Benjamin Engländer was born the youngest of nine children of a Jewish merchant in Altona in 1901. His parents came from Poland and had a small jewellery shop. Benjamin Engländer first attended a Jewish high school and later worked as a merchant.
At the age of 22, his doctors diagnosed epilepsy. Severe seizures made institutional treatment necessary in 1930. He was first admitted to the Neustadt nursing home in Holstein. Four years later, he was transferred to the Protestant »Rickling Institutions« in Bad Segeberg. From there, he was deported to a state institution in 1938 on account of his Jewish origins. At the same time, the National Socialist regime expelled his sister Anna, who was his guardian, to Poland. Benjamin Engländer was very attached to his family and tried to remain in contact with his siblings at least by mail. As part of a deliberate murder campaign of Jewish patients during »Aktion T4«, he was transferred to Langenhorn State Hospital on 16 September 1940. From there he was transferred in a collective transport with more than 130 other Jewish patients to the T4 killing centre in Brandenburg an der Havel a week later.