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Familienbild Mutter, Tochter, 2 Söhne, Aufnahme bei Waldspaziergang 1919
Mutter Hermine Fabian mit Kindern Gertrud, Bruno und Hans (r.)
© Privatbesitz Alexander Watson

Hans Fabian * 1893

Kuhmühle 6 (Hamburg-Nord, Hohenfelde)

JG. 1893

further stumbling stones in Kuhmühle 6:
Helene Herz

Hans Fabian, born on 20 June 1893 in Berlin, death on 23 Sept. 1940 in the euthanasia killing center in Brandenburg

Kuhmühle 6

"This certifies that according to the documents available to us Mr. Hans Fabian, born on 20 June 1893 in Berlin, had to leave Hamburg on 23 Sept. 1940 under the number 24,587 with a collective transport from Langenhorn.”
Jewish Community in Hamburg, 13 Mar. 1958

In 1958, it was not yet officially known what this transport was all about. Although the "leaving register” ("Abgangsbuch”) of the Hamburg-Langenhorn State Hospital listed a total of 62 male Jewish patients and 74 female Jewish patients with their file numbers under the date of 23 Sept. 1940, it did not specify their destination. They were taken to the "Brandenburg State Asylum” ("Landespflegeanstalt Brandenburg”) on the Havel River – a killing center of the National Socialists’ "euthanasia” program, the "T4 Operation” ("Aktion T4”) – and murdered there the same day by means of carbon monoxide. Neither the institutional administration in Langenhorn nor the relatives found out about this. Rather, in the course of the following months, fictitious, forged death certificates were issued by an alleged records office in Chelm/Cholm near Lublin, containing equally fictitious information on the causes of death, and sent to the relatives or their representatives. Hans Fabian’s death certificate has not been preserved, not even his patient file. By 1964, he had still not been officially declared dead.

Hans Fabian was born on 20 June 1893 in Charlottenburg. His parents, Meyer Fabian and Hermine, née Rosenberg, had lived in Neuwedell/Western Pomerania (today Drawno in Poland) until 1885 and then moved to Berlin. Meyer Fabian ran a successful wholesale business in "Produkten” – agricultural and handicraft products – which he expanded to include the recycling of loose waste paper and the pulping of books. In Neuwedell, the seven older children were born – Max, Elsbeth-Recha, Siegfried, Alfred, Helka, Georg, and Gertrud –, in Berlin Bruno, Martin, Margarete, Hans, and Walter. Meyer Fabian died in 1904 at the age of 62. The four youngest children were still of school age. Hermine Fabian continued the operation. Most of the children, including initially Hans as well, stayed in Berlin like Hermine Fabian. She died there in 1936.

Hans’ brother Martin, born on 1 May 1889, had moved to Hamburg, where he set up his own business before the First World War. His brother-in-law from Hamburg, the butcher John Hailbronner, represented a connection there. He had married Martin and Hans’ sister Helka.

After childhood years without any special illnesses, Hans Fabian suffered his first epilepsy attacks at the age of 17 and 18. Unlike his brother Martin, he did not pursue a commercial career but trained as a sculptor. Despite his health restrictions, he was considered fit for military use and was drafted in 1914. His illness was aggravated by the war experiences, especially since he was buried alive in France and his brother Georg died as a soldier in 1915. In 1916, Hans Fabian was discharged from military service, moving in with his brother Martin in Hamburg. In the same year, on 26 August, he joined the German-Israelitic Community.

At first, he worked together with his brother in his cigar wholesale company at Steindamm 71, where both also resided. On 3 May 1919, he obtained a trade license for the trade in cigars, cigarettes, tobacco, and smoking utensils. On 27 Mar. 1921, he married Herta Herz, born on 17 Nov. 1895 in Hamburg. She was the oldest of four siblings. She was followed by the brothers Manfred (in 1897; see Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eilbek and and Walter (in 1899; see, as well as sister Berta (in 1900; see Herta’s mother, Helene Herz, née Nathan, came from a merchant family (see also corresponding entry and Her brother Neumann Nathan had built up a watch and gold wholesale business, which had run into economic difficulties due to the inflation. Herta’s father, Henry Herz, was an upholsterer by trade and not very successful in his profession. The marriage of Herta’s parents was divorced in 1922. As early as 1919, Herta’s mother Helene had started her own business running a summer guesthouse, the Park Hotel in Niendorf on the Baltic Sea. However, she had kept a place of residence in Hamburg, living in the apartment of her daughter Herta and her son-in-law Hans at Kuhmühle 6, as did her son Manfred.

Only a short time later, Helene Herz left the guesthouse to Hans Fabian and by 30 May 1921, he already received the concession necessary for its operation. He managed the hotel together with the co-owner by the name of Weinberg as "the only Jewish hotel on the Bay of Lübeck,” as he advertised. In Nov. 1922, he also acquired a trade license for a wholesale and retail trade in fabrics. The stamp duty of 200 RM (reichsmark) was adjusted to inflation.

Hans Fabian’s brother Martin also changed the industry. Together with his wife Katharina, he opened a men’s clothing store at Steindamm 102 in the St. Georg quarter around 1923, which continued to improve in the following years. Katharina Fabian, née Rosener, born on 26 Apr. 1890, also came from Berlin. Their daughter Steffi was born in Hamburg on 24 May 1919.

In 1924, Hans Fabian’s health deteriorated considerably, and in 1925/26, he applied for a disability pension. The experts explained that this was common epilepsy, the worsening of which had nothing to do with the events of the war and whose normal course entailed intensification over the years. That spelled the end of the pension application. Despite his health restrictions and the failure of his pension application, Hans Fabian remained the leaseholder of the Parkhotel for eight years until he retired from the lease in Sept. 1929.

In the meantime, Hans’ brother-in-law, Manfred Herz, first became co-owner of his uncle Neumann Nathan’s company, which he had taken over completely in 1926. On 28 June 1928, he had also married and moved out of his apartment on Kuhmühle. Hans’ sister-in-law, Berta Herz, had already been forced to give up her job in 1925 for psychological reasons. His brother-in-law Walter, on the other hand, had returned mentally ill from his time at sea and was admitted to Hamburg’s Friedrichsberg State Hospital in 1925. In this situation, his mother-in-law Helene Herz had decided to leave the Jewish Community and turn to the "Erste Kirche Christi, Wissenschaftler, Hamburg,” the first branch church of the Christian Science Community of Faith founded in Hamburg.

Whether Hans Fabian was still working after he left the hotel and if so, whether he worked as an innkeeper’s assistant or as a self-employed representative, cannot be determined with certainty from the available documents. In any case, he earned so little that he did not even have to pay Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) in 1932. First, his wife Herta and he gave up the apartment on Kuhmühle; then they separated. Hans Fabian found accommodation as a subtenant in Borgfelde; Herta Fabian moved to the other side of the Alster.

When Hans Fabian could no longer provide for himself, he moved into the Daniel-Wormser-Haus on 1 Jan. 1936. This emigrant and retirement home of the Israelitischer Unterstützungsverein für Obdachlose, a Jewish support association for the homeless, was located near the central station on Klostertor, at Westerstrasse 27. After a one-year stay in the Daniel-Wormser-Haus, Hans Fabian was committed to the "Farmsen care home” ("Versorgungsheim Farmsen”) on 20 Jan. 1937.

After the night of the November Pogrom on 9/10 Nov. 1938, Martin Fabian was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and forced to give up his men’s wear business; Manfred Herz’ watch trade was "Aryanized.” Nevertheless, Martin Fabian still supported some relatives. He paid his brother Bruno for the ticket to Shanghai and sent money to his sister Gertrud Fabian in Berlin, his sister-in-law Lucie Bleiweiss in Essen, and his mother-in-law Fraenze Rosener in Aachen. However, it seems that he was not called upon to make payments for his brother Hans. When his wife Herta decided to file the petition for divorce, she filed an application with the Hamburg District Court (Amtsgericht) to appoint a guardian for Hans for the divorce proceedings. The guardian then asked Hans’ brother Martin to take care of him. The District Court decided otherwise and commissioned a Jewish "legal adviser” ("Konsulent”) [a newly introduced Nazi term for Jewish lawyers banned from full legal practice]. However, the latter, like Martin Fabian, emigrated with his family even before the divorce proceedings started. On 17 May 1939, however, the marriage between Hans and Herta Fabian was divorced effective immediately.

After a three-year stay in the Farmsen care home, Hans Fabian was transferred to the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” (Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Langenhorn) on 2 Feb. 1940. There, he met up with his sister-in-law Berta Herz. His brother-in-law Walter Herz had been transferred to Lübeck-Strecknitz in Oct. 1939. However, when "Langenhorn” became an assembly point for Jewish psychiatric patients, Walter had to return there. On 23 Sept. 1940, Hans Fabian, Berta, and Walter Herz were transferred to the euthanasia killing center in Brandenburg on a collective transport made up of 136 Jewish patients and murdered on the same day.

Of Hans Fabian’s siblings who lived in Berlin and Stettin (today Szczecin in Poland), Elsbeth-Recha and her husband Franz Ehrlich, Gertrud, Margarete, and Walter Fabian as well as Max’ widow Luise were murdered in 1942 and 1943. Bruno died in Shanghai in 1943. Herta Fabian was deported to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941 along with her brother Manfred, his wife Rosalie and their children Ruth (born on 28 July 1931) and Herbert (born on 3 Dec. 1933). Her mother Helene Herz was taken to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942. None of them survived.

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

Stand: December 2019
© Hildgard Thevs

Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 6; 7; 9; StaH 232-5, 429; StaH 314-15 OFP R 1941/53; StaH 332-5, 1009 u. 368/1933; 1904 u. 857/1877; 2846 u. 49/1895; 3043 u. 755/1905; 6670 u. 290/1928; 9112 u. 2055/1895; 9134 u. 2359/1897; 13404 u. 1946/1900; StaH 351-11 AfW 11088; StaH 376-3 Zentralgewerbekartei 10272/1919, 3428/22; Hamburger Adressbücher; H. Herde, Niendorf/Ostsee; Dokumente und Mitteilungen von Alexander Watson, Januar 2015.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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