Departure Date: 13.02.40, Deported: 1107
With the deportation of February 13, 1940, not only the fate of the Stettin Jewish community and the Jews in Western Pomerania was sealed, but also this was the prelude to the “final solution to the Jewish question” in Germany (Altreich), long before the onset of systematic deportations in the autumn of 1941. On 30/1/40, in a meeting under the chairmanship of Heydrich the head of the Reich Security Main Office, discussions were held on “carrying out the resettlement tasks ordered by the leader”. Further resettlements of Poles and Jews from the annexed Polish territories were voted on for the Generalgouvernement identifying which spaces should be created for settled Baltic and Wolhyni Germans. The minutes of this meeting also refer to the deportation planned two weeks later of some “1,000 Jews from Stettin whose homes are urgently needed for economic reasons”, see the copy from the Eichmann trial [http: //www.justice. gov.il/MOJHeb/ReshimatEichman/Taklitor, document T / 166]. (See RSHA documents below)
Whether the removal of the Jews from Stettin took place for economic reasons, as stated in the RSHA meeting of 30/1/40, or to make room for Baltic Germans, as presented by the RSHA at the request of the Foreign Office on 17.2.40, is an open question. Not only were the Jews from Stettin itself affected, but Jews from the entire administrative district were affected by the deportations. As preparations for the deportation of the Jews were already underway from the administrative district of Schneidemühl immediately after the Stettin Action (see below, Minutes of the Reichsvereinigung of February 17, 1940). Particularly ambitious plans of the Pomeranian Gauleiter Schwede-Coburg regarding the removal of Jews from his district played a major role in these deportations. [The list of names of Jews deported in 1940 from the administrative district of Szczecin, Rostock 2009, p. 6]. In contrast to the Stettin Jews, the Jewish people from Schneidemühl did not go to the Generalgouvernement regions, but were instead relocated to Berlin, Brandenburg and Westphalia (see 1940: Transport from Schneidemühl).
In a manner that was unimaginable during later stage deportations, the representatives of the Reichsvereinigung, in a summons to the RSHA on 15 February 1940, told Eichmann that they could not comprehend “that the authority had declared only last week that in the old Reich such transfers were not taking place, that a final solution was being considered, but that a timely notification would be made [before commencement], and attention was drawn to the fact that the work of the Reichsvereinigung would be meaningless if such transfers were carried out prematurely. They also noted the special hardships an under seven hour removal would cause in Stettin… It is pointed out that the Reichsvereinigung risk jeopardizing their work by such incidents as these in Stettin…” The minutes of the RV meetings and subpoenas in the RSHA in the days after the deportation have been made available online by the Leo Baeck Institute in the collections of Max Kreutzberger, Walter and Johanna Rischowsky. The reproductions below are from the latter collection. (ref: Guide to the Walter and Johanna Rischowsky Collection 1940 – 1942 AR 25033).
The course of the deportation was described, in the foreign press, in remarkable detail, despite the usual secrecy measures. Under the heading “Germany deported nationals” the Danish newspaper “Politiken” published as early as 17.2. an article in which the deportations were described: “In the night hours of the 12th to 13th of February, the Jews, including their children and women were taken from their homes by two units of the SS and the SA and taken to the Stettin Freight Station, from which, regardless of their age and state of health, they were deported. The inmates of the two Jewish old people’s homes in Stettin, about 82 persons, women and men over the age of 90 were included in the deportations, and since many could not walk, they were brought on stretchers to the freight yard… Already on the transport’s passage through Schneidemühl – about 24 hours after the [Stettin] removal – the first corpses had to be removed from the deportation train. The first corpse removed was that of a woman, which was later followed by the corpses of two children; others on the transport were dying, as shouts from the train’s coach windows to the stationmaster at [Schneidemühl] indicated.” A reproduction of the article is provided from the documents of the Eichmann trial [www.justice.gov.il/MOJHeb/ReshimatEichman/Taklitor, document T / 666]. (See Protokolle documents below.)
After 3 days of travel, the deportation train arrived in Lublin on 16.2.40, from there people were distributed to the ghettos of Piaski, Belzyce, and Glusk. However after the stress of the deportation travel, a large number of deportees had to be sent directly to the Lublin hospital, where 10 deceased were registered on the day of arrival. Within only one month at the places of deportation about 80 people from the Stettin transport were registered, as the “List of evacuated and deceased Jews from Stettin and the government district of Stettin within the district of Lublin of the General Government from 16.2.1940 – 31.3.1941”. Lists of the deceased were also created regularly for the district president of Stettin. There are shattering testimonies regarding the living conditions in the district of Lublin, which ultimately led to the death of one third of the deportees from Stettin, before the deportations to the extermination camps of the former survivors began in the spring of 1942. Copies of the lists are available in the USHMM; inventory RG-15.101, Reel 25, can be found in the Archiwum Państwowe w Lublinie, Rada Żydowska w Lublinie, Sign. 167. (See Verstorbene Documents below)
The number of people deported from Stettin is provided by [Adolph] Eichmann in the minutes of a Protokoll discussion of the Reichsvereinigung on 15.2.40 (item 8 on page 3) shown below. In the annual statistics for 1940, the RV later reported 1025 “emigrants” [BA R 57/49]; it can be assumed that this was based on the Eichmann number plus additional two people. In October 1940 (Heinrich Wolsky) and in November (Renate Alexander) officiallyed return to Germany; and in June 1940 Elsa Meyring emigrated to Sweden. Further information was apparently not available to the Reichsvereinigung.
The actual number of people deported on 13.2.40 can be determined by means of the list of names drawn up by the Judenrat in Lublin in February 1941 [cf. The list of names of Jews deported in 1940 from the administrative district of Szczecin, Rostock 2009]. The list contains the names of 1125 people and handwritten additions (thru May 1942). After deduction of double entries and the addition of 4 children born in Lublin, the names of 1107 deportees remain. The partly incomplete handwritten entries on the last page can be compared and supplemented with the lists of the deceased. On the back of the last sheet there is an entry for a child born on 8/7/41 in Lublin (Rafael Eisner).
The number thus determined can be checked on the basis of information provided by Fritz Gabriel, who worked as a Stettiner in the emigration department of the Judenrat in Lublin, from a telephone conversation with the Department of Care of the Reichsvereinigung on 19.2.41. The resident numbers of the individuals “single groups”, meaning the deportees from Stettin living in the various ghettos of the district of Lublin include, in Piaski (525), Belzyce (245), Glusk (68), Lublin (10) and Bychawa (4), for a total of 852 people [BA R 8150/483]. By that time, according to the list of deceased, 251 people had already died. After deduction of the children born at the place of deportation (4) as well as the addition of the repatriations and “removals” known from the list of names of February 1941, there are also 1107 deportees.
Shown below is a copied list names from the USHMM, stock RG-15.101, Reel 24. The original is in the Archiwum Państwowe w Lublinie, Rada Żydowska w Lublinie, Sign. 166. On the first and last page is, a handwritten note stating that Mrs. (Ernestine) Badenski, “died on the train to Lublin, and was unloaded in Schneidemühl”, this information was also provided to the foreign press. Renate Alexander, who despite numerous efforts by the Reichsvereinigung and affected parents remained the only child who could be returned to her family in Germany, was reunited with her parents in the forest quarry camp Jacobsdorf near Frankfurt / Oder. From there, the family was deported to Auschwitz on April 19, 1943 (see No. 587-589 of the list for the 37th East Transport).
Some of the names on the first four pages of the list are noted in handwriting as “relocated”, sometimes with the words “42” or “4.42”. On following pages, you will no longer find these handwritten entries. The notes concern only people who were accommodated in Piaski. From Piaski, a large portion of the Jews from Stettin were transported to the extermination camp Belzec on 5 April 1942. Only about 95 people from this group remained in Piaski afterwards [E. R. Behrend-Rosenfeld, A. Goes (ed.), Sign of life from Piaski, Munich 1968, pp. 95-96].
The list of names also contains a note on the “race” of each deportee. Some 20 “Aryans” accompanied their Jewish family members. Among them was Hildegard Baer, who was sent to the Belzice ghetto together with her husband, and who was listed in the list of names of people being sent “back to Germany” with the handwritten addition of “in Lublin”. After the death of her husband, she worked illegally, in autumn 1940, as a farm laborer in the Reich territory. In a review written by the City Governor of Lublin in May 1941, it was stated: “Mrs B. is of Aryan descent and has submitted to the SD, Jewish Department, an application for permission to return to Stettin.[…] The prospects of approval by the SD is extremely questionable, since in Stettin, all Aryan persons who are married to Jews are allowed to stay in Stettin on the condition that they part with their Jewish spouse. Mrs. B. did not take advantage of this, but instead went with her Jewish husband to Lublin . ” [BA R 102-II / 31]
On the basis of the list of names, the places of origin of the deportees from 13.2.40 were compiled below. Missing information can be partially completed with the help of the memorial book of the Federal Archives. Only with 6 persons can their former places of residence not be determined. Of the 1107 people involved, at least 846 came from Szczecin. In total, 27 villages in Pomerania were affected by the deportation. (See Stettin to Lublin documents below)