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Regina Friedrichs (née Bonn) * 1875

Ohlendorffstraße 11 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamm)

1942 Theresienstadt
1944 Auschwitz ermordet

Regina Friedrichs, née Bonn, born on 25 Oct. 1875, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, deported on 15 May 1944 to Auschwitz

"Mrs. Fr. is a member of the Reich Association [of Jews in Germany] and has been subject to contributions as of 1 July 1939.”

This handwritten note underneath a letter by the Hamburg Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband) to Regina Friedrichs dated 6 Aug. 1941 deprived her, once and for all, of any remaining hope for a carefree old age as she and her husband had planned.

Regina Friedrichs was born on 25 Oct. 1875 in Hamburg as Regina Bonn. The letter mentioned above was concerned with clarifying her descent. There was no doubt that both in religious terms and along the lines of the Nazis’ Nuremberg laws [on race], her father, Nehemias (called Emil) Bonn, was Jewish. However, the descent of her mother Mathilde, née Gumpel-Fürst, was not absolutely certain. Her parents were Meyer Jacob Gumpel-Fürst and Hannchen, née Bonn. In the 1939 national census, one parent was designated as non-Jewish. Emil and Mathilde Bonn were buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Ohlsdorf – another indication of their belonging to Judaism. However, that applied only to the Nazi-specific classification by law. Regina Friedrichs and her husband Harry were Protestants.

Harry Friedrichs was born on 27 Nov. 1862 in Warin/Mecklenburg. It is not known just when he came to Hamburg and married. From 1930 to 1942, the family lived in Ohlendorffstrasse. Harry Friedrichs earned his living working for the German Postal Service. He rose to become "postal councilor” (Postrat), a senior civil servant position that secured him a good pension. In addition, he made financial provisions for any eventualities. Regina and Harry Friedrichs had three daughters. One daughter died at the age of one, another daughter when she was 45 years old. Only Alice, born on 15 Sept. 1904 in Hamburg and married to a non-Jewish man, lived to see the end of the war.

Regina’s widowed mother moved to a place close to her daughter, Lohhof 15, and subsequently in with her altogether to Ohlendorffstrasse 11, which is where she died.

In June 1939, the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) checked Harry Friedrichs’ income and assets. Since, for the most part, they were comprised of bonds, no "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung”) was issued. Due to Harry Friedrichs’ old age and poor health, the authorities also did not assume any intention to emigrate.

In Mar. 1940, the state of finances was changed insofar as it was reduced by a number of levies. It was then that the Chief Finance Administrator granted a monthly allowance of 400 RM (reichsmark) for living expenses; with respect to reimbursement of the healthcare costs recurring regularly, Harry Friedrichs had to file a separate application in each instance.

After his death on 29 Sept. 1940, the pension was cut to the statutory amount of 60 percent. The monthly allowance was reduced the following year.

As a married couple, Harry and Regina Friedrichs had fought obligatory membership in the Reich Association as well as other compulsory measures. As a widow, Regina Friedrichs also continued to rebel. Thus, on 14 Jan. 1942, she was sentenced to a fine of 200 RM and, respectively, two weeks in prison because she failed to have the compulsory name Sara registered in time. (This penalty was struck from the criminal record as of 3 June 1947.) Until 1941, she resisted being listed as a member of the Reich Association as the letter cited earlier shows. The notification in question was connected to a back payment of substantial taxes but also to the eligibility for care by the Jewish Community for her when she was eventually forced to leave the familiar home in early 1942.

Temporarily, she found accommodation at Bornstrasse 25. Then she was assigned half a room in the Nanny Jonas Stift, a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Agathenstrasse 3. From there, she was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 15 July 1942. Her daughter Alice continued to receive postcards from her. One of them read, "If you meet any acquaintances, you may tell them that I am courageous and hopeful.”

On 15 May 1944, Regina Friedrichs was deported to Auschwitz on Transport no. Dz 955. Since then, there has been no word of her.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1; 2 R 1940/199, R 1941/178; 4; 5; 7; StaH, 522-1, Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 d – Steuerakten Bd. 9; 992 e 2 Deportationslisten Band 5; BA Bln., Volkszählung 1939; AfW 251075; Jüdische Stätten in Hamburg. Hrsg. vom Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden und der Landeszentrale für politische Bildung. Hamburg 1995, Nr. 77.

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