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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Melderegister Lodz
© Archivum Panstwowe, Lodz

Babette Löw * 1885

Hammer Weg 33 ggü. 36 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamm)

JG. 1885

further stumbling stones in Hammer Weg 33 ggü. 36:
Wilhelm Dettmann, Georg Traube

Babette Löw, born on 19 Nov. 1885, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz

Hammer Weg, entrance to the sports field (Hammer Weg 37)

On 19 Nov. 1885, when the ninth of the ten children known to us of the married couple Joseph Löw and Rosa, née Lichtenstädt, was born, the parents named her Babette, after her grandmother on the father’s side. Only nine days later did her aunt Jenny Dublon, née Lichtenstädt, give notice of her birth to the records office. Both parents came from Jewish families and belonged to the Jewish Community in Hamburg. Babette grew up in a world of merchants.

The grandmother, Babette Löw, née Königsberger, was married to Moses Löw. They lived in Mosbach in the Odenwald Mountains when their son Joseph was born on 15 July 1842. In 1870, he moved to Hamburg, running a cigar trade and an agency business at Neuer Wall for several years. At the same location, Rudolf Lichtenstädt and his wife Marianne, née Israel, also operated a lingerie and trousseau store. Their daughter Rosa, born on 7 July 1847 in Hamburg, and Joseph Löw were married in Dec. 1873. In 1874, Rosa Löw gave birth to their first child, Melvin, followed at intervals of one or two years each by Leo, Elsa, the twins Max and Fanny, Lilly, Jacques, Rudolf – named after the grandfather on the mother’s side – and Babette. Elsa, Fanny, and Rudolf died already as infants. The son born last, on 14 May 1887, received the name of his deceased brother with the added name of "Ruben.”

During these and the following years until 1889, Joseph Löw and his family moved many times, whereas the parents-in-law and grandparents, respectively, stayed at Neuer Wall until the death of Rudolf Lichtenstädt. Starting in Dec. 1881, Marianne Lichtenstädt continued, as a widow, to operate the business at Bleichenbrücke 16/18, where the Dublon Company – shoe and boots wholesale – had its location as well. At this place, Joseph Löw lived with his family in 1886, and it was there that Babette was born. The three families were connected to each other by family relations.

With the construction of a plant for window display posters at Steindamm 7 in the St. Georg quarter in 1888, Joseph Löw settled down for the next 14 years. Even before the turn of the century, Leo joined the military for one year, and shortly afterward, Joseph Löw and his family moved to Grosse Allee 10. In 1903, he obtained Hamburg civic rights, after Melvin, the oldest son, had already done so two years before. The sons became merchants or went into banking, while Lilly and Babette became office employees.

When the merchant’s house at Bleichenbrücke 16/18 was newly built in 1906/1907, Marianne Lichtenstädt gave up the business and then, until her death at the age of nearly 90 in Nov. 1911, lived with her daughter Jenny Dublon at Grindelallee 50, near her other daughter Rosa and her grandchildren Lilly, Jacques, and Babette. The apartment also continued to be a place to go for Max and Rudolf Ruben in between their work activities outside the city. After the death of her husband Joseph Löw on 24 July 1908, Rosa Löw gave up the apartment in St. Georg, moving to Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 10. Joseph Löw had reached the age of 66, and he was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Ohlsdorf. He had still lived to see the marriage of his son Leo to Erna Fries, though not the birth of granddaughter Ingeborg in August of that year.

Despite his age, Leo fought in World War I as an infantryman, returning in 1918 to his family, which by then had grown by daughters Rita and Gisa. Melvin and Jacques Löw got married to Christian women and continued to reside in Hamburg, as did Leo and Erna Löw; Max and Rudolf Ruben Löw eventually left Hamburg. In 1924, Lilly married the teacher Abraham Neufeld, who was 13 years her senior. Their marriage remained childless. In 1926, Rosa Löw died at the Friedrichsberg hospital at the age of 81. Thus, she was spared to witness the early deaths of her son-in-law Abraham Neufeld in 1931 and of her son Max at the age of merely 54 in Düsseldorf in 1932.

Like her siblings Leo and Lilly, Babette Löw joined the German-Israelitic Community, paying the taxes corresponding to her income as a bank employee starting in 1924. After the death of her mother, she moved to Hammer Weg 37 in Hamburg-Hamm. She maintained a friendship with Magnus Kühl from Tönning, as was reported in his family later. He was a Protestant and "Aryan,” marrying in 1939 a woman who was also "Aryan.”

In 1937, Babette Löw’s nieces gave in to the pressures of persecution and emigrated. Rita and Gisa went to Britain in 1937, Ingeborg the following year to Palestine, where she got married in Haifa. Nothing is known about any efforts to emigrate on the part of Babette and her siblings. Rudolf Ruben Löw, who had established himself as a delicatessen retailer in Bremen and lived in a "mixed marriage” ("Mischehe”), died on 25 Nov. 1938. Whether his death was connected to the Pogrom of November 1938 is not known.

In Dec. 1938, Babette Löw became unemployed, though finding a job again in Apr. 1939, and she also rented out rooms. In the course of the national census in May 1939, a person also registered as residing at her address was Carl Marx, a native of Aachen, who fled to Belgium and apparently survived the Shoah. A later tenant was Georg Traube. Occasionally, she did subcontracted home-based work (Heimarbeit). The brothers were enlisted to perform compulsory labor duties and subsequently forced labor. In 1941, Babette Löw earned a monthly income of 150 RM (reichsmark), paying corresponding dues to the Community.

In 1941, Leo Löw attracted the attention of the justice system. He had sent letters to his daughters in Britain not, as required, via the Red Cross but instead via a post office box in Lisbon, and the letters had been intercepted before the Jewish Community in Hamburg informed members about this ban on letters in Mar. 1941. Although the letters contained "no indication of intelligence or subversive activities” and Leo Löw had never attracted the attention of police before, he was sentenced in a summary trial to one month in prison and to covering all of the expenses of the legal proceedings. A petition for converting the prison term to a fine was successful. The fine was set at 100 RM and the end of the probation period to 1 June 1944.

The first sibling to be deported was Babette Löw. She was ordered to report to the transport on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, which started the deportations of Jewish men and women from Hamburg. With her nearly 55 years, Babette Löw was deemed suitable for the "Development in the East” ("Aufbau im Osten”), regardless of her state of health. On the same transport, Georg Traube, her subtenant, was deported. It was not possible to find out what happened with the apartment furnishings.

Babette Löw’s last address was Steinmetzgasse 21/2 in the Lodz Ghetto. She worked there as a stenographer. We do not know where and when she perished.
On the last of the four transports of the year 1941 to the East, Leo and Erna Löw were deported to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941. There are no traces of them at all. In Mar. 1942, Melvin Löw committed suicide in Hamburg, and on 11 July 1942, Lilly Neufeld was deported directly to Auschwitz and apparently gassed immediately upon arrival there.

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

Stand: March 2017
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1, 4, 5; div. AB; StaH, 213-11 Gefängniswesen, 4783/41; 332-5 Standesämter, 2109+5580/1885; 1976+1043/1880; 2005+3399/1881; 8790+187/1924; 600+1250/1908; 7064+495/1926; 4690+1217/1976; 351-11 AfW, 5349; 522-1, Jüdische Gemeinden: o. Sign. Mitgliederzählung der DIGH 1928; 390 Wählerverzeichnis 1930; 391 Mitgliederliste 1935; 992 e 2, Deportationslisten, Bd. 1, 3 u. 4; BA Bln., Volkszählung 1939; Archivum Panstwowe, Lodz; schriftliche Mitteilungen von Renate Welte vom 12.11.2012.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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