Altona Bloody Sunday

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Bloody Sunday
Date17 July 1932
Caused byNazi rally
Parties to the civil conflict
Arrested15 Communists later arrested for role in the riots

Altona Bloody Sunday (German: Altonaer Blutsonntag) was the name given to a violent confrontation between the Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS), the police, and Communist Party (KPD) supporters on 17 July 1932 in Altona, now in Hamburg but then part of Schleswig-Holstein, a province of Prussia. The riots left 18 people dead.

Following a policy of appeasing the Nazi Party, Franz von Papen's government on 28 June 1932 lifted a ban on the SA and SS which had been in place since April. This led to recurrent riots and open street fighting between Nazis and Communists.

In July, an SA and SS demonstration through the workers' quarter of Altona was approved by Social Democratic police president Otto Eggerstedt, despite warnings by the Communists. Eggerstedt himself was on an election trip, and his deputy was on vacation. As expected, it triggered a major confrontation between 7,000 National Socialists and Altona's Communist residents, leading to massive police intervention. Eighteen people, including two SA members, were killed, most of them by police bullets. The riots were used by Papen as an excuse for his Prussian Coup on 20 July.

When the Nazi Party seized power in Germany in May 1933, 15 Communists who had been arrested were tried for murder. In addition to prison terms, four of the accused were sentenced to death and beheaded on 1 August 1933. In the 1990s, the Federal Republic of Germany reversed these convictions, declaring the convicted men innocent.

See also[edit]



  • Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-02-897502-2

Coordinates: 53°33′06″N 9°57′11″E / 53.5517°N 9.953°E / 53.5517; 9.953