The "Köpenick Week of Blood" ("Köpenicker Blutwoche") took place in late June 1933 and marked the height of early SA terror and violence in Berlin. Several hundred SA storm troopers kidnapped and tortured up to 500 political opponents and Jews. At least 23 people died.
The immediate cause for the targeted detentions was the nationwide ban of the "Deutschnationaler Kampfring" (the youth organisation of the German National People's Party or "DNVP") and the SPD political party. As the week of terror progressed, SPD-member Anton Schmaus shot and killed three SA storm troopers in defence, at which point the violence escalated. Joseph Goebbels – who was "Gauleiter" ("district leader") of Berlin and thus largely responsible for the terror in the capital – capitalised on the death of the three storm troopers for propaganda purposes and stylized them as "blood witnesses" of the Nazi movement.
Köpenick's courthouse prison served as the coordination point for the arrest and torture of prisoners. A new permanent exhibition was opened here in June 2013 to mark the 80th anniversary of the Köpenick Week of Blood. The exhibition pinpoints the events in the context of the Nazi national consolidation of power in 1933 and shows very clearly the extent to which these actions in June were a "test case" for the Nazi leadership. In other words, it became clear to the Nazis that they could torture and murder their opponents without any resistance from police, the courts and society in general.
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- Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
- Friday-Saturday closed
- Sunday 14:00 - 18:00
Puchanstraße 12, 12555 Berlin
+49 (30) 902 97-3351
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