Hansgeorg Isaac

Born December 17, 1926 - Berlin, Germany

Hansgeorg was the son of Freidrich and Anna Isaac. His father, a writer, wrote under the surname Victor, and the children were known by that name. Hansgeorg and his family lived in Berlin, a large, highly sophisticated city. The Jews of Berlin were highly assimilated and well-integrated into the social and cultural fabric of the city. Hansgeorg was a seven year-old schoolboy when the Nazis came to power. They immediately began passing antisemitic measures. After the Nazi rise to power, many Jewish-owned businesses were confiscated, and Jewish citizens were barred from most professions and normal civic life. All Jews were forced to wear the yellow star. They were prevented from attending public schools. Their German citizenship was taken away, and Jews and non-Jews were forbidden to marry. Segregation laws were strictly enforced, and Jews were subjected to constant harassment and abuse.

After Hansgeorg's parents divorced, they placed their children in a Jewish boarding school. They were sent there in March 1938, when Hansgeorg was twelve years old. Hansgeorg and his younger sister, Eva, were extremely close. Slim, blond-haired, Hansgeorg was a good student and was interested in sports.

After the wide-scale destruction and antisemitic acts of terror against Jews in November 1938, Hansgeorg's father tried to get his children out of the country. In January 1939, he wrote to a woman in England who was placing Jewish children in homes and boarding schools throughout England. Because their father was unable to supply monthly maintenance fees, due to his forced unemployment, the children's application was denied. After October 1941, the Jews of Germany were forbidden to leave the country. The children were hopelessly trapped.

Sometime between December 1941 and the spring of 1942, the Germans deported 16,000 Jews to a sealed-off ghetto in Riga, the capital of Latvia. In November, the previous inhabitants, 30,000 local Jews, had been murdered by the Nazis to make room for the German Jews. Fifteen year-old Hansgeorg was among those sent to Riga. Conditions in the Riga ghetto were horrendous. There was little food and water. The Germans shut down most sanitary facilities. The ghetto was eventually emptied of its inhabitants. Most of them were murdered by the Germans. Others were sent to labor camps where they were worked to death. Nothing is known about Hansgeorg after he was deported to Riga. He was never heard from again.

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