Niederwallstraße

UNDER CONSTRUCTION …

On the transport lists on which Hermine and Else appear, their address is listed as Niederwallstraße 17, Gleiwitz. However, their last known address in family documents is Wernickestrasse 10, so this seemed puzzling. I know from documents located that these transport lists do refer to our family members, as dates and places of birth are on the lists, as well as names.

So a bit more research seemed in order on this matter (see below).

In terms of Niederwallstraße itself, it is visible on Google Street View: face the house (the apartments are shown on a blue plaque as numbers 17-25), turn to the left, and you’ll see the main post office located just beyond the crossroads. It was built at the turn of the last century and as such would have been the same when great grandmother and grandmother were there.

Next door to apartment number 17 was the New Synagogue, which was in existence from 1859 to 1938. It was set alight at the start of the November 1938 pogroms, however, and the remains were blown up on 10 November. Looking at Google Street View, it would seem that buildings of some kind are now to be built on the old synagogue site.

According to Klaas Dieter Alicke, History of the Jewish communities in the German-speaking world (Munich: Random House, 2008), throughout the 1930s many Gleiwitz Jews emigrated, with South Africa and Latin America as preferred destinations. The remaining Jewish population were moved to “Jewish houses”/ghettos prior to the main tranche of deportations that began in spring 1942.


Having carried out some further research on Niederwallstraße 17, I have found that it is described as a gemeindehaus, or meeting house: hence the numbers of people on the transport lists registered with that address, one must assume.

Furthermore, I have found some notes and uploaded a PDF (USHMM_gemeinden) on gemeinden in this context; whether this particular gemeindehaus was also used for actual accommodation I do not as yet know. It seems unlikely, looking at the building on Street View, that so many could be registered as living here.