Else Maier

Else was born on February 19, 1906 in Bad Soden. Her parents were Emil Scheuer and Therese (Grünebaum) Scheuer. She experienced death early- her father Emil committed suicide when she was six years old. Elsa had no formal education. She married Hugo Maier, a salesman from Nürnberg in 1926. Wedding witnesses were her step father Abrahm Cohn and a relative, Markus Grünebaum from Bad Soden.

Elsa and her husband moved to Nürnberg in 1927, where their son Siegbert was born. Four years later they moved back to Bad Soden. Good luck did not follow them. Elsa’s husband Hugo died in 1935. He was interred in the Jewish cemetery in Bad Soden.

Elsa’s grandfather provided for her. She was given a property and partnership share in “Julius Scheuer OHG”, but without her husband, she did not want to stay in Bad Soden, which was growing more and more anti-Sematic. She moved to the big city of Frankfurt with many other Jews in the hope of a better life. The “better life” never happened. Germans were forbidden to rent apartments to Jews and Else had to move several times. Eventually she found a place in Lersnerstraße. She lived there together with her mother Therese and step father Abraham who also fled Bad Soden.

Starting on September 1, 1941 all Jews had to wear the Jewish star in public.  Because of the boycott, the family business became insolvent. Elsa, together with her mother, her sister and her relative Rosa Grünebaum were forced to sell their properties in Bad Soden.

They were not allowed to keep the money. The entire sum of 3,285.36 Reich marks was forcibly put into a fund under a program from 1940 called “Sicherungsanordnung zur Verwertung der Vermögen in Übereinstimmung mit den Devisenvorschriften” (which translates to “security-order to utilize assets in accordance with currency regulations”). They were allowed to take out just 300 Reich marks a month for living costs. Anything after that, for instance, 48 Reich marks for her handicapped son’s therapy or 25 Reich marks for his schooling had to be applied for.

Frankfurt started deporting around 10,000 Jews starting October 19, 1941, according to member lists from Jewish communities. A large deportation was set to take place starting June 11, 1942, and rumors about it started to circulate long before in the city.  On June 14, 1942, shortly after 12 noon, Else and her son Siegbert were found unconscious in their apartment. They were brought to the Israeli hospital in Gagernstraße 36. Siegbert passed that day and Else the day after. According to the police officer on duty, the cause of death was “suicide by overdose of sleeping pills”. The officer noted that “the reason for the deed is unknown”. The bodies were taken to the institute for forensic medicine. The official death certificate noted the cause of death as “pneumonia-poisoning”. Else and her son were interred in the Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt.

Her last voluntary place of residence was in Bad Soden in Taunusstraße 10 (which is now Am Thermalbad 10).