In the mid-1930s, Herr and Frau Kropidlowsky lived with their daughter Ingrid (1935-1944) in the parish of St Elisabeth in the Berlin neighbourhood known as Rosenthaler Vorstadt.
The Kropidlowsky family, including Ingrid’s “Aryan born” father Ferdinand Kropidlowsky, an automobile electrician, belonged to the Jewish Community until 1939/40. Ferdinand Kropidlowsky died in May 1942 of unknown causes, aged only 29.
His daughter Ingrid was raised a Jew until 1940. In 1942 she was baptised in a neighbouring parish by a priest from the Confessing Church. “Jew baptisms” were forbidden in the family’s local parish church, St Elisabeth, which had been built by Schinkel and renovated with the support of the Nazi authorities. For a year Ingrid attended the Jewish primary school – the special class for Christian children with Jewish backgrounds. But all Jewish schools were closed down in summer 1942, and their pupils were deprived of any schooling. Ingrid’s mother turned to the St Elisabeth church in Invaliden Strasse for help, which Ingrid now belonged to since her baptism and which was only five minutes away from their home. The parish and its priest did not help the family, not even by offering pastoral counselling. It was one of the first members of the German Christians movement, the Nazi pressure group within the Protestant church.
In August 1942 Ingrid’s grandmother Paula Jacoby, née Chaskel (1880-1942) was deported to Riga, aged 62. She had lived in an apartment with her unmarried daughters Käthe (1906-1943) and Liselotte Jacoby (1920-1942) and “ran the household” for them and her widowed daughter Ruth Kropidlowsky. She hoped to be spared “evacuation” for this reason, as her three daughters performed forced labour (at Siemens-Schuckert) every day. In March 1943 Käthe and Liselotte Jacoby were deported to Auschwitz, aged 37 and 23, respectively.
During the day, little Ingrid Kropidlowsky must have been increasingly often all alone.
On 17 June 1943 she and her mother were taken away from their apartment at Strelitzer Strasse 25 and deported to Theresienstadt, and in October 1944 to Auschwitz. Their declaration of assets shows that they lived in a two-room apartment. They had no financial assets but were free of debts. They owned a leather sofa, a gramophone and a sewing machine. Ruth Kropidlowsky worked as a seamstress and for a firm in Schilling Strasse in Mitte to the last.
Ruth and her daughter Ingrid were murdered in Auschwitz.