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Edward Albert Deitelzweig-Senior * 1905

Moltkestraße 45 (Eimsbüttel, Hoheluft-West)

JG. 1905

Edward Albert Deitelzweig-Senior, born on 4 July 1905 in Hamburg, flight to the Netherlands in 1939, deported on 23 July 1943 from the Netherlands to Sobibor

Moltkestrasse 45

The rise and fall of the cosmopolitan Jewish merchant family of Deitelzweig-Senior would probably furnish enough material for a novel. Unfortunately, only few data and facts can be found in the files, and not a single personal testimonial of a family member exists. Edward’s parents, the Jewish merchant Alexander Senior (born on 3 Sept. 1869 on Curacao) and Emma Deitelzweig (born on 8 Dec. 1867 in Bogotá) were married in a civil wedding in Hamburg on 17 Aug. 1900. Alexander was the owner of Senior & Müller W. Deitelzweig Suc. Export and Import. He had taken over the W. Deitelzweig Exportgeschäft Company immediately after the death of his future father-in-law in Sept. 1897, continuing to operate it under a new name. In the 1898 directory, the company site was indicated as Mattentwiete 35, then in 1905 Grosse Reichenstrasse 49/51. The warehouse was located at Brook 3. From 1915 onward, the company headquarters of the trading firm was at Ferdinandstrasse 29 and in 1926 at Kalkhof 10.

Emma’s father, the merchant Wolf, called Wilhelm, Deitelzweig (born in 1838) was a native of Hildesheim. He became a merchant in Hamburg and obtained local civic rights in 1874. For some years, he lived in Bolivia together with his wife Johanna, née Kaufmann, where his only daughter, Emma, was born and his wife passed away. Just when Wilhelm Deitelzweig returned to Hamburg and whether his daughter accompanied him is not known. In any case, at the end of the nineteenth century, he lived at Kirchenallee 47 on the second floor. His mother, Betty Deitelzweig, née Ephraim, lived with him toward the end of her life and died in his apartment in 1887. Wilhelm passed away ten years later at the rather young age of 59. The marriage of Alexander and Emma Deitelzweig-Senior was already the second union between the Jewish families of Deitelzweig and Senior. In 1865, Alexander’s father, Solomon Senior, had married Emma Cohen Deitelzweig on the Caribbean island of Curacao, which belonged to the Netherlands Antilles. If she was a sister of Wilhelm, then Emma and Alexander Deitelzweig-Senior would have been cousins. After the wedding in 1900, Alexander Senior had applied for a name change. The family name was now supposed to be the hyphenated Deitelzweig-Senior. This name was permitted by the Dutch government – Alexander was a Dutch Jew – in 1902.

At the time of their wedding, Emma Deitelzweig lived at Schwanenwik 32. Alexander Senior lived at Graumannsweg 60. After the wedding, the couple occupied the raised ground floor of the house at Hartwicusstrasse 10 in Hohenfelde for a short time, then moving to Agnesstrasse 2, however. Alexander Deitelzweig-Senior had the large, stately white house with a view over the Alster at the corner of Fernsicht Street built by the architect Ernst Vicenz in 1905. In the Gründerzeit, the "founding period” in Germany before the First World War, the family must have been very wealthy and earned a lot of money in overseas trading. Alexander Deitelzweig-Senior was Consul of the Republic of Peru, as the directories from 1916 onward reveal. The villa was one of the largest Alster villas in Hamburg. For instance, the ground floor accommodated an anteroom, entrance hall, pantry, winter garden, ballroom, salon, dining room, hall, reception salon, and smoking room. The house featured several rooms intended for domestic servants. Apparently, old-established, well-to-do natives of Hamburg looked rather contemptuously toward the "false” right bank of the Alster, where supposedly families were residing who had risen in a short time but sometimes also lost their riches very rapidly and were therefore deemed somewhat shady. Alexander Deitelzweig-Senior, too, was unable to save his company beyond the economically difficult period of war and was forced to sell the villa to the merchant Julius Deutsch in 1920. The trading firm continued to exist until Mar. 1929, when the entry in the company register was deleted. Today a Stolperstein is located in front of the house on Agnesstrasse for Max Bernstein, who lived there, however, only in the 1930s. In 1928, when Edward’s mother Emma died in the Friedrichsberg State Hospital, the register of deaths indicated Holzdamm 42 as an address.

Edward Deitelzweig-Senior had at least four siblings, two brothers and two sisters. Juanita (born in 1901) and Sol Wilhelm (born in 1903) were older than he was, Edgar (born in 1906) and Ellen (born in 1907) younger. Probably, the children spent a carefree and sheltered childhood on Agnesstrasse in Winterhude. They became adults in economically difficult times, and after 1933, their regular middle-class lives were completely ruined. In the fall of 1937, brother Edgar Emanuel Deitelzweig-Senior managed to emigrate to Curacao, where his non-Jewish wife Anna-Lisa followed him in early 1939. Sol Wilhelm, too, emigrated from Berlin to Curacao in May 1939. His non-Jewish wife Elisabeth and his son Jürgen moved from Berlin to Hamburg to stay with Alexander Deitelzweig-Senior at Eppendorfer Baum 10, where they lived to see the end of the war. They emigrated to the Antilles only after the war. In this way, the Caribbean homeland of the father turned out to be the salvation for two of his children. Presumably, Edgar and Wilhelm did not feel as alien in their exile as many other emigrated Jews of Hamburg. Apparently, lively family contacts existed throughout between Hamburg and the Antilles. In the registers of residents, such visits are recorded. One clue to this emerges from the entry in the register of deaths concerning Edward’s aunt, Rosaura Senior, née Henriguez. Rosaura was the wife of Alexander’s brother Edwin Senior from Curacao. She died in the Eppendorf University Hospital in 1926. She was likely on a visit in Hamburg at the time.

We do not know about the conditions in which the members of the Deitelzweig-Senior family existed in the 1930s. Father Alexander, the daughter-in-law Elisabeth, and grandson Jürgen lived at Eppendorfer Baum 10 on the ground floor in 1939, possibly as subtenants or in the guest house of Hedwig Sengstack. This address was also mentioned on the Jewish religious tax (Kultusteuer) file card of Juanita before she emigrated in 1935.

Edward Deitelzweig-Senior was a commercial clerk. In Hamburg, he had hardly any means to earn an income after the National Socialists assumed power, and he became unemployed in 1935. The Jewish religious tax (Kultusteuer) file card lists several residential addresses in Hamburg: Moltkestrasse 45, Moltkestrasse 26, Brahmsallee 125 (with Breuer), and Lenhartzstrasse 6.

Edward Deitelzweig-Senior and his sisters Juanita and Ellen fled to the Netherlands. Juanita did so already in Jan. 1935, Edward in Dec. 1939, after his father had died in June. We do not know when Ellen emigrated. Juanita lived in Amsterdam at Linnaeuskade 52 and worked in a laundry. In the Netherlands, however, the siblings were not in safety once the German Wehrmacht invaded the country. They were arrested and deported. On 17 July 1943, Edward was detained in the Westerbork camp, from where he was deported to the Sobibor extermination camp on 20 July 1943 and murdered on 23 July. Juanita died in Auschwitz.

The younger sister, Ellen, was deported from Westerbork to Theresienstadt on 4 Sept. 1944. She was fortunate to be brought, along with about 1,200 persons, from Theresienstadt to Switzerland in the course of an international rescue operation in 1945. H. G. Adler writes on this issue that an agreement came about in Jan. 1945 between the former Swiss President Jean Marie Musy and Himmler. Only Jews whose next-of-kin had not been deported to the east were allowed to travel to Switzerland, and they were not to include any intellectuals or persons of high rank.

In the course of doing research for this contribution, the authors found one other person rescued via Switzerland, Edith Sänger, for whose family Stolpersteine are located at Bundesstrasse 95 in Eimsbüttel (see entry on the Sänger family).

Emma and Alexander Deitelzweig-Senior are buried in the Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Susanne Lohmeyer

Quellen: 1; 2 (FVg 3017); 4; 5; StaH 113-6, 1221; StaH 231-3, A13 Bd 20, lfd Nr. 30599; StaH 231-7, A1 Bd 40, lfd Nr. 9688; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 9820 und 1880/1926; StaH 332-5, 213 und 822/1887; StaH 332-5, 411 und 1706/1897; StaH 332-5, 6421 und 276/1900; StaH 332-5, 7086 und 245/1928; StaH 332-5, 8164 und 268/1939; StaH 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht A I e 40 Bd 5 Bürgerregister 1845-1875; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen A30 K4357; StaH 351-11 AfW 31576, AZ 291105 und 070930 (Jürgen Deitelzweig-Senior); Arolsen Transportliste Westerbork; BA Liste der jüdischen Einwohner im Deutschen Reich 1933–1945; Bauprüfakte Agnesstraße 2; H. G. Adler, Theresienstadt 1941–1945, S. 199f.;, Zugriff 20.6.2010;; HAB II 1890, 1897, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1919, 1926, HAB IV 1898 und 1907; Auskunft Jose Martin, Joodse Monument, v. 25.1.2012.

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