The Man Who Refused The Nazi Salute

The propaganda war reached its heyday in World War II, both Allies and Axis forces in was used in profusion. Used both as a method of push and encouragement to the ranks, as discredited, demoralized and disinformation on the enemy lines. The next photo, nothing unusual in appearance, was dropped on German soil, appealing to the Nazi regime against them to take the same attitude as one of the men in the photo. This photograph became famous Landmessser August, although the identity of this man knew much later.

Landmesser was August worker Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg (Germany) until 1938, when he was taken prisoner by the Gestapo, who condemned him for Rassenschande, Article 2 of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor . That article prohibits the extra-marital sexual relations between Jews and Germans. Article 5 of that Act provided in paragraph 2 that "the man who violates the prohibition in Article 2 shall be punished by imprisonment with or without hard labor." August was married on April 21, 1935 with the woman of Jewish descent Irma Eckler.

August Landmesser

In 1931 he had joined the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) with the hope of getting a job through their membership of the party, because in those years dominated by the dictatorship of the Nazi Party, who was not in their ranks was very difficult get a job.

Single family photograph found in full Landmesser


In August 1935, the marriage application was rejected by both the Jewish origin of the wife of August, therefore, the two daughters Ingrid and Irene born in October 35 and July 37 respectively were born and in what was considered a disgrace to the social order of the Aryan race. After bucks trials, Landmesser was finally sentenced to two and half years of hard labor in the concentration camp Börgermoor. His wife Irma suffered the same fate after being convicted and taken to Lichtenburg, to be subsequently transferred to Ravensbrück (both women only) where he died in January 1942, like many other Jewish women in the camp. August was released in early 1941 and taken to continue their hard labor in a car factory for the military. Forced to join the I Battalion of parole "999." Since the end of that year were no longer hear from him, suggesting he died in one of the battles in which the battalion participated.


August letter from his daughter during his imprisonment

Landmesser August has gone down in history for a photograph in which he is seen with his arms crossed. It was at the christening of the boat (boat now School) of the German navy Horst Wessel in 1936. That day the Führer Adolf Hitler was present at Hamburg, when August, who already had trouble with the law, refused to greet him as did the thousands of comrades who had in the shipyards. Since then this man is an example of individual courage and conscientious objection.



This photograph can be seen the documentation center Topography of Terror "located where until 1945 were the focus of the Gestapo, the SS and the Office of Reich Security Main Reichssicherheitshauptamt in the old street Prinz Albrecht in Berlin.
Landmesser the couple's children survived the war and were reared in one of the many homes for orphans that existed in Germany after World War II. In 1991, a daughter recognized her father in the famous photograph.