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Louise Grün * 1873

Schröderstraße 20 a (vormals Nr. 28) (Hamburg-Nord, Hohenfelde)

JG. 1873

Louise Grün, born on 31 Dec. 1873 in Hamburg, deported on 15 July 1942 to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, from there on 21 Sept. 1942 to the Treblinka extermination camp, murdered there

Schröderstrasse 20 (formerly Schröderstrasse 28)

Louise Johanna Grün was born on 31 Dec. 1873 at Kohlhöfen 31/32 in Hamburg-Neustadt, then the center of Jewish life in Hamburg, as a foreign national. Her father, the tailor Lazar Grün, had immigrated from Gross-Karoly in what was then Hungary (Hungarian: Nagy-Karoly; today Carei in Romania) and had married the Jewish Jette Cohn, also born on 9 Aug. 1838 in Hamburg, on 30 Mar. 1870. This provided them and later their children with Austro-Hungarian citizenship. Jette Cohn came from a simple background. Her father, Moses Jacob Cohn, was a merchant; her mother Friederike’s maiden name was Kulp. When Louise was born, Lazar Grün had just set up his own business as a trader of Hungarian wines. Like his parents-in-law, he belonged to the German-Israelitic Community. While Louise was given a "modern” name, her brother, born on 19 Mar. 1875, was named Isaac Moses. Louise grew up in Hamburg-Neustadt until age ten, after which her father relocated the family residence to Karolinenstrasse 21 in the St. Pauli quarter.

When Louise became of school age in 1880, her father had two shops, one at Wexstrasse 11, the other in the basement of Fuhlentwiete 11 in Hamburg-Neustadt, and an apartment at Steinwegpassage 14. Four years later, he operated his business at Graskeller 21. On 10 Jan. 1888, he died at the age of 48. At that time, he and his wife had already given up the business and were accommodated in the newly constructed building of the Vaterstädtische Stiftung, a charitable foundation, at Baustrasse 49 (after the renumbering, no. 33). Baustrasse was located in Borgfelde and is today called Hinrichsenstrasse. The Grüns occupied "Thür 9” ("Door 9”), one of the 23 family apartments.

Jette Grün supported herself and her underage children by running a small business with "Dutch goods,” especially soap and polish. She also worked as an "attendant” (janitor) at the Vaterstädtische Stiftung, for which she received 10 marks a week. Six weeks after her husband’s death, she applied for "admission to the Hamburg Federation [Hamburgischer Staatsverband]” for herself and her children. Louise would leave school at Easter 1888 and start an apprenticeship "in production of ready-to-wear clothing.” Only due to an oversight of her deceased husband, they had not acquired Hamburg citizenship, she argued. All of them having been born in Hamburg, they had always lived there and did not know their alleged home at all. The police authority turned down the application because of the low income. Louise and Isaac received guardians, two former business friends of their father, with whose support Jette Grün turned directly to the Senate in Aug. 1888.

She countered the objection of low income by stating that Louise would already be working as a teacher by the end of the year. The Senate then instructed the supervising agency overseeing the registry offices to approve Jette Grün’s application. However, naturalization also presupposed release from the Austro-Hungarian state federation. They were not able to provide proof of this until Jan. 1889. Finally, they had to appoint two people to guarantee that they would not be a burden on the Hamburg State for the duration of five years. These persons were the wine merchant Julius Ahrens, one of the guardians, and the pipe dealer H. L. M. Wink residing at Graskeller 21. On 1 May 1889, Jette Grün and her children Louise and Isaac Moses received the naturalization certificate. Without it, Louise would not have been able to become a Hamburg civil servant later on.

Louise Grün completed the teacher training college on Fuhlentwiete in Hamburg. When she entered the Hamburg elementary school (Volksschule) service on 1 Apr. 1893, she was not even 20 years old. Apparently, she started teaching at the girls’ school on Käthnerort in Barmbek.

Because of his father’s early death, Isaac Moses could not obtain his high school diploma (Abitur). After finishing Realschule [a practice-oriented secondary school up to grade 10] at the school on Holstentor, he began a commercial apprenticeship. First, he attended the three-year business school, and then he completed a four-year apprenticeship in metal goods. He began his professional career as an accountant at AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitätsgesellschaft), a producer of electrical equipment.

In 1900, Jette Grün moved with her two children to a rear building at Lübeckerstrasse 49 in Hohenfelde. There she died in 1903 at the age of 65. She was buried in the Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery – separated from her husband, who had also been buried in a single grave at the time.

Louise Grün stayed in Hohenfelde, while her brother Isaac moved out of their shared apartment. In 1906, he married the innkeeper’s daughter Martha Mahnke in Eimsbüttel. She belonged to the Lutheran Church and Isaac also indicated his religious affiliation to be "Lutheran.” However, he was not deleted from the tax card file of the German-Israelitic Community. By Senate decision of 25 Mar. 1908, he changed his first name from Isaac Moses to Johannes Max.

In 1907/1908, Louise Grün changed to the girls’ school at Hinrichsenstrasse 17 (today Brucknerstrasse) in Barmbek. The school was opened on 1 Apr. 1893, the date she started her career in the Hamburg teaching service, in that working-class quarter with a rapidly growing population. As well, she moved to Wandsbekerstieg 52 in Hohenfelde. Four years later, she rented an apartment in the neighboring street, at Schröderstrasse 28, which belonged to the craft metalworker Otto Neugebauer, who also resided there himself. She regularly paid taxes to the Jewish Community and even increased them on her own initiative during the inflation year of 1922, when she became involved in associational politics in the "Society of Friends of the Patriotic School and Education System” ("Gesellschaft der Freunde des Vaterländischen Schul- und Erziehungswesens”), the forerunner of the Education and Science Workers’ Union (Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft – GEW).

On 1 Apr. 1933, Louise Grün retired after 40 years of teaching service at the age of 60. She was still listed as a pensioner in the Hamburg teachers’ register of 1938/39, while almost all other Jewish colleagues were not mentioned after 1933. Her landlords – by then, the Neugebauer community of heirs – made no use of their right of termination passed by the Nazi government in 1938. Nevertheless, around 1940, she gave up the apartment where she had lived for almost 30 years and moved into the guesthouse of the widow Bella Kaufmann, at Schlüterstrasse 63. Bella Kaufmann herself had already emigrated to the USA in Aug. 1939.

The Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) did not ask Louise Grün for a declaration of her assets, as she received no income other than her pension and possessed neither savings nor securities. As usual, she met her obligations toward the Jewish Community. In a letter dated 7 Mar. 1941, she explained to the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband) that 33.02 RM (reichsmark) in income tax per month was deducted directly from her gross salary of 262.08 RM by the school administration of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. She had not received any statement of account that she could present, however. From this, the tax administration of the Jewish Community assessed a monthly contribution of 3.17 RM. She also owed nothing to the state and paid a war surcharge of 16.52 RM and the citizen’s tax (Bürgersteuer) of 3.50 RM in 1940. Her correspondence with the Jewish Community stands out among the others, most of which are concerned with deferment or remission of Community contributions, because she was downright diligent in settling and paying her contributions.

In 1941, the Jewish Community housed her in the Samuel-Lewisohn-Stift at Kleiner Schäferkamp 32 in Eimsbüttel, a charitable residential home that had been turned into a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”). By then 68 years old, she was deported from there to "ghetto for the elderly” ("Altersgetto”) in Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942.

One of the few professional designations appearing on the transport list, Louise Grün’s is entered as "teacher.” On 21 Sept. 1942, only two months after her arrival in Theresienstadt, the Gestapo transported her to the Treblinka extermination camp. She was probably murdered there immediately upon arrival.
Since the marriage of Louise Grün’s brother Max had remained childless, it was considered "non-privileged” ("nicht privilegiert”) and offered him no protection from coercive measures of the Gestapo. After he had to move with his wife to Bornstrasse 20 in 1942, the Gestapo deported him with the last transport from Hamburg to Theresienstadt, allegedly for labor duty, on 14 Feb. 1945. Liberated there by Red Army soldiers on 3 May, he headed north in June. He got as far as Boizenburg, where the Russians apprehended him. In Dec. 1945, he returned to Hamburg and the following year to his former apartment. His wife Martha Grün passed away in 1947; he did so himself on 24 Sept. 1960.

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

Stand: December 2019
© Hildgard Thevs

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 7; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaH, 332-5 Standesämter, 241+131/1888; 3068+188/1906; 6851+903/1903; 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht, B III Nr. 29609; 351-11 AfW, 2721 (Max Grün); 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 d, Band 11; 992 e 2, Bde 4 und 5; JFHH ZZ 10-204, ZZ 11-189; Hoffmann, Andreas, Schule und Akkulturation: geschlechtsdifferente Erziehung von Knaben und Mädchen der Hamburger liberalen Oberschicht 1848–1942, Münster 2001 (darin: Lehrerinnenseminar der Unterrichts-Anstalten des Klosters St. Johannis seit Ostern 1817); Schwarz, Angela, Die Vaterstädtische Stiftung in Hamburg in den Jahren von 1849 bis 1945, Hamburg, 2007.
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