Margit Naarmann, the historian who traced my German relatives’ lives through the Holocaust and showed me around Paderborn when I visited in 2012, just emailed a photo she recently found of my great-great-grandfather Jacob Nordhaus’ home on Kasselerstrasse 8 in Paderborn.
Jacob was my great-grandfather Max’s father, and was cantor and teacher at the synagogue in Paderborn. He died well before the Holocaust, but Margit found this photo of the house in which he lived, next door to the synagogue, after the “Night of Broken Glass”–or Kristallnacht, the nights of November 9-10, 1938, when the Nazis vandalized, burned and looted Jewish businesses, homes and places of worship across Germany. The house was looted and the windows all broken; the synagogue, a lovely Byzantine-style structure, was totally destroyed.
“The photo shows the house after the Night of Broken Glass,” Margit wrote in an email. “At what time this photo was taken is not exactly known, but the synagogue was already removed stone by stone.”