Kurt Nehrling

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Kurt Nehrling (February 13, 1899 – September 23, 1943) was a German Social Democratic politician and member of the German resistance against Hitler. Nehrling was responsible for supplying information to the Soviet Union and was most famously known for hiding banned books. He was later caught by the SS and killed at the Dachau Concentration Camp.

Biography[edit]

Kurt Nehrling was born in Weimar to restaurateurs Max and Emma Nehrling. His parents' restaurant, Zum Goldenen Stern in the Jakobstrasse, was a popular workers' tavern and served as a meeting place for members of the Social-Democratic People Association (a local chapter of the SPD). This exposure was surely to have an influence on young Kurt's future political career.[1] From 1901 to 1905, membership in the local chapter of the SPD increased dramatically from 120 to 616. The party therefore created an autonomous social and cultural environment in the worker-populated areas of the Weimar. In 1907, the Social Democrats, trade unions, and associations laid the foundation for their own building, the "Community Center". Two years later, a local group of the Socialist Worker Youth was founded there.

Nehrling joined the SPD in 1919. In the years following World War I, he worked at the district administration of Weimar. There he became acquainted with Marie Prox, the daughter of Emil Prox, the chairman to the Social Democratic People Association. In 1921, Nehrling married Prox but tragedy struck two years later when Marie died from complications of childbirth with their second child. Nehrling, however, continued to maintain strong relations with his father-in-law. Although Prox is not very well remembered today, Nehrling's son later recalled his significance on his father's life:[citation needed]

Emil Prox, the father-in-law of my father, was Social Democrat. After my memory from family discussions [...] Grandpa Prox was the first social-democratic assigning to of the city. It lies near that Emil Prox introduced and affected its young son-in-law considerably to social-democratic ideas. Emil Prox died 1942. My father inherited the extensive library. A part of the inherited books had to be hidden immediately with a reliable neighbour. Emil Prox lies in the family grave Marie Nehrling on that Weimar cemetery. The gravestone inscription is only with difficulty readable: Emil Prox, assigning to A.D.

In 1923, Nehrling was working as an employee in the Thuringian Ministry of Economic Affairs when he met and later married his second wife, Hedwig Nehrling.

In 1929, Nehrling became ill with Tuberculosis. This was a long illness, finally breaking in 1931. Although employed in the Thüringer government, the National Socialists broke all relationship with the SPD in 1933 and terminated all non-National Socialist employment. Kurt and Hedwig Nehrling had immense financial problems in these years. In their dwelling they opened Homestead Way 16 (today Kurt Nehrling road) a provisional linen shop. Later moving to a corner shop at the Zeppelinplatz. At this time Kurt Nehrling joined the Social-Democratic Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, a front fighter organization formed to defend the Republic from National Socialist control.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biography at SPD-Weimar (German)