Artifact of the month for February

Letter of Citizenship

Salomon David Steinmann (1882 – 1973)

Salomon David Steinmann was born in Kaunas, Lithuania (then a part of the Russian Empire) in 1882. As a young man he was drafted to the Russian military to fight Japan in the war of 1904. Here he met Salomon Plavnik (1882-1942) whom he befriended and with whom he would later enjoy a fruitful business companionship. Together they travelled to Sweden, and later to Norway where they settled in 1910. After a few years they established Dressmagasinet, a business venture that would become one of the more prosperous clothing stores in Oslo. They both achieved their trade letters early on; Plavnik in 1913, and Steinmann in 1923. A year later they both received their Letter of Citizenship. The two families remained very close. Salomon Steinmann married Plavniks sister Mina (1885-1930) and the families became neighbors in Oslo.

Statsborgerbrev, Salomon Steinmann

Letter of Citizenship 

When the Norwegian Jews were arrested and deported in the autumn of 1942, Salomon Steinmann managed to escape to Sweden. Two of his sons, Harry and Samuel, along with Salomon Plavnik and his boys, Elias and Oscar, where deported on the steam ship Donau the 26th of November that year. Only Samuel Steinmann survived.

In 1942 Salomon Steinmann and Salomon Plavniks clothing company, Dressmagasinet was taken over by Likvidasjonstyret (the liquidation board), a political agency subjected to the Norwegian Ministry of Finance under Vidkun Quisling regime. They also used the premises as an outlet for 29 other clothing stores belonging to Jews in Oslo. Its realized sales of goods from expropriated Jewish-owned businesses brought in approximately 264 000 NOK. A mere 44 000 were returned after the war.

Salomon Steinmann did manage to reestablish himself after the war. He was also a board member for the Jewish Community (DMT) for a period of 24 years, from 1945 till 1969.

Salomon David Steinmann died in 1973, at the age of 91.