Martha Rothholz was from Posen and was born on October 17, 1875, as the oldest daughter of the rabbi and historian Dr. Philipp Bloch and his wife Luise, née Feust. After attending a girls’ school and a teacher training college, she took the teacher certification examination, but spent her life as a housewife.
On October 16, 1898, she married Dr. Julius Rothholz. In 1901, the two of them bought the house at Friedbergstrasse 7 with Martha’s dowry. The couple had three children – Bertha (1900–1993), Alfred (1903–1994), and Therese (1906–1943) – and four grandchildren. In 1939, Alfred managed to escape to New York with his wife Käthe and daughter Luisa, where he – although he had been an engineer in Germany – was only able to work as a mechanic.
Therese, her husband Franz Joseph Unger, and their son Heinz Joachim were murdered in 1943 in Auschwitz and Sobibor. Bertha’s husband Max Platschek, the owner of a garment factory, was supposed to have been arrested and sent to a concentration camp in connection with the “Night of Broken Glass” in November 1938, but Julius Rothholz was warned in advance by friends, and he helped his daughter Bertha, her husband, and their two sons, Hans and Karl, to escape.
Dr. Julius Rothholz committed suicide on February 2, 1939, in order to avoid being arrested by the Gestapo.
Martha Rothholz’s not inconsiderable fortune was confiscated, as was the house at Friedbergstrasse 7. Starting in September 1941, she, like so many others, was forced to wear the yellow star. On November 27, 1941, the Nazis deported Martha Rothholz to Riga, along with around 730 other Jews from Berlin. She was shot to death on the morning of November 30, 1941.
Bertha Platschek and her family were able to start a new life in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her son Karl became a successful engineer in Venezuela and the United States, while her son Hans returned to Germany in 1953 and made a name for himself as a painter and a writer.