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Jeanette Freundlich * 1873

Peterstraße 33 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

1943 Theresienstadt
ermordet 03.08.1943

further stumbling stones in Peterstraße 33:
Joel Abrahamssohn, Pauline Abrahamssohn, Norbert Abrahamssohn, Jenny Becker, Ludwig Becker, Uri Becker, Else Grossmeyer, Erwin Grossmeyer, Hugo Grossmeyer, Louise Simon

Jeanette Freundlich, born 10/19/1873 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 6/23/1943, died there on 8/3/1943

Peterstrasse 33b

Bernhard Freundlich (born 11/29/1842, died 3/29/1919), Jeanette Freundlich’s father, was a master furrier and came from the town of Marienfelde in Eastern Prussia (now Glaznoty, Poland). The Hamburg address book first listed him in 1874 as a "cap maker” at number 32 of (no longer existing) Schlachterstrasse, five years later nearby in the street Bei den Hütten 86 (now Hütten). In 1910, he opened a batch hoods store at Peterstrasse 34/35. In his second marriage, Bernhard Freundlich married Dina Braunschild (born 10/14/1851, died 9/11/1916), a native of Hamburg, daughter of the tailor Levy Braunschild and his wife Hanna, née Meyer. Between 1872 and 1893, the couple got nine children (cf. Leopold Freundlich).

Jeanette Freundlich remained single, even when she became pregnant by Bruno Behrens from Ortelsburg in Eastern Prussia, a businessman. On December 21, 1910, at the age of 37, she gave birth to a son, whom she named Erich, and placed him at the Israelitic nursery at Lützowstrasse 35–37 in Cologne.

After a difficult pregnancy and a hard birth, Jeanette Freundlich had to give up in 1920 her position as directress of the fashion department of a Hamburg department store after seventeen years because of "neurasthenia” and "nervous heart problems”.

After a prolonged recuperation in the country, she was diagnosed with diabetes and was unable to work regularly. She fell into financial distress and was taken in by her married sister Martha Graetz (born 6/1/1878) at her home Eimsbüttler Chaussee 37. As this could only be a temporary solution, she took a room as a subtenant in the same building, on the second floor, c/o Horn. Her brother-in-law Waldemar Graetz paid the rent.

The merchant Waldemar Graetz (born 5/28/1880 in Löwen, Silesia, owned two clothing stores in Neuer Steinweg and in Grosse Bleichen. Whenever Jeanette’s condition allowed, she worked as a supervisor and cashier at one of her brother-in-law’s shops. In 1929, however, she became completely unable to work and received a pension of 71,80 reichsmarks. In 1930, after several hospital stays, she was approved for a regimen, which she took at an Israelitic health clinic in Bad Kissingen, as she lived strictly kosher.

In the pogrom night of November 9-10 1938, her brother-in-law Waldemar Graetz was temporarily imprisoned, and after his last store, now in Colonnaden 66/68, had been "aryanized”, the Graetz’ decided to leave Germany, and managed to emigrate to Manila, the Philippines, in August 1939. Unable to remain in her apartment at Feldbrunnenstrasse 3, where she had moved in 1936, Jeanette Freundlich lived as a subtenant at varying addresses in the following years, first at Magdalenenstrasse 9, then at Parkallee 4-6, from there to Hansastrasse 76, on to Bundesstrasse 35 and, on December 28, 1941, to Schäferkampsallee 29. The last two accommodations were already "Jews’ houses”. Jeanette Freundlich received her deportation order to Theresienstadt for June 23, 1943 at the Jewish retirement home Beneckestrasse 6.

Jeanette Freundlich died in the ghetto on August 3, 1943 at the age of not quite 70 years, at room 116 in Bahnhofstrasse 6, of heart failure, according to the death certificate.
A Stumbling Stone commemorating Jeanette Freundlich was laid before the present house at Peterstrasse 33b. Its position, however, has since been identified as wrong – the former number 33b was across the street, at the corner of Peterstrasse and Hütten.

In February 1945, Martha and Waldemar Graetz fell victim to the "Manila massacre”. At the Red Cross building, where they had sought refuge, they were murdered by Japanese marines who discharged their frustration and anger at the civilian population of the capital of the Philippines surrounded by Philippine and US troops.

Jeanette’s brother Hermann (born 4/30/1872) married Dorothea Bernhardt (born 3/22/1878 in Berlin) on October 16, 1917. Hermann died on March 31, 1923. His widow Dorothea Freundlich was deported to Riga on December 6, 1941.

The Fate of Jeanette Freundlich’s Son Erich
At the age of 6, Erich Freundlich had returned to Hamburg. He lived with the family of his guardian David Rosenblatt in the Grindel quarter and attended the Talmud Tora School in Grindelhof. When Erich was in fifth grade, he suffered occasional epileptic attacks. Subsequently, the public youth welfare agency had him admitted to the Friedrichsberg mental hospital.

On May 25, 1922, he was transferred to the Alsterdorfer Anstalten mental asylum. A medical opinion of that year already was infected by anti-Semitism; it read: "He [Erich] has an unsocial character, lays his hands on fellow patients in a Jewish manner, tends to lying and various other bad habits; his preference of playing with fire is especially dangerous. It is urgent to permanently hospitalize Freundlich.”

A later opinion sounds somewhat milder: "[….] learns well at school. Is a scheming, cunning boy who, with attentive upbringing, can become a useful person, but will degenerate without proper guidance”. In 1924, the youth agency of the German-Israelitic Community assumed the boy’s guardianship, and on November 13, 1928 had him placed at the Heilerziehungsanstalt Kalmenhof at Idstein near Frankfurt, at the time a pedagogically modern institution for boys and girls with learning handicaps.

Erich absolved a bookbinder’s apprenticeship, which he completed with honors as best of his class in August 1932. After a half-year course for violin and vocals at a music school in Wiesbaden, he returned to Hamburg about 1933 and again moved in with his guardian David Rosenblatt at Grindelallee 102.

Erich Freundlich joined the German-Jewish Youth in Hamburg and, through the Zionist Association, got an engagement in Tiberias. On December 30, 1933, he travelled to Palestine via Trieste, but returned to Hamburg already in August 1934 on account of the political unrest in Palestine and because he had caught malaria. In the following period, he worked as a violin player at coffee houses until he was no longer allowed to perform publicly because he was Jewish. He then had a job at a furniture moving company, later as a domestic servant, e.g. at the Pension Liebermann in Volksdorf and as a salesman for the Rothe bookbinding company at Alter Steinweg 73. Erich Freundlich lived as a subtenant at various addresses; in Neustadt district, he lived at Langergang 26 and then at nearby Wexstrasse 26b. There, Erich Freundlich was arrested in August 1936, because an informer had falsely reported to the Gestapo that Freundlich’s fiancée was "Aryan”. During questioning, Erich Freundlich stated that he was engaged since three years and intended to leave Germany.

His bride was not named in the interrogation record, but her Jewish origins were confirmed. During Erich Freundlich’s remand, the "Hereditary Health Court”, pursuant to the application of an official government doctor, on September 23, 1936, ordered him to be transferred to the Langenhorn mental hospital. On account of his earlier epileptic attacks – he had had the last attack in 1926! – he was to be genetically checked for "hereditary epilepsy”. On January 13, 1937, Erich Freundlich, pursuant to the "law for the prevention genetically disease offspring”, was forcibly sterilized at the Eppendorf University Hospital. His protest was ignored. His welfare record reveals that his fiancée’s name was Frieda Franziska Emanuel (born 10/8/1913) and that Erich, after his discharge from the hospital, lived with her parents at Henriettenstrasse 32 for a time, until the couple found a room at Treskowstrasse 10.

Frieda Franziska Emanuel had a son named Wolfgang (born 12/29/1935), who lived with her parents and whose father Kurt Benthien was not Jewish. Now, Frieda was arrested and accused of "racial defilement”. In 1938, she was first admitted to the Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison and from there to the Lichtenburg concentration camp and finally to the women’s concentration camp Ravensbrück. In 1942, Frieda Franziska Emanuel was among the sick prisoners no longer fit to work who were murdered at the Bernburg killing institution in the scope the operation "special treatment 14f13” (cf. Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel und Hamburg-Hoheluft-West).

Erich Freundlich did not succeed in leaving Germany. Instead, he lived as a subtenant at Rosenhofstrasse 14, at Vereinsstrasse 14 c/o Spitzkopf and at Rutschbahn 39 c/o Wolf. From there, he moved to Rappstrasse 15.

On October 10, 1940, he married Klara Laupheimer (born 6/24/1904), who also was Jewish. Like Erich, she had absolved an apprenticeship as a bookbinder, and she had a three-year-old son from a previous relationship, whose name Manfred Elias Laupheimer.

Shortly after his marriage, Erich Freundlich was again arrested on December 12, 1940, by order of Willibald Schallert, head of the "special bureau J” of the Hamburg employment agency at Sägerplatz.

On account of a knee injury, Erich was no longer able to do the forced heavy earth and construction work at the Emil Schmidt Tief- und Strassenbau company in Harsefeld, and got the idea to answer a newspaper ad from the Lehmann & Hildebrandt company at Wendenstrasse 493 in Hamburg-St. Georg, who wanted a man for cutting cardboard boxes. Posing as an official of the employment agency, he phoned Lehman & Hildebrandt and offered them a "mongrel Jew” for the job to be filled. Using a razor blade, he erased the second name "Israel” that all male Jews had to bear since January 1, 1939 in his work book, inserting the name "Georg” in its place. He presented himself at the company and was hired.

When he got a letter ordering him to report to Schaller, head of the "bureau for the deployment of Jews”, he phoned the office, posing as a jail official and declared that "Erich Freundlich is unable to report to the employment agency because he is in remand custody.”

After three weeks, the scam got busted, and on April 25, 1941, Erich Freundlich was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail for "profit-seeking forging of documents, not bearing a Jewish middle name, unauthorized assumption of authority, and violation of the war law for the limitation of changing jobs.” He served the sentence at the men’s prison in Hamburg-Harburg.

He was released on June 13, 1941. Not quite two months later, the names of Erich Freundlich and his wife Klara were put on a waiting list for the transport from Hamburg to the "Litzmannstadt” ghetto in Lodz, Poland scheduled for October 25, 1941, in case people on the main list were unable to go. They received their deportation orders at Durchschnitt 8, where they were living with Klara’s family: her mother Marianne Laupheimer, née Leo (born 6/3/1867 in Wandsbek) and her elder non married sister Rosalie (born 12/25/1899). Klara’s father Martin Laupheimer (born 5/8/1854 in Laupheim, Wurttemberg) had died on December 5, 1939.

In the ghetto, the Freundlichs were assigned to quarters at Hausierer Gasse 2, apartment 25. Erich Freundlich died on October 6, 1942 in Lodz, not quite a year after his arrival. The date of death of his wife Klara is unknown.

Klara’s son Manfred Elias was deported to Riga on December 6, 1941, together with his grandmother Marianne and his aunt Rosalie Laupheimer. The dates of their deaths are also unknown.

Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 6; 9; StaH 351-11 AfW 15814 (Freundlich, Wilhelm); StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1181 (Freundlich, Jeanette); StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge Abl. 1999/2 Freundlich, Erich; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Abl.16 Untersuchungshaftkartei für Männer; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht-Strafsachen 4374/41; StaH 352-8/7 Abl. 2/1995 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn 23743; StaH 314-15 OFP, R1939/190; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 749 u 813/1916; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8721 u 283/1917; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8055 u 236/1919; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9801 u 746/1923; StaH 332-7 B III 49602/1895; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 1; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 3; UKE/IGEM, Patientenakte Erich Freundlich der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg Akten-Nr. 48855; Nationalarchiv in Prag/Theresienstädter Initiative, Jüdische Matriken, Todesfallanzeigen Theresienstadt (Jeanette Freundlich); Bajohr: "Arisierung", S. 358; (Zugriff 31.7.2016); Ephraim: Escape, S. 147–148.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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