Some weeks ago I discovered some interesting historic facts about the village Herrlingen. For me it was always this cosy Swabian village with a supermarket and a train station close to my home.
From 1926-1933 there was a boarding school for Jewish children in Herrlingen. It was founded by the educator Anna Essinger who led the school according to the Montessori principles. In 1933 she emigrated with some of the children to England. And the school existed there until the end of the war as Bunce Court School in Otterdon. After 1933 the Nazis used the buildings as a temporary camp for old Jewish people before they were sent to concentration camps.
However Herrlingen seems to be realtively well-known for Erwin Rommel, the so-called desert fox. Rommel lived 2 years with his family in one of the houses that had belonged to the boarding school before. It is said that Rommel was forced to kill himself in Herrlingen in 1945. Today there is a memorial stone for Rommel and a little museum for all the German and international fans.
While the whole Rommel-history seems to be documented quite well, there is little to find out about the Jewish history that ended in the 1930s in Herrlingen. The organisation for tracking Jewish roots in Southern Germany, Alemannia Judaica, has documented a lot of facts about Anna Essinger and her school. And there is PDF-article with pictures from the boarding school. (both in German)
Only some years ago the life and works of Richard Liebermann, a deaf painter, were rediscovered. He was teaching art classes in the Herrlingen boarding school. In 1940 he was sent to concentration camps in France, he survived and stayed in France after the war.
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