Otto Meinecke, born 20.10.1880 in Witten an der Ruhr
Kleppingstr. 6, Do-West
Otto Meinecke was the son of Wilhelm Meinecke, a master file cutter, and his wife Lina Meinecke, née Sasse.
He had at least two siblings, a brother, Heinrich (1870–1929), and a sister, Clara (born 1882). In 1884, the family moved from Witten to Dortmund, where Wilhelm Meinecke resided at Rheinische Strasse 93 as the owner of a file-making factory, the Dortmunder Feilen-Fabrik.
In around 1920, the file-making business was taken over by Wilhelm Meinecke’s descendants. As a businessman and factory owner, son Otto initially lived at the firm’s location at Münsterstrasse 257. After moving house numerous times within Dortmund after 1933, Otto Meinecke lived from 1940 at Kleppingstrasse 2.
In early 1942, by reason of his homosexuality, he was deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was given the prisoner number 42857. In Sachsenhausen, he was assigned to the punishment squad – much feared by the prisoners – required to work in a satellite camp, the “Großziegelwerk” (Brickworks). There, he was termed a “175er” and a “Berufsverbrecher”, i.e. someone having been found guilty of committing more than one offence under Section 175, the law banning homosexual acts between men, or designated in Nazi parlance as having “led astray” more than one man.
In this context, Heinrich Himmler, the nationwide head of the SS, had ruled on 12 July 1940: “I request that in future, on their release from prisons, homosexuals who have led astray more than one partner be taken into preventive police custody.”
As the cause of death of Otto Meinecke, the still existing death certificate from Sachsenhausen states: “Shot in the head while attempting to flee”.
This bland statement is in fact a front for a systematic campaign of murder of homosexuals by the SS, to which at least 95 men who are known by name fell victim and were killed in July and August 1942 alone.
Otto Meinecke was murdered on 13 July 1942.