Simon Carl Knoller

Alexanderufer 5
Stone was laid
1933 nach Holland
in Westerbork/Holland
on 11 January 1944 nach Bergen-Belsen
1945 in Bergen-Belsen
  • Foto: Projekt Stolpersteine Berlin-Mitte
    Foto: Projekt Stolpersteine Berlin-Mitte

    Foto: Projekt Stolpersteine Berlin-Mitte

  • Stolperstein Simon Carl Knoller © OTFW Berlin
    Stolperstein Simon Carl Knoller © OTFW Berlin

    Stolperstein Simon Carl Knoller © OTFW Berlin

Simon Carl Knoller, for whose family we are installing stumbling stones here, came from a big family in Krefeld. He was born on the 18th of September 1893 in Krefeld-Uerdingen. His father's name was Carl Jakob Knoller, his mother Klara Pabst came from Berlinchen near Frankfurt/Oder in Brandenburg. He moved from Krefeld to Berlin together with his parents in 1893. His father had a second branch of his business in Vienna. That is surely where Simon Carl met his future wife. He was married to Paula Neurath, who had been born on 24.2.1882 in Vienna.
As Simon Carl's father died in 1916, the sons assumed his role in the business.
According to the Jewish adress directory of Berlin the married couple lived at Alexanderufer 5 in Berlin-Moabit. Their son Karl was born in Berlin on the 20th of August 1919.
Among other siblings Simon Carl Knoller had a brother called Simon Moritz Knoller who was married to Nanette Bodenheimer.
Both brothers were merchants. Furthermore the directory tells us that Simon Carl also produced combs and toiletries at Ritterstraße 72. The father's company was dissolved in 1932.
When the national-socialists took power in 1933, all of the shops and businesses were closed and both families moved to the Netherlands.
Simon Carl's family moved at the 11th of July 1933 to Walstraat 38 in the small town of Oss. There they lived for 10 years. Simon's mother Klara Pabst moved from Leipzig to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Seemingly the families didn't expect a war and the following occupation of the Netherlands and therefore did not try to emigrate further. When Simon Carl and Paula were deported to the Dutch concentration camp Westerbork at the 23rd of March 1943, Simon's mother Klara was also incarcerated there. The mother died at Westerbork camp on the 19th of October 1943 at the age of 88.
The transit camp Westerbork was a central concentration camp for Dutch Jews and German Jews residing in the Netherlands. The deportation of Jews, Sinti & Roma and Dutch resistance fighters to death camps started on the 15th of June 1942. Every tuesday a train for Auschwitz and Sobibor left Westerbork.

Karl Knoller was not immediately sent to Westerbork but was first deported to the concentration camp Vught at the age of 24 on the 10th of April 1943. The conditions of imprisonment there were very harsh and a multitude of atrocities was committed by the German occupying forces. The prisoners had to work for the German Wehrmacht under hardest conditions. Due to the bad living conditions time and again the prisoners protested. These protests were met with terrible retaliation. Karl Knoller was confronted with the terrible inhuman Nazi system in Vught. On the 21st of September he was moved from Vught to Westerbork, where he was reunited with his parents. Simon Carl Knoller's family was deported to Bergen-Belsen on the 11th of January 1944.

At that time tens of thousands of prisoners were incarcerated at the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, as prisoners from concentration camps near the front had been relocated. The conditions worsened considerably when the SS took command of the camp. There were not enough lodgings and sanitary installations for the amount of prisoners in the camp. Epidemics further plagued the prisoners, near the end there was even no food anymore. Many prisoners starved or died of the yellow or typhoid fevers. Approximately 35,000 humans died during this mass death period in the last months up to April 1945. The harsh living conditions in the concentration camp were the reason why Simon Carl, his wife Paula, their son Karl, as well as Simon Carl's brother, Simon Moritz, lost their lives in the camp.

Paula Knoller died on the 1st of June 1944 at Bergen-Belsen.
The son Karl Knoller died on the 4th of December 1944 at Bergen-Belsen.
Simon Carl Knoller died on the 15th of February at Bergen-Belsen.

Finally some information on the family of Simon Carl's brother Simon Moritz Knoller.
Simon Moritz and Nanette Knoller fled to the Kalverstraße 8 in Amsterdam, Netherlands from Berlin on the 8th of May 1933.
The brothers Knoller and their families were incarcerated at the transitcamp Westerbork as well as at the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Together with his wife and their 4 children, Simon Moritz Knoller was deported to Westerbork on the 1st of May 1943 and to Bergen-Belsen on the 1st of February 1944. The families were incarcerated at Bergen-Belsen at the same time for several months, though it is doubtful whether they were in the same part of the camp. Nanette Knoller had a visa for Haiti and therefore, together with her children, belonged to a thousand strong allotment of exchange-prisoners, who were housed in a special part of the camp with less harsh conditions. Together with 220 other Jews she was exchanged on the 25th of January 1945 and released to Switzerland. She was able to immigrate to Israel after the war.
Simon Moritz Knoller did not survive to experience this exchange, as he had died due to the harsh living conditions in the camp on the 13th of December 1944.

Annotation: The information in the German commemoration books is wrong, some data was mixed up, as it had not been noticed that there had been a Simon Carl and a Simon Moritz Knoller.