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Hildegard Bloch (née Damitt) * 1912
Brüderstraße 2 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
further stumbling stones in Brüderstraße 2:
Hildegard Helene Bloch, née Damitt, b. 8.3.1912 in Berlin, imprisoned on 1.4.1938 in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, transferred on 1.27.1938 to the Moringen concentration camp, to the Lichtenburg concentration camp on 3.21.1938, to Ravensbrück in May 1938, murdered on 4.25.1942 in the Bernburg on the Saale killing center
Since 15 September 1935, one of the Nuremberg Laws, "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor,” prohibited marriages between Jews and non-Jews and penalized extramarital relations with jail, and in the worst cases, with heavy prison sentences. Often, a couple suspected of so-called racial defilement was subjected to police and court oppression, denounced by their neighbors, or placed under observation by the Gestapo. It was different with Hildegard: out of disappointment with her non-Jewish friend who wanted to end the relationship she made a voluntary disclosure.
The Jewish household employee, Hildegard Bloch, was born in Berlin on 3 August 1912. Who her parents were is unknown. On 14 May 1932 in Hamburg, she married the considerably older widower, Max Bloch. According to the registry office, she was still registered at this time at Christburgerstrasse 13 in Central Berlin, even though their son Alfred was already born on 22 December 1931 in Hamburg. A second son Karl-Heinz followed on 9 February 1933. The brothers grew up in the Jewish orphanage on Papendamm Strasse.
Max Bloch was born in Frankfurt am Main on 9 August 1885, where his parents had married on 8 August 1879. His father, the ship’s cook Feodor Bloch (b. 8.20.1853 in Berlin) supposedly drowned at sea. His mother Rebecka, née Fuld (b. 3.13.1856 in Wolfenhausen) earned her living as a trader; she died on 6 June 1931 in Berlin.
In Berlin Max Bloch married the first time on 7 December 1909 the servant girl Lene Weiss (b. 1.22.1887 in Bielefeld); she had died at age 41 on 8 October 1928 in Hamburg. From this marriage came the children Bertha (b. 6.19.1915), Senta (b. 8.1.1917), and Feodor (b. 1.13.1919). Following the birth of his son, Max Bloch registered as a member of the Jewish Congregation of Hamburg. The family lived for a few years at Elbstrasse 133 (today, Neanderstrasse). Max Bloch worked as a representative of an art dealer. When the dealer left Germany in March 1933, Max, who had been wounded in the left arm during the war, had a diminished capacity for work and was unable to find another job.
The marriage of Max and Hildegard passed unhappily. From time to time they lived apart. According to the Communal Tax Record of the Jewish Congregation, Hildegard Bloch in 1935 lived at Brüderstrasse 2. Thereafter followed a quick succession of lodgings, as a sub-lessee: Wexstrasse 15, then Fischerstrasse 6 in the St. Pauli district (the street no longer exists), and then Neuer Steinweg 96. Max Bloch lived at Grabenstrasse 10, and finally at Laeitzstrasse 18 in the present day Karolinenviertel.
In October 1936, Hildegard Bloch met the tailor’s apprentice Harry Wilhelm Kock (b. 10.1.1908) in a bar at the former Michaelisstrasse 50. In May 1937, he moved in with Max Bloch as a sub-lessee. At the end of May, he tried to end the connection to the Blochs. His employer threatened him with dismissal if he did not move out of the "Jew dwelling.” A friend also warned him that a relationship with a Jewess was dangerous. After a violent argument, Hildegard threated to make a voluntary disclosure: "She would see to it that if she could not have him, then another would not have him either, and if need be, she herself would make a disclosure and would even go all the way she would have to go.” On 16 June 1937, she made good on her threat and went to the police.
On 17 June, Max Bloch was arrested on grounds of "serious procuring in connection with aiding and abetting racial defilement.” On 12 November 1937, the Hamburg State Court sentenced him to three years in prison. The justification for the sentence was that he should have prevented his wife’s relationship with an "Aryan.”
Harry Kock had been arrested on 21 June at his workplace, Neuer Steinweg 86; he received a jail sentence of a year and nine months, which he served in Harburg. Max Bloch spent his sentence in the Fuhlsbüttel penal institution until 17 June 1940 and was then placed in "protective custody” in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, near Berlin.
According to information from the Sachsenhausen memorial site, Max Bloch was assigned as prisoner 27,271 to Block 11 (the isolation block), and on the following day "declared” dead. Emil Büge (b. 9.21.1890, d. 11.13.1950), also interned in protective custody at Sachsenhausen since November 1939 was an assistant scribe in the political department of the concentration camp commandant’s office; thus, he had access to the prisoners’ records. He secretly made notes, which he later smuggled out of the camp, concerning the prisoners’ entries and exits. In his "1470 Concentration Camp Secrets” [1470 KZ-Geheimnisse], published in 2010 and regarded as reliable, he recorded the individual fates of prisoners, among them Max Bloch, who had hung himself in Sachsenhausen on 14 July 1940.
Hildegard Bloch, during the judicial proceedings, was summoned as a "witness for the prosecution,” because, according to National Socialist legislation, women in cases of "racial defilement” were not judicially sentenced, unless they committed perjury or showed favoritism. Nevertheless, the greatest share of guilt was attributed to her, because "she had powerful influence over both of the accused.” After conclusion of the legal proceedings, she was placed in "protective custody” in Fuhlsbüttel from 4 to 27 January 1938, until she was transferred to the Moringen concentration camp. On 21 March 1938, she came to the Lichtenburg women’s concentration camp in the former fortress near Prettin (County of Torgau) in Saxony-Anhalt. There she received prisoner number 457 and was, upon dissolution of the camp in the middle of May 1939, sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp near Fürstenberg.
Between 1941 and 1943, under the code name 14f13 (14f stood for fatalities in the concentration camp, 13 stood for gassing), prisoners from various camps, who were unable to work, were sorted out. Selections were conducted by the physician Friedrich Mennecke. Among them was Hildegard Bloch who was murdered in the gas chamber at the killing center, Bernburg on the Saale. To conceal the murders, the causes of death were fabricated and false dates of death were given: whether Hildegard Bloch’s actual date of death was 25 April 1942 is, therefore, uncertain.
Her son Alfred, who ultimately lived with relatives in Berlin, was on 2 June 1942, at the age of 10, deported on the fourteenth transport from Berlin to the East with other children from the Beelitz Israelite Educational Institution, and also with the director of the home, Sally Bein (b. 11.6.1881). The transport’s destination is still unknown to this day.
For Alfred’s younger brother, Karl-Heinz, a commemorative stone is placed at the former Hamburg Orphanage on what is today the Martin-Luther-King-Platz. On 11 July 1942, along with the surviving children and their caregivers, he was deported to Auschwitz.
The children of Max Bloch’s first marriage survived the Holocaust. After the death of their mother, they grew up in a Jewish orphanage. Feodor received training as a cook while there, although he was not allowed to take his apprentice’s examination. In late August 1938, he went to see as a cook’s mate on the Fairplay X, one of the three steam ships that the owner of the Fairplay Shipping Company, Lucy Borchardt (b. 1877, d. 1969) was left with after her expropriationand which she took with her when emigrating to London. Feodor Bloch started a family in England and changed his name to Brooks.
His youngest sister, Senta, got training in child care. While she worked in the household of the Seelenfreund family in Rendsburg, she was, together with her employers, who were Jews with Polish citizenship, forced to go Zbaszyn/Bentschen as a consequence of the so-called Polish Action of October 1938. Not until arriving at the German-Polish border was she, a German citizen, sent back. Senta found a place to stay with her married sister Bertha at Glashüttenstrasse 111, until in March 1939, with the help of the Jewish Congregation and the "Bloomsbury House Committee,” she was able to get an entrance visa to England. In 1948, she emigrated to the about-to-be founded State of Israel.
Bertha, the oldest of the sisters, had married the non-Jewish Martin Stüven in March 1935 and was the mother of three children. Because she lived in a "privileged mixed marriage” she was not immediately affected by the deportations. According to her own testimony, she was under Gestapo surveillance since 1942 and had, as a Jew, to do forced labor, along with other Jewish women, in the Heldmann Chemical Factory in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld, part of a so-called Jew column whose job was to fill paper bags with rat poison. Like most of the men and women in "mixed marriages,” she was allocated to this "work assignment” by Willibald Schallert, Director of the Special Service Office of the Hamburg Labor Department. When in February 1945, privileged mixed marriage no longer afforded protection, Bertha received a letter from the Gestapo: "I was to prepare myself for a transport in four days and suffered a nervous collapse because it could only mean the well-known consignment to a concentration camp.”
Unable to be transported, she spent seven weeks in the Israelite Hospital and then fled at the end of April to an acquaintance in Lurup (in the Hamburg district of Altona). She survived with the help of her friend and got married again, this time to Franz Gottfried Mischke (b. 10.19.1915).
After the war, Bertha Mischke instituted proceedings with the goal of nullifying her father’s conviction. Nevertheless, the chief state prosecutor upheld the judgment of "serious procuring,” annulling only the charge of "racial defilement”: "since it is an act punishable only under the National Socialist conception of law.” The court agreed with the state’s attorney that the appropriate penalty was a year and nine months in jail and three years’ loss of civil rights. It was not until 1969 that the "procuring paragraph” was abolished. A commemorative stone for Max Bloch will soon be placed at Grabenstrasse 10.
For the family of his older brother, Waldemar Bloch (b. 3.25.1880), a commemorative stone lies at Marktstrasse 5 (see "Stolpersteine in Hamburg-St.Pauli”).
Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: April 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Abl. 16 Untersuchungshaftkartei für Männer; StaH 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht-Verwaltung Abl. 2, 451 a E1, 1b und 1e; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsache 00299/38; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsache 01092/38; StaH 314-15 OFP_FVg 7308 Bloch, Senta; StaH 351-11 AfW 40741 (Mischke, Bertha); StaH 351-11 AfW 7783 (Bloch, Max); StaH 351-11 AfW 42809 (Brook, Peter Feodor); StaH 351-11 AfW 41679 (Levy, Ziona); StaH 351-11 AfW 32962 (Kock, Harry); StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9835 u 2034/1928; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 13844 u 287/1932; Schindler-Saefkow/Schnell: Gedenkbuch, S. 103; Auskunft aus der Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen von Monika Liebscher, E-Mail vom 27.5.2008; Auskunft aus der Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück von Dr. Insa Eschebach und Cordula Hundertmark, E-Mail vom 19.8.2008; Auskunft von Sven Langkammer, E-Mail vom 11.10.2013; Klee: "Euthanasie" S. 259; http://www.statistik-des-holocaust.de/list_ger_ber_ot14.html (Zugriff 25.1.2015); Büge: KZ-Geheimnisse, S. 194, S. 364; www.ancestry.de (Heiratsregister von Max Bloch und Lene Weiss in Berlin, Zugriff 16.4.2017); www.ancestry.de (Geburtsregister von Max Bloch, Frankfurt am Main, Zugriff 16.4.2017).
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