Charlotte Klaber (Reinhaus) (1912 - 1984)

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Birthplace: Burgsteinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Death: Died in Nahariya, Israel
Cause of death: drowning in the sea
Managed by: Jack Marcel Klaber
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

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Lotte Reinhaus's Timeline

1912
September 2, 1912
Burgsteinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
1926
1926
Age 13
Dortmund, Arnsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
1935
1935
- 1938
Age 22
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

It is probable that Lotte moved here after staying a while at her aunt's place in Utrecht.
This was very likely her residence while she worked as the owner of a hair-salon on the Elandsgracht, not far from the Jordaan neighborhood.

1938
1938
- 1942
Age 25
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

It is possible that after being engaged to Robert Pollack, Lotte moved in with the family Pollack who all lived above the lunchroom and ice-salon "Delicia".

1942
April 16, 1942
Age 29
Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

According to the registration cards of their respective husbands, Charlotte married on the same date in Amsterdam as her sister Edith.

April 16, 1942
Age 29
Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

According to the registration cards of their respective husbands, Edith married on the same date in Amsterdam as her sister Charlotte.

1943
November 24, 1943
Age 31
Westerbork, Midden-Drenthe, Drenthe, The Netherlands

The family Pollack was initially "sperred" (exempted) from deportation due to the fact that their lunchroom "Delicia" was ordered to provide food for the rounded up people that were being held at the "Hollandsche Schouwburg".

However, as soon as all people were put on the trains to Westerbork, the Pollack family was also put on transport to Westerbork.

1944
September 4, 1944
Age 32
Terezín, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

After a short while in Westerbork, Charlotte was put on transport XXIV/7 -540 on September 4, 1944 to Theresienstadt, the transit-camp for German elderly Jews, German prominent Jews and also Jews from Holland and Denmark. She arrived after 2 days, on September 6, in Theresienstadt.

Upon arrival in Theresienstadt, the women and men were separated.
This was the last time she saw her first husband Robert Pollack.
A friend of Robert ordered his wife, Nanny (nee Leefsma) to stay close to Charlotte. If anyone can survive this ordeal, it must be Charlotte, he argued.
You stay close to Lotte and do exactly what she tells you to do. Then you have a chance to stay alive. He was so right.
Both husbands perished in the Shoah, but Charlotte and Nanny stayed together and notwithstanding the shear impossible situations and hardship, both women survived.
When at a certain point in time, the Germans during roll call asked women to step forward if they wanted to join their husbands, Charlotte had to grab Nanny and told her to stay put. She told her that only G'd would decide if they should see their husbands ever again, not the Germans! All women who stepped forward were put on transport directly to the gas chambers....

Due to severe hunger and appalling sanitary conditions, Charlotte fell ill to hunger edema, causing her belly to swell.
At this point it should be noted that during the first week Charlotte was in Theresienstadt, the Germans were filming the notorious propaganda film about Theresienstadt, showing how nice and quite comfortable the Jews were living in this "model settlement". Clips from this movie can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlIMAJF3kic .
After only three weeks in Theresienstadt, she was sent to death-camp Auschwitz for extermination on October 1st. 1944 with transport Em-1388.

October 1, 1944
Age 32
Oswiecim, Poland

Most probably because of her deteriorating health (severe hunger edema with swollen belly) Charlotte was put on transport Em-1388 to Auschwitz for extermination only 3 weeks after arriving at the camp.
For that reason she has never received a number tattooed in her arm.
Upon arrival at Auschwitz she had to stand in front of Dr. Mengele who whisked her to the left to where all the old and sick people were ordered by him.
But a second after he ordered her to move out to the left row, Mengele was called to the phone behind him. He turned around and Charlotte, who immediately understood the meaning of his order, went the other way and joined the group of young and healthy people standing at the right hand side of the train platform which was the arrival and selection area of Auschwitz II (Birkenau). No one saw apparently which direction Mengele wanted Charlotte to go and therefore, no one interfered in her "walk to life" direction.
She was immediately hidden by the other women and brought to the sick bay of the camp where she stayed under a false identity until her hunger edema got better and the swelling disappeared.
As soon as she could take the place of a dead inmate at roll call, she left the sick bay and became an "ordinary" inmate of Auschwitz II..
Because the daily life in the camp was highly organized and she did not experienced personal maltreatment (except the daily routine in freezing winter weather having to stand naked for hours during roll call), Charlotte had no very bad memories of the several weeks she stayed in Auschwitz II.
Looking back to the mistreatment and abuse she had to undergo in the next camp for months, she saw Auschwitz -Birkenau as a relative "paradise"......

November 1944
- February 1945
Age 32
Carpathian Mountains

After a while being an inmate of Auschwitz, Charlotte was transported to a small slave-work camp in the High-Tatras part of the Carpathian Mountains. The camp was one of the many belonging to the Dora-Mittelbau conglomerate of camps.
She was put to work on dismantling and assembling parts for V2 rockets. The regime in the camp was monstrous and Charlotte was subjected to gruesome mishandling. She was once thrown from a platform on the first floor of a building on concrete ground floor. The head trauma by this impact caused severe migraines she suffered from during the rest of her live.
A work accident with a screwdriver caused a severe infection of one of her fingers and due to missing medical treatment, disfigured that finger severely.
At one point (maybe February ) early 1945 the camp was liberated by the Russian army.
Russian soldiers asked the girls if they wanted to shoot some German soldiers/guards, but none of the girls wanted to vengeance their previous torturers.

Charlotte, who wanted to return to Amsterdam to look for her husband Robert Pollack, joined a group of about 4 young Dutch women going back to Holland.
The Russian army issued permits and documents for the girls with orders to anyone to help these camp survivors with food, shelter and transportation.
Returning to the Dutch border, Charlotte told the other girls to speak for her as her strong German accent would surely cause the Dutch border-guards to refuse her entrance into Holland. So Charlotte managed to slip into Holland on her way back to Amsterdam where she and her husband said to wait for the other when the were separated in Westerbork Camp.