Gertrud Hengstenberg-Tichauer. © Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv Bern
Gertrud Hengstenberg-Tichauer. © Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv Bern

For the last major deportation on 24 September 1942, the employees of the Jewish hospital in Gagernstrasse were on the list of those to be deported.

Dr. Günther Schneider und the x-ray assistant Gertrud Tichauer (divorced name Hengstenberg) decided to go into hiding. Schneider, who was originally from Berlin and Tichauer, who was originally from Würzburg, had worked together in Frankfurt for almost three years. Gertrud Tichauer managed to escape illegally across the Swiss border by Moulin-Neuf on 23 November 1942 with the help of her old acquaintance Ilse Totzke, who was also from Würzburg. Dr. Günther Schneider’s escape across the Swiss border failed. He was murdered in the concentration camp Auschwitz on 15 February 1943. His mother collapsed upon learning about his capture. She was hidden in the Frankfurt neighborhood of Goldstein and survived..

See more about Gertrud Hengstenberg-Tichauer’s rescue:
http://www.fembio.org/biographie.php/frau/biographie/ilse-totzke/
Zerstörter Traum von Freiheit

 

 

Elisabeth Neumann was a nurse and member of the protestant-reformed community in Frankfurt’s Westend. She was unable to prevent the deportation of her mother Helene and her brother Richard and she also did not think of saving herself. Community members pressured her to escape. The first step in connection with her rescue was taken in Switzerland. Alfred and Anna de Quervain, a reverend and his wife, issued a guarantee on behalf. Elisabeth Neumann decided to act only after she found out that her name was on the list of those scheduled for the next deportations.

Her friend Lilli Simon took the initiative and traveled to Lörrach in the area of the Swiss border, where she met a friend who described a secure footpath across the border. She memorized the path, which a village teacher named Eugen diagrammed for her on the blackboard. Lilli returned to her friend Elisabeth Neumann, who memorized “her escape path” and the illegal crossing. She left Frankfurt on 22 May 1942, spent the night with friends in Freiburg and then went via Lörrach, Waldshut and Grießen across the Swiss border at Rafz. She was stopped at 8:45 p.m. in her nurse’s uniform. However, with the entry permit in her handbag she reached Alfred and Anna de Quervain’s parish house in Laufen three days later. In August 1945 Elisabeth Neumann returned again to Frankfurt “illegally” as there did not exist any official permit. She worked again as a nurse within the protestant-reformed community in Frankfurt..

Community-nurse Elisabeth Neumann shortly after her successful escape to the rectory of Anna de Quervain in Laufen, Switzerland. © Dorothée de Quervain
Community-nurse Elisabeth Neumann shortly after her successful escape to the rectory of Anna de Quervain in Laufen, Switzerland. © Dorothée de Quervain
Lilli Simon delivers the escape route for Elisabeth Neumann. © Collection Petra Bonavita
Lilli Simon delivers the escape route for Elisabeth Neumann. © Collection Petra Bonavita

[german version]

One thought on “Within Sight of the Swiss Border: the Escape Goal

  1. Die Schweizer Grenze als Fluchtziel vor Augen – rettungs.widerstand

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