25th Location: Weserstraße 12

Alexander Strauß, born 6thOctober, 1883 in Schewitz, District of Treblitz.

Otto Strauß, born 27th October, 1911 in Schotmar, the last known address of both men being Weserstrasse 12, Minden.

Alexander Strauss was a catholic. According to the Register of Deaths and Marriages of the Cathedral Community, Minden, he married Alwine Fischer, born 26th August, 1889, in Bruchhausen, District of Hoya on 21st April, 1908. The marriage produced five children.

Alexander Strauss’ trade was that of a horse dealer and he earned additional income with a barrel organ that he owned. He25_Alexander Strauss visited fairs and markets and was seen as a capable business man with high earnings. He and his family were well situated, lived comfortably and were considered to be well off.

Alexander Strauss, his wife and their children were taken to the concentration at Auschwitz as the result of the so called Auschwitz Order issued by Himmler. This order included Sinti, Romanys and Gipsyhybride, to be taken to concentration camps and killed. Alexander Strauss had been warned of the impending arrests by a Minden Criminal Department policeman, Flessner. He listened to the warning but didn’t really believe that it would take place. After all, he was a respected person who had a good business, paid his taxes and whose behaviour was irreproachable. At 4.30 in the morning the whole family, together with other Minden gipsies, were arrested and delivered to the Minden Court Prison. On 4th March, 1943, they were taken to Hannover and from there to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

Alexander Strauss was given the Prisoner Number 426 according to an entry in the main register of the Gipsy Camp for men. His son, Otto Strauss, was given the number 425.25_Otto Strauss

Alwine Strauss and four of her children survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps, but Alexander Strauss and his physically disabled son, Otto Strauss, didn’t survive the hell of Auschwitz. According to witnesses Otto died of Typhus after eight weeks, caused by the conditions in the camp. According to the statements of witnesses and family members Alexander Strauss was mishandled by the guards. He was hit with coshes and whipped, especially in the area of his kidneys, while tied to the infamous Buck.. He died, as the  result  this torture, in the arms of his youngest son, Heino Strauss, on 31st December, 1943. The cause of death was quoted as being Heart and Circulation problems.

At the laying of the Stumbling Stone, on 12th March, 2011, Hans Strauss stated:

`We would like it to be noted: The Stumbling Stone should act as a warning. It mustn’t be used to stir hate. The name Flessner is, since that time, a term in our family, a name that even our children know. Mr Flessner didn’t just warn our grandfather, he also returned grandfather’s confiscated identity pass to his oldest son. With a travel pass, written by him personally, our uncle, Hugo Strauss and his wife, Dorothea Strauss, were able to flee the country. That’s why we should also remember the helpers who, in those dangerous times, put their own lives and those of their families at risk.´