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Rachel Rosa Abosch (née Stapelfeld) * 1895
Rieckhoffstraße 5 (Harburg, Harburg)
ZBASZYN / POLEN
Klara Ruth Abosch, born on 4 Feb. 1922 in Harburg, deported to Neu Bentschen (Zbasczyn/Poland) on 28 Oct. 1939, date of death unknown
Rachel (Rosa) Abosch, neé Stapelfeld, born on 16 May 1895 in Kolomea, deported to Zbaszyn (Poland) on 28 Oct. 1938, date of death unknown
Richard David Abosch, born on 2 Feb. 1926 in Harburg, deported to Zbaszyn (Poland) on 28 Oct 1938, date of death unknown
district Harburg-Altstadt, Rieckhoffstraße 5
Rachel (Rosa) Abosch was the second daughter of the Jewish married couple Josef (19 Apr. 1865 - 30 Oct. 1910) and Anna Stapelfeld (24 Apr. 1869-8 May 1910). The couple ran a shop for manufactory goods and furniture in Harburg. When the father died the four children initially collectively succeeded him at the shop. Some years later, Rosa was the first to retract from the shared management of the shop when she married the Jewish merchant for textile goods Moritz Abosch. He came from East Galicia like Rachel. The married couple moved to an apartment at Konradstraße 5 (today Rieckhoffstraße) Here, their two children Klara Ruth and Richard David spent their first years of life.
When times became more difficult for Jewish citizens after 1933, Moritz Abosch officially applied for emigration to the USA for himself and his family in July 1933. As required, he presented his declaration of property – which amounted to 800 Reichsmark of capital assets and a sum of 2680 Reichsmark of due payments for goods. As a reaction, the Chief Finance president (Oberfinanzpräsident) of the City of Hamburg released a "security decree". The recipient found out about this decree, however, only indirectly, since he had left the Reich already on 2 Sep. 1938 – presumably in a rush – with a ship towards the USA. The family was to follow as soon as possible. Rachel (Rosa) Abosch had a written authority that enabled her to represent her husband in all financial issues, and she also undertook all official tasks regarding the emigration.
The emigration progressed very slowly. Rachel (Rosa) Abosch’s hope to follow her husband as soon as possible together with their daughter and son was abruptly cancelled. In the night of 28 Oct. 1938 Rachel (Rosa) Abosch and her children were brought to Neu-Bentschen at the German-Polish border together with approximately 1000 Hamburg’s citizens of Polish origin. The next morning they were deported to Poland. They spent the following weeks and months together with the other expelled people at the utterly overcrowded Polish border town of Zbaszyn. Some tried to find their relatives in Poland, others returned to Germany for a short time to search for opportunities to migrate to other countries. Everybody who was still in Zbaszyn in summer 1939 was brought to the central parts of Poland.
After Poland was occupied by German troops, the Jews who had been expelled were as much affected by the immediately starting persecution of Jews as their Polish fellow brethren. Persecution was conducted more radically in the "General Government" (Generalgouvernement) than in the Reich. Soon, the many brutal riots against the Jewish population of Poland in the first days of the war were followed by the officially implemented general obligation to work for Jewish men, and the expulsion of Jewish families from the rural areas to the bigger cities. Here, the Jews were concentrated in certain areas which were gradually downsized and later sealed off.
The living conditions in these hermetically sealed ghettos were more than miserable. Rachel (Rosa) Abosch’s desperate cry for help from the Warsaw ghetto from November 1941 proves this. Being in great distress, she wrote a simple postcard to the district court, urgently asking for help to transfer a certain parcel. This was her final sign of life.
Concentrating the Polish Jews in these hermetically sealed areas was an important precondition for the deportation to the National Socialist extermination camps. From there, those who had not died of the cold in the primitive houses, starved, or died due to terrible medical treatment, were sent to death by the protagonists of mass murder and their accomplices.
After the war, Moritz Abosch hoped in vain to see his wife and the two children again. Nobody could tell him when, where, and how they had died.
Among the victims of the Holocaust were also his sister-in-law Salka Beer, neé Stapelfeld, her husband Robert Beer (see also Robert Beer), his brother-in-law David Linden (see also David Linden), his niece Hella Beer (see also Hella Beer), and Anna Schwarz (see also Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Hamm).
Translator: Paula Antonella Oppermann
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Klaus Möller
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; Heyl (Hrsg.), Harburger Opfer; StaH, 351-111, Abl. 2008/1; AfW 251195 u. 160595; Wulf, Das Dritte Reich, S. 234 f.; Thevs, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Hamm.
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