Photographer's Note

This man receives you at the Otto Weidt Museum in Berlin


"Otto Weidt (2 May 1883 - 22 December 1947) was the owner of a workshop in Berlin for blind and deaf. During the Holocaust, he fought to protect his Jewish workers against deportation and he has been recognised for his work as one of the Righteous Men of the World's Nations. The Museum of Otto Weidt's Workshop for the Blind remains on the original site of the factory and is dedicated to his life.

Berlin, 39 Rosenthaler Straße

Soon after his birth in Rostock, the Weidt family moved to Berlin. Like his father, Otto became a paperhanger. As a young man he got involved in anarchist and pacifist circles of the German working-class movement and avoided his draft for World War I due to an ear infection.
In 1936 Weidt established his workshop, which in 1940 moved to the backyard of 39 Rosenthaler Straße in Berlin-Mitte to manufacture brooms and brushes. As one of his customers was the Wehrmacht, Weidt managed to have his business classified as vital to the war effort. About 30 blind and deaf Jews were employed at his shop between the years of 1941 and 1943.[1] When the Gestapo began to arrest and deport his Jewish employees, he fought to secure their safety by falsifying documents and bribing the officers. Though Weidt, forewarned, kept his shop closed on the day of the Fabrikaktion in February 1943, many of his employees were deported. Among those he was able to save were Inge Deutschkron, Hans Israelowicz and Alice Licht.
After the war, Weidt established an orphanage for survivors of the concentration camps.
On September 7, 1971, Yad Vashem recognized Weidt posthumously as a Righteous Man of the World's Nations.[2]
In 1993, Inge Deutschkron affixed a plaque honoring Weidt at the site of the workshop and in 1994, an Ehrengrab in the Zehlendorf cemetery was established. A museum at the site of the workshop opened in 1999, since 2005 under the covering of the Memorial to the German Resistance foundation.[3]"

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Additional Photos by Gae La Rocca (Zanni) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 152 N: 1266] (6108)
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