Richard Hüttig

Richard Hüttig was from Bottendorf in Thüringen and moved to Berlin in his youth. He worked as a brick-layer, lived in a working-class neighbourhood of Charlottenburg and joined the Rote Jungfront (Red Youth Front) of the German Communist Party, the KPD. From 1930, he led the Häuserschutzstaffel (House Protection Squadron) of the newly founded “Kampfbund gegen den Faschismus” (Combat Alliance against Fascism) in his neighbourhood, “Kleiner Wedding”. The aim was to protect the houses and their residents from attack by SA Stormtroopers. In the early months of 1933, there were numerous street battles between SA members and the communists of the Combat Alliance, during one of which, on February 17, 1933, the SS Scharführer (Squadron Leader) von der Ahé was shot dead.
On the advice of friends, Hüttig left Berlin for a short while. In June 1933, he returned and tried to re-organize the House Protection Squadron, which had been decimated by arrests. He and other members were arrested in a raid in September and taken to the Gestapo prison Columbiadamm – later to become Columbiahaus Concentration Camp – and badly beaten. With the declared intention of having a deterrent effect on resistance activities by means of a death sentence against the main defendant Hüttig, he and 16 other men were put on trial on February 1, 1934. Although the court acknowledged in its verdict that there was no evidence against Hüttig, he was sentenced to death for “severe breach of the peace and attempted murder”. The other members of the Charlottenburg House Protection Squadron received lengthy prison sentences. On June 14, 1934, Richard Hüttig was executed in Plötzensee Prison. He was the first political prisoner to be put to death there.