Memorial stone at the former St Georg General Hospital
On 30 July 1943, eight patients registered as ‘Russian’ nationals were murdered in St Georg General Hospital by the Gestapo. The patients were part of a group of forced labours who were being treated at the hospital. Two days before they were murdered, Hamburg’s hospitals had been as far as possible evacuated because British planes were continually bombing the city, and German patients were moved to areas outside the city.
There was nowhere for the forced labourers in the hospital to take shelter, so on the night of 29 July 1943, 72 of them fled the hospital to escape the bombing. In retaliation by command of higher SS and police leader Graf Georg Henning von Bassewitz-Behr, eight of the twenty remaining forced labourers were shot in front of their fellow patients at noon the following day. Since he considered such harsh examples necessary for maintaining order, SS Reich Leader Heinrich Himmler commended Bassewitz-Behr on the same day by telegraph and declared that he expected ‘the same decisive measures to be taken in any similar case’.
A memorial stone dedicated to the victims was placed outside the hospital on 8 May 1995 on the initiative of the Geschichtswerkstatt St Georg (a local history association) and the St Georg General Hospital.