Gerhard Händler (policeman)

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Gerhard Händler (born July 22, 1928 in Magdeburg ; † June 17, 1953 there ) was a people's police officer and was killed in the popular uprising in the GDR on June 17, 1953 .


Dealer first attended elementary school and then from 1943 worked as an unskilled worker, locksmith and passenger. From 1949 to 1950 he worked as a shunter in the Magdeburg Ernst Thälmann plant. He then worked as a warehouse worker at the German Food Trade Center until 1952.

In September 1952 he joined the People's Police.

June 17, 1953

On June 17, 1953, a popular uprising broke out in the GDR against the government led by the SED . At that time, Händler was part of the guards at the Magdeburg-Sudenburg prison . On the morning of June 17, demonstrators attempted to forcibly release the prisoners from prison.

The situation is described in the reports of the People's Police as follows:

11.40 am: “In the meantime, the majority of the demonstrators advanced to the Sudenburg prison. There were several thousand people involved. First the gate was smashed, then files were placed on the floor, under the gate, and set on fire. At that moment, a few shots were fired, probably from the courthouse into the prison guard's windows. "

“At the same moment shots rang out from the crowd of provocateurs, one of which was a member of the MfS fatally. The comrades of the MfS returned fire. The prison guards were constantly shot at from the windows of the courthouse opposite, where the provocateurs had entered with force. VP-Oberwachtmeister Gaidzik and VP-Unterwachtmeister Händler were fatally hit by the shots from the courthouse . The pressure of the masses only eased when a Soviet tank took up position in front of the gate. "

In the fighting over the prison, in addition to the people's police officer Händler and Gaidzik, the MfS employee Hans Waldbach died .


Alfred Dartsch was accused of killing trader, who left behind a wife and three children . He was sentenced by the Soviet military judiciary without a process corresponding to a constitutional process in the shortest possible time and executed on June 18, 1953.

Since guilt could not be proven, the Russian military prosecutor rehabilitated Alfred Dartsch in 1996. The actual shooter has not been determined.


At the request of the People's Police, the Magdeburg City Council decided on June 30, 1954, on the occasion of the People's Police Day (July 1, 1954), to rename Hohendodeleber Strasse in Magdeburg to Gerhard-Händler-Strasse . After the end of the GDR, it was renamed.

Individual evidence

  1. Quoted from the Federal Agency for Civic Education

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