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Wilhelm Baum * 1892
Papenhuder Straße 42 (Hamburg-Nord, Uhlenhorst)
Wilhelm Baum, born on 16 Dec. 1892, deported on 11 July 1942 to Auschwitz and killed there
Hedwig Bernhardine Baum, née Hirschfeld, born on 27 Mar. 1904, deported on 11 July 1942 to Auschwitz and killed there
Hannelore Baum, born on 22 June 1935, deported on 11 July 1942 to Auschwitz and killed there
Papenhuder Straße 42/Durchschnitt 8
Wilhelm Baum, the son of the married couple Leopold and Johanna Baum, née Salomon, grew up in Bernkastel-Kues near Trier. The Baums had another son, Carl, who was two years older than Wilhelm. Wilhelm Baum spent his childhood in his hometown but then felt drawn to Gelsenkirchen and later to Frankfurt/Main.
After he got married in June 1934, Hamburg became Wilhelm Baum’s new home. His wife, Hedwig Hirschfeld, was the daughter of Julius and Amalie Hirschfeld, née Weinthal, and was a native of the Hanseatic city. She had two younger sisters, Bertha and Liselotte. One year after the wedding, Wilhelm’s and Hedwig’s only child together, Hannelore, was born on 22 June 1935.
Together with his father-in-law, Wilhelm Baum operated the shoe store "Julius Hirschfeld I. W. Meyer” at Steindamm 92, which had existed since 1925. Wilhelm Baum entered the business as a co-owner on 1 Oct. 1934, whereupon the company was turned into a limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft – KG). Most of the time, the enterprise had between seven and eight employees. Nevertheless, the Baum family lived in modest circumstances. Wilhelm’s share in the shoe store amounted to only 6,000 RM (reichsmark), and rent for the private apartment, located in the same building, was paid directly out of the business revenues and calculated against his earnings. The apartment of Hedwig’s parents was also located in the same building at Steindamm 92.
On 18 Dec. 1935, the KG was transformed into a general partnership (offene Handelsgesellschaft – OHG) and Wilhelm und Julius entered the OHG as personally liable partners. Since circumstances for the Baum family in the German Reich deteriorated noticeably, they decided to emigrate to Melbourne, Australia, in 1938. With her daughter Bertha and Bertha’s husband Robert Philipp as well as their two children Heinz and Kurt, Amalie Hirschfeld had already departed for Australia via the Netherlands and Britain in Aug. 1938.
Although the family had assets of its own, they did not suffice for an emigration. For this reason, Julius and Wilhelm decided to sell the shoe store. Julius Hirschfeld did not wish to emigrate but instead planned to finance his old age from the sales proceeds. In addition, he loaned his son-in-law 5,000 RM (reichsmark) so that Wilhelm and his family could organize their emigration.
When the foreign currency office found out about the imminent sale of the shoe store, the accounts of the Baum and Hirschfeld families were blocked in Oct. 1938 based on the security order (Sicherungsanordnung) against Jews. From that point onward, the families were no longer able to dispose of their money freely. Moreover, the shoe store was "Aryanized”: The businessmen Erich and Ernst Rehder took over the store as of 1 Nov., renaming it "Schuhgeschäft Rehder.” The existing OHG was dissolved on 8 Dec. 1938.
Following the loss of their shoe store, both the Baum family and Julius Hirschfeld had to move, finding a new home at Steindamm 65. The foreign currency office granted the family, together with Julius Hirschfeld, a combined monthly living allowance of 1,100 RM. Due to the confiscation of the shoe store, it was impossible to pay the latest bills accrued by the former business, which meant Julius Hirschfeld had to calm angered suppliers, without being responsible for his inability to pay.
At the beginning of 1939, the Baum family applied for emigration and received all of the necessary certifications. The only item still missing was the entry permit to Australia, prompting Wilhelm Baum to contact the high commissioner for Australia in Berlin. In the meantime, the bulk of furniture was put in storage with the Friedrich Wiese moving company, located at Schäferkampsallee 16. Apart from that, the piano, the radio, and the typewriter still had to be sold.
In the summer of 1939, the Baum family moved to Eppendorfer Baum 19 I and Julius Hirschfeld to Isestraße 104. From that time onward, the accounts were once again separate as well, and the Baum family was granted 360 RM a month for a living.
The outbreak of World War II ended all of the Baum family’s hopes for emigration. In Nov. 1940, Wilhelm Baum found a new job as a warehouse worker at the Rasch & Jung Company, where he received a weekly wage of 35 RM.
In Apr. 1942, Julius Hirschfeld moved to the Jewish retirement home at Beneckestraße 6. The Baum family, too, still had to move several times, and one of their addresses was Papenhuder Straße 42, where the Stolpersteine for the family are located today. In Dec. 1940, they moved to Haynstraße 5, and as of Mar. 1942 they lived at Durchschnitt 8. From there, the family was deported to Auschwitz on 11 July 1942.
On 15 July 1942, four days after the Baum family, Julius Hirschfeld was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto and died there on 1 Nov. 1942. Hedwig’s sister Liselotte was also murdered, dying in Auschwitz. Carl Baum emigrated to the USA and survived the Holocaust there.
In addition to the Stolpersteine for the Baum family at Papenhuder Straße 42, a Stolperstein for Hannelore Baum is also located at Durchschnitt 8.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Carmen Smiatacz
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; StaHH 314-15, OFP, FVg 5916; StaHH 314-15, OFP, R 1938/1398; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 16.12.92 Baum, Willi; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 27.03.04 Baum, Hedwig Bernhardine; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 22.06.35 Baum, Hannelore; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 20.06.90 Baum, Carl; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 24.09.99 Philipp, Robert.
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