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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

Book Pages 242 - 248

  GUGGENHEIMER, Lina and Karl,

23 Radstrasse





Translated by: Liliana Löwenstein


[Josef Guggenheimer, born February 10, 1857, died November 19, 1920 in Munich] Helene, called Lina, née Guggenheimer, born on February 24, 1860 in Altenstadt, died on January 11, 1941 in Laupheim.
-    Karl Guggenheimer, born on May 7, 1882 in Laupheim, Deportation on November 28, 1941, to Riga
-    [Leopold Guggenheimer, born on June 13, 1883 in Laupheim, deportation from Munich on November 20, 1941, to Kaunas, murdered there on November 25, 1941.]




Once again we can thank the photo album from the Jewish Senior Citizen home, for the portraits of the two last Guggenheimers from Laupheim taken in 1940 by an unknown photographer, and that came to the hands of Ernst Schäll through Gretel Gideon. The 80 years old mother Lina Guggenheimer is easy to recognize on both pictures, she wears glasses with marked round lenses and has totally white hair. In comparison with the other persons she probably was quite small, her seated size lets us think so. She looks quite friendly, in spite of the general situation, the small size of the rooming, the miserable conditions to find food and the reprisals against them. It is noteworthy that all the persons on these images look very well looked after and are wearing their good clothing. Evidently the inhabitants of the Jewish Senior Citizen home made great effort to maintain their posture in those difficult times, and to create opportunities that created a positive atmosphere which gave them the possibility for distraction and holding together for support and consolation.


Lina Guggenheimer has lived in Radstrasse 23 until she moved to the Jewish Senior Citizen home on September 28, 1939. Just a few months after these photos have been taken, she died on January 11, 1941 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Laupheim, in the same tomb as her husband Josef Guggenheimer, who had already died in 1920. The name written on the tombstone is Lina. Probably it was a nickname derived from Helene, which was very strongly connected to her person, replacing the name registered in the Civil Registry. Her death did not only preserve her from her own deportation, but also from the knowledge of what happened to her eldest son.


The 58-year-old Karl, who may be seen on the right side beside the mother at the coffee table on the first photo, and in the back row on the second photo, holding his head slightly tilted, looks quite skeptic, very reserved and worried. Karl Guggenheimer was not completely healthy, in terms of today’s language it would mean that he was mentally impaired. As from June 6, 1940 he was taken to the institution “Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Heggbach.


The Jewish section of the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Heggbach


There is an estimate that in 1939 100 Jewish patients lived at the Heil- und Pflege Institutions in Württemberg. In the German Reich the count probably was between 2000 and 2500. Their destiny showed the same as for all other German Jews, the development of segregation, loss of rights, and discrimination as the Holocaust drew closer. In the circular letter Nr. IX, dated October 5, 1939, of the Minister of the Interior of Württemberg he grants the asylum of the Jewish mental patients of Württemberg in the institutions of Zwiefalten and Heggbach. The Heggbach institution, in a document dated October 21, 1939 declared to be ready to install “a small special section for Jewish patients”. In the period between 1938 and 1942, 38 Jews lived in the section separated from other patients. Karl Guggenheimer was the only Jewish patient that came from Laupheim who lived there from June 1940 until November 1940. 13 of them died in Heggbach and were among the last persons to be buried in the Jewish cemetery in Laupheim. The others were victims of euthanasia and deportations.





The Jewish fosterling Karl Guggenheimer, together with Martha Aronsohn, who came from Stuttgart to the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Heggbach was assigned to the first deportation that left Laupheim. On November 28, 1941 they were brought to the West Station and from there, together with the 19 Jews from Laupheim, they were sent to Stuttgart to the camp at Killesberg, where the Jews from Württemberg were concentrated for deportation to the West, that is, to the so called General government. The National Socialists used this opportunity shamelessly for the violation of the assets of the Jews, in order to loot everything. This was performed in a really wicked and shameless manner, that is, in Killesberg the Jews had to accept and pay a Certificate of Service, which declared that their assets passed to the German Reich. Karl Guggenheimer received it at the Internment Camp Killesberg on November 29, 1941 and had to pay 1,15 RM for it. In the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Heggbach he already had presented an eight-page long asset declaration for the Financial Authority Biberach, and on November 22, 1941 he had to sign it. Apart from the objects he carried with him, it covered all assets in the form of savings deposits, among others. This meticulousness of the Nazis “allowed” that we could state in detail the listed assets of Karl Guggenheimer. His luggage consisted of a travel suitcase and a backpack. His tableware consisted of two coffee spoons, one soup spoon, an aluminum bowl and an aluminum-drinking cup. His bed linens were one cover, two sheets, three pillowcases, two blankets and 12 handkerchiefs. His clothes consisted of five suits, two winter coats, repair patches and a men’s hat. He also had a cap, a walking stick, four nightgowns, a dressing gown, 15 shirts, collar buttons, four ties, three pairs of shoes, two pairs of slippers, eight collars, eight pairs of socks, one pair of gloves, one scarf, three pairs of suspenders, 12 long pants and five pieces of underwear. Listed as special items were seven clothes hangers, three prayer books, one comb, one washcloth and one hairbrush. At the savings account Laupheim there was a deposit of 481,79 RM, administered by his guardian Ludwig Stern. Besides he had mortgage bonds for a value of 3500 RM.


These assets were confiscated in favor of the German Reich. The listed details make the complicated operations and instrumentation of the management of the services of the Nazis very clear.


Both pictures from Killesberg show, without the need of many words, the degrading situation for the affected persons and hint the physical and psychical efforts the internees have suffered. On December 1, 1941 the deportation train left Stuttgart with 1013 Jews from Württemberg, towards Riga. After travelling three days and nights, without sufficient food or stops, on December 4, 1941 they arrived in Skirotowa, where the SS-people “received” the Jews from Württemberg. Immediately part of the luggage was stolen. Most of them were placed in the Jungfernhof camp, at a distance of two to three kilometers; the others were taken to the Riga Ghetto. If Karl Guggenheimer really was among the deported persons, is not really sure, as there is no list of the names of the 1013 deported persons, and the archives of Yad Vashem in Israel “A Page of Testimony” include one page with the declaration of witnesses that confirm this. It reads as follows: “ shot to death 1.XII.1941”. This shooting at said date, that is, on the day of departure of the train, might have still been in Stuttgart. Possibly due to his mental impairment he was not able to comply quickly with the indications of the SS, and therefore he might have been murdered. Reports by witnesses unfortunately describe many examples of destinies of this type. A letter from Lina Wertheimer from the Jewish Senior Citizen home in Laupheim to Emma and Margaret Gideon in Winterthur, dated July 15, 1942 reads as follows: “Karl (Guggenheimer) is miles away since November and we have heard nothing from him, and we have also had no news from our former schoolmate Selma E, (Einstein, née Laupheimer, who was deported on April 24, 1942 to the camp in Izbica, close to Lublin.”


Guggenheimer in Laupheim


In contrast with most Jewish families the Guggenheimer family was not among the families living in Laupheim for generations. They came from Altenstadt, near Illertissen / Bavaria. Lina née Guggenheimer, and Josef Guggenheimer were both born there and married on August 8, 1881 in Ulm. Their eight children, Karl (1882), Leopold (1883), Julius (1884), Bertha (1886), Hermann (1887), Max (1889), Heinrich (1893) and Jette (1897), were all born in Laupheim, that lets us conclude that they settled there at the beginning of the eighties of the 19th. Century. In the year 1888 all the members of the family were officially admitted as Württemberg citizens. Two generations of the family are buried in the Jewish cemetery in Laupheim. At the side of Josef and Lina Guggenheimer is the father of the husband, Jacob Guggenheimer, and his second wife Babette, née Schlesinger. It is possible that the older generation in this case has followed the younger generation. The date of arrival is not documented.


In general the researches obtained interesting findings on the members of the family, but without offering a complete picture. Lina and Josef Guggenheimer had eight children, and the youngest, Jette, died just a few months later. It has not been possible to determine the profession or craft of Josef Guggenheimer. The family lived at Radstrasse 23. There is only one mention of Lina Guggenheimer in a press release in the “Laupheimer Verkündiger” in the May 1930 issue under Laupheim, Heimatsmuseum (Homeland Museum). There she was mentioned, together with seven other donors, with reference to a donation for the museum from the Biedermeier time. During the years of this journal several times donations for the museum by Christian and Jewish donors were mentioned, as well as for other charities, reflecting the feeling of responsibility of all citizens towards the welfare of their community. A few years later, 1936, the conditions under the Nazis had reversed, and Lina herself was in need, and asked the Jewish Winter Assistance for the supply of a pair of warm slippers, size 39.


The seven children of the Guggenheimer family grew up in Laupheim, and attended the Jewish elementary school, two of them could be found in old school photos. The daughter Bertha Guggenheimer is on the school photo of the year 1895. Later, in 1912, she married Heinrich Löwenstein from Rexingen in Laupheim, and left Laupheim. Therewith all track of her was lost.


The youngest son, Heinrich Guggenheimer, may be found on the school photo from 1904. We know nothing else about the rest of his life, as well as with reference to his six year older brother Max Guggenheimer, about whom it was impossible to find any information.



Jewish Elementary School 1895. Top row:
Obernauer, Dudle, Blumenthal.
Middle row: Bertha Guggenheimer;
lower row: Wassermann, Hugo Hofstetter.

Jewish Elementary School 1904/05: Max Einstein,

Heinrich Guggenheimer, Julius Weil


“Julius Guggenheimer

Grete Guggenheimer,

née Levy


Stuttgart               Hohenlimburg

Laupheim             Westphalia

Wedding ceremony on December 22, 1927

in Hohenlimburg”



Julius was the only one of the six sons of the Guggenheimer family to register in the list created by Jonas Weil “Directory of the members of the Jewish Community in Laupheim to participate in the war”. He was admitted on November 5, 1914 in the Infantry Regiment of the National Army 123 Ravensburg and as he himself has declared, he participated in the Oberelsass positioning battles, and was discharged on December 24, 1918, after the ending of the war.


Almost ten years later he published an ad on December 20, 1927 in the “Laupheimer Verkündiger” announcing his wedding to Grete Levy. The residence indication on the ad stated the places of origin of the couple, that is, Laupheim and Hohenlimburg in Westphalia, as well as Julius Guggenheimer’s possible new residence, that is the city of Stuttgart, where the last information about his life was found.


The results of the researches for Leopold Guggenheimer go much further. He lived longer in Laupheim than all the other brothers. He lived at his parent’s home until the year 1930, at Radstrasse 23, in Laupheim, and moved to Munich. A confirmation hereof was found in the “Biographical Commemorative Book of the Jews from Munich 1933 – 1945”, where his name is recorded. According to these records, he moved to Munich on April 18, 1932. His photo belongs to the identity document.


Leopold Guggenheimer was a door-to-door salesman, married to Hanna née Ansbacher and had three children: Salomon, Simon and Joseph. Surprisingly they do not appear again in the documents of the Civil Registry or in commemorative book, therefore we cannot determine any further information about their lives. Leopold Guggenheimer issued a declaration for the Finance Authority, which clearly states the huge reprisals by the Nazis against the Jewish salesmen in the times after 1933: at the right is the passport photo of Leopold Guggenheimer.


“Munich, October 15, 1937
I hereby inform that from August 1935 – February 13, 1937 I was in Rebdorf in the workhouse and could not file a declaration in the year 1936. In April I have requested a salesman certificate, which was not awarded. Therefore, I have no earnings and cannot pay any taxes.
Yours very truly
Leopold Guggenheimer


The following document states how he has earned his living lately:



The undersigning, Leopold Guggenheimer, Oberanger 52/2 have no occupation since 1.I.37 until 30.XI.37, and receive support from the Welfare Office from the Jewish Culture Community with food stamps and clothing.
Since December 1, 37 I accept orders for the delivery of lemonades for the company Richard Kreiler. I receive a commission of 1 Pfennig for each bottle. The company itself makes the delivery.
Munich, February 15, 1938.
Signed: Leopold Guggenheimer


Unfortunately the circle closes with the destiny of Leopold Guggenheimer, connected at the beginning with his older brother. He was deported as well. The destination of his deportation was Kaunas, where he was murdered on November 25, 1941.




Sources, literature and images:


Succession John Bergmann


Archives of the History of Christians and Jews in Greater Laupheim Castle Museum


Biographical Commemorative Book of the Jews from Munich 1933-45. City Archives Munich. Munich 2007, Volume 1.


Hecht, Cornelia / Köhlerschmidt, Antje: The Deportation of the Jews from Paupheim. Laupheim 2004. Hüttenmeister, Nathanja: The Jewish Cemetery Laupheim. Laupheim 1998.


Naeve, Detlev: History of the Pflegeanstalt Heggbach and the Children’s Assylum Ingerkingen during National Socialism 1933-1945. Eitorf 2000.


City Archives Laupheim Fl 9811-9899 Ia.



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