Lage: Ritterplatz 4 – Wachbach
Marie and Jette Wertheimer lived in Wachbach on Hauptstraße, today Ritterplatz. They were sisters and neither was married. In the 1939 residents’ book of Wachbach, both are listed as pensioners.
Marie was born on 22.4.1874 as the oldest of 5 children of Samuel and Elise, née Löwenthal. In the family book “Marianne” is registered as first name, but she was called Marie. Some documents also show Maria as her first name. She is described by contemporary witnesses as a tall, slender, fine-limbed woman with black hair. Little is known about her life.
Her last known address is in Würzburg at Dürerstraße 20, where there was an old people’s home (Judenhaus) where Jews were forcibly quartered. It is not known when Marie came to Würzburg and how long she was there.
She was deported from Würzburg to Theresienstadt on 11.9.1942. In a deportation list she is noted as “frail”. Her date of death according to the card from Theresienstadt, Ghetto, is 26.9.1942. She was 68 years old.
Jette was born on 3.4.1879 as the third child of the Wertheimer family. She had gray frizzy hair and walked stooped. She was deported from Bad Mergentheim to Stuttgart on 11/28/1941 and then from Stuttgart to Riga-Jungfernhof on 12/1/1941. She was 62 years old. Her date of death is not known.
Marie and Jette lived in a house that was raised on the foundation wall with beams, so that the beams survived, on which a beam scaffold was raised. This created an overhang about 1.30 m high, under which their wood was placed and under which the neighbor children also liked to play. Contemporary witnesses report that they were “fine women” and that it was very clean in their house, they had beautiful furniture and that a neighbor often had to light the fire for Marie and Jette on Shabbat, because according to Jewish law they were not allowed to do that on that day. The neighbor’s children were also always paid a few pennies for bringing wood to the cellar. A neighbor boy remembers: “I can still remember how we children played soccer. The two women didn’t like that very much, because the ball often bounced against their house and got the wall dirty. Once the ball rolled under the house again and Jette grabbed it. After three days, however, she gave us the ball back.”
“I can also remember the Jewish star. When Marie and Jette went outside, they had a handbag with them, which they carried in such a way that the star could not be seen. If a Nazi saw it, they were reprimanded by him with the words, ‘Hand down, the star must be worn visibly.'”
“When there were allotments, it was never enough for Marie and Jette, not the wood, not the coals, not the food.” Some Wachbach women secretly sent Marie and Jette eggs, milk and vegetables. They were also supplied with coals, which led to the threat of consequences for these individuals.
After Marie and Jette’s deportation, household goods were auctioned and sold. The Wertheimer’s home was demolished in 1959. A barn now stands in its place.
Nothing is known about the whereabouts of Marie and Jette’s three siblings. They are not listed in the relevant archives.
Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart (https://www2.landesarchiv-bw.de): Wachbach, Jewish Family Book
Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart (https://www2.landesarchiv-bw.de): Surveys of individual Jewish fates in alphabetical order of place of residence: Wachbach.
Archiv Bad Mergentheim, Findbuch (www.stadtarchiv-bad-mergentheim.findbuch.net), Ortsarchiv Wachbach: Wachbacher Einwohneradressbuch 1934/36, Einwohneradressbuch 1939
Alemannia Judica, working group for research into the history of Jews in southern Germany and neighboring areas. https://www.alemannia-judaica.de/wachbach_synagoge.htm
Archiv Arolsen: https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/archive/11194812/?p=1&s=wertheimer%20maria&doc_id=11194812 (4 entries for Marie Wertheimer);
Yad Vashem: Central Database of the Names of Holocaust Victims: https://yvng.yadvashem.org/index.html?language=de&s_id=&s_lastName=wertheimer&s_firstName=maria&s_place=&s_dateOfBirth=&cluster=true; https://yvng.yadvashem.org/index.html?language=de&s_id=&s_lastName=wertheimer&s_firstName=jette&s_place=&s_dateOfBirth=&cluster=true
Memorial Book, Victims of the Persecution of Jews under National Socialist Tyranny https://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/de990572; https://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/de990519
Deutschordensmuseum Bad Mergentheim: list of names of those deported in 1941.
Interviews with contemporary witnesses from Wachbach
Date of laying: 09 May 2022
Sponsorships for both stones: Brigitte Kaupat and Axel Bähr