Lohmeyer was involved in the peaceful surrender of the city of Greifswald to the “Red Army” in May of 1945. Although the Soviet Military Administration appointed him interim president of the University of Greifswald, differences arose between Lohmeyer and the provincial government of Schwerin in the fall of 1945.
The cause was the dismissal of university staff following denazification. Lohmeyer feared that the operation of the School of Medicine in particular would be brought to a standstill, the continuation of which was of vital interest for the residents of Greifswald.
As a Protestant theologian who had additionally joined the “Democratic Party” at the end of June 1945, which was absorbed by the “East German CDU” in September, Lohmeyer became more and more of a political nuisance to representatives of the local Communist Party of Germany.
After rumors about Lohmeyer’s military service in Poland and the Kuban region were cleverly brought into circulation, he was arrested by the Soviet secret police (NKVD) in his residence in Greifswald in the night before the ceremonial reopening of the university on February 15, 1946.
After months in detention, a Soviet military tribunal sentenced Lohmeyer to death by firing squad on August 28, 1946 in a trial closed to the public. The sentence was carried out in secret in the forests near Greifswald on September 19, 1946. Lohmeyer’s family was not officially informed of his death until 1958.
Ernst Lohmeyer was officially rehabilitated by the Russian military prosecutor general’s office in 1996 and recognized as an innocent victim of political repression. His death sentence was formally overturned. The site of Lohmeyer’s grave remains unknown to this day.
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- © Photo: Irmfried Garbe, Dersekow, Greifswald