Kurt Eisner, jr.

1903 (Berlin) - 1942 (KZ Buchenwald)

Politician



(Hans) Kurt Eisner, Jr. was born in Berlin on 4 December 1903. His father was the Bavarian minister-president Kurt Eisner (Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany, USPD), who was murdered in 1919. Beginning in the mid 1920s, Kurt Eisner, Jr. worked for the film and photography services department of the Reich Committee for Socialist Education. He started his own business, opening a photo and film studio on Belle-Alliance-Platz in Berlin. The studio was located near the party headquarters of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and likely also served as a front for the resistance group z.b.V., which, starting in 1931, prepared for the National Socialist assumption of power by organizing weapons, setting up a secret radio network and training radio operators.

On 7 March 1933, when the building that housed the Social Democratic newspaper Vorwärts in Berlin was raided, Eisner and his fiancée were arrested, along with several others. The charge cited for the arrest was "illegal taking of photographs". This was followed by incarceration in the Berlin-Spandau and Brandenburg-Görden prisons and their internment in Lichtenburg Concentration Camp. In September 1936, Eisner was taken from Esterwegen Concentration Camp to Sachsenhausen and from there to Dachau in February 1937. As a "political inmate" and a Jew, he was transferred to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in September 1938 and assigned to the quarry detachment. He later managed to be given easier work in the joinery, probably followed by work in the vegetable garden. During a search of his detachment’s workshop, the SS discovered sixty bars of soap that did not belong to him. He refused to name the thief and took the blame.

Kurt Eisner, Jr. was subsequently killed by lethal injection in the inmates’ infirmary on 26 August 1942.