Willi Belz

born 07.03.1915 Kassel
died 16.05.2003

Willi Belz
[Translate to englisch:] Familie Belz um 1930. Konrad Belz (sitzend), Willi Belz (links stehend). (Stolpersteine Kassel e.V.)

Profession Draftsman, journalist
Last place of residence Kassel
Reason of detention Preparing high treason


Willi Belz grew up in a working-class family in Kassel. Early on, he had become involved in the communist youth movement.

Shortly after the Nazis seized power in March 1933, the SA attacked and destroyed the Belz family home. Konrad, father of the family and member of the district management of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and his two sons, Willi and Ernst, were abducted and brought to the Gastätte Bürgersäle, a restaurant in Kassel that the SA used as a torture site. Here Konrad Belz was badly abused and eventually transferred to the Breitenau concentration camp. A few years later, Konrad Belz died of the injuries inflicted by the abuse.

His son Willi Belz, on the other hand, was able to maintain his freedom for the time being and became an important point of contact within the communist resistance in Kassel. He acted as the contact person for the Central Committee in Berlin, provided accommodation to messengers, distributed flyers and secretly hoisted the red flag. In October 1933, Willi Belz and other members of the Young Communist League were arrested in Berlin. They fell victim to a Gestapo trap. Willi Belz was transferred to the police prison in Kassel and from there to the Breitenau concentration camp on 8 December 1933. On 23 March 1934, he was sentenced to two years in prison for preparing high treason, which he would serve in prison in Halle. After that, he was brought to the Lichtenburg concentration camp from which he was released in 1936. Back in Kassel, he re-established contact with the communist resistance. In 1941, however, he was called up for military service and sent to the Soviet Union in 1943. It was here that he managed to defect to the Red Army where he became part of the National Committee for a Free Germany (Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland, NKFD). The NKFD was an association of anti-fascist German prisoners of war and exiled communists.

In 1947, Willi Belz returned to Kassel. A convinced communist, he ran for the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD), then for the German Peace Union (Deutsche Friedensunion, DFU) after the KPD was banned, the Action of Democratic Progress (Aktion Demokratischer Fortschritt, ADF), and finally for the German Communist Party (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, DKP). He was also a co-founder of the Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime (Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes, VVN) in Kassel. In addition to his political offices, he worked as an editor for the Sozialistischen Volkszeitung, a socialist newspaper, and published a book on anti-fascist resistance in 1960. He also released a two-volume publication on the post-war history of Kassel. Even in his old age, Willi Belz continued to visit schools and give speeches to raise awareness of the Nazi era.

Willi Belz
[Translate to englisch:] Familie Belz um 1930. Konrad Belz (sitzend), Willi Belz (links stehend). (Stolpersteine Kassel e.V.)