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Else Delbanco (née Haarburger) * 1876
Badestraße 2 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
Elsa Delbanco, née Haarburger, born on 20 Apr. 1876 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, murdered in May 1942 in the Chelmno extermination camp
Badestrasse 2 (Rotherbaum)
Elsa Rebecca Haarburger was born in 1876 in the home at Kohlhöfen 27 (Hamburg-Neustadt) of the married couple Israel Haarburger (1826–1904) and Mirjam/Marjane (called Marianne) Haarburger, née Schlomer (1842–1910). Israel Haarburger, born in Hamburg as the son of the merchant Isaac Wolff Haarburger, already held Hamburg civic rights since 1856. His entry in the directory of that year was "J. Haarburger Jr, money and bill transactions, Kohlhöfen 28.” In 1857, he had opened, together with his brother-in-law, Joseph Elkan (J. E.) Cohn, the Cohn & Haarburger Company with business premises on Neuer Wall, an enterprise active in the same business segment. Joseph Elkan Cohn was married to Jeanette Haarburger (1835–1908).
In 1896, Israel Haarburger was listed in the Hamburg directory as co-owner of the company for the last time.
At first, the Haarburger family lived in the original Jewish residential area of Hamburg-Neustadt at Kohlhöfen 28 (1851–1863) and Kohlhöfen 27 (1864–1878). In the course of internal urban migration, the family moved to the newly developed Rotherbaum quarter, where a substantial percentage of Hamburg’s Jewish population settled. There they lived at Grindelallee 14 (1879–1884), Heimhuder Strasse 3 (1885–1888), and at Mittelweg 25 (1889–1906). Two years after the death of her husband, Marianne Haarburger, née Schlomer, who was a native of Moisling near Lübeck, moved into a smaller apartment at Jungfrauenthal 20 (Harvestehude); the directory listed her name under her own entry with the addition of "rentier” (pensioner).
In 1898, Elsa Haarburger married Dr. jur. [doctor of law] Alfred Delbanco (1868–1938) in Hamburg. His father, the banker Isaac Abrahamson Delbanco (1822–1875), with his own company for money and bill transactions (L. C. Delbanco Company, 1849–1875), had died early on in Dresden. His mother, Ida Delbanco, née Heimann (approx. 1832–1906) had later moved to Berlin. In Dec. 1892, Alfred Delbanco passed the first state examination in law in Berlin, subsequently being appointed legal trainee, obtaining his doctorate in Leipzig in Jan. 1893, and being appointed assessor after the second state exam in law in Oct 1896. From 1900 to 1933, he served as a District Court (Amtsgericht) judge in Hamburg. Due to his Jewish descent, he was forced into retirement by the Hamburg Nazi senator for the judiciary, Curt Rothenberger.
Since 1912, Alfred Delbanco had been a member of the Patriotic Society (Patriotische Gesellschaft) in Hamburg, which in 1935 introduced an "Aryan Paragraph” ("Arierparagraph”), thus automatically excluding all Jewish members. Alfred Delbanco died in the Israelite Hospital in Hamburg on 1 July 1938.
In the marriage certificate, Alfred Delbanco had already been recorded in 1898 as belonging to the Protestant faith, whereas affiliation with the Jewish religion was listed for his wife, Elsa Haarburger. In 1920, daughter Elisabeth Delbanco (born on 30 Dec. 1898), baptized a Protestant, married the regional court judge (Landgerichtsrat) Kurt Kaufmann Soelling (born on 4 Mar. 1884 in Bromberg/Posen), who had his last name Seligsohn changed to Soelling in Schleswig in 1918. The marriage was divorced in Berlin in 1928, and Elisabeth Soelling, née Delbanco, got married a second time in Hamburg on 10 Sept. 1941, to the widower Arthur Westfeld (born on 16 Apr. 1885 in Braunschweig).
Elsa and Alfred Delbanco lived in the Hamburg neighborhoods of Harvestehude and Rotherbaum at Hochallee 2 (1898), Schlüterstrasse 75 (1899–1902), Gellertstrasse 20 (1903–1907), Bei St. Johannis 10 (1908), Rothenbaumchaussee 152 (1909–1920), Isestrasse 45 (1921–1929), and Badestrasse 2 (1930–1940). The last and involuntary residential address noted was, from Mar. 1941 onward, Eichenstrasse 46 in Eimsbüttel.
On 13 Feb. 1939, the records office in charge entered on Elsa Delbanco’s birth certificate the additional compulsory name of "Sara,” which from then on had to appear on all documents and even in the signature to identify her as a Jewish woman. Starting on 19 Sept. 1941, she was forced to wear a clearly visible yellow "Jews’ star” ("Judenstern”) on her clothes. Her assets had already been confiscated.
On 25 Oct. 1941, Elsa Delbanco was deported to the Lodz (German: Litzmannstadt) Ghetto and quartered there at Talweg 11/36. On 13 Dec. 1941, the Jewish lawyer Ernst Kaufmann, by then as a "legal adviser” ("Konsulent”) licensed to work for Jewish clients only, unsuccessfully appealed to judicial inspector (Justizinspektor) Heinrich Frahm in an attempt to effect continued payment of pension benefits (just under 300 RM [reichsmark] a month), which had been stopped from 31 Oct. 1941 onward, to the address in the Lodz Ghetto. One day later, the former regional court judge (Landgerichtsrat) Kurt Ledien (1893–1945), acting as the authorized representative of Elsa Delbanco, also wrote to the chief public prosecutor of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht – OLG), repeating the request for paying out the pension on 26 Jan. 1942.
In May 1942, transport lists were prepared in Lodz for further deportation of about half of the 21,000 German-speaking Jews. The destination of the deportation was the Chelmno (German: Kulmhof) extermination camp. The only persons able to get an exemption from this deportation by filing an informal application were holders of the Iron Cross or Wound Badge from the First World War or those who had an official job in the Lodz Ghetto (e.g. in one of the textiles factories). The application of the 66-year-old Elsa Delbanco to remain in the Lodz Ghetto, dated 2 May 1942, was turned down. Her daughter had submitted the application on her behalf: "Today at 12 noon, my mother, Mrs. Elsa Sara Delbanco, Thalweg 11/36, received her departure order. She is 66 years old, very hard of hearing and therefore completely helpless. Since, being a nurse, I have budgeted post in the senior citizens’ home at Gnesener Strasse 26, I would ask you please to defer the evacuation for the time being. Yours most obediently, nurse Elisabeth Sara Westfeld, née Delbanco, Hamburger Str. 63/24 third floor.”
Elsa Delbanco was probably deported along with most deportees from Hamburg on Transport 4 to the Chelmno extermination camp on 7 May 1942 and murdered soon afterward. The exact date of her death is not known.
Her daughter, Elisabeth Westfeld, née Delbanco, worked as a nurse in the Lodz Ghetto; her husband, Arthur Westfeld (born on 16 Apr. 1885 in Braunschweig), also worked as a male nurse in the Lodz Ghetto and died there on 2 July 1942 of malnutrition. Elisabeth Westfeld was deported in the context of the September deportation to Chelmno on 10 Sept. 1942 and murdered half a year after her mother.
Elsa Delbanco’s authorized representative, Kurt Ledien (born on 5 June 1893 in Berlin-Charlottenburg), from 1927 onward district court judge at the Hamburg-Altona District Court (Amtsgericht) and forced to retire for "racial reasons,” was arrested in late Nov. 1943 as a member of the "White Rose” resistance group and hanged without any charges in the Neuengamme concentration camp on 23 Apr. 1945. Stolpersteine in front of his house at Hohenzollernring 34 (Altona) and the civil justice building at Sievekingplatz 1 (Neustadt) commemorate him.
Status as of Aug. 2014
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Björn Eggert
Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 213-11 (Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht Strafsachen), 2659/40 (Elisabeth Soelling, Beantragung der Kennkarte u. zusätzlichen Vornamen Sara versäumt); StaH 231-3 (Handelsregister), B 10790 (L.C. Delbanco); StaH 241-2 (Justizverwaltung – Personalakten), A 1226 (Dr. Alfred Delbanco); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 1882 u. 2059/1876 (Geburtsregister 1876, Elsa Rebecca Haarburger); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 13086 u. 8/1899 (Geburtsregister 30.12.1898 Elisabeth Delbanco); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7972 u. 298/1904 (Sterberegister 1904, Israel Haarburger); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7992 u. 452/1908, (Sterberegister 1908, Jeanette Cohn geb. Haarburger); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8741 u. 442/1920 (Heirat Elisabeth Delbanco u. Kurt Kaufmann Soelling 1920, dort Hinweis auf 2. Ehe); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 1089 u. 247/1938 (Sterberegister 1938, Alfred Ferdinand Delbanco); StaH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), A I e 40 Bd.6 (Bürger-Register 1845-1875, G-K), Israel Haarburger; StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Elsa R. Delbanco (1936–1941), Elisabeth Soelling/ Westfeld, Arthur Westfeld; StaH 731-8 (Zeitungsausschnittsammlung), A 753 (Cohn, J.E., Goldene Hochzeit 1905); StaH 741-4 (Alte Einwohnermeldekartei 1892-1925, Mikrofilm), Israel Haarburger; Hamburger Adressbuch 1851–1858, 1860, 1863–1865, 1870, 1873, 1878–1879, 1883–1890, 1895, 1899, 1903–1909, 1921–1922, 1928–1929, 1940; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Gedenkbuch Hamburger jüdische Opfer des Nationalsozialismus, Hamburg 1995, Seite 79 (Else Delbanco geb. Haarburger), S. 432 (David Arthur Westfeld, Elisabeth Westfeld geb. Delbanco); Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Gedenkbuch. Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933–1945, Koblenz 2013 (Elsa Else Delbanco, Elisabeth Westfeld geb. Delbanco, David Arthur Westfeld); Birgit Gewehr, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Altona. Biografische Spurensuche, Hamburg 2008, S. 59–61 (Kurt Ledien); Jahrbuch der Hamburgischen Gesellschaft zur Beförderung der Künste und nützlichen Gewerbe/Patriotische Gesellschaft, Mitgliederverzeichnis 1910–1912, Hamburg 1913 (Alfred Delbanco); United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), RG 15.083 (Last Letters from Lodsch), Nr. 770 (Elsa Delbanco u. Elisabeth Westfeld geb. Delbanco).