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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Sarah Baruch * 1870
Ulmenau 1–9 (Hamburg-Nord, Uhlenhorst)
further stumbling stones in Ulmenau 1–9:
Nanny Baruch, born on 15 July 1865 in Hamburg, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 5 Sept. 1942
Sarah Baruch, born on 9 Oct. 1870 in Hamburg, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 29 July 1942
On 18 Feb. 1941, Nanny Baruch, a retired teacher, wrote to the Jewish Religious Organization, Beneckestraße 2, in Hamburg:
"Due to the launching of the ‘new income tax of 15% toward social balancing,’ my pension will decrease to such an extent that I feel compelled to ask you for an exemption from paying special Jewish tax.
My pension will be less than 200 M (mark). From this sum, I have to cover apartment rent amounting to 75.10 M (mark) and living expenses for two persons, since, as you know, I completely support my 70-year-old sister in my household. In addition, I permanently assist a sister in Berlin, who is waiting for emigration to Palestine together with her son.
I hope that in consideration of these circumstances, you will grant my request.”
Her letter succeeded, and the monthly contribution to the Jewish Community was lowered to 1.50 reichsmark.
Nanny Baruch came from a Jewish family of merchants. She was the second oldest of four daughters known to us, who were eventually followed by a son. Sisters Mathilde, Nanny, Anna, and Sarah were born between 1864 and 1870, brother Alphons in 1873. Both parents were natives of Hamburg. The father, merchant Baruch Abraham Baruch, was born on 3 Dec. 1832 and awarded civic rights in 1868. Mother Rosa, née Tachau, was born on 12 Mar. 1835. About 1890, Baruch Abraham Baruch moved with his family to Grindelhof 90, working as a broker from there.
After finishing school, Mathilde, Nanny, and Anna attended the Hamburg teachers college on Fuhlentwiete and began working as teachers, with Nanny the only one entering municipal school teaching. Sarah fell ill at the age of 24 with a mental-emotional disorder, and it is not known what kind of work she did before that. Her family cared for her from then on. After completing his school education, Alphons pursued technical interests, educating himself practically and autodidactically in the USA and in France. At the international World Exhibition in Paris, he was represented on location with the Metal Punching Works in Romainville, whose production machines he had developed as the company’s technical director. He invented rotary printing and took out a patent for machines used to manufacture tissue for household use such as toilet paper. In 1906, he joined the "Automat-Papier Fabrik” ["Automat paper factory”] at Marienthaler Straße 43 in Hamburg-Hamm as general manager, with his patent calculated as a share in the business amounting to 60,000 M (mark).
Nanny Baruch began her work as a teacher in 1884, apparently at a private school, entering Hamburg school teaching on 1 Apr. 1902. She taught without interruption until her retirement at the age of 64 on 30 Sept. 1929. Anna lived in Brussels for a while, from 1893 to 1895. Possibly, this stay served toward her training as a language teacher. During her absence, Baruch Abraham Baruch, the father of the family and head of the household, temporarily stayed in Wilhelmshaven for unknown reasons from early Dec. 1894 until early Feb. 1895.
Three years after her return from Brussels, on 30 Oct. 1898, Anna Baruch married Simon Ernst Fridberg, born on 30 Aug. 1867 in Berlin. He was a shorthand typist by occupation, and he had obtained Hamburg civic rights. Their marriage produced three children, Albert (born on 3 Sept. 1899), Walther Joseph (born on 27 Apr. 1902), and Anita Erna (born on 15 Feb. 1906), who died at the age of seven. In 1916, the family relocated to Berlin.
On 2 Oct. 1901, Baruch Abraham and Rosa Baruch moved with their daughters Mathilde, Nanny, and Sarah, aged over thirty years by then, to Lappenbergsallee 15 in Eimsbüttel and in March of the following year to Marschnerstraße 19 in Barmbek South. Nanny Baruch taught at the school located at Bramfelder Straße 56, which meant that the move shortened her way to work as compared to before. In about 1905, she changed to the girls’ eight-year elementary school (Volksschule) at Schillerstraße 29 "auf der Uhlenhorst.” In terms of professional memberships, she joined the "Association of Hamburg Female Elementary School Teachers” ("Verein Hamburgischer Volksschullehrerinnen”).
Following his return to Hamburg, Alphons Baruch lived with his family again. The father, Baruch Abraham Baruch, died on 17 May 1907 at the age of 75. Half a year later, his widow Rosa and the four children, as yet unmarried, moved to Wandsbeker Stieg 24/26 in Hohenfelde. Mathilde left her family in 1911. She had become a language teacher for Spanish and took room and board with a widow at Stadthausbrücke 24/26 in Hamburg-Neustadt for a few weeks. From there she moved to Admiralitätsstraße 3/4, where she apparently opened the "Vereinigte Übersetzer” ("United Translators”) agency together with the Spanish teacher and translator Emilio Peláez y Galleo. After only three months, she settled down permanently at Hermannstraße 7 in Hamburg-Altstadt.
Despite his age of more than 40 years, Alphons Baruch served in World War I with the Landsturm [a reserve force], receiving the Hindenburg Honor Cross for combatants as a decoration. After his discharge, he lived in Altona for a year until returning to his family in Hamburg. In 1918, he took over the "Automat-Papier” company as sole proprietor, now going by the official occupational designation of "factory owner” (Fabrikant). On 21 July 1921, he married, at the age of 48, a non-Jewish woman. His wife Erna, née Schild, born on 22 Jan. 1894, was 20 years his junior and came from Höllrich in Lower Franconia. She moved to join her husband and his family at Wandsbeker Stieg 26. In 1922, she gave birth to a daughter and in 1925 to a son.
In Apr. 1918, Mathilde Baruch, by then 54 years old, married her colleague, who was at the same time secretary of the Spanish General Consulate. Emilio Peláez y Gallego was Catholic, 51 years of age, and came from Vitoria, a small town in the Alava Province of Spain. Mathilde Baruch converted to Catholicism. At her wedding, no one of her family acted as a witness, with one of her husband’s colleagues and his wife serving in that capacity instead.
At the beginning of the 1918/19 school year, Nanny Baruch changed from teaching elementary school to serving as a teacher at secondary schools, consequently quitting the "Association of Hamburg Female Elementary School Teachers” ("Verein Hamburgischer Volksschullehrerinnen”). Until her retirement, she did not join any other professional representation. Initially, she taught at the Lyceum Lerchenfeld, a girls’ high school, today’s Gymnasium Lerchenfeld. After two years, she changed to the Lyceum at Lübeckertorfeld and moved to Böckmannstraße 7, very close to the school. In 1919, the German-Israelitic Community in Hamburg obviously registered her as the head of the household, who also bore responsibility for Sarah Baruch. A dissenter, Alphons never became a member of the Jewish Community.
Mathilde had already been widowed only three years after her wedding, as Emilio Peláez y Gallego died on 7 Aug. 1921. She stayed at Hermannstraße 7, evidently continuing to run the language school for another ten years until her own death on 25 Apr. 1931.
Rosa Baruch reached the age of 89. She died on 6 Jan. 1924 in the presence of her family. Being the male family member in charge, Alphons Baruch gave notice of her death to the records office, as he had done in the case of his father and his brother-in-law.
Following their mother’s death, Nanny and Sarah Baruch moved in with sister Mathilde on Hermannstraße, whereas Alphons and his family stayed on Wandsbeker Stieg. In 1926, Nanny Baruch rented an apartment at Ulmenau 9 "auf der Uhlenhorst,” where she lived with her sister until their forced relocation to Kielortallee 22. In 1932, Alphons moved with his family to Ifflandstraße 8 in Hohenfelde.
After 45 years of serving as a teacher, Nanny Baruch retired, leaving school teaching on 30 Sept. 1929. That same year, she left the Jewish Community, though she was still listed in the 1930 electoral register. She rejoined the Community only on 25 July 1938. In 1935/1936, Sarah Baruch was listed as an independent member of the Jewish Community. Due to her illness and inability to work, she was exempted from any kind of taxes. Essentially, she was supported by her sister Nanny, with her brother Alphons contributing approx. 600 RM (reichsmark) a year.
Until Apr. 1938, Nanny and Sarah Baruch as well as Alphons with his family did not suffer any hardship in economic terms, despite a number of restrictions and changes. Certainly Alphons Baruch had sustained losses in domestic business because of the call to boycott Jewish stores and the restrictions on importing raw materials, but the international business had made up for the losses. His situation changed abruptly with his arrest on 23 Apr. An employee had reported him, evidently in revenge for her dismissal, claiming that he intended to emigrate and had transferred foreign currency abroad. Until that point, Alphons Baruch had pushed ahead neither with plans for his emigration nor for selling his company. The investigation had revealed, as a single violation against the foreign currency regulations, that he had "failed to offer to the Reichsbank” three one-dollar notes found among his daughter’s papers in the course of the house search. The criminal proceedings were suspended.
Alphons Baruch was released after one week in police custody, and he immediately began initiating the emigration and the sale of his company. His assets were subjected to a "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung”), and all of the sums in connection with the emigration and toward covering maintenance payments for his sister Sarah in the years to come as well as for the bar mitzvah celebration of his son at the end of Sept. 1938 were unblocked. That same year, Alphons Baruch departed with his family for the Netherlands and from there onward to the USA.
His brother-in-law Simon Fridberg died in Berlin, his nephew emigrated to Palestine.
In 1939, the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) demanded disclosure of assets from Nanny and Sarah Baruch. They each had a bank balance of approx. 200 RM (reichsmark) and some bonds. Sarah Baruch’s assets were under the assessment limit for the issue of a "security order,” Nanny’s slightly above. She was compelled to pay a "levy on Jewish assets” ("Judenvermögensabgabe”) amounting to 1,400 RM (reichsmark), which she financed from her bonds. From her ongoing pension, she paid not only for the household shared with her sister Sarah but also supported her sister Anna Fridberg in Berlin. Anna came to visit for three weeks at Ulmennau 9 in mid-Sept. 1939.
In accordance with regulations, Nanny and Sarah Baruch had to hand in their gold and silver articles at the public purchasing point on Bäckerbreitergang, though receiving permission for a short period to hold on to two silver Shabbat candleholders, one soup spoon ("potage spoon”), a purse made of silver wire, and two golden brooches with one baroque pearl. In Apr. 1939, they handed them in for sale, but the silver purse remained unsalable. On condition that she place it in a bank depository, Nanny got it back, and it was to be unblocked in case of her emigration. The value was estimated at 5 RM (reichsmark), the equivalent of 2 US dollars.
Nanny Baruch, however, who did not intend to emigrate, obtained permission to send it as a gift to her brother in New York in return for him sending 2 US dollars. As a result, in July 1939, one administrative officer at the foreign currency office of the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) proposed the opening of criminal proceedings against her for "non-compliance with conditions repeatedly imposed on her” for depositing the purse at the bank. At the end of July, she complied with the conditions, though not asking her brother to send the money until 9 Sept. 1939. When the two US dollars arrived at the bank two months later, shipment of the purse did not occur because of the outbreak of war. Eventually, a relative, Meta Stühler, took the purse made of silver wire along when she emigrated to the USA. Instead of criminal proceedings, Nanny Baruch’s recalcitrance was penalized with a warning by another administrative officer.
On orders of the Gestapo, Nanny and Sarah Baruch had their furnishings auctioned off in preparation of their move to the Oppenheimer-Stift residential home at Kielortallee 22. On 2 Feb. 1942, they were relocated by the Jewish Community to the Z.H. May and Frau Stift at Bogenstraße 25, which by then served as a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”). In this place, they had to prepare for the relocation to the supposed "ghetto for the elderly” ("Altersgetto”), Theresienstadt. Their assets were confiscated for the "home purchase” ("Heimeinkauf”). Overall, the Hamburg "Jewish Religious Organization” ("Jüdischer Religionsverband”) transferred approx. 12,000 RM (reichsmark) to the "Reich Association of Jews in Germany” ("Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland”) toward the "home purchase” of the two old ladies.
On 15 July 1942, Nanny and Sarah Baruch were deported on the first "old people’s transport” ("Alterstransport”) of Hamburg Jews to the completely overcrowded Theresienstadt Ghetto. The chances for survival of the women, who expected a home as had been promised to them but instead encountered not even the basics in terms of accommodation, nutrition, and medical care, were low. Infectious diseases were rampant. Sarah died already on 29 July 1942, only 14 days after their arrival, at the age of 72. The cause of death is not known. Nanny Baruch died on 5 Sept. 1942 of enterocolitis, a type of enteritis. She reached 77 years of age.
Anna Fridberg did not make it to her son in Palestine. No further details are known about her deportation from Berlin and the circumstances of her death. She died at an unknown place on 14 Mar. 1943.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1, 2 OFP FVg 7637; R 1938/594, R 1938/1835, R 1939/1154; 3; 4; 5; 7; 8; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaH A I e 40 Bd. 5 Bürgerverzeichnis; 332-5 Standesämter, 835-954/1921; 3313-132/1918; 6876 -527/1907; 7039-15/1924; 8590-467/1898; 332-8, Bd. 5 Hausmeldekartei, Meldewesen A 51/1, K 2424; 351-11 AfW, 2240; 355-8 Meldewesen, K 4200, 6711; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 930 Wählerliste; 992 d, Band 2 – Steuerakten; 992 e 2, Band 4; Hamburger Lehrerverzeichnisse; Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus; Adler, H. G., Theresienstadt.
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