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Wilhelm Prochownick * 1878
Sievekingplatz 1 Ziviljustizgebäude (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
further stumbling stones in Sievekingplatz 1 Ziviljustizgebäude:
Heinrich Basch, Paul Blumenthal, Franz Daus, Hermann Feiner, Richard Hoffmann, Kurt (Curt) Ledien, Lambert Leopold, Alfred Rinteln, Anna Rosenberg, Walter Rudolphi, Leonhard Stein
Dr. Wilhelm Prochownick, born 19 Sept. 1878 in Hamburg, imprisoned 9 Feb. 1943 at Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, died 27 Mar. 1943
Sievekingplatz 1 (Civil Justice Building)
Hansastraße 58 (Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Wilhelm Prochownick’s parents were the physician Dr. Ludwig Prochownick and his wife Anna, née Hirschfeld. He graduated from the Academy of the Johanneum on 3 Sept. 1897. After a six-semester program of study in Heidelberg, Leipzig and Göttingen he passed his first law exam in Göttingen with the grade "good”. It was there that he also finished his doctorate on 12 Nov. 1901 with a dissertation entitled On the Impossiblity of Benefits from Legacies. He completed his legal internship in Hamburg. On 14 July 1904 he passed his second bar exam. One week later he was given a position as an assessor at Hamburg’s judicial service but he took a six-month leave of absence to study in England. On 1 Jan. 1909 he was appointed judge of the state court of justice. In 1908 he again undertook a study trip to England to prepare to write a book on The Civil Law of England. He received a lectureship in the law department of Hamburg University. On 1 Apr. 1923 he was promoted to the high court position Oberlandesgerichtsrat, was a member of the Civil Senate II which was given special responsibility for inheritance law and real estate law in 1931. By resolution of the Reich Governor of 18 July 1933, he was forced into early retirement effective at the end of 31 Oct. 1933 based on § 6 of German Civil Code.
Wilhelm Prochownick’s wife was not Jewish. The elder of their two daughters had immigrated to the USA, the younger one lived with her parents. Due to their "privileged mixed marriage”, Wilhelm Prochownick was spared from the deportations that began in 1941, however, he was crushed by the base perversion of human values under the National Socialist regime: Someone in his circle of acquaintances informed the police that he had not turned in his fur-lined coat, and he was arrested on 9 Feb. 1943 and taken to Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp. From there he was transferred to the Jewish hospital on 26 Mar. 1943 with a high fever. As his attending physician Dr. Wolffson stated in 1950, there was strong suspicion that he had been severely injured by abuse and blows to the head. He died one day later. An autopsy was not permitted. Three days after her husband, Anna Prochownick was also arrested and despite her declaration that she had inherited the fur-lined coat she was taken to Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp. She was allowed to attend her husband’s burial accompanied by police officers. She was released on 5 Apr. 1943, and the fur coat was returned to her in exchange for written confirmation that she had received it from the Gestapo.
Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Heiko Morisse
Quellen: StAHH, 241-2, A 1191; StAHH, 241-1 I, 1646; StAHH, 351-11, 8201; Hamburger Gedenkbuch, S.334; Bundesgedenkbuch (Onlineversion).
Diese Biographie wurde mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Verfassers aus dessen Buch Ausgrenzung und Verfolgung der Hamburger jüdischen Juristen im Nationalsozialismus, Band 2 – Beamtete Juristen, Göttingen 2013, S. 178 übernommen.