Fritz Fabian

Fritz Fabian was born in 1874 in Berlin. Fabian was an architect, who was deported to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. After the war, he married Lilli Lehmann in Switzerland in 1947. In 1957, Lilly and Fritz regained German citizenship. He died in 1967 in Switzerland.

Fritz Fabian was born on 20 December 1874 in Tuchel (Tuchola, West Prussia). As a widower he married after a first, childless marriage Stefanie Bachstez, born 3 August 1892 in Jassy (Iasi, Romania). He forbade her to change anything in the apartment. As his son later reported, he was strictly German-national, and belonged to the right-wing conservative association of national German Jews, who – grotesquely – “combated the undeutsche spirit.” At home he often wore a green cap of his student union. Unlike her husband Stefanie was completely open and international. She was charming, cultured, read, drew and painted, spoke fluent French, cooked excellently and was perfect in everything she did.

In 1922, Robert Philip (“Bobby”) was born in Berlin, and on July 8, 1924, also in Berlin, Luisette Susanne. The two children had a children’s girl named Selma Magen, who was “Aryan” under the Nazi laws and the Fabian family visited as often as she could,

Fritz Fabian was not only a heart-loving father, but also an outstanding lawyer and acted as a will-master. During the Nazi period, Stefanie often said she wanted to “clean the toilet in Israel instead of staying an hour longer in Germany” because she foresaw the fate of her family.

An English teacher from Roberts school insisted that the parents send both children to England to save their lives. In 1936 Bobby was taken to his station by his parents and his sister at the age of fourteen. He often later recounted how he stood at the window of the train, waving as the train set off-without feeling any sense of fear, grief, or doubt about his parents and his sister. He did not think he would ever see her again. Why Luisette was not sent to England at the same time is only to be explained by the fact that the parents did not want to separate themselves from both children at the same time.

Fritz Fabian was advised to leave Germany as soon as possible. But he refused, with his national conviction, to perceive the threatening anti-Semitic laws. Stefanie Fabian, despite her desire to escape from Germany, never had the opportunity to do so because her husband did not allow it and because she was not financially able to do so.

Stefanie’s brother Marcel Bachstez had been building a new business in Mexico for three years. He got from Stefanie a postcard from the hervorging that they were threatened. Then, on the same day, Marcel’s daughter went to the highest authority in Mexico to immediately receive an entry permit for the whole family. This was granted in 24 hours, but arrived in Berlin on 29 October 1941, on the day when Fritz, Stefanie and Luisette Fabian were picked up by the SS and deported to Lodz.

Around 1942, Fritz Fabian deportation from Berlin to the ghetto Theresienstadt, which he survived; With his wife, whom he met in Theresienstadt, he lived after the end of the war in Muralto in the Ticino (Switzerland)

Lilly Fabian was born Lilli Lehmann in Hamburg in 1892. She married James Silberstein in Berlin in 1920, was deported to Theresienstadt, and married Fritz Fabian in 1947 in Switzerland. In 1957 Lilly and Fritz Fabian regained German citizenship. Lilly Fabian died in Locarno in 1981.

Fritz Fabian’s son, Robert Fabian, who had escaped this fate, remained unmarried. He went from England to the USA, was a gifted artist who had success as a graphic artist and lived in New York. There he worked for a while with Andy Warhol, whose sketches, which seemed to him to be inadequate, he threw away, without thinking that these sketches might be worth a day. He later taught Graphic Art at the University of Purchase.