Kurt Schumacher (sculptor)
Kurt Schumacher was a sculptor and Communist member of the German Resistance
German Resistance
The German resistance was the opposition by individuals and groups in Germany to Adolf Hitler or the National Socialist regime between 1933 and 1945. Some of these engaged in active plans to remove Adolf Hitler from power and overthrow his regime...

 against National Socialism. He was married to the painter and graphic designer, Elisabeth Schumacher
Elisabeth Schumacher
Elisabeth Schumacher, née Hohenemser, was an artist and resistance fighter in the Third Reich. She belonged to the Red Orchestra resistance group.- Life :...

 and was in the Red Orchestra.


Schumacher was born in Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

. As a 14-year old, he moved to Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 to begin an apprenticeship with a wood carver. He first worked with Berlin wood carver Alfred Böttcher. Subsequently, he worked and studied with Ludwig Gies, first at the School of the Museum of Decorative Arts
Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin
The Kunstgewerbemuseum, or Museum of Decorative Arts, is an internationally important museum of the decorative arts in Berlin, Germany, part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin...

 (Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums), then in 1935, as a master student at the Vereinigten Staatsschulen für Freie und Angewandte Kunst (VSS), the State School of Free and Applied Arts in Berlin.

Beginning in 1932, he worked at the journal, Der Gegner ("The Adversary"), where he met Harro Schulze-Boysen
Harro Schulze-Boysen
Heinz Harro Max Wilhelm Georg Schulze-Boysen was a German officer, commentator, and German Resistance fighter against German dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi régime.- Early life :...

. Schulze-Boysen and his wife, Libertas
Libertas Schulze-Boysen
Libertas Schulze-Boysen, born Libertas Viktoria Haas-Heye was a German opponent of the Nazis who belonged to the Red Orchestra resistance group during the Third Reich.- Early years :Schulze-Boysen spent her childhood at her grandfather's estate Philip, Prince of Eulenburg and Hertefeld...

 introduced him to Hans Coppi
Hans Coppi
Hans Coppi was a German Red Orchestra resistance fighter against the Third Reich.- Life before World War II :...

, Heinrich Scheel and Eugen Neutert. Political discussions strengthened their growing resistance to Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...


The atelier at the VSS became a "conspiracy bulletin board," where people from the Resistance were able to associate under the guise of working as models
Model (art)
Art models are models who pose for photographers, painters, sculptors, and other artists as part of their work of art. Art models who pose in the nude for life drawing are usually called life models...

. In 1934, Schumacher got married to painter and graphic artist, Elisabeth Hohenemser
Elisabeth Schumacher
Elisabeth Schumacher, née Hohenemser, was an artist and resistance fighter in the Third Reich. She belonged to the Red Orchestra resistance group.- Life :...


In 1939, Schumacher helped an escapee from Aschendorf-Moor Prison, Rudolf Bergtel, flee to Switzerland. In 1941, he was drafted to serve in the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

, where, risking great danger, he published a leaflet called "Open Letter to the Eastern Front," in 1942. He also gave shelter to a parachute agent, Albert Hößler, who arrived from Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 in early August 1942.

In protest of the National Socialist attack on Gies, Schumacher resigned his privileged position as master student. (The designation meant he had his "own" atelier
A studio is an artist's or worker's workroom, or the catchall term for an artist and his or her employees who work within that studio. This can be for the purpose of architecture, painting, pottery , sculpture, scrapbooking, photography, graphic design, filmmaking, animation, radio or television...

 – albeit shared – with Fritz Cremer
Fritz Cremer
Fritz Cremer was a German sculptor of catholic extraction who turned to communism in the 1920s. Originally a stone-cutter, he studied at Berlin and got a government grant for the German academy in Rome, Villa Massimo, from 1937 to 1938...

During Schumacher's arrest on September 12, 1942, the Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 destroyed his studio in Berlin, including a large amount of his artwork. Surviving works by Schumacher include two medalions he designed on the Schleusenbrücke (bridge) in Berlin, a basalt head and a printing block for the illustration, "Dance of the Dead" (Totentanz) at the German Historical Museum (Deutsche Historische Museum).

There is a 1941 painting by Carl Baumann called "Rote Kapelle Berlin" at the Academy of the Arts (Akademie der Künste), where Schumacher's Resistance group often met.

On December 19, 1942, Schumacher was sentenced to death by the Reichskriegsgericht. Three days later, on December 22, 1942, he was hanged at Plötzensee Prison
Plötzensee Prison
Plötzensee Prison was a Prussian institution built in Berlin between 1869 and 1879 near the lake Plötzensee, but in the neighbouring borough of Charlottenburg, on Hüttigpfad off Saatwinkler Damm. During Adolf Hitler's time in power from 1933 to 1945, more than 2,500 people were executed at...

, just forty-five minutes before his wife was executed.


Schumacher received an award for a figurative sculpture in 1932 from the Akademie der Künste
Akademie der Künste
The Akademie der Künste, Berlin is an arts institution in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1696 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution where members could meet and discuss and share ideas...



  • Christine Fischer-Defoy: Kunst Macht Politik. Die Nazifizierung der Kunst- und Musikhochschulen in Berlin. Elefanten Press, Berlin (1988)
  • Gert Rosiejka: Die Rote Kapelle. „Landesverrat“ als antifaschistischer Widerstand. With an introduction by Heinrich Scheel. Hamburg (1986) ISBN 3-925622-16-0
  • Luise Kraushaar, Deutsche Widerstandskämpfer 1933 bis 1945. Berlin (1970) Vol. 2, p. 230

External links

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