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Courage: August Landmesser’s Courage Refusal

The picture you have just analyzed is believed to show Hamburg, Germany, shipyard worker August Landmesser (1910 –1944) refusing to perform the Nazi salute at the launch of a naval training vessel in June 1936. Landmesser joined the Nazi Party in 1931 but was expelled in 1935 and served jail time for his crime of Rassenschande (dishonoring the race) when he married a Jewish woman. He was drafted to serve in World War II after being released, and he is believed to have been killed in 1944. His wife was taken by the Gestapo (Nazi political police) and sent to three different concentration camps. She is believed to have been killed at the Bernburg Euthanasia Center. The Landmessers’ two children survived the war.

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