Herbert Budzislawski

Große Hamburger Straße 15 /16
Stone was laid
June 2004
30 December 1920 in Berlin
18 May 1942 in Berlin
May 1942 to September 1943 in Berlin, Polizeigefängnis
07 September 1943 in Berlin-Plötzensee
Herbert Budzislawski belonged to those resistance fighters who came together in the illegal Communist Jewish group formed around Herbert Baum and who committed an arson attack on an anti-Soviet propaganda exhibition in Berlin-Lustgarten on May 18th 1942. He was son of a Berlin businessman and originated from a religious Jewish liberal family. His Bar-Mizwa took place in the New Synagogue in the Oranienburger Street in 1933. His mother moved to the Große Hamburger Straße 15/16. She worked as a poulterer in the central market hall near Alexanderplatz. Since the age of six, Herbert had first visited the primary school and in 1933 had gone to the Ohmstädter boy’s school, after which he had found work in a Kreuzberg lamp factory. He became member of the “Jüdische Jugendschar” and in 1936 he joined the liberal “Bund deutsch-jüdischer Jugend”, both being Jewish youth organisations. Herbert’s friends were young people sympathising with Communist ideas or with the Bündische Jugend. Often, he was together with them on the Alexanderplatz, as many eyewitness reports state in 1938. When the Gestapo started to investigate into the circle of young friends, he also attracted their attention. He was suspected of being in close cordial contact with Communist youths – so called Commmunist machinations; and last not least he was accused of having homosexual contacts, being defamed as “homosexual violations of morality”. And only because Herbert denied all accusations vehemently and the Gestapo found another main culprit during their investigation on whose conviction they then concentrated, did he manage to go unpunished. He obviously was a busy and oppositional young man. Four years later, when he in 1942 was searched for having committed the arson attack on the Nazi exhibition and after some time hiding was arrested, the Gestapo managed to prove his illegal resistance activities. Due to questioning and torture of the group members they had found out that Herbert Budzislawski had participated in the meetings of the Herbert-Baum group in the apartment of Martin and Sala Kochmann and in their illegal activities. The confrontation with the authorities of the state, the increasing racial exclusion as a Jew and the deportation of his mother in 1942 had led to a radicalisation of his actions. The trial in front of the People’s Court took place on June 29th 1943. To this point of time, many members of the group had already been executed. On September 7th 1943 the sentence was also carried out against Herbert Budzislawski and he was killed in the prison of Plötzensee at the age of 22.

Translation: Sophia Schmitz