Lucie Lasker, the mother of Lisbet, Martin Cassirer's wife, at 72 years of age was too old to leave Germany in 1938 and stayed. Her great grandson, Ben Bano has a postcard from Lucie (to Georg Cassirer) which was kept by his mother. Lucie had probably arranged for the card to be posted when she was held in an interim holding camp at Riebnig (now Rybna, Poland) in March 1942. This "group housing" [Wohngemeinschaft] had been established by the Nazis, operating over October 1941 to March 1943, to temporarily hold Jews who had been transported from Breslau, before sending them on East to the concentration camps.

There are two messages on the postcard, each probably shaped to evade censorship. The first, from a friend, Willi (sometimes "Willy"), seems framed to convey the news that his sister Grete has died, five weeks earlier. (Willi was clearly a good friend of Georg's wife Vera, and, although the signature is hard to read, has now been confirmed as being Willi Bodlaender.) Lucie's message on the postcard is shown below. Having mentioned how her grandson Erich used regularly to write to her it concludes, with probably studied ambiguity: 'Now it's all at an end. Heartfelt greetings, and you think of me.'

Postcard from Lucie Lasker and friend from Riebnig dated 17 March 1942
To see postcards enlarged click images
For a translation into English click here.

On 31 August 1942 Lucie Lasker was sent on Transport IX/2 to Theresienstadt concentration camp  (Although Theresienstadt was not equipped with a gas chamber until 1945 most prisoners there were in any case doomed to die from the starvation diet and other appalling conditions or, if not, were transported on to Auschwitz or other death camps.  Of the arrivals at Theresienstadt only one in eight ultimately survived.) Recently the Czech government has released documents from Theresienstadt. Amongst them is the death certificate for Lucie Lasker (see below) showing that on 21 Feb 1943, at 3.15 AM, suffering by then from "acute enteritis" and "old age", Lucie Lasker perished. The tragedy which was Lucie Lasker's last year was not confined to this.  The Auschwitz Death Register shows that Lucie's son Hermann had been murdered there three days earlier than her, on 18 Feb 1943.