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Hedwig Blum (née Abeles) * 1871

Onckenstraße 16 (Altona, Groß Flottbek)

JG. 1871

Hedwig Blum, née Abeles, born 15.5.1871 in Prague, committed suicide, 9.12.1941

Onckenstraße 16 (formerly Fritz-Reuter-Straße 16)

On December 9, 1941, the student Heinz-Hugo Schmidt informed the police that he had found his aunt hanged in her bedroom. She had taken her own life at the age of 70.

Hedwig Abeles was born on May 15, 1871 in Prague as one of three children of the Jewish couple Simon Abeles and Hedwig Abeles née Stößeles. We know nothing about her childhood, youth, education and that of her siblings. We only know that her brother Robert, born June 15, 1874 in Prague, married Lucia Theodora Cornelia Avellis on September 15, 1898 in Berlin (he died in 1931).

Hedwig married Gabriel Georg Blum on September 24, 1893 in Naples.

Hedwig's husband Gabriel Georg Blum had been born in Hamburg on April 1, 1857, to the Jewish couple Salomon Blum and Pally Porges. His father had worked as a merchant, but what he traded in we do not know. Gabriel's parents had had five other children who were also born in Hamburg: Auguste, born June 8, 1856, Henriette, born May 16, 1859, Barthold, born September 9, 1860, Rosalie, born October 6, 1864 and Henry, born March 11, 1867.

The mother had died on December 9, 1895 and the father on December 24, 1915. They were both buried in the Ohlsdorf Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery. Hedwig's parents died in Prague on February 27, 1888 and October 13, 1891.

Georg had moved from Naples to Hamburg to Feldstraße 54 on July 14, 1892. He then returned to Naples on October 31, 1892, where he met his future wife Hedwig. Georg Gabriel Blum worked as a house broker. The couple had two children: Olga Philippine (born June 24, 1894) and Herbert Paul (born March 24, 1896), both of whom were born while still in Naples.

On August 19, 1910, the family lived at Rothenbaumchaussee 27; in September, they again left for Italy; on July 19, 1915, they settled again in Hamburg, this time at Eppendorfer Baum 39, and on August 14, 1915, they moved to Zurich.

In October 1920, the family returned to Hamburg and took up residence at Dürerstraße 8 on the 2nd floor, moving to Ulmenstraße 7 on January 18, 1921. The couple decided to build a house at Fritz-Reuter-Straße 16 and submitted a building application to the city on May 21, 1921, for which they had to pay 5000 marks in fees. The family was able to move into the house that same year. Their address was now Fritz-Reuter-Straße 16 (today Onckenstraße 16) in Groß Flottbek.

Gabriel Georg Blum died of arteriosclerosis in his house on June 2, 1939.

Hedwig Blum had hesitated to emigrate for a long time, probably not wanting to leave her ailing husband. But on May 20, 1940, she submitted an application for emigration to Costa Rica to the Chief Finance President. Like all emigrants, she had to detail the items and clothing she wanted to take with her. She had already organized an entry permit from Costa Rica and her passage with the Italian shipping company "Italia" from Genoa was paid for. The ship was scheduled to set sail on June 10, 1940. The tax office issued her a clearance certificate dated April 20, 1940, which was valid until June 30, 1940, but presumably it arrived so late that the passport could not be issued in time. The ship sailed without Hedwig.

She remained lonely in Hamburg. A non-Jewish housemaid kept her company from time to time and did the housework and shopping for her. But then the Gestapo intervened: The housemaid was summoned and the Gestapo forbade further work with Hedwig Blum.

Hedwig Blum still owned her house. To prevent it from being "aryanized," she signed it over to her non-Jewish son-in-law Hans Mehr. However, she herself now had to move out and lived from then on as a subtenant at Barthold-Niebuhr-Straße 16 with the Löwengaard family.

Life became increasingly difficult for Hedwig Blum to bear and she became more and more depressed. On December 9, 1941, the fourth large-scale deportation from Hamburg had just left, she committed suicide. As already mentioned, her nephew found her, hanged with a curtain cord from the door hinge in her bedroom.
Hedwig Blum was buried in her family grave in Groß Flottbek (in a non-Jewish cemetery) next to her husband on November 15, 1941.

Hedwig Blum's daughter Olga Philippine had married Hans Mehr, born in Hamburg on October 5, 1889, in Konstanz on July 8, 1916. Olga Mehr lived in the house at Fitz-Reuter-Straße 16 until her death on October 22, 1974. She was buried in the cemetery in Groß Flottbek, next to her husband who died on December 13, 1958.

Hedwig's son Herbert Paul Blum had emigrated to Guatemala on August 27, 1938.

Gabriel Georg Blum's sister Rosalie committed suicide in Hamburg on August 4, 1940.

His brother Henry Blum and Henriette Leuschner were deported from Hamburg to Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942, and on to Treblinka on September 21, 1942, where they were murdered. (Biographies for Rosalie, Henry Blum and Henriette Leuschner see

Gabriel Georg Blum's sister Auguste died of cancer on July 2, 1943.

His brother Barthold had probably emigrated in time to a country unknown to us; he died "abroad" on February 28, 1950.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2022
© Bärbel Klein

Quellen: StaH, 1; 213-13_15106; 332-4_1242; 331-5_3 Akte_112; 314-15_FVg 2093;332-5_2224; 214-1_148; 332-5_407;351-11_54001; 332-5_1348; 332-5_890; 332-5_407; 332-5_340; 332-5_388; 332-5_336; 332-5_1214; 332-5_56; 741-4_K2494; 522-1_696b 1816-1829; 332-5_1224,332-5_9051,741-4_K2580; 741-4_K4252; 741-4_K2580;741-4_K2392; 741-4_K4252; 741-4_K5257; 741-4_K4393; evang. Kirchenbücher eingesehen 11.11.2018; Heiratsurkunde Berlin 336 eingesehen 11.11.2018; Report on address, 7105 [14940681]ITS Digital Archive, Bad Arolsen; Korrespondenzakte,, 7105 [90939322] ITS Digital Archive, Bad Arolsen; Bauakte eingesehen beim Amtsgericht 14.11.2018.

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