Dienstag, 24. Dezember 2013

Jewish memories in Berlin: Bleibtreustrasse 16

Charlottenburg used to have a very dynamic Jewish community before the war, with many middle class, journalists, lawyers and doctors living in the area. Berlin did not have a ghetto, as Warsaw for instance, the murderers being worried that either the population will show solidarity with the Jews and the unrest will be at high risk in the city or there will be a real danger of maladies due to the improper conditions in the ghetto. Thus, they set up common houses where the Jews were living under strict restrictions of communication and movement. 
At Bleibtreustrasse 16, very close from Ku'damm, the Caro family was living. The life of the two ladies, mother and daughter, are mentioned in the family memoir Two lives, by Vikram Seth. Through letters exchange before and after the war by his aunt that escaped to London, Henny to her friends and relatives in Berlin, Seth reconstructed the lives of the two Jewish souls and of the human relations between Jews and their neighbours and friends. It is an interesting book - except the misplaced projection and interpretation of the current situation in the Middle East - that has the merit to bring back to life forgotten destinies. Nowadays, there are no mentions of the former Jewish inhabitants on Bleibtreustrasse 16.  
Similar common houses existed in other parts of Charlottenburg as well, as for instance on Duisburg Street.
May the memory of the victims be blessed.

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