Anton Saefkow

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Anton Saefkow bust

Anton Emil Hermann Saefkow (born July 22, 1903 in Berlin ; † September 18, 1944 in Brandenburg an der Havel ) was a German communist and resistance fighter against National Socialism .


Saefkow was born in the apartment of his parents, the tailor Anton Saefkow and his wife Fanny. Ludwig was born at Alte Jacobstraße 69. He joined the Communist Youth Association of Germany (KJVD) as a locksmith's apprentice in 1920 , and moved up to its Berlin line in 1922. Since 1923 he was a member of the Central Committee of the KJVD. In 1924 he joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). As early as 1927 he became KPD secretary in Berlin, then in Dresden . From 1929 to 1932 he headed the trade union work of the KPD district Ruhr and was head of the RGO in the Ruhr area . In 1932 he became political leader of the KPD district of Wasserkante. In December 1932 he married the RGO secretary Theodora Brey in Hamburg .

From April 1933 to April 1934 the National Socialists locked him up in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp , then for two and a half years in the Fuhlsbüttel prison for “preparation for high treason”. In 1936 he was interned in the Dachau concentration camp . There he and other communist prisoners took part in training courses, the " Red Aid " and an illegal memorial service for Etkar André . After denunciations, the public prosecutor arranged for the Hamburg special court to interrupt the prison sentence for 25 prisoners and handed them over to the police, who took them into " protective custody " at the Hamburg police station . Because of his resistance activities in the Dachau concentration camp, the Hamburg Higher Regional Court sentenced him to another 30 months, which he spent in the Fuhlsbüttel prison and in its Schülp subcamp.

In July 1939 he was released from prison; soon he was again operating illegally. He divorced and married Anna Thiebes ( Änne ) in 1941 . After the attack on the Soviet Union began in mid-1941 , he built the KPD's largest resistance group in Berlin, the KPD's operational management. In 1944, together with Bernhard Bästlein and Franz Jacob, he led the group that agitated against the war in Berlin armaments factories and called for acts of sabotage. In April 1944, the social democrat Adolf Reichwein contacted Saefkow in order to involve the Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein-Organization in the conspiracy of July 20, 1944 . These efforts were made with knowledge and in consultation with Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg . The communists met with Reichwein and Julius Leber , but a Gestapo spy ( Ernst Rambow ) was present. Saefkow was arrested on July 4, 1944, sentenced to death on September 5, and executed with the guillotine on September 18 in Brandenburg-Görden prison. He left behind his wife Änne and two children. His daughter Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow (* 1943) is a historian and chairwoman of the German Peace Council. V.

"With this letter I want to thank you, my comrade, for the great and beautiful things that you have given me in our life together ... Only today, with these lines, do I have the first wet eyes after the judgment because of the thoughts of you . Because the mind holds back the pain that could tear me apart. You know I'm a combative person and I will die bravely. I always only wanted the good ... "

- Anton Saefkow to his wife Änne shortly before his death

Honors (selection)

Memorial stone in Senftenberg
Anton Saefkow on a GDR postage stamp, 1964 ; In the series: For the preservation of the national memorials and memorials ( anti-fascists and concentration camp victims)


  • Annette Neumann, Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow: The Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein-Organization 1942 to 1945 , in: Hans Coppi , Stefan Heinz (ed.): The forgotten resistance of the workers. Trade unionists, communists, social democrats, Trotskyists, anarchists and forced laborers . Dietz, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-320-02264-8 , pp. 144–157.
  • Annette Neumann, Susanne Reveles, Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow: Berlin workers' resistance 1942–1945. "Away with Hitler - end the war!" The Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein-Organization. Berlin Association of Those Persecuted by the Nazi Regime - Bund der Antifaschisten und Antifaschistinnen e. V., Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-027768-9 .
  • Ursel Hochmuth : Illegal KPD and movement “Free Germany” in Berlin and Brandenburg 1942–1945. Biographies and testimonials from the resistance organization around Saefkow, Jacob and Bästlein. (= Writings of the German Resistance Memorial Center . Series A, Analyzes and Representations, Volume 4) Hentrich and Hentrich, Teetz 1998, ISBN 3-933471-08-7 .
  • Hermann Weber : The change in German communism. The Stalinization of the KPD in the Weimar Republic , European Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 1971, 267 f., ISBN 3-434-45008-4 .
  • Emil Rudolf Greulich : Nobody is born a hero. A life picture from the German resistance (from the life of the communist resistance fighter Anton Saefkow) Neues Leben, Berlin 1961, DNB 451656903 , ISBN 978-3-8476-1327-5 (e-book).
  • Saefkow, Anton . In: Hermann Weber , Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 to 1945. 2nd, revised and greatly expanded edition. Karl Dietz Verlag Berlin, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .
  • Siegfried Mielke , Stefan Heinz : Railway trade unionists in the Nazi state. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration (1933–1945) (= trade unionists under National Socialism. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration. Volume 7). Metropol, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86331-353-1 .
  • Wolfgang Benz , Walter H. Pehle (Hrsg.): Lexicon of the German resistance. Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-596-15083-3 , pp. 288-290.

Web links

Commons : Anton Saefkow  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Birth register StA Berlin IV No. 989 .
  2. Marriage register StA Hamburg 3a No. 792/1932 .
  3. Schülp field office of the Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel prison
  4. ^ Anton Saefkow group ( Memento from August 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  5. For details of the meeting and the consequences cf. Annette Neumann, Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow: The Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein-Organization 1942 to 1945 , in: Hans Coppi , Stefan Heinz (ed.): The forgotten resistance of the workers. Trade unionists, communists, social democrats, Trotskyists, anarchists and forced laborers . Dietz, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-320-02264-8 , pp. 144–157, here p. 154 ff.
  6. See ibid.
  7. ^ Anton Saefkow. In: German Resistance Memorial Center - Biography. Retrieved November 1, 2019 .
  8. Self-expression. Deutscher Friedensrat eV, accessed on August 22, 2020 .
  9. The history of our school. Paul-Lincke-Grundschule, accessed on August 22, 2020 .
  10. ^ SG Anton Saefkow 83 e. V.