My dear mother
I want to send you my last wishes
because I won’t see any of you again. I wish
all of you
the best of health
and a long
My dear mother
Meine liebe Mutter
Ich will euch meine[n] letzte[n]
[da] ich [euch] nicht mehr
sehen [werde.] Ich wü[ns]che
euch eine gute
und ein la[n]ges
Themutno Arhivo Freiburg im Breisgau, F 179/1, Nr. 249
Miri drago daje
Me mangav te bičhalav tumenge
mire palune manglipa
kaj či ka dikhav tumen palem.
Mangav tumenge sa lačho
thaj lungo trajo.
Rights held by: Anton Reinhardt | Provided by: State Archive Freiburg im Breisgau – Federal State Archive Baden-Wuerttemberg (Freiburg im Breisgau/Germany) | Archived under: F 179/1 / Nr. 249
This is the farewell letter that the 17-year-old Sinto Anton Reinhardt wrote to his family shortly before being shot dead. Born in the village of Weiden, on the edge of the Black Forest, on 10 June 1927, Anton had a relatively sheltered upbringing, living with his parents, Elvira and Ludwig Reinhardt and his two siblings. After the early death of his father, Anton’s mother married the Sinto Johann Bühler, whose surname Anton uses in the letter.
Like all German Sinti, he fell into the clutches of the NS state. In August 1944 he was to be forcibly sterilised. Having fled, he covered a distance of 100 kilometres on foot, swam across the Rhine, and reached the Swiss town of Koblenz in the canton of Aargau. He was arrested there on 25 August 1944 and taken to the Zurzach district prison. Despite his desperate pleas, the Swiss police released him on German territory on 8 September 1944. Anton Reinhardt was arrested, sent to the Schirmeck-Vorbruch security camp, and was in in Sulz in March 1945, a satellite camp of the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp. He managed to escape, but was then captured by a unit of the German People`s Militia ‘Volkssturm’ on 30 March 1945 and sentenced to death by a tribunal. On the morning of 31 March 1945 – it was Easter Saturday – he was forced to dig a small pit before SS Captain Karl Hauger shot him in the back of the neck. The only mercy shown Anton Reinhardt was the writing of this farewell letter.
On 30 October 1959, the Offenburg Jury Court found Karl Hauger and Franz Wilpfler guilty of jointly committing manslaughter, sentencing them to prison terms of seven years and six months, and four years, respectively. In 1961 both were set free.
- Anton Reinhardt (Author) (Bad Rippoldsau, German Empire)