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Paul Drucker * 1863

Propst-Paulsen-Straße 1 (Altona, Blankenese)

1942 Theresienstadt
ermordet 10.08.1942

Paul Drucker, born 1/18/1863, deported to Theresienstadt on 7/19/1942, died there on 8/10/1942

Blankeneser Bahnhofstrasse 52

Paul Drucker, born in Leipzig on January 18th, 1863, was registered as a member of Jewish Community Altona from February 26th, 1936. Only then, at the age of 73, had he come to Hamburg. He first lived in Hamburg as a subtenant, mostly in the Grindel quarter; then, from February 26th, 1936 at Isestrasse 37 with Romann, then at Bismarckstrasse 90 with Levy and finally, from October 26th, 1939 at Lindenallee 26 with Libelsky. From April 16th, 1940, he lived at Isestrasse 71 with Sallinger, and from May 30th, 1941 at Eppendorfer Baum 58 with Heymann. The families, Jewish themselves, helped each other the best they could.

Drucker’s housing situation was due to his small income from self-employed work. In his Hamburg days, especially from August, 1940, he no longer had to pay the culture tax. A note in his culture tax card says that from September 2nd, 1940, he was living from the monthly support payments of 65 RM from his nephew, i.e. below subsistence level. Pensions at the time were no longer paid to Jews in Germany, and Paul Drucker had to see how he could make ends meet.

His parents were Siegmund and Emma Drucker, his mother née Porat. Their first names alone indicate the family’s willingness to assimilate. This explains that their son Paul only joined the Jewish Community in Leipzig in 1931, reassuring himself of his being Jewish. He worked as a "commercial sub collector”, which included the lottery business, i.e. that he concluded contracts with state lotteries for his customers. It is likely that he partly got the tickets from a main collector on a commission basis, making is living from meager sub-commissions. You couldn’t get rich that way. Accordingly, he must have had some sort of commercial training that enabled him to do bookkeeping. Paul Drucker was single and never had children. He was a German citizen and in Hamburg was forced to adopt "Israel” additional middle name; his religion was given as "Mosaic.” Paul Drucker was able to pay his culture tax for the years 1931/1932, and then no longer. From December 7th, 1933, he lived from the support of the Jewish assistance fund and according to a handwritten entry in his Altona Community tax card was listed as "completely penniless” from February, 1938. Paul Drucker often changed his residence, because the people with whom he lived themselves fell victim to the machinery of the persecution system.

In Blankenese, that belonged to Altona, he first stayed at Probst-Paulsen-Strasse 1 and finally at Blankeneser Bahnhofstrasse 52; both houses are near the Blankenese railroad station. In the end, he had to move to a "Jews’ house” at Blücherstrasse 20 in Altona. According to the Reich law on "rental contracts with Jews” of April 30th, 1939, rent protection and the free choice of residence were abolished for Jews, so that the Jewish population could be ghettoized in certain parts of town. However, Drucker’s last address in Hamburg, according to the documents from Theresienstadt, was Vesternstrasse [sic!] 27, in correct spelling Westerstrasse – the building known as Daniel Wormser House, where Jewish emigrants waiting for their boats to America had been quartered at the turn from the 19th to the 20th century; the institution had been created in 1909 by the "Israelitic Support Association for the Homeless” at the initiative of Daniel Wormser, a teacher at the Talmud Tora School; with financial support by the philanthropist Baron Moritz von Hirsch from Paris. Here, in the old Mint Quarter between the main station and Lohseplatz, and also elsewhere in the city, the Jewish citizens of Hamburg were barracked in the "Jews’ houses” managed by the Jewish Religious Association in the early 1940s.

Paul Drucker had been located by the authorities by means of the Jewish Community’s address lists. At the end, he was deported on an "evacuation order” from Hannover Station ion Lohseplatz for "relocation to the east.” According to the documents of the Jewish Community, Paul Drucker had "left” by "migration” on July 19th, 1942. This indicates he was deported on transport VI/2, number 114 on July 19th, 1942 to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, also known as "ghetto for celebrities and old folks.” Of the total of 803 people on that transport, only 72 survived. The sanitary conditions, food and drink on the train that arrived in Terezin (the Czech name of Theresienstadt) were disastrous.

On July 21st, Paul Drucker was assigned to a dwelling in the camp. According to the death notice of the Council of Elders in Theresienstadt, Drucker suffered from arteriosclerosis and died of cardiac insufficiency at 4:40 a.m. on August 10th, 1942 in building Ea III, presumably in his room with the number 166, or in a sick ward, where camp doctor Paul Fischer officially recorded the death of the man from Hamburg with origins in Leipzig.

We don’t know whether Drucker was spry enough to attend to attend cultural events in the camp or if he was simply starving and died of physical and mental emaciation like so many others around him. The name Drucker appears more than forty times on today’s records of Theresienstadt/Terezin. The philosopher Franz Rosenzweig once said: "Every human being has the right to his own first and family name.” And, one might add, ”to his or her own lived and told story … ".

Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: April 2018
© Jakob Krajewsky

Quellen: 1; 3; 5; 7; Nationalarchiv Prag, Terezin Initiative Institut, Zidowske nawiky, Ohleduci listy, Ghetto Terezin, Band 10; Beate Meyer, Judenhäuser, in: Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg (Hrsg.), Das Jüdische Hamburg, S. 130–131.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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