The beginning of the end of German Jewry

1933

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23 NOVEMBER 1933 >

Monday
20 November 1933

Letter from the lawyer Fritz Müllerheim to the head of the district authorities in Rummelsburg concerning Marie Sabatzki’s liquor license

In 1886 Marie Sabatzki (1865–1940) opened a restaurant and liquor shop with her husband in the Pomeranian town of Rummelsburg (today Miastko in Poland). When Eduard Sabatzki died in 1921, Marie continued running the restaurant at Marktstrasse 22 on her own. After losing almost all her savings to inflation, she was dependent on the income it generated.

It was at this time that she had her first legal battle with the Rummelsburg police authorities over her liquor license. It ended with a settlement in 1925 that allowed her to continue running the business. However, in October 1933 the police authorities imposed a “ban under penalty of a fine” designed to force her to close her business immediately due to the lack of a valid license. This action was triggered by the Rummelsburg Restaurateurs’ Association, which had applied to police authorities in July that year to review the case. To what extent anti-Semitism played a role is unclear.

Marie Sabatzki sought assistance from Dr. Fritz Müllerheim, a lawyer in the town of Stolp. Dr. Müllerheim filed an appeal on her behalf on 16 October 1933 and then on 20 November wrote a letter to the head of the district authorities in Rummelsburg mentioning the damages his client had sustained due to the loss of her business. He emphasized above all that she would no longer be able to meet her financial obligations, including payment of taxes. Dr. Müllerheim requested that she be allowed to continue serving alcoholic beverages or at least be permitted to retail liquor on a small scale so that she could sell the stock she was holding.

Marie Sabatzki was already an elderly woman at this time. She received additional support in this matter—for which she was no doubt grateful—from her son-in-law, Rudolf Gumpert, the husband of her only child, Margaretha. In a letter sent from Parchim, which was over 300 miles away, Rudolf told her lawyer that he was worried about his mother-in-law: “Frau Sabatzki is sixty-nine years old and the excitement of the trial has been too much for her. Recent events have left their mark.”

Dr. Müllerheim was ultimately successful. In April 1934 the Administrative Court in Köslin ruled that Marie Sabatzki could keep her license and continue running her restaurant. She remained in her hometown of Rummelsburg for another six years but on 12 February 1940 was deported from Stettin to the Belzyce ghetto near Lubin, where she died three weeks later.

Franziska Bogdanov

Categorie(s): businessmen | lawyers | occupational ban
Letter from the lawyer Fritz Müllerheim to the head of the district authorities in Rummelsburg concerning Marie Sabatzki’s liquor license (carbon copy), probably Stolp, 20 November 1933
Gift of Hans Rudolf Benjamin
CREDITS