Martha Senftleben and Deutsche Gotterkenntnis (Society for the Knowledge of God) in the Karkonosze Mountains

On the tombstones of two individuals buried in the forest cemetery in Michałowice, there are inscribed runes and a triskelion. One of them will be our focus today, although you’ll soon see that her story is about to be eclipsed by a certain couple. But let’s start from the beginning.

Tombstone of Martha Senftleben at the cemetery between Michałowice and Piechowice / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Martha Binner was born in Niemcza (Nimtsch) on October 1st, 1859, as the daughter of Herman Oswald Binner, a master painter, and Ernestine Dorothy née Burgstadt, both Evangelicals. She married Bruno Senftleben, a technician from Świdnica (Schweidnitz). The couple settled in his hometown and had one son, Herbert, and one daughter, Margarethe. The years 1916 and 1917 proved tragic for Martha – first her husband passed away, followed shortly by her 22-year-old son, who died on August 8th, 1917, on the front in Bukovina. Interestingly, Herbert’s death was registered in Piechowice, where he was said to reside before his death, while according to the record, his mother still lived in Świdnica. I suspect he might have been staying with his sister, who married Alfred Georg Poludniok, a writer, in Piechowice in 1915.

Gravestones at the cemetery between Michałowice and Piechowice / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Going back to Martha – we know she passed away on December 25th, 1939. According to her death certificate, she passed away in her apartment in Piechowice (Petersdorf) 96, and her religion was listed as… Deutsche Gotterkenntnis, which literally translates to German Knowledge of God. And now the most intriguing part begins.

Death certificate of Martha Senftleben / Source: The State Archive in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch

The religious movement Deutsche Gotterkenntnis was established by the controversial General Erich Ludendorff and his wife Mathilde von Kemnitz (Spiess). In the early 1920s, Erich was dubbed “the most dangerous man in Germany” and by others – the forefather of Nazism. He was the author of the controversial book “The Total War”, wherein he asserted that Germany’s fundamental objective was perpetual war and conquest.

In 1924, Erich established the Tannenbergbund association, which focused on political activities and “promoted a mystical pantheism with a Germanic-racist flavor.” In 1926, he married his second wife, Mathilde, a psychiatrist, who took charge of the religious aspect of Tannenbergbund – Deutschvolk, founded in 1930. Mathilde formulated its ideological principles, which were pantheistic, anthropocentric, and nationalist. The movement was extremely right-wing, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian, to the point that even the NSDAP was considered too soft on this faith for them. Despite her involvement in the volkist movement, Mathilde opposed occultism and astrology, labeling them as a “Jewish distortion of astronomy,” and criticized theories suggesting the Indo-European origin of Germans. She aimed to create a new, genuine German religion.

Erich and Mathilde Lundendorff

Because some of her views were extremely radical and bordering on conspiracy theories, the movement wasn’t universally regarded as credible. Mathilde Ludendorff asserted, among other things, that the Dalai Lama was guiding Jews in their supposed efforts to undermine Germany through Marxism, Catholicism, capitalism, and Freemasonry. She argued that Christian beliefs were incompatible with the Aryan ideal and that the Bible and Christianity themselves were fraudulent.

Despite this, in the early 1930s, the community boasted 320 local groups comprising approximately 15,000 members across the Reich. In 1933, the movement was outlawed by the authorities, but just 4 years later, in 1937, Erich gained approval to revive the religious movement, this time under the name Deutsche Gotterkenntnis, which continued the legacy of Deutschvolk. Consequently, German Knowledge of God became a state-sanctioned belief.

Erich passed away at the end of that same year. Meanwhile, in 1951, Mathilde established the Association for Gotterkenntnis, which had 12,000 members, and in 1955, she also founded a school. The association faced another ban from 1961 to 1977. It continues to operate today; as of 2010, it reportedly had around 240 members.

Erich and Mathilde Lundendorff

And circling back to the Karkonosze Mountains – new findings raise new questions. How did Martha become involved with Deutsche Gotterkenntnis? Could it be linked to her son-in-law’s artistic profession? Where did the community meetings take place? Did all those buried in Michałowice belong to the same movement, or perhaps different ones? Hopefully, we’ll uncover the answers soon!

Źródła:

Nazi Bishop in Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój (Bad Warmbrunn)

In 1927, at 70 Hermsdorferstrasse in Bad Warmbrunn (now Cieplicka 70 in Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój), lived Josef Galle, a senior tax secretary, Ernst Kuhlig, a chimney sweep, and Max Klein, a porter.

Contemporary view of the building / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

I know very little about Josef and Max; by 1937, their names no longer appear in the address book. However, I managed to find out a bit more about the chimney sweep and one controversial figure, about whom I will tell you shortly.
 
Ernest Kuhlig was born on December 15, 1895, in Goldberg (Złotoryja). On April 23, 1921, he married Agnes Alwine Selma Hornig in Cunnersdorf (in the area of Mała Poczta in Jelenia Góra), a 24-year-old saleswoman from Dziwiszów Górny (Ober Berbisdorf). The groom lived at Hermsdorfstrasse 62 in Bad Warmbrunn at the time, while the bride resided at Dorfstrasse 210 in Cunnersdorf. The wedding was probably organized hastily because less than 4 months later, on August 17, 1921, their first daughter, Ilse, was born; the second would be named Inge. Unfortunately, 6 years later, on April 12, 1927, Ernst passed away, leaving Agnes and the girls alone. They likely had to move shortly thereafter because there is no trace of them at that address in the address books from the 1930s.

The first page of Ernst Kuhlig’s marriage certificate / Source: Landesarchiv Berlin

In 1939, Agnes Ludwig, a widow, resides in the villa alongside Bishop Fritz Kessel, who will be staying there at least until 1941. Upon further investigation, it seems likely that this refers to the controversial clergyman who, among other things, co-founded the pro-Nazi religious movement known as Deutsche Christen (German Christians). Fritz Kessel, born on March 10, 1887, pursued studies in Protestant theology at Königsberg (Królewiec), Heidelberg, and Breslau (Wrocław).

Address book from Bad Warmbrunn, 1941

After his studies, he participated in World War I. In 1917, he was ordained as a priest, and three years later, in 1920, he was sent to Brazil where he served as a pastor in Badenfurt (Santa Carolina). After another three years, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, and in 1925, he returned to Germany. He then became a parish priest in Parchwitz (Prochowice), and in 1928, he additionally took on a role in the parish of St. Nicolai in Berlin-Spandau. In 1932, he co-founded the aforementioned Deutsche Christen movement, and in 1933, he was appointed Bishop of East Prussia with headquarters in Königsberg – against the will of Gauleiter Erich Koch.

Archival photo of the building / Source: Fotopolska eu

In 1936, due to internal disagreements, Kessel resigned from his position and left East Prussia. With the assistance of the party, he received a research scholarship the same year, which he used to analyze his botanical research from Brazil, and it is likely that he lived in the house at Cieplicka 70 during this time.
 
During the war, he volunteered in the Luftwaffe’s construction battalion. Following the war, he lived in Osterode am Harz, where he later passed away.

Contemporary view of the building / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Sources:

Haus Wunsch at ul. Złoty Widok 1 in Michalowice (Kiesewald).

Haus Wunsch currently / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

As indicated on the plaque next to it, the building was constructed in the years 1928-1928 by Otto Wunsch – a glass grinder from Sobieszów (Hermsdorf). In the 1930s, this place was known for a restaurant run by the Wunsch family.

Archival photos of the building / Source: Polska-org

I wonder what the signature dish was?

Contemporary view of the building / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Do any of you happen to know any stories about this building? Post-war tales are welcome too; feel free to share them in the comments!

Sources:

  • Polska-org pl
Villa Martha, at 68 Hermsdorferstrasse, Bad Warmbrunn. Today it’s Cieplicka 68, Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój, a part of Jelenia Góra. This address has popped up in your suggestions a few times, and I have to admit, I’m quite drawn to this villa as well, especially since we share a name.

Villa Martha currently / Fot. Marta Maćkowiak

Unfortunately, this time I didn’t find much – in the address books from 1927 and 1930, there’s mention of Marie Succo. In 1939, alongside her, now a widow, there’s also Ilse, webmeisterin (not a webmaster, but a weaver) with the same surname. Perhaps a daughter?

Archival photos of the building. On the left, a view from the garden side / Źródło: Polska-org

And that’s it. The trail has gone cold for now. At least I got some practice taking photos with the camera.

Contemporary view of the building / Fot. Marta Maćkowiak

Do any of you happen to know any stories about this building? Post-war tales are welcome too; feel free to share them in the comments!

Sources:

  • Polska-org pl

The Last Apartment at “Pod Lwem”

When I saw that advertisement, I couldn’t just pass by indifferently. Tiled stove, space, light, layout… One can only imagine how beautifully life must have been here once.

Interior of the building on Mornicka Street / Photo by Dudek Real Estate Agency

Morcinka Street in Jelenia Góra (Hirschberg) was originally known as Kirchhofweg, then changed its name to Friedhofstrasse in 1921, and finally Uhladstrasse from 1935. Before 1922, this area was a distinct village called Cunnersdorf.
 
As of 1916, records show that Drosdek, the owner of the Löwen Apotheke on the ground floor, resided here. Today, in the same location, there is still a pharmacy that pays homage to its former name, “Pod Lwem” (Under the Lion).

Historical view of the building / Source: Polska-org.pl

In that same building, there were residents like barber Meßner, Pastor Ratsch, and the Rosemann couple – Curt, a bank board member, and his wife Martha.

In 1939, Hermine Seidel still resided here along with legal trainee Werner Loecher, court inspector Georg Loechel, painter Paul Krause, pharmacist Odo Wanke, and, of course, Heinrich Drosdek, the owner of the pharmacy.

On July 28, 1928, 69-year-old Heinrich married 56-year-old widow Anna Luise Maria Pelz née Mannigel, originally from Nysa (Neisse). She was the daughter of merchant Richard Mannigel and Maria née Vietz. They shared 11 beautiful years together – unfortunately, on February 18, 1939, Anna Luise passed away due to diabetes and kidney failure.

Death certificate of Anna / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch

Heinrich lived here until his death. On July 22, 1944 his son, Dr. Walter Drosdek, a medical doctor, reported to the Civil Registry Office that his father, a Catholic and the son of the gunsmith Anton Drosdek and Katharina née Stanek, born on November 10, 1858, in Gliwice (Gleiwitz), had passed away on July 21, 1944, at 8 a.m., due to heart failure.

Death certificate of Heinrich / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch

And shortly after, both the apartments and the pharmacy changed ownership, marking a new chapter in the building’s history. Do you happen to know anything about the people who lived there after the war?
 
I hope this remarkable 160 m2 apartment finds a new owner who will give it a second chance at life.

Interior of the building on Mornicka Street / Photo by Dudek Real Estate Agency

Photos of the apartment: Dudek Real Estate Agency (Biuro Nieruchomości Dudek)

Źródła:

  • Polska-org pl
  • Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu oddział w Jeleniej Górze (State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch)
  • Biuro Nieruchomości Dudek (Dudek Real Estate Agency)

Apteka pod Koroną (Kronenapotheke) in Cieplice

Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój and the faintly appearing inscriptions on the building at 246 Wolności Street. What is the story behind them?

The building at ul. Wolności 246 in Cieplice / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

I’ll gladly answer this question today. Before the war, the numbering was a bit different, and the address of the building was Warmbrunnerstrasse 105, Herischdorf (now part of Cieplice, post-war known as Malinniki). On the ground floor, there used to be Kronenapotheke, a pharmacy run by Konrad Tschanter.

Detail of the building at ul. Wolności 246/ Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Konrad was born on March 1, 1859, in Głogów (Glogau), the son of Johann Karl Gottfried Tschanter and Marie Josephine Friederike Hoffmann, both of whom you can see in the pictures below.

On the right: Marie Josephine Friederike Hoffmann, on the left: Johann Karl Gottfried Tschanter, parents of Konrad Tschanter / Source: Rüdiger Tschanter, Ancestry

On March 17, 1903, he married Ella Martha Dänzer in Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój (Bad Warmbrunn), a local resident and the daughter of the rentier Gustav Dänzer and Olga née Berck. The couple had a son, Hans Ulrich, born on the last day of the same year.
 
Konrad Tschanter continued to manage his pharmacy until his death on November 30, 1927, at the age of 68. The further fate of the business remains unknown because Hans Ulrich, Konrad and Ella’s only child, had already married his first wife, Angelika Heymann, in Breslau (Wrocław) by 1935.

Death certificate of Konrad Tschanter / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch

Konrad’s wife, Ella Martha, remained in Cieplice, specifically in Malinnik, where she lived until March 1, 1945. Upon learning about the approaching Red Army, she reportedly took a fatal dose of poison.

Sources:

  • private archive of Marty Maćkowiak
  • Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu oddział w Jeleniej Górze (State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch)
  • Rüdiger Tschanter, Ancestry

Minna Frieda Juppe – the kind spirit from Domek pod Orzechem

A few years ago, during the renovation of the roof of their over 150-year-old house in Gierczyn (Giehren) in the Jizera Mountains, Ania and Darek unexpectedly discovered a gravestone of a child. The inscription reads, “Here rests in the Lord Minna Frieda Juppe from Förstel. Born on November 23, 1906, died on June 3, 1907.” Who was this little girl, and how did the gravestone end up in Domek pod Orzechem? I immediately wanted to find out.

The gravestone of Minna Frieda Juppe / Photo: private archive of Ania, the owner of Domek pod Orzechem in Gierczyn.

Minna Frieda was born in Gierczyn on November 23, 1906, at 3 o’clock in the morning, in house number 139, as the daughter of Gustav Juppe, a daily laborer, and Emma née Kuttig. On June 3, 1907, Gustav appeared at the Civil Registry Office and reported that on that day, at 10:45 in the morning, his little daughter, only 6 months and 10 days old, had passed away. Unfortunately, the cause of death is unknown – was it an illness, an accident? We may never find out.

On the right: Minna Frieda Juppe’s birth certificate, on the left: Minna Frieda Juppe’s death certificate / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch

Gustav and Emma had 8 more children – Marta, Emma, Anna, Heinrich, Fritz, Karl, Frieda, and Otto. From Gustav’s will, we find out that Marta married Robert Schwedler and lived with him in Świeradów-Zdrój (Bad Flinsberg) at house number 112 (Walze Street). Emma became a nun in Głogów (Glogau, Wilhelmplatz 8), Heinrich worked as a laborer in Rębiszów (Muhldorf 113), Fritz became a chauffeur, Karl was a bricklayer, also serving in the military, Frieda married Willi Tischer, and they lived in Ubocze (Schosdorf). Oskar and Anna resided in Lasek (Förstel) at 127.

Entry from the 1940 address book with the name Gustav Juppe

On the right: Gustav Juppe’s will, on the left: Gustav Juppe’s signature / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch.

From the sales document, we know that the property with house number 127 was purchased by Gustav from Ewald Baumert in 1918. Twenty-two years later, Gustav passed away, precisely on February 16. Before his death, he had prepared a will in which he requested that the sale of the property to third parties be considered only in dire circumstances. In April of the same year, his wife, Emma, who was bedridden due to disability, sold the property to their daughter, Anna Juppe, 51.10 acres for 1000 German marks – 300 paid in cash to the mother, and the remaining 700 divided equally among the siblings, at 100 marks each.
 
In the purchase agreement, it was specified that the 63-year-old mother, who was disabled, would have access to free accommodation in one of the living rooms. Additionally, provisions were made for her meals, heating, lighting, and cleaning. Immediate care in case of illness was also ensured, although medical expenses, including the doctor and pharmacy, were not covered.
 
Additionally, Anna was required to offer her 23-year-old brother, Oskar Juppe, who worked as a laborer, free housing until he got married, with the condition that he helped in running the farm.

Deed of sale / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch.

What were the further fates of the family? Is Domek pod Orzechem the former house with the number 127, 139, or did the gravestone end up here entirely by chance? Förstel is a hamlet of Gierczyn, now called Lasek, located in the upper part of the village. Looking at pre-war photos and postcards, it’s evident that there were more buildings higher up, near the edge of the forest. Did Gustav and Emma’s sons, Fritz and Karl, return from the war? What happened to Anna, Oskar, and their mother, who were living in Lasek at 127 as of 1940?

Archival photos of Domek pod Orzechem / Photo: private archive of Ania, the owner of Domek pod Orzechem in Gierczyn.

At least we know a bit more about the kind spirit residing in Domek pod Orzechem, lending a hand to the hosts. Discover it for yourself and consider Gierczyn for a weekend retreat.

Domek pod Orzechem today / Photo: private archive of Ania, the owner of Domek pod Orzechem in Gierczyn.

Thank you to Ania from Domek pod Orzechem for sharing the photos.

Sources:

  • private archive of Ania, the owner of Domek pod Orzechem in Gierczyn
  • Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu oddział w Jeleniej Górze (State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch)

Friedrich von Bernhardi – author of the book that started World War I and his villa in Jelenia Góra (Hirschberg)

I felt that someone exceptional lived in this house, but I did not expect that the pre-war owner of the villa at today’s ul. Tkacka 19 in Jelenia Góra (pre-war Warmbrunnerstrasse 104 in Cunnersdorf) would turn out to be the author of the book that supposedly triggered World War I.

Contemporary view of the villa formerly owned by Friedrich von Bernhardi / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

The first German who passed through the Arc de Triomphe after the Prussians entered Paris. One of the most controversial German militarists. Friedrich von Bernhardi lived and died in Jelenia Góra (Hirschberg), specifically in Cunnersdorf, a village annexed to Hirschberg in 1922.

Friedrich Adam Julius von Bernhardi

Friedrich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on November 22, 1849, as the son of diplomat and historian Felix Theodor Bernhardi and Charlotte Friederike Julie (née Krusenstern), Baltic Germans. His maternal grandfather was Admiral Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern (Baltic Germans were recruited into the Russian administrative apparatus and the officer corps of the Russian army), the commander of the first Russian circumnavigation expedition and a co-founder of the Russian Geographical Society.
 
When Friedrich was 2 years old, the family moved to Cunnersdorf, an area known as the Little Post Office District in Jelenia Góra.

Friedrich’ s grandfather, Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern

During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), he served as a cavalry lieutenant in the 14th Hussar Regiment of the Prussian Army. At that time, he had the honor of leading the parade that marched under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. From 1891 to 1894, he was a German military attaché in Bern, later the head of the military history department at the Great General Staff in Berlin, and then became a commanding general the VII Corps of the Army in Münster, Westphalia.
 
In 1909, he retired and devoted himself to writing, focusing on his favorite subject, which was military affairs.
 
His most famous work, Deutschland und der Nächste Krieg or Germany and the Next War, published in 1911, is considered a book that supposedly triggered World War I. In it, Bernhardi openly advocated for Germany to attack France and Britain, anticipating their moves.
 
Friedrich was also considered one of the most controversial militarists. He asserted, among other things, that war is a “biological necessity” and is in accordance with the “natural law upon which all laws of nature are based, the law of the struggle for existence.”
 
He also believed that war ensures development and that it was war that “forged Prussia hard as steel.” The rallying cry was to be: “World power or downfall,” and he advocated for an aggressive stance for Germany.
 
When the war finally broke out, Bernhardi was reinstated into active military service. Initially stationed in Poznań, in September 1915, he was transferred to the Eastern Front, where he commanded near Slonim and later in Volhynia. In 1918, due to health reasons, he retired from military service and returned to his family estate in Cunnersdorf.

Contemporary view of the house and photos of preserved historical interior details / Source: private archive

Friedrich was married twice. His first wife, Helene Agnes von Klitzing, whom he married in Berlin on January 19, 1881, hailed from Lüben, present-day Lubno in Wielkopolska (Greater Poland), and was the daughter of Max von Klitzing and Louise, owners of the now-ruined manor in Kłębowiec.
 
Helene Agnes passed away at the age of 31 on July 6, 1890, and 2 years later, Friedrich married for the second time. At the age of 44, on July 19, 1893, he married Katherine von Colomb in the Evangelical Church in Cassel. Katherine was born in Berlin and was the daughter of Prussian General Wilhelm Günther Von Colomb and Klara Louise von Binger.

Friedric’s father-in-law, Wilhelm Günther von Colomb

Katharine also passed away first – on April 5, 1929, in her home at Warmbrunnerstrasse 104 (today ul. Tkacka 19), having lived for 75 years. Friedrich, at the age of 80, departed a year later – on July 10, leaving no descendants.

Death certificate of Katharine von Bernhardi (left) and Friedrich von Bernhardi (right) / Source: State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch

Thank you very much to the owners for sharing these beautiful interior photos.

Sources:

  • private archive
  • Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu oddział w Jeleniej Górze (State Archives in Wrocław, Jelenia Góra branch)

The Engel Family from Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój

The Engel family lived in the building at Hermsdorferstrasse 2 in Bad Warmbrunn, now at Pl. Piastowski 31 in Cieplice Śląskie Zdrój. The living quarters were upstairs, and downstairs is where Joseph Engel, a Jewish merchant from Rawicz (Rawitsch), ran a textile shop established in 1868. His wife’s name was Johanna, née Wermer, and she hailed from Ziębice (Münsterberg).
Zdjęcie kamienicy w Cieplicach

The tenement at Pl. Piastowski 31 in Cieplice Śląskie Zdrój / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Joseph and Johanna had 7 children: two sons, Walter and Otto (the first passed away at the age of one, and the second son would later inherit his father’s textile business), and five daughters: Gertrud, Rosalie, Elsa, Henrietta, Margarethe, and Paula.

Otto and his unmarried sister, Elsa, lived in their Cieplice apartment until the war. The remaining sisters got married and moved to larger cities: Henriette married Siegmund Schiftan and settled in Wrocław (Breslau), Rosalie moved to Żytawa (Zittau) with her husband Hermann Seiler, Gertrud lived with Gustav Schlesinger, and Paula with Willy (Wilhelm) Engel in Berlin. Margarethe, about whom the most is known, also moved to Berlin. On February 6, 1906, she married Georg Basch, a veterinarian from Wolsztyn (Wollstein), and they lived at Grosse Frankfurter Strasse 118 (now Karl-Marx-Allee). Their first son, Martin, was born on August 7, 1907.

Photos from the building at Pl. Piastowski 31 in Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój / Photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Reklama sklepu Josepha Engela

Advertisement for Joseph Engel’s store in Warmbrunner Nachrichten from 1910

During World War I, Georg Basch decided to volunteer for the army as a veterinarian, leaving Margarethe alone for four painful years. In 1915, her father passed away, and two years later, she lost her son Martin, who died in Cieplice due to blood poisoning.
 
Georg returned from the war as an officer decorated with the Iron Cross. He continued his work as a veterinarian, and in 1918, along with Margarethe, they welcomed their daughter Ilse, and two years later, their son Josef Martin. Due to the economic crisis, life became financially challenging, and to maintain their previous standard of living, Georg had to conduct additional inspections of slaughter animals and meat at the nearby municipal slaughterhouse, a task he, as an animal lover, found difficult to bear.
 
Margarethe, on the other hand, assisted him in everything. Their daughter, Ilse, later recalled:
 
„My mom helped in the veterinary practice in Berlin, wrote reports and invoices in the evenings, enjoyed listening to my dad playing the piano, cello, or flute for relaxation. She had time and patience for many people to ease their troubles. A school friend with marital problems was immediately invited to stay with us for some time. In winter, she brought coal to a poor cobbler. She visited tuberculosis patients in sanatoriums. Playfully, they called her the community nurse.”

The first page of Margarethe Engel’s marriage certificate with a note regarding the adoption of the name Sara in accordance with the Nazi law – you can find more information about it in this article

On August 29, 1930, Georg passed away due to kidney disease. The veterinary practice had to be leased. In November of the same year, Margarethe’s mother, Johanna, who lived in Cieplice, also passed away.
 
When the Nazis came to power, Margarethe Basch moved to Sybelstraße 18 in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin. Her son, Josef, fled to London and then to the United States. Her daughter, Ilse, remained in Berlin. She married interior designer Werner Rewald and managed to survive the war in hiding.
 
Margarethe Basch continued to live in the apartment on Sybelstrasse with her sister Paula and her husband Wilhelm. Wilhelm died there on May 19, 1941, and less than a year later, on January 13, 1942, both sisters were deported to the ghetto in Riga. Ilse received the last sign from her mother on November 23, 1943. Of the transport, 15 people survived, but Margarethe Basch and her sister Paula never returned. Their sister Elsa was murdered in Theresienstadt in 1942, and the fate of the remaining siblings—Otto, Hedwig, Henriette, and Gertrud—is unknown.
 
Stolpersteine were placed in front of the house on Sybelstrasse in Berlin as a memorial for Margarethe and Paula.
 
Margarethe’s daughter, Ilse Rewald, passed away in 2005.
Drzwi do kamienicy przy Sybelstrasse 18 w Berlinie
Stolpersteine upamiętniający Paulę
Stolpersteine upamiętniający Margarethę

The door to the building at Sybelstrasse 18 in Berlin and Stolpersteine commemorating Margarethe and Paula / Source: stolpersteine-berlin.de

 

Sources:

  • stolpersteine-berlin.de
  • Landesarchiv Berlin
  • Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu

Elsa Baumm’s Villa Vegetarierheim – the Houses on Malinnik series

Out of love for Malinnik, once a village called Herischdorf, annexed to Bad-Warmbrunn (today’s Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój) before the war, I have created a special series dedicated to the beautiful villas in this area and their stories. I begin with the villa located at ul. Łabska 4, formerly Tannenberg 6 (and before World War I, Russische Kolonie), called Turm Villa and Vegetarierheim.

Willa przy ulicy Łabskiej 4 w Jeleniej Górze

Postcard of the villa located at Tannenberg 6 (Russische Kolonie), today ul. Łabska 4 in Jelenia Góra (Hirschberg) / Source: polska-org.pl

Elsa Baumm née Boeck

The house was run by Elsa Baum, née Boeck, the widow of a senior official. Later, the business was likely continued by her daughter Johanna (at least according to what can be inferred from the 1927 address book).

Information about Elsa on the pre-war map of Cieplice

At Vegetarierheim, they exclusively served vegetarian meals and non-alcoholic beverages. Smoking was, of course, prohibited. It was a truly comprehensive cleansing treatment, especially for those times.

And the villa had a wonderful motto in its advertisement:

 
„Allen Menschen recht gethan
Ist die Kunst, die kelner kann.
Und kannst Du sie, damn mit Vergunst,
Dann lehr mich diese schwere Kunst”
 
In free translation:
 
To cater to all people is an art that no one knows. And if you know it, please do me a favor and teach me.
 

Today, the building is a multi-family home.

The houses in Malinnik are beautiful, each of them unique and majestic, each hiding a special story. Almost each one belonged to barons, generals, officials holding higher positions, and factory owners.

 
Almost each one had a guesthouse episode due to the proximity to the spa, but ordinary people also lived in here – traders, bakers, bricklayers, blacksmiths, and gardeners. There’s still a lot to discover, so with this post, I open the second series – Houses in Malinnik. It will be interesting, I promise 🖤
Zdjęcie willi przy ulicy Łabskiej 4 w Jeleniej Górze (Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój) / fot. Marta Maćkowiak

Photo of the villa at ul. Łabska 4 in Jelenia Góra (Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój) / photo by Marta Maćkowiak

Końcowy raport składa się z kopi odnalezionych dokumentów, tłumaczeń, zdjęć oraz podsumowania. Wyjaśniam pokrewieństwo odnalezionych osób, opisuję sprawdzone źródła i kontekst historyczny. Najczęściej poszukiwania dzielone są na parę etapów i opisuję możliwości kontynuacji.

Czasem konkretny dokument może zostać nie odnaleziony z różnych przyczyn – migracji do innych wiosek/miast w dalszych pokoleniach, ochrzczenia w innej parafii, lukach w księgach, zniszczeń dokumentów w pożarach lub w czasie wojen.  Cena końcowa w takiej sytuacji nie ulega zmienia, ponieważ wysiłek włożony w poszukiwania jest taki sam bez względu na rezultat.

Raporty mogą się od siebie mniej lub bardziej różnić w zależności od miejsca, z którego rodzina pochodziła (np. dokumenty z zaboru pruskiego, austriackiego i rosyjskiego różnią się od siebie formą i treścią).

 

Na podstawie zebranych informacji (Twoich i moich) przygotuję plan i wycenę – jeśli ją zaakceptujesz, po otrzymaniu zaliczki rozpoczynam pracę i informuję o przewidywanym czasie ukończenia usługi. Standardowe poszukiwania trwają około 1 miesiąca, a o wszelkich zmianach będę informować Cię na bieżąco.

Na Twoje zapytanie odpiszę w ciągu 3 dni roboczych i jest to etap bezpłatny. Być może zadam parę dodatkowych pytań, dopytam o cele albo od razu przedstawię propozycję kolejnych kroków.

Warto pamiętać, że im więcej szczegółów podasz, tym więcej rzeczy mogę odkryć.

Podziel się ze mną:

  • Imionami i nazwiskami przodków (wszystkich, o których wiesz)
  • Miejscami urodzenia i zamieszkania (jeśli jest inne np. wojnie)
  • Datami urodzenia, ślubów i zgonu (mogą być orientacyjne)
  • Informacjami o rodzeństwie, kuzynach, emigracjach.
  • Legendami i historiami rodzinnymi

I najważniejsze – jeśli masz niewiele informacji, zupełnie się tym nie martw, w takich sytuacjach także znajdę rozwiązanie.