Dr. Fritz Wachtel, portrait photo from around 1930.

(Nuremberg City Archives C21/VII No. 170)

Berta Wachtel, portrait photo from around 1930.

(Nuremberg City Archives C21/VII No. 170)

Dr. Hans Wachtel, portrait photo from around 1930.

(Nuremberg City Archives C21/VII No. 170)

The building at Marienstrasse 23 is at the edge of the picture, on the far left. Picture postcard from around 1900.

(Geschichte Für Alle e.V., photo collection)

Marienstrasse 23 is circled in red. As it leaves the old city, Marienstrasse leads into the Marien Tunnel, in the middle of the bottom half of the picture. Bahnhofstrasse runs parallel to the railway tracks. At the very top of the photo, parts of the Wöhrder Wiese meadow can be seen. The imposing building to the far east (on the right-hand edge of the photo), is the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts) in Flaschenhofstrasse. Today it houses the Amtsgericht (district court). Aerial photo 1927.

(Nuremberg City Archives, A 97 No. 324)

Fritz, Berta and Hans Wachtel

Location of stone: Marienstraße 23 District: Marienvorstadt
Sponsor: Susan Wachtel Levine Laying of stone: 28 May 2015

Biographies

In May 2015 Susan Wachtel Levine had stumbling stones laid for her father and grandparents. The Wachtel family were able to emigrate to the USA. However, the physician Dr. Hans Wachtel died a tragic death there.

Fritz was born on 27 February 1877 in Marksuhl near Eisenach. He was the son of trader Jakob Wachtel and his wife Helene (née Strauss). He studied medicine until 1901, then worked in Gotha before moving to Nuremberg in November 1902 to work as an ENT physician and ophthalmologist. His surgery was located at Königstraße 29.

In July 1908 he married Berta Haymann. Berta was born on 17 October 1888 in Amberg. Her parents were the banker Karl Haymann und Fanny (née Oppenheimer). On 9 June 1909 their son Hans was born. From August 1918 onwards the family lived at Marienstraße 23.

Hans Wachtel also studied medicine, in Munich and Berlin. He emigrated to the USA in 1936, settling in Chicago. His parents followed at the beginning of January 1938. Dr. Fritz Wachtel died in Chicago on 5 April 1944, his wife Berta on 29 April 1962.

Dr. Hans Wachtel was a gynaecologist. He worked from 1946 onwards in Woodlawn Hospital, eventually becoming head of the gynaecology department there. On 2 February 1977 he was shot dead in front of his home in Chicago. The two perpetrators were later convicted. They claimed they had been hired by a middleman who in turn implicated another doctor in the same hospital, alleging that the latter had contracted him to arrange Wachtel’s murder. It appears Wachtel had discovered that the doctor had been performing unnecessary operations for financial gain. There has been no adequate account of the circumstances surrounding the case.

- Bernd Höffken: Schicksale jüdischer Ärzte aus Nürnberg nach 1933, Berlin 2013, p. 368-370.

- Ilse Levine-Kanji: My Grandfather Was Murdered. 'Justice' Bound My Family To His Killers (wbur.org, Artikel vom 01.04.2019), accessed on 29.04.2021.

- Nuremberg City Archives, C 21/X No. 9 registration cards.