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This webpage gives a quick historical view at Kristallnacht in general and then as it applies to the City of Augsburg, where my father's family lived. This page includes a chapter from my book about the 24 hour step by step events of what happened to my father, one of the youngest men arrested that day. My dad just turned eighteen in 1938, when Hitler declared that all Jewish men, 18+ were to be interned.

The webpage also contains several speeches that my father, Henry Landman, gave for several events. One is translated from the original German speech. I have also included a detailed description of the Anniversary Program in 1998 that I attended with my family in Augsburg.

Finally, the webpage also contains some of the past Memorial programs from CBST or NYU which I participated, here in New York City.

KRISTALLNACHT- Brief Historical Note:

On November 9, 1938 Hitler used as an excuse the killing of a German diplomat in Paris to show the "spontaneous" planned assault on the Jewish Community. It was to show the world once and for all what he intended to do to the Jews of Germany and to see if anyone in the world would react.
Thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed and approximately 20,000 Jewish men were rounded up and sent to concentration camps on that day merely for the crime of being Jewish. Augsburg sent about 200 men to Dachau on November 10, 1938. This section is being created to tell the story of what happened. There are about a half a dozen of these men who are still alive, and I hope to get their stories posted.

Inclusive Kristallnacht
Click Here to see the Annual Program at NYU-CBST Synagogue


List of Names 24 Hour Description 1988 Speech 1998 Speech in English 1998 Speech in German 1998 Program Commemorations


There were hundreds of Jews arrested from Augsburg on Kristallnacht and sent to Dachau. Here is a partial unofficial list of names of people who were arrested that night. Please email me with the names of any more people or of any corrections.:
  • Hans Cassel
  • Ernst Cramer
  • Dr. Julius Nordlinger
  • Henry Landman
  • Joseph Landman
  • Arthur Luchs
  • Max Luchs
  • Ludwig Lustig
  • Siegfried Mandle
  • Julius Meyer
  • Heinrich Neuburger
  • Salo Neuburger
  • Ernst Oppenheimer
  • Rabbi Dr. Ernst Sacob
  • Alfred Stein
  • Walter Sturm
  • Erich Teutsch
  • Kurt Waitzfelder
  • Mr. Westheimer
  • Adolph Zinner
  • Leopold Zinner
  • Herr Wormser

November 10, 1938

The following copyright material is from the manuscript written by Rick Landman.
It relates the 24 hour period from the time his father goes to sleep in his bed in Augsburg until he goes to bed the next day in Dachau.

It was November 9, 1938 and my 18 year old father and his family went to sleep in their apartment in Augsburg as usual after hearing on the radio that a 17 year old Jewish boy shot a German official in Paris. Two Gestapo agents in green Bavarian garb rang the doorbell at his family’s apartment at 5 a.m. in the morning. His aunt (who was to die a few years later in the camps) answered the door. All they said was, “Does Heinz Landmann live here?”

She pointed to his bedroom and stood silently in the hallway. They entered the room and woke him up, telling him to get dressed and go with them. His parents now joined his aunt silently in the doorway as he passed by in his Lederhosen (Bavarian leather short pants). My father whispered, “Auf Wiedersehen” as he passed them by and his sisters never even got up from their sleep.

Joseph, my father’s father was not on the list to be picked up by the Gestapo, since they had other plans for him. As my father went to the local police station he passed the Synagogue while it was still smoldering. He saw all of the lines of fire hoses on the ground. The fire engines were watering down the surrounding buildings and were letting the Synagogue burn in a rather controlled and strange fashion.

He was the first person brought to the police station and had no idea of why he was arrested. At first he thought it might be for kissing an Aryan girl or some violation like that. But when he saw more Jewish men being brought into the cell, he knew something else was up. He had just turned eighteen years of age that summer, so he was the youngest and probably the shortest man arrested.

At daybreak my grandfather went out to find Mr. Leopold Rieser, a well-known Jewish attorney, to see if he could get my father out of jail. But on the way, another Gestapo agent saw Joseph on the street and asked if he was Jewish. Saying yes, Joseph was arrested on the spot and by dusk my father and grandfather were sitting on a bench next to each other waiting in silence. Mr. Rieser, the lawyer was also arrested but separated from the rest of the Jews for special treatment.

Finally all the Jewish men in the local police station were taken by a paddy wagen (Gruene Minna) to one Central prison before the “accordion-style” buses showed up to bring everyone to their secret destination. My father and grandfather sat next to each other in the bus. In the seat behind my father was Erich Teutsch, the son of Justizrat Doktor Artur Teutsch. They lived in the same apartment house; just one floor below the Landmanns. Artur Teutsch was an important lawyer who was a decorated hero and wounded in the First World War fighting for the Kaiser, so he wasn’t arrested on Kristallnacht. Erich had to go to Dachau alone. Sad to say, that he and his wife would not get a Visa and would later be sent to the Judenhaus and then to their death in another concentration camps. Erich Teutsch would survive and become the father of David Teutsch who was a president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for years and his wife Betsy would illustrate one of the prayer books that CBST uses. As a further coincidence, Betsy would be the calligrapher who prepared the wedding invitations for the first lesbian who joined my group of children of Holocaust Survivors. Since I was also invited, she had to calligraphy an invitation for me. It is a small world.

The buses’ windows were covered, and while no one said the word, even my 18 year old father was anxious that Dachau was their secret destination. Augsburg is near Munich, and Dachau is one of Munich’s suburbs. The bus got stuck and lost several times during the ride; it was hard for such a long bus to maneuver on narrow roads. Henry peaked out the window and guessed that they were headed towards the place with the gate “Arbeit Macht Frei”. He was terrified.

When they arrived they had to leave the bus rapidly without speaking, and run inside to line up on a long row of people. Those who didn’t act quickly enough were hit or beaten. While lined up, Nazi officers would go up and down the line yelling at everyone, and asking them questions with no definitive answer. Henry wanted to say whatever he thought the Nazi wanted to hear, but he didn’t know what the right answer was. He heard what was asked of others earlier on the line and what they answered.

When the Nazi asked another man a question, the Jew answered and was beaten for not completing his answer with the Nazi equivalent of “Sir”. Henry knew all of the appropriate titles and would immediately answer with “Yes Herr Sturmbannfuehrer…” to prevent him being beaten.

But when the Nazi stood in front of him he shouted, “Did you say good bye to your mother before you left home this morning?”

If Henry answered “Yes”; then the Nazi would respond, “Good, because now you are going to be shot”.

If he said, “No”, then the Nazi would say, “Too bad, because you’re never going to see her again”. Either way he made it clear that he was not going home alive.

Henry hesitated for a second while trying to think of the proper answer which annoyed the man. The Nazi merely grabbed him by the collar and pulled him out of the line and yelled, “Up against the wall!”

Henry didn’t look back at his father but merely walked up to the wall expecting his imminent death. He waited and waited for shots to ring out but nothing happened. Waiting so long to be shot was rude and insulted his ingrained feeling of Deutsche Puentlichkeit (German punctuality).

He asked himself, “What is the worst that they could do to me if he walked away, shoot me?” So he slowly walked backwards taking little steps each time towards the line of men standing a few yards away.

A tall Jewish man gave him cover as he melded back into the line. Being so small does have the advantage of letting one melt into a crowd. This time a different Nazi walked by and just passed without interrogating him. This was the man who we bumped into decades later in Manhattan. To this day, when things go badly, my father will joke, “It’s not so bad when compared to being put up against the wall to be shot”. I think that I must have inherited his Dachau sense of humor.

But the next morning my father would hear an event that would stay in his mind for the rest of his life. Henry was standing in audible range of the entry area in Dachau when a vehicle pulled up. He could hear the Nazis yelling at a man and then the man being dragged and beaten. He then recognized that it was Mr. Leopold Rieser, the well known attorney who his father wanted to retain earlier the previous day. He was beaten to his death right there in the entry way to Dachau and never even joined the rest of the Augsburg Jews in the camp.

My grandfather was released so that he could officially and legally turn over the Sportsplatz to the Nazis. This gave him the chance to try to get a visa out of the country. My father stayed in Dachau for 6 more weeks. The same stories that I heard were just verfied when my father would give them a first hand accounting. His Capo was a derrainged person who was in the camp for years before the Jews came. They said that he suffered from Stubenkoller (a sort of cabin fever) where he just wanted to please his Nazi supervisor and was sort of in a zombie-like gray state of being. But both my father and grandfather survived their stay in the camp and now had no doubts about their number desire to leave Germany.

Kristallnacht was Hitler’s way of testing whether the world would really lift a finger to save Jews. He got his answer and knew that he could go forward with not only attacking Poland, but with starting the Final Solution of the Jews. Now all German Jews tried to get out of Germany, but few countries would give them visas to enter.

Rick Landman

Copyright 2007

November 10, 1938
Speech Written by Henry Landman on the 50th Anniversary in Augsburg 1988


It is now 50 years since the infamous "Reichskristallnacht". All this time I purposely suppressed my thoughts of this occurrence. I rarely talked about it in detail (even to my own family), since it would only open painful memories and give me sleepless nights. What am I writing this story now? I would like to convey to the young German, how it feels to live in a country where the laws have been silenced, where freedom, rights and human dignity have been taken away, and where, in the name of patriotism, everything is permissible. I appeal to you, to make certain, that no human being is ever treated the way I and millions of others were. Thousands of books have been written on how Nazism came to power and about the atrocities committed during that period of time. I will therefore, strictly concern myself with what happened to me in the 24 hours of November 9th to November 10th, 1938.

I was born in Augsburg in the year 1920, went for four years to the "Stadtpleger Anger Schule" and from there to Realgymnasium. I was never a top student and like Professor Haugg said many times, "Madle, Fussball and Kino - that is all Landman has on his mind". I was an average young boy with many friends, Jewish and Gentile alike, but all this was changed by the coming to power of Hitler and his cohorts. By the year 1938 all my Christian friends were not speaking to me any more and we Jews had to live among ourselves. From week to week, life became more and more difficult and antisemitic acts became more frequent and more violent. So, when in November 1938 a young Jewish man (who's parents were deported by the Nazis) shot the German Legationssekretar in Paris, we German Jews expected "reprisals", but we could not foresee what was in store for us.

NOVEMBER 10, 1938

It is 5 o'clock in the morning. I awake to the sound of the doorbell, an ominous and feared noise at this time of the day. I sit up in bed and listen to voices out in the hallway. My door opens. Two strange men in Lodencoats and green hunting hats are entering my small bedroom. Behind them I can see my aunt Minna in her nightgown, with a face as white as the wall. The two strangers ask me for my name and order me to get dressed. I obey and put on my shirt, Lederhosen and a sweater. While I am dressing, one of the two opens my closet drawers and searches the room. I am ready to go. By now my parents have emerged from their bedroom and with tears in their eyes, are saying good-bye to me.

All this took less than 15 minutes. Nobody spoke - except for the saying of good-bye. There was no reason given for my arrest, no warrant was produced and no information given as to my future whereabouts. I leave my home walking between the two Gestapo agents. We cross the street in front of the Hotel Kaiserhof and I can see smoke coming out of the Synagogue in the Halderstrasse. There are people milling around in front of the building. My two escorts speed up the pace and tell me to look straight ahead. We are going along Schatzlerstrasse and turning left at the Cafe Eickmann towards Prinzregentenplatz. I know where we re heading. We enter the Police Building and I am handed over to the officer on night duty. He searches me like a common criminal and tells me to sit down. After a few minutes the door opens and two other agents enter with my friend Erich Teutsch between them. The same procedure follows several more time. After about one hour, all of us are taken outside and told to get inside the waiting "Grune Minna" (that was the popular name for a prison van). We are now driven to the Katzenstadel prison. As a kid, I often wondered, what it would be like to sit behind these bars and look out at the "free" people on the street. Well, I found out - it is a terrible feeling. I realize now for the first time, that I am a prisoner. On our short trip through the town I see the broken windows of several Jewish stores. Upon arrival at the prison we are put into small cells. I am sharing the old dingy room with two other men. There are friends of my father and we are encouraging each other, trying to make light of the situation. There is only one bucket in the cell and we try not to use it. We all agree, that this will turn out to be just a big hoax - they just want to scare us and will release us soon.

So we sit and wait while the hours go by and it is getting dark. Suddenly we hear noises outside in the hall and our spirits lift. The little window in the door opens and a guard shoves three bowls of some kind of cereal through it. I realize that I didn't have anything to eat since the night before and I am very hungry. But just looking at that "grit", my stomach starts turning and I refuse to touch my portion. After another dreadful hour the door opens and we are told to take our belongings and to follow the guard. I am sure, that this will be the end of our nightmare. We walk down a staircase and I don't want to believe my eyes - there on the ground floor are lined up nearly all the Jewish men of Augsburg... among them I see my father. We are standing silently for some time until we are given the command to move towards the exit door. Outside stands the only oversized bus in Augsburg, that regularly carries passengers to Gersthofen. One by one we file into the vehicle and sit down. I manage to get a seat next to my father. We whisper encouragement to each other and I find out, that my father was arrested on the street, while trying to get a lawyer for me. As soon as the last man is on board, two Gestapo men enter and sit down behind the driver. They order us not to smoke and to stop talking. The lights are extinguished and the bus starts moving. Subconsciously we all know the destination of this trip, but we don't want to believe it. I compare it to a person, who knows he has a growth inside his body, but is afraid to even mention the word "Cancer". For us the unmentionable word is "Dachau". Silently we pass through the dark landscape. Suddenly there is a commotion up front. The bus stops and the Gestapo men are conferring with the driver. He is trying to turn this enormous vehicle around. It takes nearly half an hour before he finds a spot that is wide enough. Everybody's spirits soar. Maybe the "Ausland" got wind of what is going on here and put a stop to it. We all still have great faith in America and the rest of the world. They must do something! They can't just idly stand by and let outrageous injustices like this go on forever. However our assumptions were just wishful thinking - nobody cared and we realized, that the driver merely got lost and was now on the right road towards our final destination. We didn't have to wait much longer to see the end of our involuntary bus ride. The road widened ahead of us and bright lights lit up the horizon. The bus slowed down and came to a stop among several other buses. Looking out the window, I saw a big white wall, barbed wire on top, towers with might searchlights going up and down and their occupants pointing machine guns at us. A large gate - like an entrance door, with an inscription "ARBEIT MACHT FREI" lay ahead of us.

Hundreds of SS men are screaming, hitting and kicking people indiscriminately. The door of our bus opens and the voice of the receiving Storm Trooper thunders through the vehicle. "SAUJUDEN RAUS! ON THE DOUBLE!" The first man in the door is pulled out, hit in the face and told to run towards the designated area to start forming a line for the rest of us to fall in. Each one of us has to run through the gauntlet of shouting and cursing guards, hitting and kicking the dazed and bewildered victims. When I finally reach the end of the column, I stand at attention and listen to the "Empfangsrede". We are given the 10 Commandments of Dachau. The first one reads, "Suicide is permitted - attempted suicide will be severely punished." It gives us a good idea of what's in store for us.

After standing at attention for another two hours, listening to the additional indoctrination we are marched to our quarters - Block 10 Stube 3. The Food Detail brings two kettles filled with raw herring and potatoes and we devour the grub with our bare hands. Soon after I have to vomit and eventually fall asleep for sheer exhaustion. And so ends the 10th day of November 1938.


Hundreds of books have been written about the most barbaric, inhumane and sadistic treatment ever given to human beings in the history of mankind in these camps, so mine would only be repetitive. However, I would like to add, that I think this day will be remembered as the day when Hitler and his cohorts received the green light from the rest of the world to go ahead with his terror tactics against Jews and other minorities (homosexuals, gypsies, retarded people and communists). It cost the lives of millions to rectify this mistake and to put an end to this lunacy. Beware, it can happen again!

November 10, 1938

Speech by Henry Landman, delivered in Augsburg on November 9, 1998 as part of their 60th Anniversary Kristallnacht Ceremony

When I received Mr. Römer’s the invitation to take part in this memorial to the 60th Anniversary of "Kristallnacht" – my first thoughts were "No way!"

First of all I am not a speaker, especially in German, and secondly I asked myself, "What can I tell these people that they haven’t heard from other survivors?" But after thinking it over, I realized that this occasion would mean a lot to me and I decided to come and tell you some stories you probably don’t know.

On the night of November 9th to 10th, I awoke at 5:00 o’clock in the morning from the sound of our doorbell. Shortly thereafter the door to my bedroom opened and two strange men dressed in rain coats entered. They produced a slip of paper and asked me if I was "Heinz Landmann". I answered, "Yes".

"Get dressed and come with us!" that was all I was told. We left our apartment house on Hermannstrasse and as we crossed Halderstrasse (the street where our synagogue was located) I smelled smoke and saw fire engines and hoses in front of the synagogue. I knew immediately what was happening --- the synagogue was burning!

When I was transported from the Police Station to the "Katzenstadel" prison I saw from the prison van several Jewish stores with their windows smashed and broken glass all over the sidewalk. (That’s why they started to call this night, "Kristallnacht" – crystal night.)

I spent the rest of the day with three other Augsburger Jews (Erich Teutsch, Alfred Stein and Simon Kupfer) in a small cell. Around 4:00 p.m. we were taken out of the cell by a guard, and led to the ground floor. There I saw nearly all of Augsburg’s Jewish men standing in a double line ready to be transported to a new location. Among them I spotted my father. After a two hour long busride we arrived at our next destination. It was the notorious concentration camp "Dachau". Our reception there can only be described by the word "inhuman".

This day of horror came to an end with I finally fell asleep, totally exhausted on the floor of Block 10 Stube 3, between my father and Rabbi Dr. Jacob. If at this moment an angel would have appeared and would have told me, "Heinz, sixty years from now, you will be the guest speaker in the newly renovated synagogue at a memorial service to commemorate this day", I would have told him, "My dear angel, you must have drank a little too much ‘Holy Water’ – I’d rather believe that a man will take a stroll on the moon." Today we know that what seemed impossible at that time is real today.

To point out the great difference between then and now, I would like to describe a small story not known to most of you about this synagogue, showing the results of Kristallnacht and the first post war service in this burned out house of worship.

When I entered Augsburg on the 28th day of April 1945, with the first American troops and saw the burned out synagogue in the nearly totally destroyed city for the first time again, I realized that there was a certain connection between the two. The destroyed "House of God" was the beginning of the madness, namely making Augsburg "Judenrein" (free from Jews) and the ruined city was the end result of the folly. I was glad that my outfit spent only a few hours in Augsburg because we were on the move towards Munich and Salzburg. There we celebrated the end of WWII and were stationed in Salzburg, when I read in an Army paper that there would be the first Sabbath service in the cleaned out synagogue of Augsburg for the American troops the following Friday. I had to be there no matter what!

However the American Army didn’t just furnish every Private with a car and chauffeur to travel 300 miles for a Sabbath service. I had to use a few white lies in order to obtain a 3-day pass, but I succeeded and Friday morning I found myself on the autobahn traveling to Augsburg.

When I arrived towards evening in front of the synagogue, I saw a group of American soldiers waiting for the doors to open, but I also noticed a small group of about 10 German men and a woman. I recognized most of them… they were mostly "Half-Jews" (people with Jewish and Christian parents). That was how they survived the Holocaust. Among them was also a Jewish man (a friend of my father’s) who was hidden by a Christian woman for four years as she saved his life. I want to mention this, to show that there were a few Germans who risked their lives in order to help save their Jewish friends.

You can imagine what kind of reception I received from my former friends. When the doors opened I entered the synagogue with them for the first time since 1938. What we saw was a shock to us all. The dark inside was lit up by a few bulbs hanging from some wires, the smell of smoke and mildew filled the air and where ever the eye glanced there was damage from the fire, water, soot, and dirt. Birds flew through the broken windows to their nests in the dome. It was a devastating sight, but in spite of it we had a Sabbath service once again in this synagogue.

An American Chaplain read the English parts and one of the Jewish soldiers sang the Hebrew melodies to conduct the service. Obviously, the Chaplain heard of my background and wanted to do something special, so he gave me the honor of opening the ark during the "Aleinu", the final prayer. On a signal from him I began to walk up the steps leading to the altar. Like in a dream, I remembered when I sat as a little boy in the children’s lodge and admired Komerzienrat Dann (President Dann) climbing up these same steps, dressed in a tuxedo and top hat and stopping before the Holy Ark. With one hand he opened the door covered with velvet and gold braiding and there in bright lights were ten Torah scrolls with gold and silver crowns and ornaments. It always was a breathtaking sight, which I never will forget. So, when in 1945 I reached the last step, I suddenly awoke to the sober reality. I stood in front of a dirty, rusty wooden door, that I could only open a few inches and there in the dark stood a tiny paper Torah, that was borrowed from the American Chaplain. With tears in my eyes, I turned around and stood next to the slightly opened ark. While I listened to the Cantor recite the "Aleinu" I looked down to the audience. For the first time I realized the enormous consequences of the Kristallnacht. I looked over a burned out chapel, totally destroyed, a handful of members, left from the over 1,000 person congregation, in a city which was 80% destroyed, in a land that just lost the worst war in history. There were shortages of all the necessities, in short, it was probably the lowest point in the history of this synagogue.

So, when I stand here today on the same spot, overlooking the beautiful newly renovated interior of this House of God, that once again has a membership of over 1,000 people, in a rebuilt city, in a democratic and successful land, with a new generation of people who had the courage and character to memorialize this "Schandtag" (Day of Shame) in German history, then I can only call it a miracle. And that is why this day is so meaningful for me and for all of us.

To bad, that we can’t change the past, but we can learn a lesson from it; namely to treat all our fellow humans, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, with dignity and respect. Than I hope, that our children and grandchildren will know the "Kristallnacht" only from a time in history where power and might ruled Germany and millions of innocent people were murdered.

Finally, I would like to mention that I and several other survivors of those terrible years would like to see a memorial with all the names of those Augsburger Jews killed during the Holocaust. Many towns, even small ones, have such remembrance plaques for their former Jewish neighbors. Some of us wanted to finance such a project, but we decided that this should not be the job of the survivors, but that of the City of Augsburg. We would all appreciate it greatly if our dream could come true.

November 10, 1938

Speech by Henry Landman, delivered in Augsburg on November 9, 1998 as part of their 60th Anniversary Kristallnacht Ceremony in German - Auf Deutsch.

Als ich von Herrn Römer die Einladung erhielt an dieser Gedenkfeier zum 60. Jahrestag der "Kristallnacht" teilzunehmen - Da war meine erste Entscheidung - Nein, Auf keinen Fall.

Erstens, ich bin kein Redner, besonders in der deutschen Sprache und zweitens, ich fragte mich, was kann ich den Leuten erzählen, das sie nicht schon hundert Mal in Wort und Bild von anderen Holocaust Überlebenden gelesen und gehört haben?

Jedoch nach reiflicher Überlegung kam mir zum Bewustsein, dass dieser Tag etwas ganz besonderes für mich bedeuten würde und ich entschloss mich hierher - zu kommen und Ihnen ein paar bisher unbekannte Erlebnisse, zu erzählen.

In der Nacht vom 9-10 November 1938 erwachte ich um 5 Uhr morgens vom Geräusch der Türklingel. Die Tür zu meinem Schlafzimmer öffnete sich und zwei wildfremde Männer in Lodenmäntel standen mir gegenüber. "Bist du Heinz Landmann?" fragte einer der zwei, als er meinen Namen von einem Zettel las. Ich antwortete, "Ja". "Zieh dich an und komm mit uns!" Das war alles was gesprochen wurde. Als wir unsere Wohnung in der Herrmann-Strasse #3 verliessen und die Halderstrasse überquerten sah ich Schleuche und Feuerwehr vor der Synagoge. Der Geruch von Rauch füllte die kalte Morgen Luft. Ich wusste was vorging - Die Synagoge brannte!

Auf dem Weg vom Polizeipräsidium zum Gefängnis Katzenstadel sah ich vom Polizeiwagen verschiedene jüdische Geschäfte mit eingeschlagenen Fenstern. (Daher der Name "Kristallnacht".) Ich verbrachte den Rest des Tages mit 3 anderen Augsburger Juden (Erich Teutsch, Alfred Stein und Simon Kupfer) in einer kleinen Zelle. Gegen 4 Uhr Nachmittags wurden wir heraus geholt und ein Wächter führte uns zum Erdgeschoss. Dort waren fast alle Augsburger jüdischen Männer versammelt (einschliesslich meines Vaters) und zum Abtransport bereit. Nach einer 2 stündigen Busfahrt erreichten wir unseren Bestimmungsort. Es war das gefürchtete KZ Dachau. Unseren Empfgang dort kann ich nur mit einem Wort beschreiben - "Unmenchlisch".

Dieser Schreckenstag endete als ich endlich total erschöpft auf dem Boden in Stube 3 Block 10, zwischen Rabiner Dr. Jacob und meinem Vater einschlief. Wäre mir in diesem Augenblick ein Engel erschienen und hätte mir gesagt: "Heinz, in 60 Jahren wirst du in der neu erbauten Synagoge an einer Gedenkfeier für diesen Tag teilnehmen", dann hätte ich ihm erwiedert: "Mein lieber Engel - Du hast wohl etwas zu viel heiliges Wasser hinter die Binde gegossen - da glaub ich noch eher, dass ein Mann auf dem Mond spazieren gehn wird. Heute wissen wir, dass, was damals unglaublich und unmöglich erschien, ist Wirklichkeit geworden.

Wie gross der unterschied von damals und heute ist, möchte ich mit einer Geschichte schildern, die nur sehr wenigen von Ihnen bekannt ist, nämlich, der erste Gottesdienst in dieser ausgebrannten Synagoge und die Folgen der Kristallnacht.

Als ich am 28. April 1945 mit den ersten amerikanischen Truppen in Augsburg einfuhr und die ausgebrannte Synagoge in der fast völlig zertrümmerten Stadt zum ersten Mal wiedersah, da wurde mir ein Zusammenhang bewusst. Das in der Kristallnacht zerstörte Gotteshaus war der Anfang eines Wahnsinnes, nämlich Augsburg "Judenrein" zu machen und die zerstreute Stadt war das Endresultat dieser Idee. Ich war froh, dass wir nur ein paar Stunden in Augsburg verblieben und nach München weiterfuhren. Das Ende des Krieges feierten wir in Salzburg und wenige Tage später las ich in einer Armee Zeitung, das am nächsten Freitag der erste Sabbat Gottesdienst in der ausgeräumten Synagoge von Augsburg stattfinden würde. Da musste ich dabei sein!

Jedoch leider stellte die Amerikanische Armee nicht jedem Gefreiten einen Wagen mit Chauffeur zur Verfügung um circa 300 KM zum Sabbat Gottesdienst zu fahren. Es bedurfte ein paar Notlügen und all meine Beziehungen um einen 3 tägigen Urlaubsschein zu erhalten. Gesagt-getan! Am Freitag morgen befand ich mich auf der Autobahn- Richtung Augsburg.

Als ich gegen Abend in der Halderstrasse ankam, da sah ich ein paar Gruppen von amerikanischen Soldaten vor dem Tore stehen und auch eine kleine Gruppe deutscher Civilisten. Ich erkannte sofort die meisten. Es waren ungefähr 10 Leute, die einen jüdischen und einen christlichen Vater oder Mutter hatten- sogenannte Halb Juden und deshalb verschont blieben. Unter Ihnen fand ich auch einen jüdischen Mann, der von einer deutschen Christin für 3 Jahre versteckt wurde und die ihm somit das Leben rettete. Ich will das erwähnen um zu zeigen, dass es auch einige wenige Deutsche gab, die etwas für Ihre jüdischen Mitbürger taten und Ihnen in ihrer Not Hilfe leisteten. Sie können sich vorstellen was für einen Empfang ich damals von meinen ehemaligen Freunden erhielt. Als das Tor geöffnet wurde betrat ich zum erstenmal seit 1938 dieses Gotteshaus.

Die Amerikanische Armee hatte einige Reihen von Klappstühlen in der leeren dunklen Halle aufgestellt. Zur Beleuchtung dienten 3 oder 4 Drähte mit Glühbirnen. Es war ein unbeschreiblich trauriger Anblick. Wohin das Augeblickte - war Russ, Schmutz und von Wasser and Feuer beschädigtes Innerhalb. Der Geruch von Rauch und Mehltau füllte die Luft und Vögel flogen durch die eingeschlagenen Fenster zu ihren Nesten in der Kuppe.

Trotz all der Vernichtung - wir hatten wieder einen Gottesdienst in dieser Synagoge. Ein amerikanischer Chaplain las den englischen Teil der Gebete und einer der jüdischen Soldaten sang die hebräischen Melodien. Der Chaplain erfuhr natürlich von meiner Vergangenheit und wollte etwas besonderes für mich tun- so gab er mir die "Ehre" beim Schlussgebet die heilige Lade zu öffnen. Auf ein Zeichen von ihm, begann ich langsam die Altartreppen hinaufzusteigen. Wie in einem Traum erinnerte ich mich, wie ich als kleiner Junge in der Loge sass und Herrn Komerzienrat Dann bewunderte, als er im Frack und Zilinderhut diese Stufen heraufstieg, vor der mit einem goldbestickten Samtvorhang bekleidenten Lade halt machte und dann das Tor mit einer Hand zurückschub. In strahlender Beleuchtung standen dort ungefähr 10 Tora rollen mit silbernen und goldenen Kronen und Brustplatten beschmückt. Es war immer ein atemberauschender Anblick den ich nie vergessen werde. So, als ich 1945 die letzte Stufe erreichte, erwachte ich plötzlich zu der ernüchtender Wirklichkeit. Ich stand vor einer schmutzigen, eingerosteten Holztüre, die ich nur mit aller Gewalt ein Paar Centimeter zurückschieben konnte.

Innerhalb im Dunkeln stand eine kleine papier Tora, die von der Armee zur Verfügung gestellt wurde. Mit Tränen in den Augen - trat ich zur Seite und der Vorbeter begann das Schlussgebet. Als ich von der Kanzel herunterblickte, da sah ich zum ersten Male die unheimlichen Folgen der Kristallnacht. Ein ausgebranntes Gotteshaus mit der völlig zerstörten Innenseite- eine 1000 köpfige Gemeinde, die zu einer Handvoll übrig gebliebenen Mitgliedern zusammengeschrumpft war - in einer fast 100% zertrümmerten Stadt - in einem Land das gerade den schlimmsten Krieg verloren hatte und in dem Mangel an allen Nötigkeiten bestand, mit anderen Worten - es war wahrscheinlich der tiefste Punkt in der Geschichte dieser Synagoge.

So, wenn ich heute hier an demselben Platz stehe und überblicke die neuerbaute herrliche Innenseite dieses Gotteshauses, das heute wieder eine über 1000 köpfige Gemeinde sein eigen zählen kann- in einer schönen, neuen Stadt - in einem demokratischen, blühendem Land mit einer neuen Generation von Menschen, die den Mut and Charakter aufbrachten diesen Schandtag in der deutschen Geschichte, als einen Erinnerungstag zu feiern - dann kann ich das nur als ein Wunder bezeichnen. Darum ist dieser Tag für mich und für uns alle von so grosser Bedeutung geworden.

Leider können wir die Vergangenheit nicht ändern, aber wir können von Ihr lernen. Wenn wir aus dieser Zeit die Lehre ziehen- all unsere Mitmenschen, gleich welcher Rasse, Religion oder Lebensweise sie angehören - mit Respekt und Würde zu behandeln, dann hoffe ich, dass unsere Kinder und Kindeskinder das Wort "Kristallnacht" nur von jener Zeit kennen, als "Macht und Tracht" in Deutschland regierten und das Leben von Millionen unschuldiger Menschen kostete.

Zum Schluss möchte ich noch erwähnen, dass nicht nur ich, sondern auch andere Überlebende jener schrecklichen Jahre, wir wünschen uns schon lange eine Gedenktafel mit den Namen aller ermordeten Augsburger und Augsburgerinen. In vielen Städten gibt es solche Gedenktafeln, sogar sehr kleine Gemeinden erinnern so an ihre ehemaligen jüdischen Bürger. Einige von uns Überlebenden haben schon darüber gesprochen, selbst eine solche Namenstafel in Augsburg zu finanzieren. Es gibt sogar schon einen Entwurf. Aber eine solche Gedenktafel aufzustellen, das darf eigentlich nicht die Sache der Überlebenden sein. Es wäre uns ein Genugtuung, wenn sich das die Stadt Augsburg zur Aufgabe machen würde.

NOVEMBER 9-10, 1998

This page is being written by Rick Landman, the son of Henry Landman. My family returned to Augsburg for the week of November 5-12, 1998 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Kristallnacht (Pogromnacht)and this is an essay and set of pictures to describe the week.


This letter is a mass letter being sent to many different groups to inform them about the Commemoration of Augsburg's 60th Anniversary of Kristallnacht. For those of you in the Second Generation Group of Augsburgers, would you please copy the letter and website material and send them to your parents.

I didn't want to get my father any more nervous than he had to be, so I kept this a secret until now. He was invited to attend Augsburg's 60th Anniversary Program for Kristallnacht (now called Pogromnacht). On November 9, 1998, after over a 1,000 Augsburgers marched through the streets in a silent vigil, past the "Judenhäuser" (houses owned by Jews in which several extra families were crammed into them after 1938), and into the Synagogue, my father gave a speech about Kristallnacht.

You can find the speech (in English and German) by going back to the Kristallnacht page. I will also get the speech and list of names of Jewish Victims who lived in the Judenhäuser and post them too. You can also view pictures and a summary of this letter on the site. Finally, we also have a page for family albums. To date, I am the only one who put one together, but I am sure this will eventually grow. Please look at my page and try to see if your kids can help you make one to tell your family's history.

In short, I learned that Augsburg has had a more accepting history than most of Europe. In addition to the Fuggerhouse, which provided low income housing to the poor, the bishops and magistrates of Augsburg for the past few hundred years, were more accepting of Jews than most parts of Europe. I guess one has to remember that there was no national Germany into the late 1880's, just many smaller districts.

But just as Moses had to wait 40 years until the entire slave generation was dead, I guess Germany has to wait 60 years until it can really face its history with a sense of research, exploration and acceptance of the truth. (Maybe that's because we live longer). But I predict that in the next decade the young people will continue to ask questions about the Nazi Era, and unlike when their grandparents were alive, they will now be told the answers to these questions.

I even went to the Stadtarchiv (Frau Haf of the City Archives) and reminded them that in the future if they want information about the former Jews of Augsburg, that they should contact us, since many of our parents still have photos and documents from that era.

The most important part of our trip and my father's speech was the request to have a monument erected for the Jewish Victims of the Holocaust. You will see the text at the end of his speech. After the speech and to a standing ovation, the head of Jewish Community said that he would invite my father back for the dedication of such a memorial. But now comes the issue of what the memorial should be, where should it be located, and which names should be included. Please pass this information on to your parents to get their input.

My suggestion will be that they should immediately make a poster sized listing of the names with a statement like, "These were the members of the Jewish Community of Augsburg who perished during the Nazi Era". Then list the 400 or so names that we have on our website. They should then mount this poster on the wall in front of the Synagogue and send on to each family of survivors. They could also mount it to the location of the memorial if it is in the center of town. If any names are missing or inaccurate, then they should pop up during this period. Then the real memorial should be made. I am sure that a poster can be made within one month if they wanted to do it. The planning and the erecting of the memorial will probably take over a year. What do you think?

I will now describe my week in detail…


We arrive on Friday with my dad going to the emergency room in the Augsburg Hospital since we couldn't get his nose to stop bleeding. On Saturday my mother stayed with my dad who rested and I went to the synagogue for Shabbat services. My German was kind of simple and I speak no Russian. I was greeted by a Russian Jew who was a former cab driver in New York and befriended me. He told me that he would give me his tallis in case I got an aliyah since they had no extra tallasim for visitors. I sat in the back and noticed that all the women were on the other side of a wall in the little Chapel and that I was the youngest man on our side. There were about 20 older men participating in the service in the Chapel. Then a man who was giving out the honors (aliyahs) saw me and came down from the bimah (altar) and asked me, "Bist du Yid?"

I thought that was a strange question to ask someone in a Synagogue, and answered "Naturlich". He then inquired if I was circumcised. There seems to be an issue of having Jews who are not up to their standards getting honors. I nodded that I was.

He called me up to the Torah for an aliyah and when I got up there I noticed that the blessings were in Hebrew and Russian transliteration. It looked strange, since there was no English or German letters. I sang the blessings like it was my Bar Mitzvah and was glad that I knew them by heart. He then started to speak to me, but not in English or German that I could understand. I told him no Russian, and to go slowly with his German. But I can only understand German in my father's accent. I had a hard time understanding their German. Afterwards I told them that I was Henry Landman's son and that he couldn't be there today, but would meet all of them on Monday.


Monday was the big day. I met a crowd of about 1,000 people in the rain at Prinzregentenstrasse for the silent vigil. There were young, middle aged, and older people, mostly not Jewish; all there with one thing in mind, namely, to show their solidarity with the humane side of history. We walked for about 15 minutes until we came to the location of one of the "Judenhouses". This was a house where the Nazis concentrated several families into each apartment after 1938. My father told me that when he got back from Dachau at the end of 1938 there were even some strange families moved into his apartment.

An actress read a speech and then bellowed out the names of all the Jews who were concentrated in those houses, and then deported to their death. Some people in the street started to cry at that point. To me the calling out of the names had a strange irony. I am sure that they were called out by the Nazis when they were picked up and sent to their death, and that this was the first time that their names were called out in loving memory.

The following is the text of the speech read in front of Hallstraße 14, which was one of the "Judenhouses"
Bald nach dem Pogrom am 9. und 10. November 1938 wurden die Juden auch als Mieter entrechtet. Viele von ihnen wurden gezwungen, ihre Wohnungen zu räumen. In zahlreichen Fällen sicherten sich Nationalsozialisten diese Räume. Die hinausgedrängten Männer, Frauen und Kinder wurden in sogenannte "Judenhäuser" gepfercht. Dort mußten sie meist in qualvoller Enge leben. Auch das Haus Hallstraße 14 war damals eines der Augsburger "Judenhäuser". Aber der heutige Eigentümer hatte mit diesen Geschehnissen nichts zu tun. Von den jüdischen Bewohnern des damaligen Hauses Hallstraße 14 sind viele in den Vernichtungs- und Konzentrationslagern des 3. Reichs ermordet worden. Stellvertretend für alle Opfer nationalsozialistischer Gewalt und Intoleranz verlese ich die Namen von Menschen, die nach dem November 1938 in diesem Haus lebten:

The names of those Jewish Victims of the Holocaust who lived in this one "Juden House" were:
landmanClick here to learn more about what happened to Henry Landman...
Click here to read a story written about Henry Landman as part of a project by Veronika Stumpf. It was read at Dachau as part of a memorial service in 2004