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Stolpersteine Gelsenkirchen

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BORN 1886
'TRANSFERED' 15.7.1941
MURDERED 15.7.1941


Verlegeort LEA ISSLER

BORN 1886

Installation planned for June 6, 2024, installation location: Hauptstraße 73, 45879 Gelsenkirchen

Hochzeit von Josef Issler und Lea Franzblau

Fig.: Wedding of Josef Issler and Lea Franzblau, 1911

Josef Issler, an independent businessman, and Lea Franzblau lived in Gelsenkirchen since 1906. Both came from Radomysl Wielki, Poland. From 1910, Josef Issler lived with his family at Hochstrasse 73 (today Hauptstrasse). On the ground floor of the house, the Issler family ran a s, more precisely a department store, selling, among other things, women's and men's clothing, shoes, underwear and also jewelry. (Partiewarenhaus - that's what they called stores selling second hand and special or reduced items back then)

Their son Heinrich was born on October 13, 1909. Josef and Lea married civilly on February 28, 1911. Shortly before the wedding, on February 19, 1911, their son Leo was born. Four more children followed - also born in Gelsenkirchen: Klara - born on July 10, 1912, Adele - born on June 19, 1915, Markus - born on December 16, 1920 and Emanuel - born on February 5, 1925

Familie Josef Issler, Gelsenkirchen

Fig.: Family photo, around 1926. The Issler couple had six children.

Even before 1933, Jews were confronted with anti-Jewish resentment. With the transfer of power to the Nazis in 1933, their systematic exclusion and disenfranchisement began. The anti-Semitic Propaganda stigmatized them, and they were increasingly met with mistrust, hatred and agitation by non-Jews population that was increasingly becoming an exclusionary society. Pseudo-legal laws and decrees forced their economic, political and social exclusion. Professional bans, boycotts and forced sales of Jewish companies and businesses, forced relocations within the place of residence and numerous other discriminatory regulations resulted in a far-reaching social isolation.

Issler Partiewarenhaus, Gelsenkirchen (Anzeige in der Gelsenkirchener Allgemeine Zeitung vom 3. Mai 1921)

Fig.: Issler party department store, Gelsenkirchen. (Advertisement in the Gelsenkirchener Allgemeine Zeitung from May 3, 1921)

Violence against "Eastern Jews"

Shortly after the Nazis seized power, on March 28, 1933, at around 4:30 p.m., two uniformed SA men raided Josef Issler’s shop at Gelsenkirchener Hochstraße 73 and ordered him to close his shop immediately. Half an hour later, fifteen men entered Issler's private apartment and beat him and his son Leo until they lost consciousness. The neighbors took both of them to a hospital. A similar fate befell Abraham Tanne and Jakob Neumann almost simultaneously in the apartment of Josef Nussbaum, Kirchstrasse 28, and Moses Ehrlich, Bismarckstrasse 56.

Leo Issler was deregistered as "traveling" in July 1933. Behind this was his first escape Nazi Germany. He reached Palestine by land. However, as a result of an illness, Leo came back Haifa to a hospital. There he was arrested by the British and interned in a British prison camp in Cyprus. After a short time he was deported to Germany. Returned in July 1934 he returned to Gelsenkirchen to his parents' house. In July 1936 he moved to Leipzig. At an unknown date Leo fled again to Palestine.

Against the background of the attack and the constantly increasing - also economic - boycott and persecution measures of the Nazi regime against Jews, the Issler family's business was finally auctioned off in 1934.

The Isslers were forced to abandon their previous center of life on the main street and moved to a two-room apartment at Schalker Straße 42.

From the time he was born, Heinrich Issler lived with his parents and siblings at Hochstrasse 73 (today Hauptstrasse). In March 1933 he moved to Düsseldorf. He returned from Aachen in October 1934 to Gelsenkirchen to his family at Schalker Straße 42 (today Hansemannstraße). In October 1936 he fled to the USA, where he called himself 'Henry'. He served during World War II from 1943 as a US soldier.

Klara Issler moved to Cologne in April 1934 and returned in April 1936 back to her parents' house. Klara Issler fled to Jerusalem, Palestine in July 1936.

Adele Issler attended the Israelite elementary school from 1925 to 1929 and the municipal lyceum in Gelsenkirchen from 1929 to 1934. In September 1934 she went to Cologne and returned to the Schalker Straße 42. In November 1935, she moved to Leipzig. In 1936 Adele fled to Palestine.

Markus Issler moved to Frankfurt in January 193 and returned to his parents' house in September 1936. Markus Issler went to Steckelsdorf in May 1937, probably to the Hachshara facility there. A year later he returned to Gelsenkirchen, lived briefly on Schalker Strasse 42, then at Karl-Lafroce Straße 12 (today Arminstraße). He fled at an unknown time to Great Britain. In 1944 he married Sara Tessler in Leeds, UK.

Emanuel "Menni" Issler went to Hamburg. In 1940 he was part of a group of Jewish young people who, with the help of the children's and youth welfare Alija wanted to flee to Palestine via Austria and Zagreb, Yugoslavia. However, due to the invasion of German troops into Yugoslavia, the further escape route was blocked. Emanuel Issler and about 80 other young people were then hidden in the "Villa Emma" in Nonantola, Italy. In 1943, the group fled to Switzerland. Emanuel Issler was able to hide there until the end of the war. In 1945, he emigrated to Palestine.

Karteikarte der Union der Italienischen Israelitischen Gemeinden, Emmanuel Issler

Fig.: Index card of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Emmanuel Issler

Karteikarte KZ Buchenwald, Josef Issler. Stempel: Überführt 2. Transport.

Fig.: Buchenwald concentration camp file card, Josef Issler. Stamp: Transferred 2nd transport 15 Jul. 1941

In the pogrom night of 1938, the father of the family Josef Issler was seriously injured again by Nazi henchmen. As late as February 1939, he was still in the hospital because of the double skull fracture he suffered during the abuse. Josef Issler no longer recovers; it can be assumed that for this reason he was classified as 'unfit for work' in Buchenwald.

From July 1939, Josef Issler lived with his wife at Karl-Laforce-Straße 12 (today Arminstraße). He was arrested on 9 September 1939 and taken to the Gelsenkirchen police prison. On 20. October 1939 he was deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp. On July 15, 1941, he was ‘transferred’ to the Pirna-Sonnenstein killing center and murdered there.

Guthaben aus dem KZ Buchenwald wird an Josef Isslers Witwe überwiesen.

Fig.: Consignment note, recipient: Lea Issler, Gelsenkirchen

Since 1940, Sonnenstein served as one of the notorious Nazi killing centers for the extermination of so- called “unworthy of life”. Disguised as a “transport of invalids” (so-called Operation “14f13”), more than a thousand mostly Jewish prisoners were brought from concentration camps to Sonnenstein, to murder them there. Josef Issler was among them, and immediately after his arrival he "died" in the gas chamber of Sonnenstein. With German thoroughness and conscientiousness, the amount that who was still on his money management card was transfered to his widow in Gelsenkirchen.

Josef's wife Lea Issler was forced to move into the ghetto house Von-der-Recke Street 4 in October 1939. On January 27, 1942, she was deported to the Riga ghetto. Lea Issler was murdered there in November 1943.

Leo Issler made a statement based on his knowledge at the time, which the family Issler kindly provided us with a copy, below is the transcript:

Statutory declaration

I, the final undersigned, Leo Issler, make the following declaration under oath, knowing that this declaration is to be submitted to the compensation office in Germany. I have been informed about the importance of an affidavit and know that providing false or evenmnegligent false declaration is punishable.

About me: My name is Leo Issler, I was born in Gelsenkirchen/Westphalia on February 19, 1911 and lived there until my emigration in September 1937; my last domestic address was: Schalker Str. 42, Gelsenkirchen. I was a Polish citizen and belonged to the Jewish religious community since birth. I am now an Israeli citizen, residing in Raanana/Israel, Shchunat Neve David. I am married and have three children. My Israeli Identity card has No. 308701, issued in Herzliah on December 30, 1948.

To the point: After completing elementary and private commercial school, I joined the company in 1928 (in age of 17) into my parents' business, where I worked until the forced sale of the business in 1934. My parents owned a large shoe and clothing store in Gelsenkirchen, Hochstrasse 73 (in the same building where we were lived). My father Joseph Issler, my mother Lea Issler and I worked in my parents' business myself, my sister Klara Speyer née Issler, and an average of 1-2 employees. As far as I can remember, the value of the warehouse was about 30,000 to 40,000 marks, the monthly net profit of the business was about 1,500 to 2,000 marks. I myself was the manager and received a monthly salary of 200 marks, plus free board and lodging in my parents' home. At the end of 1932, the boycott of Jewish shops in Gelsenkirchen began, which also severely damaged our business.

At the end of March 1933, my father Joseph Issler and I were attacked in our apartment by SA men and seriously wounded. My father suffered severe head wounds and a concussion, while I suffered a broken nose and other injuries myself. We were both into this Catholic hospital in Gelsenkirchen, where we stayed for about 10 days. After leaving the hospital, my parents no longer dared to go to the store and it remained closed from that point on. In 1934 the business finally foreclosed which caused me to lose my job.

From June 1934 to July 1936 I worked as a commission agent for the company JEKEL & NUSSBAUM, Kirchstr. 33, Gelsenkirchen (mail order business for partial payments). My average income was about 200 (two hundred) marks per month during these years. In July 1936 I had to give up the above position because of racial persecution. After a period of agricultural preparation ("Hachshara") I emigrated to Palestine in September 1937.

In the first year after my immigration I couldn't find any work because there was a lot of unemployment in Palestine at the time. I was only assigned individual working days and was supported mainly by welfare institutions. From the beginning of 1939 I worked as a seasonal agricultural worker, during which I was often unemployed. In the years 1939-1940 my average income was around 6-7 pounds per month, in the years 1941-1942 my income increased according to inflation, slowly to 20-30 pounds a month. During these years I worked as an agricultural worker and later as a construction worker. In 1948 I got a position as a highway worker (in government service), which I still hold today.

My parents, siblings and I lived in a 6-room apartment on Hochstr. until the end of 1933 in Gelsenkirchen. Since the boycott of Jewish shops since the end of 1932 had caused us great economic damage and since the shop had been closed since March 1933 and my parents no longer had any income, we had to give up this apartment, sell off some of the furniture and move to a 2-room apartment at Schalker Str. 42 in Gelsenkirchen. My father lived in this apartment until his arrest in September 1939 and my mother until her deportation 27.1.1942. On this day my mother had to leave the apartment and everything in it. We have not received anything back since then and nor received any compensation for it. In the apartment there was furniture, linen, carpets, dishes, gold and silver items, etc. with a total value of at least 10,000 marks.

My father Josef Issler, born on January 26th, 1886 in Radonyal/Poland/ was arrested at the beginning of September 1939 on the street in Gelsenkirchen and taken to the police headquarters in Gelsenkirchen where after a short time he was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. In July 1941 my father was murdered in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

My mother Lea Issler, née Franzblau (born July 17, 1888 in Radonyal/Poland) was born on January 27, 1942 deported to the East and despite investigations we have received no news from her.


Translation: Claudia Bruschke, May 2024

Gedenkbuch Bundesarchiv
Yad Vashem, Bericht Emanuel Issler(Abruf 2/2024)
Datenbank der in den Jahren 1933 bis 1945 in Gelsenkirchen verfolgten Jüdinnen und Juden (Abruf 4/2024) (Abruf 4/2024)
Listenmaterial d. Jüdischen Gemeinde Gelsenkirchen betr. Deportation 27. Januar 1942 Gelsenkirchen nach Riga

Familienfotos aus Privatbesitz der Familie Issler (Isler).

Stumbling blocks for Josef and Lea Issler, layed June 6, 2024

Stolpersteine Gelsenkirchen - Ehepaar Josef und Lea Issler Stolpersteine Gelsenkirchen - Ehepaar Josef und Lea Issler Stolpersteine Gelsenkirchen -  Ehepaar Josef und Lea Issler

Stolpersteine Gelsenkirchen - Ehepaar Josef und Lea Issler

Projektgruppe STOLPERSTEINE Gelsenkirchen, 4/2024

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