Gerson Company

District: Mitte
Address before 1945: Werderstraße 9-12; Werderscher Markt 5/6
Address today: Werderscher Markt 5, 10117 Berlin

Hermann Gerson (1813-1861) began selling textiles in Berlin in 1836. In 1848 he founded Berlin’s first department store at Werderscher Markt. By 1894, the company was regarded as a market leader. Many aristocrats shopped here and later on film stars, as well. In the 1920s, the company had more than 1,200 employees.
In order to avoid becoming the object of antisemitic hostility, the company even began in May 1933 to carry SA and SS uniforms. In 1936 the fashion house Gerson, which after the death of its founder was still in Jewish hands, was “Aryanized” via the textile firm Horn.
The Gerson company was among the many clothing manufacturers then located at nearby Hausvogtelplatz. Many of the owners were Jewish. A memorial installation at the entrance to the U-Bahn station at Hausvogteiplatz commemorates the persecution they suffered.

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