Fritz Elsas

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stumbling stone in front of the house, Patschkauer Weg 41, in Berlin-Lichterfelde
Berlin memorial plaque on the house, Patschkauer Weg 41, in Berlin-Lichterfelde

Fritz Julius Elsas (born July 11, 1890 in Cannstatt ; † January 4, 1945 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp ) was a German politician ( DDP / DStP) and resistance fighter against National Socialism .


His father was the textile entrepreneur Julius Elsas in Cannstatt (born in 1856 in Ludwigsburg ), his mother was Bertha geb. Lindauer. She was born in Jebenhausen in 1864 , her father Salomon Lindauer was also a textile manufacturer in Cannstatt. Fritz Elsas studied in Munich , Berlin and Tübingen Jura and in 1912 a doctorate in political science doctorate . At the beginning of the First World War , Elsas volunteered, but was retired due to a severe visual impairment.

From August 1914 to January 30, 1915 he worked in the Chamber of Commerce in Stuttgart. He designed a system of food supply that became a model across the empire. From February 1, 1915 he was employed by the city of Stuttgart , most recently as director of the city food office with eight departments and over 200 employees.

In 1919 he became a member of the German Democratic Party (DDP) and city council in Stuttgart. Although he had already converted to the Protestant faith during his studies , he was exposed to anti-Semitic attacks and therefore decided not to run for mayor in 1921 . In 1924 he became a member of the Württemberg state parliament .

In 1926 he was appointed Vice President of the German and Prussian City Council and moved to Berlin. In April 1931 it chose the Berlin city council to mayor .

After the National Socialists seized power in early 1933, he anticipated his impending dismissal by submitting a vacation request. Because of his Jewish origins, he was retired in the same year. Initially he worked as an economic and foreign exchange expert. He was arrested in 1937 and spent five months in custody for alleged foreign exchange offenses.

Since 1934 Elsas had contact with a liberal resistance group around district judge Ernst Strassmann in Berlin and the businessman Hans Robinsohn in Hamburg. In addition, he had connections to the former Mayor of Leipzig , Carl Friedrich Goerdeler . He wrote a proclamation with which Goerdeler wanted to inform the public after the planned assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 on Hitler. Elsas was to become head of the Reich Chancellery after a successful assassination attempt .

Tomb of Fritz Julius Elsas in the Pragfriedhof in Stuttgart

After the failure of the assassination attempt in July 1944, he hid Goerdeler. On August 10, 1944, Elsas was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo . He spent four months in the Lehrter Strasse cell prison in Berlin . In December 1944 he was deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and shot there without trial.

His wife Marie, son and two daughters were in the camps Buchenwald and Ravensbruck in Sippenhaft taken the estate confiscated. Marie died at the age of 82 on June 16, 1968. Her husband's name was also engraved on Marie Elsas' tombstone. The tombstone is in the Pragfriedhof in Stuttgart.

Elsas was friends with Theodor Heuss . Daughter Hanne married Heuss' son Ernst Ludwig in August 1945 .

Sign for Fritz Elsas Strasse in Stuttgart


In Stuttgart, Gartenstrasse, which connects Berliner Platz with Rotebühlplatz, was renamed Fritz-Elsas-Strasse in 1946. In addition, a street in Berlin-Schöneberg was named after Fritz Elsas in 1954.

Every year in January, the FDP district association Oberhavel commemorates Fritz Elsas by laying a wreath in the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

On July 11, 2020 , a Berlin memorial plaque was unveiled at his former home, Berlin-Lichterfelde , Patschkauer Weg 41 .


  • Fritz Elsas: A Democrat in the Resistance. Testimonies from a liberal in the Weimar Republic. Edited by Manfred Schmid, Bleicher Verlag, Gerlingen 1999, ISBN 3-88350-664-8 .
  • Eckhard Hansen, Florian Tennstedt (Eds.) U. a .: Biographical lexicon on the history of German social policy from 1871 to 1945 . Volume 2: Social politicians in the Weimar Republic and during National Socialism 1919 to 1945. Kassel University Press, Kassel 2018, ISBN 978-3-7376-0474-1 , p. 42 f. ( Online , PDF; 3.9 MB).
  • Fritz Elsas: On the Stuttgart town hall 1915–1922. Memories. Edited by Manfred Schmid, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-608-91331-9 .
  • Frank Raberg : Biographical handbook of the Württemberg state parliament members 1815-1933 . On behalf of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-17-016604-2 , p. 176 .
  • Jörg Thierfelder: Fritz Elsas . In: Joachim Mehlhausen (ed.): Witnesses of the resistance. Mohr, Tübingen 1996, ISBN 3-16-146535-0 .
  • Manfred Schmid: Fritz Elsas. A Cannstatt Jew in the resistance against Hitler. In: Angela Borgstedt et al. (Ed.): Courage proven. Resistance biographies from the southwest (= writings on political regional studies of Baden-Württemberg , vol. 46), Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-945414-37-8 , pp. 39-48.

at Maria Zelzer : The path and fate of the Stuttgart Jews. A memorial book . Klett, Stuttgart 1964, p. 444.

Individual evidence

  1. Joachim Hahn: Steigfriedhof, Israelite part . In: Stadtarchiv Stuttgart (Hrsg.): Friedhöfe in Stuttgart . tape 4 . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-608-91638-5 , p. 55 f .
  2. State Gazette , No. 1 of January 16, 2009, p. 56.
  3. ^ Manfred Schmid: Fritz Elsas. A Cannstatt Jew in the resistance against Hitler . Ed .: Angela Borgstedt, Sibylle Thelen and Reinhold Weber. 1st edition. tape 1 , no. 1 . State Center for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg (October 12, 2017), Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-945414-37-8 , p. 48 ( [accessed July 19, 2019]).

Web links

Commons : Fritz Elsas  - Collection of images, videos and audio files