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Felix Arnheim * 1864
Isekai 5 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
DR. FELIX ARNHEIM
TOT 15.11.1941 BELGIEN
Dr. Felix Heinrich Arnheim, born 23 Mar. 1864 in Berlin, fled in August 1939 to Belgium, died 15 November 1941 in Grembergen
Hedwig Slutzky-Arnheim, née Arnheim, formerly Dülberg, born 7 Jan. 1894 in Hamburg, deported from Drancy 7 Oct. 1943 to Auschwitz
Isekai 5 (formerly Isequai)
After finishing his schooling in Berlin, Felix Arnheim began his medical studies in Jena on 22 October 1883. He dedicated his dissertation, "Contributions to the Theory of the Localization of Sound Sensation by means of the Semicircular Canals,” to "My highly-esteemed, fatherly friend and teacher Senior Medical Officer Dr. Zober of Berlin.” Arnheim received his degree in Jena in November 1887, and passed the state medical exam a few months later, on 9 March 1888. He received a license to practice medicine in Hamburg in 1893. In that same year he married Lisbeth Samuel. The marriage certificate lists both partners as non-affiliated with any religion.
Felix Arnheim was a general practitioner in Hamburg, and was liked and respected by his patients. From 1895 to 1910 the telephone book listed his practice at Eppendorfer Landstraße 105, 82c, and 42, with each entry including his office hours. It is likely that his practice and apartment were in the same building. In 1910 he bought an elegant townhouse in Eppendorf, at Isequai 5, in which he also had his practice until 1936. He also practiced in another office at Eppendorfer Baum 36. There were extensive libraries in both the ground-floor practice and in the living area on the upper floors of the house on Isequai.
The Arnheims had four children. Hedwig (see below), the oldest, was born on 7 January 1894. Hans was born one year later. His fate is unclear. He probably emigrated to England in 1939. In 1940 he was sentenced to death by a British military court in Tunis. The reason for his court-martial is unknown.
Eva Karoline Friederike was born on 24 March 1902. She fled first to Brussels, in 1939, where she married a Mr. Charles, then later to France. The couple had three children. Eva Karoline worked as a calisthenics instructor.
The youngest child, Ruth Anna Frieda, was born on 16 April 1912. She became a member of the Jewish Community in 1936. Her daughter Kathrin Elisabeth was born on 21 May 1936. Her profession was listed as "estate secretary.” When she emigrated to England in March 1939 with her daughter, Reich officials prevented her from taking "6 duvet covers” for the children’s bed with her, due to a "shortage of raw materials.” In England she was interned on the Isle of Man as an "enemy alien” in 1940. She returned to Hamburg after the war.
The Arnheim family lived in the splendid townhouse at Isequai 4 until early 1936. They sometimes let out a few of the 13 rooms: a "salon” to Professor Friedrich Adler and a "dining room” to the photographer Erich Kastan. Paula Hadenfeld, the housekeeper hired after the death of Lisbeth Arnheim, lived in the souterrain apartment from 1929 until early January 1936. Lisbeth died of pneumonia at home on 1 January 1929.
Felix Arnheim had widespread interests, in particular in philosophy. He was a member of the Patriotische Gesellschaft, an organization committed to promoting public service in Hamburg, and of the German-Israelitic Society, until he left it in 1928.
After 1933 it became more and more difficult for him to pursue his profession, and he thus earned less and less income. On 6 October 1934 he published a small ad in the Hamburger Fremdenblatt: "After a long illness and absence from Hamburg, I have re-opened my practice. Office hours are now only at Isequai 5, 9-11 and 5-7. Dr. Arnheim.”
His reduced income forced him to sell his townhouse in late 1935. The furnishings that he didn’t keep were sold at dumping prices. The family also felt the effects of the increasing discrimination of Jews, and they began to make plans for emigration. Felix Arnheim and his daughters Ruth, whom he supported financially, and Hedwig moved to a six-room apartment at Haynstraße 10/I. He rented two of the rooms to the photographer Erich Kastan. Hedwig emigrated to France in 1936.
In his application for emigration, Arnheim declared that he had earned no income from his medical practice from 1936 to 1938. He was listed as a "Jew according to the First Regulation of the Reich Citizenship Law of November 1935” in the Reich Medical Register Part II of 1937. The Hamburg medical board withdrew his license, like that of all Jewish doctors, on 30 September 1938. Because of his age he received a small pension from the doctors’ pension fund. It can be assumed, though there is no definitive documentation, that Felix Arnheim practiced medicine until the end of 1935.
Church tax records show that Felix Arnheim paid considerable fees for the Jewish Property Levy (Judenvermögensabgabe) and the Reich Flight Tax (Reichsfluchtsteuer, a departure tax for Germans who wanted to emigrate). Since he owned real estate, he was able to raise the money by taking out cautionary mortgages, which, however, resulted in the loss of all rental income. His financial situation deteriorated increasingly.
Shortly before he fled to Belgium, the Reich Medical Board demanded that he relinquish his pension. His lawyer, Morris Samson, recommended that he not accede to the demand, but, after a second demand, this time by telephone, he consented. He was afraid that if he did not do so, his approval for emigration would be denied. On 30 June 1939 he was granted a certificate of clearance for the purpose of emigration. In his last months in Hamburg, he lived in a rented room at the Thalheim residence at Eppendorfer Landstraße 36. He probably could no longer afford the apartment on Haynstraße, and he no longer needed the space since his daughter Ruth and his granddaughter, who had lived with him, had emigrated to England in early 1939.
On 14 August 1939, Felix Arnheim fled to Belgium, where his daughter Eva (married name Charles) now lived. He had been allowed to take only 10 RM with him when he left the country, and was thus fully dependent on his daughter and her husband. He lived in a small family boarding house in Brussels until he found accommodation in a Jewish home for the elderly. He had to be hospitalized several times because of his poor state of health, and he finally moved to a Catholic home for the elderly in Grembergen in Flanders. He died here, impoverished and alone, on 15 November 1941. His daughter Eva and her family had already fled to France.
After his death, all of his remaining property was auctioned off in Hamburg. Only his personal effects were excluded from the auction – they were donated to the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband).
Hedwig Slutzky-Arnheim was the eldest child of the doctor Felix Arnheim and his wife Lisbeth, née Samuel. She was born on 17 January 1894 in Hamburg. She and her siblings were raised as Protestants. Hedwig was described as a beautiful woman, multi-talented, and imbued with a strong imagination.
At 18, after she finished her schooling at the Henckelschule, she spent some time in Great Britain. She was artistically talented, and, before 1914, she had already attended the Hamburg School of Arts and Crafts, where she studied applied arts and design under Friedrich Adler. She was particularly interested in artistic embroidery. She married the painter and wood engraver Ewald Dülberg, her instructor for figure drawing and portraiture, in 1915. Their daughter Esther Maria was born in 1918. They divorced three years later.
Hedwig Arnheim and her daughter moved to Weimar to study at the Bauhaus school of art and design. She attended courses held by Johannes Itten, and apprenticed with the textile artist Gunta Stölzl.
In 1923 she married the lamp and jewelry designer Naum Slutzky. They lived in Berlin, where they worked at Franz Singer’s Studio for Fine Arts (Werkstätten Bildender Kunst). They moved to Vienna for a short time, but financial problems forced them to return to Hamburg in October 1924, where they lived with Hedwig’s parents at Isequai 5. As a free-lance artist, Hedwig earned a living as an "applied artist and interior designer,” and later with excellent fashion tailoring. She divorced Naum Slutzky in 1930.
She remained artistically active. Maike Bruhns said of her work: "She designed and embroidered abstract tone-on-tone compositions, for example, or nudes in yellow thread on yellow backgrounds, with blue hair and blue beads.”
She remained with her father after he moved to Haynstraße 10 until 15 February 1936, when she emigrated to France and settled in Nice. There she worked as a tailor.
A denunciation on 20 September 1943 led to her arrest. She, together with a group of 345 Jewish prisoners were interned at the Drancy camp on 23 September. When she arrived at the camp, she had 500 francs in her possession. On 7 October 1943, she was deported to Auschwitz in Convoy Nr. 60.
The transport of 1000 Jews at 10:30 a.m. on 7 October 1943 had been given the go-ahead by Adolf Eichmann. The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, confirmed the "successful” arrival of the convoy on 10 October at 5:30 a.m. Robert Waitz, a contemporary witness, reported that about 100 people were crowded into each railway car – women with infants, elderly people, people who were severely ill, and nine "mentally disturbed” people, who screamed without interruption. When Dr. Waitz tried to get some heart medication for an elderly man, a German sergeant shot back at him: "He can kick the bucket, he doesn’t have long to live anyway” (Er kann verrecken, er wird sowieso nicht mehr lange leben, German in the French original). According to Waitz, when the transport arrived at Auschwitz, 491 people were sent directly to the gas chambers.
When Auschwitz was liberated in January 1945, there were 39 survivors who had been on the transport from Drancy. Four of them were women, but Hedwig Slutzky-Arnheim was not one of them.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Ulrike Graubner
Quellen: 1; 2; 8; 9; StaH 314-15 OFP, R 1939/743; StaH 314-15 OFP, FVG 4901; StaH 351-11 AfW, 230364; StaH 332-5 Personenstandsbuch Sta. 3a 10346 Nr.10 1929; StaH 352-5 Sta. 3a Nr. 10346 Todesbescheinigung; Mitgliedskartei Ärztlicher Verein (Fotokopie); Reichs-Medizinal-Kalender für Deutschland Teil II von 1937; Fremdenblatt vom 6.10.1934; schriftl. Auskunft Björn Eggert vom 14.11.2007, Amtliche Fernsprechbücher 1895–1939; schriftl. Auskunft Universität Jena vom 27.8.2009; Bruhns, Kunst, Bd. 2, 2001, S. 363f.; Bruhns, Geflohen, 2007; Archives Du Centre De Documentation Juive Contemporaine; Zeitzeugenbericht Waitz 7.10.1943 (Übersetzung aus dem Französischen von Barbara Brix).
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