Volume 3  –  document 21

In October 1939 Rica Neuburger takes her own life as a result of the harassment of Jews1Archives of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York, at the Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Karl Adler Collection, MF 572, reel 2, box 3, folder 1. This document has been translated from German.

Report (unsigned) on the suicide of Rica Neuburger,2Probably Rica Neuburger, née Metzger (1867–1939). dated 13 October 19393The author of the report is not evident from the original.

Mrs Rica Neuburger, 72 years old, had for some time been suffering from a heart condition.

She lived with her sister4Probably Rosa Adler, née Metzger (b. 1874); deported to Theresienstadt on 22 August 1942 and from there on 29 Sept. 1942 to Treblinka, where she was declared dead. at 161 Zeppelinstr. The housing issue5Following the Law on Tenancy Agreements with Jews (30 April 1939), many Jews were forced to leave their apartments: see Doc. 15, fn. 4. caused her great concern and anxiety.

She was afraid of being unable to find suitable accommodation and reportedly often said, ‘I won’t let myself be pushed around like this.’

The confiscation of her radio set on the highest Jewish holiday6Radio sets had to be handed in on Yom Kippur, which in 1939 fell on 23 Sept.: see also Doc. 15, fn. 5. upset her deeply.

She had to take to her bed for the last four weeks. Because as an invalid she could barely care for herself, her sister almost never left her alone at home.

On the first day when her condition began to improve and when, with the support of a stick, she could walk a few steps alone, she urged her sister to go and make some purchases in town.

When her sister came home at around 6 p.m. and found the invalid neither on the sofa nor in bed, she opened the kitchen door. The invalid was sitting there on a chair, her head bent over the gas stove. The gas valve was open. A doctor was called immediately but could only pronounce her dead.

A note was found pinned to her dress. It read as follows:

The housing issue and all that they are doing to us and forcing on us is too cruel and difficult and I can’t survive it. Dear Rosa, thank you for caring for me, farewell with all my love. It’s better there than it is here. I can no longer bear the way they are oppressing us. Please forgive me for taking this step!


This document is part of:
German Reich and Protectorate September 1939–September 1941 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2020)