Nürnberger Strasse 4

Nürnberger Strasse 4
Built for Leonhard Nicolaus Himsolt
Year of construction :


Change of Ownership passed to Johann Thomas Himsolt, potter/tiled stove builder
  In 1785 Johann Thomas Himsolt sold the upper half of the house to Johann Georg Kränzlein, a weaver. The Himsolt family kept the lower half. The house remained divided for almost one hundred years.

Lower Half:

Upper Half:

passed to his widow Maria Barbara Himsolt in 1789:  
Her second husband, Johann Gottlob Mainz, potter/stove builder by profession, inherited the half of the house on her death. 1792 Johann Georg Kränzlein exchanged his house half with Simon Neumarck for the property at Nürnberger Strasse 6 for which he paid an additional 236 fl.
  25.07.1795 Georg Aufhammer, profession shoemaker.
25.11.1859 the second wife Anna Maria, née Beyerlein, inherited the half of the house. 1809 his widow Maria Barbara inherited this half.
Her second husband, Friedrich Wilhelm Kränzlein, potter/stove builder, received the half of the house on 17.08.1859. 01.09.1811 Johann Georg Nehmeier, laborer and carter, purchased the half house, together with his wife Maria Sibylla Niedermüller, for 416 fl.
  25.01.1831 Eva Christina Föttinger acquired it for 600 fl.

Entire House

30.9.1872 Leonhard Niedermeier, publican, bought the whole house and opened an inn on 14.02.1873.
17.5.1876 Leonhard Niedermeier sold the house to Michael Birnmeier from Irsingen for 16.285 RM.
On 25.5.1910 the Jewish publican Simon Strauss purchased the house for 30.000 RM.
On 01.08.1934 Michael Hertlein, butcher and publican, bought the house together with his fiancée Babette Ramold.
1962 his son-in-law Josef Arnold took over the present butcher's shop and inn "Zur Linde" with his wife Gunhilde, née Hertlein.

Source : Gunzenhausen city property register

We were able to learn a lot about the history of this house during the Third Reich from old newspaper articles, from several copies of "Alt Gunzenhausen" and from the present day owners, the Arnold family.

The former inn"Zum Strauss" was owned by the Jewish publican Simon Strauss up until the year 1934. As the family was respected and well known, non Jewish people from Gunzenhausen also frequented the inn.

This was the case on Palm Sunday 1934. According to reports of the time, SA men and their leader Kurt Bär forced their way into the inn of the Jew Simon Strauss in order to get out the non Jewish guests who were there. They came across Jakob Rosenfelder, who even before 1933 was known to them as an opponent of the National Socialists. After they had left the inn, the idea came to them to arrest him. So some time later they returned there and as Rosenfelder had already gone, they forcibly took hold of the publican's son. In the meantime a crowd had gathered out on the street, shouting "hit him, hit him!" They beat the young man up so brutally that he lost consciousness. When his parents tried to come and help him, Kurt Bär threatened them with his revolver and hit them. Then Kurt Bär went out into the street and began to shout antisemitic rantings.

On the way he ordered the SA men to first of all arrest the members of the Strauss family and then other Jews. 25 men volunteered at once. They ransacked the public house and took the Strauss family to the town prison, accompanied by a large crowd shouting "Get the Jews out, out with the Jews".

Then they moved on to Jakob Rosenfelder's house at Bahnhofstrasse 12, he was later found hanged in a neighbour's property . They also went looking for the merchant Max Rosenau at his house in Burgstallstrasse 7.

As they didn't find him there, they forced their way into the home of his neighbour, Lehmann. His daughter offered to be arrested instead of her father who suffered from a weak heart. But they beat her up and arrested her father and her brothers. Max Rosenau was later found in a room in the Lehmann's apartment with five stab wounds in his chest.

Mrs Hellmann wrote to us about this from her home in Baltimore "Max Rosenau was killed when he opened the door to his house on Palm Sunday and a Nazi slashed him with a sword".

Other Jewish homes were attacked on that day and the families beaten. 35 Jewish citizens of Gunzenhausen were locked up, including six women. They were made to do gymnastics, all the time being beaten. The women were soon released but the men were held until the following evening "solely for their own personal safety in the face of the crowd agitation. " Only once the rioting had calmed down did reinforcements from the Gendarmerie arrive to bring about peace again.

(Nürnberger Strasse 4 - 2nd house on the right) around 1910
(Nürnberger Strasse 4 - 2nd house on the right) around 1910 from "Old Views of Gunzenhausen" W Lux


Gunzenhausen 3 April 1934
Strauss Julius bachelor Butcher born 24 01 07
Gunzenhausen Nürnbergerstrasse 4

made the following statement under interrogation in the prison of the law court Gunzenhausen

"My parents run a butcher's shop and inn at Nürnbergerstrasse 4 Gunzenhausen, where I too am employed.

On Sunday 25.3.1934 around 17.00 h, the former mayor of Gundelsheim came to the inn. At this time the Jews Martin and Ernst Hellmann, Jakob Seller and Louis Lehmeier were also in the public house. Baumgärtner was talking to Lehmeier and mentioned that he had cattle for sale. The name of Friedrich von Eichelsdorf was also mentioned in this connection. It must have been around 17.30 h when, during this conversation, Martin Hellmann pointed out that the SA men Bär and Kaiser were out on the street and were heading towards our inn. Baumgärtner was sitting at the window and Hellmann asked him to get away from the window to avoid being recognised. Kaiser came up to one of the windows of the inn and looked in. Shortly afterwards Kaiser opened the door and looked over to us. Then without saying anything he closed the door again. He then immediately opened the door again and Kurt Bär, who was with him, asked Baumgärtner if he was a Christian. Baumgärtner didn't reply, apparently he didn't understand what the men wanted. Then Bär asked him again, whether he was a Christian. Baumgärtner replied "of course".
Bär and Kaiser had gone up to the table where Baumgärtner was sitting. Bär asked Baumgärtner accusingly how as a Christian he could frequent a Jewish public house, didn't he know that the Jews were oppressing us , he talked about the situation in Austria under the leadership of Dollfluss, made reference to Christ who had been crucified by the Jews and also mentioned the Pope. Baumgärtner explained that he had only come to the inn to do some business, to which Bär replied that he didn't have to drink beer there and the Jews should drink it themselves.

Bär ordered Baumgärtner to leave the inn. When Baumgärtner paid me for his beer, Bär said to me "don't grin like that, once I start noone will escape. Don't you remember how you once beat me up or threw me out?" or something like that. As Baumgärtner wanted to finish his beer, Kaiser hit him in the face. Baumgärtner went to the toilets and when Bär saw this he ordered two other SA men who were waiting in the entrance to go after Baumgärtner to make sure he didn't leave by the back door. The SA man Markus Seeberger and the musician Rieger were standing at the inn door at that time, I don't know if they followed Baumgärtner into the toilets, I wasn't paying attention to that. While all this was happening in the inn, Bär said to my mother "Don't grin like that, you kosher Jewish sow!" Baumgärtner had left the inn and ridden off on his bike: Bär shouted a rude name after him, something like "you filthy beast". The SA men then went away, it must have been around 18.00 h.

At around 19.00 the Jew Abraham Gutmann came to our inn. When he heard that the SA men had been in our public house, he advised me to make a complaint to the appropriate authorities to make sure that such events did not happen again. He referred me to the head of the of the national committee of Jewish front line soldiers , the banker Justin Gerst in Gunzenhausen. So around 19.10 I left our house and went off to find Mr Gerst at his home. When I got back home around 19.30 or 19.45 h, I found several men from the SA and the Labor Service in front of our public house and also inside the entrance. I didn't know any of them. When I wanted to open the door to the main room someone in the corridor shouted out "stop, he's not allowed back in". Nevertheless I went into the room where my parents and Louis Lehmeier were. Right afterwards Bär came into the room with some SA men , pointed to me and said "he spat at me! Get him out!" Bär's accusation was absolutely false and I told Bär and his men that I hadn't done anything. Bär pulled out his service revolver, pointed it at my chest and said "we'll get him, I'll shoot him ". Bär had told me to go with him but at first I didn't do as he said. Then, without my saying even a word, Bär's companions grabbed hold of me and forced me out through the corridor onto the street, hitting me from all sides. I couldn't see who actually was hitting me and whether this was on purpose or because of all the commotion because my coat had been thrown over my head. Out on the street I fell down and people carried on beating me. At times I was unconscious because of the blows I received. I remember that I had cold water poured over me. And I heard someone saying that SS and SA men don't hit a man who is down. I didn't recognise the voice. It was only in prison that I regained consciousness .

The blows gave me a lot of contusions on my head, bruises to my back and down my left side. I still feel pain on the left side of my chest and on the back of my right hand. I was examined by the official doctor, Dr Medicus.

I received several blows to the head which were apparently made by by a heavy object. I am not lodging any official complaint regarding injuries during the preliminary proceedings as I don't want to have any difficulties later.

I can't say whether Bär hit me when I was forced from the inn onto the street. I didn't see him hit me but I suspect that he hit me with the butt of his pistol. However I can't confirm this. When I came back from Gerst's place there were about 20 to 25 men in front of our public house or inside. Most of them were wearing SA uniforms and only a few had their working clothes on. There was also an SS man among them, he was at the house door when I got back from Gerst's. But he let me go into the house unharmed. I was a member of the Black-Red-Gold Reichsbanner group (democratic group) until it was dissolved.

vguu signed Julius Strauss

Extract from the court files August 1934 Municipal Archives Nürnberg

After these events the Strauss family considered selling the house and leaving Gunzenhausen. First negotiations took place with the Ramold family from Herrieden, but the requested price of 50.000 RM was not accepted and the purchase did not go through.


Despite being condemned by the court, Kurt Bär remained free at large and on 15 July 1934, (it was the town fair in Gunzenhausen) he again went into the Strauss' inn, and immediately shot at the publican and his son. Simon Strauss died an hour later in the hospital, his son Julius was hospitalised, severely injured, for several weeks. This tragic event shocked the population of Gunzenhausen enormously.

The Strauss family began negotiations again with the Ramold Family and a purchase price of 32.000 RM was agreed. The sale was officially formalised by Notary Dr Scherm on 1 August 1934. They also owned some fields and parts belonging to the parish which were purchased by the naturopath Hans Reichert. Mrs Strauss, her son and daughter moved to Stuttgart on 27.7.1934. They emigrated to America shortly afterwards. Julius Strauss died there in 1956, his mother died in 1961 in New York.

After the 2nd world war their daughter Else took contact with the editor of the Gunzenhausen local newspaper, the Altmühl-Bote, Wilhelm Lux, who was able to assist her in several matters concerning finances. The last letter he received from her was in 1981. The young wife of the new owner, also co-proprietor Babette Hertlein, née Ramold, later wrote :

"the general opinion was that we would never be able to make a good existence out of the property as the purchase price had been too high. We were boycotted on several sides at the beginning, which made life difficult, because we had bought a Jewish house. And then we were also boycotted from other people because my husband didn't belong to any of the groups of the NSDAP (Nazi Party). "

In addition the house was badly damaged in the bombing of Gunzenhausen on 16 April 1945. Michael Hertlein had been called up for war service and had ended up as an American prisoner-of-war. Only when he returned in January 1946 were they able to repair the bomb damage and put the house in order again, installing cold storage and a preparation kitchen for sausage-making.

But in 1946 there was a claim for financial reparation from the American military government. Babette Arnold wrote about this "just as we were more or less finished with the renovation, came a compensation claim from the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO). We had to pay them around 90 DM rent per month for about 10 years.

And there were also questions regarding ownership so we didn't know if the property would be confiscated or whatever, we were left completely hanging in the air.

The matter was only addressed again in 1958 or 1959....."

None of the really urgently needed modernisation could be carried out in that time as any improvement would have increased the value of the house and its price. In 1959 the court in Nürnberg decided that the Hertlein family should pay an additional 100.000 DM plus 9965 DM.

The house was renovated in 1961 and when they took away some wooden panelling in the restaurant they found three bullet holes which had been made by Kurt Bär's pistol.

The present boss of the inn, Mrs Gunhilde Arnold, remembers that her father took her to the place and for the first time told her about what had happened. She had married Josef Arnold in 1962 and became owner of the inn "Zur Linde". The Arnold family , which today owns the restaurant and butcher's shop, specifically emphasised that the purchase of the property by the Hertlein family had in no way been influenced by antisemitism.