Schulze-Boysen, Heinz Harro Max Wilhelm Georg.

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Schulze-Boysen, Heinz Harro Max Wilhelm Georg, born 02-09-1909, in Kiel the son and one of three children of the naval officer Erich Edgar Schulze and his wife Marie Luise Boysen. Heinz was a grandnephew of the famous Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz on his father’s side and of the sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies on his mother’s side. Heinz spent his childhood in Duisburg and had two sisters, Helga (*November 1910) and Hartmut Schulze-Boysen (* 21. Februar 1922.)  .  As a student at the Steinbart Gymnasium in Duitsberg, in 1923 he took part in the illegal struggle against the French occupation of the Ruhr area and was detained for some time by the occupying forces. The 1923-1925 Ruhr occupation by France and Belgium was triggered when Germany defaulted on its reparations obligations. A passive resistance campaign obstructed the invaders but collapsed in September 1923.

After graduating in 1928, he became a member of the liberal Jungdeutscher Orden; in 1930 he supported the intellectual Gruppe Volksnationale Reichsvereinigung, which was led by Artur Mahraun. Mahraun’s party and Jungdo were banned in 1933 and he was for a time imprisoned by the Gestapo. He was briefly associated with a group called the Nachbarschafts-Bewegung after the war until his death in Gütersloh in 1950.

This union of the bourgeois camp subsequently led to the founding of the Deutsche Demokratische Partei in 1930. Temporarily, Schulze-Boysen was also a member of Otto Johann Maximilian Strasser’s  Schwarzer Front.. The Combat League of Revolutionary National Socialists (KGRNS), more commonly known as the Black Front was a political group formed by Otto Strasser in 1930 after he resigned from the Nazi Party (NSDAP) to avoid being expelled.

After the Nazi takeover of power in January 1933, Otto Strasser emigrated to Austria, later to Switzerland, but eventually to Portugal and Canada. He settled in Vienna from where he fought the dictatorship of Hitler fiercely (including via radio). On 30-06-1934, his brother Gregor Johann Maximilian Strasser   was murdered by the Nazis during the Night of the Long Knives. Following his expulsion, Strasser set up his own party, the Black Front, composed of like-minded former NSDAP members, to split the Nazi Party. His party proved unable to counter Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, and Strasser spent the years of the Nazi era in exile. The Nazi Left was annihilated during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, during which Gregor Strasser was killed. This left Hitler as an undisputed party leader and able to pacify industrialists and the military into accepting his new Nazi regime

Heinz studied law at the universities of Freiburg (1928-1929) and Berlin (1929-1931, without graduating). Stays in Sweden, Great Britain and France helped him broaden his horizons.

During a stay in France in 1931, Schulze-Boysen became acquainted with intellectuals from the circle of the avant-garde French magazine Plans, under whose influence he began to orientate himself politically towards the left. Following the example of Plans, Schulze-Boysen published the left-liberal magazine Der Gegner, republished in 1931 by Franz Jung, in 1932-1933, in which Ernst Fuhrmann, Raoul Hausmann, Ernst von Salomon, Adrien Turel and Karl Korsch collaborated. He tried to develop an independent youth movement from the circle around Der Gegner, which also included Robert Jungk, Erwin Gehrts, Kurt Schumacher and Gisela von Poellnitz, and organized so-called Gegner meetings in Berlin cafes. There was hardly an opposition youth group with which Schulze-Boysen had no contact. Schulze-Boyen also became increasingly interested in the Soviet system.

He considered the seizure of power by Adolf Hitler likely, but he also thought that Hitler’s power would soon collapse due to a general strike. After the seizure of power by the National Socialists, the offices of the Gegner editors were destroyed by SS men and the editorial members were deported to a special camp of the 6th SS regiment. Schulze-Boysen was beaten and held for several days. Before his very eyes, the Nazis murder his Jewish friend and accomplice Henry Erlanger.

Because a planned political career was thus brought to an end, he started flying training in Warnemünde in May 1933. From 1934 he worked in the news department of the Reich Ministry of Aviation (RLM) in Berlin.  He visually adapted to the dictatorship, but inwardly he remained true to his negative attitude towards the Nazis. From 1935 he gathered around him a circle of left-wing anti-fascists, including many of his friends from Der Gegner. Brochures were distributed against the dictatorship. On 16-07-1936 he married Libertas Haas-Heye

in Liebenberg. Schulze-Boysen further expanded his contact with the resistance and the ties with communists around Hilde and Hans Coppi were also strengthened. In addition to his work at the Ministry of Aviation, he started a study at the Berlin Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. He read Lenin’s writings and saw in them confirmed his idea that capitalism was coming to an end. He also saw the only serious opponent of Nazi Germany in the Soviet Union, despite the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

From the spring of 1941, Schulze-Boysen began to pass on secret military information to the foreign intelligence service of the Russian People’s Commissariat for State Security. At the same time, he and Arvid Harnack built up a resistance group, which after the war was called the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group, which eventually included more than 150 Nazi opponents. They distributed brochures, painted slogans on buildings and helped persecuted. A smaller part collected information for the Russian intelligence service. Through Alexander Korotkov, the NKGB deputy in the Russian embassy in Berlin, Schulze-Boysen tried to warn of the impending German invasion of the Soviet Union. In 1941 Schulze-Boysen was promoted to Oberleutnant.

In July 1942, a coded radio message from the Russian military intelligence service GRU was decoded by the Gestapo, in which, in addition to the name Schulze-Boysen, his address was also mentioned. This led to the arrest of the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group and the execution of many of its members.

Death and burial ground of Schulze-Boysen, Heinz Harro Max Wilhelm Georg.

On August 31, Harro Schulze-Boysen was arrested at his office of the Ministry of Aviation. His wife Libertas panicked when her husband didn’t come home and went to visit friends; she was not arrested until a few days later. On December 19, Schulze-Boysen was sentenced to death for preparation for high treason and treason. He was hanged together with fellow combatants in Berlin-Plötzensee on 22-12-1942 at 7:05 PM. His wife Libertas was killed by beheading about an hour later.

As early as 15-12-1942, on Adolf Hitler’s instructions, a rail with meat hooks had been installed in the execution room of the prison. Until then, the death row inmates had been killed by bullets by military courts and by guillotine beheading by civilian courts. Members of the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group were the first to be killed by hanging, which was considered particularly dishonorable.

Schulze-Boysen, Heinz Harro Max Wilhelm Georg died on 22-12-1942, age 33, Berlijn-Plötzensee Prison, by hanging.and is buried on the Plötzensee cemetery in Berlin in  an anonymously grave, like all Plötzensee Nazis victims.

His wife  and fellow combatant was Libertas Schulze-Boysen, age 29, the youngest daughter of Otto Ludwig Haas-Heye and Countess Victoria zu Eulenburg-Hertefeld.. Both memebers of the Rote Kapelle, were killed by the Nazis.


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