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Gustav Hergershausen * 1879

Marienthaler Straße 144 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamm)

JG. 1879
ERMORDET 2.12.1938

Gustav Hergershausen, born on 10 Nov. 1879 Unna, interned on 10 Nov. 1938 in the Sachsenhausen/Oranienburg concentration camp, died on 2 Dec. 1938

Marienthaler Street 144

Gustav Hergershausen is one of the Hamburg victims of the November Pogrom of 1938. On 10 Nov. 1938, his fifty-ninth birthday, he was arrested and transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. On 25 Nov. 1938, he wrote to his wife Emilie:
"My dearest. I hope you are healthy, which [I] can also say about me. Are the papers in order now, so that you can take care of everything else? What do you hear from the children? Write to Moz [his brother Moritz], or have you already done so? Have you spoken to Mr. Heckscher today? Give my best regards to Mrs. Cohen. I expect mail from you. Your Gustav. Stay healthy and still... (illegible)”

One week later, he was dead. Emilie Hergershausen received her husband’s death certificate from the registry office in Oranienburg indicating "angina pectoris” as the cause of death. Nothing is known about the whereabouts of his body.

Gustav Hergershausen and Emilie May, born on 2 July 1883 in Börsborn in the Bavarian Palatinate, had married on 17 Mar. 1906 in Cologne, where Gustav Hergershausen lived at the time. Like his brother Moritz (see corresponding entry), two years his junior, he came from Unna in Westphalia. His father, Leser Hergershausen, belonged to a Westphalian Jewish family of cattle dealers and butchers, his mother, Sophie Weinberg, came from the small town of Drensteinfurth near Münster. After Gustav and Moritz, she gave birth to four more children, of whom only the daughter Johanna, married name Jacobi, reached adulthood; the others died as infants.

Gustav Hergershausen became a merchant. He worked his way up from sales representative to department head at Rudolf Karstadt AG. His professional life was closely linked to the Theodor Althoff Karstadt Group.

Until her marriage, Emilie Hergershausen had resided in Homburg in the Saarpfalz District, where her mother Friederika May lived until the end of her life in Sept. 1926 and her brother Ludwig remained resident as a merchant.

Before the Hergershausen family settled in Hamburg in 1920, they had moved several times. The first child, Edith, was born on 6 Mar. 1907 in Erbach-Reiskirchen; Kurt, the only son, was born four years later, on 24 May 1911, in Gladbeck. From 1912 to 1920, Gustav Hergershausen worked for the Theodor Althoff Group in Essen. There, Edith attended the Israelite eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) from 1913, from which she changed to the Victoria School, a school for girls of well-to-do families, in 1917.

After the merger of the Theodor Althoff Group with Rudolph-Karstadt A.G. in 1920, Gustav Hergershausen and his family relocated to Hamburg, moving into a rented apartment at Marienthaler Strasse 144 in Hamburg-Hamm. Edith finished her schooling after Untersekunda (grade 10) at a girls’ high school (Lyceum) and became an office worker. Since 1930, she was an independent member of the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community and joined the liberal Temple Association.

Gustav Hergershausen remained active for the central corporate administration, which was based in Essen, as head of the shipping department for Putzwaren (an archaic term for fashion accessories) and earned an adequate income through the ups and downs of the 1930s. In 1930, he became head of the mail order department in the Karstadt branch store in Barmbek. From this position, he was dismissed in Mar. 1933 by management in the person of Franz Fahning (Hamburg residents knew him as a profiteer of the "Aryanized” Hirschfeld women’s outerwear store on Neuer Wall). At the same time, his son Kurt quit his work as a clerk and moved away.

On 29 July 1935, Gustav Hergershausen joined the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community. One year earlier, on 19 June 1934, his brother Moritz had already become a member. Moritz had returned from the First World War badly wounded. Awarded the Iron Cross First Class, he was only partially fit for work though. Apart from his veteran’s pension, he earned only a very modest income as an agricultural worker. The two brothers lived separately, Moritz in the St. Pauli quarter, Gustav in the middle-class Hamm, until they both moved to the Grindel quarter.

From the first day of his unemployment until the day he became self-employed, Gustav Hergershausen received unemployment benefits. On 25 Aug. 1933, he registered a trade as a sales representative, which he ran from his home. In the years 1934 to 1938, his taxable annual income averaged just over 2,000 RM (reichsmark). He therefore belonged to the target group of men to be arrested during the November Pogrom, who were thus to be put under pressure to emigrate while giving up their assets.

In Oct. 1935, Gustav and Emilie Hergershausen had given up their apartment in Hamm and moved to Grindelallee 116. Their daughter Edith Hergershausen, who had a job at Yankee Polish & Co., emigrated to the USA on 19 Sept. 1938.

After the death of her husband on 2 Dec. 1938, Emilie Hergershausen intensively pursued her emigration to New York to be with her children. As she had already done when moving to Grindelallee 116, she sold off parts of her household goods below price. On 18 Apr. 1939, she left Hamburg on the "S.S. Manhattan” with destination New York. She later moved with her daughter, who was married by then, to Santa Barbara in California. She died there on 15 Dec. 1981 at the age of 98.

Moritz Hergershausen was deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942 and two years later, on 6 Oct. 1944, further to Auschwitz, where all traces of him disappear.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: September 2020
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1; 4; 5 digital; StAHH 351-11, Wiedergutmachung 4295, 6372, 31819, 36960; 522-1 388 Mitgliederkartei 1928; 390 Wählerverzeichnis; 391 Mitgliederverzeichnis 1935/36; Das Jüdische Echo, München 1932; Sterberegister Homburg 1926, Nr. 176, Oranienburg 1938, Nr. 424; Stadtarchiv Unna, Personenstandsregister;
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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