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Käthe Friedländer * 1894

Erlenkamp 9 (Hamburg-Nord, Uhlenhorst)

JG. 1894

Käthe Friedländer, born 19.12.1894 in Berlin, on 18.10.1942 suicide in Hamburg

Erlenkamp 9 (formerly Erlenkamp 20)

Käthe Friedländer's full name was Johanna Adelheid Käthe. She had received her first names after her grandmothers, Johanna, née Dura, married to Samuel Friedländer, and Adelheid Schultze, née Nootz, born 2.3.1849 in Königsberg, married to the piano manufacturer Friedrich Ferdinand Schultze. Käthe’s father, Paul Friedländer, came from Ober-Glogau in Silesia, where he was born into a Jewish family on 12/27/1863; her mother Margarethe, née Schultze, born 7/11/1872, came from a Lutheran family in Berlin. (After the death of her husband Friedrich Ferdinand, Adelheid Schultze entered into a second marriage with the Jew Gustav Friedländer).

When Paul Friedländer left Ober-Glogau, his parents had remained there, but traveled to Berlin for his wedding on May 21, 1892. Samuel Friedländer, in keeping with tradition, performed the duties of best man for his son. The best man for the bride, Sophie Anna Margarethe Schultze, was her stepfather, the merchant Gustav Friedländer.

This marriage produced two daughters, Käthe (born Dec 19, 1894) and Ilse (born Nov 17, 1902). Käthe later received training as a clerk and bookkeeper.

On November 26, 1928, Käthe Friedländer moved from Zwickau to Hamburg. We do not know the details of her stay in Zwickau and the first years in Hamburg. She rented an unfurnished room with the Protestant widow Frieda Döbner in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst, Uhlenhorsterweg 37.

Käthe Friedländer's mother died in 1934. The date of her father's death could not be determined.

The first proof of Käthe Friedländer's affiliation with the Jewish community in Hamburg is the entry date, December 3, 1935. On the tax file of the Jewish community her job description was "office manager at the company Julius Philipp" (see the same), Kirchenallee 57, the Klockmannhaus. This was an important Jewish brokerage and trading company in the metal industry, which had temporarily maintained a branch in Berlin. Julius Philipp had a co-owner, Heinrich Meyer. When he no longer saw a professional future in Germany in 1934, he sold his share in the business to his co-owner. The latter hired Käthe Friedländer as office manager on October 1, 1934, with a gross monthly salary of Reichsmark (RM) 194.80.

When she joined the Jewish community, an exchange of letters began regarding the amount of the municipal tax advance payment notice for 1935, which continued until an agreement was reached for the year 1936. Käthe, who now wrote herself Käte, asked for a waiver of contributions or at least payment in installments and deferment, since she had been unemployed for over three years and still had obligations to pay off from that time. In addition, she supported her sister as far as possible, who was constantly ill. After reaching an agreement with the community, she remitted the contributions monthly directly from the company until she declared her resignation from the Jewish community in June 1938.

Under the restrictions of the metal trade, business continued to decline until Heinrich Meyer gave up the company on October 31, 1938. Käthe Friedländer received two extra allowances, which were subject to statutory income and municipal taxes. Her employer was last listed in the Hamburg address book in 1939.

Käthe Friedländer did not find a new job at first. Whether this had to do with her Jewish origin or was due to health or other reasons remains a matter of conjecture. She continued to live with Frieda Döbner and lived from selling furniture, books, etc.. On February 13, 1939, she received her identification card as a Jew with the number B 02492 and stated her Jewish paternal grandparents and non-Jewish maternal grandparents in the census on May 17, 1939, which categorized her as a "half-Jew" according to the Nuremberg Race Laws.

Käthe Friedländer belonged to the "Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland" (Reich Association of Jews in Germany) with effect from July 1, 1939, but it was not until June 25, 1941 that she handed over to the "Jüdischer Religionsverband Hamburg e.V." (Jewish Religious Association Hamburg = new name for the Jewish community of Hamburg) the relevant questionnaire for the "officially ordered statistical registration of all Jews". In it, income and assets were also to be stated, whereupon, if necessary, the Chief Finance President issued a "security order". Since Käthe Friedländer had neither income nor assets, this measure against her did not apply.

Apparently, Käthe Friedländer tried to escape further anti-Jewish measures that "full Jews" had to comply with. Since she had once been a member of the Jewish community, she was considered a Jew, the designation being "Geltungsjüdin." However, she applied for her "recognition as a Jewish Mischling of the 1st or 2nd degree, represented by the non-Jewish lawyer Friedrich Ablass, Hamburg 1, Schmiedestraße 6". (The latter later claimed to have led "a secret resistance movement against National Socialism" since 1933, perhaps that is why he was willing to accept a mandate for her, a "Jewess".) Misjudging the racial legislation, Käthe Friedländer gave in the questionnaire as her father's creed "Mosaic, later believing in God" and her mother's "Protestant on the father's side, the mother's still doubtful."

But the lawyer could not help her to obtain recognition of a status as a "Mischling 1st degree". On August 1, 1941, she, who now described herself as "faithless," was forcibly reinstated as a member of the Jewish community in Hamburg. She was exempted from community contributions because she had no taxable income.

She had turned to the employment office and applied for a job as a house helper and nurse for her now 74-year-old ailing landlady. The job was granted to her as of June 1, 1941, but it only included free board. This meant that she not only had no monetary income, but also that it was employment not subject to health insurance, a problem for Käthe Friedländer, who after two major abdominal operations was now suffering from heart problems that required permanent treatment by her family doctor Adalbert Merk.

On January 22, 1942, her landlady Frieda Döbner died. Not far from her former lodgings, Käthe Friedländer rented a room again at Erlenkamp 20 from the merchant widow Regina Krohn, which she furnished with her own furniture and household effects. She also found employment, at Martin Jessen's Backaroma factory at Meldorfer Straße 9 in Hoheluft-Ost.

At the beginning of September 1942, Käthe Friedländer received the order to wear the "Jewish star". Since she could not imagine "walking around with the Jewish star," as she told her landlady, she stopped going to work and instead carefully prepared her suicide. Among other things, she provided glasses and dishes with notes and names of persons to whom she had apparently intended them, arranged her papers and her money. On October 17, she received another visit from a colleague at work, and she informed her sister Ilse in Berlin of her intentions by letter.

On Sunday, October 18, 1942, she took an overdose of morphine and lay down on her bed. Her landlady found her like this in the late morning, notified doctor Merk, who diagnosed her death and notified the criminal police. Käthe Friedländer was transported to the Hafenkrankenhaus (Harbor Hospital) and her room sealed. Her sister Ilse arranged for the funeral, a cremation.

Käthe Friedländer did not even live to be 48 years old. She was 1.53 m tall and of medium stature, according to the protocol of the coroner's inquest. At the time of her death, her nutritional condition had been good. The first silver threads had appeared in her dark brown hair.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: January 2022
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1, 4, 5, 9; StaH 331-5 (Unnatürliche Sterbefälle), 2 Journale 1942/3; 3 Akte 1942/1710; 332-5, 7256+70/1942; 7257+805/1942; 522-1, 992 d Band 9 (Steuerakten); 351-11 AfW, 17632 (Friedrich Ablass); StA Berlin II, Nr. 507/136, 1877; StA Berlin II, 231/196, 1892; StA Berlin VIIa Nr. 3071/1894; StA Berlin 6 Nr. 137/1934; Beate Meyer, "Jüdische Mischlinge", Hamburg, 2. Aufl. 2002.
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