Albert Kuntz (born December 4, 1896 in Bennewitz , † January 23, 1945 near Nordhausen ( Harz )) was a KPD politician and a member of the Prussian state parliament for them . Arrested as a resistance fighter against the Nazi regime in 1933, he was murdered in the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp in 1945 . Posthumously he received great recognition in the GDR , which is increasingly questioned after 1989.
Kuntz was a trained coppersmith . After completing his apprenticeship, he became a soldier in 1915. The following year he was wounded off Verdun and saw the end of the war in a local hospital . During the November Revolution he was elected to a soldiers' council. In 1919 he was a member of the workers' council in Wurzen .
After Kuntz had initially belonged to the USPD , he co-founded the local group of the KPD in Wurzen in 1919 and became a city councilor there in 1921. He was a member of the local gymnastics movement and later chaired it. After an industrial accident in 1922, Kuntz became an emergency worker and in 1923 a full-time KPD functionary in Leipzig as head of organization for West Saxony. In 1924 he was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment for violating the peace , which was later suspended. After he was a worker in Chemnitz in 1925/26 , he went to the KPD district leadership Hesse-Frankfurt in 1926 as a functionary. In October 1928 he took over the leadership of the Hessen-Frankfurt district as political director. In 1929 he moved to Berlin and became a candidate for the Central Committee of the KPD, which sent him to the International Lenin School in Moscow . After a nine-month stay there, in 1930 he became the organizational secretary of the Berlin-Brandenburg district leadership of the KPD. In April 1932 he was elected to the Prussian state parliament. From June 1932 until his arrest on March 12, 1933, he worked as Political Secretary of the Hesse-Frankfurt party district.
In the autumn of 1933 he was acquitted of the charge of high treason , but was immediately charged with the murder of the police in Berlin. In the trial of the murders committed by Erich Mielke and Erich Ziemer on August 9, 1931 on Bülowplatz , he stood in court in June 1934 as the alleged client. He was heavily incriminated by Michael Klause, who appeared as a key witness , but was able to provide an affidavit that he had been in Berlin on the day in question. The court held Kuntz Although the complicity guilty, but not the complicity or aid . Since these offenses had since been amnestied , the proceedings against Kuntz were dropped.
However, Kuntz was not released, but taken into " protective custody " in the Lichtenburg concentration camp . A new trial for preparation for high treason ended in April 1935 with a 15-month prison sentence , which he served in Kassel . He was then taken back into protective custody and brought back to the Lichtenburg concentration camp. Here he worked on the construction of heating and bathing systems. Together with Theodor Neubauer and Walter Stoecker , Walter Kuntz set up the illegal organization of the KPD in Lichtenburg. After the Lichtenburg concentration camp was dissolved, he was deployed in a similar function in the Buchenwald concentration camp . Here he rose to be responsible for irrigation and drainage and again organized the illegal KPD group in the camp together with Walter Stoecker and Theodor Neubauer. After several months of imprisonment in the “bunker” because of his activities in the prisoner resistance, he was transferred to a branch of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Kassel, where he again worked in irrigation and drainage. In September 1943 he was taken to the newly established Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp near Nordhausen. Here, too, he was a prisoner functionary in the construction management. An illegal group under his leadership carried out acts of sabotage on the V-weapons that were manufactured there. In November 1944 the SS tried unsuccessfully to extract information about the sabotage from him. On the night of January 22nd to 23rd, 1945, Kuntz died during an interrogation.
In the GDR, two large companies, 22 company brigades and collectives, 20 FDJ organizations, four schools (including the Francisceum Zerbst ), two youth homes, a kindergarten, a cinema in Trebsen, two LPGs , a barracks, three military or paramilitary units, became one Sports field, a sports stadium in Nordhausen, a park and four streets and squares named after Albert Kuntz. The life-size bronze statue of a heroic resistance fighter in the Feldscheune Isenschnibbe Gardelegen memorial, created in 1971 by the Magdeburg sculptor Joachim Sendler, is inspired by his facial features. A large bakery in Havana also bears his name.
The anti-fascist resistance of communists, especially in the concentration camps, enjoyed a great reputation in the GDR. Concentration camps such as Buchenwald were converted into anti-fascist memorials, and communists murdered in the concentration camp were particularly venerated there and elsewhere. Albert Kuntz was assigned an important role in the illegal camp leadership of the KPD ("red Kapos") and in the organization of sabotage. The fact is that many prison functionaries in Buchenwald, Dora and elsewhere were KPD members. The propaganda of the GDR exaggerated their activity into the founding myth of the GDR. It was aimed at the benefit of all, gathered and organized international resistance in the concentration camps and - here in particular Buchenwald - liberated the concentration camp itself.
In research after 1989, the picture got severe cracks (see below Niethammer). It is questionable to what extent the camp committees served more than their own survival. Functional prisoners are disproportionately represented among the survivors of the concentration camps. The systematic sabotage - in the case of Kuntz on the V2 - was doubted; the massive failures would have more to do with the fact that the rocket was not fully developed. The production using forced labor in inhumane conditions was certainly a reason for failures.
Ultimately, the murder of Kuntz was also linked to the uncovering of an act of sabotage. That too is no longer certain. Rather, it is assumed that he was betrayed in connection with an illegal funeral service for a murdered KPD member and that he was killed with two other camp elders.
- Wolfgang Kießling : Strong and full of hope, life and struggle by Albert Kuntz. Berlin 1964.
- Wolfgang Kießling: Albert Kuntz . In: Wurzen 961–1961. Festschrift for the millennium , Wurzen 1961, pp. 120–144.
- Leo Kuntz, Leopoldine Kuntz, Hannelore and Götz Dieckmann (eds.): Albert Kuntz “Dearest Ellen…” letters from Nazi detention 1933–1944. Berlin 2005.
- Olaf Mußmann : Albert Kuntz (1896–1945) - heroic resistance fighter against National Socialism or opportunistic survival strategist.
- Lutz Niethammer (Ed.): The “cleaned up” anti-fascism. The SED and the red kapos from Buchenwald. Berlin 1994, repeated edition, including Akademie, Berlin 2005.
- Kuntz, Albert . In: Hermann Weber , Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographical Handbook 1918 to 1945 . 2nd, revised and greatly expanded edition. Karl Dietz, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .
- Literature by and about Albert Kuntz in the catalog of the German National Library
- Short biography
- About the Kuntz monument in Nordhausen
- Kai-Uwe Brandt: City park: Wurzen town hall replaces stolen bust of Albert Kuntz. Leipziger Volkszeitung , online portal, July 23, 2019. Accessed July 25, 2019 .
- Small encyclopedia of physical culture and sport . Verlag Enzyklopädie Leipzig, Leipzig 1960, p. 599 .
- Albert Kuntz at the Friends of the "Ernst-Thälmann-Gedenkstätte" eV, Ziegenhals
- Ulrich Kalmbach, Jürgen M. Pietsch: Between forgetting and memory. Places of remembrance in the Altmarkkreis Salzwedel . Delitzsch 2001, p. 14 .
- Patrice G. Poutrus, Jan C. Behrends, Dennis Kuck: Historical causes of xenophobia in the new federal states ; in: From Politics and Contemporary History (B 39/2000); last edited on May 26, 2002 (On the founding myth of the GDR).
- Timeline of the military history of the German Democratic Republic from 1949 to 1988 . 2nd, expanded and reviewed edition, Military Publishing House of the GDR, Berlin (GDR) 1989, ISBN 3-327-00720-9 , p. 577.
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Resistance fighters|
|DATE OF BIRTH||4th December 1896|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Bennewitz|
|DATE OF DEATH||January 23, 1945|
|Place of death||near Nordhausen|