Gebr. Kaufmann. Ett judiskt "Kaufhaus" i Elberfeld


  • Hilde Rohlén-Wohlgemuth Stockholm


Jews -- Germany, Business, Department stores, Family-owned business enterprises, Finance, World War, 1939-1945, Advertising, Marketing


People recall very little, if anything of the Jewish “Kaufhäuser” (department stores) in Wuppertal. Therefore, I have attempted to describe such a Kaufhaus and I have chosen as an example the Gebrüder Kaufmann (1894–1936), a department store, vivid in my memory. Why the Jews, when the final restrictions to their civil rights were removed in 1870, created new commercial establishments, Warenhaus and Kaufhaus? This article also describes how Jewish youth was trained and how these department stores were funded, organized and managed. They came into existence at a good time, the economic trend being positive until 1914. Expansion was continuous but in 1914, the war caused a scarcity of consumer goods. The world-wide depression of 1929 hit Wuppertal hard, affecting industry and causing much unemployment. At the same time the emerging Nazi Party turned against Jewish businesses.



How to Cite

Rohlén-Wohlgemuth, H. (1984). Gebr. Kaufmann. Ett judiskt "Kaufhaus" i Elberfeld. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 5(1), 11–32.