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Hornstr. 23

Hornstr. 23

This typical Berlin apartment building in the middle-class part of Kreuzberg originally contained 14 spacious apartments. In the 1930s, they were divided up into smaller apartments to counter the housing shortage. At least four apartments were used as forced homes, where a total of 18 Jewish people lived. One resident survived deportation and the Theresienstadt ghetto; two others managed to survive in hiding. All the others were deported and murdered.

The plot of land is almost on the corner of Yorckstraße. The owner Paul Opitz, a master mason and carpenter, initially used it as a storage yard for construction materials. In 1881, he built a five-story apartment building with a side wing on it. In the same year, he had a garden laid out in front, which is now heritage protected. The few residents of the buildings’ generously sized apartments were mostly business people and craftsmen.

In 1888, Dr. Paul Mannheim, a physician, bought the property and set up his practise in it. The occupants changed: Teachers, art dealers, a conductor, and a pharmacist moved in. Dr. Paul Mannheim died in 1929. His wife Margarete Mannheim modernized the buildings in the following years, having bathrooms and an elevator installed. When the large apartments were divided up, the number of tenants rose. From 1939 on, many subtenants moved in, most of whom only lived here for a short time before they were deported. The property owner Margarete Mannheim committed suicide in her apartment on September 2, 1942. Three months later, ownership of the property passed to the German Reich.


Street-facing building, 2nd floor

Apartment Elkeles

Johanna, Wanda, and Georg Elkeles moved into an apartment on the second floor in the late 1930s. The three unmarried siblings, who came from Posen, had previously lived together at Yorckstraße 81. Georg Elkeles was a business man and had run his father’s company in Posen for some years before moving to Berlin. He died in December 1940. The occupations of Johanna and Wanda Elkeles were not documented.

In March 1941, husband-and-wife Max and Agnes Löwenthal moved in with the Elkele family as subtenants. The Löwenthals both hailed from merchant families in Pomerania, where they had married in 1890. They moved to Berlin with their daughter and two sons in the 1910s. In the early 1930s, they took an apartment at Planufer 31 in Kreuzberg, now Carl-Herz-Ufer 31, and lived by the Landwehr canal until they moved to Hornstraße. Max Löwenthal died in the Jewish hospital on July 20, 1942, following a stroke, which might have been induced by a suicide attempt. Agnes Löwenthal was deported on August 31, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where she died on September 20, 1942. Two stumbling stones commemorate her today: one outside Hornstraße 23 and one outside Carl-Herz-Ufer 31. Of their three children, only Arthur Löwenthal survived. He managed to emigrate with his wife and children to Palestine, where he lived until his death in 1983.

Stumbling stone for Agnes Löwenthal. Source: OTFW, CC BY-SA 3.0

Lucie Machol, née Feige, a widow, was another subtenant in the apartment from about mid-1939 on. She hailed from a merchant family in Upper Silesia. Her husband Hermann Machol died in 1908, the year after their son Max was born. Max Machol became a photographer. In early 1939 he married Hildegard Moses, who was also a photographer, and the daughter of Siddy Moses, who owned a property at Skalitzer Straße 20. The young couple lived with Lucie Machol in a large apartment at Niebuhrstraße 1 in Charlottenburg until they emigrated on May 5, 1939, to Ecuador, where they opened a photographic studio.

Max Machol photography, inauguration of the Holocaust memorial in Quito, September 5, 1943. Source: Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Inv.-No. 2014/275/497, donated by Andre Zanger

Later, Max and Hildegard Machol emigrated to the United States. Lucie Machol moved in to the property at Hornstraße 23 after her son’s emigration. She was deported on March 12, 1943, to Auschwitz and murdered. The main tenants, sisters Johanna and Wanda Elkeles, had already been deported – on December 9, 1942 – to Auschwitz. They were both murdered.

Apartment Lohde

Arthur Lohde, a waiter, took the lease on an apartment at Hornstraße 23 at the start of the Nazi dictatorship. He lived here with his non-Jewish wife Anna, whom he had married in December 1924. They had previously lived on Gleditschstraße in Schöneberg. In concentration camp confinement, Arthur Lohde stated that he and his wife Anna had a child. Unfortunately, no further information in this regard has been found. In 1939, the Nazi state secret police (Gestapo) arrested Arthur Lohde in Aachen. He was probably on the way to his sisters, who had fled to Amsterdam. In early June 1939, he was sent to Dachau concentration camp and transferred a few months later, on September 27, 1939, to Buchenwald concentration camp. Here, he was housed in “Judenblock 22”, where the inmates were most brutally harassed and made to perform especially hard work. Arthur Lohde survived only about a year in the camp. His widow Anna Lohde stayed in the apartment at Hornstraße 23. She died on March 5, 1973, in Steglitz.

File card on prisoner Arthur Lohde, Buchenwald concentration camp, 1939/40. Source: Digital Archives, Arolsen Archives
File card on prisoner Arthur Lohde, Buchenwald concentration camp, 1939/40. Source: Digital Archives, Arolsen Archives
Apartment Rubiner

Sophie Rubiner lived on the second floor. It is not clear when she moved in, but she is listed in the Vienna directory of 1908 as a teacher in a municipal school. Her family originally came from Galicia, and she lived with relatives when she first arrived in Berlin. At the time of the national census in May 1939, she lived at Lankwitzstraße 5 (now Ruhlsdorfer Straße) in Kreuzberg, care of Betty Rubiner, the widow of the writer and journalist Wilhelm Rubiner, who died in 1925. Sophie Rubiner was deported on November 27, 1941, to Riga and shot in the Rumbula forest after arriving.

Street-facing building, 3rd floor

Apartment Mannheim

Margarete Valeska Mannheim, née Lubarsch, lived on the third floor. A widow, she owned the property at Hornstraße 23, having inherited it in 1929 from her late husband, Dr. Paul Mannheim. They evidently did not have any children. From 1939 on, Margarete Mannheim was forced to take in Jewish subtenants, including the widow Lucie Silbermann and her unmarried daughter Flora Silbermann. They had taken a lease on an apartment at Hornstraße 23 in the early 1930s. But in 1940 they occupied a room in Margarete Mannheim’s apartment.

Lucie Silbermann, née Treumann, had come from Upper Silesia with her husband Robert Silbermann, a trader, and daughter Flora before the First World War. Flora Silbermann was a seamstress. When she reported the death of Georg Elkeles, her neighbor on the second floor, in December 1940, she gave her own occupation as “housemaid”. Subsequently, Lucie and Flora Silbermann disappeared underground. They both survived.

In mid-1941, Rosa Maas, née Silbermann, moved into the apartment as a subtenant. She had been widowed since 1901 and previously lived at Nürnberger Straße 13 in Charlottenburg – first alone and later with her son Hermann and his non-Jewish wife, who had married in 1927. Rosa Maas was deported on September 8, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto. She lived to see the ghetto’s liberation by the Soviet army in early May 1945, and returned to Berlin. She died in 1954 in Sankt Gertrauden hospital. Her daughter Elsa Kornik and her son Hermann Maas also survived.

Bela Ella Rosenberg, née Einnehmer, and her daughter Bela occupied another furnished room in Margarete Mannheim’s apartment. When exactly they moved in is not known. In the late 1930s, they had lived at Saarlandstraße 10 (now Stresemannstraße). A clerk named Otto Rosenberg also lived here around 1940. Records do not show how they were related – if he was a husband, father or brother. Bela Ella and her daughter were stateless and held only alien passports. Bela Rosenberg was single and a secretary by profession. She was made to perform forced labor for Werner Pause & Co. at Wallstraße 11/12 in Berlin-Mitte, a company that made ladies’ hats. Bela Ella Rosenberg was deported on October 3, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto and died six days later. Her daughter was deported on January 23, 1943, to Auschwitz and murdered.

A month before Bela Rosenberg was deported, the property at Hornstraße 23 had been confiscated by the German Reich Chief of Finance. Margarete Mannheim, the property owner and main tenant of the apartment, took her own life on September 2, 1942, with an overdose of Veronal sleeping pills.

Unknown location

Apartment Arnhelm

It is not clear when the sisters Jenny Stein, née Arnhelm, and Charlotte and Gertrud Arnhelm moved into the building at Hornstraße 23. Since Charlotte and Gertrud Arnhelm were listed as resident in their parents’ apartment at Wartenburgstraße 3 in the Berlin directory of 1942, it seems they later moved in with their widowed sister Jenny Stein, who was already resident at Hornstraße 23. It is equally unclear where they lived in the building and under which conditions. There are some indications that the sisters shared a 1-room apartment. However, the deportation list on which Jenny Stein’s name appears suggests that she was a subtenant of Margarete Mannheim. The sisters had come to Berlin from Pomerania with their parents and three other siblings shortly before the First World War. Charlotte and Gertrud Arnhelm were made to perform forced labor for Siemens. All three sisters were arrested during the Nazis’ “Factory Action” and deported on March 1, 1943, to Auschwitz. They did not return. Today three stumbling stones on Hornstraße commemorate Charlotte Arnhelm, Gertrud Arnhelm and Jenny Stein.

Stumbling stones for Charlotte and Gertrud Arnhelm as well as Jenny Stein, née Arnhelm. Source: OTFW, CC BY-SA 3.0
Apartment Klein

Minna Klein, née Jacobsohn, was another resident of Hornstraße 23. It is not clear where she lived in the building or when she moved in. She came from West Prussia and married Hersch (later Hermann) Klein, a goldsmith, in Berlin in 1904. He had opened a jewelry store at Friedrichstraße 43 – where the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum now stands – some years before the First World War. After his death in 1925, Minna Klein ran the business. She also had a linens store for a time. She is first listed in the Berlin directory – as a pensioner – in the late 1930s. Minna Klein lived at Hornstraße 10 and Kyffhäuserstraße 1 in Schöneberg. She evidently lived at Hornstraße 23 for only a very short time. On September 14, 1942, Minna Klein was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto. She survived and emigrated in 1945 to Brazil.

Apartment Zamory

At the time of the national census in May 1939, the sisters Meta and Margarete Zamory lived at Pücklerstraße 17 in Kreuzberg. But they must have moved in at Hornstraße 23 a short time later – they are listed as resident here in the Berlin directory of 1941. Meta and Margarete Zamory had moved with their parents and two other siblings from the island Usedom to Berlin in the early 1890s. Both became bookkeepers. On March 28, 1942, Meta and Margarete Zamory were deported to the Piaski ghetto in eastern Poland. This was a “transit ghetto” – surviving deportees were sent from here to extermination camps and murdered. Both Meta and Margarete Zamory died in the ghetto. In 2016, two stumbling stones were laid outside Pücklerstraße 17 to commemorate the sisters.


The resistance fighter and student Ursula Goetze, who was executed in 1943 in Plötzensee prison, lived nearby at Hornstraße 3. An art plaque in the building now commemorates her.


Dietlinde Peters

In remembrance of the Jewish residents of Hornstraße 23

Charlotte Arnheim

Born December 21, 1892, in Bad Polzin (Połczyn-Zdrój)
Deported March 1, 1943, to Auschwitz, murdered

Gertrud Arnheim

Born August 1, 1898, in Bad Polzin (Połczyn-Zdrój)
Deported March 1, 1943, to Auschwitz, murdered

Jenny Stein, née Arnheim

Born October 21, 1888, in Bad Polzin (Połczyn-Zdrój)
Deported March 1, 1943, to Auschwitz, murdered

Johanna Elkeles

Born February 8, 1887, in Posen (Poznań)
Deported December 9, 1942, to Auschwitz, murdered

Wanda Elkeles

Born March 15, 1889, in Posen (Poznań)
Deported December 9, 1942, to Auschwitz, murdered

Minna Klein, née Jacobsohn

Born November 13, 1874, in Lautenburg (Lidzbark)
Deported September 14, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto

Arthur Lohde

Born June 13, 1901, in Berlin
Imprisoned in Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps, murdered July 17, 1940

Agnes Löwenthal, née Salinger

Born June 21, 1866, in Kallies (Kalisz Pomorski)
Deported August 31, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto, died September 20, 1942

Rosa Maas, née Silbermann

Born November 16, 1867, in Bamberg
Deported September 8, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto

Lucie Machol, née Feige

Born November 12, 1875, in Kattowitz (Katowice)
Deported March 12, 1943, to Auschwitz, murdered

Margarete Mannheim, née Lubarsch

Born February 11, 1864, in Berlin
Suicide September 2, 1942

Bela Ella Rosenberg, née Einnehmer

Born April 13, 1871, in Kalisch (Kalisz)
Deported October 3, 1942, to the Theresienstadt ghetto, died October 9, 1942

Bela Rosenberg

Born December 29, 1892, in Berlin
Deported January 23, 1943, to Auschwitz, murdered

Sophie Rubiner

Born August 26, 1882, in Vienna
Deported November 27, 1941, to Riga, shot November 30, 1941, in the Rumbula forest

Flora Silbermann

Born February 15, 1906, in Lublinitz (Lubliniec)
Survived in hiding

Lucie Silbermann, née Treumann

Born July 7, 1885, in Kutno
Survived in hiding

Margarete Zamory

Born May 27, 1880, on Usedom
Deported March 28, 1942, to the Piaski ghetto, murdered

Meta Zamory

Born August 30, 1877, on Usedom
Deported March 28, 1942, to the Piaski ghetto, murdered