Leaving Nuremberg
(Nürnberg, Germany)

49 °27' / 11°05'

An Internet presentation on Jewish emigration 1933 to 1945


Written and contributed by

Gerhard Jochem

Dedicated to the memory of Rudi Bamberger

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Introduction: The Presence of the Past

This presentation is an attempt to join again fragments of a precious artifact, the German-Jewish history in Nuremberg. Brutally the Nazis smashed it into a thousands pieces. They killed without any pity and even wanted their victims to be forgotten by erasing their traces. The survivors were scattered around the world.

The German Nazis were defeated, but one of their aims, the extinction of the memory impends to be reached by the course of time. Two generations have grown up since the Holocaust took place. The children of the emigrants were born to be Israelis, Americans, Englishmen. Most of the Germans today know about what happened from books only. The threat is growing that with the witnesses the memory will die. On the other hand the present cannot be understood without the knowledge of our past. Our whole existence has historical causes and thus we ourselves are part of this continuity. Therefore the knowledge must be passed on.

During my work on the Memorial Book for Nuremberg's Victims of the Shoah I enjoyed the favor to get to know many former Jewish Nurembergers. These contacts made me aware of the fact how little is known about their lives by the local public despite the official efforts such as invitations to Nuremberg and other activities. In order to do something about this lack of information last year on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of "Reichskristallnacht", City Archives prepared the exhibition "Formerly of Nuremberg" about the expulsion and flight of the Jewish Nurembergers (see the brochure on JewishGen's website). In the book-let in which the visitors could write down their opinions about the exhibition, someone made an entry which shows that the mes-sage was understood by those who came: "WE MUST NOT FORGET!"

The presentation on the website of JewishGen aims primarily towards an American and international audience. At first sight it might seem strange that a German gentile does something like that in cooperation with an American Jewish organization. From my point of view this is no contradiction. History can not be divided nor can truth. Anybody who tries to evade or deny this is bound to fail.

Finally this project is my personal tribute to the individuals with whom I got acquainted. They lost members of their families. They were bereft of their chances both private and educational and had to start all over again in their new home countries. De-spite many difficulties they built up a new existence and settled down. To me they are heroes against their will. My efforts do not suffice to give a complete picture of their biographies. The sketches are mere flashlights supposed to light up this dark chapter of history.

"Leaving Nuremberg" was compiled from material of Nuremberg City Archives (NCA) and documents which were provided by former Nurembergers. I like to thank everybody who contributed to this project and JewishGen Inc. for the opportunity to make it available via Internet. Special gratitude I owe to Mrs. Joyce Field of JewishGen and Mr. Herbert Kolb, who helped me much doing the translation and composition and gave me very valuable advice. By their efforts and technical abilities Mr. Mike Kalt and Mr. Martin Kessel put this presentation into shape for the Internet.

Nuremberg, March 1999
Gerhard Jochem

Container (lift) of the Erlanger family

Container ("lift") of the Erlanger family, Lindenaststrasse 20, May 1938 (NCA E 39 no. 1692/7)


An American's Letter From Nuremberg in 1873
Pictures of a Vanished World: Jewish Life on the Eve of Destruction
Nuremberg in The Thirties: Red Turned Brown
The Emigration in Facts and Figures
Rudolf Bing: Becoming a Zionist
Professor Arnold Friedmann
Dora Friedmann: The Story of Kfar Shmaryahu
Hugo Gutmann: Escaped Three Times
The Heilbronner Family
After the Shoah: The Emigration of the Kolbs
Simon and Mali Margulies: A Failed Flight
Kurt Metzger: Nuremberg's Last Rabbi
David Schneebalg: Nuremberg, Poland, Russia, USA
Professor Kurt E. Shuler
The Strauss Family: Torn Apart by the Nazis
The Tannenbergs: Trapped in Holland
Lea Wassermann: The Last Good Bye
Dr. Justin Weinschenk: A Letter from Erez Israel
Nurembergers Today: Some Things Don't Go Away

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Updated 22 June 2003 by LA