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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

Book Pages  220 - 223



9 Radstrasse




Translated by: Markus Ganser


Max Friedland, merchant, born September 14, 1892 in Offenbach/Main, died 1978 in New York, OO Irma Friedland, née Bernheim, born June 4, 1888 in Laupheim, died November 16, 1966 in New York.

Gertrud, born September 7, 1912 in Frankfurt/Main, died approx. in 1970 in California,

Ruth, married Regis, born June 25, 1921 in Biberach, died January 2000 in New York.

Emigration to France in July 1933, then via London to the United States in 1940.

It was the film pioneer Carl Laemmle, originating from Laupheim, who made the Friedland family move here at the beginning of the 1920s. The three main reasons were:

Firstly, Max Friedland was in the film business. He was the head of the “Deutsche Universal” film company which was founded in 1928, and from 1932, he was also responsible for the entire European market.

Secondly, his Laupheim-born wife Irma Bernheim was a niece of Carl Laemmle.

Thirdly, Friedland had already purchased Laemmle’s birth home at 9 Radstrasse from Laemmle in 1924/25. The Friedland family lived there until 1933, with the purchase contract allowing Laemmle and his close relatives a free stay in the house whenever visiting their home town.


The house at 9 Radstrasse – birth home of Carl Laemmle – purchased by the Friedland family in 1924/25. They kept it after their emigration, but in 1941, the Nazi regime confiscated the real estate on the basis of the 11th decree on the Reich Citizens Act of 25 November 1941 which regulated the property of exiled Jews. Therefore, Irma Friedland was able to file a restitution lawsuit after the war, and the property was given back to her in 1950. There were two clocks left from the home inventory, both “assigned for official purposes” by the tax office in Biberach, which could then ”be  picked up at any time by the owner” according to the verdict. 


The announcement from the “Laupheimer Verkündiger”, dated Nov. 4, 1927, confirms that Max Friedland was in the film business. Nevertheless, there is only little information about the track record of the ”Lichtspielbetriebsgesellschaft Laupheim” (cinema operating company), whose founder and CEO he was. For example, the cinema in Schramberg (translator's note: town situated in the eastern Black Forest), which can be seen on a painting in the Laupheim Museum of the History of Christians and Jews, also belonged to Friedland's company.

The older daughter, Gertrud, was born in Frankfurt and attended the Catholic Intermediate School for Girls in Laupheim. She can be seen as a fifteen-year-old in the commemorative group photo of the 1927 graduates. This school was founded in 1905, and also included Jewish pupils, which demonstrates the good relationship between the Christian and Jewish communities at that time.

The Catholic Intermediate School did not offer full secondary school examinations. It was rather an extended lower secondary school with additional classes in French and stenography, and final exams after 4 years.  


Gertrud Friedland (middle row, left) graduating from the Catholic Intermediate Girls’ School in 1927. The names of her classmates:

Maria Schönle and Anna Romer (standing behind her), Lina Konrad (next to her on the right), and Mathilde Fischbach (sitting in the first row).

(From: 100 Jahre Realschule (100 Years of Secondary School), 1996, page 40)


Gertrud Friedland apparently remained unmarried, and upon immigrating to the United States she settled in California unlike the rest of the family who stayed in New York. She died there in the 1970s.

The younger daughter, Ruth, was among the survivors who followed the first invitation to her home town in 1988. For her, it was the first time to return to Laupheim after 50 years. On this occasion, she stated:
"July 1933 marked a break in my life and the life of my family. I was twelve years old then.
Thank God my parents were smart enough to imagine what would happen if we stayed in Laupheim under the new regime.
So we packed a few belongings and went on to Paris where we could live in peace, safe from the terrible tragedy that so many of our people had to face.
Laupheim was a little town which we loved, and we always fondly remembered the countryside life we had been able to live until this miserable outbreak which can be never forgotten nor redeemed.
I am proud to say that the good old United States have been my home ever since.
I am thankful that this country has given me and many others who faced the same situation the opportunity to start a new life.
Of course I often thought of Laupheim and the things I was forced to leave behind.
The good memories have remained, and I was dreaming of visiting Laupheim for many years.
I have to admit that when it became true, I was doubtful and had mixed feelings...
The wonderful invitation was a great opportunity to come back and find out that the new generation is set to make things better …"


Ruth Friedland married Eddie Regis, a talented artist of Puerto Rican origin, who worked as a taxi driver to make a living. Ruth worked in a barber shop into old age and regularly met with former residents from Laupheim who also lived in New York. In January 2000, both Ruth and Eddie Regis passed away shortly after one another.


Ruth and Eddie Regis in 1989.

(Photo: U. Bayer)


In the USA, Max Friedland shifted from film to the leather business, where he, originating from Offenbach, had gained business experience. He was very successful and became quite wealthy.The picture showing the Friedland couple was taken on Irma Friedland's 75th birthday in 1963. She passed away three years after that, and her husband, four years her junior, got married again. Max Friedland died at the age of 86 in 1978.

Irma and Max Friedland in 1963 celebrating Irma’s 75th birthday.

(Photo: U. Bayer)





1. Restitutionsakten, Staatsarchiv Sigmaringen, Wü 126/9, Nr. 26.

2. Schriftlicher Bericht von Ruth Regis, 1988, Archiv U. Bayer.

3. ”Laupheimer Verkündiger”, 24. 11. 1927.

4. Karl Neidlinger, “Hundert Jahre Realschule”, 1996, Friedrich-Adler-Realschule Laupheim