Search for Names, Places and Biographies
Already layed Stumbling Stones
Otto Hammerschlag * 1874
Neumünstersche Straße 32 (Hamburg-Nord, Hoheluft-Ost)
Nanny Hammerschlag, née Oppenheimer, born 14 Jan. 1883 in Schwäbish Hall, deported 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga
Otto Hammerschlag, born 15 July 1874 in Kassel, deported 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there 11 Feb. 1943
Neumünstersche Straße 32
Otto and Nanny Hammerschlag were both from Jewish families. Otto’s parents were Bernhardt and Amalie (Abt) Hammerschlag. Nanny was the daughter of the Schwäbish Hall cattle dealer Wilhelm Wolf Oppenheimer (1843-1900) and his wife Gerda, née Feldenheimer (1849-1895).
Otto Hammerschlag traded in leather goods until 1916, when he opened an export and transit company at Königstraße 14. He specialized in hardware, machines, and heavy cargo. He had business dealings with England, Australia, southern India and Africa. Hammerschlag had been a member of the Hamburg Jewish Community since 1918.
Hammerschlag’s business flourished until anti-Semitic Nazi measures forced it into financial distress. The Foreign Exchange Office of the Hamburg Chief Tax Authority repeatedly investigated the company’s export relationships, and in 1935 levied a fine of 2000 Reichsmarks for an alleged offense against a currency regulation. The qualification certificates necessary for trade with foreign countries were also withdrawn.
Hammerschlag’s attempt to establish new business relationships in Holland failed in May 1938. The authorities denied him permission to travel, on the (not wholly implausible) grounds that he might not return to the Reich. On 14 November, the Hamburg main office of the Reichsbank declared that all of the company’s foreign accounts receivable were to be paid to the Hamburg branch of the Deutsche Bank. With this step, Otto Hammerschlag was, for all intents and purposes, dispossessed.
What else could he do but sell his company, which was now nearly worthless? It was sold on 18 February 1941 to the "Aryan” Walter Burose from Altona. The profits from the sale were placed under a security order, and Otto Hammerschlag was thus robbed of his entire fortune. Three weeks later, on 12 March 1941, he submitted his declaration of assets to the Foreign Exchange Office of the Chief Tax Authority: he had savings of 170 Reichsmarks with the Deutsche Bank and 200 Reichsmarks in cash. Once again a Jew was ruined by the application of valid legal clauses and decrees.
Otto and Nanny Hammerschlag never had children, and they separated in the mid-1930s. He moved out of their apartment on Neumünssterschen Straße and rented rooms at Agathenstraße 3. She moved into the Jewish Community’s Warburg Home at Bundesstraße 43 in June 1936. The Gestapo later declared the home a "Jews’ house.” Nanny Hammerschlag lived from the financial support of the Jewish Community from November 1940 until her deportation.
She was deported, aged 59, on 6 December 1941 to Riga and murdered there. Otto was deported on 15 July 1942, his 68th birthday, to Theresienstadt on Transport VI/1 (VI = Hamburg, 1=number of the transport to Theresienstadt), together with 924 other people. He died there six-and-a-half months later, on 1 February 1943.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Johannes Grossmann
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 7; 8; StaH 314-15 OFP, R 1938/52; StaH 314-15 OFP, R 1941/58; Jüdisches Leben in Schwäbisch Hall, 1848–1933, Veröffentlichungen des Stadtarchivs Schwäbisch Hall, Heft 21, S. 14–17, 2004; AB 1939.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.