Family Margulies-Mahler

The Margulies-Mahler family obtained the naturalization in 1926 which granted them Belgian citizenship. Anne, Jacques, Helena-Ella, Liliane and Armand were deported with transport XXIIB to Auschwitz-Birkenau. They were murdered. Georges Mahler went into hiding in Aarschot with his wife Selma Lichtmann and children Charles and Nanette. They were never arrested and survived World War II.

Family Margulies-Mahler
Jacques Mahler

Anne Margulies and Jacques Mahler were both born in Poland. Anne was born on August 14, 1891 in Cracow, Jacques on December 20, 1882 in Neuberun. Jacques arrived in Belgium with his parents in 1888. Anne and Jacques met in Belgium and married on February 25, 1908 in Antwerp. The couple lived in Breughelstraat. Anne and Jacques had two children together. Daughter Helena-Ella was born on November 25, 1908 in Antwerp. Their son Georges was born two years later, on June 5, 1910, in the same city. In 1912 their daughter Charlotte was born but unfortunately she died a year later.

In January 1912, the Margulies-Mahler family applied for “grand naturalization”. This implies that they obtained active citizenship and political rights. The Belgian nationality would thus be acquired. However, their application was lost due to the German occupation during the First World War. When the war broke out, Anne, Jacques and their two children, Helena-Ella and Georges fled to the Netherlands that was neutral in the war. They went to live at Nieuwe Parklaan 159 in The Hague. Six months after the end of the Great War, in April 1919, the Margulies-Mahler family returned to Belgium. They went to live at Plantin and Moretuslei in Antwerp, the same address they left in 1914.

Upon their return to Belgium, they submitted a new application for “grand naturalization”. After several years of exchanging required documents, the family succeeded in obtaining the state’s naturalization. In August 1926, they granted the Belgian nationality to Anne, Jacques, Helena-Ella and Georges.

Meanwhile, Daughter Helena-Ella met Karol Buschel. They married in Antwerp on June 27, 1929. They moved briefly to Berlin, then returned to Antwerp and left for Poland in December 1932. Helena-Ella and Karol had two children: daughter Liliane was born on April 22, 1930 in Berlin, Germany, and son Armand on January 7, 1934 in Lviv, Poland. In 1939 Helena-Ella, together with Liliane and Armand, returned to Belgium and went to live with her parents Anne and Jacques at Kipdorpvest in Antwerp. Karol continued to live in Poland and died in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.

In May 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium. The Margulies-Mahler family obeyed the anti-Jewish laws imposed by the occupation administration. In December 1940 they registered in the municipal Register of Jews in Antwerp, and in March 1942 they became members of the Jewish Association. Until September 1943, Jews of Belgian nationality were excluded from deportation, if they respected the ordinances defining the status of Jews. However, on the night of September 3 to 4, 1943, there was a final major raid, deliberately targeting Belgian Jews. At least 577 Belgian Jews were arrested that night including Jacques, Anne, Helena-Ella and her children Liliane and Armand. They were put on transport XXIIB under the numbers 110, 678, 679, 680 and 681. This convoy was distinguished from the previous transports by the letter B for Belgian. Transport XXIIB, together with transport XXIIA, left the Dossin Barracks in Mechelen on September 20, 1943, heading for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anne, Jacques, Helena-Ella, Liliane, and Armand were murdered. Georges Mahler went into hiding in Aarschot with his wife Selma Lichtmann and children Charles and Nanette. They were never arrested and survived World War II.


Publication info:

ADRIAENS Ward, STEINBERG Maxime (et al.), Mecheln-Auschwitz, 1942-1944. The destruction of Jews and gypsies from Belgium, 4 volumes (volume 1), Brussels, 2009.

Dieter Porton