City of Neu Isenburg


Goldschmidt, Ester

First NameEster
Family NameGoldschmidt
Date of Birth20 December 1916
Birthplace/Place of ResidenceFrankfurt/Main
Residence in „Heim Isenburg“20 August 1928 - 4 September 1933/19 March1936 - 17 June 1936
Departure toFrankfurt/Main

Residence during the Second World War in Lodz. 1948 emigration to England

Date of Death/Place of Death-

Ester Goldschmidt was born on December 20, 1916 in Frankfurt am Main. The family lived in Mainstraße 4. Her father worked as an upholsterer and a paperhanger. Ester had four brothers.

Ester's mother died in 1921 when her daughter was five years old. During the mother's illness, Ester was deregistered from Frankfurt at the beginning of April 1920. She was probably staying with relatives in the town Sterbfritz for several years. From there, she was registered in the home of the Jewish Women's Association in Neu-Isenburg on 20 August 1928 at the age of 12 years. Possibly Ester lived there earlier, but was still registered with the relatives in Sterbfritz.

Ester Goldschmidt attended elementary school in Neu-Isenburg and worked afterwards in a tailor's apprenticeship. But obviously she was not really interested in it. Ester was evidently a person with a lively imagination who wanted to become a singer.

At the age of 18, Ester spent some time in the town Glauberg near to Gießen, and then took up a position in Frankfurt. According to her own narrative, she had visited as an underage person a dance hall for several times. Thereupon, a an officer of the public welfare appeared one day at her workplace and brought her to Idstein in a mental hospital without explanation for her.

Ester Goldschmidt was admitted to the Kalmenhof Heilerziehungsanstalt in Idstein in May 1934 and forcibly sterilized at the end of November 1935 at the Herborn state hospital for alleged mid-level mental deficiency . According to Ester Goldschmidt, she was held in the Kalmenhof for two years without her family knowing of her destiny.

On March 19, 1936, Ester Goldschmidt was released from the Kalmenhof and returned to the Neu-Isenburg home of the Jewish Women's Association. However, the now 19-year-old did not want to stay and left the facility after a stay of about three months. She then worked in Frankfurt and Berlin.

In her CV, she described an adventurous escape from Berlin after the war, which finally ended in Cologne in a ditch in which a man found her unconscious and cared for her. The reason for their escape is not clear. Ester reasoned it with "Jewish boycott". Maybe she meant the pogrom in 1938.

Later, according to the narrative in Ester’s vita, she worked as a stewardess at Hapag in Hamburg, but departed from her workplace without permission. She was then sentenced in arrest for four weeks. After that she was supposed to work on a ship in Gdansk, escaped and fled towards Lodz "towards the Russians". In largely undestroyed Lodz, which had been occupied by Russian troops on January 19, 1945, she worked as a nurse for the Red Cross, before she founded a children's home in Genthin (Saxony-Anhalt) after the war.

In 1945 Ester Goldschmidt married. She went with her husband to Frankfurt in October of the same year, because she wanted to find out what had happened with her family. She earned her living as a night nurse in the municipal hospital. The marriage was unhappy, so that in 1948 Ester went alone to England, where she found her brother dying. She stayed in England, divorced and married again in 1950.

Sources: Stadtarchiv Neu-Isenburg; Hessian State Archives

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Explanations and notes