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Leonhard Bezen * 1938
Winterhuder Weg 86 (Hamburg-Nord, Barmbek-Süd)
Aron Bezen, born on 5 Apr. 1899, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz and died there
Erna Berta Bezen, née Hecht, born on 26 June 1905, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, murdered on 29 Sept. 1942 in Chelmno
Leonhard Bezen, born on 2 July 1938, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, murdered on 29 Sept. 1942 in Chelmno
Bilha Erna Bezen, born on 5 Dec. 1939, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, murdered on 29 Sept. 1942 in Chelmno
Winterhuder Weg 86
Romanian by birth, Aron Bezen was born in Targoviste near Bucharest, the son of Salomon Bezen and his wife Anna Wilder. He had four brothers: Noa, Josef, Bernhard, and Heinrich. All of the five brothers immigrated to Germany and settled in different parts of the country. Aron Bezen felt drawn to Hamburg.
In Hamburg, he met his first wife, Frieda Bleiweiss. With her, Aron had a daughter, Hannelore, who was born on 13 July 1931 in Hamburg. The marriage failed and was dissolved in the 1930s.
A trained interior decorator and upholsterer, Aron Bezen ran a small repair shop at Wexstraße 42 since 1927, where he also lived with his family for a brief period. On 4 May 1930, he opened an upholstery and interior decorating store at Elbstraße 60. The business address quickly changed to Winterhuder Weg 86, where one or two journeymen were always employed at the same time.
After the divorce, Frieda moved with daughter Hannelore to Neue Steinweg 79. Since 4 June 1936, Aron had his living quarters, too, at Winterhuder Weg 86 in a small apartment. In the mid-1930s, he met his second wife. Born on 26 June 1905 in Herford, Erna Berta Hecht was the daughter of Arthur Hecht and his wife Rosalie Löwenthal. She worked as a sales assistant for Alfred Laassen at Kaiser-Wilhelmstraße 49. In 1938, she moved in with Aron to Winterhuder Weg 86. Their first child, Leonhard, was born on 2 July 1938.
In March 1939, Aron and Erna got married, and another child followed, Bilha Erna, born on 5 Dec. 1939. That same year, Aron’s first daughter Hannelore had to transfer from elementary school (Volksschule) to the Jewish Talmud Tora School.
Based on the "Decree on the Elimination of the Jews from German Economic Life” ("Verordnung zur Ausschaltung der Juden aus dem deutschen Wirtschaftsleben”) dated 12 Nov. 1938, Aron Bezen lost his business as well. In 1939, the upholstery workshop was "Aryanized,” with one Mr. Flashar acquiring the business for little money. Subsequently, Aron Bezen was forced to work as a journeyman in other people’s workshops in order to be able to support his family.
The Bezen family lost their apartment as well, having to move to Eppendorfer Weg 9 as subtenants. This was also their deportation address. On 25 Oct. 1941, the entire family was deported to the Lodz Ghetto, where they changed addresses once. They first lived at Reiterstraße 27, then moving to Bleicherweg 17 in late Nov. 1941.
Since 16 Dec. 1941, Aron Bezen worked as an interior decorator and upholsterer at the Lodz Ghetto, changing to the Marysin wood wool plant on 12 Mar. 1942 to work there as an upholsterer. In Sept. 1942, the Bezen family received a letter informing them that they would be "resettled” from the ghetto. Aron Bezen thereupon lodged an appeal, arguing with his job. Aron Bezen was indeed exempted from "departing.” However, his wife Erna and their children Leonhard and Bilha were "resettled” from the Lodz Ghetto on 29 Sept. 1942. This meant certain death for them in a gas van on the castle courtyard of Chelmno. The subsequent fate of Aron Bezen remains unresolved.
Frieda and Hannelore were deported from Hamburg to the Minsk Ghetto on 8 Nov. 1941and perished there.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Carmen Smiatacz
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 17.04.99 Bezen, Aron; StaHH 741-4, Fotoarchiv, Sa 1246; Archivum Panstwowe, Lodz; USHMM, RG 15.083 301/103-105; ITS/ARCH/Transportlisten Gestapo (Hamburg)/11198207#1 (18.104.22.168/0001-0060/0017G/0045); ITS/ARCH/Getto Litzmannstadt/1202403#1 (22.214.171.124/0006/ 0096).
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