“… a bit of freedom”

The journalist Josef Ackermann of Munich had already been in concentration camp custody for more than five years, first in Buchenwald and since January 1944 in Dora. The Gestapo had arrested him when the war broke out. Having served as a clerk in the pathology department at Buchenwald and for the camp physician in Dora, he knew more than many others about the crimes of the SS.

Ackermann was in touch with his family by mail. He could not tell them about his experiences, as his letters were subject to censorship. In his postcard of 4 February 1945, the 49-year-old therefore once again wrote about life outside the barbed wire. There is nevertheless a certain undertone to his message: “Of my abode I will likely find no more than some rubble, but in the future none of that will matter anymore. More than that will go to pieces! […] I myself am well and lack nothing except a bit of freedom.

In April, Ackermann managed to escape from a death march. He later testified in court repeatedly about the crimes committed in the camps.

(Michael Löffelsender)


Source: Postcard from Josef Ackermann to Fritzi Ertler, 4 February 1945 (Buchenwald Memorial).