The Sevilla Dance Palace – Arthur Lefebre

Logo of The Sevilla Dance Palace

At Christmas time in 1927 the “most elegant amusement establishment of the South” opened its doors at Oranienstraße 68, near the Moritzplatz. Arthur Lefebre, born in 1899, was the owner of the Sevilla, while his father, Wilhelm, owned the building.[1] Initially, the dance hall was booming, with up to 400 guests at a time being catered for by bar staff and cooks and being entertained by the house band. As a result of the economic crisis, however, revenue began to sink. What’s more, the business was attacked by brown-shirted Nazi “Storm Troopers” (SA).

In April 1932, Lefebre felt forced, for the time being, to shelve the business. He hoped that “the excesses of the SA and the discrimination of the Nazi regime would prove to be temporary.”[2] When the situation did not improve, Lefebre initially leased out the dance palace and then, in October 1935, tried to continue the business as a purely Jewish amusement venue – hiring 22 Jewish employees. Lefebre approached the Police President for permission to offer “public dances for Jewish guests only.”[3] Despite the worsening conditions, Lefebre managed to continue this way until the November Pogrom. After being forced to adopt a “Jewish-sounding” name, Lefebre was then forced to liquidate the business in February of 1939.

Lefebre was not able to flee Germany. At the beginning of March 1943, he was rounded up as part of the so-called “Factory Action” and deported to Auschwitz where he was murdered.


(Christoph Kreutzmüller)


[1] Berliner Adressbuch, 1929, part IV, p. 745.

[2]  Letter from Klaus Kuntzmann to the regional court of Berlin, 2nd of September 1959, Compensation Authority of Berlin, 15757 Arthur Lefebre.

[3] Letter from Arthur Lefebre to the Police President, 22nd of February 1936, Compensation Authority of Berlin, 15757 Arthur Lefebre.



Cite this blog post
Christoph Kreutzmüller (2023, February 16). The Sevilla Dance Palace – Arthur Lefebre. Database of Jewish-Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from https://dbjb.hypotheses.org/845

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