Walking tours on Jewish history in Solingen

Funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community by resolution of the German Bundestag.
Funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community by resolution of the German Bundestag.

As part of #2021JLID, the year of celebration marking 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany, the association Max-Leven-Zentrum Solingen e. V. examines the multi-facetted life and work of Jews in Solingen – from 1568, when they were first mentioned in the historical records of the “Klingenstadt” (“City of Blades”), onwards. The tours cover the history of the Coppel industrialist family, the dedication of Jewish doctors and the role of Jewish merchants in the emergent centre of Solingen-Ohligs. In the course of time, it was possible to re-establish contact with a number of descendants from families that had been expelled from their hometown during the Nazi regime.

Depending on their respective distance, the tours will be offered as walking tours or can be covered by bike (for groups). They will be supported by an audio system. All tours will be documented on this website and are available in German, “Einfache Sprache” (plain language), English and Turkish.

Individual tours can be arranged via info@max-leven-zentrum.de or +49 212 5947080.

Translated from German by Miriam Braun, November 2021

Logo Bildungs- und Gedenkstätte Max-Leven-Zentrum Solingen e. V.
Logo Festjahr 2021 Jüdisches Leben in Deutschland

Postkarte von ca. 1910 mit dem Bekleidungs-Geschäft Gebr. Davids, Düsseldorfer Str. 40 (rechts). Quelle: Stadtarchiv Solingen, PK 1600

Jewish Merchants in Solingen-Ohligs

by Armin Schulte and Daniela Tobias, translated by Miriam Braun

Since the end of the 19th century, Jewish merchants, located along the Düsseldorfer Straße, formed an inherent part of the emergent centre in Solingen-Ohligs. However, after the National Socialists seized power, they rapidly became the target of antisemitic Nazi propaganda.

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Foto von Dr. Erna Rüppel am Kinderkrankenbett, wohl Anfang der 1920er Jahre, Quelle: Horst Sassin

Jewish Doctors

by Dr. Horst Sassin, translated by Miriam Braun

The tour remembers Dr. Paul Berkenau, Dr. Emil Kronenberg, the couple Dr. Ida and Dr. Walter Marcus, Dr. Erna Rüppel and Prof. Dr. Eduard Schott. Their fate agitated and shocked many of their patients, but that could not save the doctors from having to close their medical practices, from having to leave the country or go into hiding or, as was the case with Dr. Kronenberg, from being deported. Dr. Kronenberg and Dr. Rüppel returned to Solingen after the war was over.

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Foto der Brüder Heinz, Carl Gustav, Alexander und Hermann Coppel anläßlich des 100-jährigen Firmenjubiläums 1921, Quelle: Stadtarchiv Solingen, RS 10125

The Coppel Family

by Dietmar Gaida and Simone Sassin, translated by Martina R. Jones

Around 1770, the butcher and tradesman Coppel Samuel moved from the Frankfurt area to Solingen. In 1821, his son Alexander Coppel founded the steel ware company that later operated globally and remained family-owned until 1936. In honour of his diverse social and political commitment, Gustav Coppel became honorary citizen of the city of Solingen in 1906.

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