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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Siegfried Salomon * 1882
Susannenstraße 6 (Altona, Sternschanze)
further stumbling stones in Susannenstraße 6:
Ella (Leie) Salomon, née Karfiol, born on 26 Feb. 1883 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, date of death unknown
Siegfried Salomon, born on 3 Jan. 1882 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, date of death unknown
Susannenstrasse 6 (Heinrich-Dreckmannstrasse 6)
"My father, Siegfried Salomon, was born on 3 Jan. 1882 in Hamburg. He attended the Talmud Tora School in Hamburg. After finishing school, he completed a commercial apprenticeship. Until 1915, my father was a sales representative for the Brenner toy company based in Leipzig. In 1915, my father was drafted into military service, deployed as a soldier in the territorial reserve [Landsturm] on the French front (Arras) until the end of the war. Subsequently, my father was admitted to military hospitals for some time, first in Brussels, then in Hamburg since he had got peptic ulcers during the war. After his recovery, my father went into the movie industry, working as a movie representative for North Germany and earning an annual income of approx. 10,000 RM [reichsmark]. In 1926, he started his own business, a film distribution company by the name of Standard Film Verleih, located at Kaufmannshaus [merchant’s house] in Hamburg. His annual income was about 12,000 to 14,000 RM. In 1933, immediately after Hitler’s assumption of power, my father was deprived of the business. Since it was impossible for my father, being a Jew, to find a job, he worked as an unsalaried clerk for the Jewish Community for several years. In 1937, the Jewish Community began paying him modest wages. On 4 Dec. 1941, my parents were deported from their apartment at Bundesstrasse 43 in Hamburg.”
This is how Rita Holländer remembers her father Siegfried Salomon, 18 years after his deportation to Riga. The typed "curriculum vitae of my father, written on 20 Aug. 1959” ("Lebenslauf meines Vaters, geschrieben 20. August 1959"), is preserved in the file dealing with the applications for restitution submitted by the daughter. In Mar. 1939, the daughter of the married Salomon couple had emigrated to the USA via Cuba after marrying Ludwig Holländer, thus being able to save her life. A few weeks after their daughter’s emigration, the parents had to give up their two-bedroom apartment at Susannenstrasse 6 and move to the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Bundesstrasse 43. In the process, many pieces of furniture were lost, including those of the daughter, who had put her furniture in storage at the parents’ apartment because of her emigration.
Unfortunately, the restitution file (Wiedergutmachungsakte) contains only little information about the mother, Ella – often also called Leie – who was born as Ella Karfiol in Altona on 26 Feb. 1883. It is unclear when she married Siegfried Salomon. In 1909, she gave birth to their only child. It was not possible to find any clues in the sources regarding her vocational training; the daughter indicated "secretary” as her mother’s occupation.
By contrast, the working life and income of Siegfried Salomon can be traced at least roughly based on the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) card file. He was recorded as a "representative” – according to his daughter, he worked as a film representative and distributor. Until 1927, his business must have gone well because he made substantial tax contributions on a regular basis. Then, for 1928, the following entry appeared: "Made admission of failure on 11 Feb. 1928.”
According to information by the Chamber of Commerce, the film distribution company in which Siegfried Salomon was a partner had been liquidated in 1927. It was not possible to establish how he and his wife Ella earned a living in the following years; at any rate, they did not pay any taxes. In Apr. 1933, the Salomon family moved from what was then Hamburger Strasse 94 in Altona (today Max-Brauer-Allee) to Susannenstrasse 6 in the St. Pauli quarter. A few months later, this street was renamed Heinrich-Dreckmann-Strasse, in honor of the SA leader Heinrich Dreckmann, who had been stabbed during street fighting between Nazis and Communists in Sept. 1930.
For Siegfried Salomon, the years from 1933 onward, too, were marked largely by unemployment, causing him to rely on the "Winter Relief Program” of the Jewish Community at least for some time. The "Winter Relief Program” of the Jewish Community (Jüdische Winterhilfe) was founded in Oct. 1935, after Jews were excluded from benefits of the Nazi "Winter Relief Program of the German People” ("NS-Winterhilfswerk des Deutschen Volkes”). The increasing impoverishment due to the difficult employment situation and the successive exclusion of needy Jewish persons from all areas of public welfare required the Jewish Community to support a large number of people. In Dec. 1936, 761 persons were cared for in Hamburg. In the winter months of 1936/1937, about 2,800 additional people received benefits from the Jewish Winter Relief Program. This equaled approx. one quarter of the Jewish population.
From his tax file card, one can see that Siegfried Salomon became taxable again in 1936, paying minimal amounts until May 1941, probably generated by his work as an "unsalaried clerk for the Jewish Community.”
The Salomon couple spent the last phase of their lives in the Riga Ghetto, where they were deported on 6 Dec. 1941. On the day before, they – like 751 other Jewish residents of Hamburg – had to report to the Lower Saxony Provincial Masonic Lodge on Moorweidenstrasse, equipped with winter clothes and a spade. The Gestapo had announced the transport as involving labor duty in the East.
Due to overcrowding of the ghetto, upon arrival in Riga the Hamburg transport was diverted to the completely decrepit Jungfernhof farming estate about six kilometers (some 3.5 miles) outside of Riga. The disastrous accommodation in the barns and cattle sheds of the estate as well as the extremely cold winter resulted in deaths on a massive scale even during the first few days. In Mar. 1942, more than 1,700 of the almost 4,000 original occupants crowded in this estate were shot in the nearby forests during "Operation Dünamünde” ("Aktion Dünamünde”). It is not possible to establish proof as to whether Siegfried Salomon was among the murdered persons or whether he, as a 60-year-old man, had been classified as fit for work, which would have compelled him to perform agricultural labor in the camp under extremely harsh conditions. The subsequent fate and the circumstances of his wife Ella’s death remain just as obscure.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: January 2019
© Gunhild Ohl-Hinz
Quellen: 1; 4; 6; 8; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 041209 Hollander, Rita; Lohalm, Fürsorge, 1998.
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