Gebäude // Building

Einen exklusiven Vorabblick in unser Haus bekommst Du hier – einfach auf das Foto klicken und schon mal ein wenig in der Steinstraße 2-5 umsehen! Eine kurze Geschichte des Gebäudes findest Du weiter unten auf der Seite.
Vielen Dank für die Rundblicke an StadtRUNDBlick

 If you want an exclusive view into our buidling, just click at the picture and use the 360°-view! A short history of the buidling you can find when scrolling down.
Thanks for th photography to StadtRUNDBlick

What follows is a very brief history of the Totschek family’s history with 2-5 Steinstraße.

Adolf Totschek, born in Upper Silesia, purchased 3 parcels on Steinstraße in the 1880’s and had a business selling and making clothing. His son, Walter Totschek took over the business when his father died, in 1901. Walter married Bianca Blumenthal in 1920. They had two children: Gerti (born 1921) and Ursula (born 1926).

When the Nazi’s assumed power, operating a Jewish owned business of course became impossible.


The property was “sold” to former employees in 1936 and the family moved to Berlin. Ursula left Germany for England on the Kindertransport in July, 1939. The rest of the family left Germany for the United States in June, 1941. Walter died in 1945. Ursula rejoined her family after the war, in 1946. Bianca died in 1982.

In 1988, Gerti wrote a book about that first eventful period of her life (1921-1948), one person caught up in the insanity of those times. Here is the only text in her book about the Steinstraße property:

My Father had taken over his Father’s business, a clothing store for men, women and children, and it also had a made-to-order department for men. His Father had sent him to England to learn about it. It was a large store occupying three houses which we owned in the Steinstraße 2-5. My Father was proud of the fact that his employees had been with him for so many years. l particularly remember him mentioning three of them, a controller, a bookkeeper and an assistant bookkeeper, who had been with him between 30 to 45 years. Those very same people would later turn against my Father when he was forced by the Nazis to give up his store in 1935. They got it and the real estate for a fraction of its true value.

l liked visiting my Father in his office which was between the 1st and 2nd floor situated in such a way that he could see who was coming into the front door. I also liked going to the 3rd floor where the alteration ladies sat at long tables. I would play with the button box.

Every afternoon my father would go to Cafe Handschuh for his coffee, and my sister and l would often drop in at that time to get our “Halbgefrohrenes Fürst Bückler Eis” (half-frozen Fuerst BuecklerIce), or Baumkuchen, an indescribably delicious cake.

After German reunification, the family fought to regain ownership of the Steinstraße property. This was accomplished in 1993. Since that time, the building has been largely vacant. In 2016 the property was sold to Philipp Metz.


The Totschek family’s relationship with the history of 2-5 Steinstraße is complex and burdened with difficult associations. We now are glad the property has a new energetic owner. We wish good things for the property and for Gorlitz.

 (Written by David Colbert, 2017)