Themes/The Helpers’ Circle around Otto Weidt

The Helpers’ Circle around Otto Weidt

Many of Otto Weidt’s activities to aid persecuted people depended on support from trustworthy persons.

Hedwig Porschütz, a friend of Otto Weidt’s, obtained food for them on the black market. In 1943 she gave shelter in her apartment to the Jewish twin sisters Marianne and Anneliese Bernstein, as well as Grete Seelig and her niece, Lucie Ballhorn. Hedwig Porschütz was arrested in 1944 and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for “hoarding foodstuffs.”

Hans Rosenthal, who was a supplies manager for the Jewish Community, used the information available to him to warn Otto Weidt and his employees in February 1943 before the major round-up known as “Operation Factory.”

Dr. Gustav Held, a Jewish doctor, treated Georg Licht, who was seriously ill, at the time when the Licht family was staying in a hideout organized by Otto Weidt. Held was protected from deportation because he had a non-Jewish wife, Inge. She helped by obtaining medicines for people in hiding at the neighboring pharmaceuticals firm, Kuby & Co.

Theodor Görner, who owned a printing press at Rosenthaler Straße 26, organized forged identity cards and gave work in his firm to Jews living in hiding, like Inge Deutschkron’s mother Ella.

Karl Deibel, an advertising agent, hid victims of political and racial persecution, including Grete Seelig and her brother Leo, in the basement of the old Workshop for the Blind premises at Großbeerenstraße 92.


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