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Inge Berner papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.37

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    The papers consist of post-war photographs of Inge Gerson Berner and her husband, Wolf Berner, during their time as refugees at the Wittenau displaced persons camp in Berlin, Germany as well as three certificates relating to Wolf’s employment in the DP camp.
    Collection Creator
    Inge Berner
    Wolf Berner
    Inge Berner (born Inge Gerson) was born on April 27, 1922, in Berlin, Germany Her father, Bruno Gerson, was a businessman, and her mother, Flora Opprower Gerson, was a housewife. Inge's younger brother, Herbert Gerson, was born in 1926. The family lived at 24 Wallnerteaterstrasse in Berlin. Inge joined the Baum group, a clandestine anti-Nazi organization composed mainly of Jews, but she left the group in 1940 for ideological reasons. Two members of the group, Charlotte Arpadi Baum and Marianne Prager Joachim, were Inge's school friends. On May 18, 1942, the members of the group set fire to different areas of "The Soviet Paradise," an anti-Bolshevik exhibit set up by the German Ministry of Propaganda. Most members of the group were caught. Charlotte was deported to Riga, Latvia, and Stutthof concentration camp Marianne was killed on March 5, 1943.

    On September 30, 1941, Inge was arrested and imprisoned in the Gestapo prison on Alexanderplatz in Berlin for distributing a forbidden book. Inge and two other girls with her were sentenced to death, but Flora Gerson, Inge's mother, bribed a Gestapo agent and Inge's sentence was changed to lifetime imprisonment in a concentration camp. Inge was kept in prison for three months because of a typhus epidemic. Her cousin, Erich, noticed her looking out of a prison window one day and notified her parents who came every day to see her from afar. On January 13, 1942, Inge was put on a train to Rfga, Latvia. Her mother managed to meet her at the train station in Berlin and hand her a suitcase with some clothes.

    In December 1942, Inge's parents and brother were deported to Auschwitz concentration camp where they all perished. Inge was imprisoned in the Kaiserwald concentration camp in Riga until its evacuation in August 1944. She was then transferred to Stutthof concentration camp. During an evacuation from Stutthof, Inge managed to escape. After spending a week in a forest, she met Soviet soldiers and Inge returned to Berlin. In Berlin, Inge met Wolf Berner, a fellow survivor.They married on August 31, 1946 and in August 1949, they left Europe aboard the SS General M Rae and settled in the United States. Their daughter, Rose Berner Nelson, was born on December 24, 1951. Wolf Berner died on April 6, 1991.
    Wolf Berner (1907-1991) was born in 1907 and worked as a salesman in a Herman Tietz department store in Berlin. In 1939, until his deportation from Berlin, he was a forced laborer, carrying heavy loads of coal, picking potatoes during harvest, and working in an ammunition factory. Wolf was married at that time to Margarete Stern Berner, and their son, Berl, was born in 1941. In the fall of 1943, they were all deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp and a few months later to Auschwitz. Wolf’s wife and son perished in Auschwitz. After working as a slave laborer, Wolf was transferred to Kaufering concentration camp, a sub-camp of Dachau. In May 1945 the United States Army liberated him, and he returned to Berlin. Wolf started to work for the Berlin Jewish Community and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) as the director of displaced persons camps and later as a director of the Jewish Home for the Aged at lranische Strasse. Inge
    Berner, a fellow survivor, and Wolf worked with refugees on behalf of UNRRA and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. They married on August 31, 1946 and in August 1949, they left Europe aboard the SS General M Rae and settled in the United States. Their daughter, Rose Berner Nelson, was born on December 24, 1951. Wolf Berner died on April 6, 1991.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Inge Berner donated the papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1999.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 08:41:17
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