personal data

Landauer Sofie

Birth Name
First Name
Date of Birth
Place of birth
Other family members

Parents: August and Hedwig Stühler
Siblings: Rudolf
Spouse: Siegfried Landauer

Student of Kissingen Realschule

May 1935 emigrated to South Africa (Johannesburg)

Date of death
Place of death
East London/South Africa


Sofie Landauer, née Stühler belonged to the students from the district who attended Kissingen Realschule. She came from a respected Hammelburg merchants’ family who owned a shop for manufactured goods and shoes at Marktplatz there that had been founded by her grandfather Bernhard Stühler who ran it together with Sofie’s father. Sofie was born in Hammelburg on February 17, 1914 as the daughter of August Stühler and his wife Hedwig. 

After attending Elementary School, she first went to Hammelburg “Progymnasium” (six-form secondary school) but changed from class 3 there to class 4 in Kissingen Realschule. During that time, she lived with her parents in Hammelburg and went to her school in Bad Kissingen every day. At the end of the school year 1927/28 she left the school again. Why she did that in spite of good grades can’t be learned from the files.

Only little is known about her further life. In 1930, she lived in Horb/ Neckar. It is possible that there she had got to know her later husband Siegfried Landauer who came from Rottweil. As early as 1933, Siegfried Landauer emigrated to South Africa. One year later, Sofie Landauer followed him to South Africa where a year later her parents and her brother Rudolf fled as well.

Siegfried Landauer became a successful businessman in South African East London who travelled worldwide, especially to the USA. In the Jewish Reform Community of East London, he was active and was elected into Community Committee in 1955.

Sofie Landauer died in South Africa in 1995, her husband had already died in 1978. Her parents also became very old: Her father August Stühler lived till 1965, her mother till 1972.

Even though Sofie Landauer’s relationship with Germany remained burdened with her experiences during the Nazi Era, she continued to think of Hammelburg as her “hometown”, which she expressed during an interview with Deutschlandfunk in 1993:

“It is not Germany that is “home” to me, it is Hammelburg. Whenever I go there, I don’t realize having been away for such a long time, though everything is different: the goose herd no longer takes the geese across the marketplace but there are traffic lights installed there. That is completely different… But the atmosphere is still the same and I recognize the old Linden tree … and the few people left are exactly like they used to be. That is home to me. Hammelburg belongs to me. Hitler couldn’t change that. But Germany itself, let’s say it doesn’t attract me. I don’t know if you can understand that?”

523_Manufakturwarengeschäft Stühler, Hammelbur, Marktplatz 7 (Haus Bildmitte)
Manufactured goods store Stühler, Hammelburg, Marktplatz 7
523_ Sofie Landauer
Manufactured goods store Stühler, Hammelburg, Marktplatz 7


Schülerakte des Jack-Steinberger-Gymnasiums
Victims of holocaust Hammelburgexterner Link
Datenbank Ancestry, Adressbücher aus Deutschland und Umgebung, 1815-1974externer Link
Datenbank Ancestry, Hamburger Passagierlisten, 1850-1934externer Link
East London Progressive Jewish Congregation Temple Hillel, 5. List of Burials and Cremations externer Link
Interview mit Sofie Landauer, Deutschlandfunk, 1993. Der Text wurde mir freundlicherweise von Hans-Jürgen Beck weitergegeben, der ihn Peter Zoll, Hammelburg verdankt.

Photo credits

© Petra Kaup-Clement, Victims of Holocaust Hammelburgexterner Link
© Karl Stöckner, Stadtarchiv Hammelburg