Alfred Hillmer, born 9.2.1893 in Alt Lässig

Steinwache Hof, Do-Nord

Alfred Hillmer, a lathe turner, lived with his family at Osterlandwehrstr. 19 from 1923. He was married to Maria Elfriede, née. Siebert (born 13.8.1899, Dortmund) and had two children with her, Alfred Hermann Adolf (born 11.12.1920, Dortmund) and Margarete Martha (born 16.2.1923, Dortmund).

Alfred Hillmer was one of the founding members of the KPD – the German Communist Party – in Dortmund.
Because of his political activities, he was detained at Steinwache police station on 15 June 1934, accused of “preparation of acts of treason”.

The following Gestapo information regarding the fate of Alfred Hillmer is highly contradictory, as the aim was evidently to conceal the circumstances of his death.

The entry in the arrest ledger states: “Prisoner register number 2439: Alfred Hillmer, born on 9.2.1893 in Alblessig/Waldenburg, lathe turner, arrested on 15.6.1934 for preparation of acts of treason, released on 16.6.1934. Collected his personal belongings at the end of the month.”

Alfred Hillmer was neither released on 16 June, nor was he in a position to collect his personal belongings at the end of the month. Personal belongings were normally handed back to detainees at the same time as they were released. At the end of June 1943, Alfred Hillmer was already dead. It is probable that that was the time when his widow went to collect the belongings taken from him on his arrest.

Lore Junge, a witness from the time, states that the Gestapo placed on record that Hillmer was taken on 16 June 1934 to the City Hospital after attempting suicide by hanging while in the police station, but died in hospital of his injuries.

Lore Junge assumes that Hillmer was in fact removed from the police jail and taken to another place where he could be subjected to torture, and was so badly tortured that he died as a result.

The actual events cannot now be reconstructed. What is clear, however, is that Alfred Hillmer was so severely injured when in the custody of the Gestapo that he died as a result while in the City Hospital. According to the death certificate, the death was notified by “The Office of the State Police for the District of Arnsberg Regional Administration” and recorded by the registry office.

It must be assumed that the death was not caused by a suicide attempt at all but as a direct result of brutal torture. Whether this torture took place at Steinwache police station or on other premises of the Gestapo – who at this time were in the process of preparing for relocation from the police headquarters to Hörde – can no longer be established with certainty.

The death is unequivocally the result of an act of National Socialist violence. It was also recognized as such – namely as “damage to life” – by the compensation authorities.

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