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Julius Marcus * 1901

Königstraße rechts neben Nr. 32 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)

JG. 1901
ERMORDET 17.10.1940

further stumbling stones in Königstraße rechts neben Nr. 32:
Ewald Marcus

Ewald Marcus, born 5 Apr. 1934, deported to Theresienstadt 23 June 1943, to Auschwitz 23 Oct., murdered there
Julius August Marcus, born 17 June 1901, imprisoned 27 Apr. 1937, died 17 Oct. 1940, Dachau Concentration Camp

Königstraße, building to the right of No. 32

On the Theresienstadt arrival list of 25 June 1943, Number 82 was a nine-year-old Jewish boy from Altona, who was alone, with no family, on the transport to the ghetto: Ewald Marcus. His adopted father, Julius Marcus, had died three years earlier in the Dachau Concentration Camp. His non-Jewish adopted mother was no longer able to protect the boy.

Julius August Marcus was born on 17 June 1901 in Hanover. His parents were Moritz and Johanna (née Jacob) Marcus. He had four siblings. He was registered with the Jewish Community in Hamburg at age 21. Julius Marcus worked as a metal worker at the Vulkan shipyard in the Port of Hamburg and lived in St. Pauli, first at Seilerstraße 61, then at Wilhelmsplatz 3. On 16 June 1923 he married Frieda Auguste Bräutigam at the registry office in Altona. His wife, a seamstress, was not Jewish. She was born in Altona in 1899 to Johann and Wilhelmine (née Kröhnke) Bräutigam. From 1932 onwards, the Hamburg Address Book lists Julius Marcus’ address as Dulsberg-Nord 41 in Hamburg-Barmbek.

After ten years of marriage and with no children of their own, the couple adopted Ewald, who was born on 5 April 1934 in Frankfurt am Main. During a reparations hearing in 1963, Frieda Marcus testified that she took Ewald in shortly after his birth. The child was of Jewish heritage.

At that time, Julius Marcus was employed as a metal-worker with the Reichsbahn. He was prohibited from achieving his goal of becoming a locomotive engineer, apparently because of his Jewish heritage. In a letter to the Reparations Board, dated 22 June 1953, his wife stated: "My late husband was an employee of the Reichsbahn. He was slated to train as a locomotive engineer, with good chances of promotion. When the Nazi purges began, he was struck from the list and, at the same time, ousted from the metal-working shop, and had to work as a trackman. The Reichsbahn finally fired him altogether. Until he was arrested, he had different jobs, like garbageman and in a warehouse.” She worked as a cleaning lady. As the non-Jewish partner in a "mixed marriage,” she was ostracized: "I was hated because my husband was Jewish.”

On 27 April 1937 Julius Marcus was arrested in the basement apartment at Alsterkamp 7 in Hamburg-Harvestehude, where the couple had lived since 1936. The radio and books belonging to his wife were confiscated. Julius Marcus was held in pre-trial detention on charges of intent to commit high treason. According to the 1937 verdict of the Hamburg higher regional court, listening to the Moscow radio broadcast was considered communist propaganda activity and treason. Julius Marcus was remanded into the "protective custody” of the Gestapo at the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp on 3 September 1937.

The Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp had become a part of the Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel prison complex in September 1933. From December 1933 onwards it was under the authority of the Hamburg police, and in 1936 the name was changed to "Fuhlsbüttel police prison.” Some of the guards were SS and SA members. Terror was the daily regimen. For political prisoners, "protective custody” was synonymous with harassment and abuse.

For the period from 24 April to 3 September 1937, Julius Marcus’ name is recorded in the prison’s list of "protective custody costs.” On 27 November 1937, the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court brought charges of treason against Julius Marcus (case number OJs 264/37). On 16 February 1938 he was found guilty and the court sentenced him to three years in prison and the loss of civil liberties, less the nine months spent in pre-trial detention. He served his term in the Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel prison, with two hospitalizations in the pre-detention facility medical ward.

His prison records indicated his "Mosaic” heritage. His Jewish parents were deceased. His address was listed as Catharinenstraße 23. Apparently his wife had moved to the ground-floor apartment at Katharinenstraße 21/23 in Altona after his arrest (after 1940 the street was called Luchtweg, today the block between Elmenhorst Straße and Schleestraße and the corner of Königstraße no longer exists).

Julius Marcus was transferred to the prison in Celle on 17 November 1939. He served his sentence from April 1937 to 16 May 1940 in pre-trial detention and various prison facilities, and expected to be released. But in the first year of the war an edict was issued requiring that all prisoners who were Jews according to the Nazi racial definition were to be sent to concentration camps after their prison sentences had been served. Julius Marcus was sent to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp on 22 June 1940, then transferred to the Dachau Concentration Camp on 5 September 1940. He was registered at Dachau the next day in the category "Jew, protective custody.”

In the concentration camp there were several factories where the prisoners were forced to work. Five months after his arrival, the 38-year-old Julius Marcus was dead. According to the Dachau registry of deaths, he died on 17 October 1940 at 9:30 am on the Straße der SS, a street outside the camp, of "heart and circulatory failure.”

The compound at Dachau included both the actual concentration camp and an SS training camp with barracks and classrooms. The staff at the concentration camp was made up of Waffen-SS members. Their apartments and villas were on the Straße der SS.

Ewald, the Marcuses’ adopted son, was apparently not subject to the deportations that began in the autumn of 1941 due to the fact that his adopted mother was non-Jewish. In 1947, Frieda Marcus stated to the Committee of Former Political Prisoners: "To the question of terror measures, I’d like to mention that my adopted child […] was taken from me by the Gestapo on 24 June 1943 and sent to Theresienstadt. Despite a thorough search, the child is still missing.”

Ewald Marcus was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 23 June 1943. He was housed in the "Youth Home,” which was established in 1942 in the former Theresienstadt school for boys. The boys received more to eat than the adults, they organized among themselves and published a secret newspaper. Ewald sent his mother postcards from the Ghetto.

The Youth Home was in Block Q 609, a corner house next to the SS residence. Each of the 15 rooms was assigned a letter of the alphabet and then designated as Home A, Home B, etc. Children were assigned to each, according to gender and nationality. Together with Gerhard Lilienfeld from Bremerhaven and Arnold Löwenthal and Peter Perls, Ewald and 12 other boys were assigned to Home F. The northern German boys, according to Gerhard Lilienfeld, who survived the Ghetto, stuck together. He described how the boys in Home F were crowded into a very small space, and slept in 3-level bunkbeds.

The Jewish self-administration in the Ghetto secretly organized schooling for the children in the attic of the Youth Home. Professor Hahn, who had been a teacher at an art school, taught art and Professor Heller taught arithmetic.

In the summer of 1944, in preparation for the presentation of Theresienstadt as a "model ghetto” to an International Red Cross committee, the camp administration implemented various "improvements.” The boys were allowed to form soccer teams. "But since the pitch was so small, each team could only have seven players. There was a goalie, two backs, a center-half, and three forwards. And, miracle of miracles, we even got uniforms!”

The boys also entertained themselves by collecting "Gillettes,” razorblade wrappers. "The best and most valued were the Sahara, the Tatra, the Yacht Club and other brands. The most worthless one was the German Rotbart.”

The children from Block Q 609 wrote texts and drew pictures for a birthday album for Beppo (Jirka) Krämer, the Czech head of the house.

For the residents of the Ghetto, the hope that living conditions would improve was dashed when mass transports to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp were begun in October 1944. Arnold Löwenthal and his sister Irmgard, Peter Perls, Gerhard Lilienfeld and his younger brother Hansjürgen, and Ewald Marcus were all on the list of those to be transported. The Lilienfeld brothers, however, were able to avoid being sent.

On 23 October 1944, Ewald Marcus and his friends were sent to Auschwitz. A total of 1715 prisoners from the Theresienstadt Ghetto were on the transport. Ewald Marcus was 10 years old when he was murdered at Auschwitz. Arnold and Irmgard Löwenthal and Peter Perls were also killed.

Gerhard Lilienfeld was able to hide the album the children had made for Beppo Krämer, the "Pictures and Texts of Horror,” as he called it. After he was liberated he kept them, and later donated them to the Terezín Ghetto Museum. He had Stolpersteine placed in Hamburg for Arnold and Irmgard Löwenthal and for Peter Perls.

Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: April 2018
© Birgit Gewehr

Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 5; 7; 8; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 m 1 Band 3 (Ankunftslisten der von Hamburg in das KZ Theresienstadt deportierten Juden, Ankunft 25.6.1943); StaH 213-8 (General-)Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Ablieferung 2, 451a E 1, 1c (Abrechnungslisten über Schutzhaftkosten des KZ Fuhlsbüttel); StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferung 13 (Strafhaftzeiten) und Ablieferung 16 (Untersuchungshaftzeiten); StaH 213-9 (General-)Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Strafsachen, Verfahrensregister OJs 1937; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 22618 (Marcus, Frieda); AB Hamburg und Altona; KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme, Komitee-Akte Marcus; Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv Hannover, Hann. 86a Celle Acc. 158/97 Nr. 5477, Gefangenpersonalakte Julius Marcus; Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten/Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen, Häftlingsdatenbank, JSU 1/84, Bl. 086, Überstellungsmeldung nach Dachau 5.9.1940; KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, Stiftung Bayrische Gedenkstätten, Zugangsbuch Dachau: NARA Zugangsbuch Nr. 109/018373 und Stadtarchiv Dachau, Sterbebuch Dachau, Nr. 876/1940, Sterbeurkunde Dachau 1940 876;, Zugriff 23.1.2014; Auskunft von Hildegard Thevs aus ihrer Korrespondenz mit Gerhard Lilienfeld, Herbst 2008.
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