Gustav Schwabe was born in 1878 in Bremen-Vegesack. He was married to Margarete Frankenberg, from Berlin. In the 1930s Gustav Schwabe and his wife 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.
Gustav Schwabe was listed in the Berlin address books as a representative and merchant, but like many other Jews he was later forced to do slave labor in weapons factories. The 61 year old Gustav had to work as a laborer in airplane construction at the Weser plant on Tempelhofer Feld. In the meantime, his wife Margarethe was forced to do slave labor 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.
In 1941 the building where the Schwabe couple lived was Aryanized, and its Jewish owner, Siegfried Kadisch, committed suicide. Gustav and Margarethe Schwabe were forced to leave their home on Thomasiusstraße and to move with other Jews, including Paul and Irene Fürstenberg, and Herbert and Lotte Cassel, into a so-called “Jew appartment” on the 2nd floor at Eislebener Str. 5, 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 Gustav, his wife Margarethe, 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.