Jewish Life in Wuppertal

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Jewish life in Wuppertal

Encouraged by their history teacher Ulrich Grote, a group of Wuppertal school students started working with the meeting place “Alte Synagoge”. The students wanted to point out that Jewish life in Wuppertal existed in the past and still exists or, put it in that way, exists again. In 1999 the students opened an exhibition in the “Alte Synagoge” on “Arisierung” (arianising?) and boycott of Jewish life and possessions n Wuppertal. For the opening ceremony Dr. Hilde Rohlen-Wohlgemuth, whose father was the owner of one of the largest department stores in Wuppertal, was the guest of honor. In 2000 the group opened an exhibition on the topic “Kindertransporte”. These transports allowed children of Jewish families to leave Germany. For this second exhibition “Kinder” who had been able to escape the Nazi-Regime with the so-called “Kindertransporte” spent some days in their native town . Out of these visits and interviews plus personal photographs and documents the exhibition could be created. In addition to the exhibitions an essay appeared on the tragic event of the so-called “Reichskristallnacht” in Wuppertal in a school’s periodical.

Arisierung in Wuppertal- an example
1)Foundation and Career of the enterprise “Gebrüder Kaufmann” When the brothers Moritz and Bernhard Heimann decided to build up their own department store, Elberfeld (a borough of Wuppertal) was said to be a growing and living commercial centre. Those reasons were the base on which the brothers decided to found their company. The Jewish brothers travelled from 1871 onwards throughout the country to go round other department stores. On one of their journeys they met the brothers Kaufmann, who had an department store in Bochum. But they wanted to move to Hannover. The money from selling their store sank into the Heimann’s department store. Therefore they named it after the Kaufmann brothers. All four of them signed a start up contract in October 1894. On march 7th of...
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