31 July 1933
Letter from the Apolda city council revoking the Eisenschmidts’ residence permit
The family business eventually failed, probably due to the economic crisis in the early 1920s. The brothers parted ways: Hermann Eisenschmidt built up a successful business selling men’s wear while Max worked as a sales representative and continued to run the stitching shop. In 1930 Max decided to make a fresh start in the Thuringian city of Apolda, known for its knitwear and knitted fabrics. As a Polish citizen, he required a residence permit, which was issued to him in April 1930. While Max pursued these commercial ventures, his energetic wife opened a store under her maiden name, Rosa Silberstein, selling goods on credit
In May 1933 uncertainty arose as to whether Rosa would be permitted to stay in the city, and then in late July—initially for reasons inexplicable to the family—their residence permit was revoked. Just before the family received notification of their expulsion, the authorities had searched the Eisenschmidts’ home for subversive writings, during which Max had unfortunately remarked that he would hardly be so foolish as to hide communist writings in his home if he were a member of the party. The authorities took this as an admission of guilt and used it as a pretext for expelling the family.
Even before 1933, the Nazis enjoyed especially strong support in Thuringia. Following regional parliamentary elections in December 1929, the NSDAP formed a coalition government and in Apolda party members served on the city council. In August 1932 the first Nazi regional government was elected in Thuringia. Since Apolda was an independent city, it was permitted to perform sovereign functions normally assigned to the federal state. In the case of the Eisenschmidts, it showed little willingness to compromise.
Despite repeated interventions by the Polish consulate, the family was forced to leave the city in early 1934 and return to Berlin. There they were served with an additional expulsion order. That same year they resolved to immigrate to Palestine.
City Government of Apolda
To the merchant Mendel Ajzenschmidt
31 July 1933
The residence permit issued to you on 4 April 1930 is hereby revoked effective 1 September 1933. This termination extends to your wife and children and, as confirmed by the Thuringian Ministry of the Interior, extends to all of Thuringia.
I must ask you to leave Apolda and the state of Thuringia with your family by 1 September 1933. If you fail to comply with this order, you will be subject to a fine of RM 10 for each day of unauthorized residence, which under Section 153 of the State Administrative Regulations will be converted into a commensurate prison sentence in the case of nonpayment.
I would also like to inform you on behalf of the Thuringian Ministry that it is futile to apply for a residence permit in another town in our state. I should also advise you to look for another host country, failing which we will have to consider your expulsion or, if necessary, your forced deportation.
On behalf of
(signed by Metzer)