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Iwan Franck * 1875

Johnsallee 63 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

JG. 1875
ERMORDET 20.1.1942

further stumbling stones in Johnsallee 63:
Frederick Geussenhainer

Iwan Franck, born 6.9.1875 in Hamburg, deported 25.10.1941 to Lodz, died there on 20.1.1942

Johnsallee 63 (Rotherbaum)

Iwan Franck was born in Hamburg-St. Pauli as the son of the Hamburg merchant Adolph Franck (1845-1878) and Agnes Franck née Cohn (born 1851 in Varel/Friesland, died 1924 in Hamburg). The paternal grandparents were Hannchen Franck née Meyer (1807-1893), a native of Wandsbek, and the merchant Ahron Levy (Levi) Franck (Frank), who last lived at 1 Marktstraße 15 (Neustadt).

In 1876, Ivan's brother Leo was born in the apartment at Eimsbüttelerstraße 46 (Eimsbüttel); the parents gave "Christian" as the denomination for the birth certificate. In 1877, the family of four moved to Wilhelminenstraße 40 (St. Pauli). Adolph Franck died here on January 27, 1878, at the age of only 32. In the death certificate his denomination was "Jewish". Since about 1877 Adolph Franck had owned a "Colonial-, Fett- und Farbewaren-Handlung" in the Marktstraße Platz 109 Haus 9 (St. Pauli). Presumably his brother Louis Franck, who was three years older and lived only a few doors down at Wilhelminenstraße 32, helped the family during this difficult time. From 1894 to 1902, the family of three lived in Grindelallee.

In the 1880s, Iwan Franck attended the old Talmud Torah School in Hamburg's Neustadt until he reached the upper secondary school leaving certificate (Mittlere Reife after 10 years of schooling) and then completed a commercial apprenticeship. He then worked as a clerk for business correspondence in French. In 1897, at the age of 22, he set up his own stationery business.

When the 26-year-old merchant Iwan Franck, living at Grindelallee 146 (Rotherbaum), and the 22-year-old Paula Polack, living at Fröbelstraße 10 (Rotherbaum), got married before the registrar in 1902, they could not have known that they would go their separate ways again shortly after their silver wedding anniversary in May 1927. Their uncle Louis Franck (born 12.6.1842 in Hamburg), merchant and co-owner of the von der Porten & Franck company founded in 1865 (together with Hermann von der Porten, born Nov 9, 1870) acted as best man. The merchant and Hamburg citizen Julius Lübeck (1847-1925), resident at Annenstraße 4 (St. Pauli), took over as uncle (and husband of Bella Polack born 1844) for the deceased bride's father Samuel Polack (married to Henriette Polack, née Lübeck, who lived from 1855-1936) this testimony.

The marriage produced son Erwin Franck (born 1903), who attended the Oberrealschule Eimsbüttel and then the private Wahnschaff-Realschule (Rotherbaum). After a commercial apprenticeship at the "Hamburger Bleiwerk Adolf Bernstein AG" (Süderstraße 45, "Aryanized" in 1938 and renamed Hamburger Bleiwerk Mahnke & Co.), he worked from 1930 in the construction department of Protos Telefon GmbH (Chilehaus B), a subsidiary of Siemens & Halske AG. When he began his commercial apprenticeship (1926), Erwin Franck had his own cult tax card with the Jewish community in Hamburg. Due to a lack of sufficient sources, nothing concrete can be reported about Iwan Franck's attitude towards the Jewish religion; he was a member of the Jewish Community in Hamburg and, since 1921, also a member of the Hamburg Masonic Lodge "Ferdinand zum Felsen" and a patron of the Masonic Hospital.

Iwan Franck's brother Leo Franck (born August 5, 1876 in Hamburg) also joined the stationery business for a short time around 1909. At this time, in addition to the main store at Hansastraße 78 (Harvestehude), the company also briefly operated a branch store at Grosse Johannisstraße 13/corner of Schauenburgerstraße (Altstadt) in the "Haraldhof" building, which had been converted in 1907 and was located to the side of the Hamburg Stock Exchange. Both company owners had acquired Hamburg citizenship. In the telephone directory of 1914, only "Franck, Iwan, merchant, luxury paper goods etc., postcard publisher, Hansastraße 78" was listed: The brother Leo Franck had died in 1910 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery Ohlsdorf.

The uncle Louis Franck (1842-1921) had lived at Wilhelminenstraße 32 (among others 1878-1887), Güntherstraße 69 (among others 1890-1902), Hansastraße 71 (among others 1905-1908), Jungfrauenthal 8 (among others. 1911-1917) and Rothenbaumchaussee 91 (1918-1919), and finally at Hansastraße 78 (1920-1921), where Iwan Franck's business was also located from 1914 to 1926.

The private residential addresses of Iwan Franck were in the Hamburg districts of Rotherbaum and Harvestehude in the streets Grindelallee 146 (among others 1902-1904) and Grindelberg 36 (among others 1906-1928). After the divorce Iwan Franck moved from 1928/29 to Johnsallee 63, where among others the physician Carl Stamm (1867-1941) had his practice (see The widowed Louise Coutinho née Aronso(h)n (born Jan. 22, 1874 in Leipzig, deported July 15, 1942) and the tobacco agency Solms Coutinho, founded in 1911, also rented rooms in the house.

Iwan Franck remained at Johnsallee 63 until 1931, after which he moved into apartments at Hartungstraße 1 (1932) and Klosterstern 9 (from 1933). From 1935, Iwan Franck was no longer listed in the address book with his private residential address, but only with the business address.

According to the Hamburg address book, Iwan Franck's paper wholesale business was located at Hansastraße 78 until 1926. There are no business entries for the years 1927 to 1930. From 1931 to 1937, the company was listed with the address Neuer Wall 39 (Neustadt); from 1935, however, the entry here was significantly smaller than before and the private address was omitted. This was probably already a result of the systematic discrimination, obstruction and intimidation of Jewish business owners. The son Erwin Franck wrote about this in the 1950s: "After 1933, the business declined considerably because customers no longer wanted to buy from him in view of the fact that he was Jewish."

From 1935 on, Iwan Franck no longer recorded any significant professional income and did not employ any staff. In this situation, on June 26, 1938, he applied through the Hamburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for a passport for a business trip to Denmark. The in-house counsel of Department IV/3 of the IHK simply noted on the form "Application is to be rejected." At the same time, the IHK informed the foreign exchange office of the Chief Finance President, which in turn called in the customs investigation office on July 30, 1938, through Regierungsrat Fritz Klesper (born 1900), with the subject "suspicion of capital flight".

Thereupon, Customs Inspector Schmücker paid a visit to the applicant and, on August 25, 1938, prepared an "investigation report" with information on finances as well as the private situation of Iwan Franck - he advised against blocking the small assets. This report was immediately forwarded to the foreign exchange office, which now also requested information from the responsible tax office. The passport had already been rejected by the passport police on July 29, 1938.

Neither a business nor a private entry appeared for Iwan Franck in the Hamburg address book in 1938, because he was now living as a subtenant at Lenhartzstraße 17 (Eppendorf) with pharmacist Otto Josephy. His paper goods wholesale business was probably not demolished during the November pogrom, because it was located on the 2nd floor. But it had to be closed down after the pogrom.

On June 5, 1939, the business was transferred in the commercial register to the name of Friedrich Feldhoff (born July 10, 1903 in Barmstedt/Holstein), who thus profited from the National Socialist "Aryanization" policy. Feldhoff had worked for an import and export company as a buyer for eleven years and then as an accountant for five years. At the end of 1937, he had joined the NSDAP. With the purchase of the paper and stationery wholesale business from Iwan Franck, he was able to almost double his previous annual income as a salaried employee.

Also, the hat store located on the first floor, Ad. Kimmelstiel, which Adolf Kimmelstiel (1854-1918) had built up, was "Aryanized" and taken over cheaply by Herbert Singewald in October 1938. Herbert Singewald (born 1902 in Gera), not a member of the NSDAP, was able to almost quadruple his income through the company takeover compared to his previous one as branch manager of the Carl Kellner hat store (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße 17).

The business premises at Neuer Wall 39 were acquired by the brothers Eduard Westerich (born 1900) and Herbert Westerich (born 1904), the owners of the company Schacht & Westerich, Bürobedarf und Buchdruckerei (office supplies and book printing), founded in 1826 (size of Bäckerstraße 18/20), at a price significantly below its value; it is not known to what extent Eduard Westerich's NSDAP membership was helpful in this. The paper store of M. Kimmelstiel & Co. (founded in 1876 by Max Kimmelstiel 1852-1922, last owner "Erna" Ernestine Kimmelstiel) located on the first floor was continued as a branch of Schacht & Westerich. The Kimmelstiel family was also a victim of the National Socialist "Aryanization" policy.

With the beginning of the Second World War, it became increasingly difficult to emigrate: The host countries made entry more difficult and Iwan Franck's financial means were barely sufficient for the journey and the required proof of capital in the country of exile. The emigration failed. The disenfranchisement of Iwan Franck was followed by his systematic financial plundering, the prohibition to own radio and telephone sets, the exclusion from cultural events as well as the obligation to wear the compulsory first name "Israel" from January 1, 1939 and the yellow star of David from September 19, 1941.

Iwan Franck was deported to the Lodz ghetto on the first deportation train to leave Hamburg on October 25, 1941. He died there twelve weeks later. His household effects were confiscated by the Nazi state and presumably sold at auction.

His divorced wife Paula Franck née Polack (born Febr 13, 1880 in Hamburg) had married the bank procurator James Meyer (1874-1937) in 1928. The first witness was the brother Wolfram Charles Garden, formerly Polack (1882-1950), since 1928 owner of the Kristall-Palast silent movie theater in Wandsbek, which was located at Lübeckerstraße 39 (today Wandsbeker Marktstraße), as was his apartment in Wandsbek. Wolfram Charles Garden (born October 27, 1882 in Hamburg), a trained tenor and resident of New York from 1900 to 1921, was last active in Hamburg as a singing teacher and emigrated with his wife in May 1940 to the USA, whose citizenship he had already held since 1919. The second best man was Paula's brother Julius Polack (1881-1933), until the sale of the company in 1924, owner of the cellar machine, coffee mill, and electric motor factory Lübeck & Co. (from 1924 part of Elka-Werke AG) and from 1927 to 1933 owner of the goods and finance store Julius Polack jr. (Trostbrücke 2), who lived at Mittelweg 121 (Rotherbaum).

Paula Meyer née Polack divorced Franck (see took her own life on December 3, 1941 in her apartment at Isestraße 39 II. Floor took her own life. In the police report, the 54-year-old domestic servant Anna Svoboda, to whose knock Paula Meyer had not responded, gave the reasons for the Veronal poisoning: "Since Mrs. Meyer was to be evacuated tomorrow, I assumed that she had done something to herself." The caretaker from the IV floor opened the locked bedroom door, Ernst Haas (born 8.6.1883 in Hamburg), resident of Brahmsallee 62, brother of the lawyer Edgar Haas (1877-1946), notified the police station in charge.

Paula Meyer died shortly after being admitted to the Jewish Hospital at Johnsallee 68. The lawyer Morris Samson (1878-1959), since 1939 one of three "Jewish consulters" in Hamburg admitted exclusively for Jews, was appointed executor of the will. The property management company Heinrich Schmielau (Ottenser Marktplatz 1) applied to the police "to have the currently ownerless Jewish household secured, and at the same time to see to the appointment of a guardian of the estate."
Paula Meyer is commemorated by a stumbling stone at Isestraße 39 (Harvestehude).

Through the uncle and Danish citizen Emil Henius (born 13.8.1868 in Aalborg/Denmark), Ivan's son Erwin Franck succeeded in obtaining a residence and work permit for Denmark. The Henius family was wealthy: the foundation of their fortune had been laid in 1846 by their father Isidor Henius, who had arrived from Thorn (West Prussia) in 1837, with the Aalborg Akvavit. In May 1933, Erwin Franck emigrated to Copenhagen, where Emil Henius lived as an import merchant with his own company and as a member of the Jewish community. He was married to Hanna Henius née Wulff (born 25.10.1870 in Altona) and died in 1934.

After the German invasion of Denmark on April 9, 1940, Erwin Franck was also exposed to increasing reprisals and persecution measures in Denmark, which had health consequences. From 1941 he was treated for anxiety neurosis and heart complaints.

In October 1943, Erwin Franck, like about 7,000 other persecuted Jews, fled from the deportation actions of the German occupying forces to neutral and unoccupied Sweden, presumably at night in a fishing boat. He had to leave behind the belongings he had brought with him from Germany. After Germany's surrender, he married a Danish woman in Copenhagen, but did not take Danish citizenship himself. In 1946 a daughter was born. In 1968 Erwin Franck returned to Hamburg with his wife.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: January 2022
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 231-7 (Amtsgericht Hamburg, Handels- u. Genpossenschaftsregister), B 1985-166 Band (Elka-Werke ehemals Lübeck & Co.); StaH 314-15 (OFP), R 1938/1167 (Firma Iwan Franck); StaH 331-5 (Polizeibehörde – Unnatürliche Todesfälle), 3 Akte 1942/142 (Paula Meyer geb. Polack); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 1885 u. 3733/1876 (Geburtsregister 1876, Leo Franck); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 49 u. 291/1878 (Sterberegister 1878, Adolph Franck); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 293 u. 150/1891 (Sterberegister 1891, Aaron Levi Franck alias Frank); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 349 u. 2309/1893 (Sterberegister 1893, Hannchen Franck geb. Meyer); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8583 u. 9/1897 (Heiratsregister 1897, Emil Henius u. Hanna Wulff); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8616 u. 82/1902 (Heiratsregister 1902, Iwan Franck u. Paula Polack); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8065 u. 520/1921 (Sterberegister 1921, Louis Franck); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8077 u. 354/1924 (Sterberegister 1924, Agnes Röschen Franck geb. Cohn); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8823 u. 196/1928 (Heiratsregister 1928, Paula Franck geb. Polack und James Meyer); StaH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), A I e 40 Bd. 9 (Bürger-Register 1876–1896), Louis Franck (25.5.1877); StaH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), A I e 40 Bd. 13 (Bürger-Register 1899–1905), Leo Franck (25.2.1903), Iwan Franck (26.2.1904); StaH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), Jac. Julius Lübeck (geb. 6.9.1847 in Glückstadt, Kfm., 1894 Hamburger Bürgerbrief); StaH 332-8 (Alte Einwohnermeldekartei 1892–1925), Hannchen Franck geb. Meyer, Agnes Röschen Franck geb. Cohn, Louis Franck, Leo Franck, Julius Lübeck, Emil Henius, Hanna Henius geb. Wulff; StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 27967 (Iwan Franck u. Erwin Franck); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 6655 (Ernst Haas); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 1073 (Ernestine Kimmelstiel); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 6467 (Julius Saladin); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 9461 (Johanna Garden); StaH 361 – 2 II (Oberschulbehörde II – Höheres Schulwesen), Abl. 2007/1, 96 (Wolfram Charles Garden, 1933–1939); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg, ab 1913) Julius Polack (1913–1933); StaH 614-1/71 (Vereinigte 5 Logen), 5.2. H. 44 Nr. 135 (Mitglieder-Verzeichnis 1922); StaH 731-8 (Zeitungsausschnittsammlung), A 760 (Max Kimmelstiel 1852–1922); StaH 731-8 (Zeitungsausschnittsammlung), A 760 (Adolf Kimmelstiel 1854–1918); StaH 221-11 (Staatskommissar für die Entnazifizierung), C 3671 (Friedrich Feldhoff); StaH 221-11, C 6752 (Herbert Singewald); StaH 221-11, C 7469 (Eduard Westerich); StaH 221-11, Ad 858 (Fritz Klesper); Jüdischer Friedhof Ohlsdorf, Gräberkartei (Leo Franck, Grab ZY 11-498); Hamburger jüdische Opfer des Nationalsozialismus, Gedenkbuch, Hamburg 1995, S. 106 (Iwan Franck), S. 143 (Ernst Haas), S. 290 (Paula Meyer geb. Polack gesch. Franck); Hamburger Adressbuch 1876, 1878, 1880, 1884–1885, 1887, 1890, 1900, 1902, 1904–1908, 1910, 1914, 1918–1920, 1925–1937, 1938, 1941; Fernsprechbuch Hamburg 1914; Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1910, S. 189 (Iwan Franck), S. 409 (Lübeck & Co.), S. 517 (von der Porten & Franck); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1935, S. 236 (Iwan Franck), S. 444 (M. Kimmelstiel & Co.); Handelskammer Hamburg, Firmenregister (Iwan Franck, Handelsregister Nr. A 9241; Adolf Bernstein, Handelsregister Nr. B 2689; Lübeck & Co., Handelsregister Nr. A 15089; A. Saladin, Handelsregister Nr. A 3066; Julius Polack jr., Handelsregister Nr. A 34375); Christa Fladhammer/Maike Grünwaldt, Stolpersteine in der Hamburger Isestraße – Biographische Spurensuche, Hamburg 2010, S. 121–123 (Paula Meyer geb. Polack); Frank Bajohr, "Arisierung" in Hamburg. Die Verdrängung der jüdischen Unternehmer 1933–1945, Hamburg 1998 (2. Auflage), S. 362 (Ad. Kimmelstiel, M. Kimmelstiel & Co.).

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