Frieda Engel née Bernstein

born 19 March 1894 in Culm (Polish: Chełmno)
died 19 February 1977 in Bad Saarow
Historical former address Töpfergraben 4
Stumbling stone planned
Date of stone-laying planned

Frieda Bernstein was born into a Jewish family in Culm (Polish: Chełmno) on 19 March 1894. After her marriage, she lived with her husband Willy Engel in Fürstenwalde, where she worked as a photographer and he as a teacher. The couple first lived at Rauener Straße 6, later at Töpfergraben 4.

After the National Socialists seized power in 1933, Frieda was initially protected from persecution and deportation by Willy’s “Aryan” status and their “mixed marriage”. When Willy Engel refused to divorce his wife, he was dismissed as a teacher in accordance with the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service”. The family also faced further hostility, as can be illustrated, for instance, by the denunciation to the authorities of Hulda and Rudolf Thrun. The latter couple served Frieda Engel in their restaurant “Fliederhain” on 3 February 1941 – and lost their licence as a result.

When Willy Engel died in 1944, Frieda Engel went into hiding after she had made the arrangements for his funeral. She survived the war thanks to the support of acquaintances of hers in Lommatzsch near Dresden. On the day after the war ended, she returned to Fürsten­walde and continued to work as a photo­grapher. She bought Iwan Laskowski’s photo shop at Gartenstraße 42 in 1945 and ran it until 1966. Then she moved to Bad Saarow.

Frieda Engel died on 19 February 1977 in Bad Saarow and is buried in the cemetery in Fürstenwalde.

Family members:
Willy Engel