Anna Hájková, Maria von der Heydt

The Last Veit Simons from Berlin

Holocaust, Gender, and the End of the German-Jewish Bourgeoisie

Translation: Justus von Widekind and Jos Porath
Language: English
140 pages, softcover with (fold-in) flaps
49 illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-95565-316-3
Publication date: 2019
17.90 €

In 1914 the Veit Simons family was one of the oldest and best known Jewish families in Berlin. Their diligence and enthusiasm for education had garnered them wealth and social recognition; the Holocaust should rob them off both. Drawing on the biographies of the last bourgeois Veit Simon, his Gentile wife, and their six children, the authors show how the Nazi genocide destroyed any prospects for the future, the social environment, livelihoods, and eventually bare existence. Some family members emigrated, stepping into an uncertain and deprived future. Of those who were not able to flee, the Gentile mother and one daughter were the only ones who survived. The story of the surviving daughter Etta in particular, who was able to assert herself in Theresienstadt ghetto even under the most adverse of circumstances, sheds new light on gender and the genocide.

Anna Hájková

Dr., ist Associate Professor an der University of Warwick.

Maria von der Heydt

Dr., ist Partnerin der Berliner Anwaltskanzlei Heinichen & Laudien. Sie forscht über die deutschen „Geltungsjuden“ im Holocaust.

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