Themes/The Helpers’ Circle around Otto Weidt/Police Officers from Police Station 16

Police Officers from Police Station 16

Police Station 16 was at Hackescher Markt 1. It policed the area between Münzstraße, Auguststraße, Artilleriestraße, and Dircksenstraße. The police force regarded this as a problem district because of poverty and crime. Policemen who did not toe the line were transferred here as a disciplinary measure. Some of them demonstrated civic courage under the Nazis and helped victims of persecution.

Wilhelm Krützfeld became the chief of Police Station 16 in April 1937. He was transferred in 1940; in 1943 he applied for early retirement because he could no longer reconcile his duties with his conscience. The head of the registration office, Willi Steuck, and police officer Otto Bellgardt stamped forged identity cards and gave warnings of imminent deportations. Otto Weidt knew some policemen from this station personally, and they warned him about raids on Jews.

Police officers from this station prevented the synagogue at Oranienburger Straße 30 from burning down in the night of the pogroms, November 9-10, 1938. They called the fire brigade, which was obliged to extinguish the fire that the Nazi vandals started. The police officers warned the firemen that they had a duty to save the building because it was under monument protection, and there was a risk of the fire spreading to neighboring buildings.

Wilhelm Krützfeld