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Vera Frenkel * 1938
Bartelsstraße 9 (Altona, Sternschanze)
BENTSCHEN / ZBASZYN
Charlotte Frenkel, née Tugendhaft, born on 21.7.1907 in Hamburg, deported on 28.10.1938 to Bentschen/ Zbaszyn, murdered in occupied Poland
Etti Frenkel, born on 6.5.1936 in Hamburg, deported on 28.10.1938 to Bentschen/ Zbaszyn, murdered in occupied Poland
Pinkus Frenkel, born on 12.5.1903 in Olkusz, expelled on 28.10.1938 to Bentschen/ Zbaszyn, survived
Vera Frenkel, born on 2.2.1938 in Hamburg, deported on 28.10.1938 to Bentschen/ Zbaszyn, murdered in occupied Poland
In front of the house at Bartelsstraße 7/11 there are four Stolpersteine commemorating the Jewish Frenkel family, who were deported to Poland on October 28, 1938, because they were of Polish origin. Contrary to the inscription on his Stolperstein, however, Pinkus Frenkel was not murdered in occupied Poland, like his wife Charlotte and their two children Etti and Vera, but survived the Holocaust in England.
Pinkus Frenkel was born on May 12, 1903 in Olkusz, a town between Krakow and Katowice. His parents Isaak Frenkel (born July 6, 1877 in Olkusz) and Regina/Ryfka, née Felsenstein (born Sept. 24, 1874 in Pilica), had married in Poland on August 6, 1897. Their six children, besides Pinkus the sons Max (born March 10, 1889), Leo Juda/Laib (born Jan. 16, 1906) and Heinrich/Chemja (born Dec. 25, 1912), as well as the daughters Frieda Firma/Frymeta (born Sept. 22, 1908) and Lina/Laja (born March 11, 1915), were also born in Olkusz. The family possessed Polish citizenship.
Shortly before the beginning of WWI I, they settled in Altona in 1914. First in Paralellstraße 15 (still with the surname Fränkel), then in Sommerhuder Straße 31 and finally in General-Litzmann-Straße 95 (today Stresemannstraße). Isaak Frenkel became involved in raw production and supplied the clothing fabric industry with rags, sacks and wool. After WWI, he traded in hides, which he purchased from slaughterhouses and wholesalers and resold to tanneries and leather factories.
According to his own account, Pinkus Frenkel had followed his parents to Germany in 1916. He attended the Talmud Tora School in Hamburg's Grindel district and in 1921 began a 3-year commercial apprenticeship in an oil, gasoline, tar and paint business. In 1930 he started his own business under the company name Frenkel & Sohn at Deichstraße 42 with a wholesale business for tar products, oil paints and varnishes. His mother Regina Frenkel was co-owner until February 1936.
On August 13, 1935, Pinkus Frenkel married Charlotte Tugendhaft. She had been born on June 21, 1907 at Marcustraße 9 (today Markustraße) in Hamburg Neustadt. Her parents Isaac Tugendhaft (born Oct. 15, 1876 in Sieniawa) and Ida, née Eller (born March 23, 1880), were also Jews of Polish origin. Charlotte's older brother Max Tugendhaft (born Oct. 4, 1905, died Febr. 28, 1983) was still born in the Polish town of Sieniawa in the Carpathian foothills, the younger Alfred (born May 19, 1904) already in Hamburg. The father Isaac Tugendhaft was a merchant. In 1914, like many of the Jewish families, the Tugendhaft family moved to a "better residential area" at Rappstraße 8 in the newly developed Grindelviertel and opened a poultry shop at Rappstraße 4. They later moved three more times, to Heinrich-Barth-Straße 10 and Bornstraße 1, and were last registered at Grindelallee 176.
After their marriage, Pinkus and Charlotte Frenkel moved to Bartelstraße 7/11. Charlotte's father Isaac Tugendhaft had furnished the apartment for the young couple, which now also housed the company. Charlotte Frenkel, who had received commercial training, worked in the company and, like her brother-in-law Heinrich Frenkel, who was also employed in the company, had power of attorney.
Two children were born, Etti on May 6, 1936, and Vera on February 2, 1938. The Frenkel family took an active part in the life of the Jewish community. They experienced their first economic losses in 1936, after various suppliers and customers no longer wanted to do business with Jewish business owners. The following year, Pinkus Frenkel was no longer issued the "travel legitimation card." The Chamber of Commerce file showed that information about the "racial affiliation" of the company owner had already been obtained in 1936.
Regina Frenkel, Pinkus' mother fell ill with cancer and died on January 28, 1938. She was buried in the Bornkampsweg Jewish Cemetery in Bahrenfeld.
On March 26, 1938, Pinkus' father, Isaak Frenkel, was arrested by the Gestapo along with other Jewish raw produce merchants and taken to the Fuhlsbüttel police prison. With the obligation not to engage in this business anymore, he was released on April 6, 1938.
As mentioned above, Pinkus and Charlotte Frenkel and their children were deported to Poland on October 28, 1938. Following an order by the Polish government, they had missed the deadline to have their Polish citizenship confirmed by November 1, 1938, as Poles living abroad. To prevent them from remaining permanently in Germany as "stateless Eastern Jews," the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin ordered their deportation before the deadline expired.
Among the approximately 1000 deported Hamburg Jews of Polish origin were Pinkus Frenkel's father Isaak Frenkel and his siblings, as well as Charlotte Frenkels parents and her sister-in-law Erna Tugendhaft, née Hoffmann (born February 18, 1908 in Leipzig). They, too, had been taken from their beds in the early morning hours and transported from the Altona train station to the German-Polish border at Zbaszyn/Bentschen. Poland kept its border closed, regardless of the fact that the arrivals were Polish citizens. Pinkus Frenkel reported that they then lived for eleven months in inhumane living conditions in the provisionally set up border camp, sleeping in horse stalls. They were fed by a relief committee from Warsaw, which had set up a field kitchen.
Some of the expellees were given permission to return to Hamburg for a short time to settle their "affairs" or to emigrate within a few weeks, like Ida Tugendhaft. She applied to ship her household to Poland and also asked permission to sell the stock of her son-in-law's company, Frenkel & Sohn, to pay some bills that were due, as well as the storage money. She received permission to sell, but could dispose of the proceeds only with foreign exchange permission. The remaining amount had to be deposited in a blocked account at the Dresdner Bank.
On May 15, 1939, Ida Tugendhaft applied to the Oberfinanzpräsident (foreign exchange office) for the release of 1400 RM. Her son-in-law Pinkus had instructed her to obtain four ship tickets from Hamburg via Southampton to New York. Pinkus Frenkel had obtained a temporary residence permit for England. On August 11, 1939, shortly before the beginning of WWII, he arrived in England by ship via the port city of Gdingen (Gdynia) in the Bay of Gdansk. His brothers Heinrich and Leo Juda, as well as his sister Frida, later married Freemann, had managed to escape from Poland via various countries before the war began.
Charlotte Frenkel remained behind with the children in the Zbaszyn/Bentschen camp. Most likely she was to join them shortly, but the invasion of Poland by the German Wehrmacht on September 1, 1939, and the beginning of WWII put an end to this plan. Pinkus Frenkel reported that his wife and children had been deported to the interior of Poland after the outbreak of the war.
The father, Isaak Frenkel, had returned to his birthplace in Olkusz after the Zbaszyn camp was dissolved in July 1939. (After the invasion of the German Wehrmacht, the town of Olkusz was renamed Ilkenau). The Jewish population was forced to move to certain parts of the town, and from 1940 they had to wear white armbands with the Star of David.
Isaak Frenkel probably stayed in Olkusz/Ilkenau until December 1940. Pinkus Frenkel reported that his father was forced into forced labor, which he did not endure for long. Presumably he was one of the forced laborers who were used for road construction and in industrial plants for the "Organization Schmelt" (Albrecht Schmelt, Breslau police chief SS-Oberführer and special representative of the Reichsführer SS for the use of labor in Upper Silesia, he committed suicide in May 1945). A last sign of life came from Sister Lina through the Red Cross, a card dated April 23, 1942 from Ilkenau "O/S Labor Camp", informing that the father had died there. The further fate of Lina Frenkel is unknown.
Pinkus Frenkels mother-in-law Ida Tugendhaft had returned to her husband in Przemyśl in Poland in July 1939 after the dissolution of their household at Grindelallee 176. They were no longer able to realize their plan to emigrate from there to France (their son Max Tugendhaft had been living in Paris since 1933). They and the family of their daughter-in-law Erna Tugendhaft were murdered somewhere in occupied Poland at an unknown date. Her younger son Alfred Tugendhaft had already fled to France in 1938. On March 6, 1943, he was deported with the 51st transport from Drancy, the collection camp for Jews near Paris, to the Majdanek extermination camp and murdered. (See Abraham Wagschal and Munisch Hoffmann family, www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
Pinkus Frenkel remained in England. For the first three years he did not receive a work permit and drew support. In 1942 he became an "agent" (representative) in the diamond industry. In 1946 he married Lily Greenberg and had two children with her.
In 2018, his son deposited memorial leaves for Charlotte, Etti and Vera Frenkel at the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel.
Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2022
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: 1; 2; 5; 8; StaH 332-5_5412 u 321/1938; StaH 213-13_17647; StaH 213-13_28896; StaH 314-15_F 587; StaH 351-11_27174; StaH 351-11_3355; StaH 232-5_539; StaH 314-15_FVg 5151a; StaH 314-15_FVg 5151; StaH 314-15_FVg 6007; StaH 314-15_FVg 5902; StaH 314-15_R 1939/2775; StaH 314-15_R 1940/1002; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lista osób zamieszkałych, Auskunft von Sahra Kopelman-Noyes, E-mail am 6.4.2021; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Names from French deportation lists research project, Auskunft von Sahra Kopelman-Noyes, E-mail am 6.4.2021; www.ancestry.de, Heiratsindex, England und Wales, 1916-2005, Pinkus Frenkel und Lily Greenberg (Zugriff 6.4.2021; Yad Vashem, The Central Data Base of Shoa Victims, Gedenkblätter von Charlotte, Etti und Vera Frenkel (Zugriff 10.3.2021); Andrea Rudorff: Das Lagersystem der "Organisation Schmelt" in Schlesien, in Der Ort des Terrors; Hrsg. Wolfgang Benz und Barbara Distel, S. 155, München 2009; Diverse Hamburger Adressbücher.