Fritz Haarmann

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Fritz Haarmann (1924)

Friedrich "Fritz" Heinrich Karl Haarmann (born October 25, 1879 in Hanover ; † April 15, 1925 there ) was a serial killer who was tried by the Hanover jury on June 19 for the murder of a total of 24 boys and young men between the ages of ten and 22 . December 1924 was sentenced to death .

He is also called The Vampire , The Butcher , The Cannibal and The Werewolf of Hanover . The name Der Totmacher goes back to the film of the same name from 1995, although the serial killer Rudolf Pleil was originally called that.


Friedrich Haarmann's house on Neue Strasse
Haarmann's attic apartment in the Rote Reihe (December 1924)

Fritz Haarmann's ancestors came from Apricke . His father was called Friedrich Harmann (with an a in the first syllable), who is said to have practiced an authoritarian style of upbringing; the mother, on the other hand, is said to have spoiled her son. As a child, Haarmann is said to have been sexually abused by his older brother for a long time.

After attending school, the young hair man completed an apprenticeship as a locksmith and from 1895 attended a non-commissioned officer school for the army . He developed hallucinations that suggested a fall or sunstroke. When the same symptoms reappeared, he requested his release. Unemployed and unable to work in his father's cigar factory, he was seduced by a neighbor and committed sexual abuse on neighbors' children . This resulted in criminal proceedings against him that were dropped. He was admitted to a mental institution in the former monastery district of Sülte in Hildesheim , where he was certified incurable nonsense . The placement was a traumatic experience for him, so that he fled several times and was afraid of being admitted again throughout his life. He settled in Switzerland and returned in 1899. After that he did not have any employment again. An engagement failed.

In 1900 he was drafted into the military and stationed in Colmar . There he suffered fainting spells and was sent to the hospital for four months , where he was diagnosed with hebephrenic schizophrenia . Haarmann was retired. When he returned to Hanover, he sued his father for maintenance; there was a fight between the two. His father lent him a sum of money that Haarmann used to open a fish shop that soon went bankrupt . A second engagement also broke up.

In 1905 Haarmann contracted a venereal disease and maintained homosexual contacts. He tied these mainly to young runaways and runaway children at the Hanover Central Station . During this time Haarmann began his career as a petty criminal . He committed embezzlement, theft, break-ins and stolen goods, which resulted in 17 convictions. At the same time he worked as a police spy . He spent the First World War in prison. Haarmann last lived in an attic room on Rote Reihe 2 in what is now the Calenberger Neustadt district . The old town quarter, which was densely built up at the time, was known as the red light district . In 1919 Haarmann made the acquaintance of Hans Grans, a petty criminal who was over 20 years his junior. They had a sexual relationship for several years. In the post-war period, with its limited range of goods, Haarmann made a living from trading in old clothes and canned meat.


The scene of the series of murders was Hanover's old town during the Weimar Republic . During this period, the Prussian-Wilhelmine state of order was badly shaken by the post-war turmoil of 1918. Haarmann's milieu and social microcosm represented the Hanover Central Station and the Leine Island Little Venice . The publicly accessible waiting hall of the Central Station served the homeless, unemployed, orphaned children and “runaways” in large numbers as a refuge. The situation, characterized by poverty, misery and hunger, was further fueled by the arrival of violent and traumatized soldiers at the Hanover traffic junction. Due to its favorable geographical location, the 450,000-inhabitant city developed into an international pass-through and slider market, which increased crime and prostitution sharply.

Due to the food shortage, numerous illegal animal slaughter of dogs, cats and goats took place. Haarmann took advantage of the general situation during the inflationary period and, above all, the desperate situation of young people and offered them shelter for one or more nights in return for sexual favors.

In 1918 a male prostitution market was opened in the gardens around Café Kröpcke , around 500 of which were registered in the police files. Haarmann lived in an apartment on Neue Straße, which was located in Calenberger Neustadt , where there were other meeting places for homosexuals. The alleys of the old town on the Leineinsel degenerated more and more into a criminal quarter of the lower class. In the relevant pubs “ Kreuzklappe ”, “ Kleeblatt ” or “ Deutscher Hermann ” a lively black market arose between prostitutes, pimps, thieves and stolen goods, and there was little inhibition to kill people for property crimes.

The house of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig , which later served as a poor house, was located in Neue Straße . In the following epoch the three hundred year old houses degenerated into an area of ​​the lower class. The apartments were in wooden cage-like sheds that were only separated from each other by thin wallpaper or wooden sheds. Haarmann had lived in Neue Strasse number 8 since July 1, 1921, as a subtenant of Mrs. Rehbock and stated that he also wanted to run a warehouse there. The historic house, which was mainly inhabited by working-class families, was located at the rear directly on the Leine river and had a passage to a shared courtyard behind. Haarmann's apartment was to the right of the house entrance at this passage and the toilets in the right corner of the courtyard. The leash was not accessible from Haarmann's room. To get rid of the bones in the river, he had to move out of the house. During his absence (he had sublet the room while he was serving his prison sentence), Haarmann's room often served as a kind of hostel or "dump" for petty criminals and it is said that there were repeated drinking and knife fights there. In 1922, the landlady locked the room and after a dispute, Hans Grans was sent away from the house. Haarmann returned from prison on March 1, 1922 and found an empty apartment. His two partners, Grans and Wittkowski, had almost completely emptied his household and sold it on. The conditions in Haarmann's apartment are not described as gloomy, but as extremely sociable and cheerful. In the said flap (1.90 m wide and 1.25 m high) the serial killer not only kept corpses for a certain period of time, but also numerous foods such as sweets, cheese and sausage around the boys he had picked up at the main train station to make compliant. The room served as a trading and exchange place for stolen goods, a place for eating and drinking, as well as for heterosexual and homosexual intercourse with changing partners. Haarmann earned extra income there by processing meat into sausage and brawn . The Fridolin Wegehenkel hairdressing salon was located on Neue Straße. The owner was friends with Haarmann and Grans, they celebrated family celebrations together and he was also significantly involved in selling the clothes of the murdered boys. Haarmann, who was called " Uncle Fritze " by the boys and " Kriminal Haarmann " by the adults , was considered a kind of " better man " and " benefactor for the homeless " in his neighborhood . It can no longer be precisely reconstructed to what extent his neighbors profited from his murder or even indirectly helped. However, be noted is that he lived mostly in very cramped living conditions in old, poorly sound-proofed houses, which the neighbors inevitably perceived much, on the other hand had his surroundings in the general plight of the inflation period, "a vital interest in not too accurate to look " where the Garments came from him that they bought cheaply or even received as gifts.

During his interrogation, Haarmann initially stated that the murder had been committed by a certain " butcher Karl ". He would also have received horse meat from this unknown man at half the normal black market price.

In the neighborhood of Neue Strasse there were only a few who found the hustle and bustle of “ Kriminal Haarmann ” unusual. Naked boys were often seen in the apartment window. There were also often unusual hammering, sawing and knocking noises at night. It was known that there was a meat grinder in the police informer's room that was used to chop bones and process meat. The boys who frequented Haarmann's apartment often brought poultry , rabbits or dogs with them, which were slaughtered in the apartment. The cigar dealer Christian Klobes, who ran a shop not far from Haarmann's apartment, expressed the suspicion that although many young people entered his apartment, they never came out. It was rumored that Haarmann had sold the boys to the Foreign Legion . Neighbors observed how Haarmann often left his apartment with packages and sacks.

The murders might have been exposed prematurely if Haarmann hadn't moved into a seven-square-meter floor chamber on Red Row number 4 on June 9, 1923. Grans separated from Haarmann during this time and also moved with his friend Wittkowski. The 250-year-old house in the Rote Reihe, on the ground floor of which a pub was set up, was located near a synagogue and a bakery. It is believed that at least 20 murders were committed in his attic apartment, the floor of which was soaked in blood. Tenants observed how Haarmann unusually often went to the toilet in the courtyard of the house with a covered bucket.


The death chamber in which Haarmann kept his killed victims until the next day (July 1924)
Fritz Haarmann (second from left) is handcuffed by detectives and filmed (July 1924)
The gas stove in Haarmann's apartment, in which he partially burned pieces of corpses (July 1924)

Between May and June 1924, children found five human skulls on a leash between the Leineschloss in Hanover and Garbsen . According to forensic medical examinations, they came from young men and were probably severed from the body with a knife. When the fourth skull was found on June 13, 1924, the investigation into a serial killer began . The murder commission of the Hanoverian criminal police ruled out a robbery motive and suspected a homosexual perpetrator. The police knew about 30 men in the city who were eligible, including Haarmann. A detective recalled that Haarmann had been suspected of killing two young men as early as 1918. The investigations were inconclusive at the time. As a result, Haarmann came into the crosshairs of the investigators again in June 1924. From June 17, 1924, Haarmann was observed by the police around the clock . However, the monitoring remained without any concrete result.

On June 22, Haarmann was arrested in the main train station for threatening a youth. Relationships existed between the two. When the police went to his home on June 23, they found traces of blood and a number of young men's clothing, some of them stained with blood. Haarmann was then kept in custody. He said the blood was from his own nosebleed . The homicide squad carried out interrogations for days on the hair man, who initially did not confess . On June 29, he confessed to some killings after being physically abused, but recanted them the following day. The judge still issued an arrest warrant for another week . When questioned on July 1, he admitted seven killings and confirmed them to the examining magistrate on July 2 .

The investigating officers included the detective inspector Heinrich Rätz, who interrogated Haarmann for weeks. Rätz had "after partial confessions of the murderer even searched for body parts at night". On July 5, 1924, the Hanover Tourist Office lowered the water level of the Leine with a weir . About 300 pieces of human bones were recovered in the river bed, which could be assigned to at least 22 people. Haarmann could only remember the names of a few victims. In order to clarify their identity, the police publicly displayed items of clothing that Haarmann had found or that he had sold.

Relatives of missing young people from all over the Reich came to Hanover to identify any clothing their children might have. In this way some victims could be identified. It turned out that Hans Grans, with whom Haarmann had a sexual relationship for several years, wore the complete wardrobe of a missing person.

Haarmann's relationship with the police

During the investigation in June 1924, the homicide squad found out that Haarmann had been working as an informant for the theft inspectorate for a long time . He worked as agent provocateur in the conviction of stolen goods . In addition, Haarmann founded the Lasso detective agency with a former detective . A self-issued detective agency ID gave Haarmann official character and access to the waiting room of the main train station; he was known as a detective hair man .

Unauthorized interrogation methods

During the police interrogations, methods that were not allowed against Haarmann were used which, according to today's understanding, amount to blackmailing statements . In order to obtain a confession, Haarmann was chained in a prepared detention cell . Under the ceiling, the police had placed boards on each corner of the cell, on which skulls were placed. Her eye sockets were lined with red paper. The skulls were then backlit. A sack with the bones of the corpses was placed outside the range of the chain. The police told Haarmann that if he did not confess, the souls of the deceased would come for him now. However, this fact did not become known until 1961, when the investigative detective had written down his memories. In addition, the investigator at the time reported that Haarmann had been beaten in a police interrogation by other, unfamiliar detective agents.

Method of killing and disposal of corpses

Haarmann presumably suffered from his fatal tendency that he could lose control during sexual intercourse in an uncontrolled intoxication and then cling to his partner's Adam's apple . Some of the young people he met at Café Kröpcke or at the train station and later took with him were physically weakened so that they could hardly defend themselves. The death occurred through biting through the Adam's apple and through simultaneous choking and throttling. Anatomists later simulated this in experiments and stated that biting and pressure on the nerve endings of the larynx can lead to respiratory and cardiac paralysis.

After the strenuous act of killing, Haarmann would often have collapsed next to the corpse and fell asleep for a while. Then he would have made himself some strong coffee and started chopping up the body. He covered his face with a cloth. Then he opened the abdominal cavity according to his own descriptions during the interrogation and took out the intestines . He put the latter in a bucket and dipped the blood that had collected in the abdominal cavity with a cloth. He then opened the rib cage with several incisions and then removed the heart , lungs and kidneys . He also used a butcher's ax to sever the arms and legs from the torso. The meat was also loosened from the bones . The loops of intestine were cut into small pieces and flushed down the toilet. The scalp was scalped with a kitchen knife and cut into small strips and cubes. The skull bone was covered with rags to soften the knocking noises that occurred in the noisy apartment when the skull was smashed. The rest of the body ended up mainly on the leash, in the Eilenriede or other places.

Haarmann reported that his sex drive was always stronger than the disgust when the corpse was cut up and disposed of. With his statement: “ If Grans had loved me, he could have saved me too. Oh, do you think I'm healthy. I only have my tour at times. There is no pleasure in killing a person. I want to be beheaded. That's a moment, then I'll have peace. “He later commented on the motive that drove him to the murder. In his self-image he was innocent. The " pupil boys " would have driven him to sexually arouse him against his will, thereby triggering this uncontrollable intoxication with all its consequences and thus sealing their own fate.

Götz George, who played Haarmann in the film Der Totmacher , claimed in an interview with Der Spiegel in 1995 that it had been found out that the biting through the throat reported by Haarmann was not possible.


Judgment in the courtroom
Theodor Hartmann (right), room neighbor and witness in the trial against Haarmann

The trial lasted from December 4 to 19, 1924, and the trial lasted 14 days. Haarmann was charged with the murder of 27 people between 1918 and 1924. Of these, he admitted nine acts, he believed another twelve killings to be possible. He denied six offenses, but five of them could be proven. The number of missing boys who could be linked to Haarmann was 27, all between the ages of ten and 22 years. In public it was speculated that the number of his victims could in reality have been much higher, due to the economically and politically chaotic circumstances, many young people had lost their social footing, were stranded in the station environment and were (often only after a long delay) their relatives reported missing.

The psychiatric expert Ernst Schultze declared Haarmann to be fully sane after a six-week examination in Göttingen and denied that he was incapable of guilt . According to his own account, Haarmann had killed his victims (whom he called “Pupenjungs”, a common term for male prostitutes at the time) by biting the neck and then dismembering them.

The process, observed by representatives of the international press, attracted a great deal of public attention. On the one hand because of the role of the police, which Fritz Haarmann had hired as an informant and who let any suspicion that was expressed against him fall under the table. So were missing ads processed only after long delays. In 1918, Haarmann was almost caught after his first murder. The police searched Haarmann's apartment on Celler Strasse for a missing boy. Since no person could be found, the search was canceled. Haarmann later told during an interrogation that the head of the wanted boy was in a suitcase in the apartment. Some of the victims' relatives appeared very emotional in the process and accused the police of failure and complicity in the death of other victims. The journalist Theodor Lessing made the dubious role of the Hanoverian police public in his critical reporting and was subsequently excluded from the trial. Details of the killings that became known during the negotiations also caused a stir in the public. Haarmann had chopped up the corpses and thrown them on the line .

Since Haarmann traded canned meat, it was speculated that he would have processed the corpses into sausage. In any case, Haarmann has always denied this, but was also unable to cite a verifiable source for the meat he sold. A certain butcher Karl , whom he named as the meat supplier, could never be identified. It is known, however, that his neighbor owned a restaurant and bought meat from him, and Haarmann also traded in pretty much everything that was left of his victims' clothing and personal effects.

Like all death sentences, the sentence was examined by the Justice Minister for a pardon and life imprisonment. As the attorney general in Celle said, there was no mitigation in the case because of the high number of victims and their young age.

Hans Grans' accomplice

Haarmann incriminated Hans Grans (1901–1975) as an accomplice in the first interrogations . The two had an ongoing homosexual love affair, and Grans moved into Haarmann's apartment in October 1919. Grans, who is said to have brought boys to Haarmann, was sentenced to death together with Haarmann on December 19, 1924 for inciting murder. A relieving letter from Haarmann ensured that the proceedings were resumed . In the January 1926 trial, Grans was sentenced to twelve years in prison for aiding and abetting murder, excluding pre-trial detention. The court believed Grans knew about the Haarmann murders. Haarmann had testified that Grans not only knew about the murders, but that he had also drawn his attention to certain boys in order to get their clothes or belongings. However, after his own conviction, Haarmann wrote a letter to Grans' father in which he exonerated Hans Grans - he hadn't known anything about the murders.

Grans was sent to the Celle prison and was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1937 . He was imprisoned there until the concentration camp was liberated in April 1945, although he had already served his twelve-year prison sentence in 1938. In 1946 he returned to Hanover. He married and lived with his wife in Wathlingen . In 1955 the couple moved to Hanover-Ricklingen , where they lived until 1975.

The question of whether there might have been other people who knew about the crime was not clarified. Press reports alleging that Haarmann's neighbors, who were described as socially weak, were complicit or even complicit, were indignantly rejected by residents of the old town. Due to the cramped living conditions and noisy buildings in the districts inhabited by Haarmann, several neighbors had heard the knocking while chopping the corpses or saw that Haarmann was taking away buckets with bloody contents. The frequent visits of young men did not go unnoticed either. On the other hand, Haarmann partially succeeded in reassuring witnesses with plausible explanations.

Execution, whereabouts and burial of the head

After Haarmann had been sentenced to death on December 19, 1924 , the Magdeburg executioner Carl Gröpler carried out the execution on the early morning of April 15, 1925 . It took place unnoticed by the public in the courtyard of the court prison in Hanover by beheading with a guillotine .

The last meal tasted Haarmann so well that he was serving a second time. His head was made available to the Kraepelin Brain Research Institute in Munich by the Ministerialrat in the Prussian Ministry of Justice, Hartung . In retrospect, it was found in the brain that Haarmann must have previously suffered from meningitis , which can lead to brain and personality changes. Four brain slices from it are in Munich. They had since disappeared from there and were rediscovered in 2016. The head was kept as a preparation in the Institute for Forensic Medicine of the Medical Faculty of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , where there were considerations to make it part of a public exhibition of the Forensic Medicine Göttingen. The plan was discarded in 2014 because forensic medicine wanted to stay true to its own line of not supporting voyeuristic ambitions. The head was then cremated and buried anonymously in March 2014.


Burial place of the victims

In the indictment, Fritz Haarmann was charged with deliberately and deliberately killing the following people between 1918 and 1924:

  • September 1918: Friedel Rothe (student)
  • February 1923: Fritz Franke (apprentice)
  • March 1923: Wilhelm Schulze (apprentice)
  • May 1923: Roland Huch (student)
  • May 1923: Hans Sonnenfeld (worker)
  • June 1923: Ernst Ehrenberg (student)
  • August 1923: Heinrich Struß (office assistant)
  • September 1923: Paul Bronischewski (apprentice)
  • October 1923: Richard Graef (worker)
  • October 1923: Wilhelm Erdner (apprentice)
  • October 1923: Hermann Wolf (worker)
  • October 1923: Heinz Brinkmann (student)
  • November 1923: Adolf Hannappel (carpenter)
  • December 1923: Adolf Hennies (worker)
  • January 1924: Ernst Spicker (locksmith)
  • January 1924: Heinrich Koch (worker)
  • February 1924: Willi Senger (worker)
  • February 1924: Hermann Speichert (apprentice)
  • April 1924: Alfred Hogrefe (apprentice)
  • April 1924: Hermann Bock (worker)
  • April 1924: Wilhelm Apel (apprentice)
  • April 1924: Robert Witzel (apprentice)
  • May 1924: Heinz Martin (apprentice)
  • May 1924: Fritz Wittig (traveler)
  • May 1924: Friedrich Abeling (student)
  • June 1924: Friedrich Koch (apprentice)
  • June 1924: Erich de Vries (journeyman baker)

Haarmann kept a "Meschores" (servant or factotum) in his apartment, who ran his household for him. Hugo Wittkowski, a friend of Grans, played another role in the deeds. It was speculated that the group in the station waiting room had developed a system of hidden signals and tines to spy out potential victims. Sometimes the boys were approached by Grans or Wittkowski. They were promised accommodation for the next few days and they were introduced to Haarmann. The two, who were not unfamiliar with Haarmann's inclinations, would have handed the victim to Haarmann to be “strangled”. Although direct complicity or complicity, as well as incitement or aiding and abetting, could not be proven, it was clearly proven that primarily Grans, but also Wittkowski, benefited from the proceeds from the clothes of the murdered boys.

The first murder happened in 1918 in the turmoil of post-war Hanover, which was marked by food shortages. In September 1918 the 17-year-old Friedel Rothe disappeared. According to witness statements, he is said to have met a “ fine gentleman ”, a “ detective ”, in a café . The description matched Fritz Haarmann, but nothing could be proven. He later testified during interrogation that he hid the boy's head in "newspaper behind the stove" when the police checked him out.

The series of murders began after five years in 1923. The acts took place in Haarmann's apartment in the densely populated Neue Strasse No. 8. His room was often used as a temporary shelter for rent boys, prostitutes, the homeless, the unemployed and criminals from the station district. During the murder he was alone with his victims, covered the windows facing the street and blocked the keyhole. On Neue Strasse, he was able to hide body parts of the murdered boys in a so-called Butzenklappe (a closet) and wash them down through the communal toilet, cut into small pieces.

In 1923 Haarmann killed the seventeen-year-old Fritz Franke from Berlin, whom he picked up at the main train station and offered him accommodation. The two prostitutes Elli Schulz and “Dörchen” Mrulyk discovered the clothes of the missing Berliner in Haarmann's apartment and a bloody apron and a bucket with pieces of meat in the flap. They took the finds to the police , whereupon the meat was optically declared as pork rind. A microscopic examination was not carried out. According to witnesses, Franke would have continued to go to Hamburg . This was followed by a series of killings against Wilhelm Schulze, Roland Huch, Hans Sonnenfeld and other young people. The clothes of the killed were often resold on the black market, so that important traces were lost.

In the Hannappel murder case, it was observed how Haarmann and Grans went to Café Kröpcke together with the job-seeking carpenter Adolf Hannappel. Witnesses observed how Grans Haarmann drew attention to Hannappel and subsequently even ordered his killing. Allegedly only because Grans wanted to get the victim's breeches and travel box into his possession.

In the Wittig case, too, Haarmann would later claim during the police interrogation that he acted on orders or under the influence of Hans Grans. Here, too, the two had even made a written agreement about what to do with the clothes of the murdered man. “ I hereby give Mr. Hans Grans a gray suit on commission; It must be in my hands again by Monday evening, May 26th, otherwise 40 gold marks have to be paid by May 26th, 1924. Hanover, May 26th. "

Wittig was apparently murdered on the night of May 26, 1924 in Haarmann's apartment in Rote Reihe No. 2 and Grans appeared punctually on May 27 to pick up the clothes. Haarmann had just been busy cutting up the body when Grans entered the apartment and was amazed at the bad smell. Without asking further about the whereabouts of the victim, Grans would have taken possession of the clothing in order to sell it on at a profit.

Erich de Vries became the last victim in the Haarmann series of murders. The job-seeking baker disappeared on June 14, 1924 in Hanover. According to his sister's testimony, her brother took a bath while a man, whose description matched Fritz Haarmann, took care of his things. The body parts of de Vries were later found in the castle garden .

The mortal remains of the victims of the serial killer were buried in a grave of honor in the city ​​cemetery in Hanover-Stöcken in February 1925 (Department 49 D, No. 189/192). After several years of fighting between the parents of the killed boys and the Hanover city administration over the wording of the epitaph, a tomb was erected in April 1928. A large granite stone in the shape of a winged altar bears the inscription "THE MEMORY / OUR LOVES / FROM SEPTBR 1918 / TO JULY 1924 DEPARTED / DEAD SONS" in the middle between the relief of a flame bowl and a bent rose . The word “murdered” was not allowed by the cemetery administration.

Processing in art

Haarmann frieze by Alfred Hrdlicka in the Sprengel Museum

The Haarmann criminal case served as a template for books, films, plays, works of art and songs.

  • The philosopher Theodor Lessing had observed the process and published the case in the book Haarmann - The Story of a Werewolf . Lessing mentioned the special role of the police in the Haarmann case; his book is considered a serious contemporary work.
  • During the investigation, a psychological report was prepared, which was published as The Haarmann Protocols .
  • The German film M from 1931 is based in part on the Haarmann case. He is also mentioned explicitly together with Carl Großmann .
  • In 1960, the television epitaval appeared on German television: The Haarmann case by Wolfgang Luderer.
  • The sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka created etchings as a Haarmann cycle in 1965 . During this time, a bronze stone was created as a Haarmann frieze , which is in the Sprengel Museum in Hanover.
  • The German feature film Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe , shot in 1973 under the direction of Ulli Lommel (production: Rainer Werner Fassbinder ), shows Kurt Raab as the serial killer Haarmann. He tells the story of the boy murderer Fritz Haarmann. However, the story is moved from the 1920s to the post-war period and from Hanover to the Ruhr area. The film is presented more openly than realistically, although many parallels to Haarmann's actions can be seen.
  • The questioning of Haarmann by the psychiatry professor Ernst Schultze was filmed in 1995 by Romuald Karmakar with Götz George (Haarmann) and Jürgen Hentsch (Schultze) in the leading roles under the title Der Totmacher and published as a book. The dialogues for the actors are based closely on the original interrogation protocols from 1924.
  • In 1997, the Hamburg New German Hardship Band Richthofen played in the song Ich mach dich Tot on the album Seelenwalzer on the deeds of Haarmann.
  • In 2002 the play Haarmann by Marius von Mayenburg was published by the authors' publishing house together in a volume with The cold child , which embodies similarly gloomy views. The book is presented on the spine of the book with the sentence "And I was assured that my fear of people is without reason".
  • The docu-drama Puppenjungs - Der Fall Haarmann from 2009, directed by Nils Loof, deals with the entire case and its effects to this day.
  • In 2010 a graphic novel with the title Haarmann by Peer Meter was published by Carlsen Verlag . This book is dedicated to the story of the serial killer through darkly oppressive drawings that Isabel Kreitz drew.
  • The questioning of Haarmann by the psychiatry professor Ernst Schultze was processed into a two-person play by the no-budget theater production. The two actors Claus-Peter Rathjen and Viola Neumann - as Haarmann - record the original texts from the archives of the Lower Saxony State Criminal Police Hospital in Göttingen.
  • In 2011 the radio play : Murder Documents 01 - Haarmann was published by It deals with the entire case and is sometimes very dark and relentlessly staged. It tries to give insights into Haarmann's mentally confused state and does not stop at Haarmann's dismemberment of the victims.
  • The music label Beton Kopf Media (BKM), founded by Rudolf Ratzinger from the electronic music project : Wumpscut:, uses a photo by Haarmann as an identification image. The song Our fatal Longing by Wumpscut alludes to Haarmann.
  • On the album MitGift - Murder Stories by the band Subway To Sally , the band deals thematically with the deeds of Haarmann in the song Warte Warte .
  • In 2016 the musical American Detective Agency Lasso by Nis-Momme Stockmann and Les Trucs premiered at the Schauspielhaus Hannover ; Director: Lars-Ole Walburg . The piece is about an emerging musical about Haarmann and the question of the moral dimensions of a musical processing of Haarmann's deeds. The title alludes to the business cards with which Haarmann wanted to impress his later victims.
  • In 2018 the dark metal band Eisregen released the songs Onkel Fritze and Menschenmetzger Fritz on the EP Satan Liebt Dich , and together with the Transilvanian Beat Club (as Transilvanian Beef Club) a video for the song Menschenmetzger Fritz was released on May 28, 2018 the channel of the label Massacre Records was published on YouTube .
  • In 2018, the industrial band Ost + Front from Berlin released the song Puppenjunge on their fourth album Adrenalin , which deals thematically and profoundly with the Haarmann murders. A lyric video was released on YouTube on November 13, 2019.

Haarmann song

The Haarmann-Lied is famous , whose stanzas to the melody of the operetta song , which was popular at the time , wait just a little while, soon happiness comes to you was sung by Walter Kollo and exists in different versions, for example in the following way:

(1st and 3rd stanza)

Wait, wait just a little while,
soon Haarmann will come to you too,
with the little cleaver,
he'll make pork meat out of you.
He makes brawn out of the eyes,
bacon out of the buttocks,
sausages out of the intestines
and the rest he throws away.

(2nd stanza)

In Hanover on a leash,
Rote Reihe number 8,
lives the mass murderer Haarmann,
who has already killed many.
Haarmann also has an assistant,
this young man was called Grans.
This happily attracted
all the little boys.

(Back to the first stanza; then it's over.)

Haarmann last lived in the attic in the red row 2, not 8, as claimed in the song.

In 1961 the jazz musician Hawe Schneider was in the top 10 of the music market with his Dixieland version of the song for four weeks - hit parade , the forerunner of today's single charts . The song has also been set to music or quoted by various bands and music projects.

Other Haarmann recitations

  • 1992: The Viennese sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka created a Haarmann frieze in 1992 . The purchase of the plant by the state of Lower Saxony and the city of Hanover at a price of 100,000 D-Marks led to protests under the motto tax money for mass murderers memorial , which caused a nationwide media campaign.
  • 2000: At the Expo 2000 one was Haarmann-mile scheduled on which artists should deal with the issue. In particular, a Haarmann canteen with the offer of black pudding and brawn was planned. Because of protests, the project never came about.
  • 2004: The Stadtwerke Hannover printed a dice game called “The Haarmann Loop” in their customer magazine . The issue had to be pulped.
  • 2007: Hannover Marketing und Tourismus GmbH published an advent calendar . On a little door was a picture of Fritz Haarmann with an ax. This met with opposition. The 2017 calendar again shows Fritz Haarmann with an ax.
  • 2012: A flag with the portrait of the serial killer, which has been shown in the fan block of Hannover 96 for several years, stirs feelings. The DFB got involved.


Extract from the statistics of convictions for sexual acts between male persons (Section 175). 1914–1918: Decrease due to the First World War 1924: skyrocketing

The broad coverage and the preoccupation with the topic of the population was also evident in the number of cases and convictions for sexual acts between men ( Section 175 of the Criminal Code). They rose by leaps and bounds after 1924, the year of the Haarmann Trial, and after a brief spike from 1927 onwards they settled at a higher level than before 1914 (the beginning of the First World War ).

Documents and photos from the police files in the Haarmann case can be found in the Lower Saxony Police Museum in Nienburg / Weser .

See also


  • Hans Hyan : Massenmörder Haarmann , Eine Kriminalistische Study, Bonn 2019 (first Berlin 1924), ISBN 978-3-95421-153-1 .
  • Theodor Lessing : Haarmann. A Werewolf Story and Other Court Reports. Edited and introduced by Rainer Marwedel, Luchterhand, Frankfurt am Main 1989 (first: Berlin 1925), ISBN 3-630-61865-0 .
  • Theodor Lessing : The case of the murderer Fritz Haarmann. Reports and Comments. Edited and introduced by Dirk Friedrich, Bonn 2019, ISBN 978-3-95421-152-4 .
  • Christine Pozsár; Michael Farin (Ed.): The Haarmann Protocols. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1995, ISBN 3-499-60163-X .
  • Friedhelm Werremeier : Hair man. The butcher of Hanover. The horrific crimes of the notorious serial killer. Heyne, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-453-08907-3 (first: Cologne 1992 as: Haarmann. Obituary for a werewolf . , ISBN 3-8025-2232-X ).
  • Volker Seitz: “Wait, just wait a while…” Haarmann - the werewolf from the “Red Series” , in Adelheid von Saldern et al. : Everyday life between Hindenburg and Haarmann. Another city guide through Hanover in the 1920s , publisher: Geschichtswerkstatt Hannover, Hamburg: VSA-Verlag, 1987, ISBN 3-87975-397-0 , pp. 125-132.
  • Matthias Blazek: Haarmann and Grans. The case, the people involved and the press coverage. ibidem, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-89821-967-9 .
  • Matthias Blazek: "Trial of the serial killer Friedrich Haarmann before the jury court - trial from December 4th to 19th, 1924 / execution 1925". Sachsenspiegel 7, Cellesche Zeitung, February 18, 2012.
  • Christoph Brodhun: The werewolf of Hanover Friedrich Haarmann . Legal thesis. epubli, 2017, ISBN 978-3-7418-8226-5 .
  • Kerstin Brückweh: lust for murder. Serial Murders, Violence, and Emotions in the 20th Century. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main and New York 2006, ISBN 978-3-593-38202-9 .
  • Thomas Kailer: "... put the head at the feet of the hellish figment ..." On the psychology of the punishing society. The Haarmann case. In: From the police of the authorities to the service provider for public security. Commemorative publication for the 100th anniversary of the Hanover police headquarters 1903–2003. Edited by Hans-Joachim Heuer a. a., Hilden 2003, pp. 69-88.
  • Kathrin Kompisch: The Fritz Haarmann Case (1924). In: Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter , NF, Vol. 55–56 (2001–2002), pp. 97–116.
  • Dagmar Lieske: The persecution of “people who are dangerous to the public” in National Socialism: The Hans Grans case . Journal of History 64, Issue 9, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2016, pp. 737–755.
  • Peer Meter & Isabel Kreitz: Haarmann , Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2010 , ISBN 978-3-551-79107-8 (illustration of the case in comic form).
  • Dirk Kurbjuweit : Haarmann. A detective novel , Penguin, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-328-60084-8 .

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Uwe Janatzek: The Haarmann case from a (criminal) sociological point of view. Thesis. Evangelical University of Applied Sciences Rhineland-Westphalia-Lippe, Bochum 2003, ISBN 978-3-640-08597-2 .
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Theodor Lessing: Haarmann. The story of a werewolf . Rogner & Bernhard, Munich 1973, ISBN 3-8077-0013-7 .
  3. City of Hanover poor house
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Theodor Lessing: Haarmann. The story of a werewolf . Rogner & Bernhard, Munich 1973, pp. 176–177, ISBN 3-8077-0013-7 .
  5. ^ Frank Winternheimer: Remembrance remains / Haarmann investigator's gravestone saved , in: Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung of February 6, 2013; online , accessed February 12, 2013 .
  6. ↑ in detail Matthias Blazek: The serial killer 's spy activity - Friedrich "Fritz" Haarmann worked at times with the police . Sachsenspiegel, Cellesche Zeitung of June 22, 2019.
  7. a b Tobias Premper: "Fritz, you are the best!" . On: on March 10, 2007.
  8. “Biting people to death, that doesn't work” . In Der Spiegel , issue 46/1995, p. 223 ff.
  9. ↑ in detail Matthias Blazek: A mass murderer in court - The sensational trial against Fritz Haarmann takes place in December 1924 in Hanover . Sachsenspiegel, Cellesche Zeitung of November 23, 2019.
  10. ^ Fritz Hartung : Jurist under four realms , Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Munich 1971, p. 73.
  11. Preparations from Nazi Victims: Brains in the Lumber Room. In: Spiegel Online - one day. Retrieved March 4, 2017 .
  12. ^ Museum or burial for Haarmann's head? Göttinger Tageblatt. June 1, 2012.
  13. ^ Jürgen Gückel: University Medicine Göttingen incinerates Fritz Haarmann's head. In: Göttinger Tageblatt, January 25, 2015, accessed on August 4, 2019.
  14. ↑ Mass murderer from the twenties: Fritz Haarmann's head cremated , in: Der Spiegel.
  15. Serial killer Haarmann: head was cremated in Göttingen , in: HNA from January 24, 2015.
  16. ^ Theodor Lessing: Haarmann. The story of a werewolf . Rogner & Bernhard, Munich 1973, pp. 101-102, ISBN 3-8077-0013-7 .
  17. Metal 1: RICHTHOFEN have already taken care of the butcher and the fans of Hannover 96 have a Haarmann flag. from June 8, 2018
  18. .
  19. Download of the radio play Murder Documents 01 - Haarmann .
  20. Crime cases set to music. Retrieved April 14, 2020 .
  21. American detective agency Lasso. Is Fritz Haarmann allowed to sing in a musical? , Staatsschauspiel Hannover , accessed on February 23, 2016.
  22. : Eisregen with a new EP from May 22, 2018.
  23. Massacre Records on YouTube: EISREGEN - Menschenmetzger Fritz (Transilvanian Beef Club) Official Video , accessed on June 4, 2018.
  24. Chart overview 1961 , University of Würzburg.
  25. With Haarmann into Advent , taz.
  26. Every year again: Calendar with Haarmann picture ( memento from January 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) at from October 27, 2010.
  27. ^ Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany: This is the new Hanover advent calendar. Retrieved November 15, 2017 .
  28. ^ Haarmann flag topic at the DFB ,
  29. ^ Jens Schadendorf: The Rainbow Factor: Gays and Lesbians in Business and Society , p. 182, at GoogleBooks .