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Lucie Salomon, geb. Königswerther
© Privatbesitz

Lucie Salomon (née Königswerther) * 1880

St. Benedictstraße 27 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

Flucht den Tod 22.9.1941


further stumbling stones in St. Benedictstraße 27:
Paul Salomon, Emil Wolff

Paul Salomon, born on 29 June 1865 in Halle/Saale, suicide on 21 Sept. 1941 in Hamburg
Lucie Salomon, née Königswerther, born on 20 Dec. 1880 in Leipzig, suicide on 21 Sept. 1941 in Hamburg

Paul Salomon was born as the son of David and Mathilde Salomon, née Frank, in Halle/Saale. The father had started an apprenticeship when he was only 13 years old, subsequently working as a commercial clerk for several years and then opening with his brother a store selling yard goods. In 1859, he appeared for the first time in the Halle directory as the co-owner of the "Gebr. Salomon” ("Salomon Bros.”) silk goods and fashion company (at Grosse Ulrichstrasse 3, according to today’s numbering).

The Salomon couple had five children: Franziska (born in 1861), Elise (born in 1862), Oskar (born in 1863), Paul (born in 1865), and Margarethe (born in 1870). The sisters as well as Oskar received piano lessons, something that constituted part of the general education among refined circles. Paul Salomon was the only one to reject musical education. Starting in 1881, the father David Salomon was responsible as the sole owner of the Gebrüder Salomon Company. In 1894, he was listed in the Halle directory as a merchant, though by then the company was missing as an addition in the entry because it had gone bankrupt. The family assets were lost in the bankruptcy. Moreover, there were debts that the two sons had to pay off for years. In 1902, David Salomon passed away, in 1926 his wife.

Oskar and Paul Salomon attended municipal high school, the Halle Stadt-Gymnasium. "The two of us sons were the first children of Jewish parents to attend the Stadtgymnasium of my hometown,” Paul Salomon recalled in 1940. Nothing comparable was offered toward the school education of the sisters. In Halle, Paul Salomon completed an apprenticeship with the Hallesche Bankverein of Kulisch, Kaempf & Co., did his one-year military service with the 36th Fusilier Regiment (light infantry) in Halle in 1888, and took on a job at Dresdner Bank in Hamburg in 1889. There, he was given power of attorney in 1895, and in 1907, he became one of two deputy directors in the company edifice at Jungfernstieg 22 built in 1899.

In 1903, he met Martha Lucia, called Lucie, Königswerther. The wedding took place in July 1904 in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The bride was a native of Leipzig, where her father, the authorized signatory Adolf Heinrich Königswerther (born on 22 July 1841 in Frankfurt/Main), had applied for civic rights in 1869. Hermine Königswerther, née Bloch, was her mother. The unmarried brother Alexander Königswerther (born on 25 June 1877 in Leipzig), an engineer at Siemens, worked for that company as a director in Berlin until 1933. He took his own life in Berlin-Pankow on 24 Aug. 1942. Her older sister, Elli Fanta, was a trained pianist and went on concert tours; she had two children who later emigrated to North and South America.

Since 1907, Paul Salomon was listed in the Hamburg phone directory, in 1924 for the first time with the occupational designation of "Director of Dresdner Bank.” In accordance with his elevated position, the apartments of the Salomons were located in nice residential areas. After the wedding, the married couple moved into a home at Uhlenhorsterweg 15; in 1906, daughter Hilde was born there.

Only two years later, the family relocated to a nearby apartment at Papenhuderstrasse 35, also in the Uhlenhorst quarter. The birth of the second daughter, Lotte, in 1913 necessitated yet another move. Starting in 1915, the residential address was Sierichstrasse 82 in Hamburg-Winterhude. In this grand apartment, taking up the whole floor of a building and "featuring all modern amenities,” son Helmut was born in 1918.

Paul Salomon’s promotion to one of three directors of the Hamburg main branch of Dresdner Bank was followed in 1925 by the relocation to St. Benedictstrasse 27 in Hamburg-Harvestehude, an upper-middle-class town house with a garden and porch to the rear. This was even more astounding considering that the family had lost their entire assets in the 1923 inflation. The basement floor featured a kitchen with a dumbwaiter going up to the third floor, a pantry with an icebox, a coal cellar, a heating cellar, a washing cellar, and a sewing room. From the foyer, one could reach the smoking room featuring a desk, leather armchair, and bookcases, as well as the ladies’ room with the Steinway grand piano, and the dining room for special occasions and dinners.

The second floor accommodated guest rooms, the parents’ bedroom, and the combined dinging and living room of the family. The third floor contained the children’s rooms and the rooms of the cook and the maid. A domestic employed on a daily basis ("Tagesfrau”) was also part of the staff, though she did not stay overnight. In order to facilitate communications, an internal phone was installed in almost every room. Later, the son described the time in this house as "comfortable, safe, proper, and cultivated.”

The Salomons were assimilated Jews without any connection to their parents’ religion. Paul Salomon went to the temple with his parents only on the highest Jewish holidays. To meet the demand of the school principal, at the age of 19 he had merely received "instruction in (the Jewish) religion and moral maturity” by a rabbi for his high-school diploma (Abiturzeugnis). However, by his own account, Paul Salomon had already become completely estranged from the Jewish faith by this time. In this connection, the Christmas tree set up in Paul and Lucie Salomon’s house was not so much a Christian symbol than a middle-class tradition. After the Bertram Preschool for boys (1925–1929), son Helmut attended the renowned Johanneum high school in Winterhude (1929–1936), which he completed by obtaining the high-school diploma. At the end of 1932, Paul Salomon proposed to his son Helmut that he have himself baptized. On 16 Nov. 1932, he was christened at the Protestant Johannis Church in Eppendorf.

In 1931, Paul Salomon was, by virtue of his position as a bank director, also a supervisory board member of four companies [specializing in telecommunications, transportation banking, insurance, and overseas trade, respectively]: of the Gesellschaft für Automatische Telefonie, Hamburg (holding the chairmanship); of the Hanseatic Kredit-Anstalt für Verkehrsmittel; of the Neptunus Assecuranz-Compagnie, Hamburg (founded in 1842); as well as of the Deutsch-Westafrikanische Handelsgesellschaft (Kolonialgesellschaft) Hamburg (founded in 1903).

After the regular election of the members of the stock market board, Anton Hübbe, a member on the board of directors of Dresdner Bank in Hamburg, took over Paul Salomon’s seat in the "Section for Securities, Bills of Exchange, Metal Money, and Precious Metals” on 7 Jan. 1933. After the exclusion of the Jewish members of the Chamber of Commerce on 16 June 1933 in connection with the compulsory "reorganization of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce,” Anton Hübbe was confirmed as a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Nazis’ assumption of power meant for Paul Salomon the compulsory ascription of the "racial feature” of Jew as defined by the National Socialists and thus, professional and social stigmatization in the German Reich. From 1933 onward, Dresdner Bank began systematically ridding itself of Jewish employees. In May 1933, the "Aryan Paragraph” ("Arier-Paragraph”) (Sec. 3) of the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” ("Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums”) dated 7 Apr. 1933, actually designed only for government offices, had been extended to companies and institutions equated with them.

After the banking crisis, more than 50 percent of Dresdner Bank was owned by the government, which wielded its influence when it came to fill managing positions. In June 1933, Dresdner Bank initiated a systematic review of all staff using questionnaires. Probably as a direct result of this, Paul Salomon was retired that same month.

Dr. Georg Eberstadt and Anton Hübbe now made up the diminished board of directors of Dresdner Bank in Hamburg. Dr. Eberstadt, from 1923 until 1930 partner of the (Jewish) L. Behrens & Söhne banking house in Hamburg, resigned as a director on 31 May 1936, emigrating to London in June 1936. In London, he belonged to the executive board of the newly founded financial institution in which the J. Dreyfus & Co. banking house (Berlin) also had 250,000-dollar stake. The new enterprise financed transit and export transactions, something that was assessed very positively by the Reich Office for Currency Control (Reichsstelle für Devisenbewirtschaftung).

Under these conditions, the German authorities were very accommodating: "From the foundation, the board of the Reichsbank directors expects success in terms of foreign currency management along the lines of increased accrual of foreign exchange generated from transactions of all types.” From Britain, Georg Eberstadt participated in the search for a suitable buyer in connection with the "Aryanization” of the Koch Company (Frankfurt/Main). In return for this, he received a commission equaling the value of a small single-family home. In the spring of 1938, this fate [of "Aryanization”] also befell the J. Dreyfus & Co. banking house; the parent company in Frankfurt/Main went into liquidation and the branch in Berlin was taken over by a competing enterprise.

In 1933, 67 percent of the supervisory board members of Dresdner Bank were members of the Nazi party. From 1933 onward, the high degree of responsibility and appreciation Paul Salomon had had at Dresdner Bank over the years no longer meant anything at all unless the family tree matched the new "race ideal.” In retrospect, Paul Salomon described his disappointment in 1940 as follows: "Giving up my work, which took place only at an advanced age, after all, did not pain me very much; very stinging, however, was the disloyalty of people I had considered friends, as well the treatment by the bank that I had served to the best of my abilities for 44 years.”

Through no fault of their own and by compulsory measures, the Salomon couple was systematically driven further into isolation over the following years, until they were completely excluded from social life. As late as 1935, the Salomon couple had, after passing their driving tests, purchased an automobile. In this way, they were at least able to move somewhat undisturbed by Nazi regulations.

As of 31 Dec. 1938, the town house at St. Benedictstrasse 27 was sold by means of the Arnold Hertz & Co. real estate agency to chief engineer Herbert Böttcher. At this point, the Salomon couple moved into rented accommodation on the ground floor of the neighboring house, no. 29. Eventually, in 1939, by the time Paul and Lucie Salomon were compelled to register as members of the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband), their three children had already emigrated to Britain and the USA. Unsuccessfully, the second oldest daughter had tried to persuade her parents in 1937 to leave Germany. However, Paul Salomon remembered his past obligations vis-à-vis his mother and sisters, and with a view to his inevitable neediness in exile, he decided it "would appear to me thoughtless today to rob the children’s lives of modest comfortableness and at the same time, of opportunities to rise, perhaps for many years to come.” He tried to come to grips with his life in Germany, deprived of all rights.

However, the compulsory measures against Jews were escalated further all the time. At the end of the 1930s, the Nazi state commenced with the coolly calculated financial plundering of Jewish citizens. The savings balance of the Salomons was consumed by special taxes and dues imposed specifically on Jews. By this time, Paul Salomon’s former employer, Dresdner Bank, had already become involved with loans in large-scale "Aryanization transactions.” By way of substantial commissions and company holdings, Dresdner Bank profited from "Aryanization” whose objective was to sell companies owned by German citizens of the Jewish faith to non-Jews at low prices. Moreover, by extending millions in loans to the SS, Dresdner Bank had earned the reputation of an "SS bank.”

In this depressing situation during the years 1940 and 1941, at least the regular games of chess (Mondays) and skat (Thursdays) at the home of the former textiles manufacturer Franz Rappolt (1870–1943) at Haynstrasse 10 afforded Paul Salomon a bit of diversion. The acquaintance of the two probably came about through contacts at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

On 21 Sept. 1941, the Salomons ended their lives together. For fear of premature discovery of their suicide and possible "rescuing” of their lives, Paul Salomon asked the physician in a letter placed so it would be clearly visible to respect their decision:

"Dear Medical Doctor, My resilience and that of my wife against the suffering and torture that have come over us is exhausted. This evening, we will make the attempt – hopefully successful – to end our lives using Veronal [Phenobarbital]. Please have the kindness to confirm our deaths, which have hopefully set in, but if the case may be, for God’s sake, do not make any attempts to call us back to life. – Our executor will take care of all that is needed. With sincerest thanks, P. Salomon.”

The 54-year-old domestic help, having worked for the Salomons for four years, found the dead couple and the farewell letters, hurrying to a close acquaintance of the Salomons. The general practitioner Dr. M. Sohege (Isestrasse 109), who was called in, confirmed the two to be dead. The dead bodies were transported to the mortuary of the Harbor Hospital. Paul and Lucie Salomon were buried in the Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery. Alex Königswerther, the brother of Lucie Salomon, née Königswerther, had been granted permission to travel from Berlin to Hamburg, and he took care of the burial and liquidation of the household.

The persons appointed as executors were Dr. Rudolf Herms, since 1931 general partner of the Jonas Söhne & Co. banking house (in 1941 renamed Herms & Co.) as well as Dr. Walter Rudolphi, dismissed Higher Regional Court Judge (Oberlandesgerichtsrat) and since 1939 on the executive committee of the newly formed Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband – JRV). By choosing these persons, very different in their positions and resources, Paul Salomon may have attempted to endow his last will with legal force even in the Nazi state, notoriously unreliable as it was toward Jews regarding the rule of law.

All of the Paul Salomon’s three sisters lived unmarried in Halle. As of 1 Dec. 1941, they moved into the mourning hall of the Jewish Community converted into a retirement home. In order to obtain the right of residence, the prospective occupants had to sign so-called "home purchase contracts” (Heimeinkaufsverträge). Each of the sisters paid about 40,000 RM to this end – a concealed form of plundering elderly Jewish residents.

Elise Salomon, a singing teacher trained with financial support from her brother Paul, committed suicide on 16 Sept. 1942. One day later, Margarete Salomon, the youngest sister, took her life in Halle. Franziska Salomon, called Fränze, formerly a member of a choir and employee in a commercial agency, was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 29 Mar. 1943, where she died on 31 Mar. 1944. On 18 Sept. 1941, Oskar Salomon, a dermatologist and urologist who owned a house in Gera/Thurginia (at Adelheidstrasse 12), committed suicide together with his wife Martha, née Heilbrun (born in 1873 in Eisleben), and their son, Dr. Hans Salomon, who had been a judge. In a farewell letter, Oskar Salomon referred to the ordinance prescribing the wearing of the "Jews’ star” ("Judenstern") as the last cause for action:

"(…) You are aware of the latest ordinances inflicted on us: Enduring them surpasses our strength; we neither want to nor are we able to take on the dishonoring imposed on us by the compulsion to wear a yellow star as big as the palm of a hand on the left chest, without having to despise ourselves. We leave this world conscious of the fact that we endured for many years things almost impossible to bear, but everything has its limits. We also depart firmly aware of having fulfilled duties from one human to another and in every other sense.”

The family was buried in the Protestant Ost-Friedhof cemetery in Gera, since they had converted many years before. Fritz Salomon also took his own life; reportedly, he swam out into the Baltic Sea until his strength failed him.

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

Stand: January 2019
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: 1, 4; 5; Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaHH) 213-4 (Landgericht Hamburg), 530 (Prof. Dr. Rudolf von Laun); StaHH 221-11 (Staatskommissar für die Entnazifizierung), F 16749 (Hermann Victor Hübbe); StaHH 221-11 (Entnazifizierung), F 13307 (Ernst Kock); StaHH 221-11 (Entnazifizierung), F 11841 (Wilhelm Kiemer); StaHH 231-7 (Handels- u. Genossenschaftsregister), B 1980-12 Band 8 (Dresdner Bank in Hamburg, 1933–1939); StaHH 314-15 (Oberfinanzpräsident), F 401 (Georg Eberstadt), 1. Band (1936–1939); StaHH 331-5 (Polizeibehörde – unnatürliche Sterbefälle), 1941/1599 (Paul u. Lucie Salomon); StaHH 331-5 (Polizeibehörde – unnatürliche Todesfälle), 1943/161 (Arnold Zeckendorf); StaHH 332-5 (Standesämter), 13799 u. 33/1932 (Heiratsregister 1932, Hilde Salomon u. Franz Friedländer); StaHH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 42059 (Ernest Sanders); StaHH 351-11 (AfW), 38927 (Lotte Hellman geb. Salomon); StaHH 351-11 (AfW), 10066 (Georg Eberstadt); StaHH 351-11 (AfW), 55179 (Arnold Zeckendorf); StaHH 351-11 (AfW), 17767 (Norbert Kleve); StaHH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei) Leo Gabriel (Dresdner Bank), Max Rosenbaum (Bankier), Ernst Solmitz (Bankier), Paul Salomon, Emil Wolff, Arnold Zeckendorf; StaHH 731-8 (Zeitungausschnitt-Sammlung), A 758 (Anton Cornelius Hübbe); Stadtarchiv Leipzig, Bürgerrechtsgesuch 1862 (Meyer/Martin Königswerther *1837), 1869 (Adolph Heinrich Königswerther *1841); Stadtarchiv Halle, E-Mail-Auskunft vom 15.8.2008; Stadtarchiv Gera, E-Mail-Auskunft vom 14.11.2008 (zu Oskar Salomon) und 7.11.2016 (zu Fritz und Hans Salomon); Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten (Labo) Berlin, Entschädigungs-Akte 210 623 (Alexander Königswerther); Bundesarchiv Berlin, NSDAP-Mitgliederkartei, BArch 9361-VIII Kartei, 12691475 (Hermann Victor Hübbe); Bundesarchiv Berlin, Parteistatistische Erhebung, BArch 9361 I/ 1391 (Hermann Victor Hübbe); Janna Warberg Schous arkiv, opbevaret af Selskabet for Dansk-Jodisk Historie (Brief von Arnold Zeckendorf); Briefe von Franz Rappolt an seinen Sohn in die USA, 28.9.1941, Privatbesitz; Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1910, S. 180 (Dresdner Bank); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1926, S. 214 (Deutschmann & Co.), S.229 (Dresdner Bank); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1935, S. 185 (Dresdner Bank), S. 163 (Deutsch-Westafrikanische Handelsges.); Mitteilungen der Handelskammer Hamburg, Nr. 1 vom 9.1.1932, Nr. 1 vom 7.1.1933, Nr. 12 vom 17.6.1933; Handelskammer Hamburg, Handelsregisterinformationen (Dresdner Bank in Hamburg); Fernsprechbücher Hamburg 1906–1940 (Paul Salomon); Adressbuch Hamburg (Straßenverzeichnis St. Benedictstr. 27) 1925, 1926; Adressbuch Hamburg 1941 (Dr. Max Sohege); Adressbuch Berlin 1892, 1894 (Adolf Königswerther); Adressbuch Berlin 1910, 1914, 1920, 1924, 1932, 1934–1936 (Alexander Königswerther); Adressbuch Berlin 1932, 1941 (Dr. Hans Pilder); Adressbuch Leipzig 1883, 1887, 1890 (Adolph Königswerther); Gräberkartei des jüdischen Friedhofs Ohlsdorf (Grablage C 9 Nr. 127 Paul Salomon, C 9 Nr. 128 Lucie Salomon); Frank Bajohr, "Arisierung" in Hamburg, Hamburg 1998, S. 57, 79, 81, 245, 256, 321; Björn Eggert, Stolpersteine in Hamburg St. Benedictstraße, Paul u. Lucie Salomon, in: Maajan – Die Quelle, Zeitschrift für jüdische Familienforschung, Heft 92, September 2009, S. 3373–3377; Beate Meyer, Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der Hamburger Juden 1933–1945, Hamburg 2006, S. 56/57 (mit Abb. von Paul u. Lucie Salomon); OMGUS, Ermittlungen gegen die Dresdner Bank, Frankfurt/M. 1987, S. XLII, 83–88, 251–255; Manfred Pohl, Hamburger Bankengeschichte, Hamburg 1986, S. 61, 91, 132, 134, 136; Ernest H. Sanders (= Helmut Salomon), Heil und Unheil. Eine Hamburger Familie 1904–1941, Berlin 2005, insbes. S. 61–72 (Autobiografie von Paul Salomon), S. 21 (Oskar Salomon und Familie), mit Abb.; Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Nr. 47/1999, S. 187–216, Dieter Ziegler, Die Verdrängung der Juden aus der Dresdner Bank 1933–1938; (Oskar, Martha u. Hans Salomon, eingesehen 13.9.2016); (Familiennamen Königswerther und Fanta, eingesehen 17.10.2016).
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