Skip to main content
Skip to content Skip to navigation

Bianca Berlowitz (born Wollenberg)

Stolperstein Bianca Berlowitz, Foto:H.-J. Hupka, 2014
LOCATION
Prinzregentenstr. 23

DISTRICT
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf – Wilmersdorf
STONE WAS LAID
04/24/2014

BORN
09/20/1890 in Schwetz (Westpreußen) / Świecie
DEPORTATION
on the 17th of March 1943 to Theresenstadt
SURVIVED

Bianca Berlowitz, geb. Wollenberg, wurde am 20. September 1890 im westpreußischen Schwetz (heute: Świecie / Polen) als Älteste von drei Geschwistern geboren worden. Sie heiratete Max Berlowitz, geboren als Ältester von fünf Geschwistern am 27. Mai 1879 im ostpreußischen Schmalleningken (heute: Smaleninkai / Litauen). Die Familie lebte in Schmalleningken nachweisbar seit 1739. Später lebten die Eheleute in Allenstein (Olsztyn), wo Max Berlowitz ein erfolgreicher Geschäftsmann als Teilhaber eines großen Warenhauses war. 1936 zogen sie wie auch andere Familienmitglieder nach Berlin, weil sie sich dort in Sicherheit wähnten. Sie wohnten zuletzt in der Prinzregentenstraße 23, wo sie 1939 polizeilich gemeldet waren.
Am 17. März 1943 wurden Max und Bianca Berlowitz vom Bahnhof Grunewald zusammen mit 1.159 Menschen nach Theresienstadt deportiert. Am 23. Oktober 1944 wurde Max Berlowitz mit dem vorletzten nach Auschwitz abfahrenden Zug, in dem sich 1715 Menschen drängen mussten, weitertransportiert. Er ist dort ermordet worden. Währenddessen blieb Bianca Berlowitz in Theresienstadt, wo sie Gärtnerin und Pflegerin war. Die Befreiung des Ghettos erlebte sie am 8./9. Mai 1945. Sie lebte noch dreißig Jahre bei ihrer Familie in England, wo sie die unumstrittene Küchenchefin war. Am 12. Mai 1976 ist sie gestorben. Auf ihrem Grabstein auf dem Jüdischen Friedhof von Golders Green in London ist auch der Name Max Berlowitz eingraviert.


Biographical Compilation

Stolpersteine-Initiative Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Michael Reik, Enkelsohn von Max und Bianca Berlowitz, der in Adelaide in England lebt, hielt nach Verlegung der Stolpersteine zum Gedenken an seine Großeltern diese Ansprache:

With my sister Miriam , wife Gillian, and daughters Jonelle and Caroline we are assembled with the Magen Family as a result of a telephone call I received from Menachem to join in the ceremonies here in Berlin, an event we were only too pleased to be part of.

We are here today to remember Max and Bianca Berlowitz who lived here at 23 Prinzregentenstrasse and were brutally taken away to Theresienstadt on March 17th1943.

Max and Bianca arranged for their daughters Ruth and Eva to leave for England in early 1939.

Max my grandfather, was never known to me but before he was murdered in Auschwitz, together with Bianca, knew that I had been born in England the first of the grandchildren.

Max was born in Schmalleningken in Lithuania the eldest of five siblings (the other four girls Berta, Jenny, Paula and Lucie) in May 1879.

Records show that his father Chaim, grandfather David and great grandfather Pincas also lived in Schmalleningken. Pincas and his father Behr were born in Schillehnen, a small village, a short ferry ride from Schmalleningken with family records going back to 1739.

Max married Bianca Wollenberg who was born in Schwetz in Western Prussia, Germany (became Swiecie in Poland) and they lived later in Allenstein in Eastern Prussia (now Olsztyn in Poland) where Max was a successful business man in a partnership of a large department store.

Max was taken from Theresienstadt on the 23rd of October 1944 on the last but one train out to Auschwitz, where he was murdered.

Bianca, known to us, the grandchildren, always as Omi, was the eldest of three siblings, the others Leo and Else. The parents Samuel Wollenberg and Paula (nee Feibel) and the grandparents, Louis and Sara, all lived in Schwetz.

Bianca and Max moved to Berlin after 1936 as they believed it was safer there, once the Nazi regime was in power and were living at Prinzregentenstrasse by the 22nd June 1942.

Omi survived the Concentration Camp because of her skills as a gardener and as a nurse and came to live with us in England. She lived for thirty years in our house with Ruth, Hans, Miriam and I, and became the matriarch of the family in charge of the kitchen.

The language spoken at home by my parents was mainly English but between Omi and my mother Ruth was invariably German. In fact with Omi tutoring me in German I managed to pass my O’Level- Matriculation in the one year. My father Hans was quite content with the situation, and Omi would always also be with us on our holidays.

Omi is buried in the Jewish Cemetery next to the grave of my parents close to the Jewish Neighbourhood of Golders Green and I visited her only two weeks ago. Max is already named on Omi’s Headstone. However the laying of these two Stolpersteine enable Max and Bianca to finally be in a resting place together.