17th Location: Weingarten 54

Willi Wenig, (also known as Wagener)

Born in Paderborn, 10th September, 1913. His last known address was Weingarten 54, Minden.

His father was the Merchant and Umbrella repairer, Konrad Wagener, born 16th October, 1887, in Verden/Aller. He owned several horses which he used to transport and sell his wares. The horses were later confiscated and the owner dispossessed.

17_Willi Wenig

His mother was the Merchant, Frieda Wagener nee´ Wenig, born 5th May, 1886 in Aschersleben. She also travelled to ply her trade. Willi was born an illegitimate child.

Willi Wenig was locksmith by trade. His father admired him because he was good looking and self assured. Because his occupation as a locksmith took him to many different places his life’s path was difficult to reconstruct. From his earnings he was able to support his father and other family members.

Heinrich Himmler’s so called Auschwitz Decree was put into action whereby ` Gipsyhybride´, Sinti and Romany `gipsies´, and relations with no German blood, were sought out, using certain guidelines and, within weeks, were interned in Concentration Camps. This circle of people was called `the gipsy folk´. The internment in the concentration camp, Auschwitz Birkenau 2 (Gipsy Camp), was carried out in a ruthless manner. All persons belonging to this minority were to be eradicated.

This decree was to be fateful for Willi Wenig known as Wagener. Even though his father had been warned by the Minden Criminal Police Officer, Fleßner, that arrests were planned and that he should look for a place of safety, Willi Wenig didn’t take the warning seriously. When the police, unexpectedly, turned up there was not even enough time to escape through the window.

On 1st March, 1943, the arrest of Willi Wenig was ordered, as a Gipsy hybrid, by the Berlin Criminal Police Office, and he was to be taken to Hannover together with other Gipsies and from there

transported to Auschwitz. According to the `Auschwitz Book´ Willi was given the prisoner number 418 and due to the inhuman treatment by the guards and the catastrophic hygiene situation, died there. His date of death was given by the International Search Team, Arolsen, as 25th October, 1943. He was 30 years old at the time of his death.