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Joel Falk * 1923

Kielortallee 22 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

JG. 1923
"VERLEGT" 23.9.1940
ERMORDET 23.9.1940

further stumbling stones in Kielortallee 22:
Martha Brager, Frieda Brager, Werner Brager, Siegmund Brager, Liesel Brager, Bela Brager, Hermann René Falk, Dina Hähnlein, Julius Hähnlein, Heinrich (Henoch) Herbst, Karoline (Caroline) Herbst, Helene Horwitz, Alfred Levy, Martha Levy, Manuel (Emil) Neugarten, Herta Neugarten

Joel Falk, born on 25 Mar. 1923 in Hamburg, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the Brandenburg/Havel euthanasia killing center
Jente Falk, née Süsswein, born on 3 July 1893 in Lisko/Galicia (today Lesko in Poland), deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Litzmannstadt/Lodz, murdered
Henriette Falk, born on 25 Nov. 1925 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Litzmannstadt/Lodz, murdered on 25 Apr. 1942
Hermann René Falk, born 22 Mar. 1930 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Litzmannstadt/Lodz, murdered in Chelmno
Joshua Fabian Falk, born on 6 Nov. 1921 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Litzmannstadt/Lodz, murdered

Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, Kielortallee 22

Joel Falk was born on 25 Mar. 1923 in Hamburg. He was the second child of the married couple Louis Falk, born on 10 July 1885 in Hamburg, and Jente Falk, née Süsswein, born on 3 July 1893 in Lisko/Galicia.

The Jewish couple had married in Oct. 1920 and had a son, Joshua Fabian, on 6 Nov. 1921. After Joel, Henriette Friederike was born on 25 Nov. 1925 and Hermann René on 22 Mar. 1930. All four children were natives of Hamburg. Two other siblings are said to have died early.

The Falk family initially lived at Agathenstrasse 2, from 1921 until at least 1938 in the Oppenheimersche Wohnstift, a residential home, at Kielortallee 22, both in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel.

Joel’s father Louis was the twin brother of Hermann Falk. Their father was a lawyer, their mother a teacher. Louis Falk earned his living first as an independent merchant selling consumer paper wholesale, from 1924 as a traveling salesman. According to his own information, he successfully practiced this profession despite being physically handicapped as a result of polio at the age of four and severe curvature of the spine. The Hamburg directories from 1920 to 1931 contain the term "commission business.” After that, no trade is noted.

In addition to the physical limitations, Louis Falk increasingly showed signs of disease that manifested themselves particularly in periods of excitement. This had a dramatic effect on the family. There was physical violence toward his pregnant wife. The children showed great fear of their father. Louis Falk was finally admitted to Eppendorf General Hospital in 1926 and again in 1929, and then transferred to the Friedrichsberg State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg) in 1930.

Jente Falk, Joel’s mother, suffered greatly from the difficult living conditions of the family due to her husband’s illness. In 1930, she was also admitted to Friedrichsberg as a patient and was listed again in the patient register there in 1933. It is not known whether she was a patient in Friedrichsberg throughout these years or only temporarily.

At the end of 1930, Louis Falk was permanently incapacitated. On 19 Feb. 1934, he was transferred to the Langenhorn State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn); probably the treatment options in Friedrichsberg were exhausted. On 27 May 1935, Louis Falk was admitted to the Eppendorf University Clinic and sterilized on the basis of the "Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases” ("Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses”) enacted on 1 Jan. 1934. Seven days later, on 3 June 1935, he was taken back to Langenhorn, granted leave shortly thereafter and discharged on 12 May 1936, without – as was usual otherwise – recording a reason. Only ten days later, on 22 May 1936, Louis Falk died in the Israelite Hospital.

No record of Joel’s childhood and early adolescence has been passed down. There is also a lack of information about his accommodation and that of his siblings during their parents’ hospital stays. In any case, the problematic situation of the family may have considerably affected the development of the children, especially as the grandmother, Hermine Falk, was unable to help either. She had already passed away in 1928.

On 17 Dec. 1939, at the age of 16, Joel Falk became a farmhand on the Jewish Gehringsdorf teaching estate near Hattenhof in the Fulda administrative district. A hachshara site had been built there in 1929. Young people were to be prepared for emigration (aliyah) to Palestine in the estate called "Kibbuz Haddatih” through agricultural training.

A quarter of a year later, on 28 Feb. 1940, Joel Falk became a patient at the Marburg Psychiatric Clinic/State Mental Hospital (Psychiatrische Klinik/Landesheilanstalt Marburg). The physician Dr. von Keitz from Neuhof, Fulda administrative district, had diagnosed Joel with incipient psychosis. On 5 Mar. 1940, the clinic sent a letter to Joel’s mother stating, "In the case of your son Joel, who has been under treatment since 28 Feb. [19]40, the issue is a mental disorder, the only treatment of which consists of a number of injections. In the process, we are using a drug that has already brought improvement to many of our patients with the similar disease. We ask you to give us your permission for this treatment.
Heil Hitler
Senior Physician.”

Jente Falk answered:
"Of course I do not understand enough about this treatment, [but] there is too much at stake for me concerning my son to deny as a mother [.... ] my consent to this treatment. I also place the greatest trust in you, that you will only give my son such treatment as will hopefully give cause to hope for a complete improvement of his current condition, and as an unfortunate mother, I can only ask you to try everything to give my boy, who is actually still half a child, back his health.”

As Joel’s condition improved, the injection therapy was initially suspended. At the beginning of Apr. 1940, however, his condition worsened again, so that a discharge requested by his mother was postponed for "an unforeseeable period.”

In the spring/summer of 1940, the "euthanasia” headquarters in Berlin, located at Tiergartenstrasse 4, planned a special operation aimed against Jews in public and private sanatoriums and nursing homes. It had the Jewish persons living in the institutions registered and moved together in what were officially so-called collection institutions. The Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Hamburg-Langenhorn) was designated the North German collection institution. All institutions in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg were ordered to move the Jews living in their facilities there by 18 Sept. 1940.

On 18 Sept. 1940, Joel was picked up by two nurses in Marburg – probably at the behest of Hamburg – and taken to the Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home.” There is no evidence that Jente Falk was able to visit her son in Langenhorn, so she probably never saw him again. On 23 Sept. 1940, Joel Falk was transported to Brandenburg/Havel with a further 135 patients from North German institutions. The transport reached the city in the Mark (March) on the same day. In the part of the former penitentiary converted into a gas-killing facility, the patients were immediately driven into the gas chamber and killed using carbon monoxide. Only Ilse Herta Zachmann escaped this fate at first (see corresponding entry).

We do not know whether, and if so, when Joel Falk’s relatives became aware of his death. In all documented death notices, it was claimed that the person concerned had died in Chelm or Cholm. In addition, all dates of death provided were postdated. Those murdered in Brandenburg, however, were never in Chelm (Polish) or Cholm (German), a town east of Lublin. The former Polish sanatorium there no longer existed after SS units had murdered almost all patients on 12 Jan. 1940. Also, there was no German records office in Chelm. Its fabrication and the use of false dates of death served to disguise the killing operation and at the same time enabled the authorities to claim higher care expenses for periods extended accordingly.

Joel’s mother Jente Falk, his sister Henriette Falk and his brother Hermann René Falk were also murdered in the Holocaust. They were deported from Hamburg to "Litzmannstadt” (Lodz) on 25 Oct. 1941. Henriette, only 16 years old, died there on 25 Apr. 1942. Hermann Falk was probably deported to Chelmno after 15 May 1942 and murdered there. Jente Falk’s date of death of is unknown. Joel Falk’s older brother Joshua Fabian Julius was also deported to Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941. According to the Memorial Book of the German Federal Archives, he died in the forced labor camp for Jews in Friedrichsweiler (today Szymanowo in Poland). For Joel Falk and his relatives murdered in the Holocaust, Stolpersteine are planned in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, at Kielortallee 22.

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

© Ingo Wille

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 9; AB; StaH 133-1 III Staatsarchiv III, 3171-2/4 U.A. 4, Liste psychisch kranker jüdischer Patienten der psychiatrischen Anstalt Langenhorn, die aufgrund nationalsozialistischer "Euthanasie"-Maßnahmen ermordet wurden, zusammengestellt von Peter von Rönn, Hamburg (Projektgruppe zur Erforschung des Schicksals psychisch Kranker in Langenhorn); 332-5 Standesämter 2104 Nr. 3253/1885 Geburtsregistereintrag Louis Falk, 2104 Nr. 3254/1885 Geburtsregistereintrag Hermann Falk, 6054 1425/1920 Heiratsregistereintrag Louis und Jente Falk, 1053 Nr. 182/1936 Sterberegistereintrag Louis Falk, 1905 Nr. 1467/1877 Geburtsregistereintrag Henriette Falk; 352-8/7 Langenhorn Abl. 2-1995 20503 Louis Falk; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1 1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.39 bis 27.1.1941; UKE/IGEM, Patienten-Karteikarte Louis Falk der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg; UKE/IGEM, Patientenakte Louis Falk der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg; LWV-Archiv, Bestand 16 K 7739, Patientenakte Joel Falk;, Zugriff am 20.3.2016
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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