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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Ilse Brager (née Abrahams) * 1916
Grindelhof 30 (TTS) (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
further stumbling stones in Grindelhof 30 (TTS):
Dr. Walter Bacher, Emil Emanuel Badrian, Asriel Brager, Sally Brager, Dr. Joseph Carlebach, Dr. Hermann Freudenberger, Josua Falk Friedlaender, Julius Hamburger, Walter Nathan Herz, Bertha Hirsch, Leopold Hirsch, Dr. Alberto Jonas, Benno Kesstecher, Heinz Leidersdorf, Richard Levi, Emil Nachum, Mathias Stein, Artur Toczek
Sally Brager, born 26 Jan. 1915 in Hamburg, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk, died there
Ilse Brager, née Abrahams, born 12 Apr. 1916 in Dornum, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk, died there
Asriel Brager, born 24 Nov. 1940 in Hamburg, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk, died there
Sally was the fourth of six children. Her parents, Alfred and Martha, née Cohn, Brager (for the Brager family's detailed biography, see Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel und Hamburg-Hoheluft-West and www. stolpersteine-hamburg.de) had married in Lübeck in 1909. Martha came from Friedland in Mecklenburg, Alfred was from Hamburg. After the wedding they moved to Hamburg, and their first child, Siegmund, was born in 1911, followed shortly after by two daughters in 1912 and 1916, another son in 1913, then Sally in 1915. At that time the family lived at Grindelhof 89. Around 1920 they moved to an apartment at Kielortallee 22. Alfred Brager was a wallpaperer, and had had his workshop around the corner at Bogenstraße 4 since 1921. The Brager family’s new apartment was in a residential complex (two buildings at Kielortallee 22 and 24) for Jews who strictly observed Jewish Law. The complex included a synagogue, and the family attended services twice daily, in the morning and the evening, and three times on the Sabbath.
Alfrd Brager died in January 1927 at the age of 49, leaving his widow with six underage children. Werner, the youngest, had arrived in 1922, and was thus only five years old at the time of his father’s death.
Sally Brager attended the Talmud Tora School, as did his older brothers Siegmund and Ivan, and later his younger brother Werner. Siegmund was enrolled from 1923 to February 1927, when he left to become a merchant. Six months later his brother Ivan also left the Talmud Torah School to attend the Israelitic horticultural school Ahlem near Hanover. Presumably, the two older brothers had to quickly learn a profession after the death of their father in 1927, so that they could contribute to the family finances. The two younger brothers Sally and Werner remained at the school. We don’t know how long Sally Brager stayed at school, as no leaving certificate has been found. In 1930/31 he was demonstrably still an 8th grade student; that was likely his last year.
As of 1927/28, the school records list Sally Brager’s address as the orphanage at Papendamm 3. Martha Brager presumably sent the 12-year-old Sally to live at the children’s home after her husband's untimely death because her funds were insufficient to care for the three youngest children. Werner remained at home with his mother. The eldest daughter Gretchen (born 1912) trained as a seamstress and took care of the household with her mother until she married in April 1938.
After he left school, Sally did an apprenticeship as a metal worker, which he finished as a journeyman after four years. He worked as a caretaker at his former school from 1935 until January 1940. He supported his mother with his earnings, and was therefore exempt from paying religious taxes.
In September 1939, the Talmud Tora School and the girls' school at Karolinenstrasse 35 were merged. Attendance at both schools was down to nearly half of what it had previously been because so many children had emigrated. The Reich Governor of Hamburg, Karl Kaufmann, turned over the Talmud Tora School building to the Hanseatic College of Teacher Education. The loss of the building on Grindelhof was a heavy blow to the Jewish community. Aside from the the school classes held there in the mornings, the Jewish community used the premises for many other events - from sports to language courses for adult emigrants – which could no longer take place anywhere else.
The third wave of emigration began after the November Pogrom of 1938. Sally Brager was among those for whom these dramatic events were the final impetus to apply for emigration. His sister Gretchen and her husband Ernst had also been making arrangements to emigrate since December 1938. Sally was granted a clearance certificate in January 1939, and, in the documents he had to fill out, he gave his destination as Australia. He planned to work as a metal worker, and the list of items he wanted to take with him included "10-15 books" and "various tools, technical drawing instruments and a drawing board." According to the records that have survived, it seems nothing more stood in the way. But then he married on 26 Feb. 1939, and all of his documents had to be resubmitted. When World War II broke out in September 1939, it was too late.
He married Ilse Abraham (*12 Apr. 1916 in Dornum, East Frisia). She was the youngest of nine children born to Adolf Abraham (*1872) and his wife Rosette, née Rose (*1875). Adolf came from a long line of butchers from Rhede near the Dutch border, and Rosette also came from a family of butchers that had lived in Dornum for generations. Adolf had a butcher shop on Bahnhofstraße in Dornum, and was also on the board of the local synagogue. Ilse attended the Jewish elementary school, then, after it closed in 1922, the state elementary school. After she finished her schooling, she worked as a live-in maid. In July 1933 she left Dornum for Hamburg. Presumably, she followed her brother Moritz, who had moved to Hamburg in 1926 and worked as a sales representative. The deciding factor for Ilse’s move was probably that an SA leadership training facility had been set up in Dornum in early 1933, and anti-Semitic harassment in the town increased dramatically.
Ilse’s first job in Hamburg was in the household of a family at Parkallee 5. In 1936 she changed to a household at Schlüterstraße 14, and finally worked for Fritz and Olga Meseritz (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de) at Jungfrauenthal 53 until she got married. She probably took over this position from her older sister Berta (*1913), who had worked for the couple until she married Werner Beit (see Grindelberg 90). Fritz Meseritz, a successful businessman and former co-owner of the G. Stromeier & Co stood as a witness at Ilse and Sally’s wedding. The wedding celebration was held at the apartment of Ilse's brother Moritz, who lived with his wife Irene (née Neugarten) on the corner of Rutschbahn and Grindelalee. The wedding ceremony was one of the last to be performed by Chief Rabbi Carlebach.
The Hamburg address books from 1936 to 1940 list Sally Brager’s address as the Talmud Tora School, Grindelhof 30. His tax records with the Jewish Community also list his address as Grindelhof 38, an outbuilding that the school used until the spring of 1940. The couple’s last residence in Hamburg was the "Jews’ house" at Rutschbahn 25. Their son Asriel was born there in November 1940.
Sally Brager, his mother Martha, and his 19-year-old brother Werner were deported to the Minsk Ghetto on 8 Nov. 1941. Werner had worked at the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery and lived with his mother at Kielortallee 22 unitl their deportation.
Ilse Brager and her son Asriel, who was not yet one year old, were deported to Minsk 10 days later. Her brother-in-law Siegmund Brager, his wife Liesel and their daughter Bela (*23 Sep. 1940) were deported on the same train. None survived.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Ute Harms
Quellen: 1; 2; StaH 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident FVG 5692 u. 4404; StaH Bestand Talmud–Tora–Schule, S.1254, 1246, 1247; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 210 u. 11/1927; Gemeinde Dornum, Geburtsurkunde v. Ilse Abrahams; Lohmeyer: Brager, S. 112ff.; Lohmeyer: Neugarten, S. 409ff.; Lohmeyer: Beit, S. 76ff.; Randt: Die Talmud-Tora-Schule; Salomon: Eimsbüttler Facetten, S. 97f.; persönliche Auskünfte von Georg Murra-Wegner, Dornum.
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