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Porträt Scheindel (Sabina) Weissmann
Scheindel (Sabina) Weissmann
© Privat

Familie Weissmann, obere Reihe von links: Morris, Sheindel, Willi, Simon,
untere Reihe von links: Max, Norbert “Nehemia“, Lilli, Elli, Ani und Oscar.
Familie Weissmann, obere Reihe von links: Morris, Sheindel, Willi, Simon, untere Reihe von links: Max, Norbert "Nehemia", Lilli, Elli, Ani und Oscar.
© Privatbesitz

Scheindel Sabina Weissmann (née Heller ) * 1889

Wohlers Allee 38 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)

JG. 1889

further stumbling stones in Wohlers Allee 38:
Adolf Uscher Friedmann, Berta Brandla Friedmann, Hanna Toni Friedmann, Berta Ruth Friedmann, Siegbert Friedmann, Golda Friedmann, Mirjam Friedmann, Szyja Schullerer, Taube Toni Schullerer, David Schullerer, Nechemiah Norbert Weissmann

Nechemiah Norbert Weissmann, born 1881 or 1882 in Bukaczowce (Galicia, today Ukraine), deported on 28.10.1938 to Zbaszyn/Bentschen, Poland, murdered in occupied Poland.

Scheindel Sabina Weissmann, née Heller, born 25.3.1889 in Maliboczic (Zbora, Galicia, today Ukraine), deported on 28.10.1938 to Zbaszyn/Bentschen, Poland, murdered in occupied Poland

Wohlers Allee 38 (Altona-Altstadt) (former Wohlersallee)

The Weissmanns were a large Orthodox Jewish family living in the then still independent city of Altona. The eldest daughter later remembered a happy home full of love. It was full of children, relatives, guests, neighbours, music, laughter, giving, learning, books, records and food. Life revolved around the school, the synagogue and the home.

The father, Nechemiah Weissmann, was born in Bukaczowce (Galicia, now western Ukraine). In Germany he called himself Norbert. His first name and date of birth are given differently in the various sources. Besides Nechemiah, there are the variants Nechemje and Nechemias. The dates of birth on the residents' registration card are 25 Dec. 1881 and 10 March 1881 in brackets. 25 Dec. 1881 was initially also recorded on the tax card of the Jewish Community in Hamburg, but was then replaced by 10 March 1881.

Nechemiah Weissmann was married to Scheindel, née Heller. Her first name is also spelled Shendel, Shaindel, Szejucia and Szajndla. She called herself Sabina/Charlotte in Germany and was born either on 10 March 1888 or on 25 March 1889 in Maliboczic (Zbora, Galicia, today Ukraine).

The eldest son, Simche Salomon Weissmann, whose name in Germany was Simon, was born in Zbora on 28 July 1909. He stated in the reparation proceedings after the Second World War that his father had been a soldier during the First World War and had been discharged as a war invalid in 1915. The family then moved to Altona in former Prussia. The sons Moritz, born on 6 Aug. 1911 (or 12 Aug. 1911) in Pawelcze (Galicia) and Wolf Willi, born on 26 May 1913 (or 25 May 1913) in Bukaczowce also entered the German Reich.

The Weissmann family lived first at Stiftstraße 18 (today Mistralstraße) for many years and then at Paulsenplatz 9 in Altona-Altstadt. Four more children were born in Altona: Lilli (Lilly), born on 18 Aug. 1918, Oskar, born on 30 June 1920, Anna Chana, called Anni, born on 5 Oct. 1923 and Sara Klara, called Elly (also Elka, Elli), born on 25 Jan. 1925. Markus-Heini, also called Max or Moccu, was born on 16 Aug. 1921 in Haffkrug at the Baltic Sea. Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann had a total of eight children.

Nechemiah Weissmann was a member of the High German Israelite Congregation in Altona (Hochdeutsche Israeliten-Gemeinde zu Altona). Only a few minutes' walk from his flat, there were the synagogue of the East Jewish association Adas Yisroel, founded in 1920, at Adolphstraße 69 (today Bernstorffstraße), and at Wohlersallee 62 (today Wohlers Allee), from 1934 onwards, the synagogue of the East Jewish association Ahawat Torah. The property at Wohlersallee 62 had already belonged to the Israelitisches Bethaus e.V. since 1928.

Nechemiah Weissmann traded in men's clothing. The business must have developed very well, because already in the address book of 1922 one finds his name as owner or co-owner of the buildings in Adolphstraße 152. From about 1931 he produced men's clothing there in the rear building 2.

His school-age sons attended the Talmud Tora School in Hamburg's Grindel Quarter, and his daughters attended the Israelite Daughter School at Carolinenstraße 35 in Hamburg's St. Pauli district (now Karolinenstraße). Anna Chana (Anni) Weissmann was taught there until 1938 by Rosa (Rose) Gradenwitz (see biography of Bertha Vera Gradenwitz,, who, like Anna Chana, had to flee Germany.

After living briefly at Stresemannstraße 54, the family settled at the neighboring Wohlersallee 38 in about 1932.The families of the merchant and house owner Adolf Uscher Friedmann (see, the merchant Osias Schullerer (see and the white metal wholesaler Mendel Schillaj as well as Max Rappaport and his wife (see biography Leib Rappaport, also lived in the apartment building.

After the transfer of power to Adolf Hitler in January 1933, Nechemiah Weissmann's income diminished rapidly. As a result of the ongoing boycott by suppliers and customers, the turnover fell sharply. Nechemiah Weissmann no longer saw a future for himself and his family in Germany and was thinking about emigrating. In 1935, he travelled to Palestine for information. He wanted to run an agricultural settlement with cattle breeding in Bnei-Brak, today a district of Tel Aviv. He found that life there was hard, but still hoped for a "visa for capitalists" so that the family could transfer all their money legally. Under certain conditions wealthy emigrants from Germany were granted a so-called "capitalist's certificate" by the British Passport Office, with which they could enter the country.

Although Nechemiah Weissmann was authorized in October 1935 to transfer 1,000 Palestinian pounds (about RM 12,500) for a "capitalist certificate" and RM 15,000 to a special account at the Bank of Temple Society Ltd, emigration did not take place. The reasons for this are not known.

On 28 Oct. 1938, 17,000 Jews of Polish origin were deported from the German Reich to Poland as part of the so-called Poland-Action (Polenaktion). The Polish government had previously threatened to confiscate the passports of the Poles living abroad. This would have turned them into stateless persons. The Nazi government feared that thousands of "Eastern Jews" would remain permanently on German territory. Without warning and without distinction of person, men, women and children were picked up from their workplaces or from their homes throughout the German Reich, rounded up at various locations and deported the same day by rail across the Polish border at Zbaszyn (Bentschen), Chojnice (Konitz) in Pomerania and Bytom in Upper Silesia. The costs of the action were to be borne by the Reich budget "insofar as they cannot [...] be collected from the deported foreigners".

From Hamburg, to which Altona also belonged since 1 Jan 1938, about a thousand people were forcibly taken to Neu Bentschen (today Zbąszynek) and from there forcibly driven across the Polish border to Zbaszyn (Bentschen). These included only from Wohlersallee 38 the Weissman couple, the family of Adolf Uscher Friedmann with seven persons and the family of Szyja Osias Schullerer with six persons. Adolf Uscher Friedmann's brother Martin and his family, who lived at Wohlersallee 62, were affected with six persons (see

Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann were also torn from their beds during the night on 28 Oct. 1938 and taken to a police station. The Gestapo asked if anyone over 18 was still in the house. The adults answered in the negative. It was a miracle that the Gestapo did not go into the flat to check. Otherwise they would have discovered 19-year-old Lilly (Lilli) and taken her away too. Sara Klara (Elli, Elly) and Anna Chana (Anni), the two younger sisters, were also in the flat. However, the Gestapo did not inquire about children, probably because they assumed that they would have followed their parents to the railway station. The three girls had been instructed by their parents to stay hidden in the flat.

Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann were able to grant their German-Danish friend Hans Nielsen, Hamburg-Altona, Flottbeker Chaussee 54 (today Elbchaussee), whom they apparently trusted, a notarial power of attorney to manage their assets shortly before they were deported. They asked him to take care of their daughters Lilli (Lilly), Anna Chana (Anni) and Sara Klara (Elli, Elly) who had remained in Altona until they would leave for New York. The power of attorney also included the disposition of the property at Adolfstraße 152.

Lilli (Lilly), the oldest of the three daughters, went to the American consulate in Hamburg after her parents had been deported. As Lilli Lilly later reported, she ran down a corridor, passed the security guards and opened a door. Miraculously, there was an official sitting in the room who was able to help her. She told the consular officer that she had to leave for America with her two little sisters, who were in their early teens, and that she needed visas. In fact, the official agreed to help her.

Lilli (Lilly) and her sisters Sara Klara (Elli, Elly) and Anna Chana (Anni) left Hamburg on 14 Dec. 1938 on board a ship bound for New York. Hans Nielsen, authorized representative, secretly said goodbye on the ship and was then in the crowd on the quay when the ship departed.

Nechemiah Weissmann's menswear shop was closed in his absence in November 1938. The lawyer and notary Erwin Zabel informed the Hamburg-Altona tax office on 11 Nov. 1938 that "the merchant Norbert Weissmann and his wife Sabina Scheindel Weissmann, née Heller, sold their property located in Hamburg-Altona, Adolfstraße 152 [...] for my records on 9 Nov. 1938 [...]". The buyer was the radio dealer Walter Kargel in Eimsbüttel, Gärtnerstraße 109.

After their deportation, Nechemiah and Scheindel Sabina Weissmann were treated as foreign exchange aliens, i.e. the income from the property at Adolfstraße 152 was booked to a blocked account and withdrawn from their disposal. The remaining assets were determined to be around RM 4700 and were reduced by RM 2000 because of alleged tax evasion.

Hans Nielsen obviously still had postal contact with Nechemia and Scheindel Weissmann after the deportation. In the official files from this time the following address is found: Zbaszyn, Ul. Por. Zwirki 1. In the course of 1939 the couple came to Stoczek-Lukowski (Lublin Voivodeship, Powiat [district] Lukow). Living conditions of Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann must have been miserable. Hans Nielsen was allowed to transfer 50 RM from his assets to the Weissmann couple to Stoczek Lukowski several times, finally per month until 31 July 1941. We do not know how and when Nechemia and Scheindel Weissmann came to Stoczek Lukowski in the Lukow district, administrative district of Lublin, and how long they stayed there. After the last payment, there was no sign of life from them. Possibly their fate can be explained by the following facts:

Two thirds of the inhabitants of Stoczek Lukowski had been Jews (about 2000) during the interwar period. The German Wehrmacht occupied the village in mid-September 1939, confiscated most of the Jewish property and set up an open ghetto. In the winter of 1940/41, a typhus epidemic broke out and many residents died. At the end of August 1942, German and Polish police deported most of the Jews from Stoczek Lukowski to the Parysow ghetto, about 30 km to the west. About a hundred people were already murdered on the way. Only a few people, considered to be fit for work, remained in Stoczek Lukowski. When the inhabitants of the Parysow ghetto were deported to the Treblinka extermination camp on 27 Sept. 1942, most of the Jews from Stoczek Lukowski were on the transport, too.

We do not know where and how Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann died. However, they probably were murdered in Treblinka, if they had not already lost their lives before. Their relatives also assume this.

All the children of Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann survived the Holocaust. The sons had already left Germany before the "Poland Action".

The second oldest son Moritz Weissmann emigrated 1935. He worked as a tailor in his father's company from 1930 to 1933. There he was attacked by SA people In April 1933 and so badly maltreated that he had to stay in the Israelite hospital for four weeks and then prescribed complete rest for five months. After the plaster cast was removed, he had to continue to be treated with massages, hot air and medication. Moritz Weissmann continued to work for his father until he emigrated to Palestine in 1935. In 1937 he moved to the USA, now calling himself Morris and acquiring American citizenship. In 1940 he was found unfit for the US army. He never fully recovered from the SA attack. When he came to America, he earned money selling wind-up toys outside an S. Klein-store in New York. He also worked as a waiter at the 1939 World's Fair in New York together with his brothers Oscar and Max. He sold men's shirts and ties in a small shop in Manhattan and then started his real estate business, through which he owned several properties. He and his wife Blanche had three children, Neil, Gloria and Lisa.

According to his brother's experiences, the eldest son Simon (Simche Salomon) Weissmann also fled Germany. He had completed a commercial apprenticeship in Hamburg from 1928. He then worked as a travelling agent for his father and rose in his company to the position of a managing director. In December 1936, he was threatened so severely by the National Socialist Business Cell Organisation (NSBO) and the Gestapo that he fled Germany to Belgium with his wife Sophie with the help of escape helpers. The price for escape helpers at the time was 500 RM. In Belgium, the couple lived illegally and in hiding. They received food in soup kitchens (Volksküchen), which were run by a Jewish association. After a few weeks they had to leave the accommodation because they could no longer pay the rent. In May 1940, they fled to France, where they continued their way illegally, until they managed to escape to Portugal in October 1941. At the end of 1941, they found a way to cross over to the USA. Simon Weissmann obtained American citizenship, worked as a camp administrator and joined the US army on 1 July 1943. He and Sophie had a child named Julie.

The third son Wolf Willi Weissmann, born in 1913, later on changed his name to Zev Aryeh Ben Zion. Besides his studies, he also worked in the family factory until it had to be temporarily closed in 1933 on the occasion of the boycott against Jews following the orders of the National Socialist. He was also attacked by the SA and was in danger of being taken to prison. On one late evening in May 1933, the whole family said goodbye to Wolf Willi. He left secretly and managed to get to Palestine illegally. He helped Morris build a house in Bnei Brak, where his father had bought land. He married and had four children. We do not know their names. As a farmer, he contributed to build up the Kibbutz Kinneret near Tiberias. Later he settled in Ramat Aviv, a district of Tel Aviv. He studied for a year in France at the Sorbonne. Wolf Willi was very much involved in the Israeli government and worked on speeches for Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. He was a close friend of Prime Minist Golda Meir. Wolf was also mayor of Tzvat, one of the Four Holy Cities in Judaism. He finally founded a whole chain of supermarkets all over Israel.

Oskar (Oscar) Weissmann left Germany in May 1938. He arrived in New York on 9 June 1938 and became an American citizen. From 1 Feb. 1942 to 1 Jan. 1944, he was a soldier in the US Army. Oskar (Oscar) was married to Sylvia, née Levine, from Boston, and had two sons, Norbert and Jonathan. His business supplied hospital gift shops. He also worked in the confectionary business. He lived in Webster, Massachusetts, opposite his sister Lilli (Lilly). Oskar (Oscar) Weissmann died on 15 June 2005.

Markus-Heini (Max or Moccu) Weissmann attended the Talmud Torah School in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel from 1927 to 1936. He wanted to become a teacher, but this was denied him as a Jew. After a short apprenticeship at Levy & Co. on Neuer Wall, which he had to give up in the course of the persecution of the Jews, Markus-Heini Weissmann worked for a few months in his father's menswear factory. The 16-year-old left Hamburg in the early summer of 1938, sewing money into his clothes so that the National Socialists would not assume he was leaving the country. His only object of value, a Leica camera, was confiscated by a National Socialist on the way to the ship. Marcus-Heini arrived in New York on 1 July 1938 and was later granted the American citizenship. He married Syma Sternberg and had four children with her, Sharon, Nancy, David and Tamar. He worked for Israel Bonds for 35 years and was close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt. Max remembered that Eleanor confided to him, "I know my husband could have done more for the Jews." She supported Max's efforts on behalf of Israel Bonds and spoke at his events.

After arriving in the United States, the three Weissmann daughters first settled in Brooklyn, New York.

Lilli (Lilly) married the lawyer Samuel Heller in August 1939. The couple lived in Webster, Massachusetts, where they were both involved in charitable causes in the Jewish community, especially for Israel. They had two children: Norbert, born in 1947, who died of leukaemia at the age of nine, and Sheri, born in 1950. After the death of her husband Samuel in 1975, Lilly moved to New York City with her daughter and worked for her brother Oskar (Oscar) in the wholesale gift business. She later handled the business affairs of a well-known writer until she was 75. At the age of 75 she moved to Florida and lived with her youngest sister Elly Doff. Lilly Heller died at the age of 83 on 29 July 2002.

Anna Chana (Anni) Weissmann took various jobs and helped in the household of her relatives who had enabled her to enter the USA. She studied law at Columbia University. In 1946 she married Eli Pommeranz and went to Palestine with him the same year. There the couple had two children, Sharona and Nechemiah. They successfully ran a shoe shop in Tel Aviv called Pommeranz Shoes with several branches. Anna Chana (Anni) and Eli Pommeranz arrived in their new home before the State of Israel was officially declared. Both, Eli Pommeranz and Anna Chana (Anni) had official documents issued by the British Mandate Administration identifying them as "Palestinians". Anna Chana (Anni) was always in close contact with the family; either someone came to her home in Israel or she and her family visited the United States.

The youngest sister, Elly Weissmann, graduated from high school and went on to study at Columbia University and the University of Connecticut, where she met her future husband Bernard (Bernie) M. Doff, born in 1923. The two were married in New York in 1945. In 1952, Elly accompanied her husband, who was stationed in Germany with the US military, to Oberstdorf. She paid for her own trip and taught English to Russian soldiers who had gone over to the US Army. Elly and Bernie Doff had three daughters, Susan, Debra and Melissa, and four grandchildren, Jason, David, Lily and Aubrey. Elly was devoted to family, education and travelling around the world. She was a public school teacher, taught Hebrew and was a synagogue leader. She died at the age of 97 on 21 June 2021.

The property of the parents in Altona, Adolfstraße 152, (today Bernstorffstraße) was returned to the descendants of Nechemiah and Scheindel Weissmann in 1952 by way of comparison.

Translation: Elisabeth Wendland

Stand: March 2023
© Mitglieder der Familie Weissmann und Ingo Wille

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; StaH 213-13 Landgericht Hamburg-Wiedergutmachung 27897 Morris Weissmann, 4996 Norbert (Nechemie) Weissmann, 4997 Simon Weissmann, 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident F 2387 Nechemja Weissmann, 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 35061 Simon Whiteman (fr. Weissmann), 44620 Max (fr. Marcus-Heini) Weissmann, 45934 Anna (Anni) Hanna Pomeranz, 47309 Clara (Elly, Elli) Doff. Alina Bothe, Gertrud Pickhan (Hrsg.); Ausgewiesen! Berlin, 28.10.1938, Die Geschichte der "Polenaktion", Berlin 2018. Marian Wojciechowski, Die deutsche Minderheit in Polen (1920-1939), in: Deutsche und Polen zwischen den Kriegen. Minderheitenstatus und "Volkstumskampf" im Grenzgebiet (1920-1939). Texte und Materialien zur Zeitgeschichte, Bd. 9/1. hrsg. von Rudolf Jaworski und Marian Wojciechowski, München u.a. 1997, S. 6 ff. Otto Dov Kulka/Eberhard Jäckel (Hrsg.), Die Juden in den geheimen NS-Stimmungsberichten 1933-1945, Düsseldorf 2004, S. 780. Ina Lorenz und Jörg Berkemann, Die Hamburger Juden im NS-Staat 1933 bis 1938/39, Band II, S. 1096-1107, Göttingen 2016. Michael Studemund-Halévy, Im jüdischen Hamburg Ein Stadtführer von A bis Z, Hamburg 2011, S. 140f. Jerzey Tomaszewski, Auftakt zur Vernichtung, Warschau 1998, S. 15 ff. Die Yad Vashem Enzyklopädie der Ghettos während des Holocaust, Band II N-Z, Göttingen 2014, S. 582. Lilli Heller, geb. Weissmann, Unveröffentliche Erinnerungen an die Tage der "Polenaktion 1938", 5.11.1974
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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