Family Barsdorf -Gruenberg
South wall 11

Stumbling block stories in Krefeld

A family torn between flight, deportation and murder

The Jewish merchant Julius Jacob Barsdorf, born on 19.03.1845 in Neu-Brandenburg, came to Krefeld in 1872 with his wife Agnes née Goetz (born 21.11.1855 in Hamburg). Barsdorf was a silk merchant by profession. He first managed and then took over the silk goods shop R. D. Warburg & Co. in the house Südwall 11 around 1890. His wife came from a wealthy Hamburg family of bankers and merchants. After the death of Julius Barsdorf in 1897 Agnes Barsdorf took over the company. In 1897 she also acquired the house Südwall 11 and moved there with her family.

Julius and Agnes Barsdorf had four children: their son Julius, born on 21.08.1875, their daughter Olga, born on 16.12.1881, their daughter Alice, born on 17.06.1884, their son Edgar, born on 4.01.1892 and their son Ernst.

Julius jun. married in 1911 Irma Strauss, born on 11.10.1886 in Mülheim/Mosel. His son Hans, born in 1914, died already in 1920. Julius Barsdorf took over the company from his mother, who, together with his wife Irma and the businessman Johannes Horten, became a procurator in the business. From 1919 Julius Barsdorf lived with his family in the house at Uerdingerstraße 250 and died on 21.07.1930.

Olga married the merchant Julius Grünberg, born on 15.12.1876 in Wetter/Ruhr and moved to him in Mönchengladbach. There her son Arthur was born on 9.07.1907. In 1909 the family came to Krefeld and lived in the house Südwall 11 from May 1933. Julius Grünberg worked as a sales representative.

After the National Socialists came to power in 1933, the company was closed. Edgar, the youngest son of Julius and Agnes Barsdorf, emigrated to South America, as did Arthur Grünberg, the son of Olga and Julius Grünberg.
Alice Barsdorf died a natural death on 19.12.1939 and was buried at the Krefeld New Jewish Cemetery.

In November 1938, the office of the Krefeld synagogue congregation was moved to Haus Südwall 11 after the destruction of the Krefeld synagogues and Jewish community facilities during the November pogrom. The office existed until July 1942.
From November 1938 the house was also used as a "Jewish House". However, Agnes Barsdorf remained the owner until at least 1940. Until July 1942 at least 39 Krefeld Jews lived in the house, mostly for a short time. Some of them still managed to emigrate. However, most of them were gradually deported from Krefeld during the deportations that began in autumn 1941.


Irma Barsdorf, the widow of Julius Barsdorf Jr., had lived in the house at Richard-Wagnerstraße 5, also a "Jewish house", until July 1941. In October 1941 she arrived in the house Süd-wall 11, and in October 1941 a closed collective transport took her via Ber-lin to Barcelona, from where she could emigrate to Habanna/Cuba. Later she lived in the USA.

Agnes Barsdorf as well as Julius and Olga Grünberg were deported on 25 July 1942 from Krefeld via Düsseldorf to Theresienstadt. Agnes Barsdorf died there on 22.12.1942. Julius Grünberg had already died there on 25.11.1942. Olga Grünberg was deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on 15 May 1944, where she was murdered on the same day.

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