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Marcus Elias * 1860

Rutschbahn 24 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

JG. 1860
HAMBURG 25.11.1935

further stumbling stones in Rutschbahn 24:
Betty Berges

Mark(c)us Elias, born on 3 Aug. 1860 in Gudensberg /Hessen, died on 25 Nov. 1935 in Hamburg

Rutschbahn 24

Markus Elias Jr. was born in the Hessian town of Gudensberg in 1860. His family had been residents of the city for more than 150 years. The father, the merchant Itzig Levi Elias (1820–1869), and the grandfather, the tradesman Marcus Levi Elias (1790–1856), had also been born in Gudensberg. In 1892, Markus Elias married, as was usual in those days, at the bride’s place of residence in Borken/District of Kassel, Veilchen Blum (see corresponding biography). She was born on 8 Sept. 1865 in Borken, a town in Electoral Hesse, and her parents were the master shoemaker Joseph Blum and Hannchen Blum, née Abt. After the wedding, Veilchen Elias, née Blum, moved in with her husband to Gudensberg, a town with 2,200 inhabitants in the District of Kassel. A shoemaker, Markus Elias operated a store there selling footwear and "local produce wholesale” (including rye straw, fodder beet, and seed potatoes) at Hornungsgasse 2.

The Elias couple had seven children, five of whom died while still children, and only daughters Helene Elias (born in 1893) and Betti Elias (born in 1900) survived. Veilchen Elias was lent a helping hand in the garden and the house by Elise Mildner, also a resident of the town. In 1910, Markus Elias Jr. placed an ad in the Gudensberger Zeitung for a "footwear bargain sale. Due to taking over the footwear warehouse of my deceased parents-in-law, I will be selling a big lot of regular footwear significantly below price. (…) Viewing without any obligation to buy welcome at any time.” In 1919, in a period of scarcity after the First World War, three of the Gudensberg shoe retailers, Markus Elias Jr., Justus Ludwig, and Wilhelm Böttger advertised to the following effect: "By decree of the Reich Authority for Shoe Supply, laced boots with leather trim and wooden soles are considerably reduced in price (…).” This ad was drafted jointly by one of the Jewish shoe retailers in Gudensberg as well as two Christian shoe retailers. The different religious creeds did not prevent them from joint commercial or private ventures. During the Kaiserreich, Veilchen Elias got involved in the 40-member local Patriotic Women’s Association (Vaterländischer Frauenverein) and she was elected to its executive committee according to information by her daughter Betti.

From 1933 onward, the Nazi party (NSDAP) under the NSDAP local group leader Ludwig Herbener (born on 13 Apr. 1895 in Gudensberg, a truck driver and member of the NSDAP since 1 Oct. 1930) established itself quickly in the town. With boycott measures and physical attacks, the Jews were forced to give up their businesses and to leave town: "Therefore, our father’s store soon came to a standstill. In the years from 1933 until 1935, he was able to earn continuously less and by Sept. 1935, when he left Gudensberg along with us, he was unable to fetch any price for the store as such,” confirmed the daughters in 1957. In order to obtain an adequate selling price and trustworthy buyers for the house at Hornungsgasse 2 (now renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse 30), Veilchen Elias approached the Mildner couple, who was on familiar terms with them. It was also Veilchen Elias who signed the sale contract at a notary public on 9 Oct. 1935, "with power of attorney and substitute power of attorney, acting on behalf of Markus Elias, her husband.” Unusual for this "expulsion sale” was the prompt settlement of the purchase price in cash by the buyers, something that allowed the Elias couple to depart Gudensberg immediately. In a different context, Helene Baruch, née Elias, mentions in even more specific detail the reasons for leaving the hometown: "I (…) had gone to Gudensberg on 6 Sept. 1935 to celebrate my mother’s seventieth birthday. I was warned by neighbors that my father could no longer be sure of his life in Gudensberg. For this reason, I prompted my parents to move to Hamburg straight away to live with my husband, Siegmund Baruch.” In Gudensberg, 75-year-old Markus Elias had been mistreated by Nazis in broad daylight. He no longer received any protection from the state authorities, which by then were oriented toward National Socialism. The neighbor and municipal employee Jacob Mildner (born in 1896) stayed overnight in the Elias household several times, in order to protect him in case any of the feared SA attacks took place. The Gudensberg watchmaker Joseph Wallach (born on 29 Jan. 1879 in Hoof near Kassel) was ruined economically through boycott measures, shop windows repeatedly smashed in, and the plundering of the goods on display, forcing him to leave town. Joseph Wallach reported the incidents to police, but the authorities refused to take action; in Apr. 1935, the Wallach family left Gudensberg. Two and a half years later, on 5 May 1938, the Kurhessische Landeszeitung sang, under the heading of "Gudensberg – A five-year, tough battle against Judaism in the town of Gudensberg has finally been crowned with success,” the praises of the anti-Semitic measures by the local NSDAP, without naming their practices specifically: "The entire population expresses thanks to the local group of the NSDAP, especially to the local group leader” for ensuring that no Jews live in the town anymore, and the newspaper article named the expelled Jewish Elias, Hofmann, Katz, Plaut, and Mansbach families.

Probably in the course of Sept. 1935, the Elias couple moved in with daughter Helene Baruch, née Elias, and the son-in-law, the timber merchant Siegmund Baruch (born on 30 Jan. 1884 in Volkmassen), as well as the three grandchildren Inge (born in 1917), Ellen (born in 1918), and Lisa (born in 1921), who lived at Eppendorfer Landstrasse 58 in Hamburg-Eppendorf. In mid-Oct. 1935, they moved to an apartment of their own at Rutschbahn 24 on the third floor (Rotherbaum), a district with a relatively high proportion of Jewish residents and the corresponding infrastructure. On 14 Nov. 1935, Markus Elias joined the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community and the moderately conservative "Neue Dammtor Synagoge” religious society. Only a few weeks after giving up his business and selling his house, he passed away.

The younger daughter, Betti Elliot, née Elias, who had gone to Paris in 1932 in order to learn the French language better in a family and subsequently lived in Italy, wrote the following on this count in 1963: "In 1935, I travelled to Hamburg where my parents had moved by then. My sister was married there. After only six weeks, my father died of the injuries he had sustained from the Nazis in Gudensberg. I did not see him alive anymore.” No cause of death was indicated on his death certificate. The doctor from whom Markus Elias received treatment since his arrival in Hamburg diagnosed, in the document confirming the death, hardening of the arteries as well as a coronary; he noted as the immediate cause of death "heart spasms.” Markus Elias was buried in the Jewish part of Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg. The watchmaker Josef Wallach took on the required notification of the records office; Wallach resided at nearby Parkallee 17 (Harvestehude), a street running parallel to Brahmsallee.

Both knew each other from Gudensberg, where Joseph Wallach had operated a watchmaker’s workshop and store selling watches, gold and silver articles from 1909 until 1935 (in the very end at Hintergasse 2). In addition, he was involved in favor of Jewish inhabitants’ concerns: Starting in 1922, he was the head of the Jewish Community and in the years 1924, 1925, 1928, and 1933, he ran for office on the list of the Jewish Community for a seat on the city council. After Joseph Wallach had moved away from Gudensberg to Hamburg in Apr. 1935 and barely managed to eke out a living in the Hanseatic City by doing repair work, he was arrested following the Pogrom of Nov. 1938 and detained in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp from 11 Nov. 1938 until 14 Dec. 1938. In Mar. 1939, he emigrated to join his son, who lived in South Africa, and onward to the USA in 1949.

In Sept. 1936, 71-year-old Veilchen Elias moved into a ground-floor apartment at Brahmsallee 13 (Harvestehude). With the emigration of her older daughter in Oct. 1938, the financial difficulties of Veilchen Elias seem to have escalated; a note on the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card notes for 1940 "no income, no assets.” By this time, the Nazi state had already systematically appropriated large parts of Jewish assets. Until the end of 1941/early 1942, Veilchen Elias was allowed to continue living in the house; then she was forced by the housing department to move to Kielortallee 22 (Eimsbüttel); the building had been designated a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) and now served as an assembly quarter for the imminent deportations. On 15 July 1942, Veilchen Elias was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto and, on 21 Sept. 1942, further to the Treblinka extermination camp. One can assume that she was murdered shortly after arrival but the exact date of death is not known. In 2012, a Stolperstein was laid at Brahmsallee 13.

The older daughter, Helene Baruch, née Elias, her husband, and the daughters succeeded in emigrating to the USA via Switzerland, Britain, and Ireland in Oct. 1938.

The younger daughter, Betti Eliot, née Elias, who had managed to emigrate to Britain in 1939, received neither restitution nor a pension from Germany, since she did not have her residence in Germany during the period of National Socialism.

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

Stand: April 2018
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 314-15 (Oberfinanzpräsident), R 1938/3029 (Sicherungsmaßnahmen, Vermögen Helene Baruch); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8131 u. 534/1935 (Sterberegister 1935, Markus Elias); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 892 (Helene Baruch); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 893 (Betti Elias); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 4407 (Joseph Wallach); StaH 352-5 (Gesundheitsbehörde – Todesbescheinigungen), 1935 Standesamt 3 Nr. 534 (Markus Elias); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Siegmund Baruch, Veilchen Elias geb. Blum; Bundesarchiv Berlin (ehemals BDC), NSDAP-Gaukartei, Ludwig Herbener; Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg, Standesamt Borken (Hessen), Heiratsnebenregister 1892 (HStAMR Best. 920, Nr. 828), einsehbar im Internet unter; Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Gedenkbuch, Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933–1945, Internet (Veilchen Elias geb. Blum); Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Gedenkbuch. Hamburger jüdische Opfer des Nationalsozialismus, Hamburg 1995, Seite 90 (Veilchen Elias); Jüdischer Friedhof Ohlsdorf, Gräberkartei (Grabstelle 03 – 176 Markus Elias); Yad Vashem, Page of Testimony (Gedenkblatt für Veilchen Elias, 2011); Handelskammer Hamburg, Firmenarchiv (Siegmund Baruch, HR-Nr. A 17027); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, 1935, S. 43 (Baruch, Siegmund, gegr. 1912, Mönckebergstr. 17, zugeschnittene Kisten); Hamburger Adressbuch (Straßenverzeichnis, Brahmsallee 13) 1937–1941; Handbuch für den Gau Kurhessen der NSDAP, Kassel 1934, S. 25 u. 29 (Kreis Fritzlar, u.a. Gudensberg); Gudensberger Zeitung (Inserate von Markus Elias jun.) 1910, 1911, 1912, 1916, 1921, 1922; Kurhessische Landeszeitung, 5.5.1938 (Gudensberg – Ein fünfjähriger, zäher Kampf gegen das Judentum in der Stadt Gudensberg ist nun endlich von Erfolg gekrönt); Hessische/ Niedersächsische Allgemeine, 22.3.2012 (Reise in die Vergangenheit. Lisa Eyck war zu Gast in Gudensberg, aus der ihre Familie einst vertrieben wurde); Arbeitskreis Synagoge Gudensberg eV, Aus dem Alltagsleben der jüdischen Gemeinde in Gudensberg (Ausstellung und Broschüre), November 1988; Initiative Stolpersteine für Gudensberg; Hans-Peter Klein, Stammbaum der Familie Levi-Elias, unveröffentlicht, 2012/2014; Charlotte Heil, Judenverfolgung und Arisierung in den 30iger Jahren – am Beispiel eines Hausverkaufs in Gudensberg, Hausarbeit im Geschichtsleistungskurs, unveröffentlicht, 2005; (eingesehen am 27.11.2014).

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