Nowak, Franz (1983-1945) aka Zigeuner (Gypsy)

A short biography of Franz Nowak, German anarchist murdered by the Nazis

Franz Nowak was born on the 30th August 1983 in Kravarn in Upper Silesia. He worked as a bricklayer foreman in the summer on building sites throughout the area. From 1907 he was under surveillance from the political police as an anarchist. He was arrested several times, including during the Kaiser’s visits to Breslau (now Wroclaw) in 1909 and 1910. From 1912-1914 he lived in Lodz which was then inside the Russian Empire. In 1915 he was jailed for several weeks in Hindenburg, and later on was conscripted as a soldier in Breslau. After 1918, he was one of the leading anarchosyndicalists in the FAUD in Upper Silesia alongside Alfons Pilarski. He lived in winter time in Kravarn (Czechoslovakia), from where he was expelled in 1922. He then lived in Waldorf bei Rückers (Kreis Glatz). From March 1933 to December 1933 he was detained in the Esterwegen concentration camp. On 28th October 1944 he was re-arrested. In January 1945 he was murdered by the Nazis at the Gross-Rosen concentration camp.
Sources: Internationalismus im Dreiländereck by Dieter Nelles at

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Jul 18 2008 12:50


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