Georg Kotte

Location 
Hornstr. 11
District
Kreuzberg
Stone was laid
2006
Born
1888
Occupation
Verlagskaufmann, Journalist
Murdered
1944 im KZ Buchenwald
  • Stolperstein für Georg Kotte.
    Stolperstein für Georg Kotte. Foto: OTFW.

    Stolperstein für Georg Kotte. Foto: OTFW.

Georg Kotte was the son of a master woodturner from Altenburg in Thuringia. After attending school and an institution of higher education, in 1903, he started an apprenticeship as a management assistant in publishing. He subsequently worked in the editors’ office of the local newspaper in Altenburg, trained as an editor, and studied for some semesters in Jena and Leipzig. He then worked as a correspondent, interrupted by a one-year period of military service in 1912 and war service from 1914 onwards. Released from war captivity in France in summer 1920, he joined the Werden volunteer corps. In 1921 he returned to his home town. Henceforth he worked in the local editors’ office of the newspaper Altenburger Zeitung where he made a name for himself reporting on court hearings and reviewing concerts and plays. In 1928, he was offered a job in Berlin with one of the leading media groups of the day. For the next seven years, he was the music and theatre critic of the Scherl publishing group in Kreuzberg. But in spring 1937, he was dismissed for unknown reasons, and a period of hardship began for him, when he had only 5.34 Reichmarks’ unemployment support per week to live on. The local council paid the monthly rent of 20 Reichmarks for his room in Hornstraße, Kreuzberg. Georg Kotte’s move to Berlin in 1928 had allowed him to fulfil his private as well as his professional hopes. He began a long friendship with Johannes von W., an accountant. They moved in together in 1931, cautiously at first, to a house in Alexandrinenstraße where each had his own apartment. Later they lived as subtenants with separate rooms in a shared apartment in Berlin-Halensee. They broke off their relationship in late 1932. Henceforth, Georg Kotte sought and found acquaintances and adventures close to the Tiergarten park. He recorded them all in a diary, noting names and occupations: a student, waiter, tailor, builder, butcher, carpenter, farmer, tradesman etc. He added to these the remarks “with success” or sometimes “without success”.
On 14 October 1938, Georg Kotte was arrested at the Brandenburg Gate near the Reichstag. He tried to flee but failed. He was beaten and taken to the Gestapo prison at Prinz-Albrecht-Straße 8 where he continued to be physically abused for several days. The Berlin regional court ignored his claims of torture and withdrawal of the confession that had been beaten out of him and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment. His appeal was rejected by the Reich court. In October 1940, he was sent to Luckau prison.
On 27 August 1943, Georg Kotte was released and handed over to the Berlin criminal police. They had applied to place him in “preventive detention”, and had him deported to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he died on 30 January 1944.