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Ruth Hauptmann * 1915
Bartelsstraße 30 Ecke Susannenstr. (Altona, Sternschanze)
Benno Hauptmann, born on 17 Aug. 1917 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 10 May 1942 to Chelmno (Kulmhof), murdered there
Rieckchen (Rickchen, Riekchen, Jenny, Fanny) Hauptmann, née Bloch (Blach), born on 26 Sept. 1883 (25 Sept. 1883) in Abterode, deported on 23 Sept. 1940 from the "Langenhorn sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Langenhorn”), murdered on the same day at the euthanasia killing center in Brandenburg/Havel
Ruth Hauptmann, born on 5 Oct. 1915 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, died there on 13 July 1942
Benno and Ruth Hauptmann were biological children of Rieckchen Hauptmann, the second wife of Fabian Hauptmann. They had four other brothers, who were nearly 20 years older and very likely from the first marriage of their father with Martha, née Salomon: Siegmund and Kurt survived the era of National Socialism – Kurt, married in a "mixed marriage,” performed forced labor at various companies for more than five years and was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Feb. 1945; Siegfried moved to Berlin in 1926 or 1927, was detained in 1938, transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp, and declared dead in 1945; Rudolf was killed in action in World War I.
Together with her husband Fabian, who was a native of Lissa in [the Province of] Posen, Rieckchen ran a furniture store at Bartelsstrasse 34/36, where they offered new and used furniture. On a voters’ list of the Jewish Community for 1930, Bartelsstrasse 34 is indicated as the address for Fabian, Jenny, and Kurt. The business was taken away from the Hauptmanns. Later, Rieckchen and Fabian lived with their children Ruth and Benno at Marthastrasse 28/30. In 1937, they moved to accommodation in Schlachterstrasse, which no longer exists today. House numbers 40/42, where the Hauptmanns rented an apartment, were owned by the Marcus-Nordheim-Stift, a charitable residential home. On 29 Aug. 1938, Fabian was committed to the Friedrichsberg Psychiatric Hospital at the age of 71. There he was diagnosed with a late-life (in Senium) depression. On 6 Oct. 1938, he was transferred on a mass transport to the Langenhorn State Institution, where he died eleven days later.
Also in 1938, Rieckchen was given psychiatric treatment in the "Landesirrenanstalt” Ochsenzoll (Ochsenzoll "State Lunatic Asylum”). In the national census in May 1939, she was registered in Langenhorn, census district no. 333 (Zählbez.-Nr. 333). The index card also provides a clue to her whereabouts. It reads: "Deportation destination Cholm = Chelm, 23 Sept. 1940.” A we know today, the "Lunatic Asylum Chelm, Post Office Lublin” ("Irrenanstalt Cholm, Post Lublin”) served as a cover address for an alleged destination of this and other transports to the former penitentiary in Brandenburg, where, on the day of arrival, all patients were murdered in gas vans.
The historian Beate Meyer explains how the cover-up succeeded: "A fictitious records office certified the patients’ deaths, which were later communicated to the relatives or, respectively, the district offices of the Reich Association [of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland)] in writing.” The deportation and murder of the Jewish patients of psychiatric hospitals in Hamburg was preceded by a questionnaire campaign in the course of which the senior physicians of the sanatoria and nursing homes were ordered by way of a circular decree by the Reich Ministry of the Interior to record, in addition to the patients’ personal data, the "diagnosis” and "citizenship and race” as well and to send the information to the Reich Ministry of the Interior. From mid-1940, Langenhorn served as the collective institute for Jewish patients from the North German region. From there, 136 Jewish patients were deported on central orders from Berlin to the euthanasia killing center in Brandenburg on 23 Sept. 1940.
Ruth was a trained domestic help and worked – as her Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card indicates – as a nanny. In Aug. 1933, she moved to Bergstrasse 125 in Altona, and only a few months later to Bartelsstrasse 30. She joined the Jewish Community at the end of Dec. 1933, though not being assessed for taxes from 1934 until 1939. In 1940, she paid modest Jewish religious taxes. Until 1938, she lived again with her family in Marthastrasse and in Schlachterstrasse. When her parents were committed to mental institutions, she moved to Haynstrase 15 with Levy and then further to the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) in Frickestrasse 24, where she also resided with Levy. She worked as a domestic help until her deportation.
In Lodz, she initially lived at Rembrandtstrasse 12, apartment 32, later at Kreuzstrasse 2a. Several weeks after the murder of her brother Benno, Ruth died as well. For Monday, 13 July 1942, the chroniclers of the ghetto recorded 65 deaths and 4 births.
Ruth’s brother Benno had attended the Talmud Tora Realschule. Report cards from the years 1924 until 1932 have been preserved. He joined the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband) in 1936. In the following years, he only had a low income, for which he was not assessed in terms of taxes – except in 1937. He, too, left his parents’ apartment in 1938. He moved to Klosterallee 33, then to Werderstrasse 7, and to Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 115. He did a commercial apprenticeship with Isaacsohn und Bühring, an import and export business on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse, which he completed in Sept. 1939. That same year, he relocated his residence to Hegestieg 12 and shortly afterward to Grindelhof 95. He worked as a commercial clerk at de Vivanco & Co., a company founded in 1920. For the year 1940, the Jewish religious tax file card contains the following note: "Rent paid by the welfare office. Works in the [retirement] home on Rothenbaumchaussee for board and an allowance of 10,– [RM = reichsmark].”
When his sister Ruth received her deportation order to the Lodz Ghetto, Benno lived at Parkallee 12. He volunteered for the transport on 25 Oct. 1941. In Lodz, he was quartered at Hausierergasse 1, apartment 11, working in clothes production as a maker of ready-to-wear clothing. The "Litzmannstadt” (Lodz) Ghetto served the SS as a manufacturing ghetto. The "Jewish Eldest,” Chaim Rumkowski, also hoped to be able to "pay for additional lifetime” by delivering work performance. The production primarily served the German Wehrmacht, though part of the output was also sold to private companies. In May 1942, Lodz saw the beginning of the "resettlement” ("Aussiedlung”) – i.e., the murder – of West European Jews.
Starting in May 1941, the deportation cards – called "wedding cards” in the ghetto jargon – were sent out above all to people not employed. Between 4 and 15 May, the Nazis murdered more than 10,000 persons who had been "settled in” ("eingesiedelt”) from the "Old Reich” ("Altreich,” i.e., Germany within the 1937 borders) to the Jewish ghetto of Lodz in the Kulmhof/Chelmno extermination camp using gas vans. Benno Hauptmann was one of them.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Christiane Jungblut
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; AB 1936, T. 1, 1938, T. 1; ITS/ARCH/Ghetto Litzmannstadt, Ordner 7, Seite 491; ITS/ARCH/Ghetto Litzmannstadt, Ordner 7, Seite 492; StaH 314-15 OFP, Abl. 1998/1, H 959; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 291095 Hauptmann, Kurt; StaH 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Abl. 2/1995, 25298; StaH 362-6/10 Talmud-Tora-Schule, TT 19; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992 e 1 Band 1; Feuchert/Leibfried/Riecke (Hrsg.), Chronik, 1942, 2007, S. 7 f, 142, 360; Löw, Litzmannstadt, 2006, S. 309; Meyer, unveröffentlichtes Dokument, 2008; Rüter/de Mildt, Justiz, http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/ Excerpts/697002.htm (17.2.2009); Wunder, Anstaltsfürsorge, in: Ebbinghaus/Linne (Hrsg.), Kein abgeschlossenes Kapitel, 1997, S. 400.
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(2) Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 1509 Reichssippenamt, Ergänzungskarten der Volkszählung vom 17. Mai 1939