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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

  Book Pages 394 - 397

NÖRDLINGER, Pauline and Hermann,


farmer, and Babette Hanauer, 49 Kapellenstrasse



Translated by: Annika Claas


Pauline Nördlinger, née Einstein, born on May 25, 1868 in Laupheim, died on December 4, 1940 in Laupheim. Widow of [Ludwig Nördlinger, farmer, born on May 23, 1863, died on October 30, 1932 in Laupheim].


    Benno, born on November 14, 1895,


    Julia, married Bernheim, born on July 12, 1898,


    Hermann, born on November 6, 1901, married Irmgard Bodländer on August 25, 1938, moved to Groß Breesen (Brandenburg) after the wedding.

Widowed sister of Ludwig Nördlinger: Babette Hanauer, née Nördlinger, born on December 3, 1864, died on July 10, 1936, in Laupheim.

Daughter: Julia Hanauer, born on August 1, 1891, in Esslingen.


This photo of the Ernst Schäll Archives is just as original as it is expressive. Nevertheless, it leaves behind a mystery, as Gretel Gideon who noted the names on the reverse was unsure if the name of the pictured adult was Julius or Ludwig Nördlinger despite her good memory. This is easily understandable, since the two of them were cousins, both were farmers and livestock dealers and both of their houses were situated in the same street, the Kapellenstraße. 


The photo was probably taken in the courtyard of 49 Kapellenstraße around 1903/1904. The proprietor of the cart and the courtyard is Ludwig Nördlinger, the so-called “Economist”. According to the painted logo on the cart, which is only visible with a magnifying glass, the cart is called “Benno” after Ludwig’s oldest son. Benno himself is most likely the child standing next to the cart in attire similar to his father’s. He has the look of somebody important about him and thus is probably conscious of his importance as cart owner and oldest son. With his adult clothing, he looks distinctly older than eight or nine years. The most reliable of the names provided is that of the youngest on the coach-box: Seated there is the approximately three-year-old Hermann Nördlinger with bridle and stick in hand. On the school photo (see further down) he looks exactly the same.

With great certainty his six-year-old sister Julia, born in 1898, is sitting behind him looking at the photographer. According to Gretel Gideon the girl in the middle with glasses and blond, curly hair is Julia Hanauer, a cousin of the Nördlinger children. Julia’s mother, Babette Hanauer, née Nördlinger, was married to Samuel Hanauer, with whom she lived in Esslingen. After her husband’s death in 1893 she moved back to Laupheim, where she lived in her brother’s house. Julia Hanauer would have been 12 years old in 1903, which fits the age of the girl in the photo. 

The third girl, Johanna Heimann, who was 10 years old at the time, was certainly named correctly as well. Johanna Heimann had only moved to Laupheim one or two years before this picture was taken. Her mother Jeanette, called Jenny, was born a Steiner and used to be the Nördlingers’ neighbor. However, she had lived in Kaiserslautern together with her husband Julius Heimann until his death in 1901. Thereafter she moved back to Laupheim with her daughter, where they rented 28/1 (today 29) Ulmer Straße. Jenny Heimann passed away on July 21, 1934 at the age of 64. She was then buried in Laupheim. Later, on November 1, 1934 her daughter Johanna moved away to Freiburg. 

According to Gretel Gideon the two older boys who are sitting on the cart are Hugo Höchstetter and Julius Einstein, which proves true when compared to other photos in this book. Both of them lived in the Kapellenstraße like the Nördlingers, just a bit further down the street. It is just that in 1903 these two were already 16 years old, as they were both born in 1887; and today, 16-year-olds do not look like these two and would certainly not sit on a cart together with small children. 

As such, this photo documents how much the age of puberty has moved up in the last hundred years. Furthermore, it shows the solidarity of Jewish families to each other, where nuclear families supported widowed single mothers and their children and integrated them into their families. The most noteworthy aspect of the photo remains, however, the importance of attentiveness to and care for the children. Surely, Ludwig Nördlinger was not an excessively rich farmer, but nevertheless he allowed his family the “luxury” of a child’s toy. His oldest son was evidently very proud of the cart and gained a lot of self-esteem thanks to it. Benno thanked his father by becoming his spitting image, ready to follow in his footsteps.

Benno’s and Julia’s futures have already been described in other essays in this book. In the end it turned out to be Hermann, the youngest son, who followed in his father’s footsteps. He completed training in agricultural education and became a farmer and livestock dealer. In September 1930 his name could be found in an extensive newspaper article on the results of the price competition at the agricultural district festivities. At the riding and jumping tournament he participated in show jumping in class A, where he made seventh place. The agricultural district festivities used to be huge events with parades, tournaments of many kinds, awards for agricultural products and other such things, where people from the whole region met every couple of years.


In the middle: Julia and Hermann Nördlinger as pupils of the israelite Volksschule (a basic primary and secondary school),
1909. At the top, left to right: Fredel (Frida) Nathan, and Gretel Gideon. (photo: Leo-Baeck-Inst. NY)

Ludwig Nördlinger died in October 1932 at the age of 67. His obituary was published in the “Community Journal for Jewish Württemberg” (Original name: „Gemeindezeitung für das jüdische Württemberg“) on December 1, 1932:

„Gemeindezeitung für das jüdische Württemberg“) on December 1, 1932:
“Laupheim. On November 2, the commendable citizen, the economist, Ludwig Nördlinger, was buried. The extraordinary number of people present at his burial is testament to the universal esteem he enjoyed in all circles. – The coffin was laid on a bier in the synagogue. The room only barely provided enough places for all those who wanted to pay last respects to the deceased. The synagogue choir sang the last song for its reliable member, and religion teacher Kahn delivered a funeral oration acknowledging the deceased’s unique qualities. Jacob Adler, a representative for the synagogue choir, found warm words of thanks and appreciation for the loyal singer, who had invested his energies for decades to glorify the services.
Fritz Hofheimer was the spokesperson for the „Verein Talmud Thora“, a Jewish association. In his very touching oration he thanked the deceased in particular for his many exemplary years as first chairman.“


In the Third Reich


It is unclear why Hermann Nördlinger lived from 1936 to the summer of 1938 in Sorgau in the region Niederlausitz, where he worked as an agricultural foreman. It is assumed that he met his future wife there, Miss Irmgard Bodländer, as she came from Breslau. In July 1938 both of them moved back to Laupheim, where they married on August 25, 1938. However, the couple moved to Groß Breesen in Brandenburg not many days after the wedding. Every trace of them would have been lost had Hermann Nördlinger’s obituary of 1983 not been found in the personal effects of the J.-Bergmann estate.




(John-Bergmann-Property, Reel 1, Box 2)


It is therefore clear that they managed to immigrate to the USA – not to Israel, but to the USA, despite Hermann Nördlinger’s membership in the German Zionist Federation and despite the fact that Israel would probably have welcomed him, as he was a farmer with good qualifications. His mother, Pauline, was the only one left in Germany and had to move to the former rabbinate, like so many others, in 1939 or 1940. There she had to live in cramped and degrading conditions. Nevertheless, she seems to have had an air of optimism and good humor about her in all of the photos, which was surely a great help for her fellow occupants. In the end fate proved to be merciful in her case: She died on December 4, 1940 and thus did not have to live through the deportations. She was buried next to her husband in the cemetery in Laupheim.





Pauline Nördlinger (right) as an occupant of the Jewish old people’s home





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