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Max Joseph Freund

Elisabethstr. 39

Date of death:
Place of death:
Victim group:
Als Jüdinnen und Juden Verfolgte
Erinnerungszeichen (Stele)

Max Joseph Freund was born in Kleinwallstadt in northern Bavaria on June 20, 1897, the son of grain merchant Philipp Freund and his wife Jenny. After leaving school he completed an apprenticeship as a merchant. From 1916 he fought in the First World War in Flanders and was decorated for his service. After the war ended, Max Freund gained his first work experience, including two years working in London – at that time a great exception. At the end of the 1920s, Max Freund moved to Munich where he worked for the printing works Beger & Röckl. Max Freund rose to be a Prokurist (company officer) and head of the export department and undertook many business trips, also involving travelling abroad. On June 6, 1929 he married Therese (Thea) Lauchheimer, the daughter of one of the owners of the printing works. The couple had two children, Philipp Siegfried, born in 1931, and Liselotte Jenny, born in 1934. In 1932 the family moved into the third floor of Elisabethstraße 39. Max and Thea Freund enjoyed life, liked entertaining friends to dinner and going to the theatre. The family also travelled a great deal, as a photo album with pictures taken in Tyrol, Merano, Marienbad and Hamburg shows.
After the Nazi seizure of power Max Freund hoped that the situation for German Jewish women and men would soon return to normal. Because Beger & Röckl made sales all over Europe, he continued to make business trips to other European countries. His last business trip took him to the Netherlands on October 26, 1937. The claim for compensation lodged by his widow after the war states that he was “subjected to a body search” on crossing the border. In the course of this, “records were found on him of various sums of money … which were interpreted by the border officials as a breach of currency regulations”. Max Freund was allowed to continue his journey, but was told he had to report to the authorities on his return to Munich. When he learnt that his wife in Munich had been arrested, he “opened his arteries with a razor blade”, according to the compensation claim lodged by Thea Freund. Max Freund died in Amsterdam on October 28, 1937. His wife and children managed to flee to the USA two years later.(text Stefan Dickas, editor C. Fritsche, translation C. Hales)