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Mathilde Stern walks along a dirt path with two of her daughter-in-laws, Resi (left) and Hedva (right).

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 27390

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    Mathilde Stern walks along a dirt path with two of her daughter-in-laws, Resi (left) and Hedva (right).
    Mathilde Stern walks along a dirt path with two of her daughter-in-laws, Resi (left) and Hedva (right).


    Mathilde Stern walks along a dirt path with two of her daughter-in-laws, Resi (left) and Hedva (right).
    Willebadessen, [Hesse-Nassau; Hesse] Germany
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Henry Stern

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Henry Stern

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The donor's father, Viktor Stern, was born in Berlin in 1914. He was the son of a Jewish father and Christian mother, Julius and Mathilde Stern. Viktor had two brothers, Heinrich and Bernhard. Until 1933 Julius was employed as a civil servant in the Berlin post office, and Viktor was an employee of the Berlin transit authority. Both were dismissed within the first nine months of Nazi regime. Leaving his mother in Berlin, Viktor moved to Willebadessen in the fall of 1933, where his father had gone to live with his sister, Rosa, a few months earlier. Rosa owned a small grocery store and a garden plot. In 1935 Viktor enlisted in the army, where he remained for two years, before being forced out as a Jew. In the meantime, he had married a Jewish woman, Resi Markhoff. After his dismissal from the army the couple moved to Berlin, where Resi gave birth to two sons, Manfred (b. 1937) and Daniel (b. 1941). Viktor found work as a truck driver (1937-39), then as a house inspector (1939-1941), and finally as a laborer (1941-1943). Two years after Viktor's return to Berlin, his father committed suicide at his sister's home in Willebadessen. It was reported that Julius' decision was taken after hearing Hitler's speech of January 30, 1939, in which he predicted the extermination of the Jewish people in the event of the outbreak of another world war. In the summer of 1943 Viktor and his family were deported to Theresienstadt, where they lived for the next fourteen months, maintaining active correspondence with Mathilde Stern in Berlin. But their time ran out in September 1944, when Resi and the children were deported to Auschwitz. Wanting to be with them, Viktor volunteered for the next transport, but his wife and sons had been killed upon their arrival at Auschwitz. From Theresienstadt Viktor was sent to a series of camps, including Golleschau, a sub-camp of Auschwitz, Flossenbuerg and Dachau. During a death march from Dachau, which began on April 26, 1945, Viktor escaped with the help of some local farmers. When he was finally liberated, he was extremely weak and was immediately transferred to a rehabilitation center in Munich. Viktor remained in Germany after the war, where he worked for the JDC from 1948-1954. During this period he remarried, but the marriage was short-lived. In 1961 Viktor married Gertrude Frisch, a non-Jew, and fathered another son, Henry (b. 1971).
    Record last modified:
    1998-04-21 00:00:00
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