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Charles Ernest Halle´ * 1879

Eichenstraße 46 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

JG. 1879
ERMORDET 22.10.1942

further stumbling stones in Eichenstraße 46:
Charlotte von Halle

Charles Ernest Hallè, born 20.1.1879 in Paris, murdered in Riga, declared dead on 31.12.1944

Eichenstraße 46 (Eimsbüttel)

Charles Ernest Hallè was born on 20.1.1879 in Paris. He came from a Jewish Frankfurt family, but initially grew up in the French capital. He later graduated with a degree in civil engineering. He married Georgine Adolphine Thomsen, a non-Jewish teacher, on June 3, 1909, in Hamburg-Alt-Rahlstedt, the daughter of a distinguished family of Hamburg teachers. Four children were born of the marriage.

Charles Ernest Hallè was very musical; he played the violin and viola, the children learned to play the violin and piano, and they often played music together. The father had been baptized a Christian in France, and his children remember no signs of attachment to Judaism. According to memories of his son Klaus, he enjoyed caricaturing Jews as "Jews." He felt German despite his French upbringing.

In Hamburg the family lived at Eichenstraße 46 from 1925 to 1931.

In 1932 the marriage was divorced. For this year there is a unique entry in the Hamburg telephone directory for Karl Halle, Dipl. Ing. at Bundesstraße 86. The German spelling of his name was also shown in the entries in the years before. Charles Hallè worked in Hamburg in managerial positions for various construction companies: finally until 1932 for the company Julius Berger Tiefbau AG and from 1932 for the company Robert Kieserling Hoch- Tief- und Stahlbetonbau, where he worked as a freelancer until October 1938. After 1938 he was no longer allowed to work in his profession.

In the course of the November pogrom in 1938, Charles Hallè was sent to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp and severely maltreated. He was released on condition that he keep silent about the treatment he had experienced. Presumably he was also advised to apply for emigration. Son Klaus wanted to emigrate together with his father, legally.

In fact, on June 19, 1939, the father officially declared his intention to emigrate to France to the 23rd Criminal Commissariat in Hamburg. There are files on the emigration as of July 3, 1939, including detailed lists of the items to be taken along, among them a violin and a viola, the value of which had to be estimated separately. The files also include a letter from the French consulate in Hamburg dated July 20, 1939, confirming permission to enter France. On August 24, 1939, permission was granted to take the listed items with them. In the end, it did not come to the departure, very probably because of the beginning of the war.

Since Charles had not been allowed to work in his profession since 1938, the economic situation became increasingly difficult. At the time of the emigration application, he only lived in a room at Petkumstraße 3 (at Fischer's). In order to improve his living situation, his daughter Lotte urged him to marry a good friend in Berlin. Since this friend, Edith Clavier (born 15.8.1891), was also Jewish, nothing stood in the way of a marriage, even under the Nazi racial laws. The wedding took place on August 24, 1939 in Hamburg. The couple then lived in Berlin in Edith's apartment.

As long as the father could show front letters from his son (see below), he was spared deportation. With the absence of letters, the deportation of Charles and Edith Hallè followed on October 19, 1942, with the 21st Osttransport (deportation to the East) to Riga. The address "Am Rupenhorn 12/14 in Berlin Charlottenburg" is given as the last place of residence. About this particular transport, there is a note in the Book of Memories that, except for 81 men, all 959 people were shot immediately upon arrival in Riga. Accordingly, the date of Edith Hallè's death was also given there as the day of arrival, i.e. October 22, 1942. Whether Charles was among the 81 initially spared is unclear, though unlikely; craftsmen were specifically selected for construction work, but he was already 63 years old at that time, physically weakened by heavy work as an unskilled laborer in airfield construction - and he probably did not want to separate from his wife. He was officially declared dead in 1949 with a fictitious death date of Dec. 31, 1944.

On the fate of Charles Hallé's children:
Hallé's oldest son, Günther, died on May 27, 1929 at the age of 19; he drowned while folding a boat (his brother expresses suspicion of suicide because of "Jewish things").

On Jan 7, 1913 Klaus Jürgen was born, on July 15, 1915 the twin sisters Lotte and Lore.

The second-born son Klaus was musically gifted above average. He had absolute pitch and later studied music with the professional goal of becoming a concert pianist. Klaus only learned of his father's Jewish ancestry late in life, although he had heard this beforehand from his older brother. Klaus attended the Wilhelm Gymnasium in Hamburg between 1926 and 1932, where he graduated with the Abitur. He went to the same class as Heinz Temming, the father of the report writer. Heinz and Klaus were bound by a lifelong friendship that outlasted all difficulties. Therefore, the report writer got to know Klaus Hallè as a family friend (from 1955 to 1979).

Klaus began studying music in Berlin in 1932, but had to end his studies there in 1933 because of his ancestry (according to the Nazi categories he was considered a "Mischling of the first degree"). He continued his studies in Cologne and finished them in 1936 with the overall grade "very good". In the period that followed, however, he was not allowed to work in the subject he had learned or to perform publicly in concerts. In 1937 and 1938 he took part in military service exercises. He wanted to take up further studies in musicology, which was also denied to him due to his ancestry. Until 1939 his father supported him financially.
In 1940 Klaus was drafted into the Wehrmacht and deployed to France, Serbia and Russia. A tragic photo shows the son together with relatives in Paris; Klaus in the uniform of the German Wehrmacht: the father could not emigrate to France, the country of his birth, and the son became an occupation soldier there. In 1942, Klaus was discharged from the Wehrmacht as "unworthy of military service" - again because of his ancestry.

Between 1942 and 1945, Klaus worked as a lathe operator in an armaments factory. When unobserved, he turned chess pieces out of brass - as a sign of silent resistance. When his boss threatened to report him to the Gestapo in another matter, he went into hiding for three months until the end of the war. During this time he rode his bicycle around northern Germany and was supplied by friends. After the war, he built an emergency dwelling on his own and began playing the piano again. He was recognized as a persecuted person in 1946; however, the trials over the nature and amount of his compensation lasted until 1972. In the first ten years after the war, he was often only able to find low-paying part-time jobs, including as a music critic for the newspaper Die Welt and as a private piano teacher. At times he was unemployed. Between 1956 and 1960 he worked as a music teacher at a boarding school in Luisenlund; then, from 1960, as a minor piano teacher at the Hamburg Conservatory. Disappointed by the grueling compensation processes, he emigrated to the south of France after his retirement.

The daughters Lotte and Lore attended secondary school and began training as a pediatric nurse and decorator. However, both daughters were not allowed to finish their intended educations or work in these professions. Lore Hallè worked in a munitions factory in Silesia during the war, met her future husband while the war was still going on, but was not allowed to marry him until after the end of the war ("Mischlinge of the first degree," and she was considered such, required a marriage license to marry a "German-blood," which was almost never granted). Both emigrated to Venezuela.

Lotte Hallè, after being forced to abandon her education, first worked as a nanny, later in the account office of the Hamburg Health and Death Fund of 1876. She married a Danish citizen in 1942, fearing a further aggravation of the situation of "half-Jews" in Germany, and emigrated to Denmark. She had concealed her Jewish ancestry and in view of the destruction caused by the war this had not been discovered.

During a visit to Denmark in 1944, her mother suffered a stroke in the face of the dramatic circumstances and died. Before the end of the war, Lotte went into hiding in Denmark with her young son from this marriage. The marriage was divorced in 1946. In the post-war years, she tried to obtain appropriate compensation as a victim of persecution for the suffering she had endured and the resulting psychological damage.

The German authorities, however, proved extremely unwilling - based on expert opinions from German doctors. In desperation, she wrote directly to Chancellor Adenauer in July 1962 and later wrote a long report to the Danish daily Politiken, which was printed in full in October 1962. The report triggered a wide-ranging response from the German Embassy in Copenhagen, which feared for the reputation of the young Federal Republic in Denmark. The embassy's letter expressed understanding for the request, not least because the Danish doctors' expert opinions supported the daughter's view much more clearly than those of their German colleagues. However, neither letter had ultimately led to a renegotiation of the low compensation amount.

Translation Beate Meyer

Stand: February 2023
© Axel Temming

Quellen: StaH 351-11_4306 Lotte Hallé; 351-11_4308 Lore Schön (geb. Hallé); 213-13_446; 314-15 FVg 5940; div. Hamburger Adressbücher; Schularchiv Wilhelmgymnasium, Schülerakte Klaus Hallé; persönliche Mitteilungen von Klaus Hallé.

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