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Ruth Croner * 1911
Marktstraße 94 (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Pauli)
This biography has been updated on 10-23-2013. The Stolperstein-inscription for Anna Croner ought to be this way:
Anna Croner, born 13.10.1914 in Hamburg, arrested in 1940 and imprisoned in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp, transferred on 29.5.1941 to the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, died there on 20.3.1942
Jenny Croner, nee Meyer, born 3.4.1880 in Hamburg, deported on 25.10.1941 to Lodz, murderd on 10.5.1942 in Kulmhof
Leopold Croner, born 6.6.1916 in Hamburg, arrested on 22.8.1941 and imprisoned in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp, transferred on 3.10.1941 to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp, murdered there in June 1942
Meta Croner, born 13.5.1920 in Hamburg, transferred on 24.6.1941 from the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp to the Hütten Police Prison, Juli 1941 transferred back to the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp, 1941-1942 Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, died there on 20.10.42
Ruth Croner, born 14.6.1911 in Hamburg, deported on 25.10.1941 to Lodz, died there on 14.6.1942
94 Marktstraße (94 Market Street)
Jenny Meyer was the daughter of the cigarette manufacturer Louis and his wife Charlotte Meyer, nee Goldmann. According to Jenny’s birth certificate both parents were Jewish. Jenny had six brothers and sisters. Of those whose names are known it is known that Lizzy, later a Schmidt, survived National Socialism and lived in Hamburg into the 1950s; Meta, whose married name was Linsky, was widowed no later than in 1934 and lived in Berlin; and Lotte, worked in Berlin as a nurse.
Jenny became the mother of 7 children. On 24 October 1903 she gave birth to an illegitimate child, Hermann Meyer, whose surname was later changed to Myers in the USA. The father, Georg Koch, was not a Jew. On 14 December 1910, when Hermann was 7 years old Jenny and Walter Croner married. Walter was born on 19 June 1879 in the small village of Nipperwiese (today called Ognica) in the former District of Greifenhagen (today called Gryfino) near Stettin. He was a waiter. In the summer of 1911 their first child was born, Ruth. Herbert was born on 2 September 1913 and in October 1914, Anna.
Walter Croner was called up for military service on 23 June 1915. On the following day Jenny applied for welfare support with the Wohlfahrtsbehörde, as she was "completely penniless" and had been left with four children. The application was approved as "the husband’s earnings in recent time were very modest. The wife is in great need." In June 1916 Jenny gave birth to another child, Leopold. Helene was born on 3 January 1919 and the youngest daughter, Meta, in May 1920. It is not known when Walter returned from the First World war. His grand-daughter, Jennie, recalled stories that he suffered from the effects of a mustard gas attack, which took place during the trench warfare. He never had a stable job again. From 1920 he was in detention awaiting trial and on 31 January 1921 he was sentenced to 10 months jail for receiving stolen goods. In 1928 he lost his job and would remain unemployed until his death on 29 August 1934. From the beginning of the 1930s the family was almost constantly on social welfare and lived in proverty. The Croners lived until the end of September 1936 at 5 Marktstraße from where they moved to 94 Marktstraße.
Daughter Ruth worked in 1931 as a clerk. In July 1933 she obtained a position with the commercial chemist (Handelschemiker) Dr. Richard Levi at 9 Mönckebergstraße. From no later than May 1938 she assumed that she would lose her job as the laboratory was regarded, according to a report in the welfare files (Fürsorgeakte) as "a Jewish enterprise". In February 1939 the "Aryanisation" of the firm was just about complete. After the laboratory had been compulsorily acquired Ruth found a position with Willy Rendsburg, where she earned considerably less. Until 1941 she continued to work as a clerk and pay taxes.
She, together with her mother Jenny, were deported on 25 October to the Jewish Ghetto in Lodz. Here she worked as a secretary. She and her mother lived at Flisacka 1 - Hausierergasse 1 - Flat 18. In Flat 11 in the same building there was Benno Hauptmann from Bartelsstraße in St. Pauli. On 10 May 1942 Jenny Croner was "resettled" ("ausgesiedelt"). To be resettled meant in 1942 to be taken to the death camp Chelmno and murdered. A few weeks later, according to the list of ghetto inhabitants in Lodz, Ruth was "resettled" – on 14 June. She was murdered by the National Socialists on her 31st birthday.
Jenny’s son Herbert was an apprentice from April 1929 until July 1930 in a smoked fish factory. Until December 1930 he lived in an orphanage, but it is not known for how long and for what reason. The orphanage had him transferred on 8 December to the State Hospital Friedrichsberg. In August 1931, according to the welfare files, he was "released from the care of the Youth Office in to the charge of his parents". He worked with a number of different employers. In October 1931 he commenced an apprenticeship as a businessman in an ironmongers in Brunshaupten – today known as Kühlungsborn in the vicinity of Bad Doberan. The new employer gave him tasks that had nothing to do with his training and so, a fortnight later, he returned to Hamburg on foot, where he arrived 6 days later. On 23 May 1932 his mother reported to the social welfare authority "that my son Herbert, is no longer living with us and we don’t want him". Herbert explained the quarrels with his family on the basis that they did not agree with his political views. He took on some journalism work with left-oriented newspapers and publishers using "all his strength for the political struggle". In July 1932 he was called up to the "Voluntary Labour Service" ("Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst"). For a while he traveled on a barge. In May 1933 he suffered an epileptic fit at Freiburg an der Elbe. In 1934 and 1935 he had two other work accidents and was injured again on the head and was given sick leave for a number of months. Later he worked as a porter, leaflet distributor and house boy. He moved his address several times. On 7 July 1939 he was arrested in Bremen-Oslebshausen. The Welfare Department of the Hamburg Social Administration (Fürsorgeabteilung der Hamburger Sozialverwaltung) made enquiries of the Hamburg Criminal Police about when his arrest as well as the length of his investigative custody and jail term. The jail term was open-ended. Herbert stated that from from 25 October 1938 until 1939 he was in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp; 1939 to 1942 in penitentiaries in Celle and Hameln; and finally between 1942 and 1945 in the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Warsaw and Dachau.
The Dachau Memorial Concentration Camp holds records confirming that after the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto Herbert Croner, together with 4,000 other prisoners, was taken to the Dachau Concentration Camp. He arrived on 6 August 1944. Shortly thereafter he was transferred to the Karlsfeld Subcamp, located between Dachau and Munich. Dachau was liberated on 29 April 1945. Herbert went first to Frankfurt where he searched for family members. In December 1945 he returned to Hamburg and made an application for home support. Later he was able to emigrate to the USA, where he founded a family.
Jenny’s daughter Anna visited the Jewish Daughters’ School (Israelitische Töchterschule) in Karolinenstraße. After that she studied for two years at the Jewish Domestic School (Israelitische Haushaltungsschule) in Bad Segeberg. That must have been at the beginning of the 1930s as a note in her mother’s welfare files states that in October 1931 Anna returned home for the holidays. In 1933 she lived and worked as a domestic service at 64 Hansastraße with Michaelis. In September of the same year she returned to Marktstraße. She worked as a worker in a fish factory. In May 1934 she became unemployed. On 11 October 1934, when she was almost 20, she gave birth to a daughter Waltraut Charlotte. She later stated that the father was a German, Albert Stoll; she did not know where he lived. He irregularly paid her maintenance. Her mother raised Waltraut while Anna worked a "full 48 hour week" for an hourly wage of 0.43 RM at the smoked fish factory, Boe & Kahle. Its records confirm her hours. Later Anna did piecework at David Strekis’ Kunstdarmfabrik.
She miscarried in January and July 1937. After the second miscarriage she was admitted to Harbour Hospital (Hafenkrankenhaus) with a high fever and stayed for six weeks. On the day that she was released from hospital the Criminal Police, according to a report, began investigations into the allegation that she had illegally had another person terminate her pregnancy. Anna explained that she had intentionally induced the termination by having hot baths. She was responsible, due to the continuing illness of her mother, largely for the maintenance of the family, already had one child to care for and could not imagine bringing up another child without a father. She was charged under paragraph 218, for committing an abortion. The investigating criminal officer, Kriminal-Sekretär Andres, suspected something further: "It is almost certain that she has had sexual relations with a pure German man, whose name she deliberately conceals. As the suspicion of racial defilement (Rassenschande) is well founded a request for further investigations is to be sent to the 23. K." The 23 Kriminalkommissariat in Hamburg was responsible primarily for investigations relating to suspicion of "Rassenschande". Anna firmly rejected the accusation of "Rassenschande" stating in support of her denial: "If it is alleged that my statement about the two men which whom I slept and who made me pregnant are unbelievable then I can only say that I have stated the truth. I definitely have not had sex with pure-bred Germans. I do not have a boy friend in Hamburg and have not had sex with a man from Hamburg or the surrounding area. Whether I am believed or not, I have told the complete truth." The court closed the hearing to the public due to the "danger to public morals" on the day of the trial, 9 December 1937. Jenny supported her daughter and as a witness in the trial stated: "She is well behaved and supports me. We have always lived in St. Pauli. She does not get around." Anna was convicted of two illegal abortions and sentenced to 6 weeks imprisonment, which the court regarded as a "lenient sentence". It justified the sentence on the basis that she had the sole burden for supporting her sick mother and herself. Anna requested that the sentence be delayed, which was not granted. She was released from prison on 25 February 1938.
She again fell pregnant. She put Waltraut, in February 1939 under the care of the Jewish Day Care Facility Jungfrauenthal (Israelitischen Tagesheim Jungfrauenthal). On 27 March 1939 she gave birth to a son, Nathan Dan. She moved with him into the house on the other side of street at 44 Marktstraße, rented by Meta Cohen and her children, only to move a few months later to number 94. In July 1939 Waltraut travelled to England with a transport of children. Jennie, one of Anna’s nieces, reported that Waltraut with the assistance of the Red Cross was placed with an adoptive family. Anna found a place again at a fish factory and during the day placed her son with a Jewish family, to whom she paid maintenance. Later, Nathan Dan lived in a Jewish orphanage on Papendamm. In July 1942, together with 14 other children as well as the head of Paulinenstift, Hildegard Cohen, and her male and female colleagues, she was deported to the Auschwitz death camp. Anna was imprisoned in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp in 1940 and taken from there on 29 May 1941 to the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. She died there on 20 March 1942.
Leopold attended the Talmud Tora Realschule between at least 1923 to 1931 – his report cards for these years have survived. In August 1932 he was in the "Voluntary Labour Service" ("Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst") in Blankenese. On 16 January 1933 he was registered as a member of the Jewish Community (Jüdische Gemeinde) and his membership tax card (Kultussteuerkarte) states that he was a labourer and sailor. In September 1933 he worked as a messenger and gave his parents two-thirds of his weekly wage. In April 1934 he left his parents’ home as he did not want to be once again a member of the "Freiwillige Arbeitsdienst". The welfare office (Fürsorgestelle) noted: "He fears that he will be badly treated there because he is a Jew. The parents don’t know where he is; they have not heard from him."
The Kultussteuerkarte contains contradictory details on his whereabouts 1934: he had left Germany, and he was in prison. In 1935 Leopold he went to sea as a ship’s boy working from August for a Danzig Line and from June 1936 for the Arnold Bernstein Shipping Line as well as other shipping lines. In 1938 he fell ill. A home visitor's report dated 4 May states: "Leopold is again home. Between 26.2 and 19.4 he was in the Tropical Hospital for malaria. ... Leopold is on the dole as a labourer. He states that because he is a Jew he is no longer allowed work as a seaman. Croner is still awaiting a final decision about this question from the mayor." He worked as a brick layer for a month. Finally he returned to sea as an ordinay seaman for the Heinrich Arp Shipping Line. He went ashore again in December and in the following months tried to find a position on foreign ships. In May 1939 he worked ashore. From October 1939 he was again unemployed but later found a position as a messenger. On 22 August 1941 for reasons that are not known he was arrested and imprisoned in the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp. He was transferred from there to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp on 3 October. Kriminalsekretär Otto Apenburg reported to the Sonderstandesamt Neuengamme that Leopold Croner died on 11 June 1942 at 8.10 am. His heart and circulatory system had failed as a result of spotted fever. The Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial stated that Leopold Croner was murdered in June in the Landes-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Bernburg. It is known today that Apenburg, a public servant, deliberately falsified the causes and times of death when reporting to the Standesamt. The historian Herbert Wagner wrote about him: "Otto Apenburg, born in 1893 ... was a Gestapo officer with the rank of Kriminalsekretär. In the Neuengamme Concentration Camp he was in charge of the Political Department (Politische Abteilung). He guarded the prisoners and camouflaged the murders (executions)."
Jenny Croner could not herself care for her youngest daughters Helene and Meta. The welfare office (Wohlfahrtsstelle) approved their accommodation for the month of August 1931 in the Day Care Facility (Tagesheim) at 54 Johnsallee. Here they were given lunch and dinner. In September 1933 Helene still attended school; in May 1934 she began to study and lived, it is unclear whether this was during or after her study, for a period in Berlin. At the end of 1934 she returned from Berlin to her family home. A few days after being in Hamburg she worked as a domestic servant. In April 1938 she left Hamburg in the direction of Flensburg, to the Manor Jägerslust. Just one year later, in March 1939, she emigrated to Holland and prepared for emigration to Palestine by undergoing a course. The war intervened. She had to remain in Zelhem. In May 1940 Holland was occupied by German troops. In August 1942 she married Michiel Jacob, a Jew, who was arrested a month after the marriage and deported from the Westerbork Camp to Auschwitz. Helene survived in the Netherlands and later established a family with her second husband.
Meta attended the Töchterschule in Karolinenstraße. A school medical report from March 1933 stated that she was physically underdeveloped and needed additional meals (Freispeisung). The school welfare organisation approved two meal cards for April and May. She remained at the Töchterschule until she reached the first grade in 1935. In February 1936 Meta was sent by the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeinde for four weeks to Hofheim. In April 1936 Meta had her first job in the household of Adolf Levi, the owner of the Cigar, Cigarrette and Tabacco House, "Victoria". She was now a member of the Jewish Community. In May she fell ill and was dismissed. She suffered gastritis and anaemia, an illness caused by inadequate sustenance. She found work again in the summer and continued to work with a number of employers until at least February 1939. It is not clear to us when and why Meta was admitted to the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp. What is certain is that on 24 June 1941 she was transferred by the 23. Kriminalkommissariat from the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp to the Police Prison at Hütten. In July 1941 she was transferred back to Fuhlsbüttel and then finally to the Female Concentration Camp Ravensbrück, where she died on 20 October 1942.
Jenny’s illegitimate son, Herman, who, because of his non-Jewish father was classified as a "Mischling ersten Grades" was not as severely effected by the persecution as his mother and sisters. He always lived with the family. His father died in 1935 in Bremen. Hermann suffered from stomach illnesses and was operated on several times. Occasionally he worked as a messenger and he received some unemployment benefits and a welfare supplement. In 1942 he was ordered to leave the apartment at 94 Marktstraße. In an application written at the end of the war he succinctly wrote about the suffering and impoverishment of his family: "My mother, Mrs. Jenny Croner, nee Meyer was sent with her sister Ruth on 24.10.42 to Lodz and gassed there. My two other sisters, Meta and Anni were killed the same year in the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. My brother Leopold also died in 1942 in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp. My nephew Dan was killed in Auschwitz. My sister Helene and her husband went to Poland. I don’t know what happened to them. The Gestapo took my apartment in 1942. We all lived together. As a result of Nuremberg Laws I lost my job three times. I was supposed to do clean up work but due to my 4 operations I did not have to. Because my sisters were arrested I was ordered several times to the Gestapo where I was treated as a criminal. Because of this and the uncertainy of my own future, I could have ended up in a concentration camp, I believe I have given the proof, that I suffered mentally enough during the Nazi regime. My whole family, except for one brother, who was in the Dachau Concentration Camp until 1945, was ripped from me and killed. I only got work for short period due to the race question, lost all my belongings due to the Nazis, I believe that is enough."
For Nathan Dan Croner there is another stone block at Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3. It was here that the orphanage at Papendamm was located (Waisenhaus am Papendamm).
Translation: Stephen Pallavicini
© Christiane Jungblut
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; ITS/ARCH/Ghetto Litzmannstadt, Ordner 6, Seite 185; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht Strafakten 1049/38; StaH 314-15 FVg 5954; StaH 331-1 II Polizeibehörde II, Abl. 15 vom 18.9.84, Band 1; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 030480 Croner, Jenny; StaH 362-6/10 Talmud-Tora-Schule, TT 14; Auszüge aus den Datenbanken der KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme; KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau; Persönliche Korrespondenz mit Jennie Cambron, der Tochter Herbert Croners; Wagner, Gestapo, 2004, S. 524.
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