Martha Hurwitz née Baron

Hagelberger Str. 34
Historical name
Hagelberger Str. 40
17 May 1883 in Berlin
on 06 March 1943 to Auschwitz
in Auschwitz
  • Stolperstein für Martha Hurwitz
    Stolperstein für Martha Hurwitz. Foto: OTFW.

    Stolperstein für Martha Hurwitz. Foto: OTFW.

Martha Hurwitz, née Baron, was born on 17 May 1883 in Berlin. A widow, she moved into a ground floor apartment in Hagelberger Strasse, as a subtenant of someone named Levy, on 25 January 1939. A few scraps of information about the last years of her life can be gleaned from the “file of assets” set up by the Berlin-Brandenburg superior finance directorate prior to her deportation.

In her last years, she performed forced labour for Petrix in Niederschöneweide, Berlin. This company had used Jewish forced labourers since 1938 to make lead batteries for aeroplanes. After the Wannsee Conference, the Jewish forced labourers in the Petrix works were replaced by French prisoners of war. Later a concentration camp subcamp was set up on site.

On 17 November 1942 Martha Hurwitz completed her declaration of assets by hand. Her only possessions were a bed, a table and two chairs. On 1 February 1943 she was given notice of confiscation of even this meagre property. The documents enclosed in the file show how blatantly neighbours, subsequent tenants, administrators and officers of various agencies and offices were involved in exploiting Jewish property.

All this probably occurred after Martha Hurwitz had already died. She was deported on 6 March 1943 from Moabit goods station in Putlitz Strasse to Auschwitz. Here the arrival of 665 Jews from Berlin was registered on 7 March 1943. Following their “selection”, 118 women and men were sent to the camp as prisoners. The remaining 447 were killed immediately in the gas chambers of the Birkenau camp.

On 16 March 1945, just a few weeks before the collapse of the Nazi regime, the file was finally closed on Martha Hurwitz’s property – almost two years to the day after she had been deported to Auschwitz and murdered.