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Edith Benndorf (née Guttmann) * 1897

Gryphiusstraße 8 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

JG. 1897

Edith Benndorf, née Guttmann, born on 21 Dec. 1897 in Hamburg, deported on 11 July 1942 to Auschwitz

Edith Guttmann was born in 1897 at Alster-Chaussee 1a (Rotherbaum), then a small private road. Her father, the merchant Eugen Guttmann (1863–1924), was from Poznan (Posen) and held the certificate awarding Hamburg civic rights since 1889. Since 1895 at the latest, he ran a spirits factory (1895–1907 at Grosse Bleichen 34, 1908–1924 at Königstraße 15–19). Her mother, Gertrud Guttmann, née Baginsky (1875–1922), was from Lissa south of Poznan, where the spouses also got married in 1896. The birth certificate of their first child, Edith, notes the parents’ Jewish religious affiliation. Her sister Mina was born two years after her. Since 1896, the Guttmann family lived in Alsterchaussee, moving in 1902 to house no. 3, a three-storey residential building featuring a combined clinker and plaster façade and a representative staircase. In 1904, the family lived in house no. 5, i.e. one entrance farther toward the Alster River.

In 1905, they eventually moved to a detached town house the father had purchased at Frauenthal 19 (Harvestehude). Eugen Guttmann belonged to the Association of the "Honorable Merchant,” joining the Patriotic Society (Patriotische Gemeinschaft) in 1913. In 1919, his wife Gertrud Guttmann and the merchant Richard A. L. Witt had joint power of attorney for the spirits factory. In 1920, Edith’s sister Alice Guttmann (born in 1899) was given joint power of attorney as well. In Sept. 1923, Eugen Guttmann was, together with Richard Witt, Siegfried and Walter Hess (see Hess, Louise) and others, among the founders of the Sprit-Handels-AG; however, he did not acquire a parcel of shares in the new company. In 1924, the Eugen Guttmann "Sprit Im- u. Export” Company was listed for the last time in the Hamburg phone book. Following the death of the company owner, the enterprise was deleted from the company register on 18 Oct. 1924.

Probably in the mid-1920s, Edith married the merchant and sales representative for building materials, Wilhelm Benndorf (born on 15 May1898 in Palermo). His last name was actually Benjamin, but the four Benjamin brothers, Hans, Rudi, Oskar, and Willy had dropped their Jewish-sounding last name toward the end of the Kaiserreich or at the beginning of the 1920s. The Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file of the father, Walther Benjamin (1860–1936), contains the following entry: "All of the sons go by the name of Benndorf and are of the Protestant faith…” From the beginning of the 1920s onward, the two older sons were working as authorized signatories in the Südfrucht-Import-Firma Walther Benjamin founded in 1916, an importer of tropical fruit. Wilhelm Benndorf, on the other hand, does not appear to have worked in his father’s company. From 1928 to 1931, Edith and Wilhelm Benndorf’s residential address was Gryphiusstraße 8 (third floor).

In 1934, Wilhelm Benndorf moved from Gryphiusstraße 8 to Altona. In 1935, Edith Benndorf lived in Altona as well. Her husband emigrated to the USA in 1937/38. Her brother-in-law, Oscar Benndorf, also left Germany together with his wife Elly, sailing in Mar. 1939 from Southampton to New York aboard the "SS Normandie.” In 1937, a Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card of her own was created for Edith Benndorf, née Guttmann. It contained the reference to a "mixed marriage,” although for a short time, a file card of the Jewish Community had existed for Wilhelm Benndorf as well. These files do not provide any clues to any children. From 1938 onward, Edith Benndorf was no longer assessed for the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer). Between 1937 and 1942, her living situation worsened substantially, as one can tell from her frequent moves: Schulterblatt 26 (Altona), Heilwigstraße 29 as a subtenant, and Rondeel 31, third floor (Winterhude). Very likely, she gradually had to sell off her household goods due to lack of income and more modest living space. If the previous accommodations had already meant a loss of comfort and privacy, the quartering in so-called "Jews’ houses” ("Judenhäuser”) was a concrete step toward deportation. First, Edith Benndorf was sent to the former Nanny Jonas Stift at Agathenstraße 3 (Eimsbüttel) and later relocated to the Synagogue building at Innocentiastraße 37 (Harvestehude). An attempt at emigration to the USA to her husband planned for June 1941 failed. She was deported to Auschwitz on 11 July 1942. Edith Benndorf’s exact date of death is unknown.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Björn Eggert

Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaHH) 213-13 (Landgericht Hamburg, Wiedergutmachung), 7692 (Alice Schönfeld); StaHH 214-1 (Gerichtsvollzieherwesen), 622 (Alice Schönfeld); StaHH 231-7 (Amtsgericht Hamburg, Handels- u. Genossenschaftsregister), A1 Band 22 (HR A 5655, Eugen Guttmann); StaHH 231-7 (Handels- u. Genossenschaftsregister), A1 Band 78 (HR A 19237 Walther Benjamin); StaHH 314-15 (Oberfinanzpräsident), FVg 4683 (Edith Benndorf, Auswandererakte 1938–1941); StaHH 332-4 (Aufsicht über die Standesämter), 2232 (Alphabetisches Register der Namensänderungen 1846–1927), Benjamin/Benndorf; StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8556 u. 531/1892 (Heiratsregister 1892, Walther Benjamin u. Louise Tentler); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 9135 u. 2536/1897 (Geburtsregister 1897, Edith Guttmann); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 13088 u. 1389/1899 (Geburtsregister 1899, Alice Guttmann); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7992 u. 254/1908 (Sterberegister 1908, Louise Benjamin geb. Tentler); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8741 u. 445/1920 (Heiratsregister 1920, Julius Alsberg und Edith Guttmann); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8756 u. 756/1921 (Heiratsregister 1921 Alice Guttmann u. Rudolph Schönfeld); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8766 u. 290/1922 (Heiratsregister 1922, Alice Alsberg u. Albert Nauen); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8077 u. 466/1924 (Sterberegister 1924, Eugen Guttmann); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8078 u. 586/1924 (Sterberegister 1924, Albert Alsberg); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8823 u. 132/1928 (Heiratsregister 1928, Wilhelm Benndorf u. Edith Guttmann); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 978 u. 446/1931 (Sterberegister 1931, Rudolph Moritz Heinrich Schönfeld); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7133 u. 122/1932 (Sterberegister 1932, Ida Alsberg); StaHH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), A I e 40 Band 9 (Bürgerregister 1889, Eugen Guttmann); StaHH 332-8 (Meldewesen), A 24 Band 248 (Reisepassprotokoll 15611 Julius Alsberg, 15612/1921 Edith Alsberg); StaHH 332-8 (Meldewesen), A 24 Band 318 (Reisepassprotokoll 24185 Julius Alsberg, 24186/1924 Edith Alsberg); StaHH 342-2 (Militär-Ersatzbehörden), D II 147 Band 1 (Julius Alsberg); StaHH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 14974 (Hans Benndorf, darin HR-Auszug A 19237); StaHH 351-11 (AfW), 21755 (Alice Schönfeld geb. Guttmann); StaHH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeinde Hamburg, Kultussteuerkartei), Albert Alsberg, Julius Alsberg, Walter Ed. Benjamin, Edith Benndorf, Eugen Guttmann; StaHH 731-8 (Zeitungsausschnitt-Sammlung ZAS), A 751 (Alsberg, Albert); StaHH 731-8 (ZAS), A 758 (Harke, Ludwig Friedrich Carl); StaHH 741-4 (Alte Einwohnermeldekartei, mikroverfilmt, 1892–1925), Albert Alsberg, Alice Alsberg, Louise Benjamin geb. Tentler, Rudolf Eduard Benndorf, Eugen Guttmann, Röschen/Rosalie Tentler geb. Borchardt; Adressbuch Hamburg 1889–1892, 1920, 1933, 1940; Adressbuch Hamburg (Walther Benjamin) 1907, 1911, 1918; Adressbuch Hamburg (Julius Alsberg) 1923–1928; Adressbuch Hamburg (Straßenverzeichnis, Spitalerstr. 16), 1931; Adressbuch Altona 1935, 1936; Fernsprechbuch Hamburg 1895–1931; Bezirksamt Hamburg-Nord, Bauamt/Bauprüfabteilung (Gryphiusstr. 8); Jahrbuch der Hamburgischen Gesellschaft zur Beförderung der Künste und nützlichen Gewerbe (Patriotische Gesellschaft), 1910 bis 1912, Hamburg 1913, S. 58 (Eugen Guttmann); Handelskammer Hamburg, Handelsregisterinformationen (Eugen Guttmann, HR A 5655, 1919–1924; Walther Benjamin, HR A 43969); Hamburger Börsenfirmen 1910, S. 234 (Eugen Guttmann); Hamburger Börsenfirmen 1926, S. 73 (Walther Benjamin), S. 443 (Hermes Kreditversicherungsbank), S. 449 (M. Hesslein), S. 1113 (Edm. L. Wiener); Jüdischer Friedhof Hamburg-Ohlsdorf, Internetdatei (Eugen Guttmann Grablage C10-192, Dorothea Guttmann C10-193, Prof. Albert Alsberg C8-77, Ida Alsberg C8-78); Franz Böhmer (Hrsg.), Wilhelm Gymnasium Hamburg 1881–1956, Hamburg ohne Jahr, S. 119 (Julius Alsberg); Petra Bojahr, Erich zu Putlitz. Leben und Werk 1892–1945, Hamburg 1997, S. 88/89 (Boardinghaus); Anna von Villiez, Mit aller Kraft verdrängt. Entrechtung und Verfolgung "nicht arischer" Ärzte in Hamburg 1933 bis 1945, München/ Hamburg 2009, S. 53/54 (Albert Alsberg), S. 209/210 (Julius Alsberg); (eingesehen am 22.9.2007), Sterbeindex der Sozialversicherung/USA, Passagierliste der S.S. Normandie vom März 1939 nach New York (Oskar u. Elly Benndorf), Passagierliste der S.S. Washington vom 28.5.1940 von Neapel nach New York (Wilhelm Benndorf); (zu William/Wilhelm Benndorf, eingesehen am 15.8.2016), US-Einbürgerungsregister 1948, US-Sterbeindex 1971, Grab-Index; (zu Julius Alsberg, eingesehen am 15.8.2016), Passagierliste der "Westernland" (Holland America Line) am 6.8.1939 von Southampton/GB; (Passagierliste der SS Nitta Maru 1941 für Elli Alsberg u. Söhne, Grabstein für "Elli L. Alsberg beloved wife of Julius 7-27-1894/ 1-7-1989", Sterbeindex Kalifornien Julius P. Alsberg 24.7.1961 in Los Angeles, US-Grabindex für Julius P. Alsberg Desert Lawn Memorial Park, US-Einzugsregistrierungkarten 2. Weltkrieg Julius Peter Alsberg); Informationen von Herrn U.S. (Israel) 2016; Informationen von Herrn T.J. (Neuseeland) 2016.

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