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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

Book Pages 532 - 536 

ULLMANN, Bernhard,

Cattle Merchant, 2 Radstrasse





Translated by Ernie Hunter


Bernhard, known as Benno, Ullmann, born January 19, 1878 in Haigerloch, emigrated April 2, 1941 to New York, USA,

OO Sarah, maiden name Bernheim, born February 19, 1886 in Laupheim, emigrated April 2, 1941 to New York, USA,


- Sofie Ullmann, born Juny 30, 1911 in Haigerloch, emigrated October 28, 1937 to the USA.



The family name of Ullmann is quite possibly a name originating from the birth town of Ulm, where the earliest recorded settlement of Jews was in 1291. After their expulsion in 1499 a new Jewish community was established in 1845/’46, which, as in Laupheim, was destroyed during the NAZI time. However the Jewish couple Siegmund and Resi Wegliein, nèe Regensteiner, who survived KZ Theresienstadt, did return to their home town. Over sixty years later a new Jewish community centre was established. The centre, opened in Ulm on May ,5 2002, was established by Israelis living in Ulm - adding to the cultural diversity of the town.


Bernhard (Benno) Ullmann

(Kreisarchiv Biberach)


Jewish School 1895:  in the middle: 

Sarah Bernheim,  left:  Else Dworzan.


Bernhard – known as Benno – Ullmann was born in Haigerloch on  January 19, 1878 and grew up there. In pursuit of his profession of cattle merchant he probably went as far as Upper Swabia, where he met his future wife, Sarah Bernheim, and was allowed to become further acquainted with her. She was the daughter of cattle merchant Jacob Leopold Bernheim (1856 – 1921) and Bertha Bernheim, nèe Nördlinger (1862 – 1913), and was born 19 February 1886 in Laupheim. The only photograph of her shows her as a pupil about nine years old in the Laupheim Jewish state school, where Adolf Gideon was a teacher at the time.


Neither the marriage nor their daughter’s birth are noted in the Family Register V in the Laupheim Registry Office and this is a sign that Bernhard Ullmann and Sarah Bernheim may well have married in 1910 in Haigerloch where the family of the bridegroom lived. Their only child, Sofie, was born in Haigerloch on  June 30, 1911. The family remained there for a number of years before they moved into Sarah Ullmann’s (nèe Bernheim) parents’ house in 2 Radstrasse  in Laupheim in 1918. Her father Jakob and her brother Theodor Bernheim also lived in the Ullmann’s house. The reason behind the move is not known.

Bernhard Ullmann’s house and barn on the corner Radstrasse/Steinerstrasse. The barn has a heated room for a labourer and has hardly been altered. 

Benno Ullmann had, as did his brother-in-law Theodor Bernheim, an entry in the “Directory of Laupheim’s Jewish war soldiers” organised by Jonas Weil. Apparently he had been in the reserve infantry regiments 111 and 87 in Konstanz and Villingen as a conscripted soldier. His main service was on the western front where he fought in the murderous battles in the Vosges [northern France] and in Champagne. He was demobbed on September 21. 1918.


Although his father-in-law Jacob Leopold Bernheim was also a cattle merchant, Benno Ullmann founded his own firm, in his own name, of cattle breeders and merchants at 2 Radstraße . The brick built house and stalls, with heated labourer’s room is still standing today. The stalls have been restored to their near original state by the current owner.  Nothing additional has been discovered about the business or private life of family Ullmann, similarly for their daughter Sofie Ullmann.  Although there are many photos of the Jewish school, Sofie is not on any of the photos. As a young lady, Sofie was an elected committee member of the Jewish youth group in Laupheim. After her school days Sofie became a typist and clerk and lived with her parents until her emigration to the USA on October 28,  1937.  She went to New York together with two years younger Ilse Eppstein, while her parents remained in Laupheim - they were probably working towards following their only daughter.


It always took months to acquire the necessary and numerous important documents and permits to emigrate to the USA including the essential Affidavit.  In the end it took nearly four years.


During this time Benno Ullmann tried to continue his business as a cattle merchant, increasingly and systematically hindered and undermined by the mass of NAZI legislation and thus unable to earn a living.  In this context refer to the article by Emil Kahn. In addition to the large number of restrictions imposed by the NAZIs on Jewish cattle traders [principally affecting trading in towns, farmers yards and markets] was the withdrawal in October 1938 of the Authorisation Cards necessary to trade and travel.  This meant that the remaining Jewish cattle merchants with their own cattle stalls were effectively forbidden to trade at all.  The original of the Authorisation Card of Benno Ullmann is now in the state archives of Biberach, from which the photo of Benno Ullmann was taken.



Translation of letter 31 May 1941:



“County Offices                              Biberach an der Riss, 31 May 1941

No.: 6104


Subject:  State Secret Police [Gestapo]

             Emmigration Section

                    Ulm a.D.


To:         State Secret Police

             State Police Section



Regarding letter 27 Nov 1939

       II B 3/736/39

Subject: Determination of emigration

Reason: Completeness


       The German national Benno Israel U-llmann, born 19 Jan 1878 in Haigerloch, and his wife Selma Sara, nee Bernheim, born 19.2.1886 in Laupheim, resident of Laupheim, emigrated 2 April this year with their end destination being New York.  They are Jews.  Benno Israel Ullmann was twice punished:  20.- RM gold in 1935 for trading in animals outside the market place and 300.- RM gold in 1937 for sales tax evasion.  From a political perspective the Ullmann’s stayed “under our radar”.


       It will be difficult to find out the reasons for their emigration.


                           On behalf of:



                           Registered Assessor”



Their house in Radstrasse 2 was sold by brother in law Theodor Bernheim on  May 26, 1939 to Andreas Linder, a worker. As Benno and Sarah Ullmann did not move before their emigration we can assume that, as required, their residential address was maintained until they emigrated.  Eventually on  April 2, 1941 they were able to leave NAZI Germany and emigrate to New York. The letter held in the archives of Biberach that the Ulm Secret State Police sent to Stuttgart, reveals two noteworthy facts apart from confirming their emigration. Benno Ullmann had previous convictions, although the first offence is shown as an administration offence. At the same time it was recognised that the Jewish couple had “difficulties” existing/living in NAZI Germany, which considering the NAZI harassment and the start a few months later of the systematic deportation of the German Jews from their heartland to the east and their murder, could be viewed as euphemistic.


Nothing has been discovered about the career and lives of Benno and Sarah Ullmann or their daughter Sofie in their new home.






Hüttenmeister, Nathanja:       Der Jüdische Friedhof Laupheim.  Laupheim 1998. S.554  Kreisarchiv Biberach 034 BüNr.3, Az 6130, 6104 – 7


Estate of John Bergmann  5/24.  Staatsarchiv Württemberg.  Wü 65/18 T 4


Stadtarchiv Laupheim, FL 9811 – 9899 Ia. Standesamt Laupheim, Familenregister Band V


Jonas Weil: “Verzeichnis von Kriegsteilnehmern der israelitischen Gemeinde Laupheim.”  Laupheim 1919



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