AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MONASTERY IN THE LATE 1930IES AND 1940IES
As the aerial photographs show, the monastery is surrounded by farm land and equipped with agricultural facilities. This was an asset for the installation of the military hospital in 1941 and later of the Jewish hospital as the huge farm could help to nourish the patients. Another asset for the installation of the military hospital was the fact that the whole compound is surrounded by walls.
SUPPRESSION OF THE MONASTERY ON APRIL 17, 1941
A photograph taken from a hidden spot shows how the monks are brought away in busses after the Gestapo had taken over the monastery compound on April 17, 1941. Around 60 monks were „obliged“ to continue their work on the farm and in the workshops which provided for the basic needs of the military hospital.
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1941-1945 WHEN THE MONASTERY SERVED AS MILITARY HOSPITAL
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE WELFENKASERNE LANDSBERG BY COURTESY OF ANNE RUECKER
Under the code name „Ringeltaube“ a huge underground facility close to Landsberg am Lech was constructed starting from June 1944 where after completion military planes should be built. For the construction works about 23.000 prisoners, especially from Eastern Europe, were gradually brought to smaller concentration camps around Landsberg and Kaufering (Lager I-XI). According to a recent counting, 6334 of these forced workers (male and female) died during the construction which continued until the last days of the war. The first patients of the St. Ottilien Hospital came from these concentration camps. Today the underground facility is part of a Military Compound of the German Army („Welfenkaserne“) which honors the victims in a permanent exhibition.
TOMBS FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAIN BOMBING AND SS EXECUTIONS ON APRIL 28, 1945
The three mass graves for about 130-140 victims lie close to the railway line from Kaufering to Munich, about 2 kilometers from the village of Schwabhausen. Dr. Zalman Grinberg, as accompanying doctor, organized the transport of the wounded survivors to the nearby German military hospital of St. Ottilien which became the start for the later DP Hospital.
DRAWINGS OF THE HOSPITAL TREATMENT BY NURSE ERIKA GRUBE
Nurse Erika Grube served in the rehabilitation center of the UNRRA hospital. She produced eight drawings of her therapeutic experiences which today are preserved in the Yad Vashem Center. Description in English: Eight drawings and in German: Acht Grafiken.
VIEW OF ST. OTTILIEN IN 1945
The image shows the view from the former main entrance road (coming from Eresing resp. Türkenfeld) to the monastery. On the monastery roof, the flag of the Red Cross was already installed by the former German military Hospital as protection against Allied air raids. See the reference in US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
FIRST CONGRESS OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE AT THE TOWN HALL OF MUNICH (January 27, 1946)
Photo 1: David Ben-Gurion (second from the right) seated at the speakers‘ table. Dr. Zalman Grinberg is speaking as chairman of the Executive Council of Holocaust Survivors. The Hebrew banner shows a line from a poem by David Shimonovitz: „As long as a Jewish heart beats somewhere in the world, there will be a land of Israel“. Copyright by Ghetto Fighters House Museum, Catalogue No. 56293.
Photo 2: David Ben-Gurion standing at the speakers‘ table. The participants sing the Zionist anthem „Hatikva.“ Dr. Zalman Grinberg stands to the left of Ben-Gurion. Copyright by Ghetto Fighters House Museum, Catalogue No. 56292.
VISITING CARD OF DR. GRINBERG
The card was found in the residues of Dr. Hanns Kaiser (1921–2012) who worked in the Hospital under Dr. Grinberg (photograph provided by courtesy of Peter Kaiser)
RABBI ABRAHAM J. KLAUSNER (1915-2007) WHO PLAYED A DECISIVE ROLE IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JEWISH HOSPITAL
Photographs and texts by courtesy of © Amos Klausner
VIEWS OF THE MONASTERY-HOSPITAL WITH THE SIGN OF THE RED CROSS ON THE ROOFS AND WALLS
PLACARD BY THE HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION FROM 1946
„WARNING to the patients and the employees of the hospital. It is strictly forbidden to take fruits, berries, and flowers from the gardens in the area of the Hospital of St. Ottilien. Whoever offends this order, has to face instant dismissal from the hospital. Administration of the D.P. Hospital St. Ottilien.“ (Handwritten note on the placard: July 1, 1946)
TALMUD OF 1946
Before printing a complete version of the Talmud from 1948 to 1950 in 19 volumes in Heidelberg, Rabbi Samuel Abba Snieg und Rabbi Samuel Jakob Rose printed two volumes at the monastery press of St. Ottilien (run at this time by Herder editions). The Talmud was used for study purposes by the Ottilien Yeshiva of Rabbi Snieg. The third photograph shows Rabbi Rose proof reading the printing plates of the Talmud (Source: US-National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain)
MEMBERS OF A „CHILDREN’S KIBBUTZ“ OF THE DROR YOUTH MOVEMENT IN FRONT OF THE ST. OTTILIEN CHAPEL (July 1946)
The banner in the foreground reads, in Hebrew: „[the] Future of our people.“ The kibbutz was named „Atid“ [Hebrew: future]. Counselor Motek Goldhecht is standing on the left. Copyright by Ghetto Fighters House Museum, Catalogue No. 37796.
JEWISH SURVIVORS AT ST. OTTILIEN
REHABILITATION CENTER „SONNENHOF“ IN BAD WOERISHOFEN
Photograph © John Glass, Melbourne
In May 1948, the Jewish Hospital St. Ottilien was dissolved. Most of the patients and the medical staff moved to another hospital, the Jewish Hospital and Sanatorium „Sonnenhof“ in Bad Woerishofen, 40 kms West of St. Ottilien. The Hospital „Sonnenhof“ was dissolved in 1951 and is now a wellness Hotel.