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Elfriede Chariner * 1877
Wandsbeker Stieg 31/33 (Hamburg-Nord, Hohenfelde)
Elfriede Chariner, born on 26 Jan. 1877 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to the "Litzmannstadt” (Lodz) Ghetto, death on 16 Mar. 1942
Wandsbeker Stieg 31/33
On 27 Jan. 1877, the merchant Moritz Chariner went to the records office twice. The first time, he registered the birth of his nameless daughter, born the day before; the second time he had her entered under the name of "Elfriede.” The girl’s mother – and his wife – was Laura, née Henschel. Both were Jewish, both grandfathers were merchants. Moritz Chariner was a native of Lissa (today Leszno in Poland) in the Prussian Province of Posen and took up residence in Hamburg in 1868. Laura Chariner was born in Sagau in Lower Silesia. They were married in Hamburg in 1874. Laura gave birth to three children at intervals of about a year each. Her first child, a son (born on 29 Feb. 1876) died in the same year. The second child was Elfriede (born on 26 Jan. 1877), the youngest was the son Herbert (born on 31 Jan. 1878).
Elfriede and Herbert Chariner grew up in the St. Georg and Hammerbrook quarters. When Laura Chariner passed away on 29 Jan. 1895, at the age of 47, the family lived at Banksstrasse 8. Elfriede had just turned 18 and Herbert turned 17 two days later. Laura Chariner was buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ihlandkoppel in Ohlsdorf.
After the death of their mother, the father, Elfriede, and Herbert moved to Böckmannstrasse 14 in St. Georg. Herbert went, presumably for professional reasons, to Frankfurt/Main in 1903 for half a year.
Elfriede became an office clerk and remained single, while her brother, like his ancestors, took up the profession of a merchant and started a family of his own. In 1905, he married Wanda Düyffcke, the daughter of the painter and sculptor Paul Düyffcke, whose family belonged to the Lutheran Church and lived in the neighboring Borgfelde quarter. The children Kurt, Werner, and Wanda came out of the marriage. Again, the oldest child died before the age of one.
Herbert Chariner stayed in Borgfelde and moved with his family into an apartment on Malzweg. In 1910, both his father and his father-in-law Paul Düyffcke died. Moritz Chariner was buried by his wife’s side in the Jewish Cemetery in Ohlsdorf. Elfriede had lived with him until his death.
In 1915, Elfriede Chariner appears with the first entry of her own in the Hamburg directory. Her brother Herbert, who had participated as a musketeer in World War I, returned wounded and was taken care of in the reserve military hospital in Altona. He died there on 19 Aug. 1919. His widow Wanda gave up her previous apartment and moved into a room in the neighborhood. The children, still of school age, were accommodated outside Hamburg. After the war, she rented an apartment in Oben Borgfelde. There she established a boarding school and made a living this way. In 1928, she gave notice of moving from Hamburg to Altona, at that time still an independent Prussian city.
Elfriede Chariner moved within Hohenfelde in 1919. She rented an apartment at Wandsbeker Stieg 31/33, house no. 2, where she stayed for almost 20 years. At first, she was employed as a commercial clerk. Later she worked as a librarian, apparently in the reading room of the "Erste Kirche Christi, Wissenschaftler, Hamburg,” the first branch church of the Christian Science Community of Faith founded in Hamburg. Soon after it was established in 1915, she devoted herself to this creed and became engrossed in studying the teachings of the founder, Mary Baker Eddy.
Under the impression of the First World War and the death of her brother, she wrote an essay entitled "Der Irrtum des Krieges” ("The Error of War”). It was published in the Jan. 1921 issue of the Herald of Christian Science, a religious magazine in which all articles were published bilingually in German and English.
In the essay, she wrote [about the war]: "And although it seems to have come to an end outwardly, its disastrous effects are by no means destroyed with the signing of the peace treaty. An error that has dominated the mortal mind for so long cannot be eliminated with a stroke of the pen, the sinister traces that during its duration – and even today – seem to obscure the clear understanding, blur the boundaries between right and wrong, between good and evil, and have caused all the great confusion in all moral concepts ... People are not our enemies; for man represents the idea of the one God ... And just as man cannot be our enemy, neither can whole nations be our enemies ... Only good overcomes evil. Love, much love can restore people’s trust in each other.”
Another article by her appeared in English translation under the title: "Substance and the Problem of Unemployment” in the issue of 10 Dec. 1932 in the weekly journal entitled Christian Science Sentinel. In this as in her earlier article, Elfriede Chariner applied the teaching of Christian Science to the problems of her time.
In 1935, Elfriede Chariner was declared a Jew under the Nuremberg Laws and had to give up her profession. She was also no longer able to hold on to her apartment either. She moved as a subtenant of the broker Leopold Levy to Hamelausweg 6 in the Jarrestadt residential area. He lived in a "mixed marriage” ("Mischehe”). When he moved to the Martin-Brunn-Stift at Frickestrasse 24 on 30 Sept. 1936, Elfried Chariner moved along. On 1 July 1939, she became a member of the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband), but did not pay any contributions for that calendar year. It was not until 26 June 1940 that the basic amount of one RM (reichsmark) per month was assessed for the current year. In 1941, she received a monthly salary earners’ pension of 91.80 RM, of which she voluntarily paid the minimum contribution for three months in advance in January. She was supposed to pay the same amount in 1942, but by that time, she had already been deported.
Elfriede Chariner’s last residential address was Krochmannstrasse 68, where she and her landlords, Szlama and Alice Gersztenzang/Gerstensang, and their seven-year-old daughter Helga (see Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Winterhude and www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de) received the order to report for the first transport to the "Development in the East” ("Aufbau im Osten”). It left Hamburg on 25 Oct. 1941 for Lodz. The Gersztenzang family was stateless, like about ten percent of the Hamburg Jews assigned to this transport. In the case of Elfriede Chariner, the entry concerning her nationality is missing on the transport list. In the "Litzmannstadt” (Lodz) Ghetto, she was housed separately from her former landlords.
On 16 Mar. 1942, at the age of 65, Elfriede Chariner died in the ghetto at Blattbindergasse 5, apartment 8. In the Lodz register of residents, she is erroneously listed under the name of Chausirer. She was buried in the Jewish Cemetery of Lodz.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: December 2019
© Hildgard Thevs mit Christof Krüger
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; StaH 332-5 Standesämter: 372 u. 193/1895; 1868 u. 380/1876; 1892 u. 354/1877; 1916 u. 59/1878; 3037+ u. 508/1905; 332-8 Meldewesen K 4329; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992 e 2, Bd. 1; Maike Bruchmann, Alice, Chaim Szlama u. Helga Anni Gersztensang, in: Ulrike Sparr, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Winterhude. Biografische Spurensuche, Hamburg, 2008, S. 94ff.; Karla Malapert, Schreiben v. 12.3.2009 u. 26.10.2012; Fritz Neubauer, Universität Bielefeld, E-Mail v. 6.10.2012; Alter jüdischer Friedhof Lodz; Zeitschrift der Christlichen Wissenschaft, Januar 1921; http://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/1932/12/35-15/substance-and-the-problem-of-unemployment (letzter Zugriff 10.12.2014).
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