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Sabine Hilsenrath-Parnass * 1884
Kieler Straße 75 (Altona, Altona-Nord)
Sabine Hilsenrath-Parnass, born on 14.1.1884 in Delatyn, Galicia (today Deljatyn, Ukraine), deported on 24.3.1943 to the Theresienstadt ghetto, further deported to Auschwitz on 6.9.1943, murdered
Kieler Straße 75 (Altona-North)
The name Hilsenrath-Parnass on the Stolperstein in memory of Sabine Hilsenrath-Parnass follows official designations in Hamburg in the 1930s. "Hilsenrath" corresponds to the birth name, "Parnass" indicates the name of the husband, whose surname was correctly "Parnes". The combination resulted in the bureaucratically determined surname. In the following, as far as the time after the marriage is concerned, the name Sabine Parnes is used.
Sabine Hilsenrath, born on 14 Jan. 1884, came from the village of Delatyn in what was then Austrian Galicia (today Deljatyn/Western Ukraine). Her father was Juda Hilsenrath, her mother’s name is unknown.
Delatyn had come to Poland as a result of the dissolution of Austria-Hungary and the subsequent armed conflicts after the First World War. The resulting complications in terms of constitutional law led to confusion for many of the previously Austrian citizens regarding their new citizenship, apparently also for Sabine Parnes. According to the tax card of the Jewish community in Hamburg (Kultussteuerkarte), she was stateless. On the other hand, she stated in her application to leave the country for America in July 1938, that she had Polish citizenship.
Sabine Hilsenrath, about whose childhood and youth nothing is known, had married Leib Hersch Parnes, born on 15 March 1859/1858 in Szczerec/Galicia (today Shchyrez/Western Ukraine), who called himself Hermann in Germany. Both spouses were Jewish.
Hermann Parnes had first come to Germany from Grodek/Galicia (today Horodok/Western Ukraine) in 1905 and had registered as a tradesman on 30 Oct. in Harburg, which was still Prussian at that time. Several relatives from Grodek and surrounding towns had already settled there. In May 1906 Hermann Parnes brought his wife from Galicia to Germany.
The couple must have left Germany again shortly afterwards, because on 4 Aug. 1907 or 6 July 1907 their daughter Paula (Perl, Pepi) was born in Körösmezö/West Carpathia (today Jassinja/Ukraine). The second child, Jakob, was born on 23 Sept. 1909 in Delatyn. The son initially bore the surname Parnes, but later the name Hilsenrath. We do not know the reason for the name change. After Jakob’s birth, the family again lived in Harburg/Elbe. In 1912, there was another change of location. Coming from Harburg, the family registered in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. Two years later, in 1914, the family settled in Lüneburg, initially in the street Münze 8. After buying the property Salzstraße 4 in February 1919, they established their residence there. At the request of both spouses, Sabine Parnes was entered in the land register as the owner.
In the following years, Hermann Parnes ran a textile business in Lüneburg. He died at the age of 64 on 15 Feb. 1924 in his residence. From then on, Sabine Parnes took over the textile business.
On 23 June 1925, her daughter Paula married the Jewish merchant Moses Moritz Mojzesz Brandstein in Hamburg, who had immigrated from Poland in 1922 and ran an "instalment shop" in Lüneburg (i.e. the items bought there could be paid off in instalments).
Paula Brandstein received half of the property at Salzstraße 4 and half of the business assets from her mother as marriage dowry. The transfer of half of the ownership of the property Salzstraße 4 was notarised and entered in the land register. Paula Brandstein brought both, property and business shares, into the marriage. Legally, the one half of the property received from her mother remained in Paula Brandstein's ownership, but in this way Moritz Brandstein became the economic co-owner of the property at Salzstraße 4, as well as a partner in the textile trade. He initially continued to run his instalment business, until he became directly involved in the textile shop at Salzstraße 4 from 1929.
Paula and Moritz Brandstein had two children during their time in Lüneburg: Jenni Lilly, born on 4 July 1926 and Horst, born on 4 Nov. 1927. The boy died after only two and a half years on 18 July 1930.
The rise to power of the National Socialists was also accompanied by a boycott of Jewish business in Lüneburg, which led to economic collapses. Sabine Parnes and her son-in-law were forced out of their business. On 28 March 1933, she and the Brandstein family left Lüneburg.
Sabine Parnes moved to Stresemannstraße 27 in Altona, which was still independent at that time, and then to Grüne Straße 5, today Kirchenstraße. Several Jewish residents lived in this residential building, which belonged to the "Isaac Hartwig Legacy", and the Israelische Humanitäre Frauenverein e.V. also had its headquarters here. (Isaac Hartwig was a donator who died in Hamburg in 1839 and who, among other things, had made it possible to build the synagogue in Friedrichstadt/Schleswig-Holstein).
Moritz Brandstein and his family first found a flat at General-Litzmann-Straße 19, today again Stresemannstraße, St. Pauli district. He now worked as a traveller agent for wines. The family changed their domicile several times. In the Altona address book Moritz Brandstein is listed at Wohlersallee 7 (today Wohlers Allee, Altona-Altstadt district), at Lerchenstraße 25 (St. Pauli) and in 1938 finally at General-Litzmann-Straße 110 (today Stresemannstraße, Altona-Altstadt).
Sabine Parnes moved from Grüne Straße to her son Jakob's family at Kieler Straße 75 in Altona-Nord. Jakob, who had "Hilsenrath" as his surname, was a dental technician by profession. After a short stopover in Dortmund, he had moved from Lüneburg to Hamburg at the end of 1930. On 25 March 1931 Jakob Hilsenrath and Chane (Hanna) Bleiberg, who was also Jewish and born in Radymor/Galicia on 12 June 1908, married in Hamburg. The couple lived in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel at Margarethenstraße 72 and at Bei der Apostelkirche 24, before they got a flat at Kieler Straße 75 in Altona in 1931. Sabine Parnes' grandchild Judith (Jutta) was born there on 30 March 1932. In 1933 another daughter was born, whose first name and date of birth we do not know.
Jakob Hilsenrath moved with his family to Hagen in Westphalia in 1935, Chane Hilsenrath's place of residence before her marriage. He apparently had already planned to emigrate before moving to Hagen as he had taken part in a training at Kibbutz Schachal at Steubenweg 36 (today Grotiusweg) in Blankenese in preparation for the new life. In the very same year, Jakob, Chane and Judith Hilsenrath fled to Palestine.
This also put an end to Sabine Parnes' accommodation in Kieler Straße. She now moved to General-Litzmann-Straße 47 (today the Sternschanze district) as a subtenant to the Jewish Ornstein family.
In July 1938, Sabine Parnes applied for permission to emigrate to the USA. But as she had no means at all, the emigration attempt was unsuccessful.
On 28 Oct. 1938, about 17,000 Jews of Polish origin were deported from the German Reich to Poland as part of the so-called Polish Action. The Polish government had previously threatened not to renew the passports of the Poles living abroad. This would have turned them into stateless persons. The Nazi government feared that thousands of "Eastern Jews" would remain permanently on German territory. Without warning and without regard to anybody, men, women and children were then taken from their workplaces or homes throughout the German Reich, gathered together in various places and deported on the same day by rail across the Polish border at Zbaszyn (Bentschen), Chojnice (Konitz) in Pomerania and Bytom in Upper Silesia. From Hamburg, to which Altona belonged since 1 Jan. 1938, about 1,000 people were brought to the German border town of Neu Bentschen (today Zbąszynek) and from there forcibly pushed across the German-Polish border to Zbaszyn (Bentschen).
The deportation took place by force and was completely unexpected to those affected. Among them were Sabine Parnes' daughter Paula, her husband Moritz Brandstein, their daughter Jenni Lilly and the Ornstein family with whom Sabine Parnes lived. She herself also should be deported to Poland, but her deportation was postponed because she was ill and not able to be transported.
In the spring/summer of 1939, Sabine Parnes spent a long time as a patient in the Israelite Hospital. No further details are known. She then found accommodation again at Grüne Straße 5 in Altona. Here, as in other residential buildings of the Jewish community, Jewish people were concentrated in cramped quarters in "Jewish houses" after the massive restriction of the free choice of housing by the "Reich Law on Tenancies with Jews" after 30 Apr. 1939.
In the Lüneburg land register, Sabine Parnes and her daughter Paula were still registered as owners of the property at Salzstraße 4 in Lüneburg. On 27 March 1939, Sabine Parnes, also acting on behalf of her daughter, made an offer to sell to the foreman Emil Götze from Lüneburg, who accepted this on 1 Apr. 1939. The purchase price for the property was RM 4,100. The land register file does not give any information about the reasons for the sale. Sabine Parnes was left with no funds from this deal, as she had to pay "the entire surplus from the sale of the house and the house administration to the Hamburg social administration".
On 25 Oct. 1941, the deportations of Jewish people "to the East" began in Hamburg. The list for the first transport on 25 Oct. 1941 to Litzmannstadt (Łódź) also contained the name of Sabine Parnes, referred to there as Sabine Hilsenrath. For reasons unknown to us, her name was removed from the transport list.
Sabine Parnes was finally deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto on 24 March 1943 in a transport of 50 people. Her last address in Hamburg was Beneckestraße 6, like Grüne Straße 5 a "Jews' house", whereby mainly elderly Jews were housed in Beneckestraße. Sabine Parnes was deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on 6 Sept. 1943 and murdered there.
Moritz Brandstein had returned from Poland to Hamburg on 16 June 1939 with a residence permit until 4 Sept. 1939 in order to settle his and his wife's financial affairs and to initiate emigration via Poland to the USA. He explained that his wife and daughter were staying in Bukaczowce near Lemberg (today Western Ukraine) and did not want to come to Germany.
On 17 Nov. 1939, Moritz Brandstein was in custody in the Fuhlsbüttel police prison. Presumably his departure had been delayed and he was imprisoned as an "enemy alien" like thousands of male Polish Jews still remaining in the German Reich after the war had started on 1 Sept. 1939. The date he was transported from Fuhlsbüttel is not known, nor is the destination of the transport.
After the war, the International Red Cross stated that Moritz Brandstein had arrived at the concentration camp Dachau (prisoner no. 33884) on 9 Aug. 1942, coming from the concentration camp Groß-Rosen, and had been transferred to the concentration camp Auschwitz on 19 Oct. 1942 (prisoner no. 69006). He had stayed in the prisoners' hospital until 14 Nov. 1942. After that, his trail disappears. Moritz Brandstein was declared dead on 8 May 1945.
Moritz Brandstein's information that Paula and Jenni Lilly Brandstein had stayed in Bukaczowce near Lemberg is the last indication we know about the whereabouts of these two people. It can be assumed that they perished in occupied Poland. In the proceedings for the declaration of death, the last address given was Stresemannstraße 110 in Altona-Altstadt.
Translation: Elisabeth Wendland
Stand: August 2023
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: Adressbücher von Hamburg und Altona, StaH213-13 Landgericht Hamburg Wiedergutmachung 12690 Brandstein Paula, 33846 Hilsenrath Jakob, 20766 Brandstein Moritz und Paula, 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident Devisenstelle R1938_1163 Hilsenrath-Parnass, F199B Brandstein Moritz und Ehefrau, 332-5 Standesämter 13631 Heiratsregister Nr. 115/1931 Jakob Hilsenrath/Chane Bleiberg, 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 25960 Brandstein Moritz, 34369 Brandstein Salomon 43889 Brandstein, 741-4 Fotoarchiv diverse Melderegistereinträge in Altona und Harburg über Sabine Hilsenrath, Jakob Hilsenrath, Moses Moritz Brandstein und Familie; Arolsen Archives, Haftnachweise Moses Moritz Brandstein sowie Hinweise zur Todeserklärung von Paula und Jenni Lilly Brandstein; Stadtarchiv Lüneburg: diverse Meldedaten Sabine Parnes, Paula und Moritz Brandstein, Stadt ALg_PSLG-R_319_1930_318 Sterberegisterauszug Horst Brandstein; Sterberegister Lüneburg, Nr. 58/1924 Hersch Leib Parnes; Amtsgericht Lüneburg, Grundbuchamt, Grundbuch Lüneburg Band 28 Blatt 13; Stadtarchiv Oldenburg, Meldeauskünfte über die Familie Parnes.