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Paul Michael Mendel * 1873
Loogestieg 10 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
Anna Mendel, née Arnheim, born 12/28/1878 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 7/19/1942, died there 11/21/1942
The banker Paul Michael Mendel came from the family of the wealthy import merchant Moritz Mendel (1837–1893), whose ancestors had come to Hamburg from Moravia around 1780. The family of his mother Rosa, née Joelson (1835–1915), was also well established in the city. Admiralitätsstrasse 81 was the address of the company, wholesale traders of coal and jute sacks, and of the family residence, where Paul and his elder brothers Joseph Mendel 1870–1933), who became a journalist and private teacher, and Max Mendel (1872–1942), who became a cooperative merchant and Hamburg senator (i.e. a cabinet minister of the city government), lived until 1898. Like his brothers, Paul Michael Mendel attended the junior high school of the renowned Johanneum.
Following his apprenticeship at the Hamburg Commerz- und Discontobank, he entered the staff of that institution. In 1920, the company that was by then listed in the commercial register as Commerz- und Privat-Bank AG, awarded him commercial power of attorney. This lapsed when Paul Michael Mendel was appointed as one of three directors of the Liquidationskasse in Hamburg AG, a bank specialized in handling commodity futures. In June 1934, Paul Michael Mendel was forced to leave the board of directors, half a year after its longtime chairman had been compelled to resign.
Up to then, Paul Michael Mendel’s career had led to increasing wealth. In 1901, he married Anna Arnheim, daughter of the Hamburg merchant Leopold Arnheim (1840–1921) and his wife Rosalie, née Salomon (1852–1929). Most likely, she had absolved a girls’ junior high school; she took a keen interest in art and dabbled in painting.
After their marriage, the coupled lived at Gosslerstrasse 73 (now the part of Eppendorfer Weg between Hoheluftchaussee und Eppendorfer Baum), from 1910 on in a spacious apartment at Loogestieg 17. Their union remained childless. By mediation of Gustav Pauli, the director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the city’s museum of art, Paul Mendel began to support needy artists. Otto Rodewald (1891–1960) was among the painters who benefited from Mendel’s grants.
After his forced resignation from his position at the bank, Mendel’s pension payments were repeatedly cut, necessitating moving to a smaller apartment at Loogestieg 10, which was followed by a shared apartment at Isestrasse 115, and finally, in February, 1942, the commitment to two rooms at Heilwigstrasse 46.
On July 19th, 1942, Paul and Anna Mendel were deported to Theresienstadt, together with Paul’s brother Max, his wife and his mother-in-law.
Paul died there after four months of great deprivation. Anna survived at the camp for another 13 months. Shortly before her death, she succeeded in having a postcard smuggled to Berlin; it was addressed to a relative in Isestrasse, sparking hope for reunion when it arrived. A hope that died when the truth about Theresienstadt became known after the war.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2017
© Ulrich Bauche
Quellen: 1; 3; 4; AB 1899–1939; Verzeichnis Hamburger Börsenfirmen (abgeschl. Mitte Feb. 1933); Amtsgericht Hamburg Handelsregister, A 2, Bd. 1, HRB Nr. 37, Commerz- und Disconto-, bzw Commerz- und Privat-Bank, und Anschlüsse, ebenso A 2, Bd. , B 5, Nr. 269: Liquidations-Casse Hamburg AG.
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