The beginning of the end of German Jewry


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21 July 1933

Driving license issued to Albert Löwenberg

On 21 July 1933 eighteen-year-old Albert Oskar Löwenberg (1915–1996) was issued a license for "a class-1 motor vehicle driven by an internal combustion engine." At the time the young Berliner had no way of knowing that it would later provide the basis of his livelihood in Israel.

Faced with the increasing repression in Germany and no hope of a future career in the country, Albert Löwenberg joined Hehalutz ("The Pioneer"), a Zionist youth organization that attracted many German Jews in his age group after 1933. The goal of the organization was to prepare its members for immigration to Palestine ("Aliyah"). Albert was one of roughly seven thousand young Jews whom Hehalutz helped escaped persecution between 1933 and 1936. In keeping with the Hehalutz ideal of "productive self-labor," Albert completed an agricultural training program in 1934 and immigrated in June of that year. In Palestine he met his wife-to-be, Gitel Beck, and had three children with her. The license came in handy for Ascher, as he now called himself in Palestine: he worked for various trucking companies over the years and later founded his own taxi company.

Albert‘s siblings also emigrated. They settled in the United States, Australia and Palestine, where they built new lives for themselves. But his parents did not succeed in leaving Germany. His mother, Martha Löwenberg, née Jacobus, died in Berlin in 1942. His father, Carl Löwenberg, a men‘s tailor by trade, was deported to Auschwitz in 1943 and murdered there.

Despite this difficult past Albert maintained close ties to Germany throughout his life. He regained German citizenship in 1956 and regularly visited spas in the Black Forest in his old age.

Katharina Neumann

Categorie(s): Berlin | emigration | Zionism
License issued to Albert Löwenberg by the district authorities in Teltow, Berlin, 21 July 1933
Donated by Yoram Löwenberg in memory of the beloved Löwenberg family and, in particular, his parents Gisa (Gitel) and Albert (Ascher) Löwenberg