upheimand its Annihilation
Book Pages 277 - 288
DR . ANTJE KÖHLERSCHMIDT
Heinrich Heumann, born January 17, 1851 in Laupheim, died September 20, 1935 in Laupheim, OO Clementine Gretel, née Regensteiner, born December 20, 1859 in Laupheim, date and place of death unknown.
– [Frida Heumann, born October 19, 1879 in Laupheim; Lodz Ghetto: missing, declared dead December 31, 1945, OO Alfred Goldfisch, born June 2, 1874 in Stuttgart, died in Lodz Ghetto on March 14, 1942],
– Julius Heumann, born February 13, 1881 in Laupheim; deported to Auschwitz concentration camp August 10, 1942,
– [Lina Heumann, born October 8, 1882 in Laupheim, died in Terezín concentration camp February 26, 1944, OO Eugen Goldfisch born August 25, 1877 in Laupheim, died in Theresienstadt concentration camp December 30, 1942],
– Manfred Goldfisch, born January 19, 1911 in Bad Ems,
– [Moritz Heumann, born May 27, 1886 in Laupheim, died January 2, 1921 in Laupheim, grave no. 24/5,
– Flora Heumann, born January 30, 1891 in Laupheim; deported to Auschwitz concentration camp September 14, 1942,
– [Emmy Heumann, born April 14, 1900 in Laupheim, OO Lucien Heurendinger].
Verse 7 of the “Laupheimer Schützenmarsch” by Wilhelm Preßmar from 1910 reads as follows:
„Zwei Heumann und der Schwed’ marschieren an der Tet[tete]. Die beiden Löwenthal, die fehl’n auf keinem Fall.
Seit Selmar Ehemann, ist zahm er wie ein Lamm. Sogar der Kronenwirt heut mitmarschiert.“
The verse can be translated as follows:
“Two Heumanns and the Swede are marching at the head. Nor would the two Löwenthals do anything instead. Since Selmar was in wedlock tied, he has been very meek. Even the innkeeper has joined the parade this week.”
The 14 verses sing of the Laupheim shooting club and its sporting, social and merry-making activities. The camaraderie between Christian and Jewish shooting club members, who are mocked affectionately in the song, seems perfectly natural. The “two Heumanns” refer to Julius Heumann and his second cousin Richard Heumann, who can both be found in the 1907 photo of the shooting club. However, this seemingly homogenous community fell apart, and the fate of the “two Heumanns” of Laupheim makes the horrors of the Third Reich particularly evident. Julius Heumann and Richard Heumann were murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp. Other family members were killed during the Shoa.
Shooting club 1907: Front row, reclining, left to right: August Eble, Richard Heumann,
August Klaiber, Hans Braun, Gottlob Nast, Max Bergmann.
Second row, seated: Anton Eberwein, Oskar Walk, Albert Höchstetter, Paul Gerhardt, Josef Manz, waitress.
Third row, standing: Anton Bammert, Hans Schmid, Philipp Rechtsteiner, Rupert Rieber, Louis Löwenthal,
Selmar Löwenthal, Hans Aldinger, Willy Eßlinger, Friedrich Deibler, Wilhelm Preßmar, Förster Maier, Josef Hermann, Johann Hempfer.
Back row, raised: Franz Josef Remmele, Jakob Adler, senior shooting innkeeper Hempfer with
grandchild, –??–, Adolf Rieser, Kienhöfer, Julius Heumann, Marco Bergmann.
(Braun, Alt-Laupheimer Bilderbogen, Vol. 1, Weißenhorn 1985. pp. 30-32)
Let us first take a look at the family history. Julius Heumann’s father was Heinrich Heumann, who was born in Laupheim on January 14, 1851 as the oldest son of Emanuel and Wilhelmine Heumann, née Nathan. On October 27, 1878, Heinrich Heumann married 19-year-old Clementine Gretel Regensteiner, who was also born in Laupheim and with whom he had six children.
The sources available provide little information about five of the six children. The eldest daughter Frida was born in Laupheim on October 19, 1879 . There, she married Alfred Goldfisch, a businessman from Wiesbaden, on November 6, 1905 and left her hometown with her husband. They lived in Cologne up to the outbreak of World War II. Frida’s sister Lina Heumann, who was three1 years younger, was born in Laupheim on October 8, 1882, where she married Alfred Goldfisch’s brother on May 9, 1910. Nowadays, marriages between two pairs of siblings seem rather unusual, but this was actually quite common in many Jewish families. As there were not many potential spouses within one’s own Jewish community, which was getting progressively smaller in the early twentieth century, family celebrations such as a sister’s wedding were welcome opportunities to meet a partner of one’s own faith. Lina also left Laupheim with her husband Eugen Goldfisch, a hotelier. They probably went to Bad Ems first, where their son Manfred was born on January 19, 1911. Later they made their way to Cologne, which was where they lived until the outbreak of World War II.
The youngest child, Emmy Heumann, born on April 14, 1900, followed in her sisters’ footsteps and left Laupheim after she married the merchant Lucien Heurendinger on January 17, 1923. No further information could be found about the couple. The only daughter of the family to stay in their hometown was Flora Heumann, born in Laupheim on January 30, 1891. She remained unmarried and worked as an accountant. Nothing more is known about her life.
The family’s youngest son was called Moritz Heumann, born in Laupheim on May 27, 1886. He attended the local secondary school and later became a merchant and a garment and apparel manufacturer, probably in his parents’ clothing factory. Moritz died a young bachelor at the age of 34 on January 2, 1921 in Laupheim, where he was buried in the Jewish cemetery, grave no. 24/5.
It is the eldest son Julius Heumann, born in Laupheim on February 13, 1881, whose life can be traced in greatest detail and is presented below.
The E. Heumann clothing factory
The economic basis of the Heumann family branch living in Laupheim was the clothing factory founded by Emanuel Heumann in 1845, which was located at 11 Mittelstrasse. As Emanuel’s oldest son Samuel Heumann had started his own business, the shoe shop Heumann, his younger brother Heinrich Heumann entered his father’s company instead and eventually took over. This tradition was continued by the founder’s grandson, Julius Heumann, who became a partner in 1933.
Part of the clothing factory was a shop located at 11 Mittelstrasse, the factory building was situated on the property behind it. The range of products included tailor made suits, trousers, blouses and shirts, but the shop also offered fabrics for these items. In the background of the photo taken around 1930 you can see some draped fabrics in the right shop window and a mannequin presenting clothes in the left one. Junior manager Julius Heumann is posing in front of the building with three children. A dark-haired woman is leaning out of an open window. Judging by her age, this could be Julius’ sister Flora Heumann.
The clothing factory had apparently developed successfully over the generations as the owners offered their employees long-term jobs and a steady income. The career of Anton Eberwein, Julius Heumann’s fellow shooting club comrade, who is also depicted in the photo of the shooting club of 1907, serves as an example. After his marriage, Anton had joined the Jewish clothing factory Emanuel Heumann, where he worked as a cutter for a total of 26 years before becoming self-employed and having an Art Nouveau house built on König-Wilhelm-Strasse in 1912.
"Wanted: Apprentice, suitable for work in a commercial profession, for E. Heumann, boys’ clothing factory"
As the advertisement from January 11, 1929 shows, the Heumann company trained their employees and workers themselves. In 1938, an impressive number of almost 100 people were employed in the clothing factory. Aside from three white-collar workers, the company’s workforce included 54 blue-collar workers on the premises, both male and female, and 36 employees working from home.
At the beginning of the 1920s, during the period of hyperinflation, time and again advertisements were published in the local newspaper Laupheimer Verkündiger featuring donations by the E. Heumann Company. This included a donation in kind in 1923 consisting of a batch of boy’s trousers for a charity for children. These donations are examples of the commitment shown by Christians and Jews, also in Laupheim, to help people in need in the years of crisis during the Weimar Republic. As employers, the Jewish Heumann family also extended sympathies to their female workers, most of whom were Christian when together with their employees they published two obituaries for a deceased female worker on September 18, 1924 in the Laupheimer Verkündiger. This was quite a rare thing to do at that time as research in several years’ editions of the paper has shown.
The celebration of Heinrich and Clementine Heumann’s Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1928 was covered in the Laupheim press with extraordinary detail, presumably due to Heinrich Heumann’s distinguished position as a factory owner and major employer.
Laupheimer Verkündiger, October 26, 1928
„Goldene Hochzeit. Im ehrwürdigen Alter von 77 Jahren bzw. 69 Jahren dürfen die Eheleute Heinrich Heumann und Clementine, geb. Regensteiner, am kommenden Sonntag das seltene Fest der goldenen Hochzeit in erfreulicher körperlicher und geistiger Gesundheit und Frische begehen. Herr Heumann ist heute noch in seiner Kleiderfabrik täglich beruflich tätig und nimmt bei den Wohlfahrtsvereinigungen seiner Religionsgemeinschaft eine führende ehrenamtliche Stellung ein, während seine Gattin ihre Liebestätigkeit mehr in aller Stille entfaltet. Bei der allgemeinen Achtung und Verehrung, die die ganze Familie in weitesten Kreisen genießt, begegnet dieses Jubelfest von allen Seiten herzlichster Sympathie. Auch wir wünschen dem verehrten Jubelpaare Gottes reichsten Segen und einen noch recht langen und glücklichen Lebensabend.“
Laupheimer Verkündiger, November 8, 1928
„Jubelfeier. Anläßlich der Feier des goldenen Ehejubiläums von Kleiderfabrikant Heinr. Heumann hier veranstaltete die Firma für ihre Arbeiter und Angestellten im Bahnhofshotel ein Festessen. Bei dieser Gelegenheit war es eine Freude, beobachten zu können, welch schönes Verhältnis hier zwischen Arbeitgebern und Arbeitnehmern besteht; es ist hier tatsächlich, wie der Juniorchef (Julius Heumann – d. V.) sich in einer kleinen Ansprache äußerte, ein familiäres Band, das alle umschlingt. Noch lange werden die Teilnehmer dankbar des harmonisch verlaufenden Abends gedenken.“ (Town archive of Laupheim)
In the year 1928 there was another cause for celebration. Heinrich Heumann was honoured alongside Rabbi Dr. Treitel on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the Israelite fraternal society Chevra Kadisha, an organisation of Jewish men and women who support the poor, provide care for the sick and act as undertakers. Heumann was given the title of honorary member for his 32 years of working as treasurer and vice-chairman, while the rabbi was appointed honorary chairman for his services as head of the executive committee. Seven years after he received this honour, Heinrich Heumann died in Laupheim at the age of 84 on September 20, 1935, and was buried in the Jewish cemetery, grave no. 28/2.
There is hardly any information about the first 34 years of his life. However, it is certain that after school he entered his father’s company where he took on more and more responsibility to prepare to subsequently direct the company himself as junior manager. Before he could take up this position however, Julius Heumann enlisted in the infantry regiment reserve 247 in Ulm on the Danube as a member of the Landsturm on March 23, 1915. He documented his service during World War I quite meticulously in the “Directory of the members of the Jewish Community in Laupheim to participate in the war” initiated by Jonas Weil. According to this he was deployed on the Western Front for the entire duration of the war. From November 1915 until February 1916, he fought in the trench warfare at Ypres in Belgium during which he experienced a gas attack on December 19, 1915. For his service he was awarded the Ypres Medal by the regiment 247. After Ypres he served in combat, in some cases several times, in French Flanders, the Vosges, but also in the infamous WWI attrition battles of Verdun and of the Somme. From April 1917 to September 1918, Julius Heumann was appointed to the signal corps. His last entry refers to the final days of the war from November 9 to 11, 1918, where he witnessed the American Meuse-Argonne-Offensive near Stenay as well as the march back to Hanau in Hesse with the regiment 124. He was eventually discharged on December 9, 1918. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Silberne Verdienstmedaille of Württemberg.
The war experiences seem to have left a considerable mark on Julius Heumann. In the post war years he became very actively involved in the emerging culture of remembrance concerning World War I, by cofounding and for many years presiding over the Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten (Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers) in Laupheim. As chairman he participated in the “Gedenktag für unsere gefallenen Helden 1914/18” (Day of Remembrance commemorating our fallen heroes 1914/18), which took place in November every year. In November 1933, this collective commemoration was no longer permitted by order of the leaders of the NSDAP regional branch.
„Laupheim, 3. Nov.
Die Taten und das Andenken gefallener Helden zu ehren, war allen Völkern von jeher heiligste Pflicht. So fand auch gestern auf den hiesigen Friedhöfen die jährliche Gedächtnisfeier für die Gefallenen des Weltkrieges 1914/18 statt, an der die gesamte Einwohnerschaft sich beteiligte. Die Gedächtnisrede hielt auf dem kath. Friedhof hochw. Herr Stadtpfarrer Storz, auf dem jüdischen Friedhof Herr Vorsänger Kahn. Ferner sprachen der Vorstand des Krieger- und Veteranenvereins, Herr Gerichtsvollzieher Schwarz, sowie des Namens der Kriegsbeschädigten und Kriegshinterbliebenen Herr Herzog z. Schwanen und für den Bund jüdischer Frontsoldaten Herr Julius Heumann, von denen an den Denkmälern Kränze niedergelegt wurden. Die schlichte eindrucksvolle Feier war umrahmt von passenden Vorträgen der städt. Musikkapelle, der Gesangvereine Cäcilia, Concordia und des Gesangsvereins Frohsinn.“
(Town archive of Laupheim: Laupheimer Verkündiger, November 5, 1923)
The article illustrates in an impressive manner the way in which Christians and Jews formed a community in Laupheim. This became especially apparent in Julius Heumann’s activities in his hometown.
(„Laupheimer Verkündiger“, November 2, 1923)
For instance, he was apparently a very enthusiastic singer who also often performed solo at a wide variety of public events. His name appears in editions of the Laupheimer Verkündiger from the 1920s. An account from May 12, 1924 about the spring party of the Olympia Laupheim soccer club reads as follows: “The singing performances of Mr Julius Heumann, accompanied on the piano by Ella Baumann, are particularly remarkable.” A report dated July 8, 1924 describes an evening of music and entertainment organised by the Laupheim Association for Infant Care and Welfare (Verein für Säuglingspflege und Säuglingsfürsorge Laupheim). One of the many contributions on this occasion was Julius Heumann’s solo “Die erste Liebe”. A performance of this kind was also announced in the invitation to the day of stenography on September 28, 1928 by the Laupheim Gabelsberger stenographer’s society. On November 16, 1928, Julius Heumann sang alongside Hermann Einstein at the 180th anniversary celebration of the Chevra Kadisha.
Julius Heumann was furthermore involved in a number of organisations in Laupheim, some of which were non-denominational. He was not only a member of the shooting club, as mentioned above, but also of the local volunteer fire department, where he acted as secretary from 1919 onward.
Apart from his position as chairman of the Laupheim branch of the Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers, becoming active in the Chevra Kadisha was apparently the most natural thing to him, where he obviously followed in his father Heinrich Heumann’s footsteps as treasurer. There is also evidence of his membership in the Talmud Torah congregation, the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith) and the Jüdischer Kulturbund (Jewish cultural association) in the 1930s. Julius Heumann’s activities exemplify how deeply rooted the Laupheim Jews were in their hometown.
At the beginning of the 1920s, Julius Heumann met a woman for whom he developed feelings – the Christian widow Ganser. This intimate relationship between a member of the Jewish community and a member of the Christian majority that resulted in their engagement in 1924 was the first in Laupheim to be made public. Julius Heumann had given his bride 10,000 Reichsmark, a considerable amount of money at that time, which she in turn invested in his clothing factory in form of a loan during the Great Depression. She was later denied the disbursement of her money when the company was aryanised because she had supposedly violated the Nuremberg Race Laws by becoming engaged to a Jew. She therefore filed a claim for compensation at the responsible state office in Tübingen in 1946. A final decision was postponed until a valid confirmation of Julius Heumann’s death could be presented. However, the widow Ganser probably did not live to see this as she died in the 1950s.
According to the current state of historic research there is no evidence of any marriage between a Jew and a Christian during the more than 200 year coexistence between Jews and Christians in Laupheim. Julius Heumann and the widow Ganser also never married, presumably out of consideration for his strictly religious parents and her pious Catholic family background. Nevertheless, their feelings for each other never died, which became precarious for Julius Heumann after 1935.
Trial for racial defilement against Julius Heumann
On September 15, 1935, the Reichstag instituted the Nuremberg Race Laws, which included the Reichsbürgergesetz (Reich Citizenship Law) and the Gesetz zum Schutz des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre (Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour). These laws did not only deny German Jews their civil rights, but also made intimate relationships between Jews and so called Aryans a punishable offence.
In November 1936, the newspaper Nationale Rundschau reported that special detectives were investigating an affair between a local Jew and a local Aryan in Laupheim. “He admitted to the relationship even after the Nuremberg Laws were enacted and was sent to the district court prison for racial defilement.” The person in question was Julius Heumann, who was tried before the criminal division of the regional court of Ulm at the beginning of 1937. On February 11, 1937, he was sentenced to one year and three months in prison.
A propagandistic newspaper article (the title of which can be translated as “For the protection of blood and honour. The Jew Heumann is sentenced to one year and three months in prison”) is particularly interesting in several respects.
The article and criminal files illustrate the widow Ganser’s clear position, who assumed full responsibility for the intimate relationship in her public statements and appearances. She probably did this deliberately in order to try and protect Julius Heumann. She was in part successful in this attempt as Julius Heumann was committed to a normal prison and not, as the press had announced earlier, to a penitentiary where prisoners were forced to hard labour.
Julius Heumann had to serve his sentence in the prison of Rottenburg, where he entered a plea for clemency on December 12, 1937, which he justified as follows: “No crimes committed since imprisonment. Combatant, contribution to society as citizen of the state and business manager. Worried about re-establishing a livelihood.”
Rottenburg prison assessed Julius Heumann as follows:
“From the outset H. stood out owing to his willingness to work and impeccable conduct, not only in comparison to his fellow inmates of the same race, but also in general. From the very beginning, he was aware that he was guilty of violating the Basic Law of the German people and therefore accepted his punishment from day one and subordinated himself inwardly to the enforcement of the sentence. It can be safely assumed that he will not commit even the most minor offence in future. Considering these facts and the circumstances emphasised in the grounds of the court’s judgement I am in favour of granting his request of a suspension of the last two months of his sentence on a three year probation.”
(State archive of Ludwigsburg E 352, Bü 1442 – Akte LG Ulm KLs 9/37)
Both the senior public prosecutor Heß and the criminal court of Ulm – although the latter pleaded for one month only – agreed to Heumann’s request. The Reich Ministry of Justice in Berlin rejected his plea for clemency on January 4, 1938. Therefore, taking into account the time he was in custody, he must have been imprisoned from November 1936 until approximately the end of February 1938.
The Heumann clothing factory was aryanised very quietly. According to the report of the local court of Laupheim published in the Nationale Rundschau on July 15, 1936, Gottfried Rösch, a businessman from Geislingen an der Steige, had entered into the general commercial partnership of the company E. Heumann Nachfahren. However, sources from the town archive of Laupheim suggest that Mr Hans Miller was also involved (in the Aryanisation). Benefiting from advantages, Rösch and Miller acquired various properties, houses and companies in Laupheim, which led to property restitution in legal proceedings after the war. According to research by John Bergmann they exploited the plight of Jewish property owners such as Julius Heumann, who, during his imprisonment in December 1936, had to resign as shareholder of his father’s company and was forced to sell the clothing factory. The same applied to the buyer of the neighbouring property.
The proceedings against Julius Heumann had made his relatives realise that staying in Germany would cost them their lives. This is why his mother Clementine and his sister Flora left their hometown Laupheim on April 26, 1937 and fled to Mondorf in Luxembourg. Nothing further could be established about the actual destination and final whereabouts of Clementine Heumann, who at the time was already 78 years of age. One can assume that the strain of the flight was too much for her and she passed away.
Flora Heumann made it to France, where her brother Julius Heumann, following a number of detours, also made his way after his release from prison. His application for a tax clearance certificate from May 1939 states Cologne, 18/22 Cäcilienstrasse, as his residence. He was possibly staying with his two older sisters, who were married to the Goldfisch brothers. No further details are known in this regard, but we know for certain about the siblings’ fate.
With the outbreak of World War II and the German forces’ attack on the Benelux countries as well as the invasion in northern France hundreds of thousands of German and West European Jews were now in mortal danger. This was because the German National Socialists had started to systematically build concentration camps in the occupied areas as well, where the Jews were forcibly brought together before being deported to the eastern extermination camps. One of these transit camps was in Drancy, a suburb of Paris, where the siblings Flora and Julius Heumann were evidently detained. Before the final deportation of the interned Jews took place, the horrific machinery of destruction in the Auschwitz concentration camp was developed by expanding the camp and building gas chambers in the summer of 1942. This enabled Jews from all over Europe to be brought there to be exterminated directly or worked to death by forced labour. Julius Heumann was deported from Drancy to Auschwitz concentration camp in the 17th transport on August 10, 1942; his sister Flora’s deportation followed in the 32nd transport on September 14, 1942. Both of them were murdered there.
Their older siblings also fell victim to the Shoa. As stated in the Central Database of Shoa Victims’ Names of Yad Vashem, their sister Frida and her husband Alfred Goldfisch were deported from Cologne, their place of residence at the time, to the Lodz Ghetto in Poland. Alfred Goldfisch died there on March 14, 1942, while his wife Frida was listed as missing at the end of World War II and according to entries in their marriage certificate at the registry office of Laupheim, it was first in 1957 that she was declared dead, as of December 31, 1945, by the local court of Cologne.
The fate of the younger sister Lina and her husband Eugen Goldfisch is documented in the Terezín Memorial Book which systematically lists the victims of the deportation of Jews from Germany to Terezín between 1942 and 1945. It states that they were both deported from Cologne to Terezín in the transport III/2 on July 28, 1942. Eugen Goldfisch died on December 30, 1942, just few months after their arrival, while his wife Lina died there on February 26, 1944. Their son Manfred Goldfisch, a businessman, briefly stayed with his relatives in Laupheim in 1933/34 in the former Mittelstrasse, which had been renamed Adolf Hitler Strasse. The last trace of him indicates that he moved to Königsberg in East Prussia on May 18, 1934.
 Corrected and adapted by the translator (source text: 1882)
Braun, Josef: Alt-Laupheimer Bilderbogen. Bd. 1 u. 2. Weißenhorn 1985 u. 1988.
Gedenkbuch – Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft 1933–1945, Bundesarchiv Koblenz 1986.
Gemeinde-Zeitung für die israelitischen Gemeinden Württembergs, Stuttgart, 1. 9. 1928. Gugenhan, Gerd: Ulmer Justiz 1933–45. 1998. S.14–28.
Hüttenmeiser, Nathanja: Der Jüdische Friedhof Laupheim. Laupheim 1998.
Klarsfeld, Beate et Serge: Le Memorial de la deportation des Juifs de France, Paris 1978. Kreisarchiv Biberach F 6104 Bü 1.
Museum zur Geschichte von Christen und Juden Laupheim (concerning changes made to photo description of the Schützenmannschaft, page 3)
Standesamt Laupheim. Familienregister Band V. Theresienstädter Gedenkbuch. Prag u. Berlin 2000.
Weil, Jonas: Verzeichnis von Kriegsteilnehmern der israelitischen Gemeinde Laupheim. Laupheim 1919. www.yadvashem.org.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, https://www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/source_view.php?SourceId=32949
University of Washington, http://staff.washington.edu/cbehler/teaching/coursenotes/centralAGCJF.html