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Rahel Ortheiler (née Würzburger) * 1879
Isestraße 15 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Rahel Ortheiler, née Würzburger, born 29 Mar. 1879 in Bieringen, Württemberg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Rahel Ortheiler lived with her husband Albert and their two sons Hans and Fritz in Marktbreit am Main in Bavarian Lower Frankonia. Albert Ortheiler owned a wine shop there. In 1914 the Ortheiler Family moved to Bochum and settled in Gerthe District. Albert Ortheiler took over the household goods store "Heimann & Co.” on Lothringerstraße. Rahel ran their household and took care of their sons. Albert Ortheiler was killed by members of the SS in 1933. Within the framework of the so-called redress of wrongs proceedings, his son Fritz testified in 1956 that the SS removed his father from his store. On 7 July 1933, he was shown his father’s body at the "Bergmannsheil” Hospital in Bochum. The deceased exhibited marks of violence and abuse. Albert Ortheiler was laid to rest at the Jewish Cemetery in Bochum.
Rahel Ortheiler was now forced to survive on a small pension and raise her son by herself. Later she had to sell the family’s property. Eventually she fled to Hamburg and found a place to stay on Isestraße with Moritz Möllerich, the husband of her sister Jettchen who had died in 1937. Rahel was able to work there as a housekeeper. Both of her sons immigrated to Africa. Rahel Ortheiler stayed behind in Hamburg and received the deportation order, as did her brother-in-law Moses Möllerich, to Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941. Her small household was auctioned off in Dec. 1941.
One final written document from Rahel Ortheiler remains in which she tried to avoid further deportation. In the Lodz Ghetto she applied to the authorities on 2 May 1942 to be "exempted from resettlement”. In the application she reported having a heart condition and being in need of care as a consequence. Moreover she hoped for mercy because her departed husband had been awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class during WW I. Like many other ghetto residents, she believed that the impending "resettlement” meant work deployment. Her certified illness was only a further reason for the authorities to send her to Chelmno to be killed, which was their true intent.
Her son Hans died in Nairobi in 1944. Her son Fritz Ortheiler survived the end of the war in South Africa.
Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: January 2018
© Maike Grünwaldt
Quellen: 1; 4; 8; AfW 070408; USHMM, RG 15083, M 300/386-388. Quellen: 1; 4; 8; AfW 070408; USHMM, RG 15083, M 300/386-388.
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