Who was Martin Lachmann?
“This is a terribly difficult time that we are enduring here, but hopefully everything will turn out alright.”
Career at Allianz
Unlike most Jewish Germans, Martin Lachmann initially managed to keep his position and his earnings even after 1933.
Exclusion and Hope
“My future is now completely unclear. I don’t believe of course that Allianz will let me down, since that would be the worst possible thing.”
Still, he hoped for employment in Switzerland. But shortly afterwards the next shock followed: Allianz’s legal adviser Hans Goudefroy, later general director at Allianz, and Hans Heß explained to their longstanding employee that he would only receive a third of the contractually agreed yearly support. The political circumstances would not allow to pay a Jewish retiree a retirement income of this amount.
All Hopes Shattered
Martin Lachmann’s letters prove his longing for his family, especially his beloved but unreachably distant grandchild. At the same time, he was anxious to ease their worries concerning his increasingly alarming situation..
Then, on October 18, 1941, more than 1,000 Berlin Jews were deported with the first Berlin deportation-train to Litzmannstadt (Łódź) in Poland, occupied by Nazi Germany. On November 14 the train deporting Martin Lachmann and more than 1,000 other persecutees to Minsk departed from Berlin-Grunewald Station. Martin Lachmann died on the journey. He never saw his beloved grandchild again.
History is the key
Curriculum vitae of Martin Lachmann
1907 Insurance agent for Allianz in Berlin
1920s to 1933 One of the most successful agents of Allianz
1939 The total economic and social exclusion of Jews from German society results in the termination of Martin Lachmann’s contract with Allianz.
Martin Lachmann is deported to Minsk in November 1941. He died on the journey. His wife was murdered in front of her house in Munich on January 13, 1942.