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    • Racist and antisemitic claims that “foreigners” and “Jews” were to blame for the housing shortage become a recurring theme in the 1920s.

      Antisemitic handbill, 1924. Source: Private collection, Berlin
    • January

      With over 160,000(?) members, the Berlin Jewish Community is by far the largest in Germany.

      In the office of the Prussian Association of Jewish Communities, 1935. Photo: Herbert Sonnenfeld. Source: Jüdisches Museum Berlin FOT 88/500/160/013
    • February/March

      Jews and political undesirables are arbitrarily arrested and attacked in the first weeks of Nazi rule.

      A policeman apprehending a passerby in broad daylight, 1933. Photo: Gunnar Lundh. Source: Nordiska Museet, Stockholm
    • 1. April

      Stores in Berlin’s main shopping streets are hit by a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses, medical practices and law offices.

      A staged SA march on Leipziger Straße, Berlin, April 1, 1933. Photographer unknown. Source: Sammlung Harney, ZfA
    • May 29

      Berlin’s Jewish Community protests the continuing discrimination and increasing number of antisemitic measures to the Berlin State Commissioner – without success.

    • From June 15 on

      Gauleiter of Berlin and Brandenburg Joseph Goebbels organizes attacks on Jews.

    • Summer

      The antisemitic weekly Der Stürmer opens new headquarters in Berlin: Display cases appear across the city.

      Stürmer display in Berlin-Schmöckwitz, 1935. Source: Sammlung Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz
    • September 15

      The Nuremberg race laws come into force. The first regulation under the Reich Citizenship Law stipulates who is to be defined as Jewish. Jews no longer have the same legal status as other citizens.

    • End of the year

      Several municipal housing associations in Berlin terminate their rental contracts with Jewish tenants of small apartments as of January 1, 1936, or April 1, 1936.

    • Autumn/Winter

      Poverty and destitution among Jewish people continue to rise. The Jewish Community collects donations to help the worst affected through the winter.

      Attendants at the launch of Jewish winter relief in the synagogue on Prinzregentenstraße, October 11, 1936. Photo: Herbert Sonnenfeld. Source: JMB FOT 88/500/230/001
    • 30. Januar

      Albert Speer is appointed General Building Inspector of the Reich Capital Berlin (GBI).

      Plans to rebuild Berlin as World Capital Germania involved the demolition of several thousand homes. Photo: Karl Werner Gullers, c. 1937. Quelle: Nordiska Museet, Stockholm
    • July

      The Treptow housing cooperative terminates all rental contracts with Jewish tenants.

    • September 1

      Several public housing associations and cooperatives ask their Jewish tenants to vacate their homes, to “reduce the strain” on the non-Jewish tenants.

    • Data on Jewish people are increasingly collected. Among the offices keeping precise records is the Nazi welfare service (NSV).

      Nazi welfare service file card on the property at Hermannstraße 220, noting “Jewish” residents, c. 1938/39. Source: LAB, A Rep. 244-03, 223
    • From June 4

      Antisemitic attacks carried out across Berlin on Jewish businesses and their owners.

      A paint-smeared store window on Königstraße near the Rotes Rathaus, 1938, photographer unknown. Source: Stadtmuseum Nürnberg, E39.Nr.01177_013_001
    • June 14

      Under the third regulation of the Reich Citizenship Law, Jewish businesses must register with the authorities. At the time, there are still around 50,000 Jewish-run businesses in Berlin.

    • August 17/18

      Jewish Germans who do not have “recognized Jewish” first names are required to officially take the additional name Israel or Sara as of January 1, 1939.

    • Mid-September

      Charlottenburg district court dismisses an action brought by Jewish tenants against Berlin housing associations, thus approving the evictions.

    • September 14

      GBI Albert Speer proposes the idea of housing tenants whose homes are due for demolition in apartments occupied by Jews – and forcing the Jewish Berliners out of their homes. The GBI starts holding records on large apartments occupied by Jewish tenants.

    • October 28

      Some 1,500 Jewish people from Poland are expelled from Berlin to the German-Polish border. Thousands are deported.

      Expelled Jews in Zbąszyń, 1938, photographer unknown. Source: Yad Vashem, Signatur 2656/18
    • November 7-12

      Gauleiter of Berlin Joseph Goebbels organizes a nationwide, anti-Jewish pogrom. The SA, SS, and their accomplices destroy homes, businesses, and synagogues. The extent of the damage, or number of Berlin Jews injured, remains unclear.

    • November 12

      Nazi officials meet in the Ministry of Aviation to discuss where to house Jews. Reinhard Heydrich, head of the security police and the Nazi intelligence organization SD, opposes the idea of ghettos in German cities, fearing they would be too hard to control.

    • November/December

      Jewish businesses in Berlin are forced to sell up below value or close down. Countless Jewish people are thus deprived of their livelihoods.

    • December 28

      Hermann Göring decrees the segregation of Jews in ‘Jew houses.’ Hitler had charged Göring with organizing and coordinating the persecution of Jews after the pogrom. .

    • February 8

      Homes and business premises let to Jewish tenants by non-Jewish landlords must be registered with the authorities – in Berlin by the Redevelopment of the Reich Capital’s implementing body under the GBI. The GBI decides who can move into vacant ‘Jew homes.’

    • April 30

      The Law on Tenancy with Jews comes into force. It abolishes tenant protection for Jews with non-Jewish landlords and allows local authorities to allocate rooms to Jewish people in the homes of other Jews.

    • Spring

      The Berlin Jewish Community sets up the housing advice office under the direction of Dr. Martha Mosse.

    • 19. Mai

      All rooms let to Jewish people now need to be officially registered, i.e., Jewish landlords also need to notify the authorities of their Jewish tenants.

    • May

      A national census is carried out; data on Jews are separately collected. According to these, 82,457 people live in Berlin who are classified as Jewish under the Nuremberg race laws.

    • July 4

      The Reich Association of Jews in Germany is founded. Membership is compulsory for all Jewish Communities and their members.

    • September 1

      Nazi Germany invades Poland and World War II breaks out. The chances for Jews to leave Germany diminish.

    • End of the year

      The outbreak of war brings residential construction in Berlin to a standstill, worsening the housing shortage. Support grows for the idea of ousting Jewish tenants from their homes to make way for non-Jews.

    • February

      Jews are expelled from East Frisia; many come to Berlin. They join many other Jewish people who came to Berlin in preceding years to escape antisemitism in smaller towns and villages.

    • April 24

      The Reich Security Main Office prohibits all male and female German Jews who are “fit for military service or work assignment” from emigrating to other European countries and especially to “enemy states” in Europe.

    • July 4

      Another regulation introduced in Berlin: Jews may only go shopping between 4 pm and 5 pm.

    • July 31

      The Berlin telephone exchange cuts off all connections to private Jewish households.

    • September 1

      Some 80,000 Berlin Jews have emigrated abroad since 1933.

      A train leaving Anhalter Bahnhof station, taking young Jewish emigrants on the start of their journey via Marseille to Palestine, September 1, 1936. Photo: Herbert Sonnenfeld. Source: Jüdisches Museum Berlin, FOT 88/500/106/015
    • September 10

      Tenant protection for Jewish tenants in Jewish-owned properties is revoked in Berlin, Munich, and Vienna.

    • September 21

      A regulation is issued demanding separate air shelters in buildings housing Jewish and non-Jewish residents.

    • October

      Jews are assigned forced labor across the German Reich. Jews in Berlin are especially badly hit; many are made to work in the arms industry.

    • January

      There are just over 70,000 Jewish people still living in Berlin.

    • January to October

      During the GBI’s “1st action” in Berlin, at least 2,000 “Jew homes” owned by non-Jews are “vacated”. The Jewish tenants are given six weeks’ notice to move out. The vacant apartments are let to non-Jewish people with certificates of eligibility for publicly supported housing.

    • April 1

      The Berlin Jewish Community is required to change its name to “Jüdische Kultusvereinigung zu Berlin e.V.” (“Jewish Religious Association Berlin, registered society”).

    • May to July

      During the GBI’s “2nd action” in Berlin, 1,000 “Jew homes” are vacated. This time the Jewish tenants are given no more than two weeks’ notice to leave.

    • August

      More forced laborers are enlisted: All Jewish men up to the age of 60 and all Jewish women up to the age of 55 are now required to perform forced labor. 26,000 to 28,000 Jewish people are employed as forced laborers in Berlin.

    • The GBI’s “3rd action” starts. The occupants of some 5,000 “Jew homes” are hit. Because the letters of notification resemble those issued in the previous actions, the recipients expect to be allocated new housing. But some of them are deported instead.

    • September

      Jews are required to wear a yellow star in public. The cloth stars are to be purchased from the Jewish Community at a price of RM 0.10.

    • October 18

      The deportations from Berlin begin: The first train, transporting about 1,000 Berlin Jews, goes to the Łódź ghetto. There are no known photos of the deportations from Berlin.

    • December 1

      Jewish people are prohibited from selling, gifting, or leasing their mobile assets, such as furniture and jewelry.

    • December

      The Jewish cemetery office registers 267 suicides in 1941. 79 of them occurred in October, when the deportations began. The actual number is likely to be far higher.

    • January 20

      The day the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” is discussed in Wannsee, a GBI official points out the advantages of taking over “Jew homes”.

      Regarding: Vacation of property sections, Berlin-Charlottenburg, January 20, 1942. Source: Privatsammlung, Berlin
    • March 24

      The Reich Ministry of the Interior prohibits Jews, with a very few exceptions, from using inner-city public transport.

    • May 15

      Jews are banned from keeping pets. They are given until May 20 to register pets for collection.

    • June

      The deportations of predominantly elderly people to the Theresienstadt ghetto begin.

    • Mid-June

      The secret state police (Gestapo) order Jewish people to hand in items in their possession such as cameras, typewriters, and hotplates.

    • August

      The last remaining residents of Jewish old people’s homes in Berlin are deported.

    • March

      The Berlin Jewish Community’s housing advice office now employs 40 members of staff.

    • March 26

      Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office, rules that the homes of Jewish people must be marked out by a white paper “Jew star” on the door.

    • November

      Alois Brunner, a close associate of Adolf Eichmann, organizer of the deportations, takes over the Berlin Gestapo’s “Jew Department” for a time. More Jewish people are now deported straight from “Jew houses,” sometimes during raids on whole buildings or streets.

    • December

      The Berlin Jewish Community’s housing advice office is renamed “housing office for migration preparation.”

    • End of the year

      The administration of the Weißensee Jewish cemetery registers 823 suicides, the highest number in one year so far.

    • January

      Some 33,000 people who are classified Jewish under the Nuremberg race laws still live in Berlin. 15,100 of them are made to perform forced labor.

      PLATZHALTER *Margarete Kuttner was also made to perform forced labor. Her daughter took this photo on Uhlandstraße with a selftimer before going into hiding. Photo: Annegret Kuttner, 1943. Quelle: ? R-2000/144/10*
    • February 27 to March 5

      During the Nazis’ so-called “factory action”, the remaining Jewish forced laborers are collected from Berlin’s armaments factories and deported within a few days to Auschwitz concentration camp.

    • March

      The mass deportations from Berlin come to an end. Subsequently, most deportees are Jewish Community staff members – or people living underground who were caught by the Gestapo. Most Jews in “mixed marriages”, i.e., with a non-Jewish spouse, remain exempt from deportation.

    • Last months of the war

      A few forced lodgings continue to exist until the end of the war, inhabited mainly by people in “mixed marriages” and Jewish people “of mixed blood”.

    • 2. Mai

      Die Jüdische Gemeinde schätzt, dass bei Kriegsende etwa 6.000 bis 8.000 Jüdinnen:Juden in der Stadt leben: 4.000 als Partner:innen in „Mischehen“, 1.900 ehemalige Häftlinge aus Lagern und Ghettos (hauptsächlich Theresienstadt) und 1.400 Menschen, die untergetaucht überlebt haben.



Antisemitische Wohnungspolitik in Berlin 1939–1945

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