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Bertha Fischborn (née Cohn) * 1881
Rothenbaumchaussee 34 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
GEDEMÜTIGT / ENTRECHTET
FLUCHT IN DEN TOD
Bertha Fischborn, née Cohn, born on 4 Aug. 1881, humiliated/deprived of her rights, flight to death on 3 Aug. 1943
Max Fischborn, born on 14 Aug. 1879, humiliated/deprived of his rights, flight to death on 3 Aug. 1943
Rothenbaumchaussee 34 (Rotherbaum)
Bertha Cohn was born on 4 Aug. 1881 as the last of six children of the Jewish couple Michael Cohn and Charlotte Cohn, née Brager, at Beim Grünen Jäger 15 in Altona. Bertha’s parents had married in Hamburg on 21 Dec. 1875, when three of six children had already been born. Bertha’s father worked as a merchant and shipping agent, and her mother was employed as an employment agent. (Charlotte Cohn died on 9 Nov. 1902).
All we know about Bertha’s childhood is that she was not raised in the Jewish religion. Nothing is known about her schooling or other training.
On 2 June 1908, Bertha Cohn and Max Fischborn were married at Registry Office 2 in Hamburg.
Max Fischborn was of non-Jewish descent. He was born as the last of four children of the innkeeper and hotel owner Alexander Heinrich Adolph August Fischborn and his wife Catharina Margaretha Fischborn, née Bahr, on 14 Aug. 1879 at Hoheschulstrasse 11 in Altona. Since 1889, his parents owned the Hotel Wiezel at Bei der Erholung 13 in the St. Pauli quarter.
Max Fischborn had learned to run a business from his parents at an early age. His registered occupation was that of a commercial agent. His father, who passed away in Hamburg on 17 Mar. 1890, had appointed his wife and children as heirs to the hotel in his will. In the following years, Max Fischborn supported his mother in operating the hotel. After she died in Hamburg on 3 Sept. 1905, he sold the Wiezel Hotel on 4 May 1906.
After Bertha and Max Fischborn married, they went into business on their own on 4 Aug. 1908, with a cafe on Gänsemarkt, which they sold again two years later.
On 25 Nov. 1909, they opened a restaurant at the intersection of Alsterthor 22 and Ballindamm in Hamburg-Altstadt, which was very well received. Visitors raved about the good food. Nevertheless, the couple had to declare bankruptcy on 25 Feb. 1920 and close the restaurant.
The Fischborn couple went into business on their own a third time with a fish store, which they operated from 1921 to 1931 at Königsstrasse 21-23/ Altona (today: Alte Königsstrasse). Max Fischborn could buy fish cheaply at the nearby fish market and the fish auction hall (Altona). In the directory, he registered the fish store under the name of Bornfisch.
From 1901 to 1931, the Fischborn couple held passports, presumably for trips to other countries, in order to be able to diversify their range of goods.
The couple’s only child, Lotti, was born in Hamburg on 20 Aug. 1911, and baptized a Protestant on 9 Feb. 1912 at St. Jacobi Church in Hamburg.
Since 1914, the family resided at Beim Schlump 14/ Eimsbüttel and thus very close to Bertha’s 85-year-old father Michael Cohn, whose care she assumed. The father died on 25 Mar. 1917 in his apartment; he was buried in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery in Grave A X no. 682 next to his wife.
Bertha and Max Fischborn moved to Eppendorfer Landstrasse 9 from 1921 to 1930, and later to Haynstrasse 33.
Max Fischborn was taken into "protective custody” ("Schutzhaft”) on 23 Feb. 1937. We do not know the reasons for the arrest. He was released from the Fuhlsbüttel police prison (Kolafu) on 16 Mar. 1937.
The couple lived at Rothenbaumchaussee 34/ Rotherbaum from 1939.
Repeatedly, the Gestapo asked them – like other couples in "mixed marriages” ("Mischehen”) – to divorce. They refused to do so. Gestapo checks made their lives more difficult, so the couple decided to commit suicide together.
In their apartment at Rothenbaumchaussee 34, Bertha and Max took their own lives by taking sleep-inducing medications on 3 Aug. 1943. They were buried in two adjacent graves in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery on 4 Nov. 1943.
The complete household of the Fischborn couple, including clothing, furniture, and jewelry, was auctioned off in Jan. 1944. The proceeds amounted to 7,326.50 RM (reichsmark). The money was seized by the Chief Finance Administration (Oberfinanzdirektion) to the benefit of the German Reich.
Details regarding the fate of the only daughter of Bertha and Max Fischborn:
Lotti Fischborn, who had obviously completed her secondary education and was studying at university, had to abandon her medical studies in 1934. She fled to South Africa aboard the steamer "Usambara” on 10 Dec. 1934. She arrived in Cape Town on 16 Jan. 1935. There she later married Gustav Alwin Fischer (born on 11 Dec. 1908), continued her studies in Johannesburg and passed her final examination on 4 Aug. 1939. Lotti Fischer then worked as a general practitioner in Johannesburg.
Details regarding the fate of Bertha Fischborn’s siblings:
Faced with deportation to Theresienstadt, Emma Cohn (born on 1 July 1871) committed suicide with sleep-inducing medication on 15 July 1942. She will be commemorated by a Stolperstein as of 2021.
Selma Schümann, née Cohn, (born on 9 May 1876) committed suicide with morphine injections only three days after her sister Emma on 17 July 1942. She had run the Austernkeller ("oyster cellar”) on Jungfernstieg. The Stolperstein for Selma is located at Jungfernstieg 34 in Hamburg-Neustadt. See: www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de
Julius Cohn (born on 2 July 1872) died in Hamburg on 18 Nov. 1872. He was buried in the Jewish Grindelfriedhof Cemetery.
John Kronach (originally Cohn) (born on 5 Aug. 1874) married Ella Baumann. Passing away in Hamburg on 9 Jan. 1928, she was buried in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery. John committed suicide with sleep-inducing medication on 14 July 1942. There is a Stolperstein for him at Hegestrasse 41 in Eppendorf. See www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de. The only son Fritz Kronach (born on 20 Dec. 1909) was able to flee in 1939.
Caecilie Cohn (born on 30 Apr. 1877) was found dead in her apartment on 7 Mar. 1930. Where she was buried could not be determined.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2021
© Bärbel Klein
Quellen: StaH; 1; 2; 4;5; 8;213-8_Ablieferung 2, 451aE, 1a; Schutzhaft Max Fischborn; 213-13_6054 Fischer; 213-13_6055 Fischborn; 213-13_10033 Kronach; 213-13_15945 Cohn; 213-13_29186 Fischborn; 214-1_246 Fischborn; 231-5_4343; 232-3_H12575 Testament Fischborn; 311-2 IV_DV I C 4 e II D 5 a, Wiezel Hotel; 332-7_B III Nr 15277; 331-5_3 Akte 1167/1942 Cohn; 351-11_9309 Schümann; 351-11_35162 Kronach; 351-11_37055 Fischer; 351-11_32899 Fischer; 411-2_II N 5629 Brager; 522-1_1076 Friedhof Ohlsdorf; 332-3_966/1871; 332-3_1123/1872; 332-3_1372/1874; 332-5_2290/1876; 332-5_2140/1877; 332-5_2183/1881; 332-5_1601/1902; 332-5_2140/1908; 332-5_282/1908; 332-5_333/1908; 332-5_288/1913; 332-5_224/1917; 332-5_137/1930; 332-5_351/1942; 332-5_377/1942; 332-5_514/1942; 332-5_279/1943; 332-5_280/1943; 741-4_K2448; 741-4_4424; 741-4_K4682; 741-4_K6070; 741-4_K6670; www.ancestry.de; www.wikipedea.de (01.11.2020).
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