Wilhelm Lux

National Socialism in Gunzenhausen - from a local history perspective: Part 2 (1934)

Alt-Gunzenhausen, contributions to the history of the city of Gunzenhausen, issue 44/1988, p. 119 ff

Translation by Lesley Loy

Jews forbidden to socialize?

The Gunzenhausen City Council passed two resolutions at its  meeting on October 17, 1934, from which the whole brutality of the new rulers towards the Jewish part of the population could be recognized: It was a request from the owner of the wine wholesaler that had existed in Gunzenhausen for decades Dottenheimer, who asked permission to serve wine on Jewish holidays in his house. In his request to the city council, Dottenheimer stated that "he was having a very hard time fighting for his existence and, moreover, his father already had the permit to serve wine on Jewish holidays (which was also true, as the author said when he looked through old volumes of the earlier" Gunzenhauser announcement sheet "could determine); furthermore, the Jews could not go to local restaurants". The plenum rejected the request with the following words: "The city council rejects the request on its own authority because there is no need from the public's point of view." One can only argue that these dry words speak of pure malice and intention to further humiliate the Jewish population.

When Dottenheimer himself said that "Jews could not go to local inns", that is, wanted to get together socially, the question of need could not be answered in the negative. Dottenheimer’s application for permission to install a coffee house in the former offices of his company, I e in his own house, was also refused.  Although Dottenheimer had pointed out in his application that the two former Jewish restaurants Cafe Haase (Waldmann) and Gastwirtschaft Strauss had passed into Aryan hands (i.e.were no longer accessible to Jews),  the city council forwarded the application “with unanimous rejection of its necessity”  to the supervisory authority, the district office, which  was responsible for the issuing of a permit.

The Jewish Dottenheimer family was one of the most respected in the Israelite community and enjoyed considerable esteem among the non-Jewish population. The real business conduct of the wine wholesaler of the same name was known. A well-known resident of the city was also the senior of the family at the time,  Heinrich Dottenheimer, a man of private means called the "old Dottenheimer" for short, who had a large circle of friends in the city (not only in the Jewish community) and in many houses (also in that of the author) often came together for a little chat. ...

When Dottenheimer referred in his requests that it was impossible for Jews to visit restaurants in the city, this was to be understood in a broad sense and not as if the local gastronomy had suddenly become one hundred percent anti-Semitic. There were still a large number of smaller restaurants in which Jews were still served and in which their visit was by no means offended by other guests. For example at Fritz Lehnert's on Weißenburger Strasse and Karl Kirsch's on Mariusstrasse. The author can report an experience here as an example. It was in the spring of 1935 when, on a Saturday afternoon at Fritz Lehnert's, at which a round table of regular guests had gathered, the two Jewish residents Sigmund Dottenheimer and the wholesale merchant Heinrich Neumann (owner of the cheese wholesaler Frank & Co. on Ansbacher Strasse) appeared , said hello and sat down at a distant table. Both were asked by the guests present to join them, which they did after some hesitation, but also pointed out that they did not want to cause any unpleasantness for the host or the guests in view of the present conditions, you understand ...


The troubles they feared could have arisen if through such visits to the restaurant,  fanatical  guests or similar could have denounced the landlord to the district administration as a “friend of the Jews” From the outset, Jews could not visit party bars such as the "Zum Bären" inn (Fritz Ehmann) or the so-called "Sturmlokale" of the individual SA storms, such as the "Zur Post" inn, which used to be frequented by Jewish residents.

Another experience: In the Lehnert restaurant mentioned above, there was a simply dressed man who wore the gold party badge - he was a former workmate of the landlord from Nuremberg - and was talking to the guests. Somehow the conversation also turned to the Jews, and here the old party comrade declared: “Yes, we are fighting the Jews in their entirety, but not the individual, because he is sitting there, he cannot help being born a Jew. .. "