Frederic Haymann/Onkel Fritz

Life account of Fritz Haymann's life based on documents compiled by his nephew Rudi Haymann.

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Origins in Ratibor, Prussia (today Poland)

He comes from a Ratibor family, consisting of his parents Salo Haymann and Emma Siedner and his brother Ludwig. His father was a businessman, but both Fritz and his brother wanted to leave Ratibor and forge their own path. They both emigrate to Berlin.

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World War I: Decorated soldier

At the outbreak of World War I Fritz enlists in the German Army as a cadet to fight in East Prussia.

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War Wound

In battle he was wounded when he stepped on a mine and was hospitalized in a military hospital. He loses a leg. He receives the decoration "Cruz de Hierro" for his bravery in combat.

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Fritz and Berthe: a great love.

After the war Fritz goes to Berlin with his wife Berthe Bartenstein to study architecture and join the avant-garde Bauhaus movement. In Berlin Fritz was the chief architect of the Central Bank until the arrival of the Nazis in 1938.

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Nazi arrival

With the arrival of Hitler, life became very complex for the Jews. Fritz is stripped of his
title and demoted to draftsman. In addition, he is forbidden to live at Asternplatz, a place he had designed himself. He moves in with his mother and wife.


In 1943 Fritz is sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, Berthe is sent to Auschwitz and Fritz's mother is left in an abandoned synagogue courtyard until her death. None of the family survived except for brothers Fritz and Ludwig.

Bills of concentration camp Theresiendstadt (1943-01-01/1943-01-01)Archivo Judío de Chile


This camp was established by the Nazis to show it as a fictitious model for the world, completely removed from reality. In this place Fritz is in charge of the administration of a housing complex. He manages to survive and is liberated by the Russian army.

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Excerpts from 1° letter sent by Fritz after liberation

" the war is over and we will have to try to reunite the tears.
Since March 1943 I have been here, uprooted from everything one has loved...And with that, our family and Berthe's family has been annihilated..."

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Back to Berlin

Upon his release, Fritz returns to Berlin in search of Berthe or a surviving relative, but finds no one.
He is employed as a teacher at the Berlin City Construction School.

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Fritz's last record with his colleagues

The traumatic experience, being the only member of the family to return alive, took away his will to live. "Fritz died of grief, loneliness and, worst of all, hopelessness" (his nephew Rudi).

Gravestone of Emmma HaymannArchivo Judío de Chile

Fritz's death

He died in 1952 of sadness and despair. There is no tombstone with his name on it, but it is believed
that he was buried next to his mother in the Weisensee Jewish Cemetery in Berlin.

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Portrait of Fritz and his mother Emma

Today his family honors him and thanks him for the possibility of being able to live Judaism in freedom.

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Ratibor today, present-day Poland

Actual photograph taken on a family trip to the Haymann family building in Ratibor, now Poland.

Residence of Fritz (2004/2004)Archivo Judío de Chile

The Family today

Portrait of Rudi, Fritz's nephew, with his grandson in Berlin in a building designed by Fritz.

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