City of Neu Isenburg


Elikan, Lieselotte Margot

First NameLieselotte Margot
Family NameElikan
Date of Birth05/07/1924
Birthplace/Place of ResidenceHeidelberg / Ettlingen, Karlsruhe
Residence in „Heim Isenburg“05/26/1939 - 07/28/1941
Departure toFrankfurt am Main, Gagernstr. 36

Deported from Gelsenkirchen in the Riga Ghetto on 01/27/1942

Date of Death/Place of DeathProbably in concentration camp Stutthof in 1944

Lieselotte Margot Elikan, named Lilo, was born on May 7, 1924, in Heidelberg. She spent her first seven years in Grötzingen, a place independent at that time which is today a district of Karlsruhe. There she lived together with her mother, Helene Elikan, in the housekeeping of her grandmother and her step-grandfather, the prayer leader and was the community servant of Grötzingen synagogue.

Lieselotte had a four year younger half-sister, Marianne. Merely the name and the death date are known by Lieselottes father: Willi Lichtenwalder died in December 1938.

Lieselotte Elikan attended the elementary school in Grötzingen for two years until she went to Ettlingen with her mother at the end of 1931 after the death of her grandmother. The mother married a non-Jewish stove fitter. Also, Lieselotte was now registered in Ettlingen. However, she went to school from 1932 till spring, 1939 in the Jewish school camp center in Herrlingen near Ulm. Her little sister Marianne lived with foster parents.

At the end of 1938, the then 14-year-old Lieselotte was saved evidently by a children's transportation abroad. In December a passport application was ordered for the girl from the „charitable emigrant's advice center“ in Karlsruhe for accommodation in England. Nevertheless, the passport was never picked up.

After the school camp had been forcibly closed in Herrlingen in March 1939, Lieselotte probably lived temporarily with her mother, who had now separated from her husband and moved to Karlsruhe. Here Lieselotte certainly was registered as she began a domestic or nursing training on May 26, 1939, at "Heim Isenburg."

After two years of residence, Lieselotte left the home in Neu-Isenburg in summer, 1941 and took a job in the Israelite Hospital in Gagernstrasse 36 in Frankfurt. She stayed there till after the merger with the hospital in Röderbergweg 97 and the establishment of an additional department for the elderly and infirm major confinement and emergency. According to the diary registrations of her half-sister Marianne, Lieselotte worked in Frankfurt as a nurse. In the Israelite hospital, she got to know and love Werner de Fries. On December 5, 1941, she went with him to his hometown Gelsenkirchen. Their last address there was Arnimstrasse 3a.

On 27. January 1942 Lieselotte Elikan together with Werner de Fries and his family were deported. The day before they had been brought to the exhibition hall on the Wildenbruchplatz in Gelsenkirchen, the collective place for the people intended for the deportations.

Immediately before the deportation from the collection point, Werner de Fries and Lieselotte Elikan wrote a last greeting card together to Lieselotte‘s sister on January 26, 1942, in Trier:

"Dear Marianne! A last farewell to you from the exhibition hall from where we were gathered, Werner and Lilo. Tomorrow, Thursday 27th we depart from the railway station. Probably to Riga, may we meet again there, otherwise we are alive and well. Many greetings, Werner."

Lieselotte added:

"Little sister, do not be angry that I gave no notice [beforehand]. Be happy that you are still at home. I can not accept responsibility in Riga if you're doing it. I am too young. Farewell, look after yourself. Tender kisses Lilo. "

On January 27, at three o'clock in the morning Lieselotte Elikan and Werner de Fries were embarked in the Gelsenkichener freight station in a wagon. The transport consisted of nearly 1,000 people. From Gelsenkirchen, the route led over Recklinghausen and Dortmund to Riga station. It was winter and a freezing temperatures of 30 degrees below zero prevailed; the cars were unheated. The locked up disposed of neither of water nor other meals.

A letter which Werner de Fries wrote on July 8, 1946, to Lieselotte’s sister, Marianne Elikan, indicates the other destiny of Lieselotte Elikan after the deportation:

"Dear Marianne,

Today on the 8th of July my Gelsenkirchen schoolmate Joseph Ippel came to me and showed me your lb. [lovely] Letter. I was very surprised because I had not believed that you, lovely Marianne, are still alive. I'm very, very glad to get a sign of life; Unfortunately, unfortunately [I] haven’t heard of Lilo no longer for almost two years now. We arrived in Riga on the 20th January 1942, where Lilo and I were housed in the military economy camp of the Waffen SS. Lilo came into Marketenderei [kitchen or catering station], where she had a good place, and I in the car locksmith, as an auto mechanic and watchmaker. We had relatively good time, were never sick and always had to eat. In October 44 Riga was threatened and evacuated by the Russians. With the last ship, we left Riga and came to Danzig-Stutthof, where we were separated for the first time. It was a big camp of 40,000 people. I smuggled a note in the women's camp, where I advised Lilo, to make sure to leave the barrack quickly since we were able to see each other very rarely and then only from a distance. I was then reassigned to Danzig in a large submarine shipyard.

When the Russians then stormed Danzig, we were driven to Lauenburg in Pomerania, where we were then freed on March 10, 1945, by the Russians. Unfortunately, many of us no longer were alive. I still hoped for times to meet Lilo somewhere or some acquaintances of her, but it was in vain. There were no women from Danzig-Stutthof. Three months I waited in Lauenburg because everybody came from Danzig, but there were no known women. Then I drove to Gelsenkirchen, as I had agreed with Lilo, if we are separated and remain alive, we will meet in Gelsenkirchen again, but after such a long time, have lost all hope for a reunion. My parents, my brothers their wives never returned. Where have you been during the years? Do you still have a picture of Lilo? I would be very happy if I at least had a picture of her [...] "

Lieselotte Elikan probably died in the fall/winter of 1944 in the Stutthof concentration camp or on the Death March to the West in the first few weeks of the year 1945. Her mother, Helene Elikan, was among the Baden Jews who were deported on October 22, 1940, in the French camp of Gurs on the edge of the Pyrenees. The other stages of their ordeal were the Rivesaltes camp not far from Perpignan and the Drancy internment camp northeast of Paris. From there Helene Elikan was deported in the early summer of 1942 in the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz, where she was killed.

Marianne Elikan was deported from Trier to the Theresienstadt ghetto in July 1942. She was only 14 years old and without accompanying dependents. Marianne Elikan survived in Terezin. She now lives in Saarland.

Sources: Schnitzler, Thomas (Hrsg.): "Das Leben ist ein Kampf" sowie Rita Butendeich/Uschi Steinhardt-Stauch, Gedenkbuch für die Karlsruher Juden (2007):

Also interesting

Auf der Terrasse von Haus I, Schwarz-weiß Fotografie
Heim Isenburg

Under NS-Rule

Life in “Heim Isenburg” could be organized and regulated quite easily until the pogrom of November 1938, even if discrimination and harassments made the life of residents quite hard.
Actions on this site:
Actions on this site:
Actions on this site:
Actions on this site:

Explanations and notes

Picture credits