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Paulina Zloczower * 1916

Stresemannstraße 71 (Altona, Sternschanze)

JG. 1916

further stumbling stones in Stresemannstraße 71:
Wolf Zloczower, Ettel Zloczower, Emanuel Zloczower, Thea Zloczower

Emanuel Zloczower, born on 12 Sept. 1918, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further on 20 Apr. 1942, murdered
Ettel Zloczower, née Poppel, born on 20 Apr. 1888, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further on 20 Apr. 1942, murdered
Paula Zloczower, born on 29 June 1916, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further on 20 Apr. 1942, murdered
Thea Zloczower, born on 24 Sept. 1924, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further on 20 Apr. 1942, murdered
Wolf Zloczower, born on 17 Oct. 1881, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further on 20 Apr. 1942, murdered

Stresemannstrasse 71 (General-Litzmann-Strasse)

During the Nazi persecution, the Jewish Zloczower couple, having immigrated to Altona from Romania, were caught in social destitution along with their seven children. The adolescent and adult children struggled toward being able to emigrate. Jakob, Ferdinand, and Josefine Zloczower succeeded in fleeing. The parents, Wolf and Ettel Zloczower, along with their children Paula, Emanuel, Thea, and Rosa Bähr, née Zloczower, were deported to Lodz in 1941. Wolf Zloczower was born on 17 Oct. 1881 in the town of Millie in the Vyzhnytsia (German: Wiznitz) district within the Duchy of Bukovina, after the First World War ceded to Romania and today located in Ukraine. His wife Ettel, née Poppel, born on 20 Apr. 1888, was a native of Sadhora (German: Sadagora), a settlement near Chernivtsi (German: Czernowitz) in the Duchy of Bukovina. The Jewish couple lived in Romania, where the first two daughters were born: on 20 Mar. 1910, Josefine, and on 20 May 1911, Rosa. In about 1912, the Zloczower couple emigrated with their two small children to Germany, settling in Altona. According to the national census of 1925, more than half of the Jews in Altona had immigrated as refugees from the escalating anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. The Zloczowers did not have German citizenship and were thus considered "stateless.” Between 1912 and 1924, the couple had six additional children: On 8 Nov. 1912, Jakob was born, followed by Pauline, called Paula, on 29 June 1916; Emanuel, according to the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card on 12 Sept. 1918; Ferdinand on 9 Dec. 1920, David on 14 June 1922 – apparently, he died while still a child – and Thea on 24 Sept. 1924. Since 1921, the Zloczower family lived in a two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor at Juliusstrasse 35, in the immediate vicinity of the bustling Schulterblatt shopping street that marked the boundary between Hamburg and Altona. In 1929, Wolf Zloczower registered a textile business. As an independent trader, he operated two installment sales businesses, i.e., he sold goods on credit, with customers paying their bills in installments. Starting in 1930, business slumped, apparently due to the economic crisis on the one hand; on the other hand, mounting anti-Semitism caused customers to stay away or not settle their debts. Eventually, the family of nine got in arrears with their rent, resulting in the threat of homelessness. Wolf Zloczower filed an application for public assistance in order to keep the apartment. To preempt an eviction, the welfare office temporarily confiscated the apartment in Sept. 1932 and assigned it to the family "as accommodation.” On top of that, the family received assistance from two Jewish welfare associations that covered the rent until mid-October. From 1932 onward, Wolf Zloczower received benefits from welfare services. The three youngest children still went to school in 1932; 12-year-old Ferdinand and 14-year-old Emanuel attended the Talmud Tora School, while eight-year-old Thea went to the eight-grade Israelite Elementary School (Volksschule) on Johnsallee. Following ten years of school attendance at the Israelite Girls’ School, Josefine attended the Grone Business School all the way until passing the exam qualifying her as a "stenographer.” For one year, she worked as an office clerk for a leather company in the Blankenese district, until she was dismissed because of her Jewish descent. In 1932, she was employed as a domestic help by a Hamburg family. Jakob attended the Talmud Tora School until 1927 and completed a commercial apprenticeship in 1930, though he did not find a job due to his Jewish descent. In 1932, he worked at the Max Popper commission agency on Schulterblatt for a short time, which for its part was at the brink of bankruptcy as well, however. In the fall of 1933, rent arrears accumulated once again. In early October, Wolf Zloczower filed an application with the Altona welfare office "for permitting [him] the owing of house rent tax [Hauszinssteuerschuldung]”: "I was given notice and had to vacate.” He added that he had concluded a new rental agreement for a three-bedroom apartment on the third floor of General-Litzmann-Strasse 71 at the intersection to Juliusstrasse, which was the location of the front door. He himself no longer earned any money. "Two of my daughters are gainfully employed. (…) I used to have an installment transaction business and I have accounts receivable, though I cannot expect to gain anything from them.” His non-Jewish clients, he stated, would not pay their debts with a Jew anymore. His wife had worked as a cleaner but she was no longer able to do that physically. Daughter Josefine worked in Hamburg as a "Tagmädchen,” a maid hired in return for low wages as well as "morning coffee and lunch.” Son Jakob ran errands for the butcher Jonas on Parallelstrasse (today Eifflerstrasse) in return for full board without any pay. In Apr. 1933, 17-year-old Paula had begun an apprenticeship in the Finkels department store, operated by Jewish owners in the corner house at Bahrenfelder Strasse 106–110 in Ottensen. The Jewish "Ahavath Chesed” benefit society supported the application for assistance payments in a letter: "Mr. Wolf Zloczower is a tradesman and not able to earn a living because of the poor economic situation.” The welfare office noted that only Josefine and Paula earned money toward the family’s livelihood; after deduction of the transit fares, 32.20 RM (reichsmark) were available per month. The office observed that the additional assistance did not suffice: "We are able to approve only 19.50 RM a week, which is not enough for the family to live on, however.” The family was in dire straits. The measures toward excluding Jews from occupational and economic life made it difficult for adolescents to obtain a vocational qualification. Emanuel did not succeed in finding a position as a cabinetmaker’s apprentice. The Werkschule [a school offering an applied and integrated curriculum] of the Talmud Tora School offered courses; in 1934, he enrolled in a cabinetmaker’s course; Josefine in a cooking course. In 1935, Rosa found an internship with Käthe Lissauer, women’s fashions, on Steinwegspassage in Hamburg. In the fall of 1935, the Altona social security department reduced support for the family to 16.50 RM a week. Wolf Zloczower complained and notified the office in writing "that it constitutes an art to get the family fed with the previous rate, and how is satiety to be accomplished at the rate fixed now? Not to forget that this support must also serve us to cover clothing, lighting, heating, etc.” The Altona Israelite Humanitarian Women’s Association granted the family winter relief. In 1936, daughter Rosa, married name Bähr (Baer) by then, moved to Bogenstrasse 24 in Hamburg. Emanuel worked as a temporary help for a milkman on Gärtnerstrasse, Josefine as a domestic help with the Weinberg family on Bornstrasse. Jakob, who resided at Juliusstrasse 16 with Wiemke, helped as an errand boy at the Kaiser butcher’s shop on Prinzenstrasse. By that time, Paula held a position as a trained sales assistant in the Finkels department store. In 1937, the social security office granted the Zloczower couple and the five children still residing in the household a weekly assistance payment of 15 RM. After a home visit, the social worker from public welfare services ("Volkspflegerin”) reported: "These are very modest circumstances.” After finishing the Talmud Tora School, Ferdinand found a commercial apprenticeship with the Levy und Co hardware store on Ausschläger Elbdeich in 1935. However, he was forced to leave the continuing education school on Lämmermarkt after only one year, and, being Jewish, he was not admitted to take his exam as a commercial assistant. In 1938, his Jewish master felt compelled to give up his company. Ferdinand helped in a dairy business before he was drafted for forced labor on a construction site. His father Wolf Zloczower, too, performed "support labor” in Tiefstack from 1938 onward. The 56-year-old man had to carry out "light duties indoors and outdoors” but no "excavation work.” However, even this work was difficult for him. In early 1939, a doctor certified that he was suffering from a hernia and severe emaciation due to overexertion, issuing him a certificate of incapacity for work for a period of 14 days. All of the children of the Zloczower family, by then adolescents or young adults, intended to turn their backs on Germany. The first to succeed in this was Jakob, emigrating to the USA at the age of 25. On 26 May 1938, he set out from the Veddel quarter on the 12-day passage aboard the "SS President Harding” to New York via Le Havre/France, Southampton/England, and Coth/Ireland. Ferdinand and Emanuel wanted to follow their brother. In Mar. 1939, the Office of Jewish Economic Assistance (Jüdische Wirtschaftshilfe) supported Ferdinand with retraining measures aimed at preparing him for emigration to New York. Emanuel, by then working in civil engineering, was awaiting the same notification from the Office of Jewish Economic Assistance. However, it was difficult to reach the USA; immigrants required an affidavit, i.e., a sponsorship, and had to wait until their number in the country-specific quota came up. In a report written in late Aug. 1939, Altona social security services recorded, "The family is completely destitute.” In the winter of 1939, the Zloczowers received coal, potatoes, and other foods from the Jewish social welfare association (Wohlfahrtspflege). Paula, Emanuel, Ferdinand, and 15-year-old Thea still lived with their parents. Paula had lost her job at the Finkels department store, which was among the Jewish businesses liquidated or "Aryanized” in 1938. After having worked as a "domestic help” ("Morgenmädchen” – a term obsolete by now [it literally means "morning girl”]) in a family for a time, she received unemployment benefits since June 1939, performing compulsory labor at the Wilhelmsburg wool-combing works on the orders of the employment office. She too hoped to be able to emigrate. Emanuel was employed as an assistant at the Voigt carpenter’s workshop for a brief period and he was then scheduled to perform labor in civil engineering works in Lokstedt. The social security office noted in the summer of 1939 that Emanuel, Ferdinand, and Josefine were about to emigrate. Paula also struggled for her departure. In Aug. 1939, she and Thea were issued "tax clearance certificates” ("Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigungen”), the prerequisite for departure in terms foreign currency law. Only shortly before the start of war, in Aug. 1939, Josefine, married name Piasek by then, managed to flee to Britain on a domestic servant visa, first employed as a kitchen help in a military hospital, then working in a retirement home, and subsequently living as a domestic help with a family. Since the outbreak of war in Sept. 1939, legal emigration via German international ports was no longer possible. On Paula’s Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card, the entry indicating "September 39 England” had already been inserted but then deleted again. In Oct. 1941, emigration of Jews was prohibited altogether. Now "evacuation” to the camps and ghettos in the East awaited them. On 25 Oct. 1941, the members of the Zloczower family still living in Hamburg were deported to the Lodz Ghetto in German-occupied Poland. The transport lists for Litzmannstadt, as the occupiers called it, contained the names of Wolf and Ettel Zloczower as well as their children Pauline, Emanuel, and Thea under numbers 992 to 996. None of them returned. They were deported further on 20 Apr. 1942, probably to the nearby Chelmno extermination camp, where ghetto inmates from Lodz were murdered with gas in converted trucks. Rosa Bähr, née Zloczower, along with her husband Erwin Bähr and their children Hildegard, Judis, and Denny arrived on the transport leaving for Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941, where the entire family perished. Stolpersteine for them are located at Johnsallee 33 in Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum. Ferdinand Zloczower survived an odyssey through different penal institutions and camps. The 19-year old had been arrested by the Gestapo on 27 Aug. 1939 in Flensburg, where he was looking for work, and he was detained in the Flensburg prison for three months. After his release on 27 Nov. 1939, he was unemployed and received unemployment benefits starting in 1940. That same year, the Gestapo in Hamburg took him into "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft") and committed him to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was detained until 12 Sept. 1942. In 1955, he stated in the restitution proceedings: "In 1940, I was arrested without any reason by the Gestapo as a Jew and committed to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. I was there until 1942, and then I was hauled off to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The number tattooed into my arm there, 70,323, is still on my arm. I was in this camp until 1943. From there, I was taken to the Warsaw concentration camp and then to Dachau, and eventually, I was liberated in Mühldorf/ Upper Bavaria on 1 May 1945.” From 13 Aug. 1944 until his liberation, he performed forced labor as a member of the Mühldorf detachment, an external detachment to the Dachau concentration camp. After the end of the war, he departed for France in 1946, two years later emigrating to the USA, where his sister also arrived from Britain in 1950.

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

Stand: April 2018
© Birgit Gewehr

Quellen: 1; 2 (FVg 3833 Zloczower, J. und FVg 5423 Zloczower J.); 4; 5; 8; AB Altona; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 5619 (Piasek, Josefine, geb. Zloczower), 5603 (Sloshower, Jack, früher Zloczower, Jakob), 5602 (Sloshower, Filo), 5601 (Fürsorgeakte Zloczower, Emanuel), 5600 (Fürsorgeakte Zloczower, Wolf) und 42642 (Zloczower, Emanuel); StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992 e 1 Band 1 (Deportationsliste Litzmannstadt, 25.10.1941); Archiwum Panstwowe w Lodzi, Ankunftsdokumente des Gettos Litzmannstadt.
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