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Liselotte Mendelsohn

Leo und Belsora Mendelsohn mit Tochter Liselotte ca. 1936 © Tamar Koenig
Thomasiusstraße 24

Mitte – Moabit

11/24/1924 in Berlin
Spinnstoff-Fabrik AG, Berlin-Zehlendorf
on the 14th of November 1941 from Berlin to Minsk
in Ghetto Minsk

Liselotte Mendelsohn was born on November 24, 1924 in Berlin. Liselotte was known as Lilo to her parents, Leo and Belsora Mendelsohn, and her older brother, Erwin. After brother Erwin in 1933 emigrated to Palestine, the family moved one street over from the old apartment at Kirchstraße 21, Moabit, to Thomasiusstraße 24. Liselotte and her parents were now renting a spacious 3-bedroom, 1st floor apartment in the garden house.
The Mendelsohns operated a thriving leather and umbrella shop on the corner of Turmstr. 10 and Wilsnackerstraße, and thus Lilo's mother, Belsora, who was called Bella, could afford a trip to Palestine to visit her son Erwin.

But the ever-increasing harassment and boycott of Jewish businesses, which had started in 1933, eventually impacted the Mendelsohns’ business too. In June 1938, Liselotte’s parents were no longer allowed to do business. Nevertheless, the Mendelsohns succeeded in getting by a few more months by selling their goods. When Liselotte’s father, Leo, was arrested during the so-called Kristallnacht and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, her mother, Belsora, had to run the business alone. In December 1938, shortly after Leo Mendelsohn’s release from concentration camp, their business was permanently closed down by official decree. The family’s livelihood was completely cut off.
On November 12, 1939, after his release from the prison camp, Lilo’s father, Leo, died of a heart attack at his home. He was 54. Liselotte and her mother Belsora buried Leo at the Jewish Cemetery, Weissensee. By this time Liselotte, was probably already doing forced labor at the Spinnstoff-Fabrik AG, a textile factory in Berlin-Zehlendorf. Her weekly wage was 14 RM.

On November 9, 1941 Liselotte and Belsore Mendelsohn were taken to the nearby synagogue building on Levetzowstraße 7, which was being used as a transit camp prior to deportation. After submitting their declaration of assets, they were informed two days later that, by official decree, all their property had been confiscated for the benefit of the Reich. The declared value of their savings and property was about 41 000 RM. On November 14, 1941 Liselotte and her mother were deported from Grunewald station on the 5th East transport to the Minsk ghetto. There were only a few survivors out of the approximately 950 passengers on board the train from Berlin, but Belsora and Liselotte Mendelsohn were not amongst them.

Biographical Compilation

Wilfried Burkard (ergänzt von Oliver Geiger), Übersetzung Judith Elam

English Translation

Judith Elam