Gera is a mid-sized industrial city in Thuringia (aprox. 100 000 inhabitants today), located east of Weimar and south of Leipzig. It was part of East Germany until German reunification.

Siegmund Spiegel:

Gera was a very, very nice town, beautifully located. Basically it was an industrial town. We had clothing industry, carpet-weaving factories and machine works in that town.

And the Jews were mostly in commerce - you know, small businesses - except for the large stores like Bierman - they were the German Jews, the old established families. But the Eastern European Jews served the low-income bracket people, shall we say, who bought on credit.

Basically, these businesses grew out of... First you actually peddled, and then you had a little store and people came, and then you even went out and sold and you bought goods in (?) them and they paid off on credit. It was a tough existence.

This family history project started September 2009.
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Last Modified: Thursday, October 5, 2017