Hugo Schönfeld received his licence to practise medicine in 1901 and opened his first surgery at Kaiser Friedrich Strasse 213 in Neukölln. He served in the First World War and in 1918 took over the surgery of senior medical officer Dr. Weecke at Steglitzer Strasse 33 (now Gardeschützenweg) in Lichterfelde-West. Later he moved the surgery to Viktoria Strasse 3, where he ran it until his licence was revoked on 30 September 1938. The Nazi regime authorized a limited number of Jewish doctors to continue practising, treating Jewish patients only, as lower-rank “medics”, but it is unlikely that Dr. Schönfeld was among them.
According to the population census of 1939, Dr. Schönfeld lived until then with his wife Frieda, née Marx, at Viktoria Strasse 3 in Lichterfelde-West. In the 1939 Berlin directory he is no longer listed at this address. The Schönfelds were probably forced to move into the house owned by Alex Seelig in Baseler Strasse that was used as a “Jew house”. Both Dr. Schönfeld and his wife were baptized Protestants. Frieda Schönfeld was indeed registered as a godmother at a baptism in the Martin Luther parish in Lichterfelde-West. It is not known what became of her.
An eye-witness, who was treated by Dr. Schönfeld when she was about ten years old, remembered him as extremely attentive to his patients. He not only helped her recover from chronic bronchitis and an ear-nose-throat operation but even saved her mother’s life with his swift action and diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy. Dr. Schönfeld had worked as an epidemiologist during the First World War and been awarded an Iron Cross. The same eye-witness also remembered that Dr. Schönfeld paid for his stepson (name unknown) to study theology. No more is known about his stepson.
On 3 October 1942, Dr. Schönfeld was deported on the “3rd large transport of the elderly” to Theresienstadt, where he died after the camp’s liberation on 17 July 1945.