This is the forth article on the trail of Horst wessel and what remains in Germany from this episode of history today. This was my second trip to Bielefeld within a week and I thank the people who have helped me in any way with this project.
On 14th June 1939, Reichsminister Dr. Robert Ley, led a tour of Bielefeld during a visit of the Party "Old Guard" to Westfalia (Westfalenfahrt der Alte Garde). During this visit a statue of Horst Wessel was unvailed in a ceremony on the Alfred Bozi Strasse, which was known as Hindenburg Strasse in 1939.
The Horst Wessel statue designed and made by Ernst Paul Hinckeldey in 1939 no longer exists, it was melted down to help the war effort in 1945. The stone plinth was removed in 1946 and later the road was widened, all that remains today are a few press cuttings and the buildings in the background allowing us to re-locate the exact position of where it once stood.
The Alfred Bozi Strasse, which was known as the Hindenburg Strasse during the Third Reich
The Photo of the statue of Horst Wessel taken on the 14th June 1939 on the former "Hindenburg Strasse" (Photo: Stadtarchiv Bielefeld)
The position today, the statue would have been on the edge of the pavement just to the right of the trees and the white traffic sign
Dr. Robert Ley whould have been standing near the blue sign marked "MUSIKSCHULE" to the right of the picture
As can be seen from this newspaper cutting, the building with the blue window frames has changed totally today (the position can only be recognized today by the building to the left which is out of shot, luckily the picture from the Stadtarchiv shows the position much better and makes a comparison possible
The only building that remains unchanged in the original photo
Take a look again. See the four windows in a row and the doorway support in the large red circle. The flagpole holder above the door in the smaller circle.
If the NSKK man had stood a tiny bit to the left a comparison would have been much more difficult
Once again, the door entrance support marked in the red square and in the small red square, the flagpole holder where the Swastika flag once flew
Bill Medland standing only a few meters from the statues original position
On this, the second trip to Bielefeld I travelled alone and to obtain a picture of myself standing next to the site, I asked a homeless man if he would take the picture for me, which he then did and I gave him a few coins for a beer. He then went on to tell me some of the history and told me that there was a statue of Bismarck only a few hundred meters further on.
One of the many bronze plaques placed in German streets today showing where victims of the Third Reich once lived, like the person here, not all were Jewish
Heinrich Schwarze did not belong to any political party and he was active in astrology. It would seem that he had been arrested several times during the Third Reich which led to his being shot in 1943. His house was only a stones throw away from the statue on the Alfred Bozi Strasse, I wonder if he protested during the ceremony that Dr. Robert Ley attended? We will never really know.
Although nothing to do with this article, this statue of Bismarck sits some two hundred meters further on, in a small park
As you can see by the date, Bismarck has stood there for some one hundred and ten years (Feb.1902). However, unlike Horst Wessel, Bismarcks statue was not melted down at the end of the war to help the war effort