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Mommsenstraße 42

Mommsenstraße 42

Mommsenstraße is in the middle-class neighborhood of Charlottenburg. Six houses on this street are known to have been used for compulsory accommodation. The apartment building at Mommsenstraße 42, on the corner with Waitzstraße 28, had 14 apartments. Four of them were used as compulsory accommodation. 23 of the 37 Jewish residents were deported from this address and murdered.

Before 1939, 18 Jewish tenants lived in the building. 19 Jewish people were later forced to move in here.

The owner of the property at Mommsenstraße 42, Felix Stockvis, lived in The Hague in The Netherlands. When he died, in October 1938, his children Alice and Louis Gustaaf inherited the building. The Stockvis family were Dutch. The fact that Jewish people were allocated housing in their property suggests that the Nazis categorized them as Jewish.

It is not known what happened to the Stockvis family. Since Alice and Louis Gustaaf were not named on any deportation lists, it is likely they survived the Nazi era.


Street-facing building I


Philipp and Hedwig Kochmann (née Fromm) moved into this 3-room apartment before 1939. In Hedwig Kochmann’s declaration of assets of 1943, she stated she had four subtenants: Dora Fromm, Mirel Liebe, Hertha and Ellen Ruth Bachheimer. Dora Fromm was likely related to Hedwig Kochmann as she did not pay any rent. It is possible she moved in after Philipp Kochmann’s death in October 1942. Nothing is known of Mirel Liebe. Since she was not deported from Berlin until April 1, 1944, it is likely that she lived in hiding for a while.

Mother and daughter Hertha and Ellen Ruth Bachheimer moved into the building in December 1941. They shared one room. Their previous apartment at Droysenstraße 11 was confiscated by the General Building Inspector’s office after they had moved out – presumably to make it available to non-Jewish tenants. Yet in April 1943 Hertha Bachenheimer was charged RM 95.40 for the apartment’s renovation.


Sisters Anna and Helene Pindikowski had lived in the building for some years before 1939. In December 1939 Käthe Becker moved in with them as a subtenant. Leo and Selma Anker lived in another room of the apartment. Anna Pindikowski died in November 1941. The other residents of the apartment were deported in early 1943 and murdered.

Street-facing building II


The David family’s life in compulsory accommodation is well documented. Daughter Inge Borck (née David) managed to go into hiding before her deportation was due and survived in Berlin. Later, she gave extensive interviews about her life. Inge Borck moved into this apartment with four rooms and a maid’s chamber with her parents Martin and Paula David in 1941. Her parents occupied one room and Inge had the maid’s chamber. She was 19 at the time.

“[The Nazi authorities] took that apartment [their last voluntary home, on Sybelstraße] away. That is to say, we were thrown out and forced to move into a so-called Jew house, on Mommsenstraße, number 42, that’s on the corner of Waitzstraße, an old building [...] I even got a half-room, which was an absolute luxury. I got the maid’s chamber […] with a bed, absolute luxury. Of course, we all shared a kitchen.”
Inge Borck, quoted from: Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, Interview Code: 31408, May 1997

The David family were registered as the main tenants of the apartment, which they shared with several Jewish subtenants: Philipp and Erna Gellert with their daughter Irmgard, and Adolf Kuznitzky. Inge Borck later spoke of four families in the apartment, which the records do not confirm. The subtenants were all deported until only the David family remained. Aware that the same fate awaited them, they tried to go into hiding. During the day, Inge’s parents stayed in the woods outside and only returned to the apartment, which had already been sealed off, at night. Inge Borck slept in various people’s homes and mostly in a guesthouse in Charlottenburg where the manageress hid Jewish people.

“One day the telephone rings. It’s my mother, saying: ‘Stay where you are, don’t come over! They’re here!’ Those were the last words I heard my mother say.”
Inge Borck: Ich war nie weg, in: Eckehardt, Ulrich/Nachama, Andreas (eds.): Jüdische Berliner – Leben nach der Schoa, Berlin 2003, p. ?

Mr and Mrs Vandewart moved in to a 4.5-room apartment on July 1, 1936. In their declaration of assets, they stated they had six subtenants. It is likely the three couples – the Vandewarts, the Philipps, and the Schusters – occupied one room each. The fourth room was rented out to Ernestine Daniel. Johanna Schneider lived in the maid’s chamber. She is mentioned in the Vandewarts’ declaration of assets but no further information on her exists. All the other residents of the apartment were deported; none of them survived.

Months after Mr and Mrs Vandewart were deported, the landlord, a lawyer, claimed money from their confiscated assets to renovate the apartment.

“According to the tenancy agreement, the cost of decorative repairs is to be borne by the tenants Vandewart, who caused considerable wear and tear to the apartment. […] Pending settlement of the bill by the tenants Vandewart, I assert the landlord’s right of lien of the furnishings and fittings contained in and brought into the apartment.”

Unknown location


Dr. Rudolf Goldstein and Frieda Goldstein lived voluntarily in their apartment. They had moved into the building before 1939. They did not have any subtenants. The Nazis categorized the Goldsteins and their children Klaus and Lisa as “of mixed race (first degree)”. The fathers of Rudolf and Frieda were both considered Jewish and their mothers were both non-Jewish. Rudolf Goldstein had been baptized a Protestant and started his career as a lawyer and notary in 1925. He was made to perform forced labor from June 1944 until the end of the war. Evidently the Berlin Jewish Community’s housing advice agency did not allocate the Goldstein family any subtenants.


Kurt and Marga Glockmann also lived voluntarily in their apartment. The couple had a “mixed-race marriage”: Kurt Glockmann was not Jewish; his wife Marga Glockmann was Jewish. Their son Hans Peter Glockmann was therefore categorized as “of mixed race (first degree)”. Marga Glockmann worked from 1936 to 1940 in the Reich Association of Jews’ personnel department, and continued to work there later as a volunteer. When the number of deportations – not only across Berlin but also in the building – suddenly increased in fall 1942, the Glockmanns moved out to their weekend bungalow in Falkensee. The winter there was very hard as there was no heating. The situation left Marga Glockmann, who was already weakened by the psychological stress of the previous years, with physical and mental illnesses which persisted after 1945.


Former resident Marga Glockmann later stated that the Nazis had conducted house searches in Mommsenstraße 42 as early as summer 1934. Referring to the situation in subsequent years, she said:

“As we had several Jewish residents in our house, the Gestapo were always coming and going.”
Marga Glockmann: Damage Report, November 26, 1954, EA, Reg. Nr. 2.920

Inge Borck described the impact this had on the Jewish residents:

“Because they lived so close together like in a ghetto, the inhabitants of the Jew-houses communicated intensively with one another. They shared the feeling of being under threat and of needing to try and escape the threat, to save themselves by emigrating.”
Inge Borck: Ich war nie weg, in: Eckehardt, Ulrich/Nachama, Andreas (eds.): Jüdische Berliner – Leben nach der Schoa, Berlin 2003, p. 41–46.

Apparently, Inge Borck was not just referring to the Jewish residents of Mommsenstraße 42 but also to those of many other houses on Mommsenstraße and the surrounding streets.


Johanna A. Kühne


Antisemitische Wohnungspolitik in Berlin 1939–1945

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