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Erwin Elias * 1910
Grevenweg 11 - 13 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamm)
Erwin Elias, born 1 Sep. 1910 in Hamburg, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Gerda Elias, nee Rosenthal, born 26 Nov. 1915 in Cuxhaven, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Grevenweg 11/13 (former Grevenweg 49)
Erwin Elias was the second-youngest of the nine children of David (*4 July 1871 in Altona) and Therese Elias, née Levor (*28 Feb. 1869 in Hamburg), who had married in 1895. Their first child, Alice was born in Altona (1897), the second, Berthold, already in Hamburg (1898).
In the beginning of the 20th century David Elias and his family moved to a flat in the Hertz Joseph Levy Home, Groß Neumarkt 56 House B, where he lived until he emigrated to the Netherlands in 1939. There Erwin was born (1910) followed by Louise (1913). At that time David Elias was an official in the Altona Jewish Community’s funerary brotherhood, sometimes he worked as a nurse. David Elias took part in the First World War until 1917. He worked as a nurse in a military hospital. As staff of the Jewish community he had not to pa taxes there. This changed when he became a salesman and auctioneer in Hamburg in 1920.
After leaving school in 1925, Erwin Elias began a four-year apprenticeship as an art and building fitter, while his brothers Berthold and Julius and sisters Herta, Mathilde, Elfriede, Irma and Louise completed commercial apprenticeships. After completing his apprenticeship, Erwin worked essentially as an expeditor for Jewish companies, most recently at the Mazzoth factory (unleavened bread) of Leopold Katz.
The oldest sister, Alice, had become a nurse. She was the first of the siblings to leave Hamburg, moving to Frankfurt in 1925 and emigrating to the United States in 1938. Mathilde went to the Netherlands in 1929.
In April 1932, Erwin got into a fight between members of the communist party (KPD) and members of the NSDAP in the former Schlachterstraße. For "serious breach of the peace" (Landfriedensbruch) he received a six-month prison sentence in November 1932, but was already released due to the Christmas amnesty in 1932.
1933 Erwin Elias married a Protestant, Lissy Rohweder, born 22.2.1908 in Hamburg. She brought her four-year-old daughter Wilma into the marriage. Both were registered with the Jewish Community of Hamburg.
From 1934 to 1936 Erwin Elias was unemployed, but according to his pension contributions he then worked again until 1940.
As the first of the family to leave the country due to the pressure of persecution by the Nazi regime, Elfriede Elias emigrated to the USA in 1938.
In early 1939, the parents David and Therese Elias, with youngest sister Louise, followed their children Mathilde, Herta and Julius to the Netherlands.
Erwin Elias moved frequently; in May 1939, at the time of the census, he was registered with his wife and daughter at Grevenweg 49. In 1940 the marriage was divorced. Erwin was considered solely guilty, since he had wanted to emigrate. His wife would have had to decide for him or the daughter, since Wilma, as an "Aryan" child, would not have been allowed to leave Germany. Erwin Elias took care of Lizzy Elias and the daughter for a while, then she became a postal worker.
Erwin Elias returned to his first address, the Hertz Joseph Levy Foundation, now a so-called Jew House.
On October 17, 1941, Erwin Elias married Gerda Rosenthal, a Jewish nurse, in his second marriage. She had been born in Cuxhaven on November 26, 1915. Her father, master butcher Bernhard Rosenthal, born in Barnstorf in 1865, ran a store butchery at Grosse Hardewikstraße 1. Gerda was descended from his second marriage. From his first marriage, Gerda had two older half-sisters, Minna and Erna.
With the transfer of power to Adolf Hitler, harassment of the Jewish population had also begun in Cuxhaven. Since Bernhard Rosenthal, as a Jew, was no longer allowed to employ "Aryan" staff, Gerda had to help in her father's business. Forced to do so, he eventually gave up the business. Gerda's mother Selma, née Schwabe, died on May 2, 1936, at the age of only 56. In July 1936, Gerda and her father moved to Hamburg to Grindelberg 3a to live with his daughter and half-sister Minna, married Mathias.
Gerda Rosenthal found employment as a nurse at the Israelite Hospital at Eckernförderstraße 4 (today Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße). In 1939, the clinic was moved to Johnsallee 54, where Gerda also received housing.
One week after their marriage, the "resettlements", i.e. the deportations, of Hamburg Jews began "to build up in the East" as those in power lied. At the age of 31 and 26 respectively, Erwin and Gerda Elias were among them.
Erwin Elias was called without his wife to the second transport, which left Hamburg on November 8, 1941. She was subsequently placed on the transport list. Gerda Elias was still registered with her half-sister Minna, married Mathias, at Grindelberg 3a. Her brother-in-law, the bank clerk Willy Mathias (born 12.7.1886 in Perleberg) and her niece Vera (born 15.12.1923 in Hamburg) were deported together with them. (There are Stolpersteine for them Grindelberg 3a.) The destination was the ghetto of Minsk.
Gerda Elias' father Bernhard Rosenthal was deported with the first transport to the so-called Old Age Ghetto of Theresienstadt, which left Hamburg on July 15, 1942. He died on December 20, 1942, of enteritis, the intestinal catarrh that was rampant there. (There is a Stolperstein for him at Sedanstraße 23.)
With the transport to Theresienstadt that followed on July 19, 1942, Erwin Elias' oldest brother Berthold, born Aug. 3, 1898 in Hamburg, also arrived there and probably died in Auschwitz in September 1944. (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de)
The parents David and Theresia Elias and the sister Louise were not safe in the Netherlands either. After the occupation by the German Wehrmacht in May 1940, the National Socialist repressions against Jews were also introduced there and continuously intensified. Erwin Elias' parents and Louise were deported to the Sobibor death camp in 1943. (See www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de)
None of them returned.
Translator: Amy Lee/Changes: Beate Meyer
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg
Stand: June 2021
© Hildegard Thevs mit Recherche Susanne Rosendahl
Quelle: 1; 2; 3; 4 digital; 7; 8; 9; StaHH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht-Strafsachen AO 1656/33, Sondergericht 65539; 314-15, Oberfinanzpräsident, FVg 37854; 242-1II, Abl. 13, Gefangenenkartei Männer; 332-5 Standesämter 9136 u 441/1897; 2459 u 2439/1898; 2846 u 249/1895; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 25694 (Metzger, Mathilde); 35267 (Elias, Erwin); 39287 (Elias, Louise); 1694 (Elias, David); 1500 (Elias, Theresia); 11305 (Elias, Berthold); 26955 (Rosenthal, Bernhard); 26955 (Mathias, Minna); 33549 (Israel, Irma); 33420 (Israel, Paul); 24145 (Dornblatt, Hertha); 29945 (Ellis, Jules); 31674 (Copper, Elfriede); www.holocaust.cz/de/opferdatenbank, www.joodsmonument.nl (eingesehen 21.5.2021);
http://akevoth.org/genealogy/denbosch/1174.htm; Frauke Dettmer: Cuxhavener Juden 1933 bis 1945.
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