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Briesestraße 75

Briesestraße 75

Historisch: Prinz-Handjery-Straße 49, Neukölln, Replaced by a new building
Prinz-Handjery-Straße view towards Bergstraße (today: Karl-Marx-Straße), around 1915, photographer unknown. Source: Ralf Schmiedecke Collection, Berlin
The apartment building in the Rollberg neighborhood of Neukölln had about 25 apartments. Before 1939 there were no Jewish residents registered here. Between 1939 and 1945 an unknown number of the apartments were used as compulsory accommodation. At least 15 Jewish people were forced to move in here during this period. Twelve or more were deported from this address and murdered.

The apartment building on Prinz-Handjery-Straße, a street laid out in around 1880, was owned by Irma Löwenstein. The Nazis categorized her as Jewish. She did not live in the building herself. It is unusual that Jewish people were forced to move into a building with no Jewish residents before 1939. It is unclear why this was the case with the building at Prinz-Handjery-Straße 49; perhaps it was because there were several camps for forced laborers nearby. The company Siemens AG had a forced laborer camp at Prinz-Handjery-Straße 3. Other camps for civilian forced laborers were at Prinz-Handjery-Straße 14 and 78–80, and just around the corner on Bergstraße (now Karl-Marx-Straße).


Courtyard building, first floor, left side


Regina Bleier and her adult son Hans moved into an apartment at Prinz-Handjery-Straße 49 in November 1940. It consisted of one room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Regina Bleier was made to perform forced labor at the Pertrix works in Berlin-Niederschöneweide. Hans Bleier was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp on February 3, 1941. He was murdered there only two weeks later, on February 18, 1941. His mother Regina Bleier completed her declaration of assets on March 18, 1942, before taking her own life on April 1, 1942, the day before she was due to be deported.

Four months later, on August 1, 1942, husband-and-wife Martin and Lina Berwin were instructed to move into the apartment the Bleiers had occupied. The Berwins had previously lived on Urbanstraße in Kreuzberg. They lived here for barely a year before being deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto on March 17, 1943. From there they were transported to Auschwitz extermination camp, where they were murdered.

Prior to deportation, all Jews were required to submit a declaration of assets to the Mayor of Berlin’s main economic department, listing details of everything they owned.

Side wing, 2nd floor


Kurt and Charlotte Freundlich were first listed in the Berlin directory of 1941 as resident with their two children Wolfgang and Denny on Prinz-Handjery-Straße. The family of four lived here in a 1.5-room apartment with a kitchen. They had previously lived nearby at Nogatstraße 47. Kurt Freundlich was a motor mechanic by profession and worked for A.M. Barth in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. Charlotte Freundlich had no profession. It is likely she stayed at home with the two children. On October 26, 1942, the family was deported to the Riga ghetto. Denny was a little over one year old at the time; his brother Wolfgang was four years old. All four died on October 29, 1942, the day they arrived in Riga. It is not known whether they did not survive the journey or were murdered on arrival.

Street-facing building, 3rd floor


Married couple Berta and Gerhard Popper moved into this apartment on July 1, 1940. They had previously lived nearby at Emser Straße 4. They now occupied a 1-room apartment with a kitchen, “without any modern conveniences” as later tenant Vera Fürst wrote in the declaration of assets she was required to complete before her deportation. Berta Popper performed forced labor for Pertrix in Berlin-Niederschöneweide. This company belonged to the Quandt group, which manufactured batteries and torches for the German army. Her husband Gerhard also performed forced labor in a dye- and printing works in Berlin. They were both deported on November 27, 1941, to the Riga ghetto, where they were murdered after their arrival.

Two months after Berta and Gerhard Popper were deported, the Neukölln district administration had the belongings they left behind in the apartment inspected and valued. Officially, apartments previously occupied by Jews were to be used to house bomb victims.  Ultimately, Berlin’s General Building Inspector, Albert Speer, ruled on how to use the apartments. On this memo from the district administration, the apartment is referred to as “Jew apartment no. 65”.    

This form, completed by an employee of the Neukölln district administration, names the Jewish owner of the building as Irma Löwenstein. It states that the key to the Poppers’ apartment was left with a neighbor named Sofi Stachowiak.

On March 1, 1942, new tenants moved in. They were not bomb victims but the Jewish married couple Fritz and Vera Fürst. A few months later Fritz Fürst died in the apartment of unknown causes. Vera Fürst was made to perform forced labor for Siemens & Halske for a year longer. On March 4, 1943, she was deported to Auschwitz and murdered there.

Unknown location

Wohnung Lubinski

Richard and Margarete Lubinski moved into the building at Prinz-Handjery-Straße 49 after 1939 and were deported from here. It is not known whether they lived alone in an apartment or whether they lived with subtenants.


Neukölln was a predominantly working-class district. Most people here lived in modest conditions and small apartments. The district never had a large Jewish population. In 1933, 2,941 Jews lived in Neukölln. That amounted to just under one percent of the district’s total population. By 1939 the number of Jewish residents had fallen to 1,129.


Johanna A. Kühne


Antisemitische Wohnungspolitik in Berlin 1939–1945

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