Arthur Arnstein was born on 18 July 1866 to Sigmund Arnstein and his wife Pauline, née Wallenberg, in Berlin. He gained a PhD in medicine and qualified as a doctor in 1890. He married in 1897. He and his wife had one child. In 1898 the Arnstein family lived at Goethe Strasse 80 in Charlottenburg. In 1897 Arthur Arnstein practiced at Steglitzer Strasse 35 (now Gardeschützenweg), in what was then the Brandenburg district of Gross Lichterfelde; in 1898 he moved his practice to Bahn Strasse 571 (now Curtius Strasse) in Lichterfelde. From 1902 his practice was located at Drake Strasse 47, in a building that he was registered as owning in 1904. In 1931 he was awarded the honorary title for medical consultants of Sanitätsrat.
Some of the Nazis first antisemitic measures affected professional groups such as Jewish doctors. In March 1933, a quick succession of ordinances was enacted aiming to drive Jewish doctors out of the health service. Medical treatment by Jewish doctors was prohibited; Jewish doctors employed in the public sector or by municipal hospitals were dismissed. Soon after, the boycott of 1 April 1933 hit many Jews; “warning” signs against Jewish doctors were raised even in small medical practices. Then, on 22 April 1933, doctors of “non-Aryan” descent were explicitly banned from the public health system. Initially, World War 1 veterans were exempted from the ban, but this exception was revoked on 17 May 1934. It was now required to present proof of “Aryan identity” to register as a medical practitioner. “Non-Aryan” doctors, or doctors with “non-Aryan” spouses, were no longer approved by the health insurance funds.
Within a very short period, then, Jewish doctors were robbed of their livelihoods. They were not only restricted to treating only Jewish patients, they no longer received medicines from their former suppliers. Under the 4th ordinance of the Reich Citizenship Law of 25 July 1938, no further Jewish doctors were licensed as of 30 September 1938. Only a few exceptions were granted for the treatment of exclusively Jewish patients. These doctors were pejoratively labelled “medics”. In Berlin, a maximum of 175 of these lower-status “medics” (including specialists) were to be licensed.
Arthur Arnstein, now forced to take the additional name “Israel”, was also reduced to practising as a “Jewish medic” at Drake Strasse 47 in Lichterfelde West from September 1938.
Arthur Arnstein was deported on 11 September 1942 on the 62nd “transport of the elderly” to Theresienstadt, where he died on 3 November 1942. His cause of death was registered as “intestinal catarrh”. His death certificate describes him as a widower. It is not known when his wife died, nor is anything known of the fate of his child. A cousin of Arthur Arnstein, Betty Nossen, testified to his death in Theresienstadt. She died a few months later.
Sara Michaelis, née Frankenstein (*22.2.1871 in Flatow, West Prussia), formerly registered as a “lady of private means” in Charlottenburg, lived in the house at Drake Strasse 47 as a subtenant. It is likely that she worked as Arthur Arnstein’s housekeeper. She was deported to Theresienstadt one day before him on the 61st “transport of the elderly” and died there in October 1942. Nothing more is known about her.
In 1940, ownership of the building was transferred to Arthur Arnstein’s neighbour at house number 46, the master baker Werner Storch. Other “non-Aryans” were temporarily moved to Drake Strasse 47, where they lived until their deportation in March 1943 (see husband and wife Kurt Julius and Erna Friedländer, and their subtenants, Hans Kaplan and his wife Marlene Kaplan, née Berger and her borther Frank Cohn). After they were deported, the house was “free of Jews”.