Wilhelm Daene was a metallurgic worker in Berlin. After 1933 he was arrested several times by the Gestapo due to his social democrat and union militancy. During the war he worked in a armament factory in Berlín-Wittennau, where he was responsible of the Jewish worker women forced to hard work, whom he helped by providing them with food and medicine. He took care of the sick Jewish women by looking for a place to sleep at the factory to protect them from arrest. When deportations were no longer possible to avoid, Daene and his wife Margarete hid three Jewish women: Gerda L., Lola A. and Ursula F. It is known that he helped another Jewish worker run away from Belgium. When in 1943 the Gestapo was going to arrest Daene, he worried to look for another hide-out for the three women. Ursula F. was reported to the police in the street. She was severely injured during the arrest and survived at the police hospital. Lola A. was with Margerete Daene at the moment of liberation, Gerda L. Was arrested in August of the year 1944 and deported to Auschwitz where she was murdered.
Likewise, another woman called Margot W. considers Daene as her savior. She says that when her parents were arrested by the Nazis, she went with them. But with a excuse, Daene managed to get her out of the concentration camp. Margot W. survived in the underground.
Wilhelm Daene survived in prison. He was named ”Righteous among the Nations” by Yad Vashem and honored by the Berlin Senate as ”Hero without fame”.
- Kurt R. Grossmann, Die unbesungenen Helden, Berlin 1957, S. 32ff.
- Hans-Rainer Sandvoß, Widerstand in Pankow und Reinickendorf (Hrsg. Gedenkstädte Deutscher Widerstand), Berlin 1994, S. 217, 249f.
- Ursel Hochmuth: Illegale KPD und Bewegung ”Freies Deutschland” in Berlin und Brandenburg 1942, Berlin 1998, S. 125.