in Hanover.

Literature 91, 10, 22

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