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Adolf ''Adi'' Ambor * 1917
Haynstraße 21 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
1943 von Drancy nach Majdanek
Adi (Adolf) Ambor, born 18 Oct. 1917 in Dockenhuden, deported 6 Mar. 1943 from Drancy to Majdanek
Adi (Adolf) Ambor was the youngest of six children born to the Jewish couple Jacob Ambor (born 1869 in Zarzece in the western Beskids, in what is today the Polish-Slovakian border region) and Josepha Nathan Ambor (born 1875 in Hamburg).
His father owned a small company located at Spaldingstraße 64/38. The company sold, developed, and manufactured sprinkler systems. The family first lived in Rotherbaum, where Adi’s four older siblings were born, then moved to Witts Allee in Dockenhuden. This small farming village was incorporated into Blankenese in 1919. The two youngest children, Cäcilie Else (1914) and Adolf (1917) were born there. In 1920 the family moved to Harvestehude and later to Eppendorf.
The family called Adi "our prettiest.” He attended primary school at the Wahnschaff-Schule at Neue Rabenstraße 15 in Rotherbaum, a private school favored by liberal Jewish middle class families. It is said that he was something of a clown, but was also often the butt of jokes. He was the only child in the family to learn a trade – he became a lathe machinist.
In 1938, the family business was "Aryanized.” His older brother Hans had taken over the company in 1935 after the death of their father. Hans was out of the country in November 1938 when the Reichskristallnacht took place. He knew he would face arrest if he returned, and he therefore remained in Brussels and set up a new business in order to support the family in Hamburg.
Adi Ambor actually was arrested in the wake of the pogroms, and was sent to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp as prisoner number 008517. He was released on 15 December 1938. In January he joined his brother in Brussels, where they lived in the Ixelle/Elsène district. Thus began his life as a refugee.
When Belgium capitulated on 28 May 1940, all Jews living there were arrested. Since Hans and Adi had a permanent residence in Brussels, they were not considered German Jews, and were thus sent to the Camp Gurs Concentration Camp in the south of France. There they were separated. Adi was assigned to a troop of forced laborers and registered as a "cultivateur” (farm worker). The troop was sent to Dordogne, near the town of Brantôme, where, as coincidence would have it, his eldest brother and his family were in hiding. It is unknown whether there was contact between them. The photograph of Adi standing next to an unknown person in a field is probably from here.
In 1943, after an assassination attempt on the lives of a Wehrmacht Major and a Lieutenant Colonel on 13 February in Paris, the head of the diplomatic corps at the German embassy in Paris, Ernst Achenbach (from 1964 to 1977 a representative (FDP) in the EU Parliament), recommended the arrest and deportation of 2000 Jews as reprisal. His suggestion was put into practice. Since the French government refused to hand over Jews with French citizenship, 2000 foreign Jewish men between the ages of 18 and 65 were arrested in raids in the départements in the unoccupied half of France, beginning on 20 February 1943, and sent to the Camp Gurs Concentration Camp. Until then these men had been "free” or had lived at shelters for the needy or in children’s homes. Transports from Gurs to the Drancy internment camp followed on 26 February and 2 March.
Adi arrived in Drancy from Gurs on 4 March. He was then sent to Chelm on Transport Number 51, which left the Le Bourget/Drancy train station at 8:55 a.m. on 6 March 1943. This transport consisted of 959 men and 39 women between the ages of 16 and 65, as well as two children – exactly 1000 Jews. A few days after the transport left Drancy, it arrived in Sobibor, where the deportees were screened. Those who were fit to work were sent to Majdanek. Since very few records from Majdanak have survived, it is unknown how many of the deportees were put to work and how many were shot or gassed immediately.
Of the 1000 deportees, five survived. Adi Ambor was not one of them.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Stephanie Ambor
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 8; StaH 314-15 OFP, R 1940/60; StaH 314-15 OFP, F 35; StaH 314-15 OFP, 1938/1255; AfW 130303; Archives du Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine.
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