Leo Fichtmann

Holzmarktstraße 54 -56
Historical name
Raupachstraße 2
16 August 1873 in Elbing (Westpreußen) / Elbląg
27 May 1942 to 28 May 1942 in Sachsenhausen
28 May 1942 in Sachsenhausen
Leo Fichtmann, a locksmith and stonemason, was born in Elbing, West Prussia. He moved to Berlin before the First World War and became active in anarchist and radical leftwing circles. He received several convictions (for criminal trespass, riot etc.) and was even committed to an asylum to have his “mental state” examined due to his rabidly aggressive stance against the war. Known in Berlin as a radical during the revolution, he became one of the co-founders of the Communist Workers’ Party of Germany (KAPD) and also took a leading role in the General Workers’ Union (AAU). In 1921 he was one of the extremist “social rebels”, along with Max Hoelz and Karl Plättner, who called for organised gang warfare, resulting in his political isolation. From May 1923 he published the periodical “Der Arbeitslose” (The Unemployed Man). Leo Fichtmann made several public appearances, speaking often in Friedichshain, Berlin, about his ideas of a free society without state bureaucracy and political parties, based solely on direct democracy. He was abducted and abused by the Nazis as early as 1933. Following an arson attack on 27 May 1942 by the resistance group around Herbert Baum, he and others who were not involved in the incident were taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and shot on 28 May 1942. His wife Clara Fichtmann, née Fuchs (born 6 April 1877) was deported on the 2nd “transport of the elderly” to Theresienstadt on 6 June 1942. From there she was sent to Auschwitz, where she was murdered on 18 May 1944.