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Margarethe Schwabe (born Frankenberg)

Stolperstein für Margarethe Schwabe © OTFW
Thomasiusstraße 3

Mitte – Moabit

06/16/1893 in Berlin
Pertrix, Batterien-Fabrik, Oberschöneweide
on the 4th of March 1943 from Eislebenerstr. 5, II. Stock, Berlin-Charlottenburg to Vernichtungslager Auschwitz-Birkenau
in Auschwitz

Margarethe Frankenberg, was born in 1893, in Berlin. She later married Gustav Schwabe, a Bremer native. In the 1930s Margarethe Schwabe and her husband lived at Alt-Moabit 108, on the corner of Kirchstraße, then at Calvinstraße 20, and finally, in 1938, on the first floor of Thomasiusstraße 3. Margaret's husband was listed in the Berlin address books as a representative or merchant. Like many other Jews who had to do slave labor in weapons factories, Margarethe Schwabe was forced to work at the Pertrix company in Niederschöneweide. Pertrix was a chemical factory, which also produced batteries for aircraft and submarines for military purposes. Slave laborers and workers were forced to work 11-hour shifts in very poor conditions. The women had to fill battery shells with highly toxic substances. Slave labor was used as a means to gradually destroy people through this type of work, because of the serious risk of poisoning, organ damage and infertility. Margaret's husband was forced to work as a laborer in airplane construction at the Weser plant on Tempelhofer Feld. He was 61. In 1941 the building where the Schwabe couple lived was Aryanized, and its Jewish owner, Siegfried Kadisch, committed suicide. Margarethe Schwabe and her husband were forced to leave their home on Thomasiusstraße and to move with other Jews, including Paul and Irene Fürstenberg, and Herbert and Lotte Cassel, to a so-called “Jew appartment” on the 2nd floor at Eislebener Str., near Wittenbergplatz.

Towards the end of 1942 mass deportations increased dramatically, and the Jews in Pertrix and other companies were replaced by Polish slave laborers. In order to facilitate the smooth transition of labor, the Jewish slave laborers were required to train the Polish slave laborers before they were deported. Shortly thereafter on March 1, 1943, the Cassel couple were dragged out of their flat and deported to Auschwitz. Three days later, 49 year old Margarethe Schwabe, her husband Gustav, and the Fürstenberg couple, were forced to leave the flat at Eislebenerstrasse and were all deported together to the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where all were killed.

Margarethe Schwabe’s birth year on her Stolperstein is shown as 1873, and was obtained from the Bundesgedenkbuch (Federal Memorial Book) and the 1939 census. However this date seems incorrect, as on her declaration of assets and on the deportation list it says Margarethe Schwabe was born in 1897.

Der Stolperstein für Margarethe Schwabe trägt das Geburtsjahr wie im Bundesgedenkbuch sowie in der Volkszählung 1939 angegeben. Dieses Datum erscheint jedoch falsch. Denn sowohl in der Vermögenserklärung, als auch auf der Deportationsliste findet sich 1893 als Geburtsjahr.

Biographical Compilation

Holle Gaber & Oliver Geiger, translation Judith Elam

English Translation

Judith Elam