born 29 April 1910 in Fürstenwalde
died 13 June 1995 in Queensland, Australia
Historical former address Am Markt 9
today Am Markt 5
Stumbling stone Am Markt 4
Date of stone-laying 19 May 2022
Gerhard Fürst was born in Fürstenwalde on 29 April 1910. His father Julius Fürst came from a Jewish family in Danzig (Polish: Gdańsk), his mother Thea (née Bonn) from a Protestant family in Fürstenwalde. Thea and Julius ran a department store on the market square in Fürstenwalde. Gerhard’s younger brother Ulrich Erich died aged three in 1915. After Thea’s untimely death on 19 April 1917, his father Julius married Hildegard Adler.
When the National Socialists seized power in 1933, the Fürst family decided to leave Germany. Hildegard and Julius departed on 7 February 1935. Their son Gerhard had already emigrated a few months earlier, together with the family of Walter and Luise Brandt, friends of the Fürst family from Fürstenwalde. They had left Berlin on 26 September 1934 and travelled to New Zealand via England, Canada and Hawaii, landing in Auckland on 29 October 1934.
In New Zealand, the Fürst family initially ran a farm and simplified the spelling of their German surname to “Furst”. Gerhard married Edith Meyer from Hanover, the niece of his stepmother Hildegard. The couple had four children: Hazel, Stephen, Judy and Eric. Gerhard’s father Julius died early in 1941; his wife Edith died on 30 March 1969. In the 1980s, Gerhard followed his children to Australia. He died in Queensland on 13 June 1995.