1942-06-23: XVI. Transport

Departure Date: 23.06.42, Deported: 202, Destination: unbekannt

The departure date of the 16th east transport is often reported wrongly in the literature with 26.6.42. 26.6.42 is, however, just the date of the letter, with which the transport list was sent by the Berlin Gestapo to the Chief Finance Minister, Berlin-Brandenburg. Notification of deportations usually happened a few days after the departure of a transport. In the OFP files on individual transport participants, 23.6.42 is clearly referred to as the date of departure of this transport [Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv, Rep. 36A, 1347]. This date is also confirmed by Johanna Karminski’s correspondence with Dr. Hans Schäffer [Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, 1957 (2), 309].

Arthur Lilienthal circa 1940 (Leo Baeck Institute)
Arthur Lilienthal circa 1940 (Leo Baeck Institute)

Of the 202 deportees, 198 were Berliners, among whom were several senior members of the Reichsvereinigung der Juden, among them Arthur Lilienthal, member of the Reichsvereinigung, and deputy chairman of the Berlin Jewish Congregation; Cora Berliner, head of the liquidation office of the Migration Department; and Paula Fürst, head of the school department. The XVI. Transport is also referred to as the “criminal transport” of the Reichsvereinigung [H. Henschel, Journal of the History of the Jews 1972 (9), 33]. However, it must be taken into account that, in April and May 1942, reduction of staff by nearly 300 members of the Reichsvereinigung had already had already been ordered by the Gestapo. By 25.6. the reorganization of the Reichsvereinigung with the reduction or merging of administrative structures had taken place and by 30.6. the the Jewish school had been reduced. The deportation of the heads of the Department of Migration and School Department could therefore also be connected with these measures.

Neuer-Weg-an-Oper-ehrt-Juedin-Cora-Berliner_ArtikelQuerKlein
Cora Berliner circa 1940

A total of 50 persons are listed as employees (28), merchants (6), clerks (5, including Cora Berliner and Paula Fürst), Registrars (3), Consulants (2) as well as an accountant, typist, secretary, Office help, messenger (in each case 1) and “Leading Member D. JK” (Arthur Lilienthal). These names point to administrative employees of the Reichsvereinigung. In fact, many of them were to be found on lists of the headquarters of the Reichsvereinigung by the end of 1940 [Bundesarchiv, R 8150/64]. 4 names had been deleted from the list leaving 46 who were deported from the named group together with

Paula Fürst mit Kinder (with children)
Paula Fürst mit Kinder (with children)

their families.To date, the goal of the 16th East transport has not been clarified. There is some evidence that the Berlin transport was connected to the deportation train from 24 June to East Prussia, which reached the Minsk freight station on 26.6.42 with a total of 770 Jews [A. Gottwaldt, in: NS-Gewaltherrschaft, Berlin 2005, 152] Since 628 Jews were deported from East Prussia according to the Reichsvereinigung in June 1942, a total of 830 Jews had to be registered in Minsk together with the 202 deportees of the East Berlin transport. It is not known if 60 deportees were forced to leave the train before reaching Minsk. There is, however, a vague, reference to a letter Cora Berliner wrote shortly after her deportation from a place in the vicinity of Bialystok [H. Simon, Gross Breesen Letter 15, September 1945, 593]. The transport train had a lengthy stop of 61 minutes in Bialystok; the longest stop between Königsberg and the Wolkowysk station, where the deportees were forced to change from passenger cars to covered freight cars before traveling on to Minsk [R. Hilberg, special trains to Auschwitz, Mainz 1981, 165].

For Berlin, the statistics of the Reichsvereinigung in June 1942 recorded a total of 1690 deportees. From the transport lists of the two east transports from 2.6. and 23.6., the special transport of 5.6. as well as 12 transports between the 2.6. and 30.6. 1694 deportees can be established.