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Irene Irma Neuburger, geb. Gundelfinger

Innstr. 18

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

Irene Gundelfinger was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on January 4, 1900. She was the third child of Benno and Jenny Gundelfinger. Because Irene's mother was unhappy in South Africa, the family returned to Europe, moving from Paris to London and finally settling in Munich. Irene was a talented artist, as one can see from her surviving artworks. In 1925, she met Wilhelm Neuburger, a velvet and silk wholesaler, at a ball. A year later they married. They had two daughters: Erica Else, born in 1927, and Marion Therese, born in 1930. The Neuburgers lived in a villa at Innstraße 18. With the Nazi seizure of power, the life of this Jewish family changed drastically. At the end of 1936 Irene and Wilhelm Neuburger emigrated with their daughters to Amsterdam. When Germany occupied the Netherlands on May 10, 1940 the Neuburgers were subjected to numerous repressive measures, and had to hand over their jewelry and other valuables. On December 30, 1942 Irene Neuburger, her husband and daughters were taken to “Hollandsche Schouwburg” assembly camp in Amsterdam; from there they were transferred on January 14, 1943 to Westerbork transit camp. Because Irene Neuburger's mother, who lived in Switzerland, had obtained passports for them to Uruguay and because Irene Neuburger also had held an English passport since birth, the family evaded deportation to Auschwitz extermination camp. In February 1944, the SS deported Irene Neuburger together with Wilhelm, Erica and Marion Neuburger to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Because of their foreign passports, they were considered “preferential prisoners” and were sent to the so-called exchange camp for Jewish hostages. Irene Neuburger died there on November 28, 1944, due to untreated blood poisoning. Nor did her husband, Wilhelm, survive the Shoah: he was murdered in Bergen-Belsen on January 22, 1945. Erica and Marion were liberated by the Red Army while on a death march near Riesa. They moved in with their grandmother in Switzerland after the end of the war. (text Irene Shilling , editor C. Fritsche, translation T. Axelrod)

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