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Heinz Alexander * 1914

Lübecker Straße Ecke Steinhauer Damm (Hamburg-Nord, Hohenfelde)

JG. 1914

further stumbling stones in Lübecker Straße Ecke Steinhauer Damm:
Sophie Cohn, Bernhard Lewinsohn

Heinz Alexander, born on 21 Feb. 1914 in Hamburg, arrested several times from 1937 until 1941, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to the Riga Ghetto, murdered there

Intersection of Lübecker Strasse/Steinhauerdamm

At the time Hedwig Bamberger gave birth to her son Heinz, she was not married, a particularly difficult situation for that time. She came from Crailsheim near Stuttgart and was born on 25 Aug. 1891 as the second youngest child of the Jewish couple Benedikt Bamberger and his wife Jette, née Feldenheimer. The parents were married in 1877 and had nine children, four boys and five girls. As a young woman, Hedwig moved to Hamburg, where she met the future father of Heinz. He was not Jewish and belonged to the Protestant Church. However, they did not start a family together. After Heinz’s birth, Hedwig Bamberger met the sales representative Alfred Alexander, also in Hamburg. He was Jewish just like her, one and a half years younger and, one son of Meyer and Pauline Alexander, née Strauss. Hedwig Bamberger and Alfred Alexander were married on 11 May 1920 and about four years later, in June 1924, Alfred Alexander was appointed Heinz’s guardian by the Hamburg guardianship authorities. Since that time Heinz had the surname Alexander, although his foster father had not adopted him.

After finishing school, Heinz began training as a chef in 1932, at the age of 18. That was what he always wanted. He moved from Hamburg to Bremerhaven, where he trained at the Hotel Excelsior. After almost two years of apprenticeship, the owner of the hotel changed and Heinz decided to finish his training in Hamburg, in the classy Hotel Reichshof on Kirchenallee, opposite the main railway station.

After finishing his apprenticeship, he left the hotel to complete his six months in Reich Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst) to which every young man in the German Reich had been obliged since June 1935. He was then temporarily hired as a camp cook at his workplace, after which he briefly worked as a chef in the officers’ casino of the flying corps. On 14 Nov. 1935, the First Ordinance to the Reich Citizenship Law (1. Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz) – part of the "Nuremberg Laws” dated 15 Sept. 1935 – came into force. Heinz Alexander was dismissed from the Wehrmacht as a "Jewish crossbreed of the first degree” ("Mischling ersten Grades”) pursuant to Sec. 4 Par. 2 of this ordinance. He then worked for several months as a chef in major private hotels and restaurants: in the Uhlenhorster Fährhaus, in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten on Neuer Jungfernstieg and in the Palast-Hotel located next door at the time. He benefited from the good training he had received, which allowed him to work even as a solo chef.

Since Heinz Alexander was back in Hamburg again, he lived with his mother and her husband, first at Brahmsallee 31 and then at Dillstrasse 6. At the beginning of 1937, he found a room as a subtenant at Lübecker Strasse 133 with Ziebert. SS Untersturmführer [SS rank equivalent to second lieutenant] Eugen Ziebert ran the restaurant called "Lübscher Baum” at this address and probably Heinz Alexander, a "Mischling ersten Grades,” worked for him as a cook.

The "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor” ("Gesetz zum Schutze des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre”) was also one of the "Nuremberg Laws” passed on 15 Sept. 1935. Among other things, it made sexual contact between Jews and "persons of German blood” ("Deutschblütige”) a punishable offense. This law proved Heinz Alexander’s undoing, as he had apparently entered into a relationship with a non-Jewish woman. On 1 Oct. 1937, he was arrested and taken to the Hamburg-Stadt pretrial detention center on Holstenglacis. On 23 Feb. 1938, the "Sixth Grand Criminal Chamber” (Grosse Strafkammer 6) at the Hamburg Regional Court (Landgericht) sentenced him to four years in a penitentiary and three years’ loss of civil rights (Ehrverlust) for "continued racial defilement” ("fortgesetzte Rassenschande”). Two days later, he was sent to the Bremen-Oslebshausen penitentiary. From there, he was transferred to the Celle prison on 29 Nov. 1939. About eight months later, on 3 Aug. 1940, he was relocated to Hameln prison. He had to stay there until 23 Nov. 1941. On that day, he was taken back to Hamburg because he had served his sentence as calculated against his pretrial detention.

While Heinz Alexander was imprisoned, his mother Hedwig and his foster father Alfred Alexander had left Germany. They had lived in their apartment on Dillstrasse until 1939. Then they had been forced to vacate it and first lived with Alfred Alexander’s widowed mother on Marcusstrasse, subsequently as subtenants at Rappstrasse 6, and then a few houses away at no. 16. In Mar. 1941, they managed to flee to the USA. Hedwig Alexander had last seen her son in the autumn of 1940, after which there was an exchange of letters until she left. From then on, she never heard from him again. Since Heinrich Himmler, Reich Leader SS (Reichsführer-SS) and Chief of the German Police, had banned Jewish emigration with immediate effect on 23 Oct. 1941, Heinz could not follow his mother either and had to stay in Hamburg. His last place of residence, also no longer voluntarily chosen, was the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Beneckestrasse 2.

Not even two weeks after his release, on 6 Dec. 1941, Heinz Alexander was deported to the Riga Ghetto and murdered there. He was 27 years old.

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

Stand: December 2019
© Frauke Steinhäuser

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; 9; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 40019; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 13662; 332-5 Standesämter 8741 u. 297/1921; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992 e 1, Bd. 3, Transportlisten der deportierten Hamburger Juden, Transport nach Riga am 6.1.21941; Benz, Graml, Weiß (Hg.), Enzyklopädie des Nationalsozialismus, München 1997, Einträge "Abstammungsnachweis", "Arierparagraph" u. "Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums"; 1. VO zum Reichsbürgergesetz, in: Walk (Hrsg.), Sonderrecht, S. 139; Hans Franke, Geschichte und Schicksal der Juden in Heilbronn. Vom Mittelalter bis zu der Zeit der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgungen (1050–1945), Veröffentlichungen des Archivs der Stadt Heilbronn, 11, Heilbronn, 1963, um Korr. ergänzte Onlineversion 2009/2011, PDF-Download von: (letzter Zugriff 2.3.2015); E-Mail-Auskunft von Walter Hirschmann, Stadtarchiv Heilbronn, vom 10.9.2013.
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