“Do you look up at the stars every night and think of me. To this day I have done that every evening [...]”

Henriette Arndt to E. Heilbut

Henriette Arndt to E. Heilbut front side

Henriette Arndt

worked for many years as a teacher in Hamburg. As a Jew she was no longer allowed to practise her profession after the National Socialist Party seized power in 1933. She had to constantly change jobs. Finally she worked in the former Talmud-Tora school. Henriette was single. Her living situation in Hamburg became ever more difficult under the increasing persecution. She decided to emigrate to England. However, the Hamburg authorities rejected this. On the 25th October 1941 Hamburg police officers brought the 49-year-old Henriette Arndt to the Hannoverscher Bahnhof. There she had to board a train to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. She kept in touch with her friend Charlotte Beug by sending postcards. But a few postcards were never sent and were left behind in the Ghetto’s post office. The reason being the very strict postal regulations. The friends never saw one another again. In May 1942 German SS members murdered Henriette Arndt in the Kulmhof extermination camp.

Henriette Arndt to E. Heilbut reverse side

Postcard transcription:

Henriette Arndt
Litzmannstadt Ghetto
Mühlgasse 25 Room 2

Mrs. E. Heilbut
Hamburg 21
Fährstr. 29

My dear Lotti,

Thank you for your lovely letter on 30.11. I’m very sad that you are ill and I ask you to take good care of yourself. Remember the promise we made to each other when we said goodbye. Do you look up at the stars every night and think of me. To this day I have done that every evening at nine o’clock. I am always with you in my thoughts and that remains the case. Get an advent wreath and light it with good friends. Männe writes that he has to beg us for a lot. They sent me 30 RM today. I still do not have a job. I give young girls, who are nearing the end of their schooling, a few German lessons. That doesn’t bring much money in. They can only pay me a little bit. Speak with Dr Bacher about my pension and also about my bank account. When you are healthy, please could you get a certificate from Dr Jonas for me.

Kisses from,

D. 5.12.41

*For the benefit of readability, amendments were made in transcription

Further research options:

TikTok video: The last postcard of Henriette Arndt
Stolperstein initiative: https://www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de
Further research tool: https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/