On April 1, 1933, there was a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses. SA men were also posted in front of the shop of the Jewish butcher Hermann Gärtner that morning to prevent people from shopping there. Hermann Gärtner could not endure this humiliation, got drunk in the surrounding restaurants out of desperation and later told a neighbor that he had heard that Jews who had been mistreated by the Nazis were in the hospital in Marburg.
Three days later, Hermann Gärtner was in “protective custody” because he had allegedly spread “horror stories” about the party and could possibly be met with the “righteous anger” of party members. On June 7, 1933, he was sentenced to ten months in prison by the Cologne Special Court for violating Section 3 of the “Ordinance to Repel Insidious Attacks Against the Government of the National Uprising”. All pleas for clemency were dismissed, and he had to serve the entire prison term.
Losing all security was a traumatic experience for the family. The business collapsed, the 16-year-old son Paul and the 90-year-old father Simon Gärtner were left without someone to take care of them, the pregnant daughter Irma Tobias even thought of suicide. It was then clear to Hermann Gärtner’s children that there could be no future for them in Germany. They left their homeland.
In the spring of 1938, after a warning, Hermann Gärtner fled to the Netherlands. It was no longer possible to travel to his children in the US. In September 1942 he was deported via the Westerbork camp to Auschwitz and murdered.
Left: The butcher´s shop of Hermann Gärtner in Ruppichteroth
Right: Hermann Gärtner
Source: Rob Tobias