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Maximilian Gumpel * 1877

Grindelallee 6 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

1941 Riga

further stumbling stones in Grindelallee 6:
Minna Gottschalk, Edith Horwitz, Albert Josephi, Dr. Leonhard Lazarus, Hedwig Lazarus, Laura Mosbach, Johanna Rosenberg

Maximilan Gumpel, born 28 Dec. 1877 in Hamburg, deported 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga

Maximilian Gumpel’s wife Ella (née Grossmann, *14 July 1903) was Protestant and was considered an "Aryan.” Their son, Werner Hugo Siegmund, was born on 31 December 1934 and was christened. The family was thus considered to be a "privileged mixed marriage,” according to the classifications introduced by the Nazis in December 1938. The couple divorced for unknown reasons some time between 1939 and 1941, however, and thus his marriage status no longer excepted Maximilian from mandatory registration as a Jew, introduced in September 1941, nor protected him from deportation.

Maximilian Gumpel owned a company that exported sewing machines, located at Gertrundenkirchhof 10. According to a statement made to the Foreign Exchange Office of the Chief Tax Authority in 1939, his primary market was Mexico. The Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor) of Hamburg assigned a governmental trustee to his company, a measure that was taken with all Jewish companies that were not "voluntarily” sold. These companies were "Aryanized” for a fee that amounted to a considerable percentage of the purchase price.

At this time Maximilian Gumpel was living at Hallerstraße 23. In October 1938, the Nazis had renamed the street "Ostmarkstraße,” because Dr. Nicolaus Ferdinand Haller, the former mayor of Hamburg for whom the street was named, was of Jewish heritage.

In April 1930, the Foreign Exchange Office required Maximilian Gumpel to submit an inventory of his assets. He was exempted from paying the "Jewish Property Levy” because the value of his assets fell below the required minimum, although he owned a piece of property at Hammerbrookstraße 104. According to a real estate and mortgage broker, however, he was heavily in debt on it. Aside from these debts, he also stated that he had others amounting to 4000 Reichsmarks.

In May 1939 the community administration received an offer to buy the property. This procedure was invoked according to the regulation regarding the utilization of Jewish assets from 3 December 1938. It allowed the approving authority to levy a fee for the benefit of the German Reich. A directive of 8 February 1939 placed this fee at 70% of the difference between the estimated value and the purchase price of the property. The Reichsstatthalter approved the purchase contract at the end of July 1939, on condition that the purchase price be reduced to 70,000 Reichsmarks, and that it be deposited, "after deduction of the costs accrued by the seller,” into a secured account, which could only be accessed with approval by the Chief Tax Authority.

Maximilian Gumpel thus had no financial profit from the sale of his property. Nevertheless, in September 1939 the Chief Tax Authority received two letters with regard to the sale of the property, both of which asserted claims against him. The community administration inquired whether the costs that had accrued because "Gumpel (Jew)” had received government support from 9 April 1935 until 31 March 1937 could be compensated from the secured account. In addition, Maximilian Gumpel was again receiving welfare benefits, in the amount of 27 Reichsmarks per month. In the second letter, a lawyer representing a client’s claim against Maximilian, requested that the Foreign Exchange Office "under no circumstances allow payments from the balance [in the secured account] to be made to the Jew Gumpel.” A memo confirms that not even the expenses were covered by the purchase price. But Maximilian Gumpel’s financial situation made it unnecessary to issue a security order against him.

A note in his church tax records with the Jewish Community – "use plain evelope” – indicates that he wished for no attention from his neighbors when he received mail from the Jewish Community.

Maximilian Gumpel was living at Grindelallee 6 as one of several Jewish boarders in the Horwitz apartment when all of them were deported to Riga on 6 December 1941. He did not survive.

Translator: Amy Lee

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Marie Rümelin

Quellen: StaH, 522-1, Jüdische Gemeinden, 992b, Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburgs; Beate Meyer: Fragwürdiger Schutz – Mischehen in Hamburg (1933–1945), in: dies. (Hg.): Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der Hamburger Juden 1933-1945. Geschichte. Zeugnis. Erinnerung, Hamburg ²2007, S. 79–88; StaH, Oberfinanzpräsident, 314-15 R 1939/2367; Harald Vieth: Hier lebten sie miteinander... in Harvestehude-Rotherbaum. Jüdische Schicksale, Alltägliches, Heutiges, Hamburg 1993; Frank Bajohr: "Arisierung" in Hamburg. Die Verdrängung der jüdischen Unternehmer 1933–1945, Hamburg 1997, S. 279.

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