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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Mathilde Cossmann * 1908
Großneumarkt 38 (vorm. Schlachterstraße) (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
further stumbling stones in Großneumarkt 38 (vorm. Schlachterstraße):
Hanna Aghitstein, Julie Baruch, Ludwig Louis Baruch, Julius Blogg, Rebecca Blogg, Kurt Cossmann, Frieda Dannenberg, Alice Graff, Leopold Graff, Flora Halberstadt, Elsa Hamburger, Herbert Hamburger, Lea Heymann, Jettchen Kahn, Adolf Kahn, Curt Koppel, Johanna Koppel, Hannchen Liepmann, Henriette Liepmann, Bernhard Liepmann, Johanna Löwe, Beate Ruben, Flora Samuel, Karl Schack, Minna Schack, Werner Sochaczewski, Sophie Vogel, Sara Vogel
Kurt Eduard Cossmann, born 6/17/1930 in Hamburg, deported to Minsk on 11/18/1941
Mathilde Cossmann, born 6/22/1908 in Hamburg, deported to Minsk on 11/18/1941
Grossneumarkt 38 (Schlachterstrasse 49)
Mathilde Cossmann was born on June 22, 1908 at Michaelisstrasse 2 in the Neustadt section of Hamburg. Her parents, the bookbinder Eduard Cossmann (born 1877 in Hamburg, died 1925 in Hamburg) and the kindergarten teacher Rosalie, née Asser (born 1876 in Altona), had married in December 1906. Eduard already had a son, Jonny, born in May 1901 by Sophie Gramkow (born 1871), who died a few days after his birth. Eduard had his son declared legitimate in January 1902, so that he bore the family name Cossmann.
In 1921, Jonny Cossmann married Charlotte Ditmar (born 1901 in Lüneburg), who was not Jewish. The couple had two children. Jonny Cossmann died of lung tuberculosis in January 1930 at the age of 29.
After the first common child of Eduard and Rosalie Cossmann, a girl, had been born dead in 1907, Mathilde was born in 1908, Frieda in 1914. We know nothing about Frieda, except for the fact that she lived in Berlin from April 1934.
We also know nothing about Mathilde’s school years. An entry in her culture tax card from the Jewish Community identifies her as a housemaid. She lived at Friedrichsbader Strasse 34 in Altona, together with her half-brother Jonny, his family and her mother Rosalie, a widow since 1925. After the death of her half-brother Jonny, the living community split up.
During this time, Mathilde must have met Henry Möller, also from Altona. In 1929, she became pregnant by him. Her son Kurt Eduard was born on June 17, 1930. The father did not own up to his child, so that the mother and her son depended on support from her family and government agencies. Already three months before giving birth, Mathilde Cossmann had lost her job, presumably because of her advanced pregnancy. In October 1930, social workers from the welfare agency assumed supervision and support. Their meticulous detailed reports give insights into the family’s situation.
Such records were kept for families who required continuous support. Changes in the family, illnesses, attendance to the children, the condition of the home –everything was documented there. The report reveals that the life of Mathilde and her son was full of deprivation. But the notes also testify that Mathilde was very much attached to her boy.
In Kurt Eduard’s first year, he and his mother lived in a room at Schlachterstrasse 9 as subtenants of widow Hansen, near Mathilde’s mother. Mathilde always tried to find a job , worked as a charwoman, sometimes in various households at a time – which was bad for her health. In a report she was a described as a frail woman of slight capability. She was often ill and repeatedly lost jobs.
Her modest living standard also impaired Kurt Eduard’s development. During his first year. The boy’s grandmother Rosalie Cossmann cared for him intensively; unfortunately, she suddenly died on July 10, 1931, so that Mathilde depended on a place in a day nursery. The Jewish Community assumed the cost and repeatedly sent the frail boy to recreation camps before he entered the Talmud Tora School at Easter of 1937.
Since June 1931, Mathilde and her son lived in small apartment of their own, first at Schlachterstrasse 50, later at Schlachterstrasse 49. From March 1939, they lived in a 1½ room apartment at Neuer Steinweg 78, house 4, 2nd floor – the address where Mathilde and her son Kurt Eduard Cossmann, now 11 years old, received the deportation order to the Minsk ghetto on November 18, 1941.
405 more Jews from Hamburg were sent to death with them. It is known that Jews from Hamburg and the Rhineland who had survived in the ghetto until May 1943 were shot or suffocated in a "gas truck” on May 8, 1943 or during the liquidation of the ghetto on September 14, 1943. It is not known when Mathilde and Kurt Eduard Cossmann were murdered.
They were not the only victims in their family.
Almost none of their aunts and the aunts’ families from the maternal side survived:
Pauline (born 1873 in Altona), widowed Sommer, was deported from Hamburg to Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942 and perished there on January 14, 1944. A Stumbling Stone at Eimsbütteler Chaussee 23 in Hamburg commemorates her. Her son Max and his wife were deported from Hamburg to Minsk on November 8, 1941 and murdered there. Stumbling Stones in Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse across from no. 115 commemorate them (cf. Max and Edith Sommer).
Friederike (born 1875 in Altona), married Behr, lived in Holland from 1900. She, her husband Samuel , eight of her nine children, five children-in-law and two grandchildren were sent to death from Holland to Auschwitz, Sobibor und Gross Rosen.
Martha (born 1879 in Altona), widowed Swartberg, also lived in the Netherlands. She was murdered in Sobibor. Her son and his wife perished in Auschwitz.
Auguste (born 1880 in Altona), married Wolf, and her husband Louis (born 1872 in Essen) were deported from Hamburg to Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942, where both were murdered in 1944.
Martha’s aunt Frieda Cossmann (born 1881 in Hamburg), widowed Maack, died in November 1947 from the after-effects of a robbery.
In Hamburg, Stumbling Stones at Grossneumarkt 38, in Eimsbütteler Chaussee 23 and Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse across from no. 115, at Lorenzengasse 2 and Bornstrasse 8 commemorate the murdered members of the family.
Including the relatives in the Netherlands, twenty-six members of the Cossmann family were murdered.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Christina Igla
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; StaH: 241-1I Ehelichkeitserklärung_354 Eduard C.; 332-5 Standesämter¬6190/1590/1876 +_975/1265/1931 (Rosalie C.)_1911/4349/1877+_7054/647/1925 (Eduard C.), 5970/1109/1906 (Eduard u. Rosalie C.), _13560/1521/1901 (Jonny C.), _5378/108/1930 (Jonny C.), _5938/1142/1896 (Pauline Sommer), _8109/352/1931 (Isidor Sommer), _6203/2634/1878+_5963/678/1904 (Martha Asser), _6213/2779/1880 (Auguste Asser),_5965/325/1905 (Asser/Wolf), _6185/1511/1875 (Frieder, Asser), _5951/677/1900 (Asser/Behr); 332-8 Meldewesen Filme K7049, K 4342; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung _1644+2220 (Isidor Sommer) _18265, (Sommer) _32058 (Maack); 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge Sonderakten_1087 (Cossmann) _1840 (Sommer) _2015 (Wolf); Gottwald/Schulle: "Judendeportationen", S. 89f., 95; http://www.dutchjewry.org/genealogy/ndbeli/4100.shtml (9.8.2016).
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