In Memory of Victims of the First Mass Deportation

Invitation to Placement of Stolpersteins for the Merory Family on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at 10 a.m. in Kreuzberg

No 196/2018 from Jul 18, 2018

To commemorate the members of the Merory family who were deported and murdered during the Nazi era or expelled to Poland, twelve Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) by the artist Gunter Demnig will be laid on July 24 in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Descendants of the family are expected to attend the ceremony, when the square brass plates will be placed in the sidewalks of Yorckstraße 74 and Friedrichstraße 2, and a memorial service at 12:00. It was only through the research of students studying the history of the deportation directed against Jews of Polish descent - the so-called Polenaktion in Berlin - that they learned of each other and are now getting to know each other personally. At the commemoration ceremony in the FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum, Adalbertstraße 95a, talks will be given by historian Dr. Alina Bothe of Freie Universität, Pamela Merory Dernham representing the Merory family, and students Lara Büchel and Christine Meibeck.

At the end of the 19th century, the Merory family, who was Jewish, emigrated from an area that is now part of Poland to Berlin. Nine children were born and grew up in Berlin. The father Isidor Merory worked as an accountant at the Schultheiss brewery and died in 1926. The sons Josef and Siegbert Fritz were expelled from Berlin on October 28, 1938, along with their brother Martin as part of the first mass deportation, at the time called Polenaktion , and transported to the Polish border town Zb’szy’.

The actor Martin Merory had lived together with his non-Jewish wife, nee Sarge, and their three daughters Margarete, Liselotte, and Eva on Friedrichstraße 2. Ella Sarge came from a family involved in the theater, and Martin Merory belonged to the cultural avant-garde around Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht. His brother Walter Merory was murdered in 1942 in the Hartheim Euthanasia Centre. In September 2017 a stolperstein was placed for him at Düppelstraße 39a in Berlin-Steglitz. The sisters Rosa and Sofie lived in the parental home with their mother Amalie Merory until 1942, when they were all deported to Riga.

The research into the fate of the Merory family was done as part of the preparations for the exhibition "Ausgewiesen! Berlin, 28. Oktober 1938. Die Geschichte der ’Polenaktion,’" which was curated by staff members of the Aktives Museum e. V. and students and researchers at Freie Universität Berlin. The exhibition has been on display since July 8 at the New Synagogue Berlin Foundation - Centrum Judaicum. A detailed biography of the Merory family was published in the edited volume to accompany the exhibition. Review copies can be requested from the Metropol-Verlag.

The stolpersteins are financed by the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.


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