19 August 1933
Police form noting Heinz Gottschalk’s departure
Using this form, Heinz Gottschalk informed the police that he was giving up his residence at “Nikolsburger Strasse no. 6, Wilmersdorf” and moving to Palestine. The decision that is documented in just a few brief words in this document meant nothing less than the start of an entirely new and different life for the young man. Heinz Gottschalk (1902–1987) had experienced similar upheaval earlier in his life: the son of a successful Berlin furniture dealer, he volunteered to serve for one year in the army after completing school and subsequently trained as a pharmacist. In 1924 he enrolled at university but was forced to abandon his studies shortly afterward because his father fell ill and was unable to run the family’s well-established furniture company. Heinz Gottschalk took over Möbelagentur Gottschalk Soehne and managed it until he emigrated.
What could have prompted the thirty-one-year-old to immigrate to Palestine? And why, the attentive reader might ask, is his wife’s name missing from the form? Although he clearly gives his marital status as “married” he does not include her as a member of his household. This riddle is easily solved. Heinz Gottschalk had only been married for two days when he submitted this form to the police. The newlyweds had not yet had their religious marriage ceremony and would only be moving together once they reached Palestine. They had met through the Jewish youth organizations to which they had belonged since their youth. For these committed Zionists, Palestine was their country of choice.