Station: [24] The Fehr-Huber family

Hermann Otto Fehr took over the Fehr-Huber wine business from his father Karl Fehr. The firm had originally operated out of Friedrichstrasse and then moved to Kaiserstrasse number 50, a little closer to the centre of town. Otto Fehr purchased this property, Kaiserstrasse number 62, in February 1918, while the First World War was still ongoing. The funding was provided by his father-in-law, Otto Hermann Stuck.

It must have been quite a risky undertaking, because Germany suffered famine and hardship during the war. So it wasn’t a good time to expand the wine business. The new owners granted the widow of previous owner Jakob Bucherer a non-terminable tenancy…

... Or to be more precise, one that could only be terminated following "the end of the calendar year after peace has been agreed with England and France".

The war years and the post-war period not only gave the Fehrs a tenant, but also some real difficulties. They wanted to expand the wine business and remodel their new property:

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A shop was to be built in what is now the lobby. There were plans for a cellar under the west wing, a new staircase in the main house, and a wine bottling plant in the east wing... But the remodelling plans were all wrecked by inflation.

Looking back, you might call that a stroke of luck. Because the work would have affected the building’s structure and fundamentally altered its neo-classical design. But even without the alterations, the Fehrs ran a flourishing wine business from the property. Enormous 4,000 litre barrels were stored in the large vaulted cellar beneath the main house.

Their son, Otto Fehr, became a high school teacher and in 1935, he married Johanna Magdalena Dick, the daughter of a pastor in Burgheim. The couple had four children, but Otto was killed in the Second World War. The wine business was shut down soon afterwards. Years later, the enormous barrels were sold off. However, a few bottles, labels and wooden crates marked "F-H" were left lying about the house.

Fehr's widow, Johanna Magdalena, lived in the grand apartment on the second floor, while her sister-in-law, née Brüning, occupied the first floor, the piano nobile. Several tenants lived in the main house and the wings. At times, there were even businesses operating out of the courtyard, including a Turkish greengrocer's, or a Kurdish tailor in what is now the lobby.

Johanna Magdalena Fehr died in 2011 at the age of 102. Two years later, the community of heirs, seven in all, sold the property to its current owners, the Hugenberg family.

All depictions: © Palais Wunderlich