Inge Franken

Jacob Littmann

Tosca Kempler gave me Jacob Littmann’s address and we got in touch by letter. He described his childhood in the children’s home in considerable detail in a letter dated 12 March 2005: …my parents were fortunate in being able to save two children. We were in the nursery (at Fehrbelliner Strasse 92), in the kindergarten and in the after-school group. A big flag in the colours of the Weimar Republic, black, red and gold, hung from a flagpole over the door. It was a liberal home for Jewish children, where they experienced an upbringing with discipline but without severity. In the two years in the nursery, the women were mothers, in the kindergarten they were aunts and in the after-school club they were “Miss”.

Brief Littmann 12.03.05

We were brought up to practise both German and Jewish customs. In the summer holidays, the home rented a villa in Neuhof on the Baltic coast. The older children from the after-school group spent four weeks there – on the beach and in the woods. It was healthy for the poorer children and an opportunity to learn how the country, the customs and life are organised in a family. That is why the home in Fehrbelliner Strasse was a home without harshness. Everyone both gave and shared. There was a big library with books like Dr Dolittle, Kipling, old tales from Troy, Sparta and Athens. It was fun as well as educational. The women who ran the after-school group went to the schools to see how the children were getting on. Then they helped them with their homework. I went to the school in Ryckestrasse. There was one large room, where the little children had a rest in the afternoons. This room was also used for games, dancing and for festivals. These recollections are in my memory. The home was a bright part of my life. My brother Heinrich Siegfried Littmann and my parents are missing.

Jacob Littmann was arrested Oktober 28-29 in 1938 and deported to Polen ( Polenaktion ). Relatives in the USA sent affidavits for him and his sister. So they could emigrate to the USA and saved their lives. March 2005 he lived in Van Nuys, a district of Los Angeles, Ca., USA. He has since died.

Translation: Bridget Schäfer