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Fritz Goldmann * 1906
Axel-Springer-Platz 2 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
1944 KZ Buchenwald ermordet
further stumbling stones in Axel-Springer-Platz 2:
Fritz Goldmann, born on 16 Apr. 1906 in Hamburg, detained in 1944 in the Buchenwald concentration camp, died in early Apr. 1945 in the Espenfeld subcamp near Gotha
Gustav Goldmann, born on 5 Sept. 1904 in Hamburg, detained in 1944 in the Buchenwald concentration camp, perished on one of the evacuation marches in 1945
Axel-Springer-Platz 2 (Fuhlentwiete 28)
In the course of the air raids carried out by the US and British air forces on Hamburg at the end of July/beginning of Aug. 1943, "Operation Gomorrah,” large parts of the city were destroyed, with the street called Fuhlentwiete reduced to rubble as well. The widow Amanda Goldmann and her sons Fritz and Gustav lost their home on the third floor of Fuhlentwiete 28. They arrived as "bomb refugees” in Bendestorf in the District of Harburg in Lower Saxony. There, the brothers were arrested as "political Jewish crossbreeds of the first degree” ("politische Mischlinge 1. Grades”).
Fritz and Gustav Goldmann were the youngest children of the lawyer Ernst Goldmann (born on 31 Aug. 1872) and Amanda Sophie, née Wülffcken (born on 14 Nov. 1874), who had married in Hamburg on 6 Oct. 1904. The father, Ernst Goldmann, was born to a Jewish family. His father in turn, Gedallje Goldmann (born on 25 Jan. 1839), called Gustav, was a native of Gostyn, located in Prussian Province of Posen (today in Poland). The teacher and doctor of philosophy belonged to a Masonic lodge in Hamburg and founded a "teaching institute” at Neuer Wall 50 in 1870 to prepare for the exam finishing the one-year graduating class ("Einjähriges”). Young men who wanted to shorten their military service could register for one-year military service as a "one-year volunteer.” If no secondary school graduation could be proven, an examination had to be passed in order to be admitted. After the relocation of the "Lehranstalt” ("teaching institute”) to the Grosser Burstah 34, it was called "Militair-Vorbereitungs-Anstalt” at that location.
Even after the death of its founder, on 24 Apr. 1912, the school continued to exist for many years under the direction of his successor, Waldemar Brechtefeldt, operated under the name of "Institut Dr. Gustav Goldmann” at Holzdamm 38.
Ernst and Amanda Goldmann had six children between 1897 and 1906. They belonged to the Lutheran Church. Ernst Goldmann practiced as a lawyer in Hamburg since 1898. He had passed his first law examination on 3 Feb. 1894 in Celle. After completing his legal traineeship and passing his second examination, he opened a law firm at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 47 in the "Sternenhof,” an office building. His oldest son Hans Goldmann (born on 26 Aug. 1900) followed his father in his career choice. After graduating from high school and studying at university, he joined his father to found a partnership and run a law firm in downtown Hamburg in the "Adolphshof” office building at Hohe Bleichen 5/7.
On 25 Apr. 1933, Hans Goldmann lost his license to practice medicine because of his "non-Aryan descent.” His father, Ernst Goldmann, was able to continue practicing at first, as he had the privilege of an early admission to the bar: Those who had been licensed to practice law before 1914 and had fought in the First World War were exempt from the occupational ban. In 1934, he gave up the firm. The apartment was moved from Krohnskamp 73 in Winterhude to Colonnaden 36. Perhaps Ernst Goldmann still practiced his profession in his private home. He died on 11 Sept. 1937 at the age of 65.
On 28 Jan. 1938, the Goldmann family suffered another blow of fate. Son Kurt (born in 1901) went to sea as a carpenter on the steamer "Richard Borchard” of the Fairplay shipping company. On the way from Nordenham/Britain to Pasajes/Northern Spain, his ship was caught in a severe storm. When it sank in the North Sea, none of the eighteen crew members could save themselves. The owner of the steamer, Lucy Borchard (born in 1877, died in 1969), made it possible for Jewish youths on her ships to receive a nautical education, a hachshara, the preparation and prerequisite for immigration to Palestine. She was accused after the accident by a former employee that the crew had consisted only of untrained seamen, so they could not have coped the storm, "since Mrs. Borchard was always keen to employ untrained Jewish boys, who of course are not seamen and never will be.” However, the Hamburg Maritime Accidents Investigation Board (Hamburger Seeamt) refuted this accusation.
Amanda Goldmann moved with her sons Fritz and Gustav to Fuhlentwiete 28. Her older children were married and lived in their own households. Fritz and Gustav had received commercial training. Fritz had attended the private Wahnschaff School at Neue Rabenstrasse 14-15 until obtaining his intermediate secondary school certificate (mittlere Reife) and worked as a commercial clerk. He also set up his own business as a commercial agent. Both brothers were single. Gustav was no longer allowed to marry his non-Jewish fiancée Gertrud Ilse Schlatter (born on 22 May 1913) due to the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor” ("Gesetz zum Schutz des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre”), one of the Nuremberg Laws dated 15 Sept. 1935. Their daughter Vera was born as an illegitimate child on 10 May 1938.
Gustav and Fritz Goldmann were members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) before 1933. It is not known whether they were still politically active after the National Socialist assumption of power. On 1 Aug. 1944, they were arrested in Bendestorf by the Gestapo and transferred to the state court prison (Landesgerichtsgefängnis) in Lüneburg. The reasons are not known to us. Whether they had expressed themselves politically or were denounced is not clear from the documents. However, when Jewish "crossbreeds” ("Mischlinge”) were targeted by the police or the Gestapo, their Jewish ancestry usually resulted in them being sent to a concentration camp, as happened in this case after four months in prison.
Two letters to their mother have been preserved:
"6 Aug. 1944: Dear Mama, from Fritz and me all the best. We’re fine. Of course, we [illegibly] suffer a lot from being detained here. If only we could figure out why? You can also write to us. I hope, however, that everything is just a mistake and that we will meet again soon. I don’t have anything to relate right now either. Since I am allowed to write every 14 days, Fritz will report next week. Hopefully, we’ll be out of here by then. Best regards from your son Gustav. Fritz needs a toothbrush and a razor, shaving brush, and soap. Please send it by parcel or if someone has any business in Lüneburg, the parcel can also be delivered here.”
"13 Aug. 1944: Dear Mama, by now, I have been away from you for 14 days and have not yet been questioned. We’ll just have to wait and see. Thinking only of you all day. I have a big request for you, dear Mama, stay healthy and don’t worry and don’t be anxious – because when we are released, we want to find you healthy. I’m all right. Immediately asked for work and received it. They are happy with my work too, you can tell. Were Ilse and Max visiting you [referring to the sister and bother-in-law]? Hopefully, our other siblings won’t have any bomb damage. Go call on Mrs. Löhner, it would be a change of scenery for you. The Löhners are nice people, after all. Give them my regards, please. If you feel like it, do visit Mrs. Pauken’s once in a while. If you’re doing business correspondence for me, please make sure of preparing copies for filing. Income tax is due on 10 September. I have RM 180 to pay. My tax number is 43/188 and the tax office is Hamburg-Neustadt. Do write to me sometime. I am only allowed to write every four weeks, but I also think I will be back with you by then. Gustav says hello, too. I got the set of linen, thank you; that was very nice of you. Now dear Mama, I want to close and hope to hear from you very soon. Give my best to all the brothers and sisters and I send my best regards to you. Your son Fritz, who is always thinking of you.”
On 7 Dec. 1944, the brothers were transferred to the Buchenwald concentration camp. They were placed in Block 58 of the "Small Camp,” a so-called transit camp or quarantine station. Fritz was registered there under prisoner no. 47,614 and Gustav under prisoner no. 47,616. On 8 Jan. 1945, both were transferred to the Ohrdruf labor camp (S III) about 13 kilometers (some 8 miles) south of Gotha. Since the daily march of the prisoners to the workplaces in Jonastal valley was too far away from the Ohrdruf camp, two new subcamps were set up, Crawinkel and Espenfeld. The Espenfeld camp had only existed since Jan. 1945. Most of the approx. 1,500 prisoners were accommodated in large communal tents. They were used for the construction of underground tunnels and bunkers.
After the war, Egon Strauss (born in 1917), a book printer and fellow prisoner, attested: "After the transfer from Buchenwald, the two brothers were in the Espenfeld camp in Block V for Jews and foreign nationals. After three to four weeks, Fritz fell ill with fever [epidemic typhus] and was admitted to the infirmary. His brother Gustav informed me from time to time about his brother’s deteriorating state of health. It was possible for me to visit him one more time, but Fritz did not recognize me anymore, because he had very high fever and was quite exhausted by the bad food in the station. One day, Gustav came to me crying and said that his brother had succumbed to his illness and had been taken to the so-called death pit in a paper bag. This happened on the same day that the Espenfeld camp was evacuated in the face of the advancing Americans [between 1 and 4 Apr. 1945]. On the march back to Buchenwald, I and Gustav had the opportunity to speak to the chief station doctor, a Hungarian Jew. He said that it was fortunate that Fritz had fallen asleep so painlessly, because the camp commander, SS-Hauptscharführer [a rank equivalent to master sergeant] Stolten had all prisoners who were not capable of marching shot or shot them himself.”
The march back to the Buchenwald main camp took three days. Anyone who could not maintain the required pace due to weakness was shot on the way by the accompanying SS guards by the wayside. Whether Gustav Goldmann was one of the prisoners who reached the camp or whether he died during the evacuation transports, shortly before liberation on 11 Apr. 1945 by the Americans, from Buchenwald to Leitmeritz in northern Bohemia (today Litomerice in the Czech Republic) near Theresienstadt is unknown. In the Ohlsdorf cemetery in Hamburg, on the burial ground of the Hans and Sophie Scholl Foundation [Ehrenfeld der Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung], a site commemorates persecuted and murdered Social Democrats. Fritz and Gustav Goldmann are listed on the memorial stone, with the date of death listed as 1945.
The siblings Ilse Erna Hüttmann (born on 7 May 1897), Lotte Viola Hoyer (born on 17 Nov. 1898), Grete Siemer (born on 31 May 1903), and Hans Goldmann survived the National Socialist era. Hans Goldmann was reinstated as a lawyer on 13 Aug. 1945. Amanda Goldmann died on 4 June 1953 in Hamburg.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: 9; StaH 351-11 AfW 19373 (Hüttmann, Ilse); StaH 315-11 AfW 30755 (Goldmann, Fritz); StaH 351-11 AfW 2370 (Goldmann, Amanda); StaH 351-11 AfW 38947 (Schlatter, Gertrud Else); StaH 373-5 I Seeamt I B9012 Richard Borchardt Dampfer; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3024 u 1017/1904; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1069 u 281/1937; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8011 u 213/1912; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9153 u 2681/1898; StaH 241-2 Personalbogen P 1703; StaH 361-2V Oberschulbehörde 712 b3; VVN-Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes, Auskunft von Anne Harden; Archiv der Gedenkstätte Buchenwald Auskunft von Sabine Stein, E-Mail vom 7.4.2008; Hackett (Hrsg.): Buchenwald-Report, S. 369f.; Morisse: Jüdische Rechtsanwälte, S. 130f.; http://www.jonastal.de/index.php/jonastal-und-siii/konzentrationslager/zeltlager-espenfeld (Zugriff 20.8.2016); diverse Hamburger Adressbücher; Sielemann: Quellen, S. 196, http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de (Zugriff 21.1.2017).
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