August Landmesser, shipyard worker in Hamburg, refused to perform Nazi salute (photo):
It was Nazi Germany in 1936, and a crowd of people had gathered in Hamburg to watch the launch of a navy training vessel. As hundreds raised their arms in unison in the Nazi salute, one man stood with his arms crossed, his eyes squinting at whoever was leading the salute.
It was not until 1991 that the man was identified as August Landmesser, a worker at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, by one of his children, after she saw the photo in a German newspaper.
Landmesser apparently had a very personal reason not to make the salute .. While he is believed to have been a member of the Nazi Party from 1931 to 1935, he was later expelled from the party for marrying a Jewish woman, Irma Eckler .. After Landmesser fathered two daughters with Irma, he was sent to jail for “dishonoring the race.” Irma is believed to have been detained by the Gestapo in the Fuhlsbüttel police prison in Hamburg. Their children were separated .. Landmesser was discharged from prison in 1941 but was soon drafted to serve in the war. He was later declared missing in action and believed dead.