Edith Kassel was the daughter of Dr Ilse Kassel. Her father was a Jewish lawyer.
She was born on 9 May 1937 while her mother was in custody in Berlin-Moabit prison. Her godmother was a friend of Ilse Kassel’s, Dr Edith Jacobson (1897-1978), who managed to escape to the United States in 1938 and later became a famous psychoanalyst.
Until her mother’s release, Edith was raised by her aunt Hilde, her mother’s sister. Hilde was married to an “Aryan”, Dr Kurt Schneemilch, and lived at Hermsdorfer Damm 184.
When Edith Kassel’s mother feared their imminent arrest due to the continuing persecution of Jews, she fled to the home of Tony Großmann and her family in Alt Gurkowschbruch, in the Freideberg, Neumark district (near Landsberg an der Warthe). Edith lived illegally in this farmhouse with her mother from September 1942 to September 1943.
In September 1943 their hiding place was revealed. Ilse and Edith Kassel managed to flee the Gestapo who came to take them away on 20 September but, only 10 minutes from the farmhouse, they could see no further escape route than suicide.
Edith’s mother died in the river Netze. Edith was taken to hospital in Driesen and returned for a short period to the Großmann family’s farmhouse. This is where the Gestapo later arrested her.
On 15 October 1943 Edith Kassel was deported from Grosse Hamburger Strasse 26, Berlin, number 21 on the 97th “transport of the elderly”, “Welle 60”, and arrived the same day in Theresienstadt. On 23 October 1944 she was deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on the “Et” transport, which arrived on 25 October.
At only seven years old, she was probably murdered by poison gas the same day (or a few days later).