Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
On January 27th Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau – the concentration camp in Oswiecim-Brzezinka (Polish name of the place not far from Cracow chosen by the Nazis to build the most horrifying death camp of WW2) is liberated.
Between 1940 and that day in January 1945 more than one million people (the number could be even twice as high – due to lack of hard evidence it is not possible to name it exactly) were professionally exterminated there.
Most of the victims were Jewish. Many of them were children.
This is to commemorate some of those whose final journey started in Kreuzberg and ended in Auschwitz between 1942 and 1945:
Berl Eisenstädt (born 1940) and his parents Kurt and Käthe of Hoffmanndamm 9 (32. Osttransport, March 1943)
Charlotte and Martin Hirsch of Schleiermacherstrasse 15 (37. Osttransport, March 1943)
Family Becker: Willi and Ruth and their 2-year-old daughter Fena and the 1-year-old Gittel of Mariannenstrasse 23 (20. Osttransport , October 3rd, 1942)
Ruth and Horst Berlin and their 3-year-old son Denny, Skalitzer Strasse 29 (29. Osttransport, Ferbuary 19th, 1943)
Simon and Gertrud Chaminer from Görlitzer Strasse 42 (sent to Auschwitz on September 5th, 1942)
Hertha Dessauer fom Alte Jakobstrasse with her 6-year-old and 4-year-old sons, Günther and Herodes (sent to Auschwitz on May 17th, 1943)
Thea Deutsch (born Cohn) and Alex Deutsch with little Benny Deutsch from Urbanstrasse 188 (sent to Auschwitz on March 2nd and 3rd, 1943) and their family living in the same house who shared the same fate: Philipp Cohn, Hertha Cohn and Siegbert Cohn
Family Steinberg from Tempelherrenstrasse 3: Benno, Ingeborg, Margot, Susanne Hanna and Sigurd Julius who went to Auschwitz together with the 13-year-old neighbour Manfred Wolff
Family Stern from Fontanepromenade 5: Helga Susi, Ida and Ignaz
Family Tumbowsky from Köpenicker Strasse 24: Adolf and Hilda and their daughters, Ruth, Marga and the 2-year-old Reha.
This is to commemorate all the Jews of Skalitzer Strasse, Oranienstrasse, Reichenbergerstrasse and Gitschiner Strasse, of Grossbeerenstrasse, Yorckstrasse, Hasenheide and Südstern. All those 1600 people who disappeared from Kreuzberg to climb the trains taking them towards Auschwitz, Riga, Chelmno, Theresienstadt, the ghetto of Lodz and many other places built by people not to support, heal or help others but to kill them on mass scale.
People do not go when they die – they are gone when their names are forgotten. It is not possible for me to name them all but I do believe it is enough to name only some. This is my way of keeping them alive.