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Lothar Bauer * 1899
Schlüterstraße 22 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
Lothar Bauer, born on 28 Apr. 1899, imprisoned in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp in 1941, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
The married Czechoslovakian citizen Lothar Bauer had been living in Hamburg since 1921. He worked as a "transit broker,” i.e. he negotiated sales of Czech export articles to German exporters. His business obviously thrived well into the second half of the 1930s. Having moved from the Neustadt quarter to Mittelweg, he also lived with his wife Gerda in Klosterallee, Haynstraße, and Isestraße for some time.
However, as a foreign Jew active in the import and export business, he was subject to constant distrustful observation by the Gestapo and the foreign currency office, which specifically chased down and pressured Jewish citizens. To him, 1938 proved to be – as he indicated to the foreign currency office – a poor business year because tensions between Germany and Czechoslovakia forced him into a prolonged stay in that country, during which time his German deputy defrauded him.
Bauer compensated for the losses by taking out a loan from Walter Bucky, the Jewish owner of a department store in Eimsbüttel. Lothar Bauer did not have to assume the forced additional name of "Israel” because he was not a "Jew of German citizenship.” Responding to inquiries by the officials at the foreign currency office, he answered that he had not made any preparations for emigration thus far, since he had always been able to manage his business to his satisfaction.
This changed when in 1939 and 1941 he was arrested for short periods. A competing company had accused him of "commercial espionage,” and the foreign currency office suspected him of failing to report foreign currency. However, as it turned out such accusations lacked any basis. Lothar Bauer was released again, but – as the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) decreed in a letter dated 19 Oct. 1940 – he had to wind up his company and have it deleted from the company register by 30 Nov. 1940. He was also subjected to the condition of not working for any other company in this industry.
His wife Gerda emigrated to Shanghai on 22 Feb. 1941. Lothar Bauer moved to Schlüterstraße 22 as a subtenant of the Wolff couple. He enlisted the services of Scharlach & Co., a company serving emigrants. Perhaps he attempted in vain to leave Germany yet, but perhaps only some bill for his emigrated wife was still outstanding by the time he received the deportation order.
After Lothar Bauer had left his accommodation, the Heinrich Schopmann Company, Grosse Bleichen, auctioned off his household effects on behalf of the Chief Finance Administration (Oberfinanzdirektion). Painstakingly, the auctioneer noted down the net proceeds: 163.56 RM (reichsmark). The office of the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) confiscated this sum and the remaining assets alike. From the money, it paid, among other things, Lothar Bauer’s outstanding debts to Scharlach & Co. and to the telephone office amounting to 108.60 RM (reichsmark), for the Post Office complained that he and other "Jewish telephone customers [had] not paid their last phone bills due to their evacuation to Poland.”
By this time, Lothar Bauer was already on his journey to the east. His transport reached Minsk on 11 Nov., where on the days preceding 12,000 local Jews had been shot to death to "make room.” The new arrivals from the German Reich worked for the Wehrmacht, the SS, or the Organization Todt in workshops, military hospitals, and external camp detachments.
It is not known whether Lothar Bauer died of hunger, cold, or infectious diseases or was shot or gassed in a gas van, respectively, during one of the massacres on 8 May 1943 or when the ghetto was dissolved on 14 Sept. 1943.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Beate Meyer
Quellen: StaH, 522-1, Jüdische Gemeinden, 992b, Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde; ebd., 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident, R 1939/589; ebd., Ordner 23; ebd., 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992e; ebd., 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, Abl. 1993 Ordner 23; Adressbücher 1938, 1942; Hamburger jüdische Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Gedenkbuch, Hamburg 1995.