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Mühlenstraße 21 - Repi Betty Redner and daughter Sali Selma

Mühlenstraße 21 today, photograph: Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann, 2009
Mühlenstraße 21 today, photograph: Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann, 2009

Repi Betty Redner with her eldest daughter Sali Selma Redner lived at Mühlenstraße 21, the large house on the corner of Königstraße, from March 1933 to October 1938. She tried to make a living by renting out four to five boarding rooms of her first floor flat.

Repi Betty Redner, née Rosenheck, was born on 24 July 1860 in Peczenizyn in Galicia, her husband Juda Redner on 12 December 1857 in Kolomea, Galicia. Seven of their nine children were born there.

Sali Selma was their first child, born on 14 April 1882, her sister Hedi Anna Judie in 1883. Her brothers Wilhelm (b. 1884), David (b.1887), Moses (b.1889), Isaak (b.1892) and Adolf (b. April 1893) followed. Then the family left Galicia and moved to Germany. Their son was born at Elmenhorst (40 km south of Lübeck) on 21 December 1898 and finally their youngest daughter Bertha on 13 August 1902 in Lübeck, where the family had lived since 1900. When Bertha was born her eldest sister Sali Selma was already twenty years old. Like her sister Hedi Anna Judie she would have already finished school in Galicia. Immediately after the family’s arrival in Germany Hedi Anna Judie worked as a housemaid in Lübeck, Travemünde and Hamburg. On 4 September 1907 she married the trader Jonas Schweiger and moved to his home in Hagen/Westphalia. Sali Selma remained single. For many years she worked as a cook in Hamburg, Hanover, Halberstadt and other places. Later she lived with her parents and after her father’s death with her widowed mother, helping her run the guesthouse.

At first the Redner family moved very frequently within the Lübeck suburb of St. Lorenz. From Waisenhofstraße 17 the family moved to Füchtingstraße 27.  Then in 1902 they moved to Gloxinstraße 7, to Segebergstraße 13 and Warendorpstraße 17, but in 1908 the Redners made themselves a home in an apartment on the second floor of Beckergrube 18. They lived there until 1933. Juda Redner made his money as a traveller, a brush maker and finally as a trader. He died on 14 April 1920 at the age of 63 years, just a year after the death of his youngest son Hermann in May 1919.

The Lübeck address records of 1926 has the following entry:

Redner, Wwe (abbreviation for widow) Juda, Beckergrube 18, F (abbreviation for telephone) 3422. The fact that they had a telephone as indicated by F 3422, hints at a certain prosperity of the family. At that time the children were already grown up, most of them had earlier left Lübeck already and only came back to Lübeck to visit their mother and siblings. Wilhelm became a shop assistant and first went to Hanover in 1905, then to Bremen. David trained to become a brush maker, but later tried his luck as a dockworker in Hamburg and Wismar. After further stays in Hanover, Bonn and Berlin he left Germany and moved to Vienna/Austria in 1909. His brother Issak followed him there in August 1914. As Austrian citizens the young men were possibly conscripted into the military.

Moses Redner first stayed in Lübeck, where he trained to become a cooper, ran a small clothing shop, and later purchased and sold gold and silver.   He also worked as an auctioneer. But in November 1923 he moved a way to Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).

His brother Adolf transferred his registration to Dortmund in 1921, but lived in Lübeck again in the 30’s and was listed in the directory as an agent living and working out of a flat on the second floor of Königstraße 45.

Frau Charlotte Harnack remembers that Repi Betty Redner was a very pious Jew.  She always wore the "sheytl", the wig worn by married Jewish women. Together with her grandmother Regina Heinemann, née Taub, she was often found visiting Frau Redner. Both women were good friends. Of the Redner children she can remember Sali Selma, and Bertha and as well as two men, who dealt in clothing and cloth.

In April 1937 her youngest daughter Bertha left Lübeck and moved to Hamburg.

In October 1938 Frau Redner and her daughter Sali Selma were forced to give up their apartment, and had to take a flat in the house of the Jewish family Langsner at Marlesgrube 52.  Meanwhile letting rooms out may have been made difficult if not banned completely.

The deportation of Jews with Polish citizenship intended for October 1938 brought the Redners into the Gestapo’s focused attention. Their names were on the Gestapo’s list, however with the notation "citizenship remains unknown". They were therefore not sent with the transport to Poland, which was stopped in Berlin and then returned to Lübeck. They like all the others concerned were put under massive pressure, repeatedly summoned and under the threat of being sent to a concentration camp, urged to leave Germany immediately. In a letter of 24 June1939 from the Israelitischen Gemeinde (Jewish Community) to the chief of police it says: "... The daughter has already tried for a long time to arrange for their emigration, but considering the old age of her mother, who is dependent on others for assistance, she cannot leave the country alone, without also taking along her mother….” Two months later after renewed examinations the police noted under Nos. 23 and 24 on their list: "Sali Redner making efforts to emigrate. Betty Redner is 79 years old and depends on support."

On 6 December 1941 both women were deported to Riga, Repi Betty Redner being 81 years old, her daughter Sali Selma 59 years. It is unknown how they lost their lives, but we can assume that they were among the victims of the mass shootings in February or March 1942 in Bikernieki Forest, provided they had not already died before due to hunger and the cold at Camp Jungfernhof.

According to information from Yad Vashem the eldest son Wilhelm Redner and the youngest daughter Bertha were also victims of the Shoah. Bertha was deported from Hamburg on 25 October 1941 to Lodz and died there.

References in Addition to Standard Reference Materials:

  • Adressbücher und Meldekartei der Hansestadt Lübeck (Address and Registration Records of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck)
  • Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 25, 109, 110
  • Buch der Erinnerung, Die ins Baltikum deportierten deutschen, österreichischen und tschechoslowakischen Juden, bearbeitet von Wolfgang Scheffler und Diana Schulle, München 2003
  • Datenpool JSHD der Forschungsstelle “Juden in Schleswig-Holstein” an der Universität Flensburg
  • Memorbuch zum Gedenken an die jüdischen, in der Schoah umgekommenen Schleswig-Holsteiner und Schleswig-Holsteinerinnen, hrsg. V. Miriam Gillis-Carlebach, Hamburg 1996
  • Albrecht Schreiber, Zwischen Davidstern und Doppeladler, Illustrierte Chronik der Juden in Moisling und Lübeck, Lübeck 1992
  • Yad Vashem, The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names
  • Conversations with contemporaries of the Redner family

Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann, 2009

Translation:  Martin Harnisch and Glenn Sellick, 2010