30.10.1908 – 24.04.1932
24 April 1932 – New elections were being held to elect members of the Prussian Parliament. They were last held on 20 May 1928.
Two Berlin Communists, Franz Mels and August Wellnitz had been standing on the wall of a house for hours, guarding the large election poster of the KPD (Communist Party of Germany). That night, neither National Socialists nor bourgeois would be allowed to deface it, even if the two comrades had to freeze. Finally they were relieved, and they decided the best way to fight the cold in their legs was with beer. After a crawl through a number of pubs in the area, the alcohol had made the two men careless.
This is the only way to explain how they ended up in the SA-Sturmlocal (a local bar used by the SA), at the corner of Kreuzberg-Katzbach-Strasse. Since the pub had been unsuccessfully attacked by a communist group a few hours earlier, the SA were on edge and irritated by the drunken newcomers with their red badges.
After a short exchange of words, Mels and Wellnitz were ejected. A short while later, when some SA men left to go home, they again encountered the two drunken Communists. They were busy smearing hammer and sickle signs and Marxist slogans on house walls. The two reds fled from the National Socialists, the second time they had been routed by the SA that night. After arriving home, they armed themselves, and went off to ‘give it to the fascists’.
The two drunken reds ambushed some of the hated National Socialists. Around 4:30 a.m. shots were fired. Stormtrooper Udo Curth collapsed as if struck by an invisible lightning bolt. Blood oozed from a hole in his head. At Urbank Hospital, doctors diagnose death an hour later.
The Berlin Gauleiter Dr. Goebbels noted in his diary: “During the night, an SA man was shot in Kreuzberg. The bullet went right through his forehead. At noon, all flags were draped in mourning. As a result, the rumor spread that I had died. But dead men live long!”
A short time later, Franz Mels, one of the communists and a member of the “Kampfbund gegen den Faschismus” (Fighting League against Fascism), was arrested near the scene of the crime. He confessed and was sentenced to a derisory four years in prison. After the takeover of power, the victim’s brother tried to get a revision of the sentence imposed in July 1932, with the aim of a harsher punishment, but without success. August Wellnitz, supported by Red Help (Rote Hilfe), was able to escape to Russia and thus avoid prosecution.
In 1933, the Rote Hilfe had 530,000 members, of which 119,000 were also members of the KPD and 15,000 were members of the SPD. There were also 55,600 members who were also in the International Red Aid, (also known by its Russian abbreviation, MOPR). Source: Wikipedia.
In the Viktoria Park near the scene of the crime, a memorial stone was erected, dedicated to the twenty-two year old SA-man with the words “Udo Curth, SA man in Sturm 26/8, shot by communists on 24.4.1932 in front of the house at Mockernstrasse 64. He fell for the liberation of his fatherland.”
On the gravestone of the SA martyr were carved the words: “Faithful unto death.”
“Only The Forgotten Are Dead”
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