Ferdinand Richheimer and Family

Ferdinand Richheimer was born on July 25th, 1875 in Gemmingen. His Jewish name was Fauber as was his grandfather's. He was not even three years of age when the family moved to Karlsruhe.
From 1893 to 1895 he was an apprentice, probably at the Ledergroßhandlung J. Weil & Cie. After his military service  from August 1895 to September 1896 he worked for this firm as „Kommis” up to 1900. 1901 he founded his own leather wholesale business.
On March 23rd, 1905 he married Frieda Richheimer in Heilbronn. She was born in Heilbronn on November 12th, 1884 as the oldest daugther of Ferdinand (Fauber) Richheimer from Gemmingen and Bertha Strauß and was a distant cousin to Ferdinand. On August 9th, 1907 the son Fritz and on April 24th, 1909 the daughter Ilse were born in Karlsruhe. The young family lived in the house of Ferdinand's parents. When the war broke out Ferdinand was drafted and served up to the end. Frieda Richheimer worked for the Großherzoglich-Badisches Red Cross as a paramedic. The children were sent to a boarding school. On Juni 24th, 1920 Frieda Richheimer died in Karlsruhe.

On December 29th, 1920 Ferdinand Richheimer married Johanna Weil in Steinsfurt, who was born there on September 27th, 1895 as second daughter (of six children) of the tradesman Gustav Weil and his wife Mathilde Menges. After their marriage the family lived in several places within Karlsruhe. On Dezember 3rd, 1928 the son Adolf was born. In October 1929 Ferdinand Richheimer's firm went bankrupt. He started several businesses but without much success. So son Fritz was the main source of income for the family.

(He had done an apprenticeship as a merchant while Ilse had become a concert pianist after she got the diploma for the Mittlere Reife.)
In 1933 the whole family went to France leaving evrything in their big 5-room-flat. They went via Strasbourg to Colmar where they lived in the Jewish community until their permit to stay was withdrawn in 1934. Then they went to Spain and lived in Barcelona. After the beginning of the Spanish Civil War they went on an adventurous flight on board a British war ship and arrived in Marseille. From there the couple and son Adolf went to Paris. while Ilse Richheimer stayed in in Marseille. (...)
It was difficult for Ferdinand Richheimer to do business in France. It is not clear what income the family had.

(...)
In July 1942 Johanna Richheimer and her son Adolf were arrested in Paris by the Gestapo and interned in the Velodrome d’Hiver. On July 21st, 1942 they were taken to the Sammellager Pithiviers (near Orleans) and from there deported to Auschwitz on August 3rd, 1942 (Transport No 14). There were 1.034 persons on this transport, among them 110 children. 482 persons were sent in to the gas immediately after the arrival, 22 men and 542 women were selected, among them Johanna Richheimer. She died on September 4th in Auschwitz of „general weakness” . So she lived just one more month there as prisoner no 27596. Her son Adolf was separated from her at the arrival and sent to the gas chambers with all the other children.
Ferdinand Richheimer was arrested on October 23rd, 1942 in Paris. (When his wife and his son were arrested in Paris he was on a trip to Tours). From there he came to Chalon sur Seine and the next day to the Drancy internment camp near Paris. On November 6th, 1942 he was transported to Auschwitz in transport No 42. This transport contained 1.000 persons, 773 were murdered by gas at once, 145 men and 82 women were selected. 4 persons survived the liberation of the Auschwitz camp in 1945.

Back to Johanna Richheimer née Weil

This text is based on the biographical notes for the Richheimer Family that were published in the „Gedenkbuch für die Karlsruher Juden”. (♦) The town archive Karlsruhe has consented that we use this text from 2006 by Wolfgang Strauß. The English version is our own)