Erna Dorn
Erna Dorn was born June 17, 1911 in Germany. During the Nazi period she joined the
Gestapo, and from 1941 she worked in the concentration camp Ravensbrück. After the
war Erna changed her identity, and joined the Communist Party in East Germany. However a
smaller offence brought her to prison. She had difficulties to maintain her false identity, and in
the end she was revealed and sentenced to 15 years of prison.
On June 17, 1953 there were anti communist riots in East Germany. Erna was liberated along
with other prisoners, but she was captured again the same day. It is still unclear how Erna
spend her few hours of freedom.
The riots had started as a workers demonstration, but they rapidly gained public support. The
communist government needed Soviet troups to fight down the riots.
It was convenient for the authorities to use Erna to explain the riots as an attemted coup
d'Etat by fascists trying to reestablish the old nazi-regime.
Erna was condemned to death and guillotined in Dresden on October 1, 1953 at 4:00 a.m.
Immediately after the execution she was placed in a coffin with her head placed between her