I've just read an article about the memorial stone of Adolf Herrmann. The following sentence is written on it:

Unserem unvergeßlichen Bezirksführer Adolf Herrmann erschossen auf dem Heimwege vom Zahlabend in der Nacht zum 23. September 1906 durch den Gendarmen Jude

However, I don't get what they mean with "Gendarmen"? It seems to be somehow offensive (antisemitic I guess) against the perpetrator according to the article (German Wikipedia).

  • 2
    BTW, the Wikipedia page on Adolf Herrmann has a photo of that memorial stone. Herrmann was member of the SPD (social-democratic party of germany). "Jude" for sure isn't anti-semtic in that context (in contrary, the memorial stone was assumed to be mutilated by members of the NSDAP...) - it's simply the name.
    – tohuwawohu
    Jul 4, 2016 at 17:24
  • 4
    "Gendarm Jude" is like "Policeman Jim" - Just by accident, Jim has the last name of "Jude"
    – tofro
    Jul 4, 2016 at 19:23
  • @tofro Yep, that was the piece missing in my head :D Knowing that it all makes sense now.
    – OddDev
    Jul 5, 2016 at 6:05

3 Answers 3



»Gendarm« is a profession. The word is french and was used for a rural policeman. (Policemen in cities was called »Polizist«). Now all policemen are called »Polizist«.


This is the family name (or last name) of the policeman who shot Adolf Herrmann. Judes full name was »Hermann Jude«.

The policeman Hermann Jude shot the politician Adolf Herrmann.

Read more about Adolf Herrmann and his death here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Herrmann (sorry, only available in German)

  • Das stand zwar auch schon in den anderen Antworten, aber diese hier ist auf den Punkt.
    – Carsten S
    Jul 4, 2016 at 20:01
  • Heck :D It makes sense now. I've read it with "jew" (not the surname "Jude") in mind.
    – OddDev
    Jul 4, 2016 at 20:06

Duden.de helps:

Gen­darm, der. Gebrauch: österreichisch [bis 2005], sonst veraltet. (besonders auf dem Land eingesetzter) Polizist; Angehöriger einer Gendarmerie

So it's a certain kind of policeman. To parse that part in its entirety:

  • erschossen durch: shot by (must be followed by Akkusativ)
  • den Gendarmen: "Gendarm" in Akkusativ case
  • Jude: the last name of the "Gendarm", not necessarily related to being Jewish

I wouldn't rule out that it was meant at least somewhat derogatory, but in this case it's just the shooter's job: Hermann Jude was a "Gendarm", meaning a gendarme or country constable. For further information, additional to the WP article you already mentioned, see the WP articles for Gendarmerie, German and English.

EDIT: And as far as the assumed antisemtic intention is concerned, the gendarme's last name just happened to be "Jude", "Jew". I'd have to look further if he also happened to be a Jew, but so far I wouldn't see anything antisemitic in it.

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