In the 1920s and ’30s, Alice Frank Stock lived on the same block in Munich as Adolf Hitler while he was rising to power.
A 102-year-old Jewish woman named Alice Frank Stock recently opened up about her experience as Adolf Hitler’s neighbor in the decade prior to World War II.
According to the British outlet Bristol Post, Stock, who is Jewish, lived with her family in the Prinzregentenplatz neighborhood in Munich during the 1920s and 1930s. They had moved to the city when she was just three months old because of her father’s work as a judge in the High Court. Stock recalled Munich as a “very cultural city.”
“We lived in a small apartment block next to the Prince Regent Theater,” Stock said. “It was a lovely apartment, with four or five bedrooms, a big salon, and a dining room.”
Little did young Stock know that within that same lovely apartment block lived a figure that would change the course of history.
Stock said she wasn’t sure exactly which apartment the notorious Nazi dictator occupied on her block, but that it was close enough for her to occasionally see Hitler as he left and entered with his flock of SS guards.
Hitler grew up and lived in Austria before moving to Germany to pursue his government ambitions. He lived in Munich until he secured the title of Chancellor in 1933 with which he took over Germany’s government and began his dictatorship.
Even before Hitler’s appointment as chancellor, however, there were gruesome rumors surrounding his apartment, including that his beloved niece Geli Raubal had been murdered there. Hitler and Raubal shared a notoriously intimate relationship before the 23-year-old died under mysterious circumstances while living with him.
It is most commonly believed that Raubal killed herself with Hitler’s gun five years after moving in with him. Indeed, Stock reported seeing what she believes to have been Raubal’s coffin being removed from Hitler’s home.
“There was speculation of how and when she died. I think there was truth in it that the coffin was carried out and in it was a woman,” Stock said. “But there was no confirmation ever — and you couldn’t talk openly.”
Living in such close proximity to Adolf Hitler meant that Stock had multiple disturbing encounters with him. She also recalled how a group of SS guards did not allow her to sit in the royal box at the local theater because it had been reserved for him.
“Once I went to the opera – I got tickets through the school… I was very pleased,” Stock detailed. “I got there in the evening and there were SS men saying, ‘You can’t come in here – go two boxes further down.’ As the curtain went up I looked at the royal box – and there was Hitler sitting there.”
After the Nazis came into power, Stock’s father was released from his position as judge, and Stock was prohibited from enrolling in a German college because she was Jewish. Consequently, her family sent her to Switzerland. Later, she enrolled in a secretarial college in London.
But the situation in Germany worsened. By 1938, the Nazis began to launch pogroms that targeted Jewish Germans in a series of violent anti-Semitic attacks, starting with the notorious attack on Jewish businesses known as Kristallnacht or the “night of broken glass.”
“The day after the Crystal Night a friend of my parents rang them up saying her husband had been taken to a concentration camp,” said Stock. Roughly 100 Jewish Germans were killed during the violence.
Stock’s father was nearly sent to the Nazi concentration camps as well, but he was spared due to his old age and the simple fact that the camps were full already. It became clear that the Frank family needed to leave Germany immediately, however.
“They had to get out and we [Stock and her brother] tried to get them a permit to come to England,” she said. “The U.K. government said at the time that you had to have £1,000 in England, but we didn’t.” Her father was forced to give away his precious violin as payment instead.
Stock’s family was eventually able to flee Munich to London where they reunited with her. They had left on one of the last trains to arrive in London just a few days before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, kicking off the Second World War.
Long after she survived the war, Stock moved to Paris where at 45 she met her husband, Roy Macdonald Stock. They remained in the French capital together until 2009 when they moved to Bristol, England, her husband’s hometown.
With her family escaping the Holocaust and her close proximity to the Nazi dictator himself, it’s a miracle that Stock is alive today. Stock, luckily, had no further run-ins with the Führer, and she would likely have nothing to say to him even if she had known what she knew now.
“I wouldn’t want to talk to him because my feelings would be too strong,” she said, “I couldn’t.”
Next, read about the lovers who were separated then reunited 72 years after surviving Auschwitz together. Then, meet Shoshana Ovitz, a Holocaust survivor who celebrated her 104th birthday with relatives at the Wailing Wall in Israel.