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Leo Davidsohn

Leo Davidsohn © OTFW
Kurfürstendamm 185

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf – Charlottenburg

12/20/1866 in Hohensalza / Inowrocław
on the 14th of July 1942 from Kurfürstendamm 185 to Auschwitz
08/12/1942 in Theresienstadt

The Stolperstein to the memory of Leo Davidsohn was installed on 6.8.2014 in the presence of his deceased great nephew, Henry Philip David's, family: his widow, Tema Seidman David, their daughter, Gail David, her husband Steven Heydemann, and their two daughters, Sarah David Heydemann and Julia David Heydemann -- all from the USA.

Leo Davidsohn was born on the 20. (according to his own information on the 19.) December 1866 in Hohensalza (Inowrazlaw). His father’s name was Eduard, his mother’s Selma; they lived in Breslau (Wroclaw).

In Berlin, Leo Davidsohn lived at Kurfürstendamm 165 (entry below from the Jewish directory 1931) and later at Kurfurstendamm 185, which had a side entrance on
Wielandstrasse 23. . His apartment in this magnificent corner house with an elevator that still stands today, had nine rooms and a circular balcony on the 4th floor, for which he paid 330 Reichsmark.

From the directory 1938:
Davidsohn, Leo, W 15, Kurfürstendamm 165

Leo Davidsohn was married to Lucy Bauchwitz; they had no children. The Bauchwitzs, from Halle an der Saale, had a wholesale salt business. Lucy was the sister of Bianca, born 22 May 1876, in Halle an der Saale, and died 2 November 1926. Bianca’s daughter, Ilse Gerson David, was a favorite niece who lived with Uncle Leo for several years before her marriage, and was Henry P. David’s mother.

Leo Davidsohn had a brother, Daniel Davidsohn, who was born on 23 June 1857 in Hohensalza, married Johanna (born Plaut), and died 24 March 1942. Since 1930, unmarried Anna Köpp lived as domestic servant in the apartment of Leo Davidsohn.

Leo Davidsohn was a successful businessman. He was the single owner of a number of companies, including, as recorded in the 1936 Yellow Pages, a wholesale animal feed business on Wielandstraße 23. Mr. Davidsohn had a good reputation in the Berlin community and was a prominent member of the stock exchange. Perhaps most important of all, he showed great generosity to his relatives and others when, as a result of race laws, they were no longer permitted to work in Germany, and ultimately, he helped them emigrate to America, South Africa, China and elsewhere.

None of Leo Davidsohn’s possesions stayed in the family; all were eliminated, auctioneered and sold. According to the “Vermögenserklärung” (demanded by the Nazi authorities of all Jews), he possessed two fur (Sesalbisam and Nutria) coats, which were sold for a high price after his deportation, and records even name Lissy Pommerenke from Oberschönweide, who purchased a surely valuable 4x5 meter carpet for 430 RM.

When he had to declare his assets on 11 July 1942, Leo Davidsohn provided intentionally inaccurate information. With a pencil, he entered into the form: Account and Securities: “??” Articles of Clothing: “not to indicate by heart.” Debts: “different doctor’s bills.” Total Assets: “not to indicate” and “obligations against the domestic servant.

In the large “collecting point” at Hamburger Straße 26, Leo Davidsohn was selected for the 21. deportation transport to Theresienstadt. This transport left with 100 people on 14 July 1942 from Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof station. Also on the train were patients of the Jewish Hospital. On 12 August 1942, Leo Davidsohn was put to death in in the Theresienstadt. He was 75 years old.

Reminding of Leo Davidsohn with a Stolperstein Reinhard Frommann, member of the local Stolpersteine Initiative, said in presence of the family:
“Between 1939 and 1945, about 55 000 Jews were deported from Berlin and murdered. Thirteen thousand were from the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf alone. Not included in these figures are the other victims of the Nazidictatorship: Social Democrats, Communists, Trade Unionists, Christians, Jehovas Witnesses, Homosexuals, Sinti and Roma, Freemasons and many others including victims of euthanasia.

To date, the people of Berlin have laid more than 6 000 Stolpersteine in their city, among them the more than 2 600 in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf .

The Nazis exterminated them and wanted to wipe out their names.
We call back their names to the place where they lived.

Six million victims – an unimaginable number. But we always have to think:
One ... plus one … plus another one ... and another one.... And to commemorate one of them – Leo Davidsohn – we place this Stolperstein here today.

Biographical Compilation

Reinhard Frommen und Helmut Lölhöffel

English Translation

Translation: Reinhard Frommann, completed by Gail David