What happened to the German who didn't greet Adolf Hitler?
We all know that the infamous Nazi salute (or just the zig) in the modern world is considered an obscene gesture and a desecration of the memory of those who died in World War II. But in Germany itself from 1933 to 1945, the throwing up of the hand was almost a sacred ritual, especially under the Fuhrer of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler.
The Nazi salute was mandatory when greeting Hitler, and if civil and military people could still do without this farce when greeting each other, then in the presence of the most paranoid Fuhrer or major members of the NSDAP party, it was not possible to do without the "Sigi".
But strangely enough, at least one person during the existence of the Third Reich who found the courage not to raise his hand in greeting the Fuhrer, the name of this hero is August Landmesser.
The story of this simple German is amazing and very sad. He was born in 1910 in the most ordinary poor family. He was just a hard worker. As early as 1931, he joined the NSDAP, hoping to get a job, but in 1935 he left the Nazi party because he decided to marry Irma Eclair, a Jewish woman. But the couple did not have time to get married, and racial laws were passed that directly prohibited the marriage of Germans with Jews.
As a result, the family had two daughters, though in an unofficial, civil marriage. In 1937, the family even tried to emigrate, seeing the deteriorating situation in Germany regarding Jews.
But as a result, the escape failed, the family was detained and Augustus was ordered to stop all relations with his Jewish wife, threatened with long terms of hard labor. But our German, understanding all the nonsense of the situation, did not want to leave his pregnant wife with a two-year-old child.
As a result, a year later, in 1938, the family was separated, two daughters were sent to an orphanage, his wife Irma first to prison for "desecrating the race", and then to concentration camps, where she died in 1942. And Augustus himself stayed in prison until 1941, then worked as a handyman and in 1944 he was drafted into the army. As a result, he ended up in Croatia, where he went missing.
The very act of not greeting the Fuhrer occurred on June 13, 1936, when August was working as a worker at the shipyard in Hamburg.
Then he, who had already suffered from Hitler's anti-Jewish policy, no longer harbored any illusions about his future, which is probably why he dared not raise his hand like this, but just stand in the crowd with his arms crossed and a contemptuous smile on his face. In fact, this is the same as spitting in the face of Stalin.
By the way, after the war, the German authorities still recognized the marriage of August and the Firm, and their daughters were allowed to take their father's surname.