Friday, November 9, 2018

Stumbling stone for Hildegard Rosenthal

"We remember Hildegard Rosenthal and the six million men, women and children who were murdered just because they were Jews," said our Rabbi Andreas Nachama on November 9 of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Berlin.

For the Berlin Jew Hildgard Rosenthal, a stumbling stone was laid this Friday in the Berlin district of Dahlem. The then 47-year-old was arrested in 1943 with her husband Friedrich. While he succeeded in swallowing the capsule with cyanide, which had been provided for this emergency, the Gestapo men Hildegard Rosenthal knocked the poison out of her hand and arrested her. These biographical data were researched by pupils of the Gail S. Halvorsen School and presented at a ceremony organized by the Steglitz-Zehlendorf District Office. Hildegard Rosenthal was brought to Theresienstadt on 29 June of the same year. According to her former religion teacher Leo Back, who was also imprisoned there, she taught children there. On 12 October 1944, she was taken to Auschwitz, where she was probably murdered immediately.

In addition to Rabbi Nachama, Ben Barkow, a great-nephew of Hildgard Rosenthal and today director of the Wiener Library in London, was also present at the transfer. In addition, Cerstin Richter-Kotowski (District Mayor Steglitz-Zehlendorf), the Superintendents Johannes Krug and Thomas Seibt (Evangelical Church District Teltow-Zehlendorf and Steglitz, respectively) gave a speech.

Afterwards we went to the memorial place "Spiegelwand" on the Hermann-Ehlers-Platz in Berlin-Steglitz. The commemoration ceremony of the Steglitz-Zehlendorf District Office ended with a service in the nearby Matthäus Church. Esther Hirsch, cantor of the House of One, sang.