Wilhelm Hartmann, born 7.5.1882 in Halle (Saale)
Berta Hartmann, née Schuberten, born 31.8.1888 in Dortmund
Maria Reinhardt, née Hartmann, born 27.7.1919 in Buttstädt in Thuringia
Josef Hartmann, born 6.7.1934 in Münster
Heinrich Hartmann, born 8./18.3.1914 in Leipzig
Robert Hartmann, born 30.8.1921 in Havixbeck
Paul Hartmann, born 6.2.1925 in Versmold
Burgweg 38, Do-Nord
Wilhelm Hartmann was a musician by profession. Additionally, together with his wife Berta Hartmann, he operated a textile business based in Dortmund. From 1933, he was conscripted into the Reich Labour Service (“Arbeitsdienst”), assigned to duties in construction of the Autobahn in the vicinity of Dortmund.
On 11 June 1938, Dortmund Criminal Police arrested him at his workplace under the “Action Work-shy – Reich” programme and took him into “preventive detention” at Steinwache police station. The reason given for his arrest was a “Special order”.
It emerges from the application for compensation made for him that he was arrested by Dortmund Criminal Police for “work shyness” after he had committed a criminal offence and also for causing bodily harm on the strength of his previous record.
Hartmann was taken from Dortmund on 22 June 1938 and committed to Sachsenhausen concentration camp on the same day as prisoner number 2463. On 25 January 1940, he was transferred to Mauthausen concentration camp, and from there on 15 August 1940 to Dachau concentration camp (prisoner number 14765, detention category “Compulsory labour, Reich”), and finally, on 5 July 1941, to Buchenwald concentration camp. There, he was placed in the “ASR Gypsy” category, given the prisoner number 7755, and accommodated in Block 25. There, he died at 1.25 a.m. on 19 July 1941, the official cause of death being recorded as a “Collapse”.
The transport on which Hartmann was transferred to Buchenwald was a so-called “invalid transport”. This was a method by which the SS forces in charge at Dachau sought to get rid of a large number of prisoners who were sick or handicapped or otherwise considered no longer able to work. Consequently, a large number of those transferred to Buchenwald were specifically targeted and killed. It is therefore probable that Hartmann was deliberately murdered in the sick bay.
Wilhelm Hartmann’s body was cremated on 22 July 1941 and buried anonymously on 8 August 1941 at Dortmund Main Cemetery (Dortmunder Hauptfriedhof), Area 141b, his ashes having been previously sent to his family.
His wife Berta Hartmann was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp on 13 March 1943 and given prisoner number Z-3095. She was murdered there on 27 March 1944.
The Hartmanns had four children.
The eldest daughter Maria Reinhart worked until her deportation in a fish smoking business, and after the war, according to her own information given in her applications for compensation, was a housewife. She reports that she was deported to Ravensbrück even before 1941. She was liberated from there by Soviet troops on 30 April 1945.
Her son Josef Hartmann, known as Jonni, was still a schoolboy when he was deported from Dortmund and committed to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp as prisoner number Z-2767 on 13 March 1943. His mother states that he was murdered there. He is therefore presumed missing, with his date of death officially set by Dortmund Local Court as 8 May 1945.
After attending Finke School, son Heinrich Hartmann began training as a musician in around 1928. He played together with his father at village events as a means of earning money. After 1933, he was assigned, like his father Wilhelm and his brother Robert, to road building work in construction of the Autobahn near Dortmund. According to information of his sister Maria Reinhardt, Heinrich Hartmann was conscripted into military service and took part in the “Poland campaign”. At an unknown date, he was dismissed again from the army.
On 8 September, he was taken into “preventive detention” and held at Steinwache police station, initially until 7 October 1941. From there, he was deported to Dachau concentration, where he was held as prisoner number 27804 until 17 December 1941. Subsequently, he was interned as prisoner number 40547 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp until his death on 16 May 1944. In both camps, he was categorized as an “AZR” prisoner (Compulsory Labour, Reich). Heinrich Hartmann allegedly died of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Robert Hartmann also began training as a musician, but was unable to complete his training. He, too, was assigned after 1933 to road building duties in construction of the Autobahn near Dortmund and worked there until being taken into preventive detention from 18 April 1942 to 9 June 1942 at Steinwache police station. From there, he was deported to Dachau concentration camp, where he was committed on 9 June 1942 as prisoner number 30508. On 4 July 1942, he was subjected to confinement in the punishment block, though for how long is not known. On 17 September 1942, he was transferred first to Neuengamme concentration camp, and from there, on an unknown date, to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. There, he finally died at 3.00 p.m. on 19 June 1944, allegedly of pulmonary tuberculosis. In the camp, he was categorized as an “AZR. Zig.” prisoner (Compulsory Labour, Reich, Gypsy”).
According to his own information, Paul Hartmann attended Elisabeth School in Dortmund. In 1959, he gave his profession as musician.
After completing school in Dortmund, he worked for about six months at the Dortmund construction firm of Evers & Kemper, before being arrested while still at his workplace and deported on 3 September 1942 to Sachsenhausen. He was liberated on 22 April 1945.
On 30 September 1959, in the compensation proceedings, the President of Arnsberg Regional Administration awarded the surviving relatives – Maria Reinhart, Paul Hartmann und Linda Winter – compensation for deprivation of liberty of Berta, Heinrich and Robert.
In 1963, they received restitution for the contents of their caravans and their clothes, jewellery and instruments stolen from them on their deportation in March 1943. The caravans were stated to have been in their possession since even before the First World War, and therefore no compensation was payable for them.
Further attempts of the survivors to claim compensation also for loss of life and professional and economic prosperity were recognized in the case of Heinrich and Robert in 1960, but were refused for Wilhelm and Paul. The grounds given for the refusal were that Sinti and Roma were only subject to racial persecution from late 1942/early 1943 onwards and that Wilhelm and Paul Hartmann were not detained on racial grounds but on the strength of “considerations of the security police”. Also in the case of Heinrich and Robert, periods of custody and loss of earnings were, on the same grounds, only recognized as being due for compensation in respect of periods of time after 12 March 1943, the officially recognized date of their deportation from Dortmund.