Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County


Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Oct. 14, 1942. p. 1

AGED GERMAN 'ENEMY ALIEN' WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE HAD HIS SAVINGS IN $500 WAR BOND

First and final account of Coroner Pat Freeman, administrator of the estate of George Michael Heckel, "an enemy alien," was filed in superior court yesterday, the final paragraph in the life of a Santa Cruzan who chose death to leaving his home.

Heckel, a 73-year-old German, lived at 134 Columbia street here for over a decade until the alien restriction law went into effect early in 1942. He had taken out his first citizenship papers, but hadn't gone further and had to move out of the restricted zone where he lived.

Heckel was despondent over moving, but he told his neighbor, Earl Kensinger, that perhaps he would move to Boulder Creek. However, nostalgia overcame him on a stormy February night and he walked down to the ocean, a short distance from his home, and then without leaving a note leaped into the ocean.

Three days later his body was found washed ashore and battered by the pounding breakers.

After the accounting of Administrator Freeman, it was found that the old man had bought a $500 war bond on January 1, 1942, just 24 days after Pearl Harbor.

A month later George Heckel was forced to leave from his home but instead he chose death.

He left no will and no relations, so his estate will revert to the state of California. After selling his real property, etc., Administrator Freeman announced Heckel's estate at $3,989.25, including a $500 war bond, cash, $526; 200 shares in the Dumbarton bridge, $74 , and U.S. savings bonds, purchased by the administrator, valued at $3000.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Reproduced by permission.