With Forged Documents 

Gerd Ramm was a businessman with German national leanings. In the 1930s he bought several companies in Berlin and northern Germany—in part from Jews who had fled Germany—and became wealthy. In Berlin he manufactured paper and blackout equipment, which was vital for the war effort. There were some Jews doing forced labor in his workshops in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, but Ramm was nevertheless an unwavering opponent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. When the forced workers were threatened with a raid, Ramm warned them and offered places to hide. Konrad Friedländer thus survived underground for three years with Ramm’s help. Ramm also protected Konrad’s father, Bernhard Friedländer, as well as Alfred Boehm, a Jewish dry goods businessman, and Heinz Jacobius, a young man who had been hiding from the Gestapo since 1941. Ramm hid them and others in his company and in his apartment in Berlin-Charlottenburg, which he shared with his wife and young daughter. Werner Gerth, a friend of Ramm, also provided constant support.

Ramm spent part of his fortune to obtain forged identity papers for the people he was hiding. Like most Jews who went underground in Germany, the Jews Ramm helped did not spend all their time in hiding places, but instead tried to feign a “normal” identity under an assumed name. In order to do so they needed the appropriate identity papers. Men were at greater risk than women of being discovered in a spontaneous ID check, as the military police were constantly searching for possible deserters.

Many people who went into hiding tried to acquire a postal ID card. This document was a photo-ID used for picking up registered and special mail deliveries and also was recognized outside the post office as proof of identity. A permanent residence had to be listed on it. Ramm arranged for Alfred Boehm to receive a postal ID card as “Albert Schmidt,” registered under Ramm’s address.

Postal ID cards did not stand up to strict identity checks. Other documents were sold on the black market; for particularly high prices one could obtain forged Wehrmacht ID papers. Those whom Ramm was helping made contact with a bribable office worker in the Wehrmacht High Command (OKW). For 6,000 reichsmarks each (about 21,000 euros), this person issued identity cards for supposed civilian OKW employees to unauthorized people and renewed them as needed. Heinz Jacobius disguised himself with such an ID card and arranged for Konrad Friedländer to get one as well. Ramm paid the necessary bribes for both of them. For his identity card, Konrad Friedländer used his own photograph and the personal data of his Gentile friend Rudolf Kopp. Kopp had already given him other documents of his and agreed to let Friedländer use these ID cards to apply for additional papers under the name of Rudolf Kopp.

Heinz Jacobius was arrested in late 1944 and deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where he survived. The other men survived the Nazi period in Berlin. Gerd Ramm saved at least ten people, for which he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1959. Ramm was honored posthumously in May 2009 by the Israeli Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.