Simon Friedmann (1901-1942)

We were able to create this biography according to the information provided by the Gestapo, some personal information is not given and we cannot find more information.

He was born in Warsaw in Poland on 14th of March 1901. He was living in Warsaw.

He moved from Poland to Essen, Germany in 1920 in order to find a new job and to have a better life.

When he moved from Poland to Essen he still had Polish citizenship, but he lost it later because he did not report in time for military service. There is no information on when exactly he lost his citizenship.

In 1937 he applied for a visa for Poland, which was when the Gestapo started creating a file on him. According to the Gestapo file, he got sentenced to 20 Reichmarks or 4 days in prison for passport fraud. Moreover, in 1931, he was accused of obtaining social benefit illegally. He was receiving an income from the employment agency and collecting scrap paper at the same time for making his living.

Due to a denunciation, he was arrested in Essen on the 25th of January 1940.  He was accused of listening to an enemy radio station and of insulting the other residents of his house. At first he was transferred to the police prison, and on the 9th of June 1940 he was transported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

After he was imprisoned in the concentration camp, his wife, Sara Friedmann, sent a lot of petitions  to the Gestapo in order to release him from the camp. But the Gestapo refused all of these letters and informed her about the pointlessness of it. His wife and children endured a hard time surviving in Essen without him. According to his wife´s petitions, he had already been living in Essen for 20 years. Besides, he had worked 12-14 hours daily as well as on Sundays. He tried his best to avoid conflicts with aggressive neighbors, for example, he left for work early and returned home very late.

Even the Jewish Agency for Palestine sent a mail to the Gestapo to confirm that Friedmann had applied there for a visa for Palestine. But obviously he failed to get a visa in the end.

In December 1940 his brother, who lived in Warsaw, agreed to accommodate Simon Friedmann and his family, in case he would have been released. In this time the Warsaw ghetto had been already established and Friedmann’s brother was living in it. Even if the Gestapo had let them leave Germany for Poland, living in the ghetto under catastrophic conditions would have meant their certain death.  So they didn’t really have other options. Apart from that, the fact is that the Gestapo never answered the brother’s letter anyway.

Friedmann’s wife Sara Friedmann was deported to Minsk (Belarus) on the 10th of November 1941. She probably got killed there shortly after her arrival.

Friedmann himself died on the 3rd of March 1942 in Sachsenhausen in one of the infirmary barracks.

We don’t know anything about his children and what happenend to them.

Time line of Simon Friedmann

– Map

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