German Jews and Polish Jews living in the German Reich report persecution, some of which began before 1933:

  • Boycott of Jewish businesses
  • Expropriation of Jewish businesses
  • Loss of jobs because of their "race"
  • Abuse in the streets
  • Destruction of homes during the November pogrom 1938
  • Arbitrary arrests and mistreatment, torture and murder of relatives by the Gestapo

If they were able to emigrate, language problems and the consequences are mentioned: social decline because they could not work in the profession they had learnt due to language problems, but had to work as unskilled/black labour. Pupils were unable to complete their schooling properly.

Shaul Brenner

born on 18.4.1915 in Berlin, affidavit from 1965. Entschädigungsamt Berlin

Eimigrated to Palestine in July 1939

Even before Hitler came to power, but especially after 1933, as a Jew I was subjected to mockery, mobbing, abuse, beatings and humiliation. I as well as friends of mine and close relatives, uncles and cousins were ordered to the Gestapo for so-called "investigations". There we were victims of severe abuse. An uncle, a cousin and friends never came back from these "investigations". They were simply beaten to death. Others came back after a few days, distraught, with bloodshot marks, swollen, in a miserable physical and mental state .... The "courageous acts" of adolescent Hitlerites, who attacked and beat up individual Jews in large numbers, were also commonplace.

In 1938, as a Polish citizen, I was deported and ended up in Zbondzin, a no-man's-land near Poznan, where I spent some time starving in inhuman conditions. I then emigrated illegally from Poland to Israel - then Palestine. When I arrived here, new suffering began for me.

I didn't know the local language, so I had to do all kinds of illegal work to make a living in unfamiliar climatic conditions and very poor housing.

Karl Meier Frenkel

born on 26. 9. 1909 in Kassel, Entschädigungsamt Kassel.

Biography: Frenkel was a commercial clerk, from 1932 "Inkassant" (cashier) for the department stores Gustav Simon and the bicycle shop Rosenbaum in Hersfeld, became unemployed in 1933 due to the boycott of Jewish businesses and from 1934 did a one-year agricultural apprenticeship ("Hachschara") in Külte. In September 1935 he emigrated to Palestine. Statements from 1963ff.

He wrote on 8 February  1965:

After Hitler came to power, as a Jew I was subjected to severe anti-Semitic abuse and maltreatment. I was spat at in the street, had stones thrown at me and was severely beaten up by a horde of adolescents - members of the Hitler Youth - especially on a day when I wanted attend service right outside the synagogue. I hardly dared to go out on the street, sometimes I had no bread in the house to eat. It's common knowledge that as a Jew you were completely at the mercy of these National Socialist hordes and the police never intervened.

On 19 April 1965, he responded to the compensation office's request to name witnesses to mistreatment:

I hereby expressly declare that I have already described and testified in detail about my mistreatment and being beaten up in my previous statements. Unfortunately, I failed to call eyewitnesses to the abuse. I therefore invoke a lack of evidence.

He provided the following information about the fate of his relatives on 20 February 1964:

In 1949, when I filed my claim for "damage to professional advancement", I had no reason to write about various incidents and abuses in Germany. At that time, everyone knew how things had been in Germany during the Hitler era, but today people seem to want to forget... In the spring of 1935, the uncle and aunt mentioned above were taken to the Gestapo, who wanted to know if and where they had hidden their jewellery and money. They returned home about 2 days later, distraught, with bloody bruises, swollen and in a sorry state. They had been interrogated almost all the time, in very bright light, without being allowed to sleep; they had also been made to listen to screams and howls, allegedly from fellow prisoners, in order to frighten them. ....

His relatives did not survive the persecution. And Frenkel commented on the situation in Germany in general:

The following story also circulated in Germany: a man came back from the Gestapo bruised and bloodied. When asked what he had experienced there, he explained that he had been given a very warm welcome and served tea and cake. When he was told that other people coming back from the Gestapo told completely different stories, he replied that  they had  been recalled. For fear of the Gestapo he only told them about the good hospitality.


Irma Jacoby

born on 12 December 1901 in Krefeld,  née Leven, widowed Winter, statement 1963

In my affidavits in the "damage to my professional advancement" case and in my late husband's affidavit, I have already said everything about my material situation.
I haven't mentioned how much agitation, insult and grief I have experienced during this time.
My husband was dismissed because the Germans no longer wanted to buy from him and the Jews could not buy from him. From about the middle of 1935 he tried to work on his own. He had to travel all over the neighbourhood and, as a Jew, was constantly attacked and sometimes physically injured.
Towards the middle of 1938 he began to suffer from heart problems as a result of the turmoil he had to go through and the fear in which he lived, and I was constantly afraid that something would happen to him when I saw him leaving home in such a state. Sadly, my fears were realised. He died on 19 October 1938 in the street outside our house.
As a Jew, my daughter had also suffered a lot at school and had to go to a Jewish school. She often came home from school bruised and battered.
During Kristallnacht I was robbed of my last possessions. Nazi hordes attacked me and smashed everything in my apartment. I hid with a family friend and then went to my father in Krefeld.
There I saw my father arrested and a few days later sent home in a very shattered state. Unable to bear these conditions and fearing for our lives, I fled to England via Holland.
I arrived there without a penny and had to do extremely hard housework for Miss Cooper, Highfield Garden, London, and then for Mrs Miller, 105 Hallam Street, London. As I had been employed before, this was extremely unfamiliar and strenuous work and the people there took great advantage of us refugees. I had to leave my daughter with other people and, of course, pay for her upkeep there. This was particularly tragic during the Blitz as I had no way of knowing where the bombs had fallen. In 1941 the Red Cross also informed me that my parents had been deported and I never heard from them again.

Bernd-Dov Joseph

born on 16 February 1924 in Trempen/East Prussia, affidavit made in   1963

He emigrated to Palestine in 1940.

Joseph recounts how he was abused as a schoolboy even before 1933, the murder of his father Leo Joseph, the loss of his mother Johanna Joseph and the journey to Palestine.

.Long before Hitler, we were the only Jews in a small village in East Prussia and we felt the Nazi persecution. I was taunted and beaten at school, and every day I was sick in the morning because I was afraid to go to school. When Hitler came to power, the situation became even worse and in 1936 my parents sent me to live with relatives in Poland. There I learnt that my father had been arrested in 1937 and killed in 1938 (in Dachau). Unable to stay in Poland, I had to return to Germany, where I underwent retraining in Berlin. My mother was completely devastated by the loss of my father, and this made my state of mind even worse than when I saw her condition. I went to Palestine in 1940, but she had to stay behind and was sent to Riga, where she died in 1942. The journey to Palestine took 3 months in terrible conditions. I contracted typhoid fever on the ship. We were captured by the British and taken to the infamous "Patria" (recalled 23-2-2021), which is known to have sunk in the port of Haifa. This was the last straw that completely destroyed my nerves. I was then interned in Atlit (note: British internment camp near Haifa) for a few more months, and when I was released I had to do extremely hard illegal labour as I didn't speak the local language and had no money.

Ester Jurman

born on  1 September 1924 in Ustriky/Polen, statement made in 1963

She lived in Berlin until 1936. The family fled to Czechoslovakia in 1936, she then lived in Berlin again from 1936 to 1939, was interned in Loosdrech (Holland) from 1939 to 1942, in the Westerborgk camp from 1942 to 1944, and was deported to Theresienstadt in September 1944.

Even before Hitler came to power, we Jews were subjected to persecution. I was often mocked and beaten up on the way to school and when Hitler came to power, we were completely at the mercy of the Hitler Youth and it was a matter of course that nobody protected us Jewish children. I trembled every day when I had to go to school. In 1936, the SA came to our house, smashed furniture and china, cut up the upholstery, tore up the books, beat us all and made threats against us. I was terribly shaken. When my father saw the general state of affairs and our condition, he decided to send us all to Czechoslovakia, where he had already emigrated. We had no residence permit in the Czech Republic, my mother died in an accident and in 1936 I was sent to Berlin to live with my uncle, S. Akiwa. In 1939 I was taken to Holland with a group of children.

See also the testimony of the brother Ascher Singer, who moved to the Steckelsdorf estate after his stay in Czechoslovakia and emigrated from there to Palestine.

The "Landwerk Steckelsdorf" was used to prepare Jews for the emigration to Palestine. A group of emigrants learnt together what seemed necessary to build a community in Palestine. The young people, who often came from middle-class backgrounds, mainly learnt horticultural, agricultural, domestic and craft skills and learned modern Hebrew.  Source: German wikipedia. See "Hachscharah".

Ruth Zitkoni

born on 15 March 1927/1928 in Berlin, nee Spier, statement dating from  1964. Entschädigungsamt Detmold.

Biography:  living in Bamberg until 1934; from  1934 to 31 February1942 Jewish orphanage Paderborn; 31 February 1942 to 22 July 1942 Hanover; 22 July 1942 to 8 May 1945 Theresienstadt; 1945 to 1946 various children's homes in England, emigration to Israel.

There (note: in the Paderborn children's home) I was subjected to harassment, abuse and even beatings as soon as I even dared to go out into the courtyard of the orphanage. Or when Nazi hordes tried to break into our house. In 1941 we also had to wear the Jewish star. In 1942, the orphanage was forcibly closed down and we were sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp for forced labour... During the persecution, I lost my mother in 1940, 1 of my mother's sisters with her son and other family members. I spent the entire persecution, at a young age, alone, without any of my relatives.

  1. Deportation to Theresienstadt: according to the Yad Vashem Deportation Database, there was a transport from Hanover to Theresienstadt in 1942: "Transport VIII/1, Train Da 75 from Hannover,Germany to Theresienstadt,Ghetto,Czechoslovakia on 23/07/1942"
  2. The Paderborn Jewish orphanage (german, last accessed on 2 February 2024), last was closed on 31 February 1942,
  3. History of the Spier (german, last accessed on 2 February 2024) family, Bamberg
  4. Index card Ghetto Theresienstadt at Arolsen Archives

Dolly Sadowski

born on 13 November 1931 in Elberfeld/Deutschland, nee Kurz, statement dating from 1967. Entschädigungsamt Düsseldorf.

Biography: Wuppertal, Gdingen, Lemberg, Sibirien, Usbekistan, 1946 Polen, 1950 Israel

Under the pressure of the increasingly severe persecution of Jews, my parents decided to leave Germany to save our lives.
Seven Gestapo men forced their way into my father's office, who owned a cinema in Solingen/Ohligs, demanded the immediate closure of the cinema and threatened his life.

There was fear and panic in the house.

We children, 1 brother and I, travelled to Gdynia with my mother.

We lived in Gdynia until the outbreak of the German-Polish war, but for a few years we were under the illusion that we had escaped persecution by Hitler.

After the Germans marched into Gdynia in September 1939, the persecution of Jews began and became more and more severe from day to day.

To save our lives, we had to flee a second time.

I arrived in Lemberg via Tarnow. I thought I was finally safe. Far from there, a new  suffering began for me, a new persecution. In 1940, I was picked up by the Russians and sent to Aldan (Ugolne camp) in Siberia. My parents and my brother had to do hard forced labour in the forest. I lived with 24 other people in a wooden barrack we had built ourselves, slept on plank beds, starved and froze, was lice-ridden, dirty and very often ill.

Shlomo Pendzel

born on 15 December 1901 in Beuthen/Oberschlesien. Entschädigungsamt Neustadt/Weinstrasse

Biography: 1901 - 1919 Poland, 1919 - 1938 Germany, 2nd August 1939 Shanghai, August 1939 - 31 December 1948 Shanghai Ghetto, Israel

The client comes from Poland, moved to Germany in 1919 and lived there from 1919 to 1939. His wife is from Berlin, he lived in Beuthen/Upper Silesia, belonged to the German language and culture, which he describes in detail. In October 1938, the Polish action took place, the family was not deported, but had to undertake to leave Germany within a certain period of time. In August 1939, the Pendzel family left Germany and embarked for Shanghai on 2 August 1939. Arrived in Shanghai at the end of August 1939, initially lived in the camp, left the camp after three months and lived in a room.

Statement from 14 March 1967

Before the persecution I was a strong and healthy man - I had my own textile shop in Gartenstraße 20 in Beuthen and earned 8,000 RM per year - After the persecution of the Jews became more and more unbearable, I shipped myself to Shanghai in August 1939 and eked out a living there doing odd jobs.

Statutory declaration 11 May 1966

I got to know the applicant during my stay in Shanghai. Many family members had to live together in one room. The conditions there were unhygienic, there was no water closet, you had to use smelly mugs, you couldn't use unboiled water, nobody had enough to eat. We were all sick because of the unhygienic conditions and lack of food.

Sworn statement by the witness Luise Hartmann, 17 July 1966

Tamar Raban

born on 5 April 1922 in Hannover/Deutschland, née Elfriede Rechnitz. Entschädigungsamt Hannover.


Biography: 1939 Palestine

We both lived in Hanover and when Hitler came to power and the Nazis ruled, the RECHNITZ family and the applicant herself had to suffer a lot. I know that she was subjected to harassment and abuse, was beaten and mocked by classmates for being Jewish - just like me - her father's business was boycotted, she hardly dared to go out on the street, was terribly nervous, suffered crying fits and the family tried to emigrate.

Charlotte Gilbert, witness for Tamar Raben.

Rosa Chaba

born in  1893 or 1898 in Wolbrom/Poland, nee Weinstock, widowed Mayer. Entschädigungsamt Koblenz.

Biography: 1919 to 1932 Düsseldorf; 1923 marriage to Moritz Mayer, 1932 Saarbrücken, 1938 Konstie/Poland, 12 December 1939 Judenstern, 1940 to December 1942 Konstie ghetto, December 1942 to July 1944 Skarzysko-Kamienna,  7 July 1944 to 13 January 1945 HASAG Czenstochau; from 1945 to 1950 Poland, 1950 Israel

As early as 1932, my husband Moritz Mayer was mobbed and even beaten while travelling. For this reason, he had to give up his job and was given a rubber goods stand at the Leonard TIETZ company in Düsseldorf through the mediation of Director Schloss. As far as I know, he ran this stall himself and held it until around 1934.
As I myself lived illegally in Saarbrücken and was later deported from there to Poland, I was only able to exchange very sparse, brief signs of life with my deceased first husband. I therefore don't know what he did from around 1934 until his deportation on 21 July 1942

Chaim Idam (aka Kosminski, Hans)

born on 6 February 1921 in Zielenzig near Frankfurt/Oder. Entschädigungsamt Berlin.

Biography:  Emigration to Palestine in 1939.

Client was born on 6 March 1921 near Frankfurt/Oder. His father's name was Pawel Kozminski, and the client and his parents were German nationals.
When the client was five or six years old, the family moved to Berlin, where they first lived at Schönhauser-Allee 80 or 81 and later in Berlin, Emanuel-Kirch-Strasse 7. He attended primary schools in Berlin until he graduated. After leaving school at Easter 1935, he wanted to become a precision mechanic, and the company Schreiber & Co. at Schönhauser-Allee 74 would have accepted him as an apprentice. However, the guild objected to the apprenticeship contract, Mandant was unable to start the apprenticeship, and then he became a "labourer" at the Frankenstein company at Alexandrinenstrasse 97.
He also lost this position in late 1938.
On 1 February 1939, he went to a retraining camp near Hamburg. In 1939, the camp was dissolved and the client returned to Berlin to live with his parents. He then worked for a few days in July 1939 in a wood processing plant in Mark Brandenburg and was then able to continue his retraining in another retraining camp. He remained there until September 1939, but was also unable to complete this training, had to become an unskilled labourer again and then emigrated to Palestine on 13 October 1939.

Hermann Pineas

Dr Hermann Pineas was not himself a claimant represented by Konrad Kittl. Rather, as a Jewish doctor who emigrated to New York after the war, he prepared psychiatric reports for more than 35 claimants represented by Konrad Kittl, which are preserved in Konrad Kittl's files.

He reports on an experience that prompted him to join the "Reichsbund jüdischer Frontkämpfer (RjF)" in 1925:

I joined the R.j.F. relatively late, namely in 1925. The immediate reason for becoming a member was the following experience: one day a uniformed troop in steel helmets marched along Berlin's Tauentzienstrasse singing the song: "Wenns Judenblut vom Messer spritzt, Dann gehts nochmal so gut!" (When Jewish blood spurts from the knife, then it's that good again!). I then went to the office of the Zoo district group (Zooogischer Garten) of the Berlin branch of the R.j.F., which was near my flat on Wittenbergplatz, to be admitted.

Hermann Pineas was born in Düsseldorf in 1892 and attended school there. He trained as a doctor in Bonn, Würzburg and Berlin and went to the Eastern Front in the summer of 1915. During the First World War, he was a "field doctor" or "field assistant doctor" in Infantry Regiment 372 and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 30 June 1916. On 16 January 1918 he was appointed "assistant doctor in reserve". He was seriously wounded in October 1918. After the end of the war, he practised as a neurologist in Berlin. As a "Jewish front-line fighter", he was allowed to continue practising as a "Jewish doctor" after 1938 and became head of the neurology department of the Jewish hospital in Berlin, Iranischestrasse, on 1 July 1939.

His sons were able to emigrate to England and Palestine in 1938/1939. His and his wife's attempts to emigrate were unsuccessful. They went into hiding on 6 March 1943 after being taken to the Levetzowstrasse collection camp with other Berlin Jews on 4 March,[ but were released there again.

Hermann Pineas went to Vienna, Linz and St. Pölten, while his wife was able to go into hiding in Württemberg after a short stay in Berlin. At the end of 1943, both were living in hiding in Württemberg, where they were hidden by members of the confessing church. In 1944, they received forged identity cards, and Hermann Pineas was even able to take up a position at the "Werkzeug und Maschinenfabrik Wilhelm Stehle" in Memmingen as Dr Hans Günther. For more details, see biography.

After 1945, they emigrated to the USA, where Hermann Pineas continued to practise as a doctor.

There he prepared expert reports for more than 40 of Konrad Kittl's clients, some of which are included in the files.

Sources: Leo Baeck Institute, search for "Hermann Pineas"