Places and short biographies

In this section the commemorated persons are briefly introduced.

No. 1 Straße des Friedens

Commemorating Dr Hilde Spier, 1901 - 1942,
deported on 2 September 1942, Auschwitz;
Commemorating Carl Ludwig Spier, 1900 - 1945,
death march to Buchenwald.

Mr Carl Ludwig Spier and Dr Hilde Spier lived in the ground floor apartment of No. 1 former Friedrichstraße from 1930. Erfurt was the birthplace of their children Marianne and Rolf. The philologist Dr Hilde Spier had worked as an editor in Cologne. When Carl Ludwig Spier was offered the directorship of the shoe factory Lingel, they moved to Erfurt. The family fled into exile in Brussels in 1935. Carl Ludwig was arrested in May 1940 and deported to France. Hilde fled with the children to the South of France, however they were interned by the Vichy authorities as “undesirable” German Jews in the camp of Gurs. At the end of July 1940 they were moved to Saint Cyprien. Carl Ludwig was also interned in Saint Cyprien, but he was shortly after moved to Gurs. After several months apart and a joint stay in Meillon they lived in the unoccupied zone of France until the big police roundup in August 1942. The family was interned in a detention camp for foreign Jews in Nice. There Hilde and Carl separated themselves from their children. They did this believing that Marianne and Rolf would be safe in the care of trustworthy people. Via the internment camp at Drancy, Hilde and Carl Ludwig Spier were deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz. Carl was not murdered there, but moved on to different camps, and finally, on 20 January 1945, to Buchenwald concentration camp.

No. 13 Straße des Friedens

Commemorating Blondina Schüftan, born in 1887,
deported on 2 March 1943, Auschwitz.

The widow of the rabbi who died in 1936, was called Dina and had been living in the ground floor apartment of No. 13 former Friedrichstraße since March 1938. The apartment became a meeting place for the synagogue community and the board following the destruction of the Great Synagogue in the pogrom night of 1938. Dina Schüftan came to Erfurt with her husband and their son in 1923. From the start she was active in the Jewish welfare work, the Israelitischer Frauenverein Erfurt (Israelite Women’s Association Erfurt) and the Landesverband Mitteldeutschland des Jüdischen Frauenbunds (Regional Association for Central Germany of the Jewish Women’s Association). She deferred emigrating herself so as not to abandon the community. Right until the end she worked in Erfurt as a welfare worker for the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland (Reich’s Association of the Jews in Germany). On 23 January 1943 Dina Schüftan moved to Nos. 98/99 Johannesstraße, from where she was deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz together with two other members of the community.

No. 16 Puschkinstraße

Commemorating Leopold Stein, born in 1880,
deported on 2 March 1943, Auschwitz.

The ground-floor apartment of No. 16 former Viktoriastraße was rented by the Jewish community and served several families as accommodation in 1939. One room was officially designated as the schoolroom for the private Jewish Volksschule (eight-year school) from 1 January 1940. Leopold Stein had already been teaching Jewish schoolchildren there for several months, including some from outside Erfurt. The teacher, who had been working at the Mittelschule (middle school) in Bleicherode since 1911, was forced to resign in September 1933, whereupon he moved to Erfurt with his family. Both his daughters managed to escape into exile on time. Leopold Stein and his wife Elly were forced to change their residence within Erfurt several times. Lastly they were accommodated in No. 24 Herderstraße, in a ghetto house.

No. 23 Domplatz

Commemorating Günther Beer, born in 1938,
deported on 9 May 1942, Ghetto Belzyce.

The four-year old was the youngest inhabitant of Erfurt to be deported. He lived with his mother and grandparents on the second floor of No. 23 in what was then Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz with the Satonower sisters. Günther’s father had emigrated to Holland intending that his wife and child should join him later. Günther had moved with his mother Irma from Glogau to Erfurt in September 1939. Irma’s parents had moved here from Stadtlengsfeld in 1938. Irma Beer was made to work as forced labourer in the company Amend & Co. in 1941. On 8 May 1942 the Satonower sister and their lodgers were rounded up by the authorities, destination unknown. On 9 May 1942 they reached the detention camp in Weimar and the next day they were deported to the district of Lublin. The first mass deportation of Jews from the regions of Thuringia and Saxony took away 101 people from Erfurt. Not one survived.

No. 40 Bahnhofstraße

Commemorating Dr Ernst Ehrlich, 1874 - 1942,
deported on 19 September 1942, Theresienstadt.

The specialist for stomach, bowel and metabolic diseases had lived and worked on the first floor of the building from 1933 until 1938. As a former soldier who served at the front in the First World War and physician who qualified before 1 August 1914 Dr Ehrlich had initially been exempted from the ban on Jews working for the statutory health insurance system. From October 1939 the occupational ban was extended to all Jewish doctors. On 9 November 1939 he was arrested and transported the next day together with a further 179 men from the gymnasium of the Realgymnasium (secondary school) to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he was interned until 26 November 1938. From July 1939 he worked as the last “carer for the sick” in Erfurt, i.e. he was authorised only to treat Jews. Dr Ernst Ehrlich died on 13 October 1942 in the ghetto of Theresienstadt as a result of the inhumane living conditions.

No. 1 Meister-Eckehart-Straße

Commemorating Naemi Rosenblüth, 1926 - 1942,
deported on 28 October 1938, Poland.

The DenkNadel is located in the courtyard of the Evangelisches Ratsgymnasium (a protestant secondary school) Erfurt. Naemi, also called Normi, had been a pupil of the then Mittelschule für Mädchen (middle school for girls), called Kasinoschule (Casino School), since Easter 1937. Before that she went to a Volksschule (elementary school) for four years. Naemi’s time at the Kasinoschule began in class 6a, later re-named Mittelschulklasse 1 (middle school class 1). On 11 October 1938, only a few days before her forced expulsion, the pupil of class 2a received her mid-year report. Naemi was deported together with her widowed mother Sara, who had a Polish passport, and her older sisters Ruth and Edith. The so-called “Polenaktion” was the earliest deportation from the German Reich to the East. Family Rosenblüth first lived in Otwock, then in Warsaw. Naemi’s day of death and that of her relatives in 1942 is unknown.

No. 98 Johannesstraße

Commemorating Max Cohn, born in 1899,
April 1945, Buchenwald;
Commemorating Helmut Cohn, born in 1925,
December 1944, Auschwitz;
Commemorating Rosemarie Cohn, born in 1928,
January 1945, Bergen-Belsen.

In summer 1942 the Cohns moved to a flat on the first floor of the rear building. Max Cohn was married to a non-Jew, their three children counted as “first degree Jewish Mischlinge” (“crossbreed”). The father was made to work as a forced labourer by the company Thüba, Thüringer Badeofenfabrik (Thuringian Bath Boiler Factory), in the manufacture of plane parts. A colleague denounced him in 1942 for the exchange of cigarettes against food rations. Thereupon Max Cohn was arrested and convicted. After serving his sentence he was detained in Auschwitz-Monowitz concentration camp. The transfer to Buchenwald concentration camp took place in November 1943. There he died, probably on 9 April 1945.
His oldest son Helmut and his daughter Rosemarie were repeatedly denounced by neighbours for not wearing the Yellow Star. In the middle of the year 1944 both were arrested by the Gestapo and deported to the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz in July. The last evidence of Helmut being alive is a letter dated 9 December 1944 from Block 20, the “infection block”. Rosemarie was transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died from hunger in January 1945.
The then property Nos. 98/99 Johannesstraße counts as a ghetto house, because several flats were designated “living quarters for Jews” by the Gestapo and the municipality. From this address at least a further 17 persons were deported between May 1942 and January 1945, of whom only three survived.

No. 46 Anger

Commemorating Erich Dublon, 1890 - 1942,
deported on 11 August 1942, Auschwitz;
Commemorating Wilhelm Dublon, born in 1889,
deported on 15 January 1944, Auschwitz.

The brothers Erich and Wilhelm Dublon were co-owners of the shoe trading firm Dublon. Their father had founded the company in 1898 and was co-owner until his death in 1940. In the shop at No. 46 Anger they sold products of the shoe company Hess. Opposite, at No. 27 Anger, they managed the shoe shop Salamander. They had to give up these businesses in May 1938 after Salamander and Hess withdrew the franchises. One year later Wilhelm, his wife Erna (born in 1903), their daughters Lore (born in 1927) and Eva (born in 1933) as well as Erich Dublon embarked on the refugee ship “St. Louis”. Erich kept a dairy on the way. The failure of their escape has entered history as the “Odyssey of the St. Louis”. The Dublons disembarked and were accepted by Belgium and so, less than a year later, were once again at peril from German fascism. Wilhelm was interned in Mechelen on 23 December 1943, his wife with the two children on 8 January 1944. Seven days later the deportation of the family to Auschwitz extermination camp began. Erich had already been transported from Mechelen to Auschwitz in August 1942. The death register documents his death on 3 September 1942.
Johanna Dublon, the widowed mother, left the Erfurt ghetto house No. 69 Kartäuserstraße on 18 September 1942; she died in the ghetto of Theresienstadt on 14 December 1942.

No. 5 Lutherstraße

Commemorating Herta Simon, born in 1921,
deported on 9 May 1942, Ghetto Belzyce.

Herta Simon lived in Blankenhain. Her war-disabled father ran a button and clothes shop there until his death in 1931. Her mother, Klara Simon, continued the business until the “Aryanisation” in 1938. The grandmother, Sara Simon, was also a member of the household. The three women moved to No. 5 Lutherstraße in Erfurt together in early November 1938. Herta worked temporarily as a housemaid in 1939 and 1940 out of town. She had an offer of working in a household in Scotland, but the outbreak of the Second World War prevented her emigrating. In September 1941 Herta was deployed as forced labourer in Erfurt. On 8 May Herta had was forced to leave for a “destination unknown”. Her mother as well as four fellow lodgers were also sent away. In the early morning of 9 May they had to come to the station. The next stop was the detention camp at Weimar. The next day they were deported to the district of Lublin.