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Renate Eva Freimuth * 1925
Bogenstraße 36 (Ida-Ehre-Schule) (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)
RENATE EVA FREIMUTH
Renate Freimuth, born 7 Aug. 1925 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, murdered 2 Sep. 1942 in Chelmno
Bogenstraße 36 (Ida Ehre School) / Isestraße 43, Harvestehude
On 9 November 2010, a dedication ceremony for the Stolperstein for Renate Freimuth took place at the Ida Ehre School on Bogenstraße. A memorial service was held afterwards in the school auditorium. The pupils at the school had done a project about the history of their school and its former Jewish pupils.
Renate Freimuth attended the school for a very short time, in 1934-35, when she was nine or ten years old. The ban on Jewish children attending public schools was first issued in 1938, but even before that the atmosphere in many schools and school classes was anti-Semitic – Jews were insulted, humiliated, and ostracized. By order of the Hamburg Senate, the school’s name was changed at Easter 1934 to the Jahn School, in honor of Friedreich Ludwig Jahn, "the first champion of a greater Germany, of a pure race and of a German national identity.” The Jahn School was a prime example of anticipatory obedience, and expelled its Jewish pupils immediately. The Hamburg school authority informed the school’s directorate that "… beginning at Easter 1935, non-Aryan pupils are not permitted to attend the Jahn School. The Jahn School is herewith an exception among Hamburg’s public schools.”
The book Stolpersteine in der Hamburger Isestraße contains an account the Freimuth family. Renate Eva Freimuth, the daughter of Bella and Emil Freimuth, was born on 7 August 1925 in Hamburg. The family lived on Haynstraße in Eppendorf. She had two older brothers, Herbert and Edgar. Herbert died at the age of three. Renate’s father was the manager of an import-export company in Hamburg, which allowed the family a high standard of living. Renate’s parents were of Jewish heritage. She attended several schools. After the Jahn School she attended the Breitenfelder Straße school, then the Israelitic Girls’ School on Carolinenstraße. When it closed on 1 April 1939 she attended the Talmud Tora School on Grindelhof.
The family’s solidarity was put to the test in 1936 when Emil, aged 14, left to live with relatives in Prague. For this reason, Renate’s parents decided to keep her with them in 1939 when a former housemaid and friend of the family offered to take the girl, now 14, to live with friends. At that time the family was making plans to emigrate, since Renate’s father had lost his business due to persecution and there was nothing to keep them in Hamburg.
Her brother’s leaving, having to change schools, and the uncertain future made this time of life very difficult for Renate. Her situation worsened when the family’s assets from the sale of her father’s company were frozen and her father was taken into "protective custody” in December 1939. Much to Renate’s relief he was released after only five days. But at the same time the family was forced to move from Haynstraße to Isestraße 43, where there is now a Stolperstein in memory of them. The family now had no financial means to emigrate. Renate and her family remained in Hamburg for two more years, until they were deported to Lodz on 25 October 1941.
When they arrived in the Lodz Ghetto, she and her parents were housed on Steinmetzgasse. The living conditions were catastrophic: overcrowding, hunger, cold, pogroms, selections, illness, harassment, and the constant threat of death. On 2 May 1942, the family received notification that they were to be "relocated” to Chelmno. At that point the sixteen-year-old Renate was ill with a lung infection, and her father was also severely ill and bedridden. Renate’s mother requested a postponement for herself and her family, and the ghetto physician certified that Renate’s father was unable to be transported. The request was denied, and, because the father could not walk, a car was sent to bring the family to the train. At the last moment, however, the family was allowed to remain. But their reprieve lasted only a little more than three months. Beginning in September, the Kommandant’s office began choosing those to be deported rather than the Jewish relocation commission. This change was Renate’s and her family’s doom. They were deported to Chelmno on 2 September 1942 and murdered there.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Christa Fladhammer, Susanne Lohmeyer, SchülerInnen der Ida-Ehre-Stadtteilschule
Quellen: 1; 2; 5; ITS/ARCH/ZNK 22.214.171.124; USHMM, RG 15.083, M 299/464-465, 301/609-610; Auskunft von Fritz Neubauer, Universität Bielefeld am 24.11.2009; mündliche Auskunft Steffi Wittenberg; mündliche Auskunft Rolf Kummerfeld am 2.6.2009; StaH 361-2 Oberschulbehörde VI A 2 F VIII g 2, L1246, pag. 6f.; "Steine des Anstoßes – An- und Innehalten", S. 32ff.