Marga Steinhardt and her Family

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 24 – Biographies

The interior architect Max Steinhardt (1886-1944, concentration camp Haiflingen), his wife Therese (b. 1899), and the two children Marga (b. 1927) and Alfred (1932-1944, Auschwitz) lived in Witzenberg, Hessen. After the “Night of the Broken Glass”, the parents brought their children to the sheltered environment of Jewish boarding schools, the last of which was the Horticultural School Ahlem. The family was deported from Kassel to Riga on December 9th, 1941.

In addition to the education he received in the ghetto school (with one teacher for 150 students!), Alfred relied on his sister for further tutoring because “if I survive this, I do not want to be a ‘subhuman’.” When Marga fell severely ill, she was hidden away from the selection squad in a secret sickroom. Her friendship with a young woman that had a high school diploma and had gone to concerts, the theatre, and the opera “awakened the wish in me to come to know such a life some time.”

On the death march from Stutthof, Marga and Therese Steinhardt defected. They successfully obscured their identity and even caught rides with German Army vehicles. On May 2nd, 1945, they encountered American GIs. “That was the happiest day of my life. I was 17 and had managed to see my mother and myself through.

Picture credits

Private Collection, Marga Griesbach


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 24 from 39 – Biographies
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond