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Julius (Isaac) Eichengrün * 1879

Ottersbekallee 19 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

1941 Lodz
am 05.05.1942 weiterdeportiert in ein Vernichtungslager

further stumbling stones in Ottersbekallee 19:
Julie Eichengrün

Julius (Isaac) Eichengrün, born on 1 Mar. 1879 in Madfeld, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 5 May 1942 to an extermination camp
Julie Eichengrün, née Braun, born on 22 July 1880 in Essingen, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 5 May 1942 to an extermination camp

Ottersbekallee 19

In her book entitled From Ashes to Life (German title: Von Asche zum Leben), Lucille Eichengreen née Landau writes about the fate of her family of origin, the Landaus. She also describes how she met her future parents-in-law, Julie and Julius Eichengrün, on the train during the transport from Hamburg to Lodz, made friends with them, and then lost them again.

Julius Eichengrün was born on 1 Mar. 1879 in Madfeld in the Sauerland region. His parents gave him the Jewish first name Isaac. It was not unusual for Jews to replace their Old Testament first name with names by which they were actually called ("Nenn-Namen”), and these often had greater meaning to them than their official name. Perhaps it was that way with Julius Eichengrün, too. His daughter-in-law only writes of "Julius,” and in the directory, the entry also is J. or Julius, though the company register lists Isak Julius (1901) and later Isaac Eichengrün (1939). The deportation list indicates "Isaac Eichengrün” as well, suggesting that the first name had not been changed officially. The Jewish first name Isaac saved Julius Eichengrün from having to take on the compulsory name of Israel, for in 1938 a circular of the Reich Ministry of the Interior contained a list of Jewish first names whose bearers were not forced to assume a compulsory name.

His parents were Moses and Bertha Eichengrün, née Reinsberg. The Eichengrün family had probably been residing in Madfeld since the nineteenth century. In the past, the village belonged to the district of Thülen, which was dissolved in the course of the communal reorganization in 1975. The towns formerly belonging to the Thülen district were incorporated into the City of Brilon. In 1871, Julius’ father, Moses Eichengrün, purchased a residential building in Madfeld with a courtyard, barn, and stables. Julius had two brothers and one sister, Simon, Raphael (called Robert), and Amalie (Malchen). After the death of the parents – the father died in 1907 and the mother in 1912 – only Simon stayed in Madfeld. He became the owner of the inherited landed property, selling it one year later and moving to Brilon.

Julius Eichengrün did a commercial apprenticeship and travelled as a sales representative in the field. In Jan. 1899, he entered active military service in East Prussia and was discharged as a non-commissioned officer in 1900. From 1901 onward, he worked for the newly founded Eichengrün & Dreyfuss Company in Elberfeld, a wholesale business for tailoring supplies. The company had its headquarters in Elberfeld at Königstrasse 114. The owners were Robert Eichengrün – Julius’ brother – and Moritz Dreyfuss. (At that time, Elberfeld was still an independent city. Not until 1929 were Elberfeld, Barmen, Ronsdorf, Cronenberg, and Vohwinkel merged to become the new City of Barmen-Elberfeld, renamed Wuppertal one year later.)

From Elberfeld, Julius Eichengrün went to Hamburg to open a branch office there in 1908. It was located at Admiralitätsstrasse 76. That same year, he was given power of attorney. In Feb. 1909, he got married in Elberfeld. His bride, Julie Braun, was a native of Essingen/Palatinate, which belonged to the Kingdom of Bavaria. Her parents were the baker Benedict (called Daniel) Braun and Amalia, née Scharff. Essingen had a significant Jewish community in the nineteenth century. At times, Jews made up more than 20 percent of the population. For the most part, they were merchants, livestock, scrap metal, or spice dealers. In 1815, there were two Jewish families in Essingen by the name of Braun. The heads of the households, Abraham and Aaron Braun, were scrap metal dealers.

Julie’s sister Laura (born in 1876) was married to Moritz Dreyfuss (born in 1871), one of the owners of the Eichengrün & Dreyfuss Company. The second owner, Julius’ brother Robert Eichengrün, was also married to a woman by the maiden name of Braun, Amanda. Robert Eichengrün (1871–1934) and Amanda Eichengrün (1878–1942) are buried in the Jewish Cemetery at Weinberg in Wuppertal. Amanda probably died a natural death. Reportedly, she was suffering from a myocardial disorder. She was spared from deportation, though having to live in a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at the end of her life. It is unclear whether Amanda, too, was a sister of Julie and Laura, or perhaps a cousin.

According to the directory, in Hamburg Julius Eichengrün lived at Marktstrasse 142, though subsequently moving to the newly constructed Ottersbekallee (then spelled Ottersbeckallee). Around 1910, Ottersbekallee was developed with large-scale apartment buildings, which today are listed and protected as historic buildings. The Eichengrüns must have been among the first occupants of this nice part of Eimsbüttel. One can assume that Julius’ business was going well and that the young family looked to the future optimistically. In 1912, Julius Eichengrün became general manager and partner in the company, and in 1919, he obtained Hamburg civic rights. In 1916, Julie Eichengrün received power of attorney for the enterprise, and so did Laura Dreyfuss and Amanda Eichengrün one year later. That the women formally took on responsibility for the business was probably connected to the First World War. The men had to go to war. Robert and Amanda Eichengrün were registered with the authorities in Hamburg as living in Ottersbekallee from May 1915 to June 1919, which means the two sisters moved in with each other during the First World War.

Julie and Julius’ first son, Paul Martin, was born in 1910, though probably dying already when still a child after the First World War. In 1913, the second son was born, Daniel Werner. From Nov. 1919 to Aug. 1923, young Amalia Eichengrün (born in 1902) from Madfeld lived with the Eichengrüns on Ottersbekallee, possibly a niece of Julius, who had come to Hamburg to support the mother in caring for the younger son after the death of the older one. In 1923, Amalia went back to Brilon.

On Ottersbekallee, the Eichengrüns employed a domestic help. For a while, the housekeeper Gertrud Grossmann was registered with the authorities as living with them. She, too, was Jewish. In 1941, four days before her deportation, she got married to Bernhard Levisohn.

Julie and Julius’ son Dan, as he called himself later, emigrated via Cuba to the United States in 1939. After 1936, he had been "racially” persecuted, imprisoned in Fuhlsbüttel in 1933 and 1937. He actually had seen his future in the company of his family. In 1935, after the death of his uncle Robert, he had become a partner. In 1939, he left the company due to his emigration. In New York, he married a native of Hamburg after the war, Cecilie Landau, who came from Eimsbüttel as well. New York was also the emigration destination for parts of the family of Julius Eichengrün’s brother Simon, i.e. Dan’s uncle, aunt, and cousins. In 1938, Simon emigrated to the USA along with his wife Pauline as well as his daughter Else and her three children. Three other children of Simon also succeeded in emigrating but daughter Hilde was deported from Erfurt. Nothing is known about the fate of Julius’ sister Amalie.

Julie and Julius Eichengrün did not stay on Ottersbekallee until their deportation. At the time of the national census in 1939, they lived at Rothenbaumchaussee 129. According to the directory, this building on Rothenbaumchaussee belonged to "Alsberg successors” ("Alsberg Erben”) i.e. it was in Jewish ownership. The Eichengrüns occupied an apartment on the ground floor. They had a domestic help, Henni Aronstein (born on 11 Sept. 1895), who lived in a basement room. The daughter of the caretaker at the time, born in 1934, still remembered the Eichengrüns and the atmosphere of anxiety and tension given the situation of persecution, the imminent expulsion from the house, and the impending deportation. The Eichengrüns had given the little girl a few figurines from the Biedermeier period as presents to play with, so-called "Vienna Bronzes” ("Wiener Bronzen”), until this day popular collector’s items and today still in the possession of the person receiving them as gifts back then. The Eichengrüns placed other items from the household that had considerable value on the garbage bin, probably to signal that the neighbors might take these things. They knew that they were not allowed to keep anything for themselves. Some of these objects are still preserved as well.

The Eichengrüns were deported to the Lodz Ghetto from the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Heimhuderstrasse 70, to where they had been forced to move. Along with them went Henni Aronstein, who according to the deportation list had been an accountant and had worked as a domestic help after she, being Jewish, was longer employed in her profession. A Stolperstein for Henni Aronstein is located in front of the building at Rothenbaumchaussee 129.

During the first six weeks in the ghetto, where they had to live under dreadful circumstances, Julie Eichengrün slept on the ground near Cecilie Landau, consoling the girl when she cried out in her sleep. Lucille Eichengreen writes about these memories in her book. The address in the "Litzmannstadt” Ghetto was probably Cranachstrasse 20/30 (today Bojownikow Getta Warszawskiego), for this is the street entered in the Lodz list of the Hamburg transport. In early January, Julie and her husband were quartered along with five other persons in one room on Zgierska Strasse. There was not enough food to eat and the locked-up persons were suffering from vermin. The address indicated for the period from 5 Jan. to 11 May is T-Strasse no. 20. On the map depicting the residential area of Jews in "Litzmannstadt,” streets are designated both with a letter and with a German name. The letter T corresponded to Cranachstrasse in the south of the ghetto. On 5 May 1942 (as indicated in the Memorial Book), Julius and Julie Eichengrün were deported further, probably to the Chelmno or Auschwitz extermination camps. On the de-registration form containing the letterhead "The Eldest of the Jews in Litzmannstadt,” dated 1 June 1942, 11 May is indicated as the date on which Julius and Julie had to leave Lodz with destination unknown.

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

© Susanne Lohmeyer

Quellen: 5; 8; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen, 30, K6034; StaH 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht, BIII + 131959; StaH 351-11 AfW, 010379; StaH 522-1 992e 2; HAB II 1910, 1915 + 1926; Stadtarchiv Brilon, Geburtsurkunde 38/1870; Stadtarchiv Offenbach an der Queich, Geburtsurkunde Ettingen 47/1880; Lucille Eichengreen, Von Asche zum Leben; Juden in Hamburg-Wandsbek, S. 118;; Tobias Benner, Spuren jüdischer Geschichte in Essingen, in: SACHOR 14-2/97, S. 71ff.; Ursula Hesse, Jüdisches Leben in Alme …, S. 173f.; Auskunft der Begegnungsstätte Alte Synagoge Wuppertal; Archiwum Panstwowe w Łódzi; Deportationsliste Litzmannstadt, Gedenkstätte Łódz Radegast; Telefonat mit Frau Lührs am 14.5.2012.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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