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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Hans Israel * 1922

Isestraße 53 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

1941 Lodz

further stumbling stones in Isestraße 53:
Willy Curland, Heinz Egon Curland, Alfred Israel, Edith Israel, Leonie Israel, Ruth Israel, Aron Hertz Israel, Auguste Lichtenhayn, Auguste Pollak, Peter Pollak, Renate Pollak, Eva Schreiber, Rosa Wolff

Aron Hertz Israel, born on 20 Jan. 1863, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 26 Oct. 1942
Alfred Israel, born on 20 Mar. 1893 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Leonie Israel, née Zuckermann, born on 19 July 1894, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Hans Israel, born on 17 Feb. 1922, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Ruth Israel, born on 9 Mar. 1924, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported further on 28 June 1944
Edith Israel, born on 14 July 1928, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Auguste Lichtenhayn, née Israel, born on 22 Aug. 1899, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, died on 10 Nov. 1942

Aron Hertz Israel was the patriarch of a large family. Between 1891 and 1913, he and his wife Franziska, née Halberstadt, had three sons and one daughter. The family lived at Isestrasse 41. As the "main collector” of the Hamburg State Lottery, Aron Hertz Israel earned a good income, from which he was able to support his family. Already at the very beginning of Nazi rule, he was forced to give up this position.

We do not know whether the Israels had looked into Zionism before. At any rate, the oldest son Max and his brother Heinz, born in 1913, emigrated to Palestine very soon after the Nazis had assumed power.

Whereas Max worked as a physician, Heinz had just completed an apprenticeship in the textiles trade in 1933. His father arranged for him to be able to attend the "Mikveh Israel” agricultural college in Tel Aviv. Both survived the Nazi period; Max stayed in Israel, Heinz later went to the USA. Son Alfred with his family and daughter Auguste stayed behind with their parents.

After finishing Realschule [a practice-oriented secondary school up to grade 10], Alfred had completed commercial training with a major exporting firm. In World War I, he fought as a frontline soldier, sustaining injuries on several occasions. Perhaps even before the war but probably afterwards, he started his own business as a commercial agent in the textiles industry. The "OHG [= Offene Handelsgesellschaft, general partnership] Alfred Israel” was "Aryanized.” On 3 May 1940, the company officially ceased to exist.

Since 1936 at the latest, Aron Hertz and Franziska Israel attempted with all available resources to put together the papers necessary for emigration to Palestine. They wished to spend their old age with their sons. Both were already more than 70 years old and in poor health, which is why they hoped for medical support by Max in particular. Aron Hertz Israel intended to acquire a stake in a company in order to earn a living.

In 1937, they received the "tax clearance certificate” ("Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung”) for a fact-finding trip to Palestine, which was extended once and was valid until Mar. 1938. They did not depart, however.

Since the summer of 1936, they no longer lived on Isestrasse but on Hartungstrasse, where Franziska Israel passed away on 26 Sept. 1938. Aron Hertz Israel moved in with his son Alfred to Isestrasse 53. He lived there together with Alfred’s family, the daughter-in-law Leonie, née Zuckermann, and the three school-age children Hans, Ruth, and Edith.

In addition, his daughter Auguste also lived in the apartment. Her husband, Adolf Lichtenhayn, to whom she was married since 1923, emigrated to China by himself in 1938. The marriage was divorced in 1940. Their son Werner attended the Talmud Tora School until 1939 and then went on the Youth Aliyah to Palestine.
Apparently, Alfred Israel had to perform "compulsory labor duties” ("Pflichtarbeit”) in a hospital during the last months in Hamburg.

On 25 Oct. 1941, the deportation order to the Lodz Ghetto arrived. It applied to Alfred Israel, his wife Leonie and the children Hans, Ruth, and Edith, as well as his sister Auguste. From there, the family received the order for "resettlement” ("Aussiedelung”) in May 1942, as did more than 10,000 other "inhabitants.” The official version was that they were to be transported for labor duties to a different place. Many of them, including Alfred Israel, submitted applications for exemption from this further deportation, of which they did not know but perhaps suspected that it would lead to their deaths. He provided as a reason for his petition the following: "According to the enclosed copy, I have been awarded the Iron Cross and the Wound Badge [from World War I]. My son is active as a firefighter in the fire department and is therefore not listed on the departure order. My wife and daughters are prepared to do any kind of work. I would ask most courteously to exempt me together with my family from the departure and not to separate us.” The stamp on the petition read "UWZGLEDNIONE,” which [translated from Polish], means "considered.” Thus, the family was spared the journey to death at this point: The transports in fact went directly to the Chelmno/Kulmhof camp, not to a labor camp. In Chelmno, the arrivals were gassed immediately upon arrival. It seems the decorations from World War I were recognized, and for son Hans the fact that he was employed by the fire department. Persons able to establish proof of essential work activity had chances to be exempted – in contrast to those providing as a reason for their application that they were too weak for a transport and hard labor.
It is no longer possible to reconstruct how long the Israel family stayed alive in Lodz. Only Auguste Lichtenhayn’s date of death is known. She perished in Lodz on 10 Nov. 1942. We know about Ruth that she was taken to Chelmno on 28 June 1944 and murdered there. Until her death, she probably worked in the kindergarten.
Hans was possibly transported to the Flossenbürg concentration camp. An entry dated 4 Aug. 1944 points in that direction.
Thus, Aron Hertz Israel was forced to witness that six of his children and grandchildren were taken from him, the youngest one just 13 years old. He was left behind alone. Like other elderly Jews, he was quartered in the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Beneckestrasse 6. The deportation order to Theresienstadt reached him on 15 July 1942 at Grindelallee 21. He died that same year, on 26 Oct. 1942, in Theresienstadt.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Christa Fladhammer

Quellen: 1; 2; 8; AfW 200163; 220899; USHMM/Lodz/Ordner Hamburg(Neubauer); Auskunft per E-Mail von Fritz Neubauer am 09.04.2014.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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