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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Bruno Wolf * 1872

Dammtorstraße 28 (Oper) (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

entrechtet gedemütigt Schlaganfall tot 07.10.1937

further stumbling stones in Dammtorstraße 28 (Oper):
Gustav Brecher, Dr. Max Fraenkel, Hermann Frehse, Camilla Fuchs, Mauritz Kapper, Jacob Kaufmann, Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann, Kurt Abraham Salnik, Joseph Schmidt, Magda Spiegel, Viktor Ullmann

Bruno Wolf, b. 5.25.1872 in Sahr, Moravia, died on 10.7.1937 in Hamburg

Dammtorstraße 28 (Oper)

Bruno Wolf was born in the multinational Austro-Hungarian Empire. His birthplace Žd‘ár (Sahr in German) was situated about 25 miles form Jihlava (Iglau in German) where there was a large Jewish congregation and a German preparatory high school; it was also where the composer/director Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) lived in his youth. As a Jew and a Moravian, Bruno Wolf was twice over in the minority within Austria-Hungary.

Following the First World War, his hometown was thrust into the newly founded Czechoslovakia. Because he had already left the territory of the new state before its founding, he quite possibly did not receive citizenship from it. Since he had not received citizenship in any other state at this time, he could have been stateless.

As early as 1910, he moved to Hamburg and played the French horn in the orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theater. In the Hamburg directory from 1910, he was listed as the main tenant at Eppendorf Weg 81 in Eimsbüttel (1910-1913), Weidenstieg 7 in Eimsbüttel (1914-1915), and Blücherstrasse 42 in Eppendorf (1916-1937). He belonged to the German-Israelite Congregation of Hamburg as of 1923. Because of their Jewish heritage, he, the violinist Bertha Dehn (b. 11.23.1881 in Hamburg), and the double-base player Siegfried Freundlich (b. 1.18.1882 in Hamburg) were dismissed on 30 September 1933 (see entry for Leopold Freundlich). Documentation for Bruno Wolf’s dismissal has not survived.

Under the National Socialist regime, Jewish artists were permitted to perform only within the framework of the Reich Federation of Jewish Culture Leagues. Even here, an extensive questionnaire had to be submitted to Hans Hinkel (1901-1960, a member of the Nazi Party since 1921, from 1930, the editor of the Party newspaper, the Völkische Beobachter). As of 30 January 1933, Kinkel functioned as state commissar in the Prussian Ministry for Science, Art, and National Education and simultaneously as "special representative in charge of the surveillance and supervision of the activities of non-Aryan subjects living in the sphere of the German Reich, in the artistic and intellectual realm.” Whether Bruno Wolf still performed at events of the Jewish Cultural League in Hamburg is not known.

Wolf died in Hamburg on 7 October 1937 at the age of 65 in the Israelite Hospital (Eckernförderstrasse 4) as the result of the effects of a stroke. His wife, Adeline Wilhelmine Antoinette Wolf, née Wrede, the widow of Bries (b. 1.18.1862 in Langwarden, Oldenburg), had previously died in the Israelite Hospital of Hamburg. The death certificates of the couple do not say in what year the marriage took place or if they had children.

The also dismissed violinist, Bertha Dehn (1881-1953), succeeded in emigrating shortly before her scheduled deportation to the Lodz ghetto: on 16 October 1941, she traveled via Paris, Barcelona, and Cuba to Ecuador, where her brother Georg Dehn already lived. The double-base player, Siegfried Freundlich, on 25 October 1941, was deported to the Litzmannstadt ghetto in occupied Lodz, Poland, where he died on 3 February 1942.

In 2007, at the point in time when a commemorative stone was laid for him, Bruno Wolf’s ostracism and path of persecution were not yet researched. The researches of 2016-2017 have not resulted in concrete evidence of a direct link between Bruno Wolf’s persecution and his fatal stroke.

A commemorative stone for his musical colleague, Siegfried Freundlich, has been placed at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 14 (Rotherbaum).

Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: June 2020
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 131-11 (Personalamt), 1184 (Bertha Dehn, 1964); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 2009 u. 5468/1881 (Geburtsregister 1881, Bertha Dehn); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 993 u. 172/1932 (Sterberegister 1932, Wilhelmine Wolf); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 1070 u. 380/1937 (Sterberegister 1937, Bruno Wolf); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 5693 (Bertha Meta Dehn); StaH 352-5 (Gesundheitsbehörde – Todesbescheinigungen), 1937, Standesamt 2a, Nr. 380 (Bruno Wolf); StaH 363-4 (Kulturverwaltung, Personalakten), 001 (Bertha Meta Dehn); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Bruno Wolf, Bertha Dehn, Siegfried Freundlich; StaH 731-8 (Zeitungsausschnittsammlung), A 754 (Bertha Dehn); Staatsarchiv Oldenburg, Verzeichnis Geborene u. Getaufte im Kirchspiel Langwarden/Oldenburg 1862 (Geburt 18.1., Taufe 23.2.); Adressbuch Hamburg 1910, 1913–1916, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1930, 1932, 1936; Humphreys: Reiseführer Tschechische & Slowakische Republik, S. 377, 378; Wulf: Theater, S. 18 (Hinkel); Wulf: Musik, S. 410–413 (Fragebogen); (eingesehen 18.7.2016).

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