Erfurt (Germany): Squat evicted on 16th April. Factory demolished.

The squat in Erfurt/Germany was located at the area of the former company Topf & Söhne. During the period of National-socialism in Germany this company produced crematories as well as parts of the gas chambers for concentration- and extermination camps like Buchenwald and Auschwitz. In the early hours of 16th April 2009 the squat in Erfurt was evicted. The eviction started around 6 am with cops rappeling from helicopters to some roofs of the squatted area. At the same time they broke into the backside of the area with a special tank and demolishing gear. The eviction was lead by the SEK (a special force of the german police), with the use of teargas. In the upper floor of the squat some persons who were chained to a concrete block could delay the eviction for some time. Around 9.30 am all people had been removed from the squatted area. All the people from the area and the people from a sitting blockade in front of the squatted area were arrested. All of them were released in the next day, but there will surely be charges against them. Immediately after the eviction all buildings on the squatted area were destroyed – so now what’s left of our squat is a heap of ruins. All other historical buildings on the non-squatted part of the area had been destroyed in the last months before the eviction. Now the former administration building is the only building which is left and should become a historical place.

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Erfurt: Topf & Söhne to be demolished?

In 2001, a group of antifascist activists connected to the anti-German movement occupied the long-abandoned Topf & Söhne factory grounds in Erfurt, Germany, where the crematoriums for the Nazi death camps were manufactured.

From the decaying shambles they forged a dozen apartments, a free kitchen, studio & rehearsal spaces, a performance space, a free store, and a museum documenting the crimes that occurred there. They also succeeded in building a community which has become a locus for organized resistance to resurgent fascism in Germany’s east, which is an ever-present and ever-growing threat.

Local authorities intend to evict the Topf & Söhne squatters. A new owner has acquired the property and plans to demolish the site, erasing both historical evidence of the Nazi atrocities and an important community resource, so that the land can be redeveloped into a commercial complex. Only one structure, the administrative offices, will remain as an official historical site, a concession earned through the continued agitation of the squatters and allied local citizens to preserve the entirety of the site.

The squatters themselves, who have struggled nobly, will be left without a home. They nonetheless intend to stick it out, awaiting the inevitable showdown. Stand up to defend community, historical memory, and grassroots resistance! Please contact your local German consular and ask them to intervene to stop the eviction and demolition of Topf & Söhne.


Source Indy UK