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Walter Ehrenhaus * 1872
Eppendorfer Baum 18 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Selma Ehrenhaus, née Fröschel, born 2.2.1879 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 19.7.1942, declared dead on 5.4.1943
Walter Ehrenhaus, born 16.12.1872 in Berlin, deported to Theresienstadt on 19.7.1942, death there on 3.1.1943
Johanna Fröschel, born 11.7.1877 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 19.7.1942, further deported on 21.9.1942 to Treblinka, murdered there
Eppendorfer Baum 18
Selma Ehrenhaus, née Fröschel, born 1879 in Hamburg, married Walter Oscar Ehrenhaus, a merchant six years her senior who had moved from Berlin, on April 29, 1905 in Hamburg. Until then she had lived with her parents at Hansastraße 81, he at Grindelallee 150 with Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus, the widow of his uncle Lazarus/Louis. On May 25, 1905, he joined his father-in-law's company as a partner.
The roots of the Ehrenhaus family were in Silesia. Walter Ehrenhaus' grandfather Löbel came from Breslau, his grandmother Johanna Ehrenhaus, née Schlesinger, came from Friedrichswille, Polish Gorniki, in the district of Tarnowskie. Their daughter Sophie and sons Nathan (1838) and Lazarus (1843) were born there. Both sons later became merchants and moved to Berlin and Hamburg, respectively, where they started their own families.
Nathan Ehrenhaus married Klara Rosalie, née Flesch, fourteen years his junior, born in Berlin in 1852. He made it as a furniture manufacturer to the court. Their first child, Arthur (1871), was followed by Walter Oscar (1872), Antonie Friederike (1876) and finally Johannes Wilhelm in 1879, who died in 1900 at the age of only 21.
Lazarus/Louis Ehrenhaus, like his older brother, entered into marriage with a woman fourteen years younger, Ida/Jenny Horwitz, born in Hamburg in 1858. Hugo (1881) and Johanna (1883) were born there. In 1884 Lazarus Ehrenhaus moved with his family to Berlin, where he died on November 9, 1894, and where he was buried.
Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus was expecting her third child. Under Berlin law, she was given guardianship of Hugo and Johanna. She returned to Hamburg on April 1, 1895, and found an apartment in the Grindelviertel. Lissy Louise was born there in May 1895, just as Hugo was finishing his compulsory education.
Different guardianship laws applied in Hamburg than in Berlin. Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus was assigned a guardian for property issues. Her husband had left no assets, but her father, the "lottery collector" Nathan Horwitz, i.e. the children's grandfather, owned a plot of land in Hamm-Horn, which was encumbered in favor of the grandchildren.
Hugo Ehrenhaus entered into a "mixed marriage" with a Catholic, which was unusual in Lutheran Hamburg: in 1905 he married Margarethe Winter, a painter who worked in the arts and crafts. Their marriage produced two children, Hans Louis (1906) and Liese-Lotte Ehrenhaus (1907). From April 1, 1909 to October 10, 1939, Hugo Ehrenhaus worked as an independent sales representative.
Hugo's sister Lissy Ehrenhaus learned the profession of a stenotypist and moved to Berlin, where her grandparents Nathan and Klara Ehrenhaus and her aunt Antonie Friederike still lived. In 1915, the grandfather died at the age of 77.
The cousins Johanna and Selma Fröschel came from an established family in Hamburg. Their grandfather, the upholsterer and decorator Isaac Jonas Fröschel (1809 in Hamburg), married to Betty, née Heymann (1808 in Altona), operated a workshop at Isestraße 56 in Hamburg-Harvestehude since the first half of the 19th century.
When Betty Fröschel died in 1882, she lived in Hamburg (Neuer Steinweg 93), but was buried in Ottensen, then in Denmark, where the German-Israelite Community of Hamburg (DIGH) had acquired its first own cemetery. One year later (1883) the cemetery of the DIGH at Ilandkoppel in Ohlsdorf was opened. When Isaac Jonas Fröschel died in 1896, he was nevertheless buried in Ottensen. His son Hermann, Johanna's father, was the first family member to be buried in Ohlsdorf (double grave location A 13 13).
We know of three other children from Betty and Isaac Jonas Fröschel's marriage: Adolf Fröschel (1838 - 1916), who later moved to Berlin, and Jeanette, married Ahronheim (1841 - 1920) as well as Leo (1844 - 1918), Selma's father.
Neither Hermann nor Leo Fröschel followed their father professionally. Their business was "agencies and commission". Leo Fröschel's company was entered in the commercial register on December 9, 1878, and he received a stock exchange listing. In 1890, the Hamburg address book listed the brothers in Neustadt, Hermann Fröschel at Wexstraße 6, Leo Fröschel at Amelungstraße 6. By then, they had already started families.
Hermann Fröschel moved his business to Colonnaden 13 and married Julie Ahronheim from Waren at river Müritz in Mecklenburg (1850 - 1933). We know three of their children: Johanna (1877), Ludwig (1880) and Berthold (1884). Ludwig died already in 1894, Johanna became a plasterer, Berthold a merchant.
Only one and a half years after his father Isaac Jonas, Hermann Fröschel died in 1897. His widow initially remained living with the children Johanna and Berthold at Colonnaden 13. When Johanna reached her majority, she also registered a business there as a milliner. In 1904, Julie Fröschel moved with her children to Grindelallee 15, where Johanna gave birth to a son in 1907, who lived only three weeks.
Leo Fröschel married the older sister of Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus, Rosalie, née Horwitz (born 4.1.1853 in Hamburg). In 1875 their son John was born, and in 1879 their daughter Selma. The children's schooling corresponded to their middle-class status. Presumably Selma learned to play the violin as a child.
Only John is known to have attended public school. Like many other Jewish sons, he graduated from the Wilhelm Gymnasium. He then studied electrical engineering and became an engineer. Selma apparently did not complete any vocational training.
With the development of the Grindelviertel (in the 1890s), Leo Fröschel also moved the family residence from Neustadt to Grindelallee, until he returned to Isestraße 56 in 1908. At least temporarily, the family also lived in Blankenese.
Over the years, Leo Fröschel's business activities changed. These included the fitting of cigar boxes and the lithographic production of advertising posters, "also in glass", as he advertised in the trade directory. He became a "Member of an Honorable Merchant," as the name suggests, an association of merchants in Hamburg for whom decency in professional and personal matters was and still is a matter of honor.
It is not known when Leo Fröschel joined the Jewish Community in Hamburg (DIGH). He was already listed as a tax-paying member in the card index (Kultussteuerkartei), which was introduced in 1913. Leo, Rosalie and John Fröschel saw themselves as religious dissidents - which, according to the statutes of the DIGH, did not preclude membership; members could belong to the community without joining one of the religious associations.
In 1895, at the age of 20, John Fröschel left Hamburg and moved to Rhina in Baden, to Darmstadt, and apparently finally to Italy in 1920. He married a woman from Cologne. Their two older children, Ilse (1905) and Heinz (1907) were born in Genoa, Egon (1909) in Darmstadt. In 1915, during the First World War, Leo Fröschel traveled to Switzerland to visit his son's family, and again in 1917 together with his wife Rosalie Fröschel. Whether they met there merely on vacation or whether John lived there is not known to us. He returned to his parents only on visits.
From the information in their passports, it appears that Leo Fröschel, like his wife Rosalie, was of medium build and they both had oval faces. Their hair was mottled, his dark, hers gray. Their eyes differed in color, Leo Fröschel's were gray, Rosalie's brown. The grandchildren were blond, Heinz had gray eyes, Ilse blue-green. They were also of medium build and had oval faces.
Selma left her childhood home in 1905 at the age of 26 to marry. Her husband, Walter Oscar Ehrenhaus, came from Berlin. His move was dated January 6, 1905, with a police registration with his aunt Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus. Witnesses at their marriage on April 29, 1905 were both fathers. The young couple moved into a rented apartment at Schlump 23. Walter Ehrenhaus' father Nathan contributed to the furnishing of the apartment with stylish furniture. Selma Ehrenhaus gave birth to their first child, son Rudolf Eduard (born 5.9.1906) and daughter Ellen Marie (born 30.9.1908).
In 1912 Walter Ehrenhaus had fulfilled the requirements for acquiring Hamburg citizenship and applied for naturalization. He was blameless, could prove a taxable income of 5433 marks for the year 1911, and had not claimed any poor relief. Giving up his Prussian citizenship, he was admitted to the Hamburg state on May 21, 1912, together with his wife Selma and their children Rudolf Eduard and Ellen Marie.
On October 11, 1915, Rosalie Fröschel received procuration for the company of her husband and son-in-law Walter Ehrenhaus. Due to the war, the company ran into financial difficulties. Leo Fröschel remained co-owner of his company, but then worked as a commercial agent with the address Fuhlentwiete 51/53. Immediately after the end of the war, on September 18, 1918, he died and was buried in a double grave at the Jewish Cemetery in Ohlsdorf (grave location B 9 232/233). In time for the funeral on September 23, his son John arrived at his mother's home at Isestraße 56.
With his death, Leo Fröschel ceased to be a partner in his company, and on March 13, 1919, the procuration for Rosalie Fröschel expired.
Only once did Selma Ehrenhaus herself possess a passport, valid for Germany from June 1918 to June 1919, in which she is described as medium height and dark blond with an oval face and gray eyes. A defect in the left eye is cited as a special characteristic. It is not known if and when Selma Ehrenhaus used her passport. Walter Ehrenhaus apparently never possessed a passport.
On October 26, 1918, Lissy Luise Ehrenhaus, Walter Ehrenhaus' cousin, died in the Israelite Hospital in Berlin. Her body was transferred to Hamburg and buried in a double grave, grave location C 9 162, in the Jewish Cemetery at Ilandkoppel.
Leo Fröschel's widow Rosalie now had no income and was maintained by relatives. Until her death on October 10, 1923, she lived at Husumer Straße 19 in Hamburg-Hoheluft Ost together with her sister Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus, also a widow, and her unmarried daughter Johanna, who ran a jam store at Eppendorfer Baum 1. Rosalie Fröschel was buried at the side of her husband Leo.
Still during World War I, Walter and Selma Ehrenhaus moved into a 5-room apartment Eppendorfer Baum 18 with their children Rudolf and Ellen. Afterwards, on January 15, 1919, Walter joined the Jewish Community. He paid minimum dues until the end of inflation in 1923. The company did not recover and went out of business on January 23, 1924.
After losing the company, Walter Ehrenhaus initially worked as a bookkeeper. He earned an income until 1926, but it steadily decreased until he was no longer liable for taxes in 1927. It nevertheless allowed for the permanent employment of an assistant, Mrs. Emma S., who continued to help Selma Ehrenhaus occasionally after 1929.
In 1926, Julie Fröschel and her daughter Johanna could no longer keep their apartment in Grindelallee and moved into a three-room apartment in the "Nanny Jonas-Stift" at Agathenstraße 3 in Eimsbüttel. The Stift was administered by the Jewish Community.
Johanna Fröschel was less and less able to compete with the cleaning businesses. There were also health reasons for this; she was 40% incapacitated for work. From birth, she had been severely hampered in her walking as a result of foot paralysis, which could not be remedied even by orthopedic boots. Meanwhile also hard of hearing and "weak of nerves", she turned to welfare for support services.
Her brother Berthold alone could have helped his mother and sister, but he had a family of his own to support. His non-Jewish wife Gertrud Helene, née Neubacher, came from a Protestant working-class family. Berthold Fröschel died in 1927, leaving behind one or two children; the information is contradictory.
After determining that there were no dependents "capable of support," Johanna Fröschel received support payments for boot repairs and ongoing assistance for the household she shared with her mother. Johanna's application for a convalescent stay in St. Andreasberg in the Harz mountains was settled when she was able to travel privately to Baden-Baden for recuperation in 1928. The welfare department granted her and her mother home help.
Walter Ehrenhaus paid a one-time small contribution of 6 RM in 1930 to the Jewish Community. After the world economic crisis, he worked as a salesman, but no longer achieved a significant income and was therefore no longer required to pay municipal taxes.
In 1930, a subtenant moved into Husumer Straße 19, where after the death of Rosalie Fröschel her sister Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus remained with their daughter Johanna, the clerk Karl Schwarz, born in 1876, who until then had lived at Eppendorfer Baum 1. He married Johanna Ehrenhaus. Together they ran a flourishing chocolate business.
The cuts in the lives of opponents of the regime associated with the transfer of power to Adolf Hitler on January 30, 1933, which also affected the Jewish population, also affected the Fröschel and Ehrenhaus families, who had been battered by the First World War, the inflationary period and the world economic crisis.
Ellen Marie Ehrenhaus had already taken sides against Hitler. Like her brother Rudolf, she attended a private school. After secondary school, she worked as a child care worker until she began a commercial apprenticeship in 1925. She became a communist and from 1927 actively participated in small actions together with other women.
Due to pleurisy and subsequent pulmonary tuberculosis, she was unable to take up employment immediately after completing her apprenticeship. She did not work as an office worker until 1933, but was then placed in protective custody as early as October 2, 1933, on charges of preparation for high treason. Without charge, but mistreated, she was released on December 29, 1933.
On December 12, 1933, Julie Fröschel died after a long illness. For almost a year, her daughter Johanna had cared for her in her apartment. Julie was buried with her husband Hermann, whom she had outlived by 36 years (grave location Jewish Cemetery Ohlsdorf A 13 14). Johanna would have liked to stay in the apartment in Agathenstraße and sublet it. However, this was not permitted, so she had to look for another place to stay. On September 17, 1935, she moved into the Martin-und-Clara-Heimanns-Stift at Martinistraße 83 in Hoheluft-Ost, across from Eppendorf University Hospital.
Rudolf Ehrenhaus also had attended a private school. He became an electrician and engineer like his uncle John Fröschel, his mother's brother, but did not really gain a foothold. He left his parental home and lived at Dillstraße 8, moving away in April 1933 with an unknown address. It is possible that this information on the tax card of the Jewish Community refers to his stay in the Friedrichsberg State Hospital. Records from the asylum are no longer available.
Rudolf Ehrenhaus moved in with his parents once again before taking his own life in Garstedt on September 29, 1934. According to a later statement by his sister Ellen, the reasons were unemployment and the lack of prospects for a new job. His body was transferred to Hamburg and buried in a single grave (Grablage O 3 467) at the Jewish Cemetery at Ilandkoppel.
In the following year, 1935, Ellen Ehrenhaus married Josef Seifert (born 26.3.1908), of the same age, a plumber and heating engineer by trade and also active for the KPD. In the same year, the Lung Welfare Service sent her to Mölln for a cure, from which she returned fit for work in 1937.
Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus, who had taken in her nephew Walter 32 years earlier in Hamburg, died on September 11, 1937, in the Israelite Hospital in Hamburg. Her death was reported to the registry office by the Kripo, as if there were no more relatives. She was buried with her daughter Lissy Luise in the Jewish Cemetery at Ilandkoppel. (Grablage C 9 163) Ida/Jenny Ehrenhaus had survived her husband Lazarus/Louis by 41 years and now remained separated from him even in death.
Johanna Fröschel's apartment in the Heimannstift on the 2nd floor was not only unsuitable because of her walking disability, but it was also cold, damp and drafty. The welfare authorities recognized that the accommodation was uninhabitable and supported a move in July 1936 to Bogenstraße 24, where she lived in a room with an emergency kitchen. From then on, she changed landlords several times, until in June 1937 she moved in with her Ehrenhaus relatives, who by then occupied a 4-room apartment at Hegestraße 23, also on the 2nd floor.
In May 1938, Walter Ehrenhaus' cousin Johanna Schwarz emigrated to South Africa with her husband Kurt. They settled in Bloemfontein, where Johanna died in 1968. Emigration plans of relatives are not known.
Walter and Selma Ehrenhaus also took their furniture with them to their increasingly smaller dwellings. They had to hand over their radio to the Gestapo at the beginning of the Polish campaign in September 1939, Walter's bicycle, typewriter and sewing machine remained with them until the Gestapo forced them to hand them over in 1941. But unlike other impoverished Jewish families, they did not sell any parts of their household goods. As a welfare worker wrote in Johanna Fröschel's file, "[they] got by poorly" by renting out rooms and trading door-to-door, Selma with homemade soap. Finally, they turned to the Jewish Welfare Organization, to which the Nazi state had in the meantime imposed the care of Jews, and from January 1, 1941, they were supported by the site.
For Johanna Fröschel, each of her living situations was unsatisfactory. Each new quarter had to be cheaper than the previous one. In 1939, the state welfare handed her over to the Jewish Welfare. Finally, January 12, 1940, the Jewish Community, now called the Jewish Religious Association, placed Johanna Fröschel in Heim II at Schlachterstraße 40.
After tenant protection for Jews was lifted, Selma and Walter Ehrenhaus also had to give up their apartment in Hegestraße in August 1940 and find Jewish landlords. They moved into a 2 ½ -room apartment with a kitchen at Schlachterstraße 46/47. Despite the cramped quarters, they again took their entire household with them and stacked the furniture up to the ceiling, as Mrs. S. testified. This was auctioned off after their deportation for the benefit of the German Reich, the auctioneer describing it as old but solid, well bourgeois, yet unfashionable. He transferred the proceeds to the Hamburg treasury.
With the introduction of the "Jewish star" on September 1, 1941, Walter and Selma Ehrenhaus and Johanna Fröschel were also stigmatized externally, after they had already had to wear a "J" in their passports since August 1938 and the forced names "Sara" and "Israel" since October.
In October 1941, the deportations of Jews up to the official age limit of 65 years began in Hamburg for alleged reconstruction in the East, which the local Gestapo offices in charge did not always comply with. Selma, Walter Ehrenhaus and Johanna Fröschel were destined for the "old-age ghetto Theresienstadt", a small town with a former garrison in Bohemia. But Walter Ehrenhaus' sister Antonie, who lived in Berlin and was already 65 years old, was deported to Riga on January 23, 1942. Six months later, her Hamburg relatives also had to board the train, and for them it was off to Theresienstadt.
Like all subordinate bodies, the Jewish Religious Association in Hamburg had to conclude home purchase contracts with the wealthier among the affected persons for the "Reich Association of Jews in Germany" and transfer the proceeds to an account to which the Reich Security Main Office had access. Sums were charged per person for alleged maintenance and lodging, and their assets were also confiscated in order to finance the stay of deportees of lesser means. Dependent on welfare, Walter and Selma Ehrenhaus and Johanna Fröschel could not contribute and thus belonged to the second group.
For the second Theresienstadt deportation from Hamburg on July 19, 1942, the Ehrenhaus couple and Johanna Fröschel were also called. The transport included 771 people, who had to gather at the Schanzenstraße school the day before departure. From there, Selma Ehrenhaus sent another postcard to Mrs. S.. After that, there was no further news of the three deportees.
Upon their arrival in Theresienstadt, the newcomers were separated according to gender. Where Walter Ehrenhaus and the two women were housed and possibly worked immediately afterwards is not known. Before the arrival of the Hamburg transport, the old street names of the residential district had been replaced by letters - L for longitudinal streets, Q for transverse streets. By January 1943 at the latest, the Ehrenhaus couple lived in Q 310, Walter in room 6, Selma in room 13. Previously, Q 3 had been called "Badehausgasse."
Theresienstadt was a transit station to the death camps. With "evacuation transports" thousands of residents were transported to other ghettos or concentration camps. This also affected Johanna Fröschel. She was already deported on September 21, 1942 to the extermination camp Treblinka, which had been completed only four months earlier. Her murder took place immediately after her arrival. She lived to the age of 65.
In Theresienstadt, Q 310, Walter Ehrenhaus died of sepsis at 3:10 p.m. on January 3, 1943, as certified by the Jewish physician Karl Bergmann. The death notice indicates that the funeral took place two days later at 3 pm. He was cremated in the crematorium, which had been operating since September 1942; the whereabouts of the urn are uncertain. Most of the ashes from the urns had to be poured into the Eger River by prisoners on orders from the commandant's office shortly before the end of the war.
Selma Ehrenhaus' death notice has not been preserved. She died on April 5, 1943, at the age of 64. Walter Ehrenhaus had turned 70 years old.
In February 1945, her daughter Ellen Seifert and Walter Ehrenhaus' cousin Hugo Ehrenhaus were also ordered to Theresienstadt, designated as an "external work assignment." Ellen Seifert was deferred for health reasons, but not Hugo Ehrenhaus. He worked in building maintenance as a furnace setter and chimney sweep.
After the liberation of the ghetto by the Red Army, he returned to Hamburg to his family in June 1945.
Ellen Seifert's marriage was divorced in 1948; she entered into a second marriage.
Translation Beate Meyer
Stand: March 2023
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaHH 213-13, 8903, 29202; 231-1, 6305 Vormundschaftssachen; 231-7 Handelsregister, A 1 Band 46 Nr. 1119; 332-5 Personenstandsregister; 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeit, B III 114 032; 332-8 Meldewesen, 741-4 Fotoarchiv K 6033, 6099; Passprotokolle, A 24 Band 382, 383; 351-14 Fürsorge, 1146; 351-11 Wiedergutmachung, 5242, 34003; 522-1, jüdische Gemeinden, 992 e 2 Bd 1-5; H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt 1941-1945, Das Antlitz einer Zwangsgemeinschaft, Göttingen 2005; Wolfgang Benz, Theresienstadt, Eine Geschichte von Täuschung und Vernichtung, München 2013; https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCdischer_Friedhof_Ottensen; https://www.jüdischer-friedhof-altona.de/datenbank.html; https://sternschanze1942.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/uber-die-judenhauser-im-viertel/; alle abgerufen 6.2.2023; freundliche Mitteilungen von Uri Shani, Israel, 2022/2023.
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