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Rudolf Leo Boas * 1875
Rappstraße 22 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
RUDOLF LEO BOAS
Rudolf Leo Boas, born on 11 Oct. 1875 in Hamburg, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the "euthanasia” killing center in Brandenburg/Havel
Stolperstein in Hamburg-Rotherbaum, at Rappstrasse 22
Joseph Boas, born on 27 Feb. 1824, a Jewish merchant from Kurnick in the Prussian Province of Posen (today Kornik, Wojewodztwo Wielkopolskie, Poland), and his wife Henrietta, née Bandmann, born in New York in 1843 and also Jewish, initially lived at Holstenstrasse 5 (today Altona-Nord). In 1870, they moved to Grindelhof 56 in Hamburg-Rotherbaum. Their son Rudolf Leo was born here on 11 Oct. 1875. In 1877, the family relocated to Chaussee 7 in Eppendorf (today Rothenbaumchaussee).
Joseph and Henrietta Boas had married in San Francisco in 1865. Both spouses had American citizenship. They probably settled in Hamburg as early as 1867, because the Hamburg directory first lists Joseph Boas in 1868 as co-owner of the E. B. Richard & Boas Company at Admiralitätsstrasse 76. The purpose of the company was the shipping and currency exchange business. In 1890, Joseph Boas was granted Hamburg civic rights (Bürgerrecht, i.e., citizenship). On 14 Mar. 1906, at the age of 82, he died as a rentier at Curschmannstrasse 1 in the Hoheluft-Ost quarter.
Henrietta Boas changed residences several times after the death of her husband. She outlived her husband by ten years and died on 24 June 1916.
Very little is known about Rudolf Leo Boas during all these years. We only know that before 1911, he had been a patient in the "Friedrichsberg lunatic asylum” ("Irrenanstalt Friedrichsberg”) three times, then again before 1918 and again at the end of 1918/beginning of 1919. The only remaining document from the "Friedrichsberg lunatic asylum,” the patient file card, does not contain any details, only the occupational designation of "gardener.”
Rudolf Boas joined the Hamburg Jewish Community in 1935. However, Jewish religious taxes (Kultussteuer) were not levied because he was unemployed and in 1937, unfit for work as well. This indicates that an illness prevented Rudolf Boas from making his own living. His Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card of the Jewish Community for 1937 contains the address of Rappstrasse 22 with Cohn; apparently, he worked as a gardener at short notice. In Nov. 1937 or early 1938, he was admitted to the Hamburg-Langenhorn State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Hamburg-Langenhorn). No files on him exist anymore. Thus, the circumstances of his stay in Langenhorn remain in the dark.
In the spring/summer of 1940, the "euthanasia” headquarters in Berlin, located at Tiergartenstrasse 4, planned a special operation aimed against Jews in public and private sanatoriums and nursing homes. It had the Jewish persons living in the institutions registered and moved together in what were officially so-called collection institutions. The Hamburg-Langenhorn State Hospital, by then renamed Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Hamburg-Langenhorn), was designated the North German collection institution. All institutions in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg were ordered to move the Jews living in their facilities there by 18 Sept. 1940.
Rudolf Boas was one of the patients who had lived in Langenhorn for some time. On 23 September, he was loaded into a train with a further 135 patients from North German institutions at the Ochsenzoll freight station and transported to Brandenburg/Havel. On the same day, the patients were killed with carbon monoxide in the part of the former penitentiary that had been converted into a gas-killing facility. Only Ilse Herta Zachmann escaped this fate at first (see corresponding entry).
It was noted on his birth register entry that Rudolf Boas died on 2 Feb. 1941 and that the records office Chelm II registered his death under number 432/1941. Those murdered in Brandenburg, however, were never in Chelm (Polish) or Cholm (German), a town east of Lublin. The former Polish sanatorium there no longer existed after SS units had murdered almost all patients on 12 Jan. 1940. Also, there was no German records office in Chelm. Its fabrication and the use of postdated dates of death served to disguise the killing operation and at the same time enabled the authorities to claim higher care expenses for periods extended accordingly.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: June 2020
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 9; AB; StaH 133-1 III Staatsarchiv III, 3171-2/4 U.A. 4, Liste psychisch kranker jüdischer Patientinnen und Patienten der psychiatrischen Anstalt Langenhorn, die aufgrund nationalsozialistischer "Euthanasie"-Maßnahmen ermordet wurden, zusammengestellt von Peter von Rönn, Hamburg (Projektgruppe zur Erforschung des Schicksals psychisch Kranker in Langenhorn); 332-3 Zivilstandsaufsicht A Nr. 289 Geburtsregister Nr. 308/1875 Rudolph Leo Boas; 332-5 Standesämter 9663 Sterberegister Nr. 609/1906 Joseph Boas; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.1939 bis 27.1.1941; UKE/IGEM, Archiv, Patienten-Karteikarte Rudolf Leo Boas der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg.
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