Ernst Perels was born on 2 August 1882 in Berlin. His father was Ferdinand Perels, a convert to Christianity, and his mother was Anna Maria Luise Perels, née Volkmar, a Christian from birth.
Dr. phil. Ernst Perels was a professor of medieval history at the Friedrich Wilhelm University Berlin, married to an “Aryan”, Gertrud Margarete Antonie, née Hermes. They had four children. Their second-eldest son, Friedrich Justus Perels, born in 1910, was murdered in 1945 (see the stumbling stone at Viktoriastraße 4a, Lichterfelde-West).
Because of his Jewish origins on his father’s side he was classified by the Nazis as a “first degree crossbreed”. He gave up working at the university in 1935 and was “released” from his position in 1936.
Due to his son’s involvement in the failed Hitler assassination attempt of 20 July 1944, Ernst Perels was sought as a liable member of kin and arrested in October 1944. Initially detained in Moabit prison, he was later sent to Buchenwald, then Flossenbürg, where he died on 10 May 1945, shortly before the camp’s liberation.