Hans Israelowicz was born on June 12, 1924. He was the only child of the Jewish merchant Richard Israelowicz and his wife Elise Pauline Marie, née Paulick. Hans Israelowicz’ mother Elise was baptized a Protestant and converted to the Jewish faith on her marriage in 1921. The family lived in Brunnenstraße in the Berlin district of Mitte, where Richard Israelowicz’ bedding shop was also located. The shop was destroyed in the Pogrom Night in 1938. Richard Israelowicz died in December 1941.
Hans Israelowicz had to work as a forced laborer from 1941 on. At the end of February 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo during “Operation Factory” and imprisoned in the Jewish Community administration building at Rosenstraße 2-4. After an unprecedented protest by non-Jewish relatives, almost all the prisoners were released in March 1943, including Hans Israelowicz.
Hans Israelowicz started working at Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind on December 14, 1943. He went into hiding at the beginning of 1944. After their apartment was bombed out, he and his mother moved to the district of Lichtenberg. Hans Israelowicz lived there until the end of the war under the name Hans Paulick.