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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Robert Salomon Borchardt * 1869
Eppendorfer Landstraße 14 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
further stumbling stones in Eppendorfer Landstraße 14:
Claus-Jürgen Borchardt, Charlotte Borchardt, Herbert Heckscher, Amalie Leser, Hans Leser, Siegbert Leser, Ernst J. Schönhof, Rudolf W. Stamm, Else Stamm, Eric Walter Stamm, Dr. Carl Stamm, Minna Margarethe Stamm
Robert Salomon Borchardt, born 22.8.1869 Memel, deported 15.7.1942 to Theresienstadt, death 2.10.1943 there
Claus-Jürgen Borchardt, born 8.5.1926 Hamburg, deported 15.7.1942 to Theresienstadt, death 3.1.1945 KZ Dachau/Kaufering
Eppendorfer Landstraße 14
On August 10, 1946, Charlotte Borchardt wrote from DP camp Deggendorf to the daughter of a former fellow prisoner in the Theresienstadt ghetto:
" ... So summer and winter passed year by year in this wasteland and seclusion until May 14, 1944, on which day your dear good mother was transported to Poland with a giant transport of about 2-3,000 people, to which your aunt Agnes and my siblings were also attached. All of them were still in good spirits and all of them had the firm will to hold out. No one had any idea of the gruesome days and things they were facing. ... We, the survivors, only learned what was going on there in Poland after our liberation by the Russians on May 4, 1945. I myself lost my entire family, my husband, my only beloved son and my brothers and sisters in this way and was left alone out of 5 people. The will to continue living exists only to a very small extent; for I do not yet know what I will begin, since I no longer have any relatives, home or homeland.
... Yours Mrs. Charlotte Borchardt"
Charlotte Borchardt, wife of Robert and mother of Claus-Jürgen Borchardt, who were deported together from Hamburg to the ghetto and transit camp Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942, experienced the liberation there on May 5, 1945 by the Red Army.
She was not able to leave until July 13, 1945, and was accommodated as a "displaced person" in the DP camp of Deggendorf in the American occupation zone, since she was unable to give a home address. There she waited in the hope of news from her son Claus-Jürgen. Her husband Robert had already died in the ghetto.
Robert Salomon Borchardt, born August 22, 1869 in Memel, came from a widely spread Jewish family. His parents, Salomon Borchardt (1833 Neustadt/West Prussia - 1901 Königsberg) and Pauline, née Rosenthal, (1845 Zempelburg/ West Prussia - 1932 Königsberg) had moved to Königsberg, where they also died.
Robert Borchardt became a merchant and settled in Hamburg in 1889 to take up a position there. At first he worked for the company F.K. Borchardt and lived at Rothenbaumchaussee 101 in Hamburg-Rotherbaum. Ten years later, he went into business for himself as a sales representative and later with an export and import business for "chemical-technical products, mineral oils and fats" based at Brandstwiete 36.
In 1908, his taxable annual income amounted to 5000 marks, enough to apply for the Hamburg State citizenship. Since he also fulfilled the other conditions - completed military service, never received social aid - he was granted Hamburg citizenship on December 29, 1909. His previous Prussian citizenship card was withdrawn.
The following year (1910) he married Edith Esther Hedwig Loewenheim, born February 19, 1887 in Berlin, who was also of Jewish origin. She lived at Brahmsallee 18. Their witnesses were the merchant Martin Moses Cohn of Schlüterstraße 12 and the dentist Beni Sender of Rothenbaumchaussee 101.
The couple moved to Eppendorf to Haynstrasse 13, where they set up home in a middle-class manner. Until the beginning of World War I, Robert Borchardt made a good living, but with the start of the war, the export business broke off. At the age of 47, he was drafted into military service in 1916 and returned in 1918. He also showed his patriotism by subscribing to war bonds and war relief funds. Charlotte Borchardt was awarded the Cross of Merit for War Relief.
Their assets still amounted to about RM 50 800.
During the war period, Robert Borchardt no longer earned any taxable income and was supported by relatives, friends and charities. The Jewish Community initially deferred payment of his contributions and then waived them entirely. In 1917, Robert and Edith Borchardt moved into a 5-room apartment at Eppendorfer Landstraße 14 with their middle class furnishings. It was not until 1920 that Robert Borchardt was again able to show a positive business balance, but because of inflation he was no longer able to build a new existence.
The marriage remained childless and was divorced on October 25, 1921.
In 1923, Robert Borchardt married in his second marriage (January 27, 1923 in Berlin-Schmargendorf) Charlotte Julie, née Breslauer, also Jewish, born November 8, 1884 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. She was the daughter of the merchant Max Breslauer and Martha, née Biberfeld. She moved in with her husband in Hamburg at Eppendorfer Landstraße 14. Charlotte Borchardt had not learned a trade, but worked together with her husband.
In 1924, he transferred the furniture to her by contract.
On May 8, 1926 their son Claus-Jürgen was born. He remained the only child.
In 1930 Robert Borchardt had to apply for welfare aid to make up his rent arrears. Despite renting a room, dismissing the house help and terminating the employment of the typist, and despite the support of his mother Martha Breslauer in Berlin for her grandson Claus, he was unable to meet the rental costs. In November 1930, he took the oath of disclosure, had his business transferred to his wife by the commercial court on December 12, 1930, but retained the power of attorney.
Robert and Charlotte Borchardt had to move into a smaller apartment. Since Charlotte did not want to part with her furniture, it was put into storage until a new apartment could be found. Until then, the family lived as subtenants, first in Brödermannsweg in Groß-Borstel and then in Wrangelstraße in Hoheluft-West.
In 1931, Robert Borchardt received as part of welfare work a temporary employment at the Statistical Office. The couple gave up the office of the company and moved it to the newly rented apartment Schlüterstraße 77. In the same year, Robert’s brother, (Medizinalrat) Dr. Eugen Borchardt died in Berlin.
Son Claus Borchardt attended the speech therapy school at Altonaerstraße 38 because of a speech disorder, whether from the beginning cannot be seen from the available sources.
Charlotte and Robert Borchardt did not give up their business completely because it still recorded outstanding debts and commissions from companies he represented in Belgium, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy and in the German Reich. Offsets with welfare, income from subletting, small donations, and small private loans diminished the welfare payments, and reliable monthly alimony payments did not materialize.
At Christmas 1933, the Borchardt family sat "starving and freezing" in their apartment, according to the welfare file. Robert Borchardt reminded the welfare authorities of the Führer's will: "No comrade of the people shall starve and freeze" and presented the pawn tickets for everything that had any value. He referred to the performance of his patriotic duties in the First World War as K.v - Mann (= capable of war use) and as a subscriber of war bonds.
The National Socialist seizure of power in 1933 initially did not directly affect the situation of the Borchardt family. In 1934, Robert Borchardt, as a front-line fighter, received the World War Cross of Honor, donated by President Paul von Hindenburg to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
In July 1934, the next move of the Borchardt family took place, now to an apartment with two rooms and two chambers at Heinrich-Barth-Straße 34. Claus had suffered several infectious diseases and was now suspected of having TB. The Jewish Community Youth Welfare Service sent him for a cure in July 1935, but the pulmonary welfare service found no evidence for TB.
After completing elementary school, Claus transferred to the Talmud Tora School (Realschule) in Grindelhof in 1936. A year later he contracted diphtheria and was treated at the Eppendorf University Hospital, for which the parents had to bear the costs themselves. The welfare office advised Charlotte Borchardt to try to find work. From 1935 to 1938, Robert Borchardt still earned a small income from foreign compensation transactions with Hamburg companies, but this income declined as "Aryans" withdrew from Jewish business partners.
Robert Borchardt now turned to the middle-class assistance of the Jewish Welfare Office. In agreement with the Welfare Office, he applied for small pensioner assistance, to which he was entitled under Reich law. He received 130 RM per month until April 1938. In the meantime, he was 68 years old and was no longer considered fit for work.
Things also changed for Claus Borchardt: Because the number of students had dropped sharply, the two Jewish schools, the Talmud Tora School (TTS) and the Jewish Girls' School Carolinenstraße, were merged as of the 1938/39 school year, an innovation for the students. At the beginning of the school year, the girls were also taught in the TTS at Grindelhof, and after the summer vacations the entire school moved to the former Carolinenstraße Girls' School, which was now called TTS.
In the fall of that year, Robert Borchardt was sued out of the apartment and the family moved to Harvestehude into a 4-room apartment at Klosterallee 28 in order to be able to pay their own rent by subletting. His nephew Hans Borchardt granted him a loan against furniture and valuables as collateral. In 1937, commissions from the 12 companies he still represented were too small to cover his living expenses.
Borchardts sold some of their furniture and organized the next move. They stayed in Harvestehude and moved to Hansastraße 79 on April 1, 1938. Shortly before, Charlotte Borchardt - like all Jews - had already had to hand over valuables and silverware, followed by her furs on January 1, 1940.
The family did not receive any ongoing state support. It was not until November 10, 1939, that she was assigned to "Special Service B" of the welfare department for Jews. Prior to that, they had received one-time payments for heating, footwear, and health costs as needed; the Jewish Community provided winter and food assistance at most.
Claus Borchardt left the Talmud Tora School in 1941 (= mittlere Reife). In the meantime, welfare had forced Robert and Charlotte Borchardt to close their business, which they were able to delay until December 1941.
After Robert and Charlotte Borchardt could no longer live on Hansastraße either, the Jewish Community accommodated them in one of their houses in the small street Durchschnitt 8. Before they were deported themselves, their sister-in-law, Eugen Borchardt's wife Charlotte Rebekka, was deported to Riga and Felix Nathan Borchardt was imprisoned in Berlin.
Charlotte, Robert and Claus Borchardt received the order for "evacuation" to the old-age ghetto of Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942. Their assembly point was the Altonaerstraße school, where Claus had spent elementary school years.
In Theresienstadt, Claus and his parents were separated. 16 years old, Claus was assigned to the "Jugendheim" and daily put to work outside the ghetto, first in the SS vehicle pool cleaning cars, then doing earthwork and digging water channels until he was hospitalized for weeks due to jaundice and scarlet fever. Despite his physical weakness, further work assignments followed.
Nothing is known about Robert Borchardt's work; Charlotte Borchardt worked in the "mattress department" from February 1943.
In March, her sister Alice arrived with a transport from Berlin.
The hygienic conditions favored epidemics, the malnutrition an early death. On October 2, 1943, Robert Borchardt died at the age of 74.
Charlotte Borchardt's sister Alice was further deported to Auschwitz in May 1944.
From September 1944 Charlotte Borchardt worked in the mica works, where she had to split mica (layered silicate).
On the night of September 28 to 29, 1944, Claus Borchardt was deported along with other men "fit for work”: the autumn transports began, to which thousands of ghetto residents fell victim. His mother did not find out where he was going until after her liberation during her stay at the DP camp in Deggendorf. His path had led to underground forced labor in the Dachau subcamp Kaufering, where he died on January 3, 1945. He had been 18 years old.
Of Charlotte Borchardt's closer relatives, only one cousin was still living in Berlin and another in New York, as well as an aunt and a niece. Her brother-in-law Felix Nathan had also been murdered in Auschwitz in October 1943.
Charlotte Borchardt decided to immigrate via Bremen to New York. Until her restitution was settled, she lived off her work as a house helper.
She died in the USA on November 20, 1963, at the age of 79.
Stand: March 2022
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 7; 9; StAHH 213-13, 6702, 6703; 351-11, 7127; 351-14, 1018; Ursula Randt, Carolinenstrasse 35, Hamburg 1996; genealogische Ergänzungen von Uri Shani, E-Mail vom 21.02.2022; Dr. Irene Below, Brief von Charlotte Borchardt an Frau Lieber dankenswerter Weise zugesandt am 14.1.2022.
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