Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

back to select list

Bertha Seidner (née Lefkowits) * 1886

Hamburger Hochstraße 2 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)

JG. 1886

further stumbling stones in Hamburger Hochstraße 2:
Salomon Seidner

Bertha Seidner, née Lefkowits, born on 12 Dec. 1886 in Tiszabo/Hungary, deported in the "expulsion of Polish Jews” (Polenaktion) on 28 Oct. 1938 to Bentschen/ Zbaszyn, murdered in occupied Poland

Salomon Seidner, born on 15 Aug. 1885 in Mährisch-Ostrau (today Ostrava in the Czech Republic), deported in the "expulsion of Polish Jews” (Polenaktion) on 28 Oct. 1938 to Bentschen/ Zbaszyn, murdered in occupied Poland

Hamburger Hochstrasse 2 Altona-Altstadt

Who were Bertha Seidner, née Lefkowits, and Salomon Seidner?

Bertha Seidner was born on 12 Dec. 1886 as a child of the Jewish parents Julius and Klara Lefkowits in Tiszabo/Hungary. Salomon Seidner had been born as a child of the Jewish parents Leib and Sara Seidner on 15 Aug. 1885 in Mährisch-Ostrau (then in Austria, today Ostrava in the Czech Republic). We can tell nothing about the childhood and youth of Bertha and Salomon Seidner.

The two married in 1912 in Debrecen/Hungary, where Salomon Seidner earned his living as a woodworker.

The newly married Seidner couple had a son Albert, born on 14 Aug. 1912 in Mährisch-Ostrau. In Apr. 1914, they moved to Lange Strasse 67 in Altona, residing there as subtenants with Gerike. A little over a year later, they moved into their own apartment at Lange Strasse 56 on the third floor, where their daughter Antonie was born on 14 Jan. 1918.

In the Jewish Community’s Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) card file, the Community noted that Salomon Seidner was required to pay taxes until 1931. We do not know where he worked. Apparently, he was unemployed afterward. However, as of 1 Jan. 1934, he found employment as a carpenter at the Holsatia plywood plant at Kruppstrasse 59 in Altona (today Ruhrstrasse), a company founded in 1890.

The Holsatia plant had been built up in Altona by the Jewish merchant Julius Neumann (born on 4 Sept. 1869, died on 10 Aug. 1930). Julius Neumann was an honorary senator of the city of Altona and a board member of Altona’s Jewish Community. Holsatia was actually "only” a timber plant with about ten workshops; but it manufactured a wide range of products, from small, ordinary matchboxes to elegant cigar boxes, from functional office furnishings in a style subtly suggestive of the Bauhaus to home furniture, and it was therefore known beyond the city limits.

Starting in 1935, the Seidner couple lived with their children at Grosse Johannisstrasse 99 in Altona (the street no longer exists today).

When the German Reich deported thousands of Jews of Polish origin on 28 Oct. 1938, this also affected about 1000 residents of Hamburg including Altona, which had been incorporated by that time. Bertha and Salomon Seidner also had Polish citizenship and they were transported along with Albert and Antonie to Bentschen/Zbaszyn on the German-Polish border. Since Poland refused entry to most of the arrivals, they were stuck in no-man’s-land between the borders and were housed and cared for in a makeshift manner by the local Jewish Community and then also by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Many were later able to enter Poland after all, while others received a return permit in order to take care of urgent matters or to initiate their emigration. Some, however, were still there in the summer of 1939.

If deportees wished to return, the Gestapo demanded a character reference. The Seidner family complied with this demand, but they were still not allowed to return to Hamburg. Only the children received permission. Thus, Albert and Antonie Seidner bid farewell to their parents in July 1939.

Antonie Seidner apparently managed to flee to Britain on 10 July 1939. Albert Seidner managed to escape to Australia on 7 Oct. 1939 and reached Sydney on 13 Oct. 1939.

The married Seidner couple had to stay in Bentschen until Sept. 1939 and they were then taken to Warsaw under guard of the Polish police. They lived in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw on Nalewki Street. The "Jewish Residential Quarter” in Warsaw was sealed off in Nov. 1940 and declared the Warsaw Ghetto. With the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto, Bertha Seidner and Salomon Seidner had to move to Ludwig-Zamenhoferstrasse 9 on 1 Oct. 1940.

Albert Seidner meanwhile tried in vain to get his parents to join him in Australia. After the establishment of the ghetto, he had given up this hope. He received the last sign of life from his parents in Feb. 1943.

No details are known about the subsequent fate of Bertha and Salomon Seidner. We do not know whether they died of the inhuman conditions in the ghetto, were murdered in the Treblinka extermination camp or during the liquidation of the ghetto.

Details on the fate of Bertha and Salomon Seidner’s children:

As mentioned above, Albert Seidner fled to Australia. He married Erna Gillis (born on 9 Nov. 1902) in Sydney on 7 Oct. 1939. She died there a year later. Albert Seidner entered into a second marital union, with Margaret James Bronwen.

Antonie Seidner survived in Britain.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: August 2021
© Bärbel Klein

Quellen: StaH, 1; 2; 4; 5; 6; 8; 9; 131-2 II_3290 Korrespondenz; 213-13_16891; 213-13_25611; 213-13_28180; 213-13_32277; 351-11_2917; 351-11_7995; 351-11_9074; 213-13_16891; 351-11_18279; 351-11_26211; 351-11_32277; 351-11_33061; 351-11_33132; 351-11_36727; 351-11_33608; 351-11_37190; 351-11_37653; 351-11_39465; 332-5_135/1906; 332-5_519/1908; 332-5_316/1908; 332-5_41/1934; 332-5_33/1935; 621-1/86_23; 741-4_K2435; 741-4_K2448; 741-4_K4553; aus jüdischer Vergangenheit in Hamburg, Holsatia Werke; ITS Archives Bad Arolsen Digital Archiv Copy of / Liste der ausgewiesenen Polen in Zbaszyn Auffanglager Bentschen [11417844];
ITS Archives Bad Arolsen Digital Archive Korrespondenzakte / 7105 Archivnummer [105867201] Einsicht am 7.3.2017;;; (Einsicht am 6.10.2020).
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

print preview  / top of page