Willy Rothschild, born 21.1.1896
Lütgendortmunder Str. 67/70, Lütgendortmund
Willy Rothschild originally came from Goddelsheim/Waldeck. Only little is known for certain about his life, including when he moved to Lütgendortmund. The facts of his working life are also unsure since his wife and daughter provided conflicting statements on this: while his wife described him as a mineworker, his daughter claimed that he kept a delicatessen store.
Willy Rothschild served in the First World War, and was awarded not only an Iron Cross First Class but also a Wounded Badge.
In 1918, he converted to the Catholic faith, although his reasons for doing so are unclear.
In November 1922, he married Hedwig Pauline Jortzik, with whom he had a daughter, Anneliese.
His “privileged mixed marriage” with a non-Jew and his status as a former frontline soldier should have meant that Willy Rothschild was in a relatively secure legal position, but it seems that he was repeatedly denounced and accused of only camouflaging his Jewishness.
Consequently, he was detained several times by the Gestapo and maltreated while in custody.
In July 1943, he was arrested once more and required to do forced labour in Berghofen. Despite the absence of visitor permits, his wife managed to arrange meetings with her husband. On 3 October 1943, however, he was no longer there. He had been deported to Auschwitz by the Gestapo.
Having received no further signs of life from him, Hedwig filed an application in July 1948 for her husband to be officially declared dead.