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Julie Cahn (née Horwitz) * 1904
Brahmsallee 23 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Julie Cahn, née Horwitz, born on 16 Apr. 1904 in Hamburg, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the Brandenburg/Havel euthanasia killing center
Stolperstein in Hamburg-Harvestehude, Brahmsallee 23
On 22 Apr. 1904, the authorized signatory Samuel Philip Horwitz reported the birth of his daughter Julie to the Hamburg records office 3. His wife, Hedwig Horwitz, née Friedheim, had given birth to Julie on 16 Apr. 1904. The parents belonged to the Jewish Community.
For the first six years, Julie lived with her parents at Rentzelstrasse 19 in Hamburg’s Rotherbaum quarter. In 1910, the family moved to nearby Sedanstrasse 7. They lived there until 1922, when they moved into an apartment at Oderfelderstrasse 13 in Hamburg’s prosperous Harvestehude quarter.
Julie Horwitz was not yet of age when she married Victor Cahn, who was a merchant about four years her senior and Jewish as well, on 16 Oct. 1923. She moved to Berlin to live with her husband at Eisenbahnstrasse 29. The married Cahn couple had three daughters, Eva, born on 4 July 1925 probably in Hamburg; Hanna, born on 8 Sept. 1926 in Berlin; and Suse, born on 31 July 1928 also in Berlin. The marriage was divorced on 28 May 1930. Victor Cahn entered into a new marriage the same year.
We do not know when Julie Cahn returned to Hamburg with her three daughters. However, she must have lived in Hamburg again by 1937 at the latest, because she is registered in the Hamburg directory of 1938 with a residential address at Brahmsallee 23 in the Harvestehude quarter. She lived there in a basement apartment.
Julie Cahn had been granted guardianship for her daughters after the divorce. However, she was not able to take care of her children. This is documented by a letter from the youth welfare office of the "Jewish Religious Organization” ("Jüdischer Religionsverband”) dated 5 Aug. 1938, according to which Julie Cahn had been "apparently apprehended in Berlin because of feeblemindedness [Geistesschwäche]” a month earlier. At that time, the girls were accommodated at public expense in the "Paulinenstift” girls’ orphanage at Laufgraben 37, located in the Rotherbaum quarter. Back in Hamburg, Julie Cahn was admitted to the Hamburg-Farmsen care home (Versorgungsheim Hamburg-Farmsen) on 11 Aug. 1938. However, she left the nursing home without papers, wandered about Hamburg, and starting on 20 Sept. 1938, she was committed to the "Psychiatric and Mental Hospital of the Hamburg Hansische University” ("Psychiatrische und Nervenklinik der Hansischen Universität Hamburg”) in Friedrichsberg. Staff there diagnosed Julie Cahn as suffering from a severe depression. She was considered "mentally frail” and was transferred to the Langenhorn State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn) on 10 Nov. 1938. It is not clear how she fared there. Her patient file no longer exists. Julie Cahn, who was 34 years old when she was committed to Langenhorn, remained in the institution until Sept. 1940.
With Julie Cahn’s committal to Langenhorn, not just a temporary one, there was no doubt that she would no longer be able to care for her daughters. An uncle of Julie, Alfred Horwitz, probably a brother of her father, who lived in Malmö/Sweden, was willing to take in the children. As a result, Eva, Hanna, and Suse Cahn left Germany on 10 Jan. 1939 and traveled to Sweden.
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 "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. After all Jewish patients from the North German institutions had arrived in Langenhorn, they were taken to Brandenburg/Havel on 23 Sept. 1940, together with the Jewish patients who had lived there for some time, on a transport comprised of 136 persons overall. On the same day, they were killed with carbon monoxide in the part of the former penitentiary converted into a gas-killing facility. Only one patient, Ilse Herta Zachmann, escaped this fate at first (see corresponding entry).
We do not know whether, and if so, when Julie Cahn’s relatives became aware of her death. In all documented death notices, it was claimed that the person concerned had died in Chelm or Cholm. In addition, all dates of death provided were postdated. 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.
Julie Cahn’s daughter Eva Foiershtein submitted a Page of Testimony to Yad Vashem in 1988, in which she recorded the murder of her mother. A Stolperstein in Hamburg-Harvestehude, at Brahmsallee 23, commemorates Julie Cahn.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; 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); 232-5 Amtsgericht Hamburg – Vormundschaftswesen 191 Julie Cahn/Victor Cahn; 332-5 Standesämter 14185 Geburtsregister Nr. 1034/1904 Julie Horwitz, 8780 Heiratsregister Nr. 602/1923 Julie Horwitz; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.1939 bis 27.1.1941; UKE/IGEM, Archiv, Patienten-Karteikarte Julie Cahn der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg; Stadtarchiv Leipzig, Geburtsregister Standesamt Leipzig I, Nr. 4876/1899 Victor Cahn.
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