Survival in the Shadows
Author: Barbara Lovenheim
When Red Army soldiers discovered the Arndt, Lewinsky, and Gumpel families in April 1945, there were seven survivors-the largest known group of German Jews to survive in hiding in the heart of the Third Reich. In January 1943 the four Arndts went into hiding to avoid deportation and were soon joined by Ellen and Charlotte Lewinsky and Bruno Gumpel. For two and a half years the group survived in the shadowy underworld of Berlin-without food ration cards, identity cards, or secure accommodations-less than two miles from Hitler’s bunker. During their perilous saga they were protected by more than fifty non-Jewish Germans.
This is not only a story of tremendous courage, resourcefulness, and stamina during the darkest days of Hitler’s rule, but it also shows that anti-Semitism was not as ubiquitous among ordinary Germans as is commonly thought. Ellen and Erich Arndt and Ruth Arndt Gumpel, who live in the United States, here reveal their story in detail.