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Alfred Rosentreter * 1934
Behnstraße 17 (vormals Nr. 37) (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)
Alfred Rosentreter, born on 4 June 1934, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 10 May 1942 to Chelmno, murdered there
Betti Rosentreter, born on 16 Jan. 1926, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 10 May 1942 to Chelmno, murdered there
Fanny Rosentreter, née Weinberger, born on 4 Apr. 1898, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 10 May 1942 to Chelmno, murdered there
Ingbert Rosentreter, born on 15 Mar. 1924, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported on 10 May 1942 to Chelmno, murdered there
Samuel Rosentreter, born on 4 June 1892, detained from 9 Feb. 1939 onward, deported on 14 Jan. 1943 to Auschwitz, murdered on 15 Feb. 1943
Siegfried Rosentreter, born on 9 Feb. 1923, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further with destination unknown on 17 Nov. 1941, perished
Behnstrasse 17 (Behnstrasse 37)
Samuel Rosentreter was born on 4 June 1892 in Gollantsch near Bromberg (today Golancz in Poland) as the son of the Jewish livestock dealer Isidor Rosentreter and his wife Sara, née Marcus. Until age 14, he attended the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) in Gollantsch, subsequently completing a tailor’s apprenticeship, and working as a journeyman tailor after passing his journeyman’s examination. In 1912, he was drafted into the military and in the First World War he served with a battalion in Posen (today Poznan in Poland) and with an ammunition train of the artillery in France, before being transferred to the Russian front in 1915. Decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class and the Honor Cross for Front-Line Veterans, he returned from the war and worked as a tailor again. On 26 May 1921, he married Fanny Weinberger (born on 4 April 1898 in the Bavarian city of Passau), whose father had established himself as a textiles tradesman in Altona. The Rosentreter couple too lived in Altona’s old town center at Bäckerstrasse 22 (today Hoheschulstrasse) on the second floor. Samuel Rosentreter became a partner in the men’s wear store of his father-in-law, Alfred Weinberger, at Grosse Bergstrasse 128. In 1927, the properties at Grosse Bergstrasse 99/101 and Unzerstrasse 4 passed into Rosentreter’s hands; on the ground floor of the building at Grosse Bergstrasse 99/101, he had already been running his own men’s wear store for two years. The Rosentreter couple had four children. The oldest son, Siegfried Josef, was born on 9 Feb. 1923, followed by Ingbert on 15 Mar. 1924, Betti on 16 Jan. 1926, and Alfred on 4 June 1934. In 1927, the family lived at Grosse Bergstrasse 170 at times and in 1931, even before the birth of the youngest son, Alfred, the family moved into a house of their own at Behnstrasse 37 in Altona. In Feb. 1935, Samuel Rosentreter’s mother passed away; his father had died already. The Nazi terror against the Jewish population escalated. During the November Pogrom of 1938 on 9/10 Nov., "Kristallnacht,” the Altona Synagogue was devastated, Jewish businesses plundered, families terrorized, and Jewish men arrested. Samuel Rosentreter, too, was taken into "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”). Together with nearly 900 Hamburg Jews, he was held in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp during the night of 10 to 11 November and then transferred from there to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Not until 14 December was he released. By this time, the family had attracted the attention of the office of the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident), which blocked Samuel Rosentreter’s accounts and life insurance policies by means of a "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung”). Standardized lines served as a pretext for this measure: "The Samuel Rosentreter couple is Jewish. One may assume that they will emigrate in the near future.” Possibly, the family did indeed contemplate plans to emigrate. In Jan. 1939, Samuel Rosentreter sold the property at Behnstrasse 37. On 24 Jan., the foreign currency office noted, "The Rosentreter couple have assets: property at Behnstrasse, sold, property at Grosse Bergstrasse 99/101 and Unzerstrasse 4, not yet sold, men’s wear store at Gr.[osse] Bergstrasse 99 to be liquidated.” However, the properties were encumbered with mortgages and the couple had debts. At this point, Samuel Rosentreter was allowed to dispose of the properties and, respectively, of outstanding money from their sale only with permission by the foreign currency office. The textiles store of the Weinberger family at Grosse Bergstrasse 128, whose partner he still was, was "Aryanized,” i.e., expropriated and transferred into non-Jewish ownership. On 9 Feb. 1939, Samuel Rosentreter was once again arrested and held in pretrial detention at the Fuhlsbüttel prison. As a Jew, he had been reported to police for "racial defilement” ("Rassenschande”). After the Nuremberg Laws [on race] had made sexual relationships between Jewish and non-Jewish persons punishable with a prison term, the denunciations became more frequent. Jewish men convicted were usually committed to concentration camps or (later) deported after serving their sentence. On 24 February, the court cashier’s office confiscated Samuel Rosentreter’s assets toward securing the accruing court fees and costs for execution of sentence. The properties were encumbered with a cautionary mortgage. By mid-March, his textiles business was liquidated, with the Hamburg court cashier’s office seizing the business revenues and credit balances. In vain, Fanny Rosentreter tried to recover part of the confiscated assets; she indicated not having any funds to cover her own livelihood and that of her four children. She learned that her husband had a daughter from an extramarital relationship. He had impregnated a 15-year-old girl who was completing an apprenticeship in his store since 1927; on 13 Jan. 1929, daughter Else Broecker had been born. With permission from the Chief Finance Administrator, the monthly alimony payments to which Samuel Rosentreter was obliged by the Hamburg youth welfare office were now to be withdrawn from the otherwise blocked account with the "Altonaer Sparcasse von 1799” for the next five months. On 17 June 1939, Fanny Rosentreter applied to the foreign currency office for 1,000 RM (reichsmark) for her and the four children. "Due to the detention of my husband since February, I have become ill and I am forced to spend a lot of money on tonics. My second son is scheduled to go to Berlin (Pankow) for his apprenticeship this Tuesday. I am to cover the costs of his equipment […] and any possible sickness. In addition, my husband has an illegitimate child for whose maintenance I am to cover retroactively. I hold no proof of this in my hands. However, my husband told me in the presence of a police officer during my last visit. He was served an order to pay the maintenance costs by the court bailiff.” A one-time sum of 1,000 RM was granted and the monthly allowance for the family was raised from 350 to 500 RM. On 1 Aug. 1939, Fanny Rosentreter applied to the foreign currency office, requesting that revenues generated by the properties at Grosse Bergstrasse 99 and Unzerstrasse 4 be deposited to her account rather than the blocked account of her imprisoned husband, "in order that I and my four underage children might be saved from destitution at least for the next little while, since the breadwinner is missing and we do not have any means to earn an income after all.” Due to her husband’s arrest, she had got into a psychological crisis. "Because of the upsets, I am not able to keep on my feet. None of the tonics and medications I needed has yielded any success.” However, the authority reduced the monthly allowance to 450 RM. A plea for clemency by Fanny Rosentreter on behalf of her husband was rejected by the Senior Public Prosecutor’s Office with the Hamburg Regional Court (Oberstaatsanwaltschaft beim Landgericht Hamburg) in Aug. 1939; Samuel Rosentreter had to remain in pretrial detention. On 30 Oct., Fanny Rosenberger informed the finance administration that she urgently needed the sum in her account "for the purpose of subsistence and, if possible, toward emigration or ship’s passages. […] My strength is spent due to all of the upsets. […] I would like to try to emigrate with my children and later with my husband and I dare hope that you will help me. I would like to note that I am Jewish, identification card no.: A 00 608.” However, after the start of the Second World War in September of that year, legal departure was possible only to Latin America or Shanghai at the most. The fall of 1939 saw criminal proceedings against Samuel Rosentreter before the Hamburg Regional Court. He admitted having had sexual intercourse with underage non-Jewish female trainees at his textiles store in the 1920s – some of these offenses were deemed past the statute of limitations before court. But Samuel Rosentreter denied the instances of sexual harassment of which female witnesses of the prosecution accused him in the period after passage of the Nuremberg Laws. However, the court came to the decision that in 1938 and 1939, he was guilty "of attempted racial defilement [Rassenschande] in accordance with Sec. 2.5 Par. 2 of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor [Gesetz zum Schutz des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre] dated 15 Sept. 1935, Sec. 43 of the Reich Criminal Code [Reichsstrafgesetzbuch – RStGB].” During the trial on 29 Nov. 1939, the Hamburg Regional Court sentenced the accused to six years in prison overall on charges of "attempted racial defilement in two instances” and "sexual relationships with two minors in two instances.” The period of pretrial detention was calculated against his prison term. He was deprived of his civil rights for the duration of six years. On 19 Jan. 1940, Samuel Rosentreter was transferred from the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp to the Bremen-Oslebshausen penitentiary. In the meantime, Fanny Rosentreter along with sons Siegfried, Ingbert, five-year-old Alfred, and daughter Betti were quartered in the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Sonninstrasse 14 (today Biernatzkistrasse), the former residential home of the Salomon Joseph und Marianne Hertz Stiftung. From there, the family was deported to the Lodz Ghetto in German-occupied Poland on 25 Oct. 1941. Siegfried Rosentreter was deregistered from the ghetto on 17 Nov. 1941 at the age of 18 and allegedly taken to perform labor duty. He perished. Fanny, Ingbert, Alfred, and Betti Rosentreter were transported to the nearby Chelmno extermination camp on 10 May 1942 and murdered. Samuel Rosentreter was committed from the Bremen-Oslebshausen penitentiary to the Auschwitz extermination camp on 14 Jan. 1943, where he was murdered on 15 Feb. 1943.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: April 2018
© Birgit Gewehr
Quellen: 1; 2 (R 1939/184, Rosentreter) 4; 5; AB Altona und Hamburg; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 13921 (Rosentreter, Samuel), 49499 (Heyden, Else); StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 608/40 (Samuel Rosentreter); StaH 213-8 (General-) Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Ablieferung 2, 451a E 1, 1 c und Ablieferung 2, 451a E 1, 1d; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferung 16 (Untersuchungshaftzeiten Rosentreter Samuel); StaH 424-13 Liegenschaftsverwaltung Altona, 941; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 e 1 Band 1 (Deportationsliste Litzmannstadt, 25.10.1941); Bajohr, "Arisierung", S. 369.
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