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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

Book Pages 373 - 375 

NATHAN, Heinrich


3 Bronner Strasse


Translated by:
Valentina Antoniadou, Lorena Barth, Milena Gruen,
Elena Martens, Denitsa Serafimova, Anja Tremmel

Supervisor: Dr. Robynne Flynn-Diez,

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg,
Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen Englischabteilung


Heinrich Nathan, born November 24, 1857 in Laupheim, died August 23, 1938 in Laupheim, OO Betty, née Goetz, born October 6, 1875 in Huerben, immigrated to the USA June 17, 1941, died November 20, 1951 in New York, USA,

[- Frida Nathan, born 1900, OO Joseph Walz, born 1900]
- Flora Walz, born August 17, 1922 in Goeppingen, immigrated to the USA June 17, 1941

[- Emma Nathan, born November 17, 1901 in Laupheim, died October 5, 1907 in Laupheim],
- Alexander Nathan, born May 12, 1905 in Laupheim, immigrated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via Italy February 18, 1938

[- Lina Nathan, born May 12, 1905 in Laupheim]
Sisters and niece of Betty Nathan:

Ida Adelsheimer, née Goetz, born October 8, 1878, moved to Goeppingen October 9, 1941,
- Paula Adelsheimer, born September 3, 1914 in Goeppingen, deported to the concentration camp Theresienstadt on August 23, 1942, and to Auschwitz on October 19, 1944,
Martha Goetz, born December 9, 1880 in Krumbach, deported to the concentration camp Theresienstadt, where she died March 30, 1943.


Despite extensive research very little information was uncovered about Heinrich Nathan and his relatives mentioned above. Heinrich Nathan was born November 24, 1857 in Laupheim to Alexander Samuel Nathan (1819-1898) and Wilhelmine, née Heumann (1833-1914). He lived with his parents at 3 Bronner Strasse his entire life. He worked as a tradesman in cattle, horses, goods, skins and meat. On January 26, 1899 he married Betty née Goetz in Huerben with whom he had four children. Their first two daughters Frida and Emma were born in 1900 and 1901, followed by the birth of the twins Lina and Alexander on May 12, 1905 in Laupheim. Heinrich Nathan and his great passion for collecting were mentioned in a humorous advert published in the local newspaper commemorating Jewish Purim 5667 (i.e. February 28, 1907). To celebrate this holiday, which is dedicated to the salvation of the Jewish people from imminent danger in the Persian diaspora, the community organized a joyful service in the synagogue and also a boisterous feast in the hotel Kronprinz in Laupheim. Highlights included dressing up in traditional attire and arranging parades; they also exchanged presents and candy.

In autumn of the same year, on October 5, 1907, Emma, the second-born daughter of the Nathan family, died shortly before her sixth birthday. The other siblings all grew up in Laupheim and attended the Jewish elementary school. No further details are known about them.

Frida Nathan later married Joseph Walz and probably moved to Goeppingen with her husband, where her daughters Flora and Edith were born in 1922 and 1925. The younger sister Lina Nathan moved to Munich on October 15, 1929, where traces of her are lost. After the war, her twin brother Alexander Nathan recalls his career:

“I was born in Laupheim in 1905. From 1930 until my emigration I lived partly in Laupheim and partly in Berlin. As of 1930 I was actively involved in the “Lichtspielbetriebsgesellschaft” (moving pictures exhibition company) based in Laupheim. (Both Carl Laemmle and Max Friedland were associates.) During the process of elimination of Jewish companies, I was employed in the office of Dr. Ruediger von Etzdorf, head of the “Deutsche Universal-Film” in Berlin, in order to wind up the company. I emigrated in 1938, married Susanne Ruth Singer from Nuremberg in early 1939 and moved to Brazil. The Vargas government was fond of (Nazi) Germany and as we had arrived on a tourist visa, we were not granted work and permanent residency permits until Brazil entered the war against Germany. I have been living in this city since 1940. During the first few years we did not have it easy. I started out as an import broker, but due to a lack of foreign currency I switched to export in 1958, which remains my field of work until today.”

(“Lebenszeichen. Juden aus Württemberg nach 1933”., ed. by Walter Strauss. Gerlingen 1982, page 220, available in English: „Signs of Life. Jews from Wurttemberg”.)

Married and living in Porto Alegre, Alexander Nathan reacquired German citizenship in 1964, which was delivered to him by the London embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Heinrich and Betty Nathan continued living in Laupheim. The only surviving document from that time dates back to December 14, 1935. It is the rejection of a request by their 20 year old housemaid, Anna Engelhardt, for continued employment. The reasoning was that their “son Alexander was temporarily living at home”. The Nathan family sold their house at 3 Bronner Strasse to cattle trader Franz Geiselhardt on August 2, 1938, probably while preparing for emigration. This occurred just before the death of Heinrich Nathan, who died in Laupheim on August 23, 1938 at the age of 81. Since the family remained in the house, it is safe to assume that they had arranged a contractual housing tenure. As German Jews were increasingly deprived of their rights and displaced, every now and then relatives lived with the Nathans in the safety of their home, some only for a short time in order to protect themselves from the reprisals of the National Socialists and find ways out of the country.

Betty Nathan’s widowed sister Ida Adelsheimer stayed with them from April 19 to June 25, 1940. She moved to Goeppingen on November 11, 1941, where traces of her vanish. Her daughter Paula Adelsheimer, a neonatal nurse, spent several days in the Jewish retirement home at 2 Judenberg on two occasions, namely between November 11 and 19, 1940, and between February 25 and March 29, 1942. Just as her aunt Martha Goetz, she was deported from Stuttgart to Theresienstadt on August 23, 1942, and afterwards to the Auschwitz concentration camp on October 19, 1944, where she was murdered. Martha Goetz lived at 3 Bronner Strasse between December 1, 1935 and October 6, 1938, and again from July 20, 1939 until she was brought to Theresienstadt during the fourth deportation from Laupheim. She died there on March 30, 1943 at the age of 63.

Her sister Betty Nathan and her granddaughter Flora Walz managed to flee Nazi Germany at the very last minute on June 17, 1941 and immigrate to the USA, where she died on November 20, 1951.



Hecht, Cornelia; Köhlerschmidt, Antje: Die Deportation der Juden aus Laupheim. Laupheim 2004.

Hüttenmeister, Nathanja: Der Jüdische Friedhof Laupheim. Laupheim 1998. S. 518, S. 564–565.

“Signs of Life. Jews from Wurttemberg”, ed. by Walter Strauss. Gerlingen 1982. Nachlass John Bergmann 5/24.

Staatsarchiv Wuerttemberg. Wue 65/18 T4. Stadtarchiv Laupheim, FL 9811-9899 Ia. Standesamt Laupheim, Familienregister Band V.


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