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Siren with which Hans Adam is said to have given the start signal for the strike



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1894:   born in Ansbach (D)

1912:    worker at Arbed steelworks in Esch-Schifflange (L) (machine shop, rolling mill and Arbed mines)

1921:    workers’ representative; leads strike movement in the Esch-Schifflange rolling mill, resulting in a violent incident against a superior; consequence: Hans Adam is to be extradited to Germany

1928:   wants to become a Luxembourger (naturalization); this is not possible and he remains stateless

1941:    works for Ons Zeidong, newspaper of the ALWERAJE resistance group

1942:   member of the strike committee at the Esch-Schifflange steelworks; death sentence and beheading in Cologne (DE)
Hans Adam is said to have hung this hook on the siren to give the strike signal

Parmi nous il y avait l’ouvrier héroïque qui actionna la sirène donnant le signal de la grève générale du 31 août. Je fus frappé par sa manière de rester toujours debout. Il se maintenait avec les coudes appuyés transversalement sur les barreaux en fer de notre enclos.
Luigi Peruzzi, Mes Mémoires, 1969

Heinrich “Hans” Adam worked at the Esch-Schifflange steelworks from 1912 to 1942. He was an active trade unionist and took part in strikes in June 1917 and March 1921, where he led the strike movement in the rolling mill as a workers’ representative. Because of a violent incident at the plant, an order was issued for his expulsion to Germany. During the German occupation, Adam was active in the resistance. On 31 August 1942, after the announcement of compulsory military service, he was part of the strike committee at the Schifflange factory. The committee called for the staff to go out on strike. Hans Adam gave the strike signal and fled. He was arrested the same day for “refusing to work” but released on 1 September. A week later he was arrested once again and imprisoned. He confessed under Gestapo torture. On 10 September he was brought before a special court and sentenced to death. That same evening he was taken to Cologne-Klingelpütz prison (DE) and beheaded there on 11 September.
As this worker recounted after the war, Hans Adam used a siren on 31 August 1942 to signal to the strikers to down their tools.
The execution of Heinrich Adam was announced in the press on 11 September 1942. Adam was described as the mastermind of the strike and a “traitor to the people”.
Der Angeklagte hat durch diese Tat entgegen den deutschen Interessen zur Arbeitssabotage aufgefordert. Wer aber die Arbeit in einem kriegswichtigen Betriebe sabotiert, fällt der kämpfenden deutschen Truppe in den Rücken. Seine Tat wiegt besonders schwer, weil er als geborener Reichsdeutscher sich auf die Seite widerstrebender Elemente geschlagen hat. Er hat sich damit außerhalb der Volksgemeinschaft gestellt und sein Leben verwirkt.

Escher Tageblatt, newspaper article, 11 Sept. 1942
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