Fritz Klaber (1904 - 1986)

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Nicknames: "David"
Place of Burial: Ramat HaSharon, Tel Aviv central region, Israel
Birthplace: 41334 Nettetal-Breyell, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Death: Died in Petach Tikva, Israel
Cause of death: due to treatment of skincancer desease named: mycosis fungoides
Occupation: Cattle Dealer and Farmer
Managed by: Jack Marcel Klaber
Last Updated:
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Fritz Klaber's Timeline

1904
November 6, 1904
41334 Nettetal-Breyell, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
1917
October 27, 1917
Age 12
Nettetal, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Parshat Lech-Lecha

1935
December 31, 1935
Age 31
Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
1938
November 9, 1938
Age 34
Nettetal, NRW, Germany

Source:Article in the Rheinische Post ( http://www.rp-online.de/niederrheinsued/viersen/nachrichten/netteta... )
Zwei Synagogen zerstört
VON LUDGER PETERS - zuletzt aktualisiert: 08.11.2008

Über die Zerstörung der zweiten Synagoge auf Nettetaler Stadtgebiet, in Breyell, ist kaum etwas bekannt. Sie stand an der heutigen Biether Straße etwa dort, wo früher die Waschhalle der Tankstelle AJL errichtet wurde. Der zynische Umgang der Machthaber mit den Juden kann den Akten entnommen werden. Für die Beseitigung der Trümmer wurde die jüdische Gemeinde herangezogen. Grundstückseigentümer Jakob Klaber, der die ihm auferlegten Kosten nicht begleichen konnte, „trat“ die Fläche am 20. März 1940 an die Gemeinde Breyell ab.

Translation (by Jack Klaber):
About the destruction of the second synagogue in the Nettetal town district, in Breyell, little is known. The synagogue was built on the Biether street, approximately where today the former car wash section was located next to the "AJL" gas station. The cynical use of the rulers to the Jews can be found in the files. For removal of debris, the Jewish community was made responsible. Property owner Jacob Klaber, who could not pay the costs imposed on him, "abandoned" the area on 20 March 1940 in favor of the city of Breyell.

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Comment by Jack Klaber:
The article is incorrect by stating that Jacob handed over his property in 1940 to the city of Breyell.
Jacob died already in 1931 by natural causes and it was his son Fritz Klaber who was the caretaker of the property (his 3 brothers managed to escape to Holland and USA) when the Nazi authorities confiscated it.
As Fritz was already in the Netherlands in 1940, it was his wife Ilse and his mother Bernhardine who had to face the Nazi authorities.




November 17, 1938
- February 16, 1939
Age 34
Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

Following the Crystal Night, Fritz was arrested and send first to the local prison in Amern and then to Dachau prison near Munich, together with thousands other Jews. His prison number was 30010. He was kept there 3 months.
For most Jewish inmates this period was very difficult. Fritz became befriended with the lawyer Hans Oettinger who after the war became the well known public figure and lawyer Henry Ormond (http://www.wollheim-memorial.de/en/henry_ormond_19011973). Hans got frostbitten hands and Fritz attended to them and helped him through this difficult period.
Fritz' wife Ilse and his brother Felix who lived in Deventer, Holland, managed to obtain a (forged) visum for the Dominican Republic which was sufficient to get released from the prison.
The particular choice of the Dominican Republic was not coincidental:

Earlier in the year, from July 6-15, 1938, an international conference was convened in Evian, a southern French resort town, to deal with the German Jewish immigration "problem." Out of the 33 nations invited, only Italy refused to participate. The gathering was prompted by the suggestion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Barriers to liberalized immigration policies were not loosened and most nations, including America and Britain, failed to meet their legal immigration quotas during the war. The most generous offer came from the dictator of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo, who offered a safe have for Jews.

Source: THE LEGAL PATH TO JUDEOCIDE by Eric Epstein. http://www.millersville.edu/~holo-con/epstein.html

He fled to the Netherlands to organize the emigration of his family to the USA, the second condition of his release from prison.

1939
September 1939
Age 34
Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

Fritz went alone to the Netherlands to find housing and work before he intended to fetch his wife and son who were still living in Breyell.
The occupation of the Netherlands May 1940 made that plan impossible and he could not even go back to Germany to see them.

The emigration was not voluntarily or his idea how to escape the Nazis.
Before being released from Dachau prison earlier that year, each detainee had to sign a paper in which he committed himself to prepare his emigration asap. Source: http://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/einfuehrung.html?page=2

1940
February 19, 1940
- October 18, 1940
Age 35
Nieuwesluis, Wieringenmeer, North Holland, The Netherlands

After arriving in Amsterdam, Fritz found work as a farming instructor in a "Hachshara" camp for Jewish youth, preparing them for work in a kibbutz in Israel. The camp was situated in the Wieringermeer, north of Amsterdam and was run by Abel Herzberg (http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abel_Herzberg) who promised Fritz to help him bring his family to the Netherlands.
This promise seems to be made to have Fritz make the decision to work in the camp as instructor, but there is no documentation left to prove that Abel Herzberg made any effort to assist in bringing Fritz' wife and son to the Netherlands when this seemed still possible. However, it has been shown that countless refugees from Germany were neither able to bring over their family to Holland (Source: NIW 21/9/1979)

October 18, 1940
- November 26, 1943
Age 35
Hooghalen Oost, Drenthe, The Netherlands

The Dutch government decided to build a central foreign refugee camp to bring together all refugees (almost all German Jews) that were kept in 26 camps throughout Holland until then. A full report about the first year of this camp can be found in the NIW of 21/9/1979
After the German occupation the Germans took over the camp and made it the central dispatch camp for transports to German concentration camps and death-camps in the east.
Fritz became incarcerated October 1940.
Fritz worked after some time as the gardener of the camp commander Gemmeker. He had permission to leave the camp to get supplies for the garden. Therefore he was able to assist in getting people out of the camp who had to leave immediately because they were put on transport for the next day. His good friend Werner Sterzenbach was the head of one of the few camp resistance-groups organizing escapes and other life-saving activities. Fritz became one of the core members of resistance group Sterzenbach. Fritz stowed the person to be saved under some jute bags and wheeled him out of the camp on his handcart. Being a very strong person, the guards did not notice that Fritz carrying on the cart besides some "empty bags" also another person...
Several persons must have been saved by this method, but as of today, only one single letter of thanks written by the father of one of these saved children has been found in his documents.
Approximately between 1970 and 1980 people rescued by Fritz were looking for him and found his younger brother Max in New York and thought he was the one who saved them. Max told him it must have been his brother Fritz who was the only Klaber brother in Westerbork during the Shoah.

When Fritz himself was put on transport end November 1943, the underground resistance warned him a few days in advance and Fritz escaped the camp as one of the few who dared and succeeded. He fled to Amsterdam and with help from the resistance went in hiding.
More: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/othercamps/westerbork.html

1943
November 1943
- May 5, 1945
Age 38
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

Holland during the very harsh winter of 1944 (hunger-winter of 44) was suffering and thousands of people died from starvation and exposure to the elements.
Fritz decided to leave his "save" hiding place during several hours of daylight to buy farm products outside Amsterdam and sell them on the black market for money and other important basic food items. Nobody dared to approach him or ask for his ID card. He looked with his leather coat and high boots (both bought on the black market) and his strong German accent and bouncer figure exactly like the feared SD (secret police). In case of a control by SS people, he carried a high quality forged ID card.
The food and heating situation became desperate and Fritz put up the courage to leave his hiding place also during curfew at night and with a small metal instrument worked for hours to loosen the first cobblestone around the remaining trunk of a cut-down tree. Then it took another two-three hours to free the roots and dig them out. He had to be very careful that no Germans, nor Dutch police nor other people looking for wood would detect him. These roots were very valuable on the black market and by partially selling them Fritz could keep his hiding family and himself alive with food and have also wood as heating source during this very difficult period.

1945
September 18, 1945
Age 40
Nettetal, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany