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Eduard Duckesz * 1868
Königstraße 10a (Jüdischer Friedhof) (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)
Eduard Jecheskel Duckesz, born on 3 Aug. 1868 in Hungary, deported in 1943 from the Netherlands to Auschwitz, murdered there on 6 Mar. 1944
Eduard Duckesz, born in the Hungarian town of Szelepszeny as the son of Yosef and Tereza Duckesz, was among the orthodox rabbis who came to Germany from the East. After studying in Bratislava, he had been ordained a rabbi and in 1891, at the age of 22, ordained a Klaus rabbi and called to Altona as a member of the rabbinical court. An old-school rabbi through and through, he distinguished himself by his conservative outlook. In the Altona Jewish Community, concentrated around the old town center and owning a synagogue, Klaus prayer rooms, communal facilities such as an orphanage, a kindergarten, retirement home, and an administration office, Duckesz acted as a preacher, spiritual adviser at the hospital, and head the burial society. He served in an advisory capacity in the school, welfare, and calendar commissions of the Association of Jewish Communities of Schleswig-Holstein and the Hanseatic Cities (Verband der jüdischen Gemeinden Schleswig-Holsteins und der Hansestädte). In the First World War, Eduard Duckesz became active in military and prisoner-of-war welfare.
In 1936, after the Altona Chief Rabbi Dr. Joseph Carlebach had changed to the office of chief rabbi in the neighboring Hamburg Community following eleven years of service, initially Duckesz was entrusted with the religious and spiritual leadership of the Altona Community, which he subsequently handed over, however, to the newly elected Chief Rabbi Dr. Theodor Weisz. Together with Rabbi Jacob B. Cohen, they comprised the Altona Rabbinical Court.
Above all, Duckesz rendered outstanding services as a researcher and scholar, producing numerous scientific publications. In the field of Jewish genealogy, he did pioneering work, authoring genealogical and biographical works on old-established families of Hamburg and Altona. His most important work was Chachme AHW, Biographien und Grabsteininschriften der Dajanim, Autoren und der sonstigen hervorragenden Männer der drei Gemeinden Altona, Hamburg, Wandsbek ("Chachme AHU, biographies and gravestone inscriptions of the dayyanim, [rabbinical] authors, and other outstanding men of the three communities of Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbek”), which appeared in Hamburg in 1908. He also published in the "Yearbook of the Jewish-Literary Society” (Jahrbuch der Jüdisch-Literarischen Gesellschaft), the community newsletter of the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community, and in the "Yearbook for the Jewish Communities of Schleswig-Holstein and the Hanseatic Cities” (Jahrbuch für die Jüdischen Gemeinden Schleswig-Holsteins und der Hansestädte).
Eduard Duckesz was married to Eva Sasel (or Saxl), who was born in the Czech town of Boskowitz in 1868. The couple had five children: Leo, born in 1894; Hanna, born in 1895; Max, born in 1896; Michael, born in 1902; and Esther, born in 1904. Since 13 Aug. 1901, the family lived in the ground-floor apartment at Sonninstrasse 14 (today’s Biernatzkistrasse) in what was the Salomon Joseph und Marianne Hertz-Stiftung, a residential home in the old city center of Altona. The building was destroyed in the war.
Following the November Pogrom on 9/10 Nov. 1938, Eduard Duckesz filed an application for emigration to the Netherlands as a temporary destination, intending to travel further to New York. On 31 Dec. 1938, he emigrated to the Netherlands. What emerged from one of his last cards from Amsterdam was that he had to be admitted to the Jewish Hospital in Amsterdam because of an accident. In 1943, he was interned by the German occupying forces in the Westerbork transit camp and in 1944 deported to the Auschwitz extermination camp, where he was murdered at the age of 75 on 6 Mar. 1944.
Eduard Duckesz’s children Esther and Leo managed to flee to Palestine in 1936. Michael escaped to Argentina in 1938. Hanna, married name Rothenstein, emigrated to Czechoslovakia in 1933. Max had been living in the USA since 1924.
The photo archive of Eduard Duckesz is located in Jerusalem.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Birgit Gewehr
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen, A 50/1 (= 741-4 Fotoarchiv, K 5000); StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 6289 (Eintrag Nr. 1708, Hanna Duckesz); StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 1411 (Rottenstein, Manfred); Schwarz, E. J. Duckesz; Blumenfeld, "Geistige Führer"; Digital Monument Joodse Gemeenschap in Nederland, www.joodsmonument.nl, Zugriff 5.7.2006; Auskunft Sobibor Foundation 29.7.2013; Auskunft Guido Abuys, Gedenkstätte Kamp Westerbork 1.8.2013.
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