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Dr. Hermann Freudenberger * 1875

Grindelhof 30 (TTS) (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

Flucht in den Tod 23.06.1941


further stumbling stones in Grindelhof 30 (TTS):
Dr. Walter Bacher, Emil Emanuel Badrian, Asriel Brager, Ilse Brager, Sally Brager, Dr. Joseph Carlebach, Josua Falk Friedlaender, Julius Hamburger, Walter Nathan Herz, Bertha Hirsch, Leopold Hirsch, Dr. Alberto Jonas, Benno Kesstecher, Heinz Leidersdorf, Richard Levi, Emil Nachum, Mathias Stein, Artur Toczek

Hermann Freudenberger, b. 12.29.1875 in Heidingsfeld near Würzburg, suicide on 6.23.1941 in Frankfurt am Main

Grindelhof 30

Hermann Freudenberger grew up in a teacher’s family of many children. His parents were named Jakob and Sara, née Bacharach; he had ten siblings: Jenny, Markus, Julius (Juda), Aron, Hannah, Felix, Esther, Jette, Sophie, and Fanny. After attending the Old Preparatory School in Würzburg, in which he received the certificate for university studies, he studied the German language, history, and geography in Würzburg and Munich. In 1898, he passed the Bavarian state examinations and then worked for two years as a teacher at the Modern Trade High School in Neustadt on the Aisch River in Middle Franconia (Bavaria). From 1900, he worked for ten years as a senior teacher in the Talmud Torah School of Hamburg, where he instructed in German, history, and geography. During this period, he received his Ph.D. from Rostock University in 1902, with a dissertation on the topic: "Hamburg’s Quarrel with Christian IV of Denmark concerning the Gluckstädt Customs, 1630-1645.” His former student, the later journalist and children’s book author, Cheskel Zwi (then Hans) Klötzel, paid tribute to him in his memoirs as "an unusually gifted and stimulating teacher.”

In 1910, Hermann Freudenberger moved from Hamburg to Frankfurt am Main, where he had received an appointment at the Philanthropin. The Philanthropin (Greek for "place of humanity”) was a school of the Israelite Congregation of Frankfurt, founded in 1804 on the site of the former city ghetto, which had been abolished in 1796. From its beginnings as a state-recognized institution, it accepted non-Jewish students. Its motto was "For Enlightenment and Humanity,” and therefore the faculty of the Philanthropin belonged to the liberal Reform Judaism tendency. Reform Judaism divided the Jewish commandments into the ethical and the ritual and represented the view that the ethical laws were timeless and unchanging; the ritual laws, on the other hand, could be adapted to the particular living environment. With up to 1000 pupils, the Frankfurt Philanthropin was the largest and the longest lasting Jewish school in Germany.

It was in Frankfurt that Hermann Freudenberger probably met his first wife, Ida, née Heilbronn. She was born in Frankfurt around 1880. The couple had two children before Ida Freudenberg, only 24 years old, died in 1914. A year afterwards, Hermann married Mirjam Wechsler. She was born 13 August 1886, the daughter of Rabbi Moshe Pinchas Elchanan (Heinrich) Wechsler and his wife Clara-Grelel, née Rosenbaum, who was born in Schwabach, Middle Franconia and grew up in Höchberg near Würzburg. From 1902, she had lived with her mother in Würzburg and worked as a bookkeeper. Hermann and Mirjam Freudenberger lived together in Frankfurt at Blumenstrasse 4 and had two children; their son was named Kurt.

Following the National Socialist takeover of power in 1933, the conditions for the Philanthropin as an institution of Jewish education got increasingly worse. On 1 October 1938, the Reich Ministry of Science, Education, and National Education abolished its status as a public school. Three weeks later in the pogrom night of 9 and 10 November, a number of its faculty were arrested. Two of Hermann Freudenberger’s colleagues died as a result of their arrests. In April 1939, the Jewish Congregation was forced to sell the school building to the city for a nominal sum. On 1 April 1941, all the higher Jewish schools in the German Reich were closed, on 30 June 1942, the elementary schools followed. From December 1941, pupils and teachers of the Philanthropin were deported, mostly to concentration camps, where they were murdered. Hermann Freudenberg, however, did not have this experience. In Frankfurt on 23 June 1941, he and his wife Mirjam took their own lives.

In Yad Vashem, there is a page of remembrance for Hermann Freudenberger.

Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Frauke Steinhäuser

Quellen: 8; 9; Landjudentum in Unterfranken/Johanna Stahl Zentrum (Hrsg.): Freudenberger, Hermann; Randt: Die Talmud-Tora-Schule, S. 243f.; Möller: Erinnerung; (letzter Aufruf: 1.6.2016).
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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