Hermann’s sudden death

Hermann had to see the writing on the wall. In June, there would be a deadline to register all firms for Aryanization, and after that he would have fewer options. By the time that a new wave of street violence erupted in the spring of 1938, his exit strategy was in place and near to execution. Feigning normality, he took his wife on a early summer holiday at a spa in Czechoslovakia. 

Tragically, Hermann came down with an infection that turned to sepsis. He died June 24, 1938, just as the worst of Berlin’s summer violence was peaking. Up and down Berlin’s best streets, shops were marked with “Jude” in graffiti while Hermann was laid to rest at the Jewish Cemetery at Weißensee. 

During the next six weeks, Elly took over arrangements for their departure. I am not going to give here the full story of her 30-month flight with my mother out of Germany to their eventual arrival in New York. I have covered that in a previous chapter of family history (see “Implications for Righteousness in the Unknown Case of the Consuls of Toulouse” link). However, I will mention a few key episodes from their flight that relate to the citizenship theme of this chapter.