The Kleeberg Family

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 26 – Biographies

Herrmann (1873-?) and Frieda Kleeberg (1871-?) ran a butcher’s shop in Boffzen in the district of Holzminden. During the November Pogrom in 1938, the father and his son Walter were taken into custody at the concentration camp Buchenwald. After their release, the son had to leave the country within a few days; the daughter had already emigrated to the USA. The parents found themselves alone in a hostile environment. Their son Erich (1902-1945), who lived with his wife and daughter in a 2-room apartment on Wißmannstraße 11 in Hannover, took them in. Erich’s parents were deported to Riga in 1941.

Erich Kleeberg lived in a “mixed marriage” because his wife Maria (b. 1901) came from Protestant background. This circumstance saved the couple and their daughter Ruth (b. 1933), who was named after her aunt, from deportation but not from the “Jews’ house” (German: Judenhaus). In the end, the Kleebergs, like many other Jewish-Christian families, lived in the “Jews’ house” on the grounds of the former Horticultural School Ahlem.

When Erich Kleeberg fed the grains he had found on the ground to his rabbits, he at first was sent to jail in Ahlem and later to the Sandbostel camp. There he died in the last days of the war. His wife and daughter were liberated in Ahlem.

Picture credits

Private collection Ruth Gröne, reproduction Municipal Archives Hannover, pre-death estate Gröne/Kleeberg, no. 62.


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 26 from 39 – Biographies
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond