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Alfons Ganser * 1914
Großmannstraße Ecke Ausschläger Billdeich (Hamburg-Mitte, Rothenburgsort)
further stumbling stones in Großmannstraße Ecke Ausschläger Billdeich:
Alfons Ganser, born on 2 Jan. 1914 in Hamburg, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Else Ganser, née Bär, born on 12 Sept. 1914 in Nümbrecht, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Intersection of Grossmannstrasse/Ausschläger Billdeich (Großmannstrasse 53)
Alfons and Else Ganser were deported as a young, childless couple to the Minsk Ghetto in Nov. 1941. Rumors suggested that Else died there after her husband, but it was not possible to establish the exact circumstances.
Alfons Ganser was the child of a "mixed marriage” ("Mischehe”) of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father. The father, the cabinetmaker Hermann Ganser, was born on 12 Dec. 1881 in Danzig (today Gdansk in Poland), his mother Hertha, née Löwenthal, on 26 Sept. 1889 in Hamburg. They were married in 1912 in Hamburg, where Alfons arrived as their firstborn on 2 Jan. 1914. Besides him, the family included two daughters, Elisabeth born in 1915 and Carla born in 1927.
Alfons Ganser attended the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) of the Talmud Tora School and began a commercial apprenticeship in 1929. From 1933 onward, his youngest sister, Carla, attended the girls’ school on Karolinenstrasse and lived in the Paulinenstift orphanage. Her mother had put her there because Hertha Ganser was in poor health. The mother joined the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community in 1936 and was divorced from her "Catholic Aryan” husband, legally effective as of the summer of 1937. She died in the Israelite Hospital at Johnsallee 54 on 3 Mar. 1940. Daughter Elisabeth emigrated.
When Alfons Ganser, as a "half-Jew” ("Halbjude”), lost his job in 1933, he worked with minor interruptions as a cabinetmaker, receiving welfare assistance during the period of unemployment and unemployment benefits in 1938. On 6 Jan. 1938, he was married in Cologne to Else Bär, born on 12 Sept. 1914 in Nümbrecht in the Oberberg District (Oberbergischer Kreis). Her father, Julius Bär, had achieved considerable prosperity as a livestock dealer. Both he and his wife Ida, née Friesen, were Jewish. Else’s family also included her older sister Käte, born in Nümbrecht as well in 1912. Since 1935 at the latest, Else Bär lived in Hamburg (registration with the Jewish Community), where she worked as a domestic help in different households before starting training as a tailor, possibly in preparation for her emigration. Her emigration to Brazil obviously did not progress beyond the planning stage. It is conceivable that she was included, via the Catholic "St. Raphaels-Verein” (St. Raphael’s Association), in the project of that emigration organization, which aimed at issuing 3,000 visas for Brazil with the help of the Vatican. However, the "Brasilaktion” failed.
In accordance with the National Socialist classification, the marriage of a Jewish woman with a "half-Jew” or, respectively, "mongrel Jew” ("Halbjude” or, respectively, "jüdischer Mischling”) was treated in the same way as that of a "fully Jewish” couple. Alfons and Else Ganser’s life continued to be marked by poverty. They lived as subtenants, initially at Carolinenstrasse 4 in St. Pauli, then at Grossmannstrasse 53 in Rothenburgsort, and finally, from Aug. 1941 onward, at Eppendorfer Baum.
In 1939, Alfons Ganser was recruited to perform "compulsory labor duties” ("Pflichtarbeit”). Else Ganser was also doing work, though it was impossible to establish what kind. When the "resettlement” ("Aussiedlung") of Hamburg Jews toward the supposed "Development in the East” ("Aufbau im Osten”) began on a large scale in 1941, Alfons and Else Ganser, both 27 years old, were deported to Minsk on the first of the two transports on 8 Nov. 1941. There the traces of their lives disappear.
Elsa’s sister Käte, married name Lever, emigrated to Britain on 3 Sept. 1939.
After completing her school education, Carla Ganser, a "half-Jew” ("Halbjüdin”), stayed in the orphanage until its closure in 1942, and then got a job at the retirement home of the Jewish Community at Beneckestrasse 6 doing domestic work. In Jan. 1943, she was enlisted to perform forced labor for the Dralle Company. On 24 Feb. 1943, she was deported along with 50 other Jewish men and women to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. She survived and was liberated by the Red Army.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 7; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 717+1912; 8168+147/1940; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 010214, 010912; Reutter, Lutz-Eugen, Katholische Kirche.
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