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Close-up portrait of an elderly Jewish man in Rimpar smoking a pipe.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 69590

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    Close-up portrait of an elderly Jewish man in Rimpar smoking a pipe.
    Close-up portrait of an elderly Jewish man in Rimpar smoking a pipe.


    Close-up portrait of an elderly Jewish man in Rimpar smoking a pipe.
    1930 - 1937
    Rimpar, Germany
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Robert Bahr

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Robert Bahr

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Robert Bahr is the son of Henry (Heinz) Bähr and Lore Barth Bähr. Heinz was the son of Julius (b. 1/26/1882) and Natalie (Talie) Frank Bähr (b. 9/7/1887). Heinz was born on October 27, 1910 in Breisach Germany, where his family had lived for over 200 years. Breisach is located in the southwestern corner of Germany on the Rhine river. His father Julius had one brother, Hermann (b. 3/9/1878), who was married to his mother’s sister, Fanny Frank Bähr (b. 9/23/1881). The Frank family came from Rimpar. Hermann Bähr was the last parnass (communal leader) of the Breisach Jewish community. Julius and Hermann owned a plumbing supply business. The two families were extremely close. Hermann and Fanny had two daughters, Ruth (b. 9/30/1909) and Margot (b. 3/23/1911), who grew up practically as sisters to Heinz. All three cousins received professional degrees. Heinz received his doctor of law degree in 1933 signed by Martin Heidegger, who was the Nazi Rektor of the Freiburg University. Margot became a dentist and received her doctorate in 1933, and Ruth received her doctorate in Basel Switzerland in 1934 and became a physician. After completion of his education, Heinz served as a law clerk for a judge in Breisach. Following the exclusion of Jews from German Civil Service jobs, including the judiciary, Heinz moved to Paris in 1934, studied linguistics at the Sorbonne and established a branch of the family business there. The family business had other branches in Colmar (Alsace) and Switzerland. Heinz immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City in 1937 but before leaving Europe, he returned to Breisach to visit his family one last time. An avid photographer, Heinz photographed all the Jews in town on their way to and from the synagogue during his last Saturday in Breisach, as well as relatives, friends and neighbors. In the summer of 1938, Julius and Talie visited Heinz in New York City for three months and then had to return to Breisach, since they only could obtain visitors visas.

    In 1938 Heinz's cousin Margot also decided to flee Nazi Germany. She moved to The Netherlands to join with her fiancé, Heinrich (Heinz) Hochherr. He had moved there from Heidelberg along with his large family after their business had been expropriated by the Nazis. Heinz and Margot were married a few days before Kristallnacht, and Margot gave birth to a baby daughter Suzanne Carola on September 1, 1939, by coincidence the same day that Germany invaded Poland thereby starting World War II. Three months later, on December 12, 1939, Natalie Bähr passed away in Mannheim from rheumatic heart disease. The following year, on October 22, 1940, the Nazi government conducted Aktion Buerckel to expell the Jewish population of the districts of the Saar, Palatinate, and Baden, including the small Jewish community of Breisach. The remaining Bähr family -- Hermann, Fanny, Ruth and Julius -- were sent to Freiburg and from there to Gurs, an internment camp in southern France. Hermann perished in the Gurs camp on January 16, 1941 due to pneumonia. Thanks to the efforts and payments of Henry (Heinz) Bähr on their behalf, Julius, Fanny and Ruth were released from the camp and emigrated to the United States.

    Margot and her husband had come to The Netherlands seeking a safe haven. However, they and their daughter Suzanne were arrested and sent to the Westerbork transit camp. From there on July 15, 1942 they were deported to Auschwitz where they were killed. Suzanne was less than three years old when she perished.
    Record last modified:
    2006-02-02 00:00:00
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