Max and Clara Köhler were a married couple who were natives of andresided in Berlin, Germany in the 20th century. Mr. Köhler was the owner of oneof the small metal factories in Berlin. Their line of work fed them and theirson, Hans, well, however, they were never able to live very comfortably. It wasfortunate that the Köhlers had overcome the of the economic crisis withouthaving to lay off their workers, and it left Clara and Max highly respectedamong their staff. However, but it was well known that they had lived scarcelyto ensure the employment of the factory workers. They are credited with aidingArthur Arndt, Erich Joachim, Ellen Lewinski, and Bruno Gumpel. It wasn’t untilOctober 13, 1988, that the Yad Vashem organization recognized Max and ClaraKöhler as “Righteous Among the Nations”.
He and his wife, before the start of World War II, were longtimepatients of a Jewish doctor named Arthur Arndt. On January 9, 1943, when newsbroke out that deported from Jews were being deported from the city of Berlin,Max Köhler wanted to help and quickly hired Arndt’s son Erich Joachim to workin his metal factory as a mechanic journeyman. Max, aware that Erich hadnowhere else to go, allowed the young man to sleep in the factory at night.While Clara and Hans knew about the arrangement; he kept the information fromthe other employees to protect him from deportation or detention.
The onlything that the Köhlers told the staff, was that Joachim would be exempted frommilitary service because of wartime activity in the factory, and could work inBerlin temporarily. Their generosity extended to Erich’s girlfriend, EllenLewinski. Ellen had lost her hiding place, showed up for help, and was alsoallowed to move into the factory. The only condition was that she had to leavethe factory before working hours every morning, so she wouldn’t raise anyattention to herself from the workers. The Köhlers paid Erich for his work andprovided food for him and his girlfriend.