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Paul Adler * 1915
Isekai 5 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
Paul (Pollo) Adler, born 15 Feb. 1915 in Hamburg, deported 29 June 1943 from Berlin to Theresienstadt, 29 Sep. 1944 to Auschwitz
Paul Adler was the fourth of five children born to Friedrich and Bertha Haymann Adler. Friedrich Adler was an interior designer and artist and worked as a professor at the School of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg from 1927 until his forced retirement in April 1933.
His mother died in 1918 during the Spanish flu epidemic that raged in Europe between 1918 and 1920 and claimed millions of victims. Friedrich Adler was left to raise five children. In order to be able to continue working, he temporarily put his two youngest children, Rinah and Pollo, as Paul was called, into a children’s home. In 1920 he married one of his students, the textile designer Frieda Erika Fabisch, called "FEF.” She kept the household, cared for the five children and still pursued her creative activities. She and Friedrich Adler organized the arts festivals in the Curiohaus in Hamburg, which were famous well beyond the borders of the city. Together with her husband and father, she founded the "ATEHA GmbH,” the Adler Textile Printing Company of Hamburg.
The couple had two children: Eva Amaranth in 1924 and Jack Michael Kurt in 1937.
Paul, a sensitive and nervous boy, attended the primary school on Breitenfelderstrasse and wanted to become an artist after finishing secondary school. However, his father insisted that he complete a training program in the applied arts. Paul began his training as a ceramicist in the early 1930s at the School of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg, then transferred to Bunzlau, and finished his training at the Berlin Porcelain Factory. In 1933/34, there was a solo exhibition of his ceramics in the Reemtsma House in Hamburg, and in the following two years he participated in group exhibitions.
In 1936, his stepmother FEF was able to arrange a job for him as a ceramicist in Tel Aviv, but he did not want to emigrate to Palestine. He also could not understand his sister Rinah’s decision to live on a Kibbutz in 1938.
In 1937 Paul moved to Berlin-Schmargendorf and lived with the sister of one of his mother’s friends. Pollo then fulfilled his long-time wish and began to study music. In his youth he had taken piano lessons from the organist Konrad Wenk, and, according to his sister Inge, he was the most talented musician in the family – much to the delight of his parents, since music played a large role in the Adler family’s home. His father had always hoped that the children would perform house concerts as a quintet or quartet.
Paul studied the oboe and, beginning in 1939, the English horn at the Berliner Konservatorium. By July of 1937 he was playing with the orchestra of the Berlin Jewish Cultural Federation. This is where he met his future wife Eva Senta Stern. The daughter of the couple he boarded with, she was a pianist and also played in the Cultural Federation orchestra. They married in 1940 and received from Friedrich Adler, who was preparing to emigrate, the living room and dining room furnishings, linens, dishes and other household items from the family’s large apartment on Orchideenstieg. It remains unclear as to how the young couple earned their income. The Berlin Jewish Cultural Federation could only pay its musicians a small salary. In 1937/38 the average salary for its 40 musicians was only 195 Reichsmark.
It was too late and without sufficient financial means when Paul Adler attempted to emigrate to the USA. On 29 June 1943 he and his wife Eva Senta were deported to Theresienstadt. He also played oboe in the orchestra there.
Martha Glass, a friend of the Adler family from Hamburg, heard him play there. On 15 July 1944, she wrote in her diary: "Yesterday at the concert I stood near the orchestra. Suddenly I recognized the face of the oboe player. It was Pollo Adler. I asked another musician, who lived in our house, to say hello to him for me. He promptly visited me on the next evening with his lovely and charming young wife. Devoted as all of the Adlers, and we chatted about Hamburg.”
On 29 Sep. 1944 he was deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz and murdered.
Eva Senta Adler survived as a Geltungsjüdin (a person who is considered a Jew without belonging to any of the categories defined in the Nuremberg Laws) in Theresienstadt. After the war she searched in vain for her husband in various camps.
His father Friedrich Adler had tried to get a visa for the USA since 1935. When he was finally granted one in 1939, his children who had already emigrated, Max Wolfgang, Ingeborg, and Hermann, were unable to provide the required sum of 1000 dollars to ensure his living expenses. On 11 July 1942 Friedrich Adler was also deported to Auschwitz and murdered.
"FEF” emigrated to Cyprus with her daughters Amaranth and Ingeborg in 1934. In the first few years there, she ran a boarding house with Ingeborg, who later went to New York. Friedrich Adler visited his wife in Cyprus in 1936, but, because he did not speak the language, he felt he could not earn a living there and returned to Hamburg.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Maria Koser
Quellen: 1; 5; 8; StaH 351-11 AfW, 020898 Frieda Adler; StaH AfW 351-11 AfW, 3929 Friedrich Adler; AVK: Akte MB Erinnerungen von Rinah und Inge Adler, Eva Abramowitsch; Bruhns, Künstlerlexikon, Bd. 2, 2001, S. 25ff.; Müller-Wesemann, Theater, 1996; Müller-Wesemann, (Hrsg.) Martha Glass, 1996, S. 107, 108; Von der Lühe, Die Musik, 1998, S.81; Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933–1945, Frankfurt am Main, Suchanzeige in: Aufbau, Jg. 11, Nr. 35, S. 26.
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