Max Joachim, Ellen Lewinski, and Bruno Gumpel. It wasn’t

Max and Clara Köhler were a married couple who were natives of and
resided in Berlin, Germany in the 20th century. Mr. Köhler was the owner of one
of the small metal factories in Berlin. Their line of work fed them and their
son, Hans, well, however, they were never able to live very comfortably. It was
fortunate that the Köhlers had overcome the of the economic crisis without
having to lay off their workers, and it left Clara and Max highly respected
among their staff. However, but it was well known that they had lived scarcely
to ensure the employment of the factory workers. They are credited with aiding
Arthur Arndt, Erich Joachim, Ellen Lewinski, and Bruno Gumpel. It wasn’t until
October 13, 1988, that the Yad Vashem organization recognized Max and Clara
Köhler as “Righteous Among the Nations”.

 

He and his wife, before the start of World War II, were longtime
patients of a Jewish doctor named Arthur Arndt. On January 9, 1943, when news
broke 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 work
in his metal factory as a mechanic journeyman. Max, aware that Erich had
nowhere 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 from
the other employees to protect him from deportation or detention. The only
thing that the Köhlers told the staff, was that Joachim would be exempted from
military service because of wartime activity in the factory, and could work in
Berlin temporarily. Their generosity extended to Erich’s girlfriend, Ellen
Lewinski. Ellen had lost her hiding place, showed up for help, and was also
allowed to move into the factory. The only condition was that she had to leave
the factory before working hours every morning, so she wouldn’t raise any
attention to herself from the workers. The Köhlers paid Erich for his work and
provided food for him and his girlfriend.

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