The “Jew house” of the Schanzer family
In 1940, the Dortmund city administration formulated the goal of concentrating all of the 1,200 Jewish citizens still living in the city in 60 so-called “Jew houses”. “Jew house” (“Judenhaus”) was the term used for a building which still had a Jewish owner and to which other Jews living in non-Jewish properties could now be compulsorily relocated. “Jew houses” were indicated by a yellow star on the front, and the outer door was required to be kept permanently unlocked so as to allow access for the Gestapo to the occupants at any time.
The building at Prinzenstrasse No. 9/11 was one such “Jew house”. It was the property of Viktor Schanzer, a publisher who had founded the “Dortmunder Tageblatt” newspaper in 1895 and, until 1932, had carried on a successful advertising agency. His wife died in Dortmund in 1932. In 1938, five of his six adult children had also returned to live in Prinzenstrasse. His daughters Alice and Helma taught at the Jewish school, while his son Julius taught violin at the City Conservatoire.
Viktor Schanzer and three of his children were deported and murdered in the course of the Holocaust. The others succeeded in fleeing abroad. Alice, Helma and Julius were among the contingent of Jews transported on 30 April 1942 to the ghetto in Zamość, none of whom survived. Their father Viktor was murdered in October 1942 in the Theresienstadt ghetto.