Udo Grashoff: Luise Schröter – Traitor or Scapegoat? On the Gestapo-Employment of the Communist Courier in 1935

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2014. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 157–170.

After a remarkable recovery from the first wave of repression the illegal communist party in the Halle-Merseburg district was all but shattered by the Gestapo by the beginning of 1935. Many Communists blamed former courier Luise Schröter for the hundreds of arrests that took place. Indeed, Schröter lured some of her comrades into a Gestapo trap and apparently acted, after being released from prison, increasingly on her own initiative. But was she able to cause the arrest of hundreds of communists? And was she a stoolpigeon before her own arrest? Exaggerated accusations by former comrades can be understood as an attempt to personalize negative feelings after suffering arrest and torture. In addition, some of the communists also tried to use this as an opportunity to cover up their own weakness and betrayal of the Communist Party when confronted by the Gestapo.

Über den Autor

Udo Grashoff, Dr. phil., geb 1966 in Halle (Saale), 1986–1992 Studium der Biochemie, 1993–1999 Studium der Geschichte, Germanistik und Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft, konzeptionelle Mitarbeit an vier zeitgeschichtlichen Ausstellungen, zahlreiche Radiofeatures für öffentlich-rechtliche Sender, 2006 Promotion, seit 2008 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Zeitgeschichte der Universität Leipzig, derzeit Arbeit an Habilitation zum Thema »Verrat im kommunistischen Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus 1933–45«. Veröffentlichungen u. a.: Schwarzwohnen. Die Unterwanderung der staatlichen Wohnraumlenkung in der DDR, Göttingen 2011; »In einem Anfall von Depression ...« Selbsttötungen in der DDR, Berlin 2006.