Born on December 4, 1887 in Münchweiler an der Alsenz
Deported from Stuttgart on December 1, 1941 to Riga/Jungfernhof camp
Interned in Weißenstein in November 1941

At the age of 24, Mathilde Levy left her hometown, where her father Isaak Levy ran a butcher’s shop. Mathilde, the second of four siblings, settled in Saarbrücken and worked as a domestic servant, presumably having previously received training in housekeeping. Three years later, she married the cook David Gärtner, who was one year older. Their first child, daughter Alice Sophie, was born in 1915. Like her parents, she later learned a ‘solid’ trade, becoming a ‘blanket cutter’. In 1930, Mathilde suffered her first blow of fate: her husband David died; their second child, their son Alfred Viktor Gärtner, was only 10 years old at the time, their daughter 15. The next blow of fate came in 1933: their son Alfred Viktor died at the age of 13.

Mathilde Gärtner (Source: Yad Vashem)

In January 1938, Mathilde’s daughter had married in the meantime and Mathilde Gärtner moved from Saarbrücken to Stuttgart. Here she had problems finding an apartment. Sometimes she lived in a Jewish hostel, then probably as a subtenant. Mathilde Gärtner probably worked in the community center of the Jewish community – as a Jew, she was lucky to have a job during the Nazi era.

At the beginning of November, Mathilde Gärtner was forced to leave her home; she was interned in Weißenstein Castle. A month later, she was one of around 1,000 Jews who were deported from Stuttgart to the Jungfernhof camp in Riga, where she was murdered by the Nazis.

(09.08.2023 kmr/ww)