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Karl Heinrich

Karl Heinrich


  • Erler, Peter.: Polizeimajor Karl Heinrich - NS-Gegner und Antikommunist. Eine biographische Skizze (2007)

The long-time police officer Karl Heinrich is one of the first prominent victims of the Special Camp No. 3. He was detained in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen from October until his death in November 1945. Born in Munich in 1890, Karl Heinrich worked as a major in the Berlin police force beginning in 1929. For political reasons, he was suspended by the police in 1932. In response to the rise of the Nazis in Berlin, he participated in the founding of an illegal organization. In 1937, the People's Court sentenced him in a show trial to seven years imprisonment and deprivation of political rights. Part of his time in prison was spent at the notorious camps in the Emsland Moor.

After the war, he was appointed as a commander of the Berlin police by the Soviet occupying powers in June 1945. Conflicts arose following the invasion of the Western Allies in the western part of Berlin, whereupon Heinrich began to oppose the Communists' claim to leadership. In August 1945, he was arrested by the Soviet secret police and detained at Berlin's police headquarters. The causes for his arrest were varied. In part, he was under accusation for politically-motivated denunciative measures. He was thought to have beaten other political prisoners during the NS prison regime.

By the end of September 1945, the Soviet secret police completed the investigations concerning Heinrich. According to the indictment, he was accused of several "counter-revolutionary" crimes. Due to his illness whilst detained, Heinrich received no hearing before the Military Tribunal of the Berlin garrison. In early October 1945, he was admitted to the special hospital in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, where he died of "paralysis of vital organs" on November 3rd, 1945. His body was buried near the camp in a landfill. Today, a bridge in Berlin-Spandau and a memorial stone in the Berlin district Steglitz bear his name.