Norbert Kronenberg

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 27 – Biographies

The story of Norbert Kronenberg’s (1908-?) life would have remained unknown, like the stories of so many deportees, had a suitcase with personal belongings not recently been discovered through a chain of fortunate circumstances.

The son of the attentive mother Amalie (1880-?), née Nussbaum, and the nature-loving merchant father Max Kronenberg (1868-1922), shared the experiences of many of his peers at the time: enrolment in secondary school (German: Oberrealschule) in 1915 (Luther School), school holidays during cold spells (German: Kälteferien) because of a lack of fuel during the war year of 1918, and the Bar-Mizwa, the introduction into the Jewish religious community. After graduation, he became a radio engineer. On January 7th, 1934, he met Elsa Rosenbaum (b. 1914) in Herford. They fell in love and got engaged in 1937. On March 12th, 1939, Elsa received a permit for Australia.

His beloved emigrated. “On the 4th of June [1939], I accompanied her [Elsa] to Bremen to say goodbye. She departed on the steamship ‘Aller’ on June 5th and arrived in Melbourne on July 23rd.

Norbert Kronenberg meticulously researched his family history, a success story of societal ascent since 1850. Hewas heavily engaged in investigating the history of the city of Hannover and was a great supporter of the streetcars. His book collection identifies him as a well-established member of the educated classes who was sustained by the German language and culture. This intellectual world was a stark contrast to the reality Norbert Kronenberg was exposed to. Nonetheless, for the family man emigration was out of the question.

Picture credits

Photograph: Yvonne Sowa, Culture of Remembrance


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