John Schehr

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John Schehr (born February 9, 1896 in Altona an der Elbe , † February 1, 1934 in Berlin ) was a German politician and chairman of the German Communist Party from Ernst Thälmann's arrest in 1933 until his murder .


Königstrasse memorial stone, Berlin-Wannsee

John Schehr, who came from a working-class family and completed an apprenticeship as a locksmith , joined the SPD in 1912 and the transport workers' union a year later. His place of work was at the port of Hamburg . There he got to know Ernst Thälmann. In 1917 he joined the USPD and in 1919 the KPD . At this time almost the entire Hamburg USPD converted to the KPD, which was also due to Thälmann's agitation.

After an eventful party career, which in 1928 brought him to the brink of being excluded from the party in connection with the Wittorf affair , Schehr became a member of the Central Committee of the KPD in 1929 - he had been a candidate for the Central Committee since 1925 - and in 1932 a member of the Prussian Parliament and of July of the same year until 1933 member of the Reichstag . On February 7, 1933, Schehr took part in the secret conference of the Central Committee of the KPD in the sports store Ziegenhals near Berlin.

In March 1933, Ernst Thälmann, until then party leader of the KPD, was arrested as part of the repression and manhunt after the Reichstag fire . Thereupon the Communist International transferred the party chairmanship and thus the leadership of the KPD, which worked underground, to Thälmann's deputy, John Schehr.

Arrest and Assassination

Schehr was arrested on November 13, 1933 and taken to the Columbiahaus concentration camp after Alfred Kattner , who worked in the KPD party headquarters, the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus , and thus had connections to the Central Committee and its leading figures, defected. Since he consistently refused to give information about people and events of the conspiratorial struggle during interrogations, and the Gestapo Kattner was shot on February 1 on behalf of the KPD leadership in Nowawes , John Schehr and three other communists - Eugen Schönhaar , Rudolf Schwarz and Erich Steinfurth - "shot while trying to escape" on the night of February 1 to February 2, 1934 on Berlin's Kilometer Mountain. Police commissioner Bruno Sattler was responsible for carrying out the murder .


Gravestone in the memorial of the socialists in Berlin-Lichtenberg
Memorial plaques on the Reichstag
Memorial stone John Schehr Rostock

In the same year, the writer Erich Weinert commemorated the Gestapo with his poem John Schehr and Comrades of the Assassination :

They drag her into the dark forest.
And twelve times it pops and reverberates.
There they lie with their eyes extinguished
every three close shots in the neck,
John Schehr and comrades.

After 1945, numerous honors were given in the GDR by naming streets, facilities and buildings after John Schehr, some of which have since been reversed. In 1966, a cargo ship belonging to the GDR's German shipping company was named John Schehr . In addition, the second largest yacht - a 130-square-meter spreader gaff ketch - led the "GST-Hochsee-Yachten-Station" in Greifswald-Wieck , which later became the GST naval school "August Lütgens" , which was there from 1954 to 1960 for GST sea ​​sports Use was the name Jonny Schehr .

In 1954 his remains were transferred from Marzahn to Friedrichsfelde and buried in a place of honor in the memorial of the socialists in the Friedrichsfelde central cemetery.

Since 1992 one of the 96 memorial plaques for members of the Reichstag murdered by the National Socialists has been commemorating Schehr in Berlin near the Reichstag . In Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg , Halle (Saale) -Radewell , Neubrandenburg , Pasewalk , Teltow , Rostock , Weißenfels , Riesa, Wurzen and Lauchhammer streets are named after John Schehr.

On the Kilometerberg there is a memorial stone for John Schehr and the other resistance fighters who were "shot while trying to escape" here in 1934. Commemorative events for the four resistance fighters have been held there since 1954.

In the former Steigerkaserne on Drosselberg in Erfurt you can still see a John Schehr memorial stone, set in a small honorary grove, right behind the entrance building. However, the memorial words were chiseled out so that these are only partially legible today. In the barracks, the 24th MotSchützenRegiment stationed here bore the honorary name of "John Schehr".


  • Heinz Bergschicker: German Chronicle 1933–1945. A picture of the times of the fascist dictatorship / Wiss. Advice: Olaf Groehler . Verlag der Nation, Berlin 1981, 2nd dgs. 1982 edition (ill. P. 34).
  • Schehr, John . In: Hermann Weber , Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographical Handbook 1918 to 1945. 2., revised. and strong exp. Edition. Karl Dietz Verlag Berlin, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .

Web links

Commons : John Schehr  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. List of participants .
  2. Anti-fascism as a humanist legacy in Europe - Festschrift for the 60th birthday of Prof. Dr. Rolf Richter: p. 41 ff.
  3. Ronald Sassning : Thälmann, Wehner, Kattner, Miele. Difficult truths . In: Utopie Kreativ , issue 114, April 2000, pp. 362–375 ( PDF file; 112 kB)
  4. John Schehr and comrades. A Murder, a Myth and the Consequences ( Memento from March 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Feature on MDR Figaro from March 2, 2013.
  5. John Schehr and comrades of Erich Weinert
  6. ^ New Germany of February 2, 1954