Content can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes, such as for personal use or in educational resources.
For commercial purposes please contact the copyright holder directly.
Read more about the The Creative Archive Licence.


Photograph of Arnold Weil on his way to school, Köln [Cologne], April 1936.

Arnold Weil – short biography.

Arnold was born on 31 August 1929 in Köln [Cologne]. His parents were Wolf and Sara Weil. He had one older brother, Julius, who was born on 11 October 1925. The family lived in a small apartment, which was made up of two bedrooms and a kitchen. Sara was a housewife and Wolf was an upholsterer and furniture maker.

Arnold attended the liberal Lützov Straße Jewish Elementary School in Köln [Cologne]. The family did not have any motor transport, so they had to get around on foot. Because of this, Arnold and his brother Julius did not have much contact as Julius spent a lot of time travelling to and from religious studies classes as well as his school – Jawne High School – which was attached to the synagogue around 45 minutes from their home. However, the brothers did play together and according to Julius, Arnold was a very sweet-looking boy.

After the pogroms of Kristallnacht on 9-10 November 1938, Arnold’s father – Wolf – was arrested and the family did not see him again. In January 1939, when Arnold was 9 years old, his brother Julius was sent to Britain on a Kindertransport, the evacuation organised by the headmaster of his school. Arnold started work on 12 July 1942, aged 12, as an apprentice electrical engineer.

In May 1944, Henrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of the Łódź Ghetto. Between 23 June and 14 July, around 7,200 people were transported to the Chełmno Extermination Camp. Arnold and his mother were amongst those transported. He died on 7 July 1944, aged 14.

Adapted from article researched and written by Catherine Le Ruez, JHASW/CHIDC volunteer.

About Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht, literally, ‘Night of Crystal’, is often referred to as the ‘Night of Broken Glass’. The name refers to violent anti-Jewish pogroms, which took place on 9-10 November 1938 across Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. The violent mobs destroyed hundreds of synagogues and burned and desecrated Jewish religious artifacts. Around 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and schools were plundered, and 91 Jews were murdered. During the pogrom, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested in sent to concentration camps.


Jewish History Association of South Wales, Arnold Weil (2021) [accessed 21 January 2022]

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Bibliographies: Kristallnacht [accessed 19 January 2022]

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia: Kristallnacht (2019) [accessed 19 January 2021]

Do you have information to add to this item? Please leave a comment

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to leave a comment