Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

back to select list

Willy Curland * 1891

Isestraße 53 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

KZ Fuhlsbüttel
ermordet 18.11.1936

further stumbling stones in Isestraße 53:
Heinz Egon Curland, Alfred Israel, Edith Israel, Hans Israel, Leonie Israel, Ruth Israel, Aron Hertz Israel, Auguste Lichtenhayn, Auguste Pollak, Peter Pollak, Renate Pollak, Eva Schreiber, Rosa Wolff

Willy Curland, born on 30.5.1891, died on 18.11.1936 in the hospital of the Hamburg remand prison
Heinz Egon Curland, born on 6.10.1917 in Hamburg, died as a result of discrimination and exclusion on 28.6.1944

Isestraße 53 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

Willy Curland was born in Berlin as Willy Cohen. His parents were of the Jewish faith. In 1916 he married Mathilde Hermine Gretchen Kesselhut in Hamburg, who came from a Christian home. The couple henceforth used the name Curland, approved by Senate resolution of April 25, 1916. In 1917 their son Heinz Egon was born and baptized Lutheran.

In the commercial register Willy Curland traded as "Bücherrevisor und Kaufmann", i.e. accountant and merchant. In the twenties he was a well-known trustee and settler of settlements. His office was located at Gänsemarkt 35 in 1930, and in 1936, the year of his death, at Neuer Wall 16/18. The family lived at Isestraße 53.

In February 1936, Willy Curland was arrested following a denunciation on the charge of "racial defilement" and was initially taken to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, and later to the remand prison.

On November 16, 1936, the district court sentenced him to 19 months in prison, with credit for his pretrial detention. He then took his own life on November 18, 1936.

About three months later, a hate-filled story about the "race abuser" Willy Curland appeared in the "Stürmer" and his photo was posted on Hamburg billboards with corresponding slogans. This agitation also had consequences for other members of the family, for example for the older brother Albert Curland, who thereafter no longer received any orders as an architect. Albert lived with his family at Carolinenstraße 9. He was temporarily hidden from the Gestapo by his wife, but died at the end of 1939 from the health problems caused by the persecution. Numerous other members of the Curland family died in concentration camps.

Gretchen Curland was unable to continue her husband's company, but still had to pay off debts. On the other hand, she had difficulties collecting her own outstanding debts, as some customers believed that they did not have to pay anything to a "Jewish" company. The company was deleted from the commercial register on July 25, 1938. Mother and son fell into material hardship, which was partially absorbed by subletting almost all the rooms in their apartment.

Although the son Heinz Curland was still able to graduate from the Wilhelm Gymnasium in 1938, as a "Mischling of first degree” he was neither offered a place at university nor an apprenticeship corresponding to his previous education.

After completing his apprenticeship in a filter factory, he was drafted into labor service and then into the military. After two years at the front, he was excluded from military service as a "Mischling". Seriously ill, he returned to Hamburg and initially worked as an executor of a will. However, since some heirs did not want to be looked after by a person of Jewish descent, he had to give up this job again.

Finally, still seriously ill, he was engaged as a construction worker. He died on June 28, 1944, in his parents' apartment.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: January 2022
© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: 4; 5; 8; Archiv der Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg (FZH), Signatur: 11/R 2, Dr. Robinsohn, Justiz als Verfolgung; AfW 180875 und 201092; Handelsregister Hamburg (Archiv Handelskammer); AB 1930, Bd. 1; AB 1936, Bd. 1; Diercks, Herbert, Gedenkbuch Kola-Fu Hamburg, 1987; Totenliste Hamburger Widerstandskämpfer und Verfolgter 1933–1945, Hamburg 1968.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

print preview  / top of page