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Erna Sostheim

27 June 1894, Lippstadt
21 January 1975, Israel

The Food Ration Card Department registration book, Erna Sostheim is recorded here together with her siblings. The whole three are “ticked” (the left margin), which means that in 1944 they still lived in the ghetto. (APL, PSZ, ref. 1387, cards 307 and 308)

Erna Sostheim was the third child of factory owner Samuel Sostheim and his wife, Johanna née Grüneberg. In 1919 she lost her mother and in 1920 - her father. After her parents died Erna, together with her sister, Grete (born in 1888, Lippstadt), and her brother, Walter (born in 1891, Lippstadt), assumed management of the Lippstadt brush factory, which belonged to the family. The family was attacked during the pogrom of November 1938. Walter, Erna Sostheims’s brother, was arrested and placed in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp for a month. In 1939 aryanization of the family brush factory occurred, as a result of which the siblings moved to their cousin Simon Sostheim living in Düsseldorf.

On 27 October 1941 Erna Sostheim was deported to the ghetto together with her sister and brother. During the Gehsperre in 1942 Grete, Erna Sostheim's sister, was transported to Kulmhof and murdered there. Erna Sostheim, her brother, Walter, and his wife, Ruth, lived together in the ghetto until it was dissolved. In August 1944 they were transported to Auschwitz and separated. Only Erna Sostheim managed to survive. She was released from the Theresienstadt ghetto and came back to Lippstadt.

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