The man who refused to perform the Nazi salute

Berlin, September 27, 2010.- A photograph of World War II, shows the courage of a man who made history by refusing to perform the Nazi salute.

This is August Landmesser, who in 1936 was in Hamburg where the German navy vessel Horst Wessel was thrown into the sea. That day, Adolf Hitler was there as well.

Landmesser was arrested some time later because he tried to marry Irma Eckler, a woman who had Jewish blood, as he violated the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor. As they could not marry, he was convicted because the extra-marital sexual relations between Jews and Germans were forbidden.

Consequently he was sent to forced labor and his wife was transferred to Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she died in January 1942.

Landmesser was released in 1941 and forced to join the I Battalion of parole “999″. Since the end of that year it was no longer hear from him, suggesting he died in one of the battles in which the battalion participated.

The couple had two daughters who were raised in one of the many homes for orphans after World War II.

In 1991, a daughter recognized her father in the picture and as a result, we know the story of someone who is considered a symbol of individual courage and conscientious objection.

The image can be seen in the documentation center Topography of Terror located where until 1945 were the focus of the Gestapo, the SS and the Central Security Office in Berlin.

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