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True Berliners Stolpersteine Ceremony



Stolpersteine Ceremony


Stolpersteine Ceremony

On August 10, 2023, at 11:00 am, The AG Spurensuche Schlachtensee will hold a Stolpersteine ceremony for nine members of the Sultan Victorius Guttsman Family at their last chosen address before their home and all of its contents on Ernst-Ring-straße in Schlachtensee, Berlin,  was forcibly sold and their bank accounts blocked by the National Socialists. 

The family was known then and now for their contributions to music, medicine, economics, psychology, and philosophy and the support of many of the greatest 19th-century artists. While many have measured their successes by material quanta, the Sultan Victorius Guttsmann family put, above all else, their deep-rooted love and connection that transcended time, distance and circumstance.   


Their story represents love and truth and the power it has to persist in the face of all attempts to rip out the roots of humanity.





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Human, father, husband, friend, leader, pioneer, loyal, brother, son, trusted, grandfather. 

Progressive Thinker

Adolf Sultan didn't subscribe to societal norms and practices that put what other people thought above his family's health and happiness. He encouraged his daughters to seek their greatest happiness and fulfilment regardless of what was common for women of their time. When Adolf's daughter divorced with two young sons, he relished his role as grandfather and father figure to his grandson, Ulli, cementing in his grandson's mind what it would mean one day to be a father himself.



Human, woman, friend, wife, mother, widow, daughter, sister, pillar, fierce, old granny.

Courageous Survivor

Coba, or Old Granny, as she was affectionately known to her great-grandchildren, would not be defined by the tragedies she experienced. For the second time in her life, she witnessed the death of her husband, best friend and father to her children and step-children, who were as loved as though she had birthed them herself and was forced to flee Germany alone. Eventually, reunited in New York, USA,  with her daughter Grete Sultan, son Curt Sultan and grandson, Ullrich Allen Guttsmann, Coba struggled to support herself. When asked how she could live like this now, her response was steadfast and strong, she had her family and her life and needed nothing more than that. 

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Klara was a romantic and a realist. She lost her mother and sister at a young age, but when her father, Adolf Sultan, married Coba a few years later, she gained three new siblings from Coba's previous marriage and a mother with whom she became closest. Klara embraced the chance to love and be loved by her new family. When Adolf and Coba married, all of the children happily became one family. 


While romantic love wasn't as kind to Klara as she had hoped it would be, she wasted little time lamenting what she lost and threw herself into building a warm, encouraging environment for her sons. With her children split between the now two households, her son Ulli became the centre of her world. 

In the late 1930s, Klara was separated from her sons. Ulli was forced to leave Germany to continue his education. He went to Switzerland to school and was kicked out of Switzerland in 1940 because he was Jewish. He was lucky to find a way to get to England and spent the next three years exchanging letters with his mother and trying in vain to be reunited.


In 1943 Ulli had a little girl with his wife, Rita. Klara received the news with renewed hope and optimism that she would soon meet her first grandchild.   Four months later, Klara, who had been living under a Christian name, was discovered and sent to Auschwitz.


On October 28, 1943, Klara Paula Guttsmann was gassed to death.

Ulli and his brother Peter never saw their mother again, and Coba never said goodbye to the daughter she didn't birth but, of all her children, held most dear to her. 



Human, woman, mother, sister, confident, grandmother, daughter, loving, phenomenal, forward-thinking, resilient. 



Grete Sultan was born into the Sultan family at a time of peace, happiness and prosperity. She was surrounded by a seriously musically inclined family who recognized her talent and helped provide Grete with a music education and access to the best teachers of her time to help her grow her gift. She was a up and coming in the world of prominent pianists until the National Socialists almost extinguished her career. Banned from playing in Germany's best concert halls, Grete was lucky to escape and find her way to New York.

While Grete was grateful for her life and liberty and played all over the world on the most prominent stages until the age of 90, deep down inside, Grete felt a sense of loss and longing for the career that was on the rise and never fully actualized to her satisfaction. In the first few years after the war, Grete took care of her mother, Coba who was too old and frail to work and therefore had to turn down opportunities that would have established her place much sooner among the world's elite musicians. Teaching was a priority as it put food on the table, and she loved her students. Under Grete's tutelage, composers like Christian Wolff launched their careers. 

Never one to complain, Grete lived her life teaching until her very last days. Those of her family who survived felt deep pride and love for Grete's perseverance and commitment to her music. They grieved her loss and the life she had sometimes wished she had. 


Human, pianist, woman, teacher, sister, stoic, daughter, relevant, relentless, sincere, honoured.
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Beate transcended popular opinion and refused the option to blend in by renouncing her Jewish heritage at a time when many Jewish women in academia discarded their culture as a means to fit in and slip past the antisemitic social acceptance guardians. She considered herself both German and Jewish and wore both claims proudly. Beate's mother was Adolf Sultan's sister. But as with the rest of the family's genealogy, it didn't matter from which branch she came or how she was precisely related; she was family. Her nephew described his visits with his great aunt in his college years in Greensboro, North Carolina, lovingly and with a smile in his eyes. She was older then, but he loved to visit her on the weekend for tea and cake and spend time with her. She didn't put on any airs; her home was open and welcoming. 

When Beate fled Berlin in 1939, she went first to Switzerland, where she, like many others, was not yet assured of a safe fate. While in Switzerland, Beate befriended a woman, Rose, and, when she left, asked Rose to look after her library, which included her doctoral thesis, beautifully bound and containing personal notes within its pages. Her friend kept Beate's books on display in a special place in her home, waiting for their owner to one day return for them. Beate never returned for the books; eventually, her friend became older and needed to move to a senior's home. Rose took the cherished books with her. Soon after Rose died, the Seniors Home called the number of the friend Rose had asked they give the books to and let her know that Rose had left her, her beloved library of Beate Clara Berwin.

Many years later, Beate's great grand-niece was researching Beate's history and came to find one of Beate's books for sale online. This one differed from all the other copies - it was Beate's copy of her book, Heinrich von Kleist, newspaper clippings and an unfinished postcard to her dear friend Rose. 

The new owner of the library had tried in vain to give Beate's books to universities and Jewish organizations to no avail. While she hadn't given up hope, she certainly didn't think Beate's family would be the ones to give her books the love and acclaim they deserved finally. She had tried to find them years before and again came up empty-handed.  

For those who know Beate, the romantic path her books travelled and the people brought together by her little library is as though she had written the story herself. 


Human, woman, sister, bold, romantic, cherished, remembered, daughter, teacher, thoughtful, honest, humanist.  


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