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Alfred Rinteln * 1891

Sievekingplatz 1 Ziviljustizgebäude (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1891
ERMORDET 20.6.1942


further stumbling stones in Sievekingplatz 1 Ziviljustizgebäude:
Heinrich Basch, Paul Blumenthal, Franz Daus, Dr. Hermann Moritz Falk, Hermann Feiner, Richard Hoffmann, Kurt (Curt) Ledien, Lambert Leopold, Wilhelm Prochownick, Anna Rosenberg, Walter Rudolphi, Leonhard Stein

Dr. Alfred Rinteln, born on 27 July 1891 in Essen, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, died there on 20 June 1942
Rahel (called Ruth) Rinteln, née Cohn, born on 15 Oct. 1895 in Altona, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, died there on 21 May 1944

Brunsberg 9 (Walderseestrasse 9)

Even Alfred Rinteln’s father and grandfather had already studied and obtained doctorates. Almost as a logical consequence, Alfred Rinteln and his brothers also took this path toward joining upper middle-class circles.

Grandfather Siegfried Rinteln (1816–1897), a native of Detmold, practiced as one of seven (spa) doctors in Bad Oeynhausen since about 1854. In 1866, he was mentioned as a "Royal mineral spring physician in Oeynhausen.” He was conferred the title of medical councilor (Sanitätsrat) and awarded the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle (Roter Adlerorden). In 1856, he had bought a house in Bad Oeynhausen (at Herforder Strasse 44) for his family of six. The grave for him and his wife Fanny Rinteln, née Eltzbacher (1828–1905), located in the Jewish Cemetery in Vlotho, the Jewish Community with jurisdiction over Bad Oeynhausen, still exists. Julius, one of his four children, the future father of Alfred Rinteln, studied law and became a judge.

As a royal district court judge (Amtsrichter), Julius Rinteln (1850–1927) and his wife Anna, née Meyer (born on 11 June 1860 in Hannover), were subject to the common transfer procedures for senior civil servants. A career in the Prussian judicial service inevitable involved frequent changes of residence. For instance, from 1873 until 1876, Julius Rinteln worked as a junior lawyer in Kassel, in 1876 in Marburg, in 1877/78 once more in Kassel, in 1878 in Bockenheim, from 1879 until 1880 again in Kassel, and from 1880 onward in Bochum. The children’s birthplaces reflect this rootlessness: Elisabeth "Lisbeth” (born in 1885 in Oeynhausen), Eduard Walter (born in 1887 in Bochum), Alfred (born in 1891 in Essen), and Rudolf (born in 1898 in Essen). After serving as a regional court judge (Landgerichtsrat) in Essen for seven years, Julius Rinteln became a regional court judge in Kassel in 1898. In 1910, he was appointed "Privy Councilor of Justice” (Geheimer Justizrat) and decorated with the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle Fourth Class.

His three sons followed their father’s example and became jurists: Eduard Walter Rinteln a lawyer, Alfred Rinteln a judge, and Rudolf, too, studied, among other places, in Marburg in 1919/20, obtaining his doctorate.

After passing his high-school graduation exam (Abitur) at the Wilhelmgymnasium in Kassel (in 1909) and pursuing subsequent law studies in Leipzig (in 1909/10), Lausanne (in 1910), Berlin (in 1910/11), and Marburg (in 1911/12), Alfred Rinteln wrote his doctoral thesis at the University of Göttingen on the subject of "Distraint of a maximum amount mortgage” (Die Pfändung einer Höchstbetragshypothek) in July 1913. In Mar. 1913, he passed the legal trainee’s examination in Kassel and in Mar. 1920 the major state examination in Berlin, subsequently working as a court assessor in the Prussian judicial service.

Having been employed as an assistant judge at the Kassel District Court (Amtsgericht) from 1919 until 1922, in Nov. 1922, he received a position as a regional court judge at the Regional Court (Amtsgericht) in Altona, which at that time was still Prussian and part of the Kiel Higher Regional Court District (Oberlandesgerichtsbezirk). By the age of only 31, Alfred Rinteln had climbed the rung of the judicial career ladder that his father had achieved only at an advanced age. For some time, he lived in Altona as a subtenant on the prestigious Palmaille, house no. 19. In Altona, he also met his future wife: Rahel Cohn was the daughter of the Altona merchant Isaac Cohn (born on 19 Mar. 1862 in Altona, died on 7 Dec. 1942 in Theresienstadt) and his wife Johanna, née Plaut (1857–1930).

Like her sister, she probably attended the Israelite Community School in Altona, located at Grünestrasse 5. Her sister Rosa Cohn (born on 24 Oct. 1894 in Altona), helped as a sales assistant in her father’s household goods store from 1910 until 1920, subsequently emigrating with her husband Max Moritz to Palestine (Tel Aviv) in Jan. 1939. Brother Julius Cohn (born on 7 Nov. 1897 in Altona) was killed in action on the western front in May 1917 – one of the 44 war dead of the Altona Jewish Community in World War I. In Mar. 1926, Alfred Rinteln and Rahel Cohn were married; the marriage produced no children. From the apartment at Braunschweiger Strasse 9 on the second floor, where Alfred Rinteln had lived in furnished accommodations for over two years, the couple moved to Altonaer Hochstrasse 27 (back then the westernmost part of Hamburger Hochstrasse) on the third floor.

Since 1923, Alfred Rinteln was a member of the Altona Hochdeutsche Israelitische Gemeinde ("High German Israelite Community”), whose synagogue on Papagoyenstrasse was accessible via the entrance at Altonaer Hochstrasse 52. Whereas Hamburg had a Jewish population of about 20,000 around this time, the number for Altona was only 2,400.

In May 1927, the retired regional court judge Julius Rinteln was killed in an accident in Kassel. In the process, his wife sustained such severe injuries that she had to be admitted to the Hamburg-Friedrichsberg "lunatic asylum” ("Irrenanstalt”) with a "mental disorder.” Alfred Rinteln cared for his mother as best as he could. By 1931 at the latest, he lived with his wife in Altona-Ottensen again, at Braunschweigerstrasse 9 on the second floor, in the immediate vicinity of the Platz der Republik. On 4 Jan. 1937, Alfred Rinteln’s mother, Anna Rinteln, née Meyer, passed away at the age of 76, having lived at Braunschweigerstrasse 9 as well since 1934.

Alfred Rinteln’s sister was married to Willy Victor. Also Jewish, he was a lawyer as well as a Social Democratic Party (SPD) member of the city parliament in Altona. After the "seizure of power” ("Machtergreifung”), the Nazi justice department used the fact that in some cases, the two brothers-in-law had professional encounters in the courtroom, as a pretext for immediate suspension of the judge and an occupational ban for Willy Victor as a lawyer.

At of the end of 30 Sept. 1933, 42-year-old Alfred Rinteln was forcibly retired by the National Socialists based on the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” ("Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums”) passed in Apr. 1933. As late as 1932, his reference reads, "Definitely a talented judge with quick and good perception, also thorough knowledge, working conscientiously and punctually. His otherwise satisfactory merits suffer only because he is a bit easygoing and not sufficiently resolute and frank in court. Conduct impeccable.”

The Presiding Judge of the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgerichtspräsident) informed the Presiding Judge of the Altona Regional Court (Landgerichtspräsident) on 5 July 1933 about the dismissal: "I request that the civil servant be dismissed from his office by the end of Sept. 1933. In the matter of filling the position becoming vacant thus, another decree will be issued shortly.” About one fifth of the members of the Altona Jewish Community emigrated that year.

In the course of the Pogrom of Nov. 1938, Alfred Rinteln was reportedly taken to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, but we did not find any evidence of this.

In late Apr. 1939, tenant protection for Jews was revoked. The Rinteln couple had to vacate the apartment and moved to Lokstedt into the house at Walderseestrasse 9, which belonged to the Jewish couple Lipmann and Bella Josias (see corresponding entry). Leo Haarburger (died on 16 Dec. 1938 in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp), too, lived there for a short time.

In 1938/39, the Rinteln couple was forced to pay a so-called levy on Jewish assets (Judenvermögensabgabe) amounting to about 65,000 RM (reichsmark) to the Nazi state.

On 14 June 1939, Alfred Rinteln was summoned to the foreign currency office (at Grosser Burstah 31) for interrogation. The aim was to check the details and, if necessary, to issue a "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung"), which equaled withdrawal of one’s right to dispose freely of one’s own assets. On 20 June 1939, the authorities decided to do without this measure for the time being. It was imposed, however, on 31 Jan. 1940, and henceforth, the couple was allowed to dispose only of an approved monthly sum.

Like all Jews, the two were obligated since 19 Sept. 1941, to wear a "Jews’ star” clearly visible on their clothing when in public. On 22 Oct. 1941, Alfred Rinteln received a written "evacuation order” from the Gestapo. On the first deportation leaving Hamburg, Alfred and Rahel Rinteln were deported to the Lodz Ghetto on 25 Oct. 1941. They were assigned a quarter at Cranachstrasse 6 in apartment no. 3. An "order to the pay office” ("Kassenanweisung”) by the Presiding Judge of the Higher Regional Court dated 29 Oct. 1941 settled the immediate cancellation of pensions and related benefits "because the recipient of the benefits was evacuated from Hamburg to an unknown destination.”

In Nov. 1941, the assets of the Rinteln couple left in Hamburg were "confiscated to the benefit of the Reich.” The household effects were auctioned off, yielding proceeds of 3,426.30 RM.

In mid-December 1941, the "Jewish Eldest in Litzmannstadt [Lodz],” Chaim Rumkowski, confirmed that Alfred Rinteln was still alive, indicating Mühlengasse 25 as his quarter in the ghetto. Half a year later, Alfred Rinteln died in the ghetto at the age of 50. Alfred and Rahel Rinteln had still escaped the "resettlements” ("Aussiedlungen”) of 11,000 ghetto occupants carried out only a few weeks before to Chelmno/Kulmhof, where the deportees were murdered in converted gas trucks immediately upon arrival. Since in addition to having employment in the Lodz Ghetto, the only reason for someone being deferred was having been awarded the Iron Cross or Wound Badge as a frontline soldier in World War I, one can assume that the Rinteln couple had an official job in the ghetto. Possibly, in this connection they benefitted from their acquaintance with Lipmann (Leo) Josias, who had been appointed permanent deputy of the transport overseer in the ghetto. Rahel Rinteln, née Cohn, was able to survive in the Lodz Ghetto until May 1944; then she, too, perished – at the age of 48.

Her 80-year-old father Isaac Cohn, who at the end of 1941 had to relocate from the retirement home of the German-Israelitic Community (at Sedanstrasse 23) to Schäferkampsallee 18, was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 15 July 1942, dying there five months later. Just prior to the deportation, Alfred Rinteln had given him full power of attorney concerning all affairs.

Eduard Walter Rinteln, Alfred Rinteln’s older brother, who was deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Nov. 1938, fled via Belgium to France in 1939. Following the start of the German attack on France in June 1940, the German emigrants living there were interned as enemy aliens. After German troops had invaded the country, many of the detained emigrants fell into the hands of their pursuers once again. On 4 Mar. 1943, Walter Rinteln was deported from the Drancy camp to Majdanek. The exact date of his death is unknown.

Sister Lisbeth Victor, née Rinteln, married to the lawyer and notary public Willy Victor (1876–1956), succeeded in emigrating with her family to Palestine.
In 1956, Rudolf Rinteln (1898–1962), Alfred Rinteln’s younger brother and by this time a British citizen, returned to Germany from Australian exile.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2018
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; StaH 241-2 (Justizverwaltung Personalakten), Abl. 1986 I, Rinteln, Alfred (Einträge nur 1933–1958); StaH 314-15 (OFP), R 1940/71 (Dr. Alfred Rinteln); StaH 332-5 (Standesamtsunterlagen), 5379 und 577/1930 (Sterbe-Hauptregister Altona I); StaH 351-11 (AfW), Eg 270791 (Alfred Rinteln); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 241094 (Rosi Moritz, geb. Cohn); Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 3001/72396 (Personalakte Alfred Rinteln, 1919–1933); Bundesarchiv Berlin, Liste der jüdischen Einwohner im Deutschen Reich, Volkszählung, Residentenkartei 1939; Stadtarchiv Bad Oeynhausen (Angaben zu Dr. Siegfried Rinteln); Stadtarchiv Bochum, Geburtsurkunde von Walter Eduard Rinteln, 1887; Stadtarchiv Essen, Adressbücher 1891, 1898, Festschrift zur Einweihung des neuen Justizgebäudes in Essen, 1913, S. 33; Stadtarchiv Kassel, Einwohnermeldekartei u. Sterberegister 1927 (Dr. Julius Rinteln); Stadtbüro Marburg, Melderegister (Alfred Rinteln, Rudolf Rinteln); Universität Göttingen, Promotionsakte 0733; Stadt Kassel, Einwohnerservice, Auskunft zu Dr. Rudolf Rinteln und Juliana Rinteln, 2010; AB Altona 1931; TB 1931–1940 (Rinteln); Yad Vashem, Liste der Ghetto-Bewohner von Lodz 1940–1944; Stadtteilarchiv Ottensen, Ohne uns hätten sie das gar nicht machen können – Nazi-Zeit und Nachkrieg in Altona und Ottensen, Hamburg 1985, S. 136 (Synagoge Alto­na); Stadtteilarchiv Ottensen, Die Kehille – Geschichte und Geschichten der Altonaer jüdischen Gemeinde, Hamburg 1996, S. 237 (Grenze), S. 252 (Mitgliederzahl), S. 260 (Emigrationszahl 1933); Handbuch über den Königlich Preußischen Hof und Staat 1880/81, 1885/86, 1891, 1895, 1897, 1900, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1918 (Dr. Julius Rinteln); Haus-, Hof- u. Staatskalender für den preußischen Staat, 1922 (Dr. Julius Rinteln); Informationen zur Schleswig-Holsteinischen Zeitgeschichte, Hans H. Lembke, Erinnerung an die Ehepaare Josias und Rinteln, Heft 47, Kiel 2006, S. 143–145; Heiko Morisse, Jüdische Rechtsanwälte in Hamburg – Ausgrenzung und Verfolgung im NS-Staat, Hamburg 2003, S. 175 (Dr. Victor).
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