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Heinrich Harth * 1866
Schäferkampsallee 29 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)
ermordet am 15.1.1944
Heinrich Harth, born 8 Apr. 1866 in Czernowitz, deported on 23 June 1943 to Theresienstadt, where he died on 15 Jan. 1944
The Stumbling Stone for Heinrich Harth is located at Schäferkampsallee 29 in front of the former nursing home of the German Israelite Community (Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeinde) of Hamburg. From here, Heinrich Harth was deported to Theresienstadt at the age of 77. His main place of residence was at the edge of Marienthal, where he had lived for 30 years in a three-room apartment at Hammerstraße 8, on the fifth floor. He was forced to leave this apartment at the beginning of 1941.
Heinrich Harth was born on 8 Apr. 1866 in Czernowitz (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), in the Bukovina region, the son of a Jewish married couple, Esther and Chaim Harth. From 1770 to 1918, the city belonged to Austria-Hungary. At birth, he was given the name Henich, which he had changed to Heinrich in 1901, before leaving Czernowitz.
Heinrich Harth came to Hamburg at the age of 23. In the year of his arrival, 1889, he converted to Protestantism and renounced the Jewish faith. His wife, Amanda Henriette Marie, née Kalckbrenner (born 16 Apr. 1864), whom he married in Hamburg on 30 Nov. 1900, was from a Protestant family. Her father, Heinrich Conrad Kalckbrenner, was a master baker. Marie died in May 1937 in the Barmbek Hospital. At this time, their son, Franz Harth, was no longer alive either. The young businessman died in a car accident while on a business trip abroad.
Heinrich Harth, a bookkeeper, worked until 1930 for the bank L. Behrens Sons. In the certificate of marriage, his job title was given as "bank employee.” In 1930, during an economically difficult time, he lost his job. His financial situation was not altogether bad, however, because he received a monthly income of approximately RM150 from a pension and insurance. To save money, he had sublet two of his three rooms. Beginning in 1940, he was forbidden to sublet to "Aryans”: a bitter experience for a man who had broken with Judaism and now was made a "Jew by race” once more by the National Socialists and harassed under the corresponding regulations.
In July 1940, he was summoned by the Gestapo because he had repeatedly signed letters with "German regards.” He was also placed under pressure to move out of his apartment and into a Jewish home for the aged. He himself struggled with the idea of moving into a community home, but the search for an apartment or a room proved extremely difficult. The housing situation for Jews was becoming increasingly worse. Heinrich Harth turned to the Jewish Religious Association (Jüdischer Religionsverband) with a request for help in finding a place to live. Communication between him and the institutions was marked by mutual mistrust. One letter-writer said of Heinrich Harth, "I consider Mr. Harth very obstinate and mentally confused. He has fallen out with all his relatives and never gets together with them.” His conversion was also an obstacle to moving into a Jewish home for the aged. There did seem to appear a possibility for moving into a room in the Samuel Levy Foundation, together with a Jewish married couple. The husband and wife were both Orthodox, and arrangements had to be made so that they did not have to share a kitchen with Mr. Harth. Letters were exchanged, and after a great deal of back and forth, Heinrich Harth decided to pass up the room in the home for the aged. According to the wish of the benefactor, only "religious Jews” were supposed to move into the Samuel Levy Foundation. The conflict that arose here is characteristic of this time period. The Jewish welfare institutions had taken care of the religiously observant Jews of the community. Now, "racial” persecution was becoming more severe, and more and more "Jews by race” were coming under financial pressure and needed a place to live. The Jewish foundations often looked after only Jews whose financial means were very limited. That did not apply to Heinrich Harth. He drew a small pension, but because he was persecuted, it was nonetheless almost impossible for him to find a place to live. If he had not been forbidden to sublet rooms to "Aryans,” he could have stayed in his Hammerstraße apartment.
The housing problem could not be solved. From Feb. to Aug. 1941, Heinrich Harth sublet a room at Burchardstraße 12 from a husband and wife, who apparently stole from him. In the fall of 1941, he lived at Hansastraße 57. Early in 1942, at last, he was nonetheless able to move into the Samuel Levy Foundation, with a room in Building C, Bundesstraße 35. In the foundation’s buildings, which were made into a "Jews’ house” (Judenhaus), the living conditions became more and more difficult. People had to move increasingly close together. To alleviate conflicts resulting from crowded conditions, little alterations had to be made to the buildings. For example, additional ovens and stoves had to be installed, so that the families could distance themselves more easily from each other.
Heinrich Harth lived on Bundesstraße for only a short time. By 12 Feb. 1942, he was admitted to the Israelite Hospital (Israelitisches Krankenhaus) at Schäferkampsallee 29 for bronchitis and heart problems. He remained here for a long time, and there was a dispute over money, because the insurance company paid only until 15 Aug. In still-extant files, he is described as a "highly willful, difficult troublemaker.” Beginning in Nov. 1942, Heinrich Harth lived in the nursing home on Schäferkampsallee, until he was transported in June to the Theresienstadt ghetto (concentration camp), where he died six months later.
Translator: Kathleen Luft
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Susanne Lohmeyer
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 6421 und 441/1900; StaH 332-5, 7197 und 981/1937; StaH 552-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992n Band 13; HAB II 1926; HAB VI 1941 und 1943.