upheimand its Annihilation
Book Pages 162 - 165
EINSTEIN, Helene and Mathilde,
Translated by: Peter Ritz
Mother: Mathilde Einstein, née Nathan, born May 13, 1856 in Laupheim, died March 7, 1937 in Laupheim. Widow of Heinrich Einstein, died 1909.
Daughter: Helene Einstein, born August 19, 1888 in Laupheim, single, murdered 1942 in Riga.
“While the Einstein family, at least in their first hundred years, were not exceedingly successful economically, they excelled in any case in their fertility. Leopold (the Laupheim Einstein Ancestor, K.N.) and Esther Einstein had three sons and at least three daughters who, between 1786 and 1825, provably had 39 grandchildren , of which ten were male and all of them founded families in Laupheim.”
(from: John H. Bergmann: Die Bergmanns in Laupheim, page 22)
The Bergmann Clan had like all other Jewish families in Laupheim one common ancestor, Leopold Einstein. Therefore John Bergmann dedicated a whole chapter in his family chronicle to the Einsteins. The fertility of the Einstein Clan, which he drew attention to, continued in the generations that followed: Heinrich Einstein, a greatgrandson of Leopold had eleven brothers and sisters, his daughter Helene was the youngest of his six children.
In lieu of individual advertisement
announce their engagement
Laupheim February 1878
Advertisement in “Laupheimer Verkündiger” February 9, 1878
There is very little know about the family. Mathilde Nathan and Heinrich Einstein married in the year of their engagement for their oldest daughter Flora was born already in March 1879. Heinrich Einstein probably made a living in the cattle trade and he built the estate Radstraße 8 with a barn and a stable. Why he died at the age of 53 and how the economic situation developed remains unanswered. Except for his daughter Helene all his children left Laupheim: They went to Switzerland, to the USA or married and moved to bigger towns like Ulm or Göppingen. That was also – from the middle of the 19th century not just an individual case but rather the rule, not only with the Einsteins.
Thus only parts or relics of families can be found in Laupheim in 1933, which is especially true of the Einstein family, despite their numerous offspring. Mathilde Einstein, née Nathan, survived her husband by many years and died at the age of 87 in 1937. She was buried in her own grave in the Laupheim cemetery, something that her youngest daughter Helene who had spent her whole life with her mother was not granted.
In November 1941 Helene Einstein was deported to Riga where she was murdderet. At least her life is well documented with photos: As an elementary school pupil with her teacher Gideon in 1895 and as a graduate from the “Frauenarbeitsschule” (Women’s Housekeeping School) in 1913. This photo is fine evidence for the harmonious working and living together of Christians and Jews in town as was common at that time and which was brutally destroyed twenty years later. The “Frauenarbeitsschule” was a possiblity of further education for young women school- leavers, who were still single. It was held on Sundays and on a voluntary basis. Here Franciscan nuns conveyed practical knowledge and skills for future housewives. Women of all three denominations attended the school and – on their final photo in 1913 taken in front of the
|Helene Einstein as first-garder in 1895||Helene Detail from|
Laupheim 1913, Central row, second from left: Helene Einstein
Frauenarbeitsschule Laupheim 1913, Central row, second from left: Helene Einstein
The photo of the Frauenarbeitsschule is from Josef Brauns „Alt-Laupheimer Bilderbogen“, Volume 1. Helene Einstein cannot be found on page 61 where all the names are published: The assignment of names to the photo done by Braun was later corrected by John H, Bergmann probably with the help of his cousin Gretel Gideon. Thus Helene Einstein is most surely the lady in the center of the´picture detail surrounded by Friedele Bernheim (above left, with a hand on her shoulder), Alwine Dworzan (left), Salie Rosenberger (front left) Mina Friedberger (in front of her), C.Levigard (to the right) and H. Löffler (right behind her).
Helene Einstein remained single,like at least three more of the women of the dame age group. This is surely not due to her appearance as can be clearly seen. Portrayed are young Laupheim women of the age 1888 to 1897: Their male counterparts had to enter World War I and many did not return. The death toll of the German-Jewish community probably was slightly higher than the average – despite that fact even during the war in a slandering campaign the opposite was maintained. In the Jewish community too, the same amount of potential marriage partners were lacking as with the Christians: To be the “Haustochter” (daughter in the household) was the fate not only for Helene Einstein.
On the morning after the pogrom night, on November 10th, 1938,thirteen-year-old Rochus König, acted in the parochial church of St Peter and Paul. He lived at that time with his family in Radstraße. Their house entrance was slightly to the side of the street in the back. That the synagoge burned that night even his parents had noticed but hadd not dared to go out and to switch on a light. When he left the house in the early morning for his server duty it was dawning and he heard a low sobbing and weaping below the stairs. Two women were hiding there and sat closely hugging each other and trembling. He identified one of them: his distant neighbour Helene Einstein. She had escaped from her house and sought shelter below the stairs because she feared also to he dragged out of her house by the ravaging SA and to be arrested. The boy of thirteen was full of fear, too, and did not dare to help the two women but went to church to serve there. The priest also did not dare to say anything after the dreadful happenings of that night and celebrated the service as if nothing had happened.
After the death of her mother in 1937 Helene Einstein became sole proprietor of the estate Radstraße 8. One year later she drew up a last will and named her youngest brother Leonard – who lived in Zürich – the sole inheritor. The continually aggravating measures of the NS-state against the Jews did not stop and in September 1941 Helen was forcefully transferred to Wendelinsgrube. Both apartments in her house were rented out by the town from November 11, 1941, the barn was used from 1942 by farmer Karl Held. On November 28, 1941 Helene Einstein was deported to the extermination camp Riga where she was murdered in 1942.
Leonard Einstein, born August 19, 1887, the second youngest of the six brothers and sisters married in 1935 Edith Beer in Frankfurt/Main and shortly afterwards emigrated into Switzerland. He was able to make a living with his family in Zürich. He became the director of the Nathan Institute. In 1948 he filed a restitution claim for the estate Radstraße 8. But as he died in 1950, it was his wife and his children who were granted restitutory rights to the house and property of Helene Einstein which they likely sold. Nothing is known of the whereabouts of the personal property in the house and nothing is left.
Leonard Einstein (1887–1950), Zürich.