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Großgörschenstraße 24

Großgörschenstraße 24

Schöneberg, Großgörschenstraße 24, fourth house from the right, around 1930. Source: Ralf Schmiedecke Collection, Berlin
This stately late-19th-century building at Großgörschenstraße 24 stood in between two railroad lines on the fringes of Schöneberg’s “red island”, a traditionally leftwing neighborhood where many members of the labor movement lived. The address appears in an official document of May 1940 with the handwritten remark “Jew house” alongside it. The names of 71 people who were forced to live here are known. At least 69 people were deported from here. They were almost all murdered.

The apartment building at Großgörschenstraße 24 was built in 1893, like the neighboring buildings. In 1928 it was bought, and the mortgage assumed, by Abraham Moses Ewinger Fränkel from Vienna. After Fränkel’s death in 1936, the creditor Julius Samuelsdorff, who lived on Prinzregentenstraße, took over the property. In August 1939, Julius Samuelsdorff sold the mortgage, evidently under duress, to an “Aryan” creditor. But ownership of the property was never transferred to the German Reich.

The house at Großgörschenstraße 24 and the neighboring buildings were due to be demolished as part of the Nazi project to rebuild the city as “Germania”. In the meantime, the City of Berlin used them to accommodate Jews who had been evicted from their homes. The building was severely damaged by bombing on January 29, 1944.

In the 1950s, members of the Samuelsdorff family tried to gain restitution of the property. After a struggle lasting several years, in 1961, the City of Berlin acquired the land and had it cleared of the ruins a short time later.

Technical drawing of the new building at Großgörschenstraße 24, 1893. Source: Bezirksamt Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Bauaktenarchiv, Akte Großgörschenstraße 24
War damage in Großgörschenstraße, 1950, photo: Staudt. Source: Museen Tempelhof-Schöneberg/Archiv
War damage in Großgörschenstraße, on the corner of Kulmerstraße, 1950, photo: Staudt. Source: Museen Tempelhof-Schöneberg/Archiv


Street-facing building, 1st floor


Sophie Wawrzeniak, a divorcée, moved into a 2-room apartment on the first floor with her children Elisabeth and Gerhard in 1940. Her adult daughter Gunda Fraenkel, née Wawrzeniak, also lived there with her son Denny. Sophie Wawrzeniak and Gunda Fraenkel worked as forced laborers for the Vermeta metalworking factory on Michaelkirchstraße. The family was deported on October 19, 1942, to Riga.

Street-facing building, 2nd floor


Who held the lease on this 3-room apartment is no longer known. An unmarried woman, Sophie Kahn, moved in as a subtenant in February 1940. She seems to have been deported in March or April 1942. It is unclear what happened to her. A man named Herbert Brock seems to have occupied a room in the apartment for a time. What happened to him is also unlcear.


Husband-and-wife Max and Betty Mosberg moved in at Großgörschenstraße 24 after 1939. In March 1942, Max Mosberg died, aged 84, in the Jewish hospital on Iranische Straße. Betty Mosberg moved into a home for the elderly. She was deported on September 14, 1942 to the Theresienstadt ghetto. She died after less than three months.


Michael Loeske lived in a 1-room apartment on the second floor. He was deported on September 14, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto. His furniture and valuables were sold to a dealer for RM 185.50.

Street-facing building, 3rd floor


Husband-and-wife Herbert and Traute Meyer lived on the third floor of the street-facing building. They had married in May 1939. Traute Meyer was deported on March 1, 1943, to Auschwitz. Her husband Herbert Meyer was deported a day later to Auschwitz.

Pauline Joel was a subtenant in the apartment. She had previously lived on Lothringenstraße. She died in summer 1942, aged 85, in Berlin. Hildegard Naumann and her mother Anna Naumann occupied another room in the apartment. They had previously lived on Passauer Straße. Hildegard Naumann was probably Pauline Joel’s great-niece. Anna Naumann died in December 1942, aged 64. There are no records of Hildegard Naumann’s whereabouts from early 1943 on. In January 1944, she was registered as “[a]pparently fugitive”.


Elise Unger moved into the building in 1940. A teacher and doctor of philology, she had previously lived with her parents on Geisbergstraße in Schöneberg. She was evidently forced to move in at Großgörschenstraße 24 after her father’s death in December 1939. She worked as a forced laborer for the Osram company. In March 1940, Elise Unger’s aunt Emma Goldschmidt moved in to the apartment. For a time, she shared the room with Hildegard Naumann, who was also registered as a subtenant of the Meyers. Emma Goldschmidt was deported on August 15, 1942, to Riga, and probably murdered on arrival. According to other sources, she died in September 1942 in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Elise Unger was deported on March 12, 1943, along with 940 others, from Moabit goods station to Auschwitz.

Street-facing building, 4th floor


Before Erich Friedmann, a salesclerk, and his wife Erna were forced to move in at Großgörschenstraße 24, they had lived on Wangenheimer Straße in Grunewald. They occupied one room in the apartment. Siegfried Friedmann occupied another room. It is possible he was Erich Friedmann’s brother, but this can no longer be verified. Siegfried Friedmann was deported on April 19, 1943, to Auschwitz. Erich Friedmann was arrested on September 1, 1942, during a “special action”, which was likely connected with the arrest of over 100 members of the “Red Orchestra” resistance group. Erich Friedmann was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he died on October 11, 1942. His wife Erna Friedmann was deported in May 1943 to Auschwitz and probably murdered there. In April 1943, all the apartment’s occupants were evicted.

Street-facing building, 5th floor


Ingeborg Bukofzer was the main tenant of this apartment on the fifth floor. She lived here with her mother Meta Bukofzer and sister Edith Bukofzer. Kurt Julius Abrahamowsky and his wife Margot Abrahamowsky, both manual workers, occupied a room here until May 15, 1941. They had previously lived on Bayreuther Straße. Kurt Julius Abrahamowsky last worked as a forced laborer for Kurt Seidel military equipment manufacturers on Bülowstraße. The Abrahamowskys were later held in the assembly camp on Levetzowstraße. On October 15, 1941, their assets were seized for the benefit of the German Reich. A month later, the Abrahamowskys were deported to the Kovno ghetto, where they were murdered on November 25, 1941.

Klara Hirsch also occupied a room in the Bukofzer’s apartment. She was single and came from the Hunsrück region. She was held in the Rummelsburg labor camp before she was allocated forced housing on Großgörschenstraße. Klara Hirsch was made to perform forced labor in a laundry. She was deported on March 3, 1943, to Auschwitz. What happened to her there is not known. Ingeborg Bukofzer was deported to Auschwitz the same day and murdered. A short time later, her mother Meta Bukofzer and her sister Edith Bukofzer were also deported to Auschwitz and murdered. The apartment was cleared out in November 1943.


The Goldstrom family’s apartment was on the fifth floor of the street-facing building. Margarete Goldstrom was a teacher; her husband Georg Goldstrom was a butcher. Margarete Goldstrom’s parents Isidor and Regina Rosenthal apparently lived here for a time with them.

The Goldstroms sublet a partly furnished room to Gerhard Brock and his adult son Herbert. Before being forced to move in here, they evidently lived on Münzstraße. Gerhard Brock was deported on March 2, 1943, to Auschwitz. The inventory of his belongings made after his deportation lists a wardrobe, a two-door chest with a drawer, a small cupboard, a table, two chairs, three paintings, a mirror, and a chaise longue with a blanket and three cushions. The items were evaluated at RM 86. What happened to Herbert Brock is not known. He seems to have lived in a room in Sophie Kahn’s apartment for a time.

The main tenants Margarete and Georg Goldstrom were deported with their six-year-old son Herbert on September 10, 1943, to the Theresienstadt ghetto and, a year later, to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

Side wing, 4th floor

Else Hamburger

Else Hamburger, née Salomon, a housemaid, was forced to move in at Großgörschenstraße 24 in August 1940. In November 1941, she was sent to the Levetzowstraße assembly camp and deported from there on November 27, 1941, to Riga.

Side wing, 1st floor


The brothers Erich and Martin Neumann moved into a 1-room apartment at Großgörschenstraße 24 in September 1940. They were deported on September 26, 1942, to Raasiku in Estonia. The apartment was cleared out in late March 1943.

Rear building, 1st floor


Husband-and-wife Erwin Norbert and Elly Rothschild, née Lipowetzky, lived with their small son Dan on the first floor of the rear building. Erwin Rothschild had come to Berlin in the mid-1930s. He and Elly married in 1938. Both were made to perform forced labor. All three members of the family were deported on March 2, 1943, to Auschwitz. They were among the first to be deported after the Nazis’ “Factory Action”, during which the Jews working for the German arms industry were arrested at their workplaces across the Reich. Elly and her two-year-old son were probably murdered on arrival in Auschwitz. Erwin Rothschild was made to perform forced labor in the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. He did not survive.

Unknown location

Walter Behr

Walter Behr, a barber, was deported from Großgörschenstraße 24 on April 19, 1943, to Auschwitz. It is not clear where in the building he had lived. He was arrested for “absenteeism” on April 20, 1941, and sent on June 12, 1941, to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he was categorized as ASR (Arbeitsscheu Reich = Workshy). On September 5, 1941, he was transferred to Berlin-Moabit remand center and on January 15, 1942, back to Buchenwald concentration camp. There, he was assigned to a labor detachment. In April 1942, he was evidently transferred to the Berlin-Moabit court jail. He was released at an unknown point in time and allocated housing at Großgörschenstraße 24.

Inge and Walter Jakubowski

Inge and Walter Jakubowski, both manual workers, were deported with their baby Berl on February 28, 1943, from Großgörschenstraße 24 to Auschwitz.


Husband-and-wife Isidor and Regina Rosenthal, née Brzcyniski, came to Berlin from the town Schwiebus (now Świebodzin) in what was then the province of Brandenburg. They had five children. In July 1939, they moved in at Schönhauser Allee 185-186 as subtenants of one of their daughters before being allocated housing at Großgörschenstraße 24. They were deported to Auschwitz on the “24th transport to the east” on December 9, 1942, from the Schönhauser Allee address. 997 people from Berlin were on this transport. What happened to Isidor and Regina Rosenthal is unclear. It is likely they were murdered on arrival in Auschwitz.

Wohnung Schmerl

Martin Schmerl, a dentist, lived at Großgörschenstraße 24 for only a short time before he was deported, on December 9, 1942, to Auschwitz. He had been sent to Dachau concentration camp on October 2, 1937, and in early 1939 to Brandenburg-Görden prison, where he was jailed for several years, charged with “racial defilement” – a crime under the Nazis’ Nuremberg Race Laws. Over a year later, in May 1944, the telephone exchange still requested reimbursement for telephone charges that Martin Schmerl could no longer pay.


The “teardown” buildings at Großgörschenstraße 23, 24, 28, and 29, and the adjacent buildings at Katzlerstraße 9 and 13 were earmarked as housing for the Jewish people who had lost their homes and could not flee abroad. They were estimated at “approx. 220 families”. All six buildings were listed in the General Building Inspector’s “evacuation plan” of May 30, 1940, alongside the handwritten note, “Jew house”. All these buildings seem to have been occupied and are known as addresses from which residents were deported.

“Request for rental payment for the evacuated Jew home formerly occupied by Michael Loeske, Schöneberg, Großgörschenstr. 24, who has been deported from Reich territory.”

The name Gertrud Püsemann frequently appears in the case files on Jewish residents of the building at Großgörschenstraße 24 in the Berlin-Brandenburg Chief of Finance’s Asset Reclamation Office. As the property manager, her main task was to claim deported tenants’ rent arrears from the tax authority. After occupants had been deported, it often took months for their vacant and sealed apartments to be cleared out. The property manager requested the pending monthly rental payments from the Asset Reclamation Office.


Yves Müller


Antisemitische Wohnungspolitik in Berlin 1939–1945

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