Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

back to select list

Ilse, Liesel und Ellen Berger, ca.1928
Ilse, Liesel und Ellen Berger, ca.1928
© Privatbesitz

Ellen Ingrid Berger * 1924

Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

JG. 1924

further stumbling stones in Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3:
Margarethe Altmann, Bela Anschlawski, Esther Ascher, Hannelore Ascher, Hanni Bernstein, Karl Heinz Bloch, Hildegard Cohen, Nathan Dan Croner, Heinz Dessau, Zita Feldmann, Jacob Fertig, Hans Frost, Alice Gramm, Else Grunert, Julius Hamburger, Oskar Helle, Julius Hermannsen, Rebecca Hermannsen, Elchanan Jarecki, Bertha Kleve, Peter Kopf, Erwin Kopf, Manfred Krauthamer, John Löw, Gerda Polak, Inge Polak, Erich Rosenberg, Mirjam Rothschild, Regine Rothschild, Rafael von der Walde

Ellen Ingrid Berger, born on 17 Dec. 1924 in Wismar, deported to Auschwitz and murdered on 11 July 1942

Martin-Luther-King-Platz (formerly Papendamm 3)

Ellen Ingrid Berger was a granddaughter of Frieda Karseboom, for whom Stolpersteine are located on Hansastrasse and in Wismar. Ellen’s parents, Käte Karseboom, born on 11 Aug. 1896 in Helmstedt, and the merchant Jakob Berger, born on 27 June 1884 in Hamburg, married on 16 Jan. 1920 in Wismar. They both lived there on Lindenstrasse, he in house no. 93, she with her family in house no. 23. Both were of the Jewish faith.

Jakob Berger’s parents were the school principal Hirsch Berger and Pauline Berger, née Magnus, who had already died at the time of the wedding and were last residing in Mainz. Käte’s father ran the Karseboom Department Store, located on Hinter dem Rathaus in Wismar.

Five months earlier, in Aug. 1919, Käte had given birth in a small Hessian town to an illegitimate daughter, who was adopted shortly afterward by a Protestant couple. In the German national census in October, two months later, she is listed as residing in the household of her parents; Jakob Berger lived as a subtenant with a family in Wismar.

Ilse, the oldest daughter of Käte and Jakob, was born in Nov. 1920 in Wittenberge, and in Mar. 1922, the second daughter, Liesel, was born in Wismar. Two years later, Ellen followed. The photo shows the three sisters around 1928. It is the only one that shows Ellen Ingrid.

In the 1922 Wismar directory, Jakob Berger is listed for the first time under "Berger, Jakob, Kaufmann [merchant], Lübschestr.[asse] 19.” Lübschestrasse 19 and 19a featured not only apartments but also the shop and possibly, the office of the Rudolph Karstadt "Emaille, Küchengeräte und Eisenwaren,” a limited partnership selling enamel articles, kitchen utensils, and hardware. This suggests that Jakob was employed there and thus worked for the immediate competitor of his father-in-law.

Since 1931, there is no more entry for Jakob Berger in the directories of Wismar. Daughter Liesel attended the Bürgerschule [a secondary school for the middle classes] in Neu-Strelitz from 1929 to 1932. We do not know whether the whole family lived there at the time. In 1933, the three girls went to school in Berlin.

Ellen’s mother Käte died in July 1933 at the age of 36 in a hospital in Berlin-Spandau. She resided with the children at Zweibrücker Strasse 61; at that time, her husband lived separated from her in Neu-Strelitz. The grandmother, Frieda Karseboom, Käte’s mother, then had the three siblings taken to Hamburg, where they stayed in the girls’ orphanage Paulinenstift, a charitable foundation, on Laufgraben and attended the Israelite girls’ secondary school (Israelitische Höhere Töchterschule) at Carolinenstrasse 35.

Frieda Karseboom was a wealthy woman. She paid for the girls’ livelihood and supported her daughter Paula financially as well. Liesel, Ellen’s older sister, was discharged from the Israelitische Höhere Töchterschule in Mar. 1938 according to the school’s admission book and attended the "Wirtschaftliche Frauenschule auf dem Land” [literally "(home) economics women’s school in the countryside”] in Wolfratshausen near Bad Tölz for several months. Since 1926, the Munich branch of the League of Jewish Women (Jüdischer Frauenbund) operated the state-approved facility in conjunction with a long-established recreation home. There girls received training in home economics within one year of apprenticeship. After the November Pogrom of 1938, the school had to close.

Ilse, the oldest of the sisters, had been discharged from school in 1937. We know nothing about her further training. Ilse and Liesel managed to flee to the British Mandate of Palestine. Frieda Karseboom again paid for their equipment and the emigration costs. Frieda also wished to emigrate to Palestine with the family of her son; Ellen was to get there with the Children and Youth Aliyah (Kinder- und Jugend-Alijah). This Jewish organization tried to bring as many children and young people as possible from the German Reich to safety and was able to save about 21,000 lives. Since Ellen was a "carrier of bacilli,” she did not receive the necessary certificate and had to stay behind in Hamburg. A document from the 1950s refers to diphtheria. Her grandmother did not want to leave her alone and decided to stay with her. Frieda’s son later said, "My mother refused to leave the child alone in Germany and as a result, perished as well.”

After Ellen was no longer allowed to attend the girls’ secondary school, she took part in home economics courses. These courses within the Paulinenstift were held to protect the young girls who lived there from persecution and to employ them in the Jewish Hospital and nursing homes to support the staff.

Ellen’s father Jakob had remarried in Berlin in 1935 – two years after the death of his wife. He died on 6 May 1941 at Auguststrasse 14/15, where he also resided. The building was used at that time as a retirement home and an infirmary. The funeral at the Jewish Cemetery in Berlin-Weissensee was organized by his wife Lola Berger, née Edel, born on 4 Sept. 1893 in Berlin. Living at Salzburger Strasse 14 (with Heymann) at that time, she was deported to Riga on 25 Jan. 1942.

Back to Hamburg:
The home economics school of the Paulinenstift had been disbanded in the summer of 1941. Shortly after the November deportations, the director Hildegard Cohen had to move with the remaining children and the staff to the orphanage at Papendamm 3. As a report notes, destitution and confined circumstances prevailed in this place, because elderly people were quartered there as well, since the building was used as a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”).

In June 1942, the occupants had to move closer together yet again, because more than 70 children with their teachers had been expelled from their school building at Carolinenstrasse 35 at the behest of the Hamburg school administration. In the hopelessly overcrowded "little castle,” they crowded together on five mornings a week and received makeshift instruction until this "school,” too, was closed down by the Nazis on 30 June 1942. Only a few days later, the deportation order came for Hildegard Cohen, her employees, and 14 charges of the orphanage, the youngest one not yet three years old. Ellen is entered on the deportation list as a "worker,” so possibly, the 17-year-old still had to perform forced labor. The transport was going to Auschwitz, where all persons affected were murdered.

Her grandmother was deported to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942. Previously, she had been forced to conclude a "home purchase contract” ("Heimeinkaufsvertrag”) for 22,445.49 RM (reichsmark). This "contract” provided for the transfer of her entire savings to the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland), the fictitious consideration being lifelong use of a "home space” in Theresienstadt. The money collected by the Reich Association was ultimately confiscated by the Gestapo.

Frieda Karseboom died in the ghetto on 22 Nov. 1942.

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

Stand: June 2020
© Sabine Brunotte

Quellen: 1;3; 5; 8; StaH 332-5_ 2079; schriftliche Auskunft Archiv centrum judaicum Berlin, E-Mail vom 23.2.2018; schriftliche Auskunft Falk Bersch, E-Mails vom 18.1.2019 und 25.1.2019; schriftliche Auskunft Eric Brück, E-Mail vom 25.1.2019; schriftliche Auskunft Stadtarchiv Wismar, E-Mail vom 29.1.2019; StaH 741-4 Sa 1247; StaH 351-11_46911; StaH 35-11_1693; StaH 351-11_45625; zu Wolfratshausen (Kreis Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen) Jüdische Einrichtungen bis nach 1933, letzter Zugriff 19.1.2019; https:// zu Kinder -und Jugend-Alijah, letzter Zugriff 19.1.2019;, Deportationslisten, letzter Zugriff 19.1.2019; Johann-Hinrich Möller, Erinnerung an die von den Nationalsozialisten ermordeten Kinder, Betreuerinnen und Erzieher der ehemaligen Hamburger Waisenhäuser Papendamm 3 und Laufgraben 37, Hamburg, Juni 2006, online Ausgabe unter, eingesehen am 17.1.2019.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

print preview  / top of page