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Wood Engravings, Lino Cuts and Prints

Birth of Marie Helene Margarethe Batzke (Greta)

Born on 20th February 1894, Marie Helene Margarethe Batzke, know as Greta, in Straiipitz. She was not Jewish but Evangelical (Protestant). She became Hermann’s second wife in 1930, she was a professional photographer, his first marriage was a rash and unhappy one to Luba Lowinski in January 1926, they divorced in April 1928, a Jew, and as far as I can work out was from a Zionist background, but I have no other real information. If anyone reading this has any information, photographs etc. to add it would be of great interest in building a more complete picture.


Photo of Marie Helene Margarethe Batzke (Greta)

New infromation on Hermann Fechenbach’s twin sister Rosel Fechenbach (Blumenfeld) and Family

I have uncover new information on Hermann Fechenbach’s twin sister Rosel Fechenbach and Family.

Rosel was married to Rudolf Blumenfeld (born 17th November 1880 in Creglingen / Mergentheim / Württemberg), Rudolf was imprisoned from 10th November 1938 to 19th December 1938 in Dachau concentration camp, while he and his family waiting in vain for permission to enter the United States.

Their daughter Hanna (born on 19th February 1924 in Bad Mergentheim) was imprisoned on 6th August 1941 at the small town of Unterschleißheim Bavaria, Germany, located about 17 km north of the city limits of Munich, at a forced labor camp (Flachsröste Lohhof).

On the 20th November 1941, Rudolf, Rosel and their daughter Hanna where deported from München (Munich) to Fort IX near Kaunas (Kowno), west of Vilna (Vilnius), Lithuania. Where on 25th November 1941 the entire family was murdered by Einsatzkommando 3 of Einsatzgruppe A (a mobile killing squad made up of SS and Gestapo, together with German police forces and Lithuanian auxiliaries).

See Notes for more information

Notes: Einsatzgruppen (German: special-ops units) were paramilitary groups originally formed in 1938 under the direction of Reinhard Heydrich – Chief of the SD, and Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police; SiPo). They were operated by the Schutzstaffel (SS). The first Einsatzgruppen of World War II were formed in the course of the 1939 invasion of Poland. Then following a Hitler-Himmler directive, the Einsatzgruppen were re-formed in anticipation of the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. The Einsatzgruppen were once again under the control of Reinhard Heydrich as Chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA); and after his assassination, under the control of his successor, Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

The Einsatzkommando 3 of Einsatzgruppe A, was at that time commanded by Karl Jäger with a running total of their killings of 136,421 Jews (46,403 men 55,556 women, 34,464 children), 1,064 Communists, 653 mentally disabled, and 134 others, from 2 July-1 December 1941.

Two happy ladies Germany 1930s

Looking to see if anyone knows who these happy ladies are possible Hermann Fechenbach's sister Roseland a friend or his wife Greta Batze.

February 1941

Hermann Fechenbach from May 1940 to February 1941 was one of many emigrant, known as "enemy alien", interned in various camps. His final interment was in the "Hutchinson Camp", Douglas on the Isle of Man, at least wife Greta was housed nearby during this period.


Palestine 1938

Hermann Fechenbach wrote of his hopes to move to Palestine, "My wife and I also had certain plans to emigrate, and had already registered to go to Palestine in 1936. Since I was a 70% disabled war veteran and also could not raise the necessary capital funds, I continued to wait in hope for my certificate to arrive. Even a three month trip in February 1938 to Palestine could not accelerate the emigration process, although everyone appeared ready to help out and gave us the good advice simply to remain illegally in Palestine. Since we had too many responsibilities to leave behind, we returned home in the middle of May. On the ship we made the acquaintance of an English Quaker lady, who gave us her address so that we could call on her in any emergency for help when required."
This chance meeting on their return to Germany was to prove a lucky one as it paved the way for Greta, and later Hermann, to escape to England.


One of the many photos taken by Greta (February to May 1938)