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Mirjam Bloch (née Zwy Ballin) * 1861

ABC-Straße 12 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1861
ERMORDET 20.3.1943

Mirjam Bloch, née Zwy-Ballin, b. 12.10.1861 in Aurich, East Frisia, deported on 2.24.1943 to Theresienstadt, dying there on 3.20.1943

ABC-Straße 12

Mirjam Bloch was born on 10 December 1861 in Aurich, East Frisia, the daughter of Zwy Moses, called Hermann Ballin (b. 12.13.1829) and his wife Gütel/Julie, née Hoffmann (b. 5.3.1840). In 1869, her father opened Thomsen & Ballin, "Manufacturer of Workers’ Shirts, Warehouse for Knitted goods, and Hosiery Articles” at Neuer Wall Strasse 66 in Hamburg. Later the enterprise was moved to Rödingsmarkt 79. Mirjam became Marie; she and her siblings, Dine/Bernhardine (b. 3.11.1860, d. 6.28.1932), Manoch/Eduard (b. 2.26.1865), and Keyle/Agnes (b. 4.10.1869) grew up at Grindelallee 60 and at Drehbahn 66. In Berlin in 1903, Manoch/Eduard married Gertrud Rosenberg (b. 11.6.1881 in Vienna) and lived at that time as a businessman in Berlin-Schöneberg.

In Hamburg on 10 June 1893, Mirjam married Hermann Bloch (b. 5.4.1862). Coming from a family in Vechta, Oldenburg, the businessman lived at the time of his marriage in Kiel. It was there that their son Siegfried was born in 1894. Then the Blochs settled in Hamburg. From 1900, they lived at ABC-Strasse 12. Hermann Bloch was a dealer in postage stamps, first at Bleichebrücke 16, later on the 4th floor of office building at Grosse Bleichen 31a, at the corner of Bleichebrücke 25-29, and from around 1928 at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 57. His half-sister Dora Bloch (b. 7.8.1884) also worked in the enterprise.

When Hermann Bloch died on 8 October 1930, he left a business that had already been failing; thus, Dora Bloch had to end the RM 100 allowance to her widowed sister-in-law in the middle of 1931. Mirjam’s son, the confidential clerk, Siegfried Bloch, had been killed at age 24, on 24 April 1915, as a soldier at St. Remy in France. For this reason she received a small "parent’s pension” that did not, however, cover her living expenses.

Former business friends of her husband supported her occasionally by paying her rent. In order not to lose the apartment, she took in as a sub-lessee her niece, who was divorced from her non-Jewish husband, Hermann Bruns. Her niece, Elsa Bruns, née Hirsch (b. 6.11.1890), was the daughter of her sister Bernhardine Hirsch. In early 1933, Mirjam moved with her niece to Brennerstrasse 5, in the St. Georg district.

In 1934, Mirjam Bloch decided to move to Bremen to be with her sister Agnes Hirschberg, widowed in the previous year; the plan fell through. She remained with her niece and, her niece’s fiancé, at Grindelallee 93, Hartungstrasse 18, and Bogenallee 5. In her lodgings at Bornstrasse 7, Mirjam Bloch suffered a stroke on 20 April 1939 and was taken to the Israelite Hospital. After her release, she found a place in the Nordheim Foundation Home for the Aged at the former Schlachterstrasse 40-42.

Renewed heart problems required further in-patient treatment. On 24 February 1943, Mirjam Bloch, 82 years old, was deported from the "Jew house” at Beneckestrasse 6 to Theresienstadt, where she died just a month later on 20 March 1943.

Her sister Agnes Hirschberg was deported on 23 July 1942 from Bremen via Hanover to Theresienstadt. She died on 7 October 1942. At Faulenstrasse 45 in Bremen, three commemorative stones have been placed for Agnes Hirschberg, her daughter Irma Hirschberg (b. 10.22.1899), and granddaughter, Ilse Laufer (b. 7.14.1926).

Her niece Elsa Bruns was deported on 6 December 1941 from Klosterallee 7 to Riga-Jungfernhof. At the time of her deportation, her fiancé was under arrest. He had been sentence in December 1939 by the Hamburg State Court to two years in jail because he, an "Aryan” had lived together with a Jewess. The fate of Elsa Brun in Riga is unknown. After the war, she was considered missing.

Mirjam’s sister-in-law, Dora Bloch, had given up the stamp business in 1932 and had returned to her home in Vechta. Her half-sister Johanne/Hanna (b. 6.11.1866, d. 12.26.1936) and her sister Sara Bloch (b. 9.7.1877) ran a textile goods store at Grossen Strasse 71, which they had taken over from their deceased father, Adolf/Abraham Bloch (b. 5.17.1834 in Twistringen, d. 4.15.1917 in Vechta). During the November Pogrom of 1938, the store was plundered. Dora’s hopes of emigrating to the USA with her brother Simon (b. 3.12.1876) and two sisters, Meta (b. 11.22.1881) and Helene Bloch (b. 3.22.1879), who ran a linens and lingerie shop in Hameln at Osterstrasse 36 and who had returned to Vechta in 1937, did not materialize. There remained for her only one other possible move, to live in Bremen at Faulenstrasse 48 with her brother, the shoe dealer Albert Bloch (b. 3.26.1874) and his wife Else, née Gusdorf (b. 3.24.1881 in Detmold)

On 18 November 1941, all of them were deported from Bremen via Hamburg to the Minsk ghetto. On 28 July 1942, they were among the ghetto inhabitants deemed incapable of work and murdered on that day. Commemorative stones in Vechta, Hameln, and at Faulenstrasse 48 in Bremen are a remembrance of them. The story of the Bloch family is told in detail in the book by Ulrich Behne, Die Viehhändlerfamilie Gerson und das Schicksal der jüdischen Gemeinde zu Vechta [The Cattle-dealing Family Gerson and the Fate of the Jewish Community of Vechta].

Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: April 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 5; 7; StaH: 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 990 (Bloch, Mirjam); StaH: 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1002 (Bruns, Elsa); 213-1 OLG Abl. 8, 143E, L4c; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8560 u 222/1893; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 723 u 741/1915; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9054 u 752/1890; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 990 u 1095/1932; StaH 332-7B III 1933/1870; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 374; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 3; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 5; Hamburger Börsenfirmen, 1923, S. 100; Behne: Schicksal, S. 38f., S. 108, S. 184, S. 219; (Zugriff 3.4.1912); (Zugriff 25.1.2015); (Zugriff 6.3.2016); (Zugriff 8.11.2016); (Heiratsregister Manoch Zwy Eduard Ballin und Gertrud Rosenberg 1903 in Berlin, Zugriff 28.4.2017).
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