Exclusion and extermination

In an advertisement in the “Coburger Zeitung” on October 23, 1919, Jewish citizens called on their fellow citizens to help in the fight against anti-Semitism.
In an advertisement in the “Coburger Zeitung” on October 23, 1919, Jewish citizens called on their fellow citizens to help in the fight against anti-Semitism.

After the First World War, life in Germany is marked by the military defeat suffered. The people in Germany are in a badsituation. Poverty and unemployment prevail. Most Germans are dissatisfied with the new democratic form of government. Why are things going so wrong in Germany?

Why are things going so wrong in Germany? Many Germans blame “the Jews.” There is a new anti-Semitic wave. Anti-Semitism is another word for “hatred of Jews.” The new anti-Semitism draws on a long European “tradition”. Throughout history, Jews are often blamed for things for which they are not responsible. Anti-Semitism is carried and spread by people of all classes.

Jewish people were publicly attacked with racist slogans. The media played a major role in this.

“Hostility toward Jews is considered the oldest, social, cultural, religious, political prejudice of humankind; hostility toward Jews expresses itself, long before discrimination and brute violence make resentment public, in exclusionary and stigmatizing stereotypes, i.e., in handed-down ideas of the majority about the minority, which are passed on unreflectively from generation to generation.”

Wolfgang Benz (Director of the Institute for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technical Univeristy of Berlin)

In February 1920, one of the best-known anti-Semites of the time, Artur Dinter, spoke on
In February 1920, one of the best-known anti-Semites of the time, Artur Dinter, spoke on “The Semitic Danger.”

In Coburg, Jewish people are banned from entering an event for the first time in November 1920. This public lecture was organized by the Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund, which was exclusively dedicated to fighting Judaism. The local group of this federation, founded at the end of 1919, remained extremely active until 1924. In 1925, the Trutzbund was dissolved. Most of the members joined the NSDAP. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, the NSDAP, gained more and more supporters. The chairman of this party was Adolf Hitler.

On October 14 and 15, 1922, Hitler arrived in Coburg with a group of 600 to 800 SA members from Munich for “German Day”. The violent approach to Democrats and Socialists met with broad approval in bourgeois circles. Duke Carl Eduard also demonstratively sided with the Nazis. A short time later, a local group of the NSDAP was founded. In June 1926, the first issue of Weckruf, the Nazi party newspaper, appeared. This marked the beginning of massive anti-Jewish propaganda. The slanderous articles contributed to the fact that in Coburg in 1929 National Socialists won the majority in a German city council for the first time and from 1931 governed the first city in Germany.

In 1930, Weckruf is renamed Coburger National-Zeitung. It was the first local National Socialist daily newspaper in Germany.

NSDAP rally on the first of April 1933 on the market square.

The NSDAP became the largest party in Germany. On January 30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor.

Now the real intentions of the Nazis are revealed. They abolished democracy. Anyone who dared to disagree was beaten or imprisoned. Concentration camps were set up. Many remained silent out of fear. But most Germans admired Hitler. They blindly believed what he said , they were ready to do what he demanded of them. In the “Volksgemeinschaft”, which was designed as a community of exclusion, ostracism and terror against people who do not belong according to the National Socialist ideal were accepted and supported.

For Jewish Germans, life was becoming increasingly difficult. They lost their jobs and their children had to sit in school separated from the others. And this was only the beginning.

After Hitler’s victory, Coburg was in a frenzy of joy. There was no end to the victory celebrations. Social Democrats, Communists and Jews were taken into “protective custody” as early as the beginning of March 1933. The screams of the prisoners abused in the “Alte Herberge” (Rosengasse 1) could be heard in the market square. But the citizens of Coburg tolerated the practice of torture. There is no end to the victory celebrations. Social Democrats, Communists and Jews were taken into “protective custody” as early as the beginning of March 1933. The screams of the prisoners abused in the “Alte Herberge” (Rosengasse 1) can be heard in the market square. But the citizens of Coburg tolerate the practice of torture.

In 1951, the Coburg Regional Court concluded hearings on the arrests and torture in Coburg in March and April 1933. The following statement was taken from the verdict and sheds light on the “barbarism that held the town hall in its grip for several weeks”:

“Siller (independent ) came to the “Alte Herberge” on the 25th. While he himself was not mistreated, he witnessed the beatings that went on all night in the torture room next door. From the storeroom where Siller was housed, only the Jewish citizens Mannheimer, Kohn and Fleischmann were taken into the beating room and beaten. Siller could also observe how Kohn was forced to do calisthenics in front of the hot stove.

He also heard the terrible screaming of the three aforementioned Jewish men and the clapping of the whips. Kohn and Fleischmann came back after their beating dressed only in their shirts. Siller passed through the torture room several times during his stay in the old hostel. According to his testimony, he was horrified each time when he saw the pools of blood and the splashes of blood and excrement on the floor and walls (…)”.

In April 1933, the NSDAP called for a boycott of Jewish-owned stores and department stores throughout Germany.

In Coburg, Jewish merchants were ordered to close their stores even earlier – on March 15, 1933
Business closure call
Business closure call

“In Coburg, Boycott Day does not mark the beginning of National Socialist discrimination against Jewish citizens , but already a stopover on the way to the ‘Final Solution’” Hubert Fromm

Boycott of the shoe store Weiss, Spitalgasse 5, on April 1, 1933
Boycott of the shoe store Weiss, Spitalgasse 5, on April 1, 1933

Textile store Gutmann, Ketschengasse
Textile store Gutmann, Ketschengasse

The Nazis justify their hostility towards the Jewish men and women on racist grounds. Hitler adhered to a racial doctrine that is unscientific and nonsensical. According to the doctrine , there are superior and inferior races: at the top should be the Nordic race, the so-called “Aryans,” at the bottom should beJewish people . For the followers of this doctrine it was a law of nature that the different races fought each other, in which the strong had the right, even the duty, to destroy the weak. Jewish people, Slavic people and Sinti and Roma are “subhumans” for Hitler and his followers.

Based on this racial theory, the “Nuremberg Laws” were announced on September 15, 1935. According to these laws Jewish citizens were not allowed to marry or have sexual relations with persons of “German” blood. In the course of the 1930s, more than 400 laws were passed restricting the rights of the Jewish population.
Two arrests were made in Coburg as a result of this law.

On the night of November 9 to 10, 1938, the Nazis destroyed synagogues and Jewish businesses throughout Germany. They set fire to buildings and broke windows. In the days that followed, some 30,000 Jewish men, young and old, were arrested and taken to concentration camps. “Aryanization” measures followed. By expropriating their businesses, properties and assets, Nazis deprived German Jews any possibility of living.

With the start of the war on September 1, 1939, measures against Jewish citizens increased. Finally, it came to the point that Jewish citizens were no longer allowed to do anything.

In 1941, the Jewish residents of Coburg were used as forced laborers. In order to finally brand them publicly, the following law was passed in 1941:

1. Jews who have reached the age of six are forbidden to appear in public without an armband with the Star of David.

2. The Star of David armband consisted of a palm-sized six-pointed black star made of yellow fabric with the inscription “Jude”. It was to be worn visibly sewn on the left side of the chest of the garment.

In September 1941, the Coburg authorities speak of 39 Jews living in Coburg. Of them, 37 people are deported directly from Coburg to the death camps in the East by September 1942.

On November 27, 1941, 26 Coburg Jews were deported to Riga via Nuremberg, of whom only Lotti Bernstein survived.

On April 24, 1942, five Jewish citizens were brought to Bamberg and transported from there to Izbica near Lublin. Their dates of death are not known.

On September 10, 1942, a transport from Nuremberg to Theresienstadt takes place. Six people are brought from Coburg to this transport. Sali Altmann alone returns.

It is recorded that four Jewish women remain in Coburg because they are married to so-called “Aryans” and thus escape the genocide.

Their names: Hedwig Inderwies, Lina Töpfer, Elsa Rupprecht and Erna Schmidt.

Transport to Riga on November 27, 1941

Martin Saalfeld, geb. 8.7.1977
Meta Saalfeld, geb. 28.10.1896
Simon Rotschild, geb. 19.11.1867
Berta Rotschild, geb. 10.5.1880
Alfred Plessner, geb. 6.2.1887
Margarethe Plessner, geb. 23.6.1892
Meyer Levenbach, geb. 9.12.1876
Sabine Levenbach, geb. 15.3.1876
Else Lewy, geb. 13.12.1891
Walter Lewy, geb. 14.4.1928
Ignatz Stern, geb. 7.7.1873
Rosa Stern, geb. 13.9.1877
Julius Klein, geb. 4.8.1876
Klara Klein, geb. 13.9.1888
Bella Ludwig, geb. 16.2.1888
Ivan Bernstein, geb. 10.3.1882
Elly Bernstein, geb. 16.2.1882
Ursula Bernstein, geb. 19.3.1910
Moritz Cramer, geb. 24.4.1877
Berta Drattler, geb. 15.2.1881
Julius Weiß, geb. 20.4.1881
Selma Weiß, geb. 13.11.1884
Rosa Rosenthal, geb. 1.11.1880
Jenny Katz, geb. 17.8.1878
Thekla Sander, geb. 27.10.1882
Lotti Bernstein, geb. 10.9.1906, returned on 13.8.1945, emigrated to Chile on 1.9.1946

Transport to Izbica near Lublin on 24.4.1942

Hermine Kohn, geb. 12.6.1878
Sally Ehrlich, geb. 17.2.1878
Betty Friedmann, geb. 1.10.1876
Heßlein Strauß, geb. 1.10.1876
Jenny Kohn, geb. 4.3.1881

Transport to Theresienstadt on 9.9.1942

Jakob Altmann, geb. 20.12.1867
Josef Altmann, geb. 7.7.1866
Karl Friedmann, geb. 18.6.1869
Dora Frohmann, geb. 28.9.1855
Eduard Plant, geb. 27.3.1868
Sali Altmann, born 27.12.1869, returned 11.10.1945, died 1954 27.12.1869,

Deported from outside

Heinz Löwenherz, born 3.5.1902, died 30.4.1943 in Auschwitz
Frieda Baumwollspinner, geb. 1.4.1876, gest. in Auschwitz
Wolf Baumwollspinner, geb. 15.9.1882, gest. in Auschwitz
Ella Elsbach, geb. 16.10.1897
Henny Elsbach, geb. 11.5.1886
Max Ehrlich, geb. 8.1.1888, gest. in Gurs (Frankreich)
Ernesthine Israelsky, geb. 30.12.1864
Charlotte Nomburg, geb. 17.8.1897
Georg Nomburg, geb. 6.10.1885
Kuno Hirsch, geb. 14.10.1868, gest. 30.11.1843 in Theresienstadt
Elisabeth Hirsch, geb. 16.7.1882, gest. 7.5.1944 in Theresienstadt
Ilse Pool, geb. 16.3.1906
Wilhelm Sandler, geb. 18.9.1876, gest. in Auschwitz
Max Kohn, geb. 26.5.1881, gest. 21.10.1941 in Buchenwald
Edit Katz, geb. 27.12.1911, gest. In Auschwitz
Stephanie Widrich, geb. 2.9.1903
Erna Hilde van Koppelen, geb. 26.7.1912
Walter Köhler, geb. 9.12.1909
Walter Fechheimer, geb. 17.10.1911, gest. 13.8.1942 in Auschwitz
Fanny Fechheimer, geb. 17.12.1910
Milton Wertheimer, geb. 17.3.1886, gest. in Auschwitz
Bella Wertheimer, geb. 17.12.1890
Siegfried Braun, geb. 13.12.1873
Augusta Frank, geb. 15.10.1868

(The names and numbers are based on the research work of Hubert Fromm. He has tried to determine all names on the basis of the surviving sources. However, completeness could not be established).