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Hans von Halle * 1902

Wendenstraße 158 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hammerbrook)

JG. 1902

Hans von Halle, born 16 May 1902 in Berlin, deported 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, on 28 Sep. 1944 from there to Auschwitz

Wendenstraße 158

Hans von Halle was deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942 at the age of 40.

He was the last and the only child born in Berlin to Mietje and Benjamin Samson Halle, and was born in Schöneberg, Gleditschstraße 6. His mother Mietje, née Goudstikker, born on 14.4.1862 in Amsterdam, had moved to Dresden with her parents - the father was the antique dealer Salomon Elias Goudstikker - and at the age of 19 had married the accountant Benjamin Samson Halle in Hamburg on 2 June 1881. Both came from Jewish families.

Benjamin Halle, born Sept. 24, 1851 in Hamburg, had lived with his mother at 38 Wexstrasse in Neustadt after his father's death and moved to Grindel after his marriage. His daughters Margarethe (1882) and Babette (1883) were born at Bornstraße 3, and Siegbert (1884) and the twins Elsa and Arthur (1885) at Carolinenstraße 11. After a move to Schäferkampsallee 42, Irene (1888), Carmen (1893) and Nora (1890) were born there, followed by Silvia (28.3.1894) and Kurt (1899) at Eichenallee 12.

Benjamin Halle was promoted to director and board member of the company Wys Müller & Co. and lived temporarily in Berlin, temporarily in Hamburg at the new residence in Eppendorfer Landstraße 56. In 1916 he registered as a member of the Jewish Community, was expelled because he did not pay his contributions, and was resumed in 1924. On the basis of a decision of the local court in Hamburg of 30 September 1920, the family name was henceforth "von Halle", and Siegbert was called from 4 August 1922 according to the Senate decision Ernst Siegbert. (Daughter Silvia changed her name as an artist and died in 1963 as Sylvia von Harden in England.)

Hans von Halle attended school in both Berlin and Hamburg. After his schooling he interned at several companies, perfecting his fluency in English, French, and Spanish. His last internship, with the Johannes Evers company in Hamburg, ended in mid-1922, and the company hired him as a representative and foreign language correspondent. He worked as a free-lancer on commission. In 1930 Hans von Halle became engaged to Hildegard Peters (*4 August 1905), who was non-Jewish. She worked for the post office and lived in her mother’s comfortable three-room apartment at Eiffestraße 394. She had given birth to a daughter shortly before, whose father died a short time later.

Hans von Halle opened his own business, with a partner, as a legal advisor and real estate agent in December 1931. He moved in with his fiancée, and this address was listed as his company’s address when he registered his business. Hans von Halle and Hildegard Peters married in 1933, and he legally adopted. Hildegard’s daughter. A second daughter was born on 13 February 1936.

In 1933 Hans von Halle’s concession was withdrawn and his business partner separated from him. He found work with reputable insurance companies and considered emigrating, but personal and financial constraints prevented him from doing so. After a short period of unemployment, beginning on 31 March 1938, he was conscripted as a forced laborer in June 1942. From then until his deportation he was assigned to different companies, including a hemp spinning company (Steen & Co.) and a chemicals factory (Bigot, Schärfe & Co.).

The family was forced to give up their apartment for financial reasons, and moved into a rented room. They had to sell or pawn their household goods. In order to improve Hans von Halle’s chances of being allowed to emigrate, and of the "Aryan” family members to receive financial support, Hildegard and Hans decided to divorce.

It is unclear when Hans von Halle moved to Wendenstraße 158. He was registered there in the May 1939 census as a Jew, according to the Nuremberg Race Laws, together with his family. In October of the same year, the couple divorced. Hildegard von Halle took sole blame. In her statement of reasons, she emphasized that she did not want to emigrate with her husband under any circumstances. (There is no direct reference to emigration plans).

At that point it was still legal for Jews to rent from non-Jewish landlords. In 1942 Hans von Halle moved to Hamburger Berg 30 in St. Pauli, where he also rented rooms from an "Aryan” landlord. It is possible that he had remained unnoticed until then, or that his "privileged mixed marriage” had protected him from being deported earlier. His marriage also explains why he was deported to Theresienstadt and not to one of the ghettos in the East. (She later assured that she would never have divorced him voluntarily if she had known that he would lose his protection from deportation.)
Hildegard von Halle remarried, but she and her children remained in touch with her ex-husband. In the two years that he was in Theresienstadt, they exchanged letters and she sent him packages. Contact ceased in late September 1944. When the ghetto was evacuated after a visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the production of the film about the "Jewish settlement area,” Hans von Halle was sent on the first transport to Auschwitz at 28, September 1944. He was probably murdered immediately upon arrival, as survivors later reported to his wife.
Since she had remarried in the meantime, there was no question of reinstating her marriage after the war, as was possible after such divorces. The vehemence with which she took all the blame for the divorce upon herself also prevented any reparation. Her daughter Christa became sole heir to Hans von Halle.

Hans’s brother Arthur von Halle was deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt on January 21, 1944, and on October 28, 1944, one month after Hans. Arthur was assigned to what was later called a death transport to Auschwitz. All other siblings lived to see the end of Nazi rule.

Translator: Amy Lee/Changes/Additions Beate Meyer
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: March 2019
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1 Benjamin von Halle; 4; 5 digitales Gedenkbuch des Bundesarchivs; 7; 9; StaHH, AfW 213-13, 21208, 351-11, 25940, 29375; 322-5 div. Personenstandsregister; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 e 2, Bd. 5; 376-3 Zentralgewerbekartei, VIII Cc 3 Natürliche Personen, 1931-1945; Theresienstädter Gedenkbuch; freundliche Mitteilungen von Jürgen Krämer,, Abruf 5.2.2019; freundliche Mitteilungen von Angela von Halle, per E-Mail Mai 2021.
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