Ludwig Ritz confirmed the period of time Elisabeth Wehrheim spent in illegality. © Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden
Ludwig Ritz confirmed the period of time Elisabeth Wehrheim spent in illegality. © Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden
Martha Wiroth had already been denounced at the end of 1938 because she socialized with Jews and had voiced subversive comments against the government. Emil Wehrheim therefore was aware that she was an opponent of the regime when he looked for a hiding place for his wife Elisabeth on 22 March 1943. Wehrheim went to the police station two days later and reported his wife Elisabeth as missing. After being questioned numerous times the case was “closed” and Elisabeth Wehrheim was “de-registered”. Numerous people housed Elisabeth “illegally” and took care of her during the next two years. She stayed with Martha Wiroth at Rohrbachstrasse 51 the first three days. She lived with Mina Hofmann at Schwarzburgstrasse several months. Then she stayed with Ludwig Ritz, again at Rohrbachstrasse 51; two months with Martha Wiroth who herself had moved to Stockheim; then with Josefa Wallner at Rohrbachstrasse 24; and the final two months of the war again with Wiroth in Stockheim. Elisabeths’s cousin Betty Faulstroh also went into hiding at Martha Wiroth’s home in Stockheim shortly before the last big deportation on 14 February 1945. Both women survived.

In 1967 Martha Wiroth spoke extensively with the American sociologist Manfred Wolfson about the motivation for her “forbidden help”. She came from a poor family but her parents impressed upon her values such as justice, socialistic ideas and “the good heart” in people. She saw through the Nazi’s intentions against the Jews very early and talked about the fact that “their goal is to confiscate everything from the Jews and then get rid of them”, what eventually led to the first summons in 1938.

See: Kosmala, Beate/Ludwig-Kedmi, Revital: 
Verbotene Hilfe, Zürich und Donauwörth 2003; 
audio document in the Gedenkstätte Deutscher 
Widerstand Berlin; Petra Bonavita: Mit falschem 
Pass und Zyankali, Stuttgart 2009, pages 120/121.

[german version]

One thought on “Martha Wiroth and Her Helpers

  1. Martha Wiroth und ihre Helfer – rettungs.widerstand

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