Otto H. (1895 – 1940)

Otto H. was born in Breslau in 1895, attended elementary school and was trained as a typesetter. In 1915, he was called up to do military service. He received several war medals for his service at the Front.

After the First World War, he worked as a sales representative in Berlin, where he was given short prison sentences for minor offences such as handling stolen property. In the 1930s, he had to let himself be treated for a nervous disorder in the Berlin-Wittenau Sanatorium and finally, despite an improvement in his health, he had to give up his job. Since then, he had been dependent on welfare assistance.

In 1937, the district court of Berlin sentenced him to several months of in prison for homosexual acts. After serving his time in Plötzensee Prison, Otto H. was admitted to the Berlin-Buch hospital following a court order. He asked to be discharged several times, but the then competent Attorney General turned down his request because of his alleged risk of re-offending. On 30 March 1940, he was transferred to the killing centre in Brandenburg an der Havel, together with other allegedly mentally ill »criminals« in a collective transport, and murdered with carbon monoxide gas.

Image: Otto H., 1930s
Otto H., 1930s
© Bundesarchiv Berlin, R179/9243