Born: 28 March 1925, Hamburg, Germany.
Siblings: half-brother; Michael Thomas Christ, half-sister...
Married: Major Albert Ward MBE MM in the Church of Scotland Chapel, Hamburg Germany 21 December 1949
Occupation: - Receptionist / Photographer at the Tobis Filmkunst, Berlin, Germany
Died: 8 December 2010, buried in Mortanhall Cemetery, Edinburgh with Daddy
Oops, I may have got dates wrong as I was trying to piece together Mummy's life. I loved my mother so much and miss her to my end of days, and, I am so utterly, proud of her (but also my Father) coping with atrocious circumstances, which, I humbly have not encountered. And with my last my breathe, I will keep their names and souls alive. I hugely regret not persevering with my questions and didn't ask enough but like my Father I don't think she liked talking about those awful years.Growing up
1919 - 1933 - The Weimar Republic was Germany’s government from the period after World War I until the rise of Nazi Germany. In 1929 the USA Wall Street Crash of October 1929 and the Great Depression that followed devastated The Weimar Republic.. After the Wall Street Crash, America gave Germany 90 days to start to re-pay money loaned to her. The Weimar Republic became bankrupt by the end of 1929.
Blood Poisoning: when Mummy was young she suffered Blood Poisoning and told me she almost died.
Mummy was anti Nazi - she helped hide and save her Jewish boyfriend Lothar Besch, his best friend Bubi (Joachim Nave) and Bubi's sister (Sonja Nave). I was an utter idiot not persist in asking her about this time :(. Key WWII dates.
Lothar Besch (Jewish) was born 25 December 1922 in Dresden, Saxony, Germany. I am not quiet sure where Mummy met Lothar Besch - either in Hamburg or Berlin? 1942 January - "The Final Solution": at The Wannsee Conference, Berlin, the SS (the elite guard of the Nazi state) and German government agencies discussed and coordinated the implementation of the "Final Solution" - the genocide of Jews / "murdering every last Jew in the German grasp" during World War II.
Between 1933 and 1939 - Berlin's Jewish population fell from 160,000 (Berlin's Jewish community was the largest in Germany) to about 80,000 people.
1941 October 18 - Commencement of Deportations of Jews in Berlin to Death Camps: during this time Mummy hid her Jewish boyfriend Lothar Besch until the end of the war. The first deportation of Jews in Berlin to death camps left Track 17 of Berlin's Grunewald station. 1,089 children, women and men were taken by force to Lodz (Łódź or Litzmannstadt) Ghetto, Ploand which was the second-largest ghetto in all of German-occupied Europe after the Warsaw Ghetto. By the end of the Berlin deportations 1943?, over 50,000 Jews from Berlin were deported to death camps.
1943 February and March - The Rosenstraße Protests, Berlin: in 1943 some 7,000 Jewish citizens still remained in Berlin? At the end of February 1943, some 8,000 Jewish citizens of Berlin were detained for deportations by the SS and the Gestapo. This included some 2,000 Jews, mostly men, who were partners in mixed marriages which had until then been tolerated and spared from persecution. Separated from the rest of the prisoners, they were taken to the building which had formerly housed the Jewish Welfare Administration in Rosenstraße 2-4. The women gathered in front of the building with their children on the evening of 27 February 1943 and demanded to speak with their loved ones. There followed a later call for the release of their family members from the so-called "Factory Action", the euphemism used to denote the final round-up of Berlin's Jews in 1943. For a week, some 600 women engaged in daily protests. On 6 March 1943, the first prisoners were released, with the remaining detainees released in the following days. In the Third Reich, The Rosenstraße Protest is apparently the only mass public demonstration by Germans against the deportation of Jews.
According to encyclopedia.ushmm.org deportations of Jews from Berlin to ghettos and death camps to eastern Europe took place between October 1941 and April 1943 BUT Hans Goldfreund was deported to and murdered at Auschwitz in 1943, 28 June and his sister Else Goldfreund was deported to and murdered at Auschwitz in 28th September 1943.
Not dissin my fab Daddy - gents were charmed by her innocent fun, including Axel Springer and Dutch singer and guitarist Karel van der Velden (she was working as a Tobis Filmkunst receptionist).
Ironically mourning Mummy's death, I watched the history channel, seven to eleven, to see if I could see Mummy or Daddy, and discovered Albert Göring the younger brother of Hermann Göring (the head of the German Luftwaffe and a leading member of the Nazi Party) was the technical director of Tobis-Sascha Filmindustrie AG in Vienna and he helped Jews and dissidents survive in Germany in World War II.
1945 Jan - the Germany army was in retreat. On 20 April 1945, Hitler's 56th birthday, Soviet artillery of the 1st Belorussian Front began shelling Berlin and did not stop until the city surrendered.
Even more dangerous, moving towards the Allies, Mummy had one of the last photographs of Goebbels which she had been retouching for the Tobis Film Company but buried them in a Bavarian garden as she was terrified that if she was caught by the Allies, particularly by the Russians, with these photographs she would have been seen as a Nazis and could have suffered severe consequences. I shoot myself for not asking, where (and so many questions), when she was alive - not for money, but only for history.
1945 April 15 - the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her future Husband Major Albert Ward MBE MM's who was serving with The 15th (Scottish) Reconnaissance Regiment, RAC was there at the liberation. When Russian troops conquered Berlin in the spring of 1945, apparently an astonishing 1,700 Jews had survived in Berlin and came out of hiding.
Of the ones I know of, and some of who my brave Mummy helped:
I don't know if Mummy could help "Unkle" Hans Goldfreund but I know, she was haunted to find out his fate (her half sister helped her to eventually find it out). Find out more about Goldschmidt, "Unkle" Hans Goldfreund who I am arranging a stolperstein for and, the truly awful fate of his relatives.
Father: (Gustav Karl) Max Besch, Born: 1893, 21 October, Dresden, Saxony, Germany | Died: 13 Feb 1952 Hamburg, Germany
Mother: Dilli Besch (nee Teig / Teich) Born: 1896, 12 August, Dresden, Saxony, Germany | Died: Abt 1956, Hundham, Miesbach, Bavaria, Germany (Survived the Holocaust).
Brother: Gerhard Besch, Born 1924, 24 June, Dresden | Death: Hamburg, Germany? (Survived the Holocaust)
Dilli Besch (Lothar's Mother) was Jewish (according to the Nuremberg laws), but her husband Max Besch was not. Dilli Besch's sons were considered half-Jews. Lothar was therefore protected from deportation, as was his mother, at least until late 1944. I think Lothar's Father served in the German army in WWI.
1930 - Lothar's Father, Karl Max Besch, was a businessman: Arzneimittelgroßhdlg., Krügerstr. 69, Dresden.
circa 1935 - The family moved to Berlin and Karl Max Besch opened up a Pharmazeutica in Schutzallee 58, Berlin. From 1 April 1935, Lothar attended The W. Fackelmann Higher Private School with the aim to later study chemistry.
1938, 11 October - as a "Mischling 1st degree" (his mother is Jewish) Lothar had to leave the secondary school.
1939, May - Lothar Besch lived with his parents Dilli and Max and his brother Gerhard Besch at Landhausstraße 9, Wilmersdorf in Berlin.
1939, 15 February - Gerhard Besch was able to emigrate to England and sailed to Australia 10th July 1940. On 14 Apr 1946. Gerhard Besch sailed from Wellington New Zealand; Sydney; Fremantle; Aden and Port Said to Southampton, England. He may have been part of the Kindertransport?
Early 1940s - Mummy must have met Lothar Besch in Berlin? I know together they started Pharmaceutical training, now confirmed in Berlin however, and I think it was most likely at Lothar's Father's Pharmaceutical. in the rising anti Semitic climate they stopped their studies. Thereafter Mummy trained and earned a diploma in photography - did Lothar study photography too?
1941, September 1941 - Lothar escaped the enforced wearing of a Jewish star because he had been baptised as a Protestant. On the 18th of October - the horrorfic Deportations of Jews in Berlin to Death Camps, began.
Late 1944 - As a half-Jew, Lothar was protected from deportation, as was his mother being married to a German, to at least until late 1944.
Last know Berlin address - Lothar Besch's last residence was in Berlin-Steglitz, Plantagenstr. 3 which is also the last residency address of Dilli Besch, his mother, indicated in a Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 document, dated 14 August 1946 (the same date as Lothar's document).
1944, end of October - Lothar Besch did not follow the call-up to the "Organisation Todt" / Reich Ministry of Armaments and War Production (which used forced labour). He de-registered with the responsible office, the Wehrbezirkskommando Berlin, and registered himself at the address of a house in Hamburg (Uhlandstraße 54), which had been burnt down (via Allied bombing) and may have belonged to his father.
1944, 4 November - Lothar received a summons from the Gestapo to report immediately to the service building in Französische Straße. He does not comply with the request and thereafter he lived illegally. The number of Jews who hid in Berlin ("U-boats") is much debated. Source: The Silent Heroes Memorial Center as the Because of his "Jewish appearance", several acquaintances refused to hide Lothar. His tailor Willy Kahlert took him into his shop flat and fed him in Berlin-Neukölln (Hobrechtstr. 47) where Lothar stayed in the cold kitchen and could only leave a, few times, at night. Despite all the precautions taken, residents of the house became suspicious and Lothar had to leave the hiding place after two months, on 5 January 1945. [Mummy mentioned that one time she was scared that neighbours would report her and Lothar to The Gestapo - i think this relates to this. ] Through an acquaintance (whose name he does not give) Lothar found shelter for 10 days with an old couple (Paul Fritze and his wife) in their summerhouse in Falkensee near Berlin (district Falkenhöh, Diesterweg 349).
1945, 16 January - Escape to Bavaria. Source: The Silent Heroes Memorial Center: On 16 January, despite the threat of controls, Lothar travelled by train to Hundham in Bavaria, about 18 km southwest of Rosenheim, where he resided with a farmer Schweinsteiger and his wife (Therese or Theresia), with whom Dilli Besch (his Mother) had been in hiding. They also received food from the kind farmers. Schweinsteiger's house (Hundham No. 26) was apparently the home of the local police and armed forces and (Besch later stated) the police station commander Josef Müller "silently overlooked" Lothar and his Mother. [If I understood Mummy correctly, she and Lothar, escaped to Hundham, Baveria, via Taubenbach, to Lothar's Mother, Dilli Besch, via one of the very last trains out of Berlin before the Russians entered.
1945, 4 May - Lothar and Dilli Besch were liberated by US troops.
1946, August 14 - Lothar Besch was officially a temporary resident of Hundham between 10 Feb 1946 - 4 Juni 1946. The Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 document is dated 14 August 1946 and includes Joachim Nave (Bubi) who has the same sojourn dates with a last residence given as Berlin Motzstr. 59.
Summer 1946-47 - Lothar Besch and Joachim Nave (Bubi) returned to Berlin, and lived together at Schützallee 58 in the Zehlendorf district. I found letters from Lothar to Mummy, during this time.
1947 - 1953 - Lothar Besch ran a Pharmazeutica with his brother Gerhard Besch.
circa 1953 - Lothar Besch moved to Hamburg where he ran two Pharmazeutica at 52 Wichmamstr. 4 and 50 Theodostr. 41. with his brother Gerhard Besch. I think his father Max Besch joined them late in Hamburg
About 1981 - Lothar Besch died in Hamburg. Mummy lost contact with Lothar but in her very later years she did secretly ask her half sister to undertake research on him (in the days when the internet was not available :(. I found his addresses for 1955 - 1980 in Hamburg telephone directories.
Dilli Besch - incredibly, a handwritten envelope of Dilli Besch has been archived in the Bulmash Family Holocaust collection curated by Michael D. Bulmash. I think she was seeking news of her son Gerhard Besch. It seems she stayed in Hundham after WWII and appears in a Hundham telephone directory dated 1955 but without her husband Max Besch. Bravo, Dilli Besch brought on a Restitution Case Against The Deutsche Reich. Dilli Besch documents 1, 2, 3
Joachim Nave (Bubi) Born: 20 March Breslau, Prussia | Died: 1983, 29 Sept, Los Angeles, USA (Survived the Holocaust)
Sister: Sonja Nave Born: 1928, 13 Sep Breslau, Prussia | Died: ? (Survived the Holocaust)
Father: Rudi Otto Nave Born: 1900, 17 Sept, Breslau, Prussia | Died: Abt 1970, Berlin, Germany? (Survived the Holocaust)
Mother: Irma Nave (nee Isacksohn) Born: 1905, 10 Jan, Schildberg, Wielkopolskie, Poland | Murdered: 1943-45, Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland
1939 - Joachim Nave was living with his parents, Rudi and Irma Nave and his sister Sonja Nave in Landshuter Str. 33, Schöneberg, Berlin _ this is quite near to where Lothar Besch was living in Wilmersdorf, Landhausstraße 9. Joachim documents 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Sonja Documents 1, 2
1st March 1943 - Joachim Nave's mother Irma Nave was arrested and then deported on Transport 31 to Auschwitz, where she was murdered. Her last known adress is given as Kufsteiner Str. 12, Wilmersdorf, Berlin
March 1943 - Joachim Nave, his sister Sonja Nave and his father Rudolf Nave had to go into hiding. Lothar Besch and my Mummy helped them. Bubi had been hidden in Lothar's flat or the cellar of the house in Berlin-Steglitz for about half a year since the end of February 1943. Mummy told me that one time she was walking with Bubi and his sister to their home and she had to drag them away as they saw the Nazis gather Bubi's parents.
April 1944 - Rudolf Nave (Joachim's father) was arrested in April 1944 (possibly still living at the same address as when his wife was deported Kufsteiner Str. 12) and deported Wave 63 – 49th - 52nd Osttransport 02/22/1944 – 05/03/1944 to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He survived and after WWII lived with his children in Berlin again.
Last known residence of Joachim Nave in Berlin - Motzstr. 59.
Later, Joachim Nave was able to go into hiding in Bayreuth (Bavaria). In 1946, he lived in the same place, Hundham, as Lothar and Dilli Besch.
1946, 10 Feb - Joachim Nave (Bubi) was officially a temporary resident of Hundham as documented by The Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 - Lothar and Dilli Besch have the same sojourn dates so I think he was living with them. Mummy was for a while in Hundham with Lothar.
1947 - Bubi was living in Schützenallee 56, Zehlendorf, Berlin (with Lothar Besch) according to the Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982.
1947+ - did Bubi move to America and... did he work for Walt Disney (researching this, I recall Mummy mentioned someone emigrating to America and working for Walt Disney - was this Bubi)? And, did Sonja Nave move to Palestine and in 30 Jun 1947 arrive in America? It seems that their father, Rudi Nave returned to Berlin - last known address Motzstr. 59, Schöneberg, Berlin in 1969.
Sources: Primarily = The Silent Heroes Memorial Center / Gedenkstätte Stille Helden Berlin + my research and what I recall from what Mummy said.
Please do contact me via my linkedin if you have information regarding Lothar Besch, Bubi (Joachim Nave) and or Sonja Nave - I would love to be in contact with their relatives and learn more about them, as my Mummy spoke so fondly of them.
The awful era of The Third Reich should never be forgotten for their atrocities, fascism, racism and prejudisim. There were, however, unknown German citizens who risked their lives to save Jewish and persecuted people, who sabotaged war production and, who tried to assassinate Hitler - to date 42 known cases (the true number will never be known due to undocumented cases...
Uschi Ward nee Ursula Baingo
|Date of Birth:||28 March 1925|
|Place of Birth:||Hamburg, Germany|
|Occupation:||Receptionist / Photographer Tobis Filmkunst|
|Died:||8 December 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland|
Lothar Besch with Mummy
Bubi - Joachim Nave