Hashude Housing Welfare Agency

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The Hashude Housing Welfare Agency was a camp-like " Nazi education settlement" built in 1936 in the Bremen district of Woltmershausen . More than 80 families from Bremen with a total of around 500 people were forcibly committed there, who were assessed by the National Socialists as " anti-social " and "inferior" and were to be " re-educated ". There they were under constant surveillance and subjected to violence and other attacks by the guards.

The institution was closed in 1940 and converted into a normal settlement . In 1949 it was named Warturmer Platz . Today it is a well-kept residential complex and looks like a village idyll.


The Hashude Housing Agency was a fenced and guarded area on the way home at that time in Bremen-Woltmershausen from October 1936 to 1940 with 84 tiny terraced houses in which 84 families with over 400 children, a total of around 500 people, had to live. "Rent debtors, 'work-shy', vagrants, poor alcoholics, politically unpopular, 'complainers' and other families annoying the authorities" were described as "anti-social elements" by the welfare agency, which was run by the Nazis in Bremen. The Reichstag Fire Ordinance was used as the legal basis for the briefing , by which numerous individual basic rights were in any case invalid. They should be re-educated and “in the worst case eugenically selected ”. 600,000 Reichsmarks were invested in the construction of the settlement .

“None of the families detained in the Housing Agency since October 1936 had not been previously homeless . Most of them previously lived in working-class districts such as Woltmershausen or Gröpelingen in urban apartments for large numbers of children. Almost all families - some for years - had received welfare benefits. For that reason alone, they were considered 'anti-social'. Some residents were forcibly sterilized , one girl was probably the victim of the euthanasia campaign . "

- Elke Steinhöfel : Speech on Auschwitz Memorial Day 2014


Mass unemployment

When the Nazis came to power, there was mass unemployment and material desolation among the population. For the Nazis, the primary goal of welfare policy was to eradicate unemployment. In addition, they wanted to mobilize all manpower reserves for the purpose of armament-oriented and war-preparation politics. After a wage freeze that had existed since 1932, almost full employment was achieved in 1936.

"All national comrades had to work a lot for little money - and so there was little understanding for those people who seemed to evade the general duty to work and lived off the welfare."

- Elke Steinhöfel : Speech on Auschwitz Memorial Day 2014

Racial hygiene and hereditary biological orientation

The aim of Nazi policy since 1933 was an "Aryan pure people's body" that was superior to the peoples of the East because it was "cleansed of what was eugenically inferior". The aim of Nazi policy was to be achieved through the 1933 Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseases . First of forced sterilization in were schizophrenia , physical deformities, epilepsy (epilepsy), numbness and severe alcoholism provided. However, the application was extended to "people who are morally moronic, rags or dissolute women".

In 1935, the Bremen Senator for Welfare, Hans Haltermann, wanted to achieve a “beggar-free and anti-social free city within three generations”. He saw the instrument for this in a forced housing facility for anti-social families. Such a "residential barracks" was considered to be a unique facility in the whole of Germany.

Control of the site

The area could only be left or entered with the permission of the camp manager. He was also the boss of the “Teufelsmoor” concentration camp, where the forced laborers had to dig peat 11 hours a day. A control bay gave the up to 30 warehouse employees a view of all open spaces. Daily home checks were also possible. Today the area looks like a village idyll. Nothing reminds us that people were badly mistreated in the basement below an entrance building.

The front doors had to be unlocked at 6 a.m. and locked at 11 p.m. (summer) or 10 p.m. (winter). Visits between families were forbidden. A guard checked the houses every day at 11 a.m. The complex was fenced in and the entrance gate was guarded. Those who came too late were punished. The residents were forbidden to talk to each other, step on the lawn or keep animals in their tiny backyards. The whole complex was surrounded by a two meter high fence.

Every day the men had to line up in the courtyard half an hour before work began, in order to then march to their workplaces so that they could all be seen. The children were also taken to elementary school in columns, where they were often teased and humiliated.

In 2013, an 88-year-old woman remembered coming to Hashude as a child with six siblings and their parents. Her father was decried as a communist and was seen as unruly: he repeatedly refused the Hitler salute, which one automatically had to deliver when passing the camp gate. He was allowed to work outside and once came home from a topping-out ceremony when something had been drunk - a sufficient reason for the gate guard to push the man down the stairs to the cellar custody and continue to abuse him. "I can still hear his screams today," says the old woman. Her father was then in hospital for nine weeks.

After the dissolution in 1940

The institution was closed in 1940 and converted into a normal settlement. The reason given by the Reich Ministry of Finance : Hereditary biological successes evidently did not occur. But the people did not move out. The files on her were passed on to the Gestapo .

Those in charge of the Hashude camp also had to undergo the denazification process that began in 1947. Depending on their function, they were classified as the main culprit, the burdened or the minor burdened. In 1953, without exception, all of them were reclassified or pardoned as “fellow travelers”. The victims barracked in Hashude were hushed up after 1945. The residents were considered " anti-social ".

In 1949 the way home was given the name "Warturmer Platz", so that the former institution became the "Siedlung am Warturmer Platz". Today's residents do not want to create a place of memory, after all, this is a story that nobody wants to be identified with. Above all not the around 50 percent of the residents, who are children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the "anti-social".

The name "Hashude" was retained as the street name for the front driveway for over four decades. Then apartment blocks were built there. In 1983 or 1984 the name was changed to “Senator-Paulmann-Straße”, and since then the term “Hashude” has disappeared from the cityscape.


  • Wolfgang Ayaß : "Asocial" in National Socialism. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995.
  • Lisa Pine: Hashude: the imprisonment of "Asocial" Families in the Third Reich , in: German History 13 (1995), p. 182-197.
  • Lisa Pine: Hashude. An experiment in nazi “asocial” policy , in: History today 45, July 1995, p. 37-45.
  • Elke Steinhöfel : The Hashude Housing Welfare Institution - The Nazi anti-social policy and the Bremen welfare organization . State Archive Bremen 2014, ISBN 978-3-925729-71-3 .
  • The apartment as a prison - Elke Steinhöfel is working on a repressed chapter of the Nazi crimes in Bremen: the history of the Hashude re-education camp . in: Weser-Kurier, January 22, 2015
  • Wolfgang Voigt: Resident. The settlement as a panoptic prison , in: Arch +, No. 75/76, August 1984, pp. 82–89.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d The settlement of the "anti-social", see web links
  2. a b c d Elke Steinhöfel: The Hashude Housing Welfare Institution (PDF file) on Spurensuche.de (speech on January 29, 2014 on the Auschwitz Memorial Day).
  3. “That was in 1936, when the four-year plan was already reversing the economy in the direction of armaments production, a remarkable sum - which underlines the ambition to create a“ model ”to be observed throughout the Reich. For comparison: The item in the Bremen household, which in the same year was generally intended for housing construction, was 350,000 marks. "(Quote from The settlement of the" Asocial " in taz from January 25, 2015)
  4. This is how the social scientist Karl Heinz Roth put it , Steinhöfel notes.
  5. Kurzay, see web links.
  6. Dominik Schmidt, see web links.
  7. This is how Elke Steinhöfel describes life in the "Wohnkaserne", in: The apartment as a prison, see literature
  8. ↑ Renaming of the street: The Heimweg (Hashude) is renamed “Warturmer Platz” (Bremen, August 28, 49, building supervision office.) Weser-Kurier from September 1, 1949 online only for subscribers

Web links

Coordinates: 53 ° 4 ′ 19 ″  N , 8 ° 46 ′ 35 ″  E