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Helene Rabi (née Aron) * 1879

Brahmsallee 16 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

1941 Minsk

further stumbling stones in Brahmsallee 16:
Charlotte Bravo, Ruth Isaak, Hanna Isaak, Michael Isaak, Pauline Isaak, Daniel Isaak, Betty Jacobson, Recha Nathan, Max Warisch

Helene Rabi, née Aron, born 19 Jan. 1879 in Hamburg, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Brahmsallee 16

Helene Rabi was the sister of Charlotte Bravo. The two daughters of Abraham and Judith Aron lived with their parents at Rutschbahn 25 until they married. Helene and her younger siblings, Charlotte and Siegmund, grew up in a religious, Sephardic tradition. We know nothing about Helena’s education, nor whether she entered a "female” profession like her sister Charlotte. We also do not know how she met her later husband, David Rabi.

David Rabi was originally from Zmigrod (German: Schmiedeburg, present-day Novy Zmigrod), a village in Jaslo County in the Polish Subcarpathian Voivodeship. There had been a Jewish community in Zmigrod since at least 1410, with a synagogue, a Jewish cemetery, and a yeshiva. The rabbi in Zmigrod was highly influential in the surrounding Jewish communities until the early 19th century, when the Jewish population began migrating from rural areas to the cities. Later entire families emigrated to the US. The largest wave of emigration was during World War I, which was also when David Rabi found employment in Hamburg.

Initially David Rabi lived at Rappstraße 7 in rented rooms. In 1917 he opened a sack shop and warehouse in Altona. On 26 May 1922 he married Helene Aron. They, as well as Helene’s sister Charlotte and her husband Abraham Haim (married 1924), later moved to an apartment at Rutschbahn 25. This was also the address of the Aron parents.

Neither Helene nor Charlotte had any children; their brother Siegmund had four. Helene’s marriage was short – David Rabi died in 1928 aged 40. Helene remained with her parents until after her father’s death in 1936. She earned a living by renting out rooms. Charlotte was also widowed in 1939, and the sisters moved to Brahmsallee 16. Their mother lived with them until she entered the Jewish Community’s nursing home at Schäferkampsallee 29.

According to tax records with the Jewish Community, Charlotte sub-let rooms from Helene. The form of their rental agreement was, however, less important to the sisters than the fact that they could live together. The three widowed women had no income. Since they received no form of financial subsidies, it can be assumed that Siegmund Aron supported his mother and sisters. He worked as a clerk at the M.M. Warburg Bank, where he continued to draw an undiminished income. As the pressure grew under the increasing persecution by the Nazi regime, he was able to get his children to safety in England.

The adult family members were not able to escape. Siegmund Aron and his second wife Baszion were deported to Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941. She was sent from the Ghetto to the Chelmno extermination camp on 23 Sep. 1942 and murdered there. Siegmund had died in the Ghetto on 4 Sep. 1942 of "heart muscle degeneration,” according to the death certificate. Helene and Charlotte Aron were deported to Minsk on 18 Nov. 1941. Their fate remains unknown.

Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: September 2019
© Inge Grolle

Quellen: 1; 4; Hamburger Adressbücher, Zugriff am 20.10.2013; s. Biographische Spurensuche Charlotte Bravo (Stolperstein Brahmsallee 16); Achiwum Panstwowe w Lodz v. 9.1.2015.
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