Max Martin Baruch was born on 16.03.1910 in Znin, near Posen, in today’s Poland. How and when he came to Berlin is unclear. He was a Jewish merchant and lived from 1939 until approximately 1941 in the “Bayerischen Viertel“ (“Bavarian Quarter“), at 9 Rosenheimer Street. The district around the Bayerischen Platz in Berlin-Schöneberg was at that time an established upper-middle-class residential quarter. It was considered highly attractive, not least among Jewish citizens. Since 1909 it was home to an Orthodox synagogue and several Jewish institutions. Famous artists and intellectuals lived there, such as Gottfried Benn, Emanuel Lasker, Erwin Piscator, Albert Einstein, Alfred Kerr, Arno Holz, Eduard Bernstein and Erich Fromm.
Baruch’s Christian wife, Ella Baruch née Ankermann, lived with Baruch in Rosenheimer Strasse. She was born on 10.12.1891 in Königsberg, East Prussia and was significantly older than her Jewish husband. When in May 1939 the census officers collected the survey forms and the “supplementary cards for information on voting and previous training”, the Christian Ella Baruch was registered as a Jew. But the mixed marriage did not survive the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 for very long. In July 1941 the two divorced.
In a letter dated September 1947, two years after the end of the war, Ella Ankermann wrote that her divorce had been aimed at saving the property, which was registered solely in the name of Max Martin Baruch. She explained that it was to be taken out of the hands of the Nazis by being transferred to the Christian wife’s name–
“They were interested in our real estate for one of the Party’s bigwigs! Since we were to evacuate our quarters and did not know what to do with our furniture and where to store it, my husband ﬁled for divorce so that everything could be put into my name.“
Possibly the “property” meant the apartment in Rosenheimer Strasse. Ella Ankermann further wrote that the Gestapo had pushed for her divorce from Max Martin –
“My husband and I separated in July 1941. He had an affidavit to emigrate to a safe country and believed we could save certain things for him and for me if we divorced before his emigration. All our money, etc. was in my husband’s name and if we divorced, it would be put into my name and I would then be able to support myself. Suddenly the Gestapo entered the picture and threatened to force us to divorce.“
Max Baruch’s emigration failed, however, and he married again on November 29, 1941– to Erna Twelkemeyer, a Jewess and mother of a daughter named Edith.
 Letter from Ella Ankermann to family Herrmann in Cali, Colombia from 1.9.1957. In: Darling Mutti. Edited and compiled by Joan Marshall. Jacana Book. Johannesburg 2005 p.78 ff