Dr. Friedrich Ludwig Epstein

Argentinische Allee 20
Historical name
Stone was laid
14 November 2015
27 January 1882 in Breslau / Wrocław
1934 Frankreich
in Drancy / Frankreich
on 17 December 1943 to Auschwitz
22 December 1943 in Auschwitz

Friedrich Epstein was born on January 27, 1882 in Breslau as the son of the factory owner Joseph Epstein and his wife Marie, née Friedenthal. After graduating from high school, he studied chemistry in Munich, Lausanne, Berlin and Heidelberg.
With his dissertation “The speed of chemical self-heating. Adiabatic reaction kinetics” Epstein received his doctorate in October 1905 in Heidelberg.
He became an assistant to the future Nobel Prize winner Fritz Haber in Karlsruhe. In 1914 he went to the Technical University in Prague, which he left shortly afterwards to take part in the First World War as a soldier.
In September, a few months after the start of the war, he was seriously injured and released from military service.
He went back to Fritz Haber at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin (today the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society) and stayed there until 1933.

Since 1927, Friedrich Epstein lived with his sister-in-law Elsbeth Luise Epstein and her daughter Annemarie at Grunewaldallee 20 in Berlin-Zehlendorf, today's Argentinische Allee. Friedrich Epstein's brother, the architect Walter Epstein, designed the Waltz house on Waldsee for the family in 1906/1907.
After the so-called “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” was passed in 1933, Epstein, who had converted to the Protestant Church, did not immediately lose his position due to the “front fighter privilege” despite his Jewish origins, but he “voluntarily” left the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute out of. In 1934 he emigrated to France.
He lived in a small hotel in Paris until 1940. There he met Else Weil again in the Levy family, whom he had already known and admired from Berlin. In September 1939, Friedrich Epstein and Else Weil, Kurt Tucholsky's first wife, were briefly interned as stateless people by the French government for the first time, but were released again after a short time. After the German invasion in May 1940, both fled into unoccupied territory.
Friedrich Epstein was taken in by his niece Annemarie Meier-Graefe, wife of Julius Meier-Graefe, in the south of France, in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer.
The second internment in the Les Milles camp followed at the end of May 1940. When Annemarie Meier-Graefe emigrated to the USA in the spring of 1941, she left her house La Banette in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer to Friedrich Epstein and Else Weil. A few months later they were both living in Salernes between Aix-en-Provence and Cannes. There they were under police supervision (résidence forcee).
According to letters, they planned to marry and flee to the United States together. The niece Annemarie Meier-Graefe later wrote that his encounter with Pimbusch (Else Weil's nickname) was one of the most beautiful periods in his life - shortly before he died. When Else Weil was deported to the Les Milles internment camp in August 1942, Epstein and the Levy family tried desperately to save her, but without success.
Epstein lived in the Hotel Allégre in Salernes until the end of May 1943, then again in a hotel in Paris.
On December 17, 1943, Friedrich Epstein was transported on transport no. 63 deported from the Drancy assembly camp to Auschwitz and presumably murdered there.
December 22, 1943 was set as his death date by the city of Salernes.