Fritz Prager, portrait photo from around 1930.

(Nuremberg City Archives, C21/VII No. 119)

Fritz Prager, with his grandson Franz Wertheimer, photo 1932.

(Laura Wertheimer)

The building at Josephsplatz 8. Photo from around 1930.

(Nuremberg City Archives, A64 No. 538)

Josephsplatz 8 is circled in red. It is located in the old city, in the densely built-up Lawrence district. Karolinenstrasse and Breite Gasse can be seen a short distance to the south of Josephsplatz. They join up on the far left of the picture, near the large buildings of the Tietz department store (today Wöhrl) and the White Tower. The high elongated roof at the bottom of the picture belongs to one of the warehouses along the Kornmarkt. Aerial photo 1927.

(Nuremberg City Archives, A 97 No. 291)

Fritz Prager

(1876-1954)

Location of stone: Josephsplatz 8 District: St. Lorenz
Sponsor: Laura Wertheimer Laying of stone: 16 July 2020

Biography

On 16 July 2020 Laura Wertheimer had four stumbling stones laid for her father, her grandparents and her great grandfather. Erich Wertheimer, his wife Sophie and their son Franz fled to the USA in 1938. Sophie’s father, Fritz Prager, followed them in 1939.

Fritz Prager and his twin brother Max were born on 8 June 1876 in Berlin. His parents were the textile dealer Heinrich Prager und Sophie (née Mandelbaum). After leaving school Fritz started work in his father’s business in Berlin. In 1900 he opened a branch at Josephsplatz 8 in Nuremberg. The ladies’ fashion shop was located on the ground floor and his flat on the floor above.

In June 1902 he married Cilli Lissberger in Creglingen near Bad Mergentheim. Cilli, born in Creglingen on 15 August 1868, gave birth to daughter Sophie on 26 April 1902 in Nuremberg. During the First World War Fritz Prager served in the Bavarian army. Afterwards, he continued with his business and also purchased the building. Fritz was very religious and was active in the Jewish religious community in Nuremberg, for instance as treasurer.

In May 1925 Sophie married the wholesaler Erich Wertheimer. Grandson Franz was born on 26 September. Fritz’s wife Cilli died from cancer on 9 November 1930.

His success as a businessman came to an end in National Socialist Germany. Fritz had to give up his business in September 1935 and was eventually forced to sell the house at a dictated price to members of the Nazi Party. In May 1936 Fritz made a short journey to the USA, to persuade a distant relative to help him and his daughter’s family emigrate. Sophie and her family emigrated to New York in November 1938, Fritz in May 1939.

Following the deduction of capital levies and forced taxes imposed by the German Reich on Jewish emigrants, nothing was left of Fritz’s estate. He was 63 years old and spoke no English. Until his death in March 1954 Fritz lived with his daughter and earned money as a door-to-door salesman.

His twin brother Max lived in Frankfurt am Main. He committed suicide on 12 January 1942.

- Biographical text from Laura Wertheimer, March 2021

- Nuremberg City Archives, C 21/X No. 7 registration card.

- www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/de945876 [accessed on 24.06.2021]