Hermann Fortgang
Zvi
(1923-1942)
Date of death : 3/26/1942Place of death :

Short Biography

Camps ריגה

Born StuttgartLived Stuttgart

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My cousin Hermann Zvi Fortgang, was born in Stuttgart-Germany in 1923. His childhood was pleasant with no exceptional events.  Even during the first years under the Nazi regime,  he admired German football teams and in one of the letters sent to my Father in Palestine, Hermann was proud to inform the victory of the German football team against Sweden.  In 1935 he publised with his cousin,  a family newspaper. With the accelerated anti-Jewish campaign of the Nazi regime in 1937, Hermann expressed growing depression in his letters to my Father in Palestine. His Mother- my Aunt Martha, wrote my Father about Hermann's wish to quit his secondary non Jewish school as a result of harassment against him by pupils and teachers. His Father, my Uncle Itche, opposed his son's will and forced him to keep on his studies. Hermann's mother suggested that the best solution for him would be to immigrate to a Kibbutz in Palestine after getting an agricultural training  at a farm in Fulda.  That was one of 30 cooperative agricultural farms administered by the Jewish Zionist youth movements "Hakhalutz" and  "Brit Khalutzim Datyim".  However those debates didn't last for long. In autumn 1938, Hermann was expelled from school and deported with his Father to Poland at night between 27-28 October. ( see memorial page of Yitzchak Fortgang). Both of them found shelter by family kins in Rudnik and Nisko in Galicia. In letters to my Father, Hermann complained on bad mood and boredom, while expressing hope for better times to come. During his stay in Poland, Hermann started to learn the art of print and English in order to be able to apply for visa to the U.S. In summer 1939 when Hermann's Father had been allowed to return to Germany- his son was not. The reasons for his prolonged stay in Poland have been unclear hitherto. Yet from correspondence to Palestine, one may conclude that at the outbreak of the war he was living in Western Ukraine, which at that time had been occupied by the Soviets. Hence until recently, it was believed that Hermann had disappeared somewhere in the Soviet Union during the war. However, according to documents divulged in the Bad-Arolsen archives in Germany,  his name appears on the transport list of deportees from Stuttgart to Riga including his parents, on December 1st 1941. It is therefore assumed that also Hermann was shot dead into a mass grave in a forest, near Riga on March 26th 1942.

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