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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

Book Pages  213 - 219



Cattle trade, 58 and 60 Ulmer Strasse




Translated by: Maja Mrakovčić, Nadine Höfer, Dominic Häusler, Helena Fischer
Supervisor: Dr. Robynne Flynn-Diez,

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg,
Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen Englischabteilung


Markus Friedberger, born September 21, 1863 in Laupheim, died September 14, 1942 in Theresienstadt (today’s Czech Republic), OO Theres, née Landauer, born October 5, 1864 in Binswangen, died August 28, 1942 in Theresienstadt.

-[Emanuel Emil, born 1891, died 1909 in Binswangen]

-[Recha Reutlinger, née Friedberger, born 1892, murdered 1942 in Auschwitz],

-[Emma, born 1893, died 1893 in Laupheim],

-Klara (Klärle) Adler, née Friedberger, born 1894, murdered 1941 in Riga,

-Cilly Obernauer, née Friedberger, born 1895, immigrated to Argentina in 1940,

-Mina, born 1897, murdered 1941 in Riga.


Markus Friedberger with his sisters, around 1920.

(Photograph: Leo Baeck Institute NY, John-Bergmann Estate)


This photograph was probably taken when the youngest sister Emma Kurz (born in 1876, married in Gailingen), visited her family in Laupheim. In the front row, from left to right: Pauline Obernauer, Emma Kurz (with the white fur collar) and Mathilde Bach. In the back row, from left to right: Luise Bach (married in Augsburg), Markus Friedberger and Cilly Einstein. Pauline Obernauer, née Friedberger, (1861-1925), was the mother of all Obernauer children mentioned in this book. The sisters Mathilde (1866-1936) and Luise Friedberger (1867-?) celebrated their marriage to brothers Max and Heinrich Bach from Mühringen with a double wedding. Cilly Einstein, née Friedberger (1871-?) is pictured at the very right, carrying a little white handbag. It is uncertain to which Einstein family she belonged.


The Parents

Markus Friedberger was the third child out of ten and the only son of Leopold Emanuel Friedberger (1832-1912) and his wife Rosalie, née Stern (1840-1902). She was the granddaughter of Rabbi Jakob Kaufmann. On June 2, 1890 Markus married Theres Landauer from Binswangen. Five of his eight sisters who reached adulthood can be seen in the picture. Markus was a horse trader and lived with his family at 52 Ulmer Strasse.

After the expropriation of their house in 1941, the couple was relocated to the Jewish home for the elderly at 2 Judenberg. On August 22, 1942 they were deported to Theresienstadt. Unfortunately, it was only a week later, on August 28, 1942, that Theres Friedberger died. Her husband Markus died on September 14, 1942. They were probably both weakened due to the long transport and lack of food.


The Children

Emanuel Emil was the only son of Markus and Theres Friedberger. He was born on March 2, 1891 in Laupheim and died on March 6, 1909. Emanuel was named after his grandfather Emanuel Emil who was born in 1833 in Laupheim and died in 1912 at the age of 80 (N 21/7). Three years prior to his death, in 1909, his grandson committed suicide in Munich. Nathanja Hüttenmeister wrote the following: “Commis Emil, unmarried, died in Munich and was buried three days later in Laupheim. Suicidum was documented as the cause of death.” On his headstone (N 20/3) (a broken pillar made by stonemason Müller) in Hebrew it is written: “Here lies dear Menachem, son of Mordechai. He entered eternity on Adar 13, 669 according to the Jewish calendar. May his soul be embedded in the bundle of life.”1


Recha Reutlinger, née Friedberger, born on February 7, 1892 in Laupheim, murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. She married Jakob Reutlinger from Königsbach before the outbreak of the First World War, on March 26, 1914. Both were abruptly deported from their place of residence in Pforzheim to the internment camp Gurs in Southern France on November 22, 1940, together with another 7000 Jewish people from Baden and the Palatinate.

Camp de Gurs internment camp was formerly a big barrack camp, which in 1939 was set up by the French government for Spanish refugees of the Spanish Civil War.2 Around 1,300 Jewish people were housed there under inconceivably bad hygienic conditions.

The cold winter of 1940/41 and a dysentery epidemic led to widespread deaths. By the middle of March 1941, there were 1050 new graves at the cemetery of the camp.3 Transports from Gurs going directly to the assembly and transit camp Drancy near Paris were set up. For Recha Reutlinger, née Friedberger, as well as for her husband, Drancy was the last station on the way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, where they were murdered in 1942.


Klara (Klärle) Adler, née Friedberger, born on May 30, 1894 in Laupheim. On July 18, 1921, she married the merchant Josef Adler who lived in Munich. Josef Adler was also born in Laupheim, on April 23, 1893. The marriage was already annulled two years later in 1923 and Klara moved back to Laupheim where she lived at 24 Radstrasse. After her house had been seized and sold to someone else by the Nazis, Klara was resettled to 8 Wendelinsgrube in 1941.




Klärle Friedberger (in the middle of the first row) in 1911 at the final dance of the dance classes,

named “Tanzkränzchen”, in the hall of the guesthouse “Zum Kronprinzen” (today’s Alexis Sorbas).

Anna Knoll, née Stuber, and Lina Raff, née Stumpp, are standing behind her.

(From: J. Braun, Alt-Laupheimer Bilderbogen, p. 120)


From 1927 onwards, a barrack camp including improvised accommodation was constructed by the town of Laupheim. It was located on the outskirts of the city, at the so-called Wendelinsgrube (between the two train stations Laupheim West and Laupheim Stadt). The first assigned deputy mayor of Laupheim announced on October 28, 1941 that 31 Jews were currently living in those barrack camps. The non-Jewish families who had lived there before were mostly resettled into the houses of the Jewish community after the expropriation.

On November 22, 1940 Klara Adler was also deported to Gurs in Southern France (like her sister Recha) and further to Riga on November 24, 1941 in an unheated wagon at -30 to -40°C (-22 to -40°F). The same happened to her ex husband Josef Adler. Both died in the extermination camp Riga and were declared dead on December 31, 1945.

Cilly Obernauer, née Friedberger, born on September 21, 1895 in Laupheim immigrated with her husband Max Obernauer to Argentina on September 30, 1940. Pauline Obernauer, née Friedberger, is shown on page 412 in the German version of this book. She is the mother of Max Obernauer, which means that Max and Cilly were cousins.

After her husband’s death, Cilly Obernauer declared her parents and her three murdered sisters dead on January 11, 1954. The date of death was determined to be December 31, 1945.

Mina Friedberger, unmarried, was born on September 20, 1897. She was deported to Riga on the first transport on November 28, 1941, together with her sister Klara Adler and 17 other Jewish people from Laupheim. She was murdered in Riga.



Mina Friedberger as pupil of the Israeli elementary school

in 1909 and as a student of the Frauenarbeitsschule in 1913.


Pauline-Friedberger-Foundation 1934

Simon Friedberger, who was the great-uncle of Markus Friedberger, and his wife Babette had eleven children, of whom nine reached adulthood. Seven of them immigrated to the United States between 1855 and 1870. The second youngest daughter, born in 1851, was Pauline Friedberger. After her death in 1934 she left a foundation to the Jewish community of Laupheim. She deposited 2000 dollars for the following purpose:

“The interest rates of the 2000 dollars deposited shall be annually given to the Israeli community of the city of Laupheim (…) and shall, on October 14, which is my birthday, be used to entertain Jewish and Christian pupils in a hotel or a place in the named city as the churchwardens consider appropriate.”

The Israeli local newspaper wrote an article about Pauline Friedberger in the issue of June 1, 1934. According to this article, she immigrated to America as a poor girl and has repeatedly shown, through her actions, her love and devotion to her hometown, Laupheim. At that time, she apparently was not aware that her hometown was segregating Jewish inhabitants and punishing them horribly for their attachment to Germany. The interest rate of the 2000 dollars deposited by the Pauline Friedberger Foundation was surely not paid out very often. It was only eight years after the creation of the Foundation that its recipient, the Jewish community of Laupheim, did not exist anymore.

Family history

The name Friedberger derives from the village Friedberg, situated in Hesse, where the existence of Jewish people can be traced back to the second half of the 13th century.4

The lineage of all Friedberger families from Laupheim probably derives from Josef Simon (Friedle) and Mathilde from Randegg near Gammertingen. The year of death on the widely weathered tombstone (G-4/7) is incomplete. The date of death is considered to be either 5560 or 5569 according to the Jewish calendar, which means 1799 or 1809.5

Four of their children stayed in Laupheim:

Leopold Josef (1768-1829), married to Bertha, née Wohlgemut (1765-1849)

Simon (1783-1865), married to Lea, née Levigard (1788-1870)

Lazarus (1780-1854), married to Hannelore, neé Heilbronner (1788-1834)

Leopoldine (1790-1864), married to Baruch Mayer (1791-1882).

The grandchildren married into the following families: Lämmle, Einstein, Rosenthal, Dreifuß, Löwenthal, Laupheimer, Hochstädter, Neuburger, Bernheim, Rödelheimer and Kirschbaum.With the fourth generation, other family names such as Nussbaum, Obernauer, Bach, Kurz and Sternschein were added. Several names were mentioned multiple times. This shows that almost all of the families living in Laupheim were related to each other, either by blood or by marriage.

In the Jewish cemetery of Laupheim, 77 tombs related to the Friedberger family remain to this day. Amongst those, 43 were direct descendants and 34 married into the family.

Both of the bells installed within the right tower of the synagogue were presumably sponsored by this family (statement of the deceased Deputy Head Josef Braun).

Since it is unusual to install bells in a synagogue, this was something extraordinary. It is likely that it was a rather symbolic act to align with the Christian community.

After the synagogue fire during the Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938 a citizen of Laupheim saved the bells from the burned rubble and they were handed over to the local museum, together with the promise not to make the donor’s name public. Nowadays they are displayed as a remembrance at the Laupheim Museum for Christians and Jews.

Leopold Josef Friedberger (1768-1829), mentioned above, belonged to the second Friedberger generation. He was one of the first Jewish people in Laupheim running an agricultural business. In a report to the administrative unit of Wiblingen (Oberamt) written in 1828, Rabbi Salomon Wassermann mentioned by name exclusively two Jewish people under the rubric of Feldbautreibende (an old German term corresponding to present day fieldworker) namely Hirsch Heumann and Leopold Friedberger.


During the mid 19th century agriculture seems to have become more popular amongst the Jewish people, as four additional farmers were listed in the files. Nevertheless, after 1850 this trend was on the decline again as until then only one Jewish fieldworker was recorded in the files. However, trading with agricultural products was more important. In their trades with cereal, hop, cattle and property and as creditors and bankers of farmers they almost had a monopoly.6 Working as a horse trader was also a prestigious profession and more renowned than being a cattle trader. It would have been beneath the dignity of a horse trader to trade with cattle as well.7

In contrast to other Jewish families from Laupheim, only a few documents exist about the Friedberger family. When asking farmer families living in Laupheim over generations about Markus Friedberger, the horse trader, they would answer at best that he lived on outer Ulmer Strasse.

The Friedberger family had lived in Laupheim for over six generations and for more than 150 years.

Aerial picture of the outer Ulmer Strasse from the 1950s.
Markus Friedberger’s estate consisting of the residential building and a big stable can be seen in the right bottom corner. A big horse head was a reminder of the Jewish horse trader who once lived in this substantial estate until the farm building was torn down in the 1960s. According to the restitution document (state archive of Sigmaringen, Wü 126/2, Nr. 20) Markus Friedberger bought the property in 1894. The estate, which was built in 1824, was returned to the rightful heirs Cilly Obernauer (Argentina) and Leo Leiter (Pittsburgh, USA) in July 1951. (Picture: archive Robert Eß)





1) Hüttenmeister, Nathanja: Der Jüdische Friedhof. Laupheim 1998, p. 452-452.


2) Paul Sauer: „Die Schicksale der jüdischen Bürger Baden-Württembergs.“ p. 426.


3) ibid.: p. 275.


4) Hüttenmeister, Nathanja: Der Jüdische Friedhof. Laupheim 1998, p. 539/540.


5) ibid.: p. 586.


6) Ulrich Kreutle: Die Bedeutung der israelitischen Gemeinde für die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung Laupheims.


7) Gerold Römer: Schwäbische Juden


Annotation to the Jewish cemetery of Laupheim:

When the cemetery was founded, men and women were buried side by side. This changed later on so that the tombs of men are located on the left side of the cemetery, marked with L and women were buried on the right, marked with R.


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