Scrapbookpages Blog

January 15, 2013

Georg Scherer was appointed mayor of Dachau after World War II ended

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:21 pm

I am writing a new post in response to some information supplied by The Black Rabbit of Inlé in a comment.

This quote is from a comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé:

Harold Marcuse writes:

“Lochridge, who used pseudonyms in the article, wrote that the tour group was selected by the “newly liberated” and “newly appointed” mayor of Dachau. The person who most closely fits the bill is Georg Scherer, a participant in the 28 April uprising. Scherer, however, was released well before liberation, and was not “imprisoned for helping a French boy escape slave labor,” as Lochridge wrote.”

I was pleased to learn that Pat Lochridge used pseudonyms in her article about the tour of Dachau, taken by residents of the town of Dachau.  She mentioned, in her article about the tour of Dachau, that the mayor of the town was the “newly liberated” and “newly appointed” mayor of Dachau.  The name that she gave was the name of a man that I had never heard of.

I didn’t realize that Lochridge was using pseudonyms.  Who does that?  Lochridge was a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.  You can be sure that a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism would not have done that.

Grave of Georg Scherer in the Old Cemetery in Dachau

Grave of Georg Scherer in the Old Cemetery in the town of Dachau

The photograph above shows the grave of Georg Scherer, a Dachau resident who was a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp for five years. After the camp was liberated, Scherer was appointed Deputy Mayor of Dachau by the American Military.

Scherer had been sent to the Dachau concentration camp on December 22, 1935 because of his anti-Nazi Communist activity, but was released on January 17, 1941. As a prisoner, Georg was living at the same place where he had served an apprenticeship as a lathe operator in 1921 at the German Industrial Works which was located on the site of the former gunpowder factory.  The Dachau camp was established on the site of the former factory in 1933.

After he was released from the Dachau concentration camp, Scherer continued to work in a factory, located in the SS garrison, which was right next to the concentration camp.

On April 28, 1945, the day before American Soldiers arrived to liberate Dachau, Scherer led the Dachau Uprising in which residents of the town joined escaped prisoners in fighting against the SS soldiers. Another prisoner, Walter Neff, also remained at the camp after his release, working as an assistant to Dr. Rascher in his medical experiments. Neff also participated in helping the Dachau prisoners to escape and in planning the uprising.

Chapel in the old cemetery where Georg Scherer is buried

Chapel in the old Dachau cemetery where Georg Scherer is buried

Dachau’s oldest existing burial plot is the Altfriedhof, which means Old Cemetery in German. It is located on Gottesackerstrasse, which is just off Augsbergerstrasse, one of the two main streets in the town. Gottersacker means “God’s own acre.” This cemetery was started in 1571 after the original cemetery in the churchyard of St. Jakob’s Church was filled up.

A beautiful Baroque chapel, called the Chapel of the Holy Cross, was built here between 1627-1628. This Chapel was dedicated in 1961 to Dachau’s war dead. The photograph above shows the Chapel with graves in front of it.

Grave of four men who fought Communists

Memorial stone for 4 soldiers who fought the Communists in Dachau

The photo above shows the Görlitz Memorial for 4 soldiers who fought the Communists in the town of Dachau. This is the final resting place of four men of the Freikorps Görlitz, a militia group which fought the Red Army of the Communists.

The names on the grave stone shown above are 2nd Lieutenant Bertram, Muskateer Labuke, Private Hauk, and Gunner Hilbig. They were killed near the village of Pellheim, just outside the town of Dachau, on April 30, 1919. They were engaged in a battle against the Communists who had set up a Soviet government in the state of Bavaria, after overthrowing the imperial government, under their Jewish leader Kurt Eisner, on November 7, 1918.

The memorial stone for the men who died while liberating the town of Dachau from the Communists was set in place on April 29, 1934. Ironically, on this same date eleven years later, the American Seventh Army liberated their Communist allies from the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau.

Many of the men who later became top Nazi leaders fought with other divisions of the Freikorp, including Heinrich Himmler, the man who set up the first concentration camp at Dachau. The first 200 prisoners brought to the Dachau camp on March 22, 1933 were Communists who had been taken into “protective custody” because they were considered to be “enemies of the state.”

In the early days of the Dachau concentration camp, the bodies were not burned, as there was as yet no threat of epidemics, and cremation was not customary back then. The first prisoners who died in the concentration camp were brought to the Old Cemetery to be buried. One of the first to be buried here was a Communist member of the Reichstag, 32-year-old Franz Stenzer, who was “shot while attempting to escape” from the Dachau concentration camp on August 22, 1933. In those days, a death in the camp was a big event and the SS men even attended the funerals.