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Hans Neufeld
Hans Neufeld
© Privatbesitz

Hans Neufeld * 1886

Hölertwiete 8 (Harburg, Harburg)

JG. 1886

further stumbling stones in Hölertwiete 8:
Hertha Künstlinger, Clotilde Neufeld, Julius Neufeld

Clotilde Neufeld, née. Baumann, b. 4.25.1862 in Immenrode, deported to Theresienstadt on 7.15.1942, died there on 2.23.1943
Hans Neufeld, b. 3.11.1886 in Harburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 2.14.1945, died there on 5.18.1945
Julius Neufeld, b. 9.12.1860 in Pattensen, deported to Theresienstadt on 7.15.1942, died there on 12.24.1942

Hölertwiete 8 (formerly: Ludwigstraße 13)

The shared path through life of the Jewish married couple, Julius and Clotilde Neufeld, began in Harburg-on-Elbe. Here were born their children Hans (b. 3.11.1886), Fritz (b. 5.20.1887), and Ernst (b.5.5.1888). Their desire to adapt to the majority society could not have been insignificant. That the parents and all the children underwent baptism as Protestants speaks to this point.

A few years later, the family moved to Sangerhauen in the southern Harz mountains, a place Clotilde knew well from her childhood. Julius Neufeld operated a small shoe factory, and it was also here that he experienced the birth of his daughter Rosa on 18 June 1890.

She did not remain the only girl in the family. On 28 February 1895, her sister Irma was born in Hamburg, where the Neufelds had in the meantime found a new home in Barmbek. Hans Neufeld attended the Wilhelm preparatory school, and at Easter 1904, as the Protestant son of the factory owner Julius Neufeld, he graduated with good grades in the modern languages and the humanities. Subsequently, he studied history, geography, and German language and literature at the universities of Jena, Heidelberg, and Göttingen. In the last named university he stood for the examinations to qualify for a teaching position at an institution of higher education. In 1910 he published his doctoral thesis. He completed his practice teaching at the Johanneum Gymnasium in Hamburg and at the Higher Vocational School in Eimsbüttel.

Following their schooling, his two brothers received their first professional training in their father’s shoe business. All three were soldiers in the trenches and on the battlefields during the disastrous struggle of the nations during World War I. Ernst Neufeld gave up his life; his brothers returned to the homeland bearing the Iron Cross.

Hans and Fritz Neufeld started their own families after the war, while their sisters Rosa and Irma remained single. On 3 June 1925, Hans Neufeld married the non-Jewish Ernestine (Erna) Jacobine Mathilde Völscho (b. 1899 in Hamburg). Two daughters came from this marriage, Hildegard and Elisabeth Neufeld. Their Uncle Fritz Neufeld got married in 1933 to the non-Jewish Edith Körtge (b. 1909 in Hamburg). On 30 December 1933, their son Uwe came into the world.

The naming of Adolf Hitler to the Reich-Chancellorship led to profound alterations in the life of the Neufeld family. On 30 January 1934 at the age of 48, Dr. Hans Neufeld, because of his Jewish descent, was forced into retirement according to §6 of "the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service." After his second examination for a higher level teaching position, he had taught at the Higher Vocational School in Eimsbüttel, then in the Dr. Anton Reé Vocational School at the Zeughausmarkt, and finally for a few months at the Johanneum Gymnasium on Maria-Louisen-Strasse. On his small pension – only 67% of his salary was pensionable – he could scarcely feed his family. In 1942, he had to sign over his house on Heilholtkamp in Alsterdorf to his "Aryan" wife Ernestine (Erna). Fritz Neufeld also had to give up his firm, a wholesale house that supplied shoemakers with their necessities. On 7 January 1941 he put his business in his wife Edith’s name. He had to break off all contact with his customers and suppliers. During World War II, both brothers were put to forced labor in horticulture and in the clearing of rubble. For Hans Neufeld, the man of letters, this activity was difficult to bear. Both sisters, although Protestants, were classified as Jews by the Nazi Nuremberg Laws; both had been active in the Hamburg healthcare system. Their professional existence became ever more precarious. By the end, the only place it was possible for them to remain professionally active was the Israelite hospital. They lived with their parents for a long time, and then they, as well as their mother and father, had to move into a "Jew house" in the early years of World War II.

After the four great transports of 1941 in which 3,162 Jewish men, women, and children had been deported to the East from the Hanover railroad station in the Port of Hamburg, a second wave of transports began in the summer of 1942. On 11 July Irma and Rosa Neufeld were seized. For the sisters, the evacuation to Auschwitz was a journey into death.

Four days later, on 15 July 1942, Clotilde and Julius Neufeld, together with 924 other persons were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, after having received the relevant "evacuation order." Diverse detailed instructions were given to them that had to be observed meticulously. Upon their arrival at the prescribed gathering place, they had to present an exact accounting of their remaining property, in so far as anything was left from their much shrunken household. According to the 11th provision of the Reich Citizen’s Act of 25 November 1941, upon "their relocation to a residence abroad" their property reverted to the German Reich. Simultaneously, their German citizenship was revoked. A letter of 30 September 1942 to the chief financial authority reveals what objects from the household of Julius and Clotilde were left for the new owner to find. (The couple’s last address was the "Jew house" at Frickestrasse 24 in Hamburg-Eppendorf.) The sale of a small worn out carpet runner, an armoire, a grandfather’s clock, and five additional pillows brought proceeds of 225.82 RM, which went into the coffers of the state.

The couple’s new "residence," Theresienstadt – the former Austrian fortress on the Eger River – was converted in the fall of 1941 into a holding camp, that is, a ghetto, by the National Socialist rulers; at first, it held Czech Jews and soon thereafter Jews from Germany and other European countries.

In the summer of 1942, continuously new transports consisting of hundreds of people were brought to this location. When Clotilde and Julius Neufeld entered the ghetto, it was already hopelessly overcrowded. In the rooms of the old barracks that were meant for about 10 soldiers, more than 50 people now had to cope with one another.

In view of this crowding, there could be no question of private space. The sanitary arrangements were not adapted to these changed conditions. The everyday experience of the inhabitants, male and female, was stamped with hunger and illness. Medical care was wholly inadequate. Under these circumstances it was no wonder that more than 100 people died every day. In September 1942 the monthly death rate in the ghetto rose to 3,941. The vitality of the Neufeld couple also sank rapidly in this environment. Five months after their arrival in Theresienstadt, Julius Neufeld was dead. He died on Christmas Eve of 1942 at the age of 82. Two months later, on 23 February 1943, Clotilde Neufeld closed her eyes forever. She was 80.

When, and if, Hans and Fritz Neufeld learned of this can no longer be clearly established. They were exempted from deportation for a long time because they were married to "Aryan" women. At the end of the war, however, the National Socialist rulers let lapse the last exceptions for those with "German blood" relatives. All across the Reich, Jewish men and women living in mixed marriages received the order for "foreign work assignment" in Theresienstadt. In Hamburg 66 men and 128 women were affected, among them Hans and Fritz Neufeld. On 14 February 1945, as the Allied armies were already crossing the borders into Germany, the brothers and their companions in destiny set off on a trip into the unknown.

In Theresienstadt, they watched day after day as thousands of prisoners, half-starved and exhausted, poured in from the evacuated concentration camps in the East. Many of them were sick. In the last days of the war and after the liberation of the ghetto by Soviet troops, there broke out an epidemic of typhus abdominalis that carried off Hans Neufeld. He died on 18 May 1945. His brother Fritz survived imprisonment and the horrors of the following days and returned to Hamburg in the summer of 1945.

Translator: Richard Levy

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: November 2017
© Klaus Möller

Quellen: Hamburger jüdische Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Gedenkbuch, Jürgen Sielemann, Paul Flamme (Hrsg.), Hamburg 1995; Gedenkbuch. Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933–1945, Bundesarchiv (Hrsg.), Koblenz 2006; Yad Vashem. The Central Database of Shoa Victims´ Names:; Theresienstädter Gedenkbuch. Die Opfer der Judentransporte aus Deutschland nach Theresienstadt 1942–1945, Prag 2000; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident, R 1942/58, J / 6 / 657, N 110; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 332-8 Meldewesen, A 50/1, Alphabetische Meldekartei 1943–1945, verzogen/verstorben, Film Nr. K 5053, Eintrag Hans Neufeld; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 332-5 Standesämter, 12880; Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 351-11 Wiedergutmachung, 8595 (Hans Neufeld), 9727 (Fritz Neufeld); Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 131-11 Personalamt, LN 1280c; Iris Groschek, Dr. Hans Neufeld – eine Spurensuche, in: Zeitschrift für Niederdeutsche Familienkunde, Bd. 79, 2004; Hamburgisches Lehrer-Verzeichnis für das gesamte Stadt- und Landgebiet Schuljahr 1938/39, NS-Lehrerbund Hamburg (Hrsg.), Hamburg 1938, Harburger Adressbuch 1886.

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