In Hiding

The Schlosses were a Jewish family from Gelsenkirchen. The Ruhr region was their home. But anti-Semitic violence increased, and in 1942 the family was deported to a ghetto in Riga. In the autumn of 1944, the 55-year-old Max Schloss and his 23-year-old son Ludwig returned to the Ruhr area – now as concentration camp inmates sent there to perform forced labour in the Buchenwald subcamp at the “Bochumer Verein” steel company.

They had lived nearby and were familiar with the surroundings: good prerequisites for an escape. With the help of a German foreman, Max Schloss managed to contact an old friend. Wearing civilian work clothes and carrying forged factory IDs, he and his son managed to flee on 16 March 1945. They initially hid in the home of their friend Heinrich Wilmes in Gelsenkirchen. Later they found shelter with Heinrich’s brother Theo in Essen. They passed themselves off as relatives who had been bombed out of their homes.

American troops reached Essen on 10 April 1945. Max and Ludwig Schloss were free. They later left Germany and emigrated to the U.S.A.

(Michael Löffelsender)


Reference: Lewis (Ludwig) Schloss, “Unsere sieben Monate in Buchenwald” (http://www.gelsenzentrum.de/lutz_schloss_buchenwald.htm, accessed 17 February 2021).