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Katharina Abrahamsohn (born Lubczynski)

Katharina Abrahamsohn © Familienbesitz
Stolperstein Katharina Abrahamsohn © Dr. Petra T. Fritsche
LOCATION
Heilbronner Str. 21

DISTRICT
Tempelhof-Schöneberg – Schöneberg
STONE WAS LAID
11/29/2021

BORN
05/20/1889 in Berlin
OCCUPATION
Näherin
DEPORTATION
on the 25th of January 1942 from Heibronner Str.21 to Riga
MURDERED
in Riga

Katharina Lubczynski was born on May 20, 1889 in Berlin. She was the daughter of Siegfried Lubczynski and his wife Henriette.
Katharina had a younger sister, Charlotte Wally, born on May 8, 1895 and an older sister, Anna Irma, born in Posen, on February 27, 1888.

Katharina became a seamstress, and in 1919 married Dr. Wilhelm Abrahamsohn, a lawyer. Like many German Jews, he had fought in World War I and had been awarded a medal.
Their daughter Hortense Daisy Natalie was born on September 3, 1921, followed by their son Günther Gerd Siegfried on October 27, 1926.

Katharina's husband Wilhelm had his practice in Schellingstraße, privately the family lived in Martin-Luther-Straße 54 from 1930. Wilhelm went on excursions with the children and went swimming with them. The family also took vacations on the islands of Norderney and Föhr.

In 1932, Wilhelm Abrahamsohn committed suicide. After her husband's death, Katharina suffered a nervous breakdown and was depressed. She sought relief by traveling and seeking treatment at spas.
During this time, her children stayed with friendly neighbors, the couple Jacob and Bessy Ginsberger. While the Abrahamsohn family had professed Reform Judaism and were not very religious, the Ginsberger family belonged to Orthodox Judaism. Daisy adopted the Orthodox rites and attitudes, so when she returned to her mother's household, tensions arose. Daisy insisted on a kosher diet, while Katharina and Günther followed the religious rules more loosely.

Even after the death of her husband, Katharina Abrahamsohn was relatively wealthy: she owned an Opel limousine, which she did not drive herself, but hired a chauffeur. In 1933, she moved to Heilbronner Straße 21 into a 3 ½ room apartment with dignified furnishings. She also owned jewelry, a securities account and a life insurance policy, as well as shares in two properties in Berlin.

Günther didn’t remember being threatened anti-Semitically during his school years. He also felt protected by his mother, who never spoke to him about the danger posed by the Nazis. Daisy, the older sister, felt very much threatened by the Nazis. She once silently rebelled against the required Hitler salute in her school class by doing it with her left arm.

Katharina and her friend Georg Ehrenfried prepared for the departure of the children who had attended the private Kaliski forest school. Daisy attended Hachschara camps, where young people were prepared for life in Palestine, and emigrated to Palestine in November 1938. She was seventeen years old. Her mother paid the costs of emigration and financed a two-year education in Palestine.

Günther was still able to attend an Aliya school in 1939; in July, Katharina organized a children transport to England for him; he was twelve years old.

Katharina planned to emigrate as well and learned English. In her letters she asked Daisy about possibilities for herself to emigrate to Palestine as well. She also asked whether it would be possible to obtain an entry permit for America or France. Her credit balances at the bank had been confiscated, she had had to hand over all valuables. In her letters to the children, she did not write how she and other Jews in Berlin were harassed.

Georg Ehrenfried, Katharina's friend, had fled to Switzerland.

Until the end, Katharina hoped to be reunited with her children.

Katharina Abrahamsohn was deported to Riga on January 25, 1942 with the 10th Osttransport. She is on the transport list of the GESTAPO as "No.723" of 1,000 Berlin Jews on this transport.
The date of her death is unknown. It is very likely that Katharina Abrahamsohn was murdered immediately after her arrival during the mass shootings in the forests of Riga.
Katharina and Wilhelm Abrahamsohn share a gravestone in the Weißensee Cemetery in Berlin.

Charlotte Wally, the younger sister of Katharina, had fled to Shanghai with her husband, Siegmund Steilberg, a bank clerk. In 1947, they were able to leave for the USA. Charlotte died there in 1984.

In 1952, Katharina's children met again for the first time. Daisy had married Shlomo Denn in 1943, who was also from Germany. Their children are Ruthi, Rachel, Mati and Avi.
Daisy died in 2013, having added a testimony page for her mother in Yad Vashem in 1999.
Günther Abrahamsohn moved to Canada and married Inge Hamann, who was also from Berlin; he died in Canada in 2016.

Daisy had kept her mother's letters in a shoebox. After Daisy's oldest daughter Ruthi found documents about her mother Katharina's life in the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Daisy told her daughter about the letters. Ruthi translated them into Hebrew and showed them to the actors and director of the Heidelberg Theater, who had come to Tel Aviv to do research for a play about German Jews in Israel. Katharina's letters contributed to the content of the play. It is entitled: They Call Me Jecke. The documentary play was performed in Heidelberg in January 2010 and in Tel Aviv in September of the same year. One of the Israeli actors was Ruthi's son Shahar Gafni.


Biographical Compilation

Dr. Petra T. Fritsche

English Translation

Dr. Petra T. Fritsche

Additional Sources

Biografisches Album für Daisy und Günther Abrahamsohn in der Ausstellung "Wir waren Nachbarn"
Transportliste "Statistik des Holocaust"
Mapping the Lives, Ancestry
List of alien Passengers for the US, January 9,1947