Mourning for Ernesto Kroch (February 11th 1917 – March 11th 2012)

Text and picture: Jana Müller (AJZ Dessau)

September 2009 in the concentration camp memorial Lichtenburg

September 2009 in the concentration camp memorial Lichtenburg
Ernesto Kroch was born in Breslau on February 11th 1917 under the name of Ernst Julius Kroch. At the age of twelve he became part of the German-Jewish youth federation “Wanderbund Kameraden” and in 1932 he joined the socialist movement “Freie Deutsch-Jüdische Jugend” (Free German-Jewish Youth), which operated within the communist party opposition.
After the National Socialist assumption of power he began to take part in illegal actions, who were e.g. to warn before the militant intentions of the Nazis. In November 1934 he was arrested and sentenced to one and a half years prison. On May 9th 1936, the day of his release, he was taken into “Schutzhaft” (protective custody) and transferred to the concentration camp Lichtenburg. As a Jewish prisoner he was especial vulnerable to harassment of the SS. After 9 months imprisonment in the concentration camp Lichtenburg he needed to promise, that he would leave the German Reich within 10 days. His parents had managed to organize a Yugoslavian visa for him. When in the end of 1938 his temporary residence permit expired and he was facing a deportation to Germany, Ernesto succeeded in immigrating to Uruguay on December 26th 1938.
Both of his siblings fled to Palestine. But none had managed to safe their parents from the Nazi regime. At first his parents refused to leave their hometown. Only in autumn 1941 they realized that they had no other opportunity. The last message that Ernesto received was written in Theresienstadt. Later he got to know that his father Ludwig Kroch was killed in Theresienstadt and his mother Elly Kroch was deported from there to Auschwitz, where she got murdered.
In June 1973 the military of Uruguay seized power. 1975 the son of Ernesto was imprisoned. Also during the military dictatorship Ernesto took part in labor union activities in the underground movement. In 1983 he fled to West-Germany, as he was threatened with arrest. In November 1984 he returned to Uruguay. His autobiography “Home in exile – exile in home” was published in 1990.
In Frankfurt am Main on March 11th 2012 Ernesto passed away after a long illness. With him we lose an upright and loving man, who committed himself his whole live politically against all resistances.

Brochure of the LAP in the administrative district Wittenberg

Attached, you will find the brochure of the local plan of actions (LAP) “We in favour of diversity” in the administrative district Wittenberg. It contains an overview over the projects that were realized in 2011 and introduces shortly the main protagonists.

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