June 9th, 2012 Headsman
“Keep Goethe‘s words in mind. ‘Die and become’. Don’t cry for me. I believe in a better future for you.”
-Johanna Kirchner’s last letter to her children
On this date in 1944, former social worker Johanna (“Hanna”) Kirchner was beheaded in Plotzensee Prison for treason.
These self-helping workers — both members of the socialist Social Democratic Party; Juchacz was a Reichstag member — had to flee to League of Nations-administered Saarland with the rise of the Nazi dictatorship … and from there, soon enough, on to France.
There the Vichy government arrested her in 1942 (Juchacz got out to the United States), and deported Kirchner to Germany to answer as a traitor.
She had a sentence of “only” ten years at hard labor, but the case was unexpectedly reopened in 1944 so that the cartoon villain of fascist jurisprudence, Roland Freisler, could give her a spittle-flecked death sentence for having “treasonably rooted herself in the evilest Marxist high-treason propaganda.”
Kirchner’s native Frankfurt has a Johanna-Kirchner-Straße, and in the 1990s awarded a Johanna-Kirchner-Medaille to anti-fascists.
On this day..
- 1741: Cook, Robin, Caesar and Cuffee - 2016
- 90: Cornelia, Vestal Virgin - 2015
- 1715: Margaret Gaulacher, Cotton Mather ignorer - 2014
- 1809: Andreas Bichel, Bavarian Ripper - 2013
- 1904: Mart Vowell, aged Civil War veteran - 2011
- 1716: Banda Singh Bahadur - 2010
- 1864: Doctor Edmond-Désiré Couty de la Pommerais, poisoner - 2009
- 1983: Simon Thelle Mogoerane, Jerry Mosololi and Marcus Motaung, anti-apartheid soldiers - 2008