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Betty Guttmann * 1905

Anton-Ree-Weg 1-3 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hammerbrook)

JG. 1905

Betty Guttmann, born 20 Aug. 1905 in Offenbach, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Anton-Rée-Weg 1 + 3 (Campestraße 10)

The first trace of Betty Guttmann in Hamburg is found in the German-Israelitic Community’s voters’ registration list of 1930, where she is listed as living at Campestraße 10. She was born on 20 August 1905 in Offenbach. Her parents had moved there from Frankfurt in 1901. Her father, Chiel Guttmann, who later called himself by the name of Christian, and her mother Esther Lederberger, were both born around 1865 in Wisnicz near Kraków, which at that time belonged to Austria. They married in 1892 in Mährisch-Ostrau, where Esther Guttmann bore the first of her nine children. From there they moved to Frankfurt am Main, where three sons were born between 1893 and 1899. After they moved to Offenbach in 1901, Betti was born, but she died at the age of 10 months. Two more daughters followed, of whom one also did not survive her first year. The next child was another daughter, and was given the name Eva Betti, and was later called Betty. Another brother was born in 1906. Both parents and all of the children were Austrian citizens. It cannot be determined if the elder sons served in the First World War.

In late July 1918 the family returned to Frankfurt, and then moved to Berlin, where Chiel Guttmann was registered with the welfare office in 1921. No more is known about the lives of Betty Guttmann’s parents and siblings.

Betty Guttmann never married. It cannot be determined exactly when she moved to Hamburg. She seems to have earned a modest living as a baker until 1934. Thereafter she was alternately unemployed or had short-term jobs, until she found employment for five months in 1939, probably with one of the two employers who are listed in her tax records: as a packer for Alois Weiss in his spice-packing business at Alter Wall 60, or at Hellmann’s Gaststätten, a restaurant opened by Bernhard Hellmann in early 1938 in the Jewish Community House on Hartungstraße.

When Betty Guttmann became unemployed, her living situation changed as well. She changed addresses often and lived in rented rooms, often as household help for room and board. She moved from Hammerbrook first to Borgfelde, then to St. Georg. In 1939 she lived at Grindelhof 9, in 1940 at Beim Schlump 52, and finally at Beneckestraße 16. In 1940 she received welfare benefits, but they were cancelled in January 1941.

When she learned of the upcoming deportation of Jews, supposedly to help with "establishing the Eastern territories,” she volunteered to go, and she left Hamburg on 8 November 1941. She arrived in the Minsk Ghetto, in which "room for new arrivals” had been made just days before by executing all of the residents. The "new arrivals” had to clean up the mess before they were given quarters in the Ghetto, which was still over-crowded. No more is known about Betty Guttmann than this general information.

Translator: Amy Lee

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; StaH, 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 390 Wählerverzeichnis 1930; 391 Mitgliederzählung 1935; 872 XIV, Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt 1938; 992 e 2, Bd. 2; AB 1930, 1939; Haus der Stadtgeschichte Offenbach, Archiv, Einwohnermelderegister; Rosenberg, Jahre des Schreckens.
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