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Johanna Bernstein (née André) * 1867
Brahmsallee 8 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Johanna Bernstein, née André, born 23 Sep. 1867 in Aachen, deported 10 Mar. 1943 to Theresienstadt, date of death there 17 May 1943
Johanna Bernstein, née André, was born in Aachen in 1867. Her parents were Andreas (1825–1893) and Helene (Breuer) André (1831–1881), who married in 1856 in Aachen. Her siblings Philipp (1859–1877), Rosa (*1863), Bernhard (*1865), Emma (*1870), and Victor (*1872) were also born in Aachen. The family moved several times within the city of Aachen. Addresses are listed for Neupforte, Hirschgraben, and Michaelstraße.
Andreas André was a butcher, as were both his father, Daniel André from Kornelimünster and his wife’s father, Moses Breuer (1803–1881) from Aachen. The 1868 Aachen address book lists Andreas André as an "Israelite restaurant owner” – it is not known whether he gave up his original profession, or if he opened a restaurant as a source of secondary income.
In Aachen, the family was close to the fellow butchers Philipp Breuer (Neupforte 3), Andreas Hirsch (* approx. 1820), Ambrosius Plum (* approx. 1832), and Moises Schoenfeld (* approx. 1842), as well as to the musician Peter Engels (* approx.. 1845) – each of these men signed the birth certificates as witnesses to the births of Andreas and Helene André’s children.
On 15 January 1898, Johanna André married Jacques (Jakob or Jaakow) Bernstein (*9 Apr. 1865 in Braunschweig), a tailor and draper. His parents were Martin (Mayer or Meier) (1830–1902) and Caroline Lindenfeld Bernstein (1836–1910). They had moved to Braunschweig in 1865, where Martin Bernstein opened a custom tailoring shop at Ziegenmarkt 5. From 1877 onwards the family lived at Campestraße 37. Witnesses at the wedding were Jacob Fackenheim from Halle/Saale and Julius Reich from Aachen.
After the wedding, Johanna Bernstein and her husband moved to Braunschweig, where both of their daughters, Helene Ilse (*23 Mar. 1899) and Emma Luise (*21 Dec. 1900) were born. The family lived at Ferdinand-Wilhelm-Straße No. 1 from 1898 to 1904, at No. 34 until 1907, at No. 23 until 1918, and finally in a ground floor apartment at Ferdinandstraße 8.
Helene attended the girls’ lyceum (Städtische Höhere Mädchenschule) in Braunschweig from 1905–1915, and then the advanced trade school. Because the First World War made personnel hard to come by, Ilse began an apprenticeship in her father’s shop in 1916.
Jacque Bernstein died on 2 April 1923, and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Helmstedter Straße. The shop was closed around 1926.
Johanna Bernstein lived in the family apartment at Ferdinandstraße 8 until 27 December 1935, when she moved to Wilhelmitorwall 34. On 31 March 1938 she moved to the building next door at Wilhelmitor 35, and then a few weeks later to Berlin-Wilmersdorf, probably to live with her younger daughter Luise. The elder daughter, who was registered at the Wilhelmitorwall address with her mother, moved to Reinbek near Hamburg. This frequent change of address occurred during a period of widespread displacement operations instigated by the Nazi regime. In the city of Braunschweig alone, the number of Jews (as defined by the Nuremberg Laws of 1935) sank from about 1100 in 1933 to about 250 in 1939.
Johanna’s younger daughter Luise (called Liese) had married the son of the high regional court judge and author Georg Seidler (*30 April 1900 in Braunschweig), and converted to Lutheranism. She moved with her husband to Weimar in January 1925, where he had lived since mid-1924. In 1928 the couple moved to Krufürstendamm 111 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.
After 1933 and the rise of Nazism, "mixed marriages,” in which one of the partners was Jewish, were viewed as inimical to the Nazi ideology of an "Aryan nation.” Although Luise Siedler had converted to Christianity, she was still considered Jewish according to the Nazi definition. The couple divorced in June 1934, and Luise Bernstein lost the protective status of her "privileged mixed marriage.” She moved to London in May 1938 (where she was still living in 1960).
Johanna Bernstein’s elder daughter Ilse (1899–1975) married the non-Jewish engineer Harmann Talke (*1894 in Braunschweig) in March 1920. Like her sister, she also converted to Christianity. The couple divorced in November 1925. Ilse worked for the Rudolf Karstadt company in Braunschweig from 1927 to 1930, then as a bookkeeper and secretary for the Max Guhrauer company, also in Braunschweig. In May 1938, she and her son moved to Reinbek near Hamburg.
She later described the persecution she experienced: "From 1938 onwards, constantly reported to the Gestapo in Lübeck. Residence, May 1938-1942, Reinbeck, Stormarn district, Lindenstraße 23. The teacher Herr Warnecke, who lived in my building, repeatedly denounced me to the Gestapo, and they thus constantly ordered me to appear at the mayor’s office in Reinbek. (…) The Gestapo finally ordered me to leave Reinbek because I was Jewish. It was very difficult, and expensive, but I moved to Hamburg, Lehmweg 57, on 27 February 1942. But the constant Gestapo surveillance continued, until I was conscripted to forced labor in April 1942 and then deported to Theresienstadt on 18 July 1942.”
At Lehmweg 57, Ilse and her son, who was a commercial apprentice at the Rappolt & Söhne company, rented rooms on the third floor in the three-room apartment belonging to Adele Müller (née Geisel, *8 April 1875 in Rheinbach/Bonn). Frau Müller, who was separated from her Christian husband, had no income of her own. She was supported by her two grown daughters and was dependent on the income from taking in boarders. The women who had previously rented the room, the teacher Thekla Bernau (née Benjamin, *29 May 1900 in Dannenberg) and her mother Selma Benjamin (née Pasch, *10 May 1868 in Rydzyna/Reisen in Posen), had been deported to the Riga-Jungfernhof Ghetto on 6 December 1941 (Stolpersteine for both women were placed at Groothoffgasse 8).
Ilse Talke worked for a short time as a sales clerk at the Haack men’s clothing store on Hamburger Straße, until the Jewish owner was forced to close his doors on 31 December 1938.
The Nazi regime granted Ilse Talke provisional protection as long as her son was in her care and she raised him as a Christian. On 24 July 1941 he turned 21, and this protection ended. On 1 April 1942 the Hamburg employment office’s "Jews’ Desk” conscripted her to forced labor. She was first assigned to work as a spinner at the Steen & Co. hemp spinning mill and rope-makers in Hamburg-Lokstedt, then later as a packer at the Martin Jessen company.
On 19 July 1942, Ilse Talke and Adele Müller were deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Before she boarded the train, the Gestapo confiscated her luggage, two suitcases with clothing and bedding. According to her later testimony, this was a common occurrence at this particular deportation. Both women survived the ghetto. Ilse Talke returned to Hamburg, and remarried in 1955. She died in 1975. Adele Müller also returned to Hamburg, on 8 August 1945.
Johanna Bernstein moved from Berlin-Wilmersdorf (Nassauische Straße 16) to Reinbek near Hamburg to live with her elder daughter Ilse at Lindenstraße 23. From 6 August to 4 November 1938 she once again lived in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, this time at Nassauische Straße 18, but then returned to Reinbek.
On 6 April 1940, the 72-year-old Johanna moved to Brahmsallee 6, where she rented a room in the second-floor apartment of Max Hoffmann (*6 October 1885 in Hamburg) and his wife Henny, née Goldscheider (*3 August 1889 in Hamburg). The Hoffmanns had moved into the 8-room-apartment in August 1935. In July 1938 they took in their first boarders, Bertha Gansel, (née Gabrielm *2 September 1873 in Danzig, deported 25 October 1941 to Lodz) and Margot Gansel (*21 September 1888? in Berlin). There followed Alfred Wolff (*25 May 1874 in Bremerhaven) in November 1938, and Adolf Gottschalk (*28 September 1878 in Rheidt, died 23 March 1940 in Hamburg) and his wife Minna, née Behr (*11 December 1885 in Lüneburg) in November 1939. Further Jewish boarders from outside the city were taken in in April and May 1940: Frieda Kohn, née Wiener (*5 August 1871 in Regensburg), the siblings Julius Daniel Kugelmann (*17 April 1862 in Wardenberg) and Elise Kugelmann (*4 November 1870 in Wardenberg), who both came to Hamburg from Oldenburg, and Sina Röben, née Türk (*29 January 1874), who had moved from Rastede/Oldenburg. The housing office expected the Hamburg Jewish Religious Association to ensure that Jews seeking housing were quartered with other Jews. As such, the Hoffmanns’ taking in of so many Jewish boarders was not completely voluntary. Max and Henny Hoffmann were deported to the Minsk Ghetto on 8 November 1941.
Before the Hoffmanns were deported, the boarders were moved to other residences, as the housing office no longer intended to house Jews in the apartment. Johanna Bernstein was successively assigned to the Jewish Home for the Elderly at Rothenbaumchaussee 217 (10 May 1940), Beneckestraße 6 next to the New Dammtor Synagogue (20 April 1942), and the Jewish Care Home at Schäferkampsallee 25/27 from September 1942 until her deportation. Each of these addresses were "Jews’ houses,” where Jews were quartered prior to their deportation.
Johanna Bernstein was deported from Hamburg on 10 March 1943 to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, where she died only a few weeks later, on 17 May 1943, and was cremated the next day.
The inscription "In memoriam” was added to the gravestone of her husband in Braunschweig. In 2014 a Stolperstein was placed in her memory on Brahmsallee, but due to a clerical error it was placed at No. 8 rather than at No. 6.
Stolpersteine in memory of Max and Henny Hoffmann (see their biographies) were placed at Brahmsallee 6.
Johanna Bernstein’s cousins, Hermann André (*7 November1872 in Kornelimünster) and Norbert André (*23 Septemberr 1969 in Kornelimünster), the sons of Abraham (*1838) and Bertha (née Kaufmann) André, were deported from Aachen on 25 July 1942 to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Norbert André died there on 14 December 1942. Herbert André, a cattle dealer and farmer, was transferred to the Treblinka Extermination Camp on 26 September 1942, and was presumably murdered shortly after his arrival. A memorial was erected at the Kornelimünster Jewish cemetery for Herman André, his wife Therese (née Heidt, *6 January 1887 in Fishenich), and their daughter Bertha Katz (*2 August 1910 in Kornelimünster).
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: September 2019
© Björn Eggert
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 9; StaH 332-8 (Meldewesen), Hauskartei (ab 1939), Brahmsallee 6, Lehmweg 57; StaH 351-11 (AfW), 1180 (Johanna Bernstein); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 22467 (Ilse Talke, geb. Bernstein); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992 e2 (Deportationslisten); AB Hamburg 1940, 1941; AB Berlin 1929, 1932; Stadtarchiv Aachen, Heiratsregister 1856, 1898, Geburtsregister 1859, 1863, 1865, 1867, 1870, 1872, Sterberegister 1877, 1881, 1886, 1893, Adressbuch 1868; Stadtarchiv Braunschweig, Meldekarte D I 12:54, Meldekarte E 99:9, Geburtenbucheintrag 1899, Heiratsbucheintrag 1920, 1924, Sterbebucheintrag 1923; Stadtarchiv Reinbek, Einwohnermeldekartei/Altkartei (Johanna Bernstein, Ilse Talke); Bein, Ewiges Haus, S. 23, 207; Bein, Sie lebten in Braunschweig, S. 336, 348, 351; Meyer, "Jüdische Mischlinge", S. 26, 30, 92; Mosel, Wegweiser, Heft 2, S. 25–26 (Schäferkampsallee); https://www.braunschweig.de/kultur/erinnerungskultur/Orte.pdf (symbolischer Grabstein für Johanna Bernstein), (eingesehen am 29.4.2015); http://eschweiler-juden.de (Hermann André) (eingesehen am 2.6.2015).
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