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Sophie Zippor Grevesmühl (née Cohen) * 1862

Poolstraße 20 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1862
ERMORDET 21.9.1942

further stumbling stones in Poolstraße 20:
Edmund Ringert

Sophie Zippor Grevesmühl, née Cohen, born on 18 Aug. 1862 in Hamburg, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, further deported on 21 Sept. 1942 to the Treblinka extermination camp

Poolstrasse 20

Sophie Zippor Grevesmühl was born on 18 Aug. 1862 in Hamburg-Neustadt as the oldest child of the Jewish merchant Ichel Cohen (born in 1831, died on 16 May 1893) and his wife Gitel Jette, née Cohen (born on 23 Dec. 1831, died on 28 Dec. 1906). She was followed by siblings Line (born on 1 Feb. 1866), Minna (born on 26 Jan. 1869), Alexander (born on 7 May 1871), and Julius Joseph (born on 30 Sept. 1874).

Sophie learned the profession of a milliner. We know nothing about her childhood and adolescence.

Sophie Cohen married the master tailor Heinrich August Paul Grevesmühl (born on 6 June 1861) on 8 May 1891. Coming from a non-Jewish Lübeck family, he had followed his father in his choice of trade.

Sophie and Paul Grevesmühl moved to Poolstrasse 7 and two years later to Kleine Drehbahn 66 (in 1900, this street became a section of Caffamacherreihe and thus the house was assigned number 71).

In the same year, the Grevesmühl couple opened a tailor’s workshop in the business street of Grosse Bleichen 90. They had the business address entered in the Hamburg directory as "manufacturing of fine men’s clothing to measure.”

According to their own information, they employed a staff of up to six at times, so business must have been good. In 1912, their business and residential address was Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 41. Five years later, they moved a few houses further to Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 67.

At the beginning of the 1930s, due to the generally poor economic situation, they ran out of customers. Since Paul Grevesmühl, by then 71 years old, could no longer see well, they employed a temporary help.

Sophie and Paul Grevesmühl tried to keep their heads above water by "ironing.” However, they were not able to make a living that way. A savings account had been lost due to inflation and the childless couple had not made any further provisions toward their old age.

The welfare office temporarily granted them support amounting to 11.20 RM (reichsmark) per month, which was then increased to 14 RM. At first, they tried to keep their five-room apartment (two rooms served as a workshop and fitting room) by renting out rooms to subtenants. However, in 1932 they moved to a cheaper three-and-a-half- room apartment at Peterstrasse 34/35, followed by a move to Poolstrasse 20, on the second floor, in Mar. 1933. On the third floor of the house, Sophie’s sister Minna Jentzsch ran a guesthouse.

Minna Jentzsch had also learned the milliner’s trade and on 1 Nov. 1902, she married the non-Jewish tailor Alwin Otto Alfred Jentzsch (born on 30 May 1869 in Kamenz in Saxony, died on 10 Sept. 1945 in Hamburg). The couple had two children: Alfred Alwin Robert Jentzsch (born on 13 July 1911, died in 1951 in Buenos Aires) and Ilse Ida Sofie, later married name Waldmann (born on 7 July 1914).

On 22 Feb. 1934, Paul Grevesmühl died in the St. Georg General Hospital. Sophie Grevesmühl thus lost the protection that marriage to an "Aryan” would have afforded her for a time. (The Jewish partners of a "mixed marriage” ["Mischehen”] were initially "deferred” from deportation).

According to her niece, who lived in Berlin during the war, Sophie Grevesmühl had still run a milliner’s workshop on Poolstrasse. She had been forced to give up her apartment and workshop soon after her husband’s death. According to the German national census of May 1939, however, Sophie Grevesmühl was still registered at Poolstrasse 20. She was forced to join the "Reich Association of Jews in Germany” ("Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland”) whose branch was the former Hamburg Jewish Community.

Sophie Grevesmühl was eventually committed to the Samuel-Levy-Stift, a residential home by then designated a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Bundesstrasse 35, House C in the basement. On 15 July 1942, she was deported to Theresienstadt and already on 21 Sept. 1942, she was further deported to the Treblinka extermination camp and murdered there.

Her sister Minna Jentzsch was spared deportation due to the classification of living in a "privileged mixed marriage” ("privilegierte Mischehe”). However, she died shortly before the end of the war on 23 Apr. 1945 in Hamburg, of "complete malnutrition” after suffering a heart attack.

Her brother Alexander Cohen and his wife Jenny, née Hescheles (born on 17 Apr. 1881 in Bitterfeld) were deported from Hamburg to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942, together with their daughter Gerda Meyer (born on 31 Mar. 1909 in Düsseldorf), son-in-law Julius Meyer (born on 15 May 1907 in Hildesheim), and granddaughter Ruth (born on 19 Nov. 1935). Gerda Meyer died on 30 Apr. 1944, Alexander Cohen on 5 July 1944. Julius Meyer was further deported to Auschwitz on 28 Sept. 1944. Jenny Cohen and granddaughter Ruth Meyer followed on another transport to Auschwitz on 9 Oct. 1944. Stolpersteine at Karolinenstrasse 35 commemorate them. Another Stolperstein was laid for Ruth Meyer at Bogenstrasse 35 (see

The younger brother, Julius Joseph Cohen, worked as a goldsmith and he had moved to Postdam. On 6 Dec. 1905, he had married in Berlin Martha Lewinson (born on 26 Sept. 1872 in Allenstein in East Prussia), a warehousewoman, who died on 13 July 1912. He entered into a second marital union on 23 Oct. 1913 in Berlin-Tempelhof with the sales clerk Gertrud Arnsdorf (born on 12 Apr. 1885 in Preussisch Eylau, today Bagrationovsk in Russia). Daughter Hildegard was born on 25 May 1918. The Cohen couple was deported from Prinzenstrasse 60 in Berlin-Kreuzberg to the ghetto in Riga on 13 Jan. 1942, where Julius Cohen presumably perished. Gertrud Cohen was among the prisoners who, in the face of the advancing Red Army, were transferred to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig (today Gdansk in Poland) on 1 Oct. 1944. She died there on 15 Jan. 1945. Her daughter Hildegard was deported to Auschwitz with her husband Horst Pinkus (born on 20 July 1920 in Berlin) and their child Bela (born on 24 Sept. 1942 in Berlin) on 12 Jan. 1943.

Sister Line Fritze, married to the non-Jewish Berlin hairdresser Emil Rudolph Fritze (born on 29 Oct. 1865, died on 30 Dec. 1911), passed away in London on 8 Aug. 1944.

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

Stand: August 2021
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2759 u 420/1890; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2777 u 436/1891; 332-5 Standesämter 2967 u 1220/1901; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1019 u 332/1934; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 571 u 1210/1906; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3088 u 695/1907; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9708 u 3916/1911; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1245 u 391/1945; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 4294 u 427/1945; StaH 351-14_1226; 351-11_39476 (Waldmann, Ilse Ida Sophie); 351-11_1683 (Cohen, Alexander); StaH 351-11_1392 (Jentzsch, Minna); StaH 213-13_4588 (Jentzsch, Alfred); StaH 213-13_3105 (Cohen, Alexander); StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 4; (Zugriff 9.6.2020); ancestry Heiratsurkunde Julius Joseph Cohen und Martha Lewinson am 26.9.1872 in Berlin (Zugriff 9.6.2020); ancestry Sterbeurkunde Martha Cohen am 13.7.1912 in Berlin (Zugriff 9.6.2020); ancestry Heiratsurkunde Julius Joseph Cohen und Gertrud Arnsdorf am 23.10.1913 in Berlin (Zugriff 9.6.2020);, Gunhild Ohl-Hinz über Alexander Cohen und Jenny Cohen, über Gerda Meyer, Julius Meyer und Ruth Meyer.

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