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Henri Hirsch * 1875
Isestraße 31 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Henri Hirsch, born 7 Oct. 1875 in Altona, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Henri Hirsch left Prussian Altona for Hamburg. There he joined the Jewish religious community in 1913. At that time he lived on Fröbelstraße and worked as a commercial clerk at the company "Ludolf Levy’s Nachf." on Drehbahn. He was married to Therese Levy who was eight years his junior. We do not know whether the company belonged to his father-in-law. The childless couple lived at Isestraße 31. On 1 Feb. 1935, Therese Hirsch died. Henri Hirsch lived alone from a very small income, frequently changing his abode.
In July 1938, he married again, this time to Elisabeth Friedländer, née Lyon, who was also widowed. As the sole heir of her first husband, she was extremely well off, owning a third of the Ballinhaus, among other things. Renamed "Messberghof" by the National Socialists, the building achieved sad notoriety as the registered office of the company Tesch & Stabenow which supplied concentration camps with the extermination gas Cyclon B. Elisabeth Friedländer also owned the property on Oberstraße where they lived. For a short time Henri Hirsch lived there with her.
The testament stipulated that the inheritance be shared with the two children she had with Richard Friedländer should she re-marry. The son and daughter had been living in the USA and Denmark for more than ten years and had each acquired the citizenship of their respective country. Elisabeth Hirsch intended to immigrate to one of her children. The considerable portion of her assets that she was not allowed to take with her she gifted to her husband Henri Hirsch who remained in Germany. The housekeeper who had worked at the Friedländer’s household for 30 years received 2000 RM.
Elisabeth Hirsch left Germany in spring 1939. She travelled with her mother via Copenhagen to New York. She later settled in Seattle, Washington. They apparently had no plans for Henri Hirsch to follow her. From Seattle she divorced him and again took the name Friedländer.
Henri Hirsch did not benefit from his suddenly acquired fortune. It was held under a "security order", so he was unable to use it. The sum that he was allowed to withdraw each month for living expenses was reduced to 280 RM. He again took up renting one room after another. First he moved to Bieberstraße, afterwards to Rothenbaumchaussee and to other accommodations for short periods. At the end of Feb. 1941, he finally moved to Isestraße 69. There he received orders for deportation to Lodz where all further trace of him was lost.
The Stolperstein for Henri Hirsch was moved from Isestraße 79, where it initially was erroneously placed, to Isestraße 31 where Henri Hirsch lived with his first wife.
Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Christa Fladhammer
Quellen: 1; 2; AfW 220183; Jürgen Kalthoff, Martin Werner, Die Händler des Zyklon B: Tesch & Stabenow; eine Firmengeschichte zwischen Hamburg und Auschwitz, Hamburg 1998 (VSA).
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