Nazi Salute – Or The Lack Of

German Defiance.

nazi salute

This picture was taken on the docks of Hamburg in 1936 as a new German naval training vessel was being launched for the campaign on Europe. At this time, the terror of the Nazis engulfed all citizens in Germany.

No one was spared their dominating malice. It was common at the time to salute the new and all-powerful order and government with the infamous Nazi salute. Today, however, one man is brave enough to refuse to salute this regime of terror. Who is this revolutionary? Well, he is believed to be August Landmesser, a shipyard worker who was part of the construction team of this dock. He was an outspoken anti-Nazi idealist which may have been influenced by his Jewish wife, Irma.

As all the other citizens salute the ship, he bravely stands his ground. Refusing to show respect for something he despises so much. Landmesser was once a member of the Nazi party, as he had to join to find work, but after he settled down with Irma, he was expelled and the two were forced to register.

The Landmesser’s did have children, daughters named Ingrid and Irene. After numerous charges were brought against them for “dishonoring the Aryan race,” Irma was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. Landmesser was sent to prison and their children were taken in by strangers.

Irma would die in that camp, but August would live to be released from prison only to be drafted to the front lines and be killed in action. It was thanks to their parents’ brave sacrifices that Ingrid and Irene were allowed to grow up and live free and happy lives.