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Rosa Hillelsohn (née Ascher) * 1892

Bei der Johanniskirche 5 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)

1941 Minsk

further stumbling stones in Bei der Johanniskirche 5:
Wolfgang David Hillelsohn

Rosa Hillelsohn, née Ascher, born on 7 Oct. 1892, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk, where she was killed
Wolfgang David Hillelsohn, born on 3 Jan. 1927, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk, where he was killed

Wohlers Allee 58 (Wohlersallee)

Rosa Hillelsohn was born on 7 Oct. 1892 as the daughter of Paul and Selma Ascher, née Gerson, in Dahlenwarsleben near Wolmirstedt in Saxony. She lived with her husband Isaak Ruben Hillelsohn, born on 24 Apr. 1887 in East-Prussian Johannisburg, first in Königsberg where their son Kurt Joel was born on 11 Dec. 1914. Their second son Georg Samuel was born in Amsterdam on 21 Oct. 1919.

Isaak Ruben Hillelsohn was a merchant in the import-export food business, which he possibly also ran in Amsterdam. Around 1922 the family moved to Altona and took an apartment on the second floor of the building at Bei der Johanniskirche 5 in North Altona. Many middle-class business people and merchants as well as upper-class doctors and lawyers lived in the neighborhood surrounding the Johannis Church, a respectable residential area. Eastern European Jewish immigrants formed a third social group.

At the start of 1923, Isaak Ruben Hillelsohn, as a merchant, registered a wholesale business in cereals and feed through the Rolf Busse Company at Langereihe 108 in Hamburg (today Lange Reihe). Later he worked as a commercial clerk at the grain broker Klapp und Ganzel at Fischertweite in Hamburg. The company Hillelsohn & Co "Brokerage for legumes, seed and all other native products” was entered in the business register in 1926; both spouses were the owners. Their office was first located at Grimmstraße 12, then at Eimsbüttelerstraße 36a in Hamburg where the Hillelsohn Family lived from the mid 1920s.

Their youngest son Wolfgang David was born on 3 Jan. 1927 in Altona. Rosa Hillelsohn dedicated herself to family life as a housewife. She was also chairperson of the parent council at the Altona Israelite Community School.

Isaak Ruben Hillelsohn’s business had been running badly since the 1929 economic crisis. The company had recorded losses since Jan. 1933: Due to the boycott of Jewish enterprises, non-Jewish customers no longer patronized his business and the Jewish customers suffered from a lack of funds or were preparing to emigrate. The company was struck from the trade register in 1934.

Isaak Ruben Hillelsohn passed away on 11 Sept. 1936 and was buried at the Bahrenfeld Cemetery on Bornkampsweg. From 1937 the Hillelsohn Family is recorded in the address book as living on the first floor of the house at Wohlersallee 58 (today Wohlers Allee).

Wohlersallee was a center of Altona’s Jewish life and residential area for "Eastern Jews” who had been immigrating since about the turn of the century with two of their own small "Polish synagogues”. The "Public Home” was created as a joint project of the Jewish Communities of Altona and Hamburg during the 1920s at Wohlersalle 58/58, with a daycare and after-school care facility, a counseling center for mothers, bathing facilities and a library.

After the daycare center was moved to Grüne Straße 5 in 1936, the couple Friedemann, the Hillelsohn Family and Streit Family lived on the three floors.

Kurt Hillelsohn attended the Jewish Elementary School and later the high school, completing the one-year, voluntary diploma. Starting in spring 1930, he undertook an apprenticeship at the company "Corporation for Goods and Agricultural Produce” in Hamburg where he remained employed as an operations assistant until the end of 1932. Afterwards he worked at the "German Products Corporation” in Berlin, until the company was liquidated at the start of Nov. 1933, and he lost his position. Back in Hamburg he worked for Cohaco, the Continental Trade Company Koch & Co, Importer. Following his father’s death, he took on his father’s business: traveling salesman for foodstuffs wholesalers in the import and export trade. Finally, he lived with his mother on Wohlersallee. In Nov. 1938 Kurt Hillelsohn immigrated to the USA with his bride Rosa Gerson and her daughter Elfriede. His relocation goods included, among other things, a silver, eight-armed chandelier that he and his bride had been given as a present upon their engagement.

Georg Samuel Hillelsohn worked as a commercial clerk at a wholesaler for light railway and industrial railway and also lived with his mother at Wohlersallee 58. He followed his brother Kurt, who by then was living in New York, and immigrated to the USA in Jan. 1939.

Apparently Rose Hillelsohn too wanted to emigrate with her youngest son Wolfgang David. On 30 May 1941, the monitoring department of the foreign currency office notified Hanover’s Regional Finance Director that Helene Winter was paying her cousin Rosa Hillelsohn at Wohlersallee 58 a monthly support of 75 Reich Marks (RM) until her emigration in about a year. As a result, the foreign currency office investigated her financial situation. Rosa Hillelsohn reported that two young tenants lived with her who each paid 50 RM for room and board, and another person, whom she only fed, paid her 30 RM each month. Five people altogether were supported in her household. She herself reportedly received support from her sons and relatives on occasion. Her emigration never materialized.

On 18 Nov. 1941, Rosa Hillelsohn and her fourteen-year-old son Wolfgang David were deported from the "Jewish house” at Wohlersallee 58; under the heading "moved to”, the house registration card stated "evacuated to Poland on 18 Nov. 1941”.

The actual destination for deportation was Minsk in German-occupied Belarus. Of the 407 individuals who were taken to the Minsk Ghetto on that day, only four survived. The new arrivals from the German Reich labored in workshops, field hospitals and at sub-camps. During the massacre of 8 May 1943 and the liquidation of the ghetto on 14 Sept. 1943, nearly all who had survived hunger, cold and infectious diseases over the past one and a half years were shot or killed in gas vans. Rosa and Wolfgang David Hillelsohn never returned.

In 1942 the "Reich Association of Jews in Germany” had to surrender ownership of the house at Wohlersallee 58 to the city of Hamburg. In 1996, a new daycare center was opened in the house.

Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: April 2018
© Birgit Gewehr

Quellen: 1; 2 (F 1057, Hillelsohn, Georg Samuel; F 1057 Hillelsohn, Georg Samuel; R 1941/112 Hillelsohn, Rosa; FVg 3464, Hillelsohn, Kurt; R 1941/112 Hillelsohn, Rosa); 4; 5; 8; AB Altona und Hamburg; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 39691 (Hillelsohn, Kurt); StaH 332-8 Meldewesen A51/1 (Straßenkartei der Hauskartei, Wohlersallee 58); Datenbank des American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee,, Zugriff 8.11.13; Gillis-Carlebach, Israelitische Gemeindeschule Altona, S. 124; Michelsen, Gedenkraum Wohlersallee.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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