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Georg Schumacher * 1882
Grindelallee 146 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
further stumbling stones in Grindelallee 146:
Markus Adler, Ida Adler, Lotti Adler, Erika Adler, Hermann Adler
Georg Schumacher, born on 6 May 1882 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, murdered there
Georg Schumacher was a son of the Jewish couple Salomon Schumacher (1838–1926) and Henriette, née Laski (1853–1935). He had a brother, Max, who became a physician. He worked for several years at a St. Petersburg hospital and returned to Hamburg after the October Revolution of 1917.
In 1892, Salomon Schumacher founded a cigarette factory at Mathildenstrasse 4 in the St. Pauli quarter, which he initially ran on his own. In about 1905, Georg joined the company and his father retired from the business. However, as early as 1907, when the economy slowed for a short time, the company ran into financial difficulties and it was liquidated.
Georg Schumacher went to Cairo/Egypt for a few years. On his return, he married the non-Jewish Marie Amalie Caroline Müller (1888–1962) in Hamburg on 25 July 1913. The couple had two daughters, Gerda (born in 1916) and Annemarie (born in 1917) and lived at Friedensallee 71 in Altona.
Georg Schumacher was a rather quiet person, while his wife Marie was a very agile personality who was always looking for new ways to improve the family’s economic situation. After their wedding, she first worked from home as a wholesaler to build up a small business with the customer base of the former Schumacher Company. At the time, Georg Schumacher was the authorized signatory for the L. Serdaropulos & Co cigarette factory. He lost his job when Lissandros Panayoti Serdaropulos, the head of the company, died in Mar. 1916, and Marie Schumacher, too, had to give up her small company because of the very difficult economic situation resulting from the First World War.
At the end of 1917, the Schumacher couple tried to resume cigarette production, initially working from home with a small hand-operated tobacco-cutting machine in their own basement at Friedensallee 48 in Altona. Despite the crisis, Mrs. Schumacher managed to establish important business connections, so that the small company developed well and they were able to hire workers. In Apr. 1920, the company relocated to Behnstrasse 8, but these premises were soon no longer sufficient either. In 1921, they moved the production to Holstentwiete 48/50 and the company was named "Gerdami.” In 1923, the business moved to its own factory building at Grosse Freiheit 79/83. Marie Schumacher believed that at the beginning of 1924, their company was as successful as its competitor Reemtsma; this was a strong exaggeration, for Reemtsma had more than 1,000 employees at that time, while she and her husband did not even employ 200 workers and 25 people in administration. The responsibility lay above all with Marie. Only occasionally did she receive support from her brother-in-law Max Schumacher, who, being a physician, had no significant experience in the tobacco industry.
At this time, difficulties arose in the marriage of Marie and Georg Schumacher due to their different temperaments. They lived, at least temporarily, in legal separation but did not divorce due to their daughters. Georg Schumacher was hardly active in the company. He was often ill and spent a lot of time travelling. In addition, he allowed himself to be tempted into speculations with business money that went wrong. He reacted to this with a breakdown that rendered him bedridden for a long time, and it was left to Marie Schumacher to "pull the cart out of the mud,” as she herself put it.
Starting in 1926, however, the company’s economic situation deteriorated considerably and Marie Schumacher became involved in criminal dealings, in which a customs officer named Tank was also involved. When the machinations were discovered, she was temporarily taken into pretrial detention and the "Gerdami” was shut down in 1927. However, it took several years for the proceedings to be completed. Marie Schumacher was first sentenced to two years in prison in Oct. 1931 for, among other things, "repeated bribery in coincidence with incitement to embezzlement, for repeated dealing in stolen goods in coincidence with unauthorized procurement of revenue stamps; and for forgery of public documents for profit.” In 1932 and 1933, further cases came to trial separately and penalties of four and three months were imposed for bribery and repeated bribery.
Georg Schumacher did not have a steady lifestyle at that time. He frequently changed apartments and had only an irregular income. Nominally, however, he was still the owner of a cigarette factory. Apparently, there was at least one other company besides "Gerdami,” but we do not know anything about it.
Until 1933, the situation deteriorated more and more. At this time, Marie Schumacher apparently became active again. She ensured that the company was transferred to a non-Jewish employee, the foreman Friedrich Dismer. Daughter Annemarie became a silent partner. Until July 1938, the company still existed at Meissnerstrasse 18. Then it was nevertheless closed down, because "this transition of the company to Mr. Dismer and Mrs. Schumacher, married name Poelmann, was not recognized according to the letter by the Umsatzgemeinschaft der Zigaretten-Industrie Berlin [sales association of the cigarette industry].”
Marie Schumacher divorced her husband on 1 Feb. 1939. As she claimed after the war, it had been a compulsory divorce, and thus she was able to receive a widow’s pension.
Georg Schumacher, who had worked briefly and unofficially for a chartered accountant in the very end, was unemployed starting in Apr. 1938. However, he was also supported by Marie after the divorce and probably still often stayed with his family. Again, he moved several times, until he was accommodated as a subtenant at Grindelallee 146.
From there, Georg Schumacher was deported to Riga-Jungfernhof on 6 Dec. 1941 and murdered there.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Petra Schmolinske
Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 5; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaH 213–11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, A07102/32, A 7102; StaH 332–4 Aufsicht über die Standesämter, 672; StaH 332– 5 Standesämter, 2028–2234/1882, 3229–369/1913, 9821–2134/1926; StaH 335–11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 5528, 5529, 5530, 11032; StaH 424–111 Amtsgericht Altona, Dc2050.
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