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Martha Hess (née Rosskamm) * 1877
Brahmsallee 6 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
1942 Chelmno ermordet
Siegfried Hess, b. 4.30.1869 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz ghetto, deported again on 5.7.1942 to the Chelmno extermination camp
Martha Hess, née Rosskamm, widowed by Silberberg, b. 11.30.1877 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz ghetto, deported again on 5.7.1942 to the Chelmno extermination camp
Martha Hess, was born on 11.30.1877 at Kielerstrasse 8, in the Hamburg suburb of St. Pauli, the youngest of three children of Rosalie, née van Son, and Sally Rosskamm. Preceding Martha were Carl (b. 1.9.1875) and Henriette (b. 8.15.1876) in Hamburg. Her father was the co-owner of a banking and currency exchange business in the Hamburg New City.
Martha was 19 years old when, on 18 June 1897, she married the businessman Moritz Silberberg (b. 7.31.1875 in Felsberg/Melsungen). The couple moved into the newly created Rappstrasse, house number 12, in the bourgeois quarter of Rotherbaum.
It was there on 5.6.1898 that their son Kurt, the first of three children, was born; he was followed by Edwin (b. 4.25.1901) and Hellmuth (b. 11.26.1904). From 1911, the Hamburg directory listed the Silberberg family at Brahmsallee 18, 2nd floor, along with Martha’s mother, Rosalie Rosskamm, who was widowed in 1901, and her bachelor brother Carl Rosskamm. The latter always lived, except for a several month stay in London, in his parents’ household.
The familial community at Brahmsallee 18 lasted only a few years. Rosalie Rosskamm died, at 64, on 7 November 1918; her son Carl was only 45 when he followed her on 29 February 1920. The Silberberg couple lived at Brahmsallee 18 until the end of the 1920s, then moved to Parkallee 3, and from there to Eppendorfer Weg 187 in 1933.
Their three sons had meanwhile married and lived for a while longer in the neighborhood. Martha’s sister Henriette had already left Hamburg in May of 1900 and, after her marriage to Leopold Jastrow, lived in Berlin, where she died in 1939.
Moritz Silberberg was taken to the Israelite Hospital on 27 January 1934 and died there on 31 January 1934, the result of a stroke. Martha was now a widow, but she knew her family was around her.
Her oldest son Kurt attended the Modern High School at the Holstentor (today the Albrecht-Thaer-Preparatory School). He was a participant in the First World War in 1917 and 1918 as a member of the 1st Company of the Replacement Battalion of the Home Guard, Regiment no. 75, stationed in Hamburg. Afterwards, Kurt worked in various positions in advertising and as a bookkeeper. In the last half of the 1920s, he was journalistically active and wrote philaletical specialist articles and also published in the Hamburger 8 Uhr Abendblatt [the Hamburg 8 o’clock Evening Paper].
On 31 May1929, he married Lizzi Lichtenhayn (b. 2.13.1902 in Hamburg). The couple lived at Brahmsallee 18. In 1935, Kurt worked at a chemical building materials firm [Chemische Baustoffe, L.L.C.] at Jarrestrasse 26. The progressive disenfranchisement and humiliation of the Jewish population unnerved the couple. Kurt’s brother, Edwin, reported later that he, Kurt, was threatened with arrest following the November Pogrom of 1938. In order to avoid this, he hid his brother. Kurt resigned his work position and fled in January 1939, along with his wife Lizzi, to Amsterdam, then traveled via France and Italy to Shanghai, which they reached by ship. Following the November Pogrom, Shanghai, from 1938 to 1941, developed into the haven of last resort for refugees from the Third Reich. Made state-less by their flight, the Silberberg couple lived in poor circumstances in Shanghai.
Martha Hess‘ son, Edwin, married the Altona-born Lizzy Heynemann (2.28.1901). They had a son, Karl Heinz (b. 7.24.1925 in Hamburg). His fate and that of his wife and son have been described in the volume, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel. Biographische Spurensuche [Commemorative Stones in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel. The Search for Biographical Traces]. They were, on 25 October 1941, deported to the Lodz [Litzmannstadt] ghetto and on 12 May 1942 to the nearby Chelmno [Kulmhof] extermination camp where they were murdered.
Martha Hess’ youngest son, Hellmuth, also attended the Modern High School at the Holstentor and for a year thereafter the Rackow Business School for further education and training. He apprenticed as a merchant banker with the Max Daniel Business Bank (see biographical entry for Max and Wally Daniel, Hallerstrasse 6), where he remained until the end of 1926. His next professional station was a position with the Mortgage Bank of Hamburg, until receiving his dismissal "on racial grounds” at the end of September 1938. As a result of the Pogrom of 9 November 1938, Hellmuth was arrested and dragged off to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, from which he was released on 31 December 1938. The imprisonment was intended to place Jews in the company of criminals, humiliate them, and force them to leave Germany as soon as possible. Hellmuth succeeded in fleeing to the USA by way of Great Britain in April 1939.
After the last of her sons had left the German Reich, with the emigration to Uruguay of Edwin and his son Karl-Heinz, Martha remained behind in Hamburg, as did her daughter in law Lizzy.
Martha moved into the mezzanine floor of Woldsenweg 3, with the von Halle family, then to Hansastrasse 57, 2nd floor, in the Bundheim residence, and from there on 1 February 1940 to Brahmsallee 6, second floor, with the Hoffmann family. A month later, on 1 April 1940, Siegfried Hess (b. 4.30.1869 in Hamburg) followed her; he, too, had formerly lived at Hansastrasse 57. Martha Silberberg, née Rosskamm, and Siegfried Hess married on 9 July 1940. For the groom, it was his first marriage.
Siegfried Hess’ parents were Wolff, whose profession was given as "independent small businessman,” and Jette Hess, née Wiener. The two had married in June 1865. At Siegfried’s birth they lived at Neuen Steinweg 76 (Neustadt). Nothing is known of Siegfried’s childhood and youth. From the Hamburg directory of 1918, it can be known that he was co-owner of the banking business A. Lewandowsky, which had its headquarters at Brandstwiete 2–4. He was already working in this banking house since 1892 as its authorized representative. In 1921, the firm was converted into a limited partnership; Siegfried Hess was the solely liable partner.
By 1935, the firm was in "silent liquidation” and was dissolved on 21 October 1937. Siegfried lived from an annuity which he held from the Barmer Officials’ Association. His private residence for many years (1902–1910) had been at Grindelberg 76 and at Isestrasse 31 (from 1911 to 1933). Later, he moved frequently, as was often the case for Jewish renters under the National Socialist regime. Perhaps, Siegfried and Martha Hess had already become acquainted at Woldsenweg 3, where both were living at the date of the national census of 17 May 1939.
A basis for the marriage, aside from personal attachment, may have been the common wish to emigrate. On Siegfried Hess’ communal religion tax record an official of the Jewish Congregation made reference to: "Shanghai Oct. 40.” Martha’s son Kurt and his wife Lizzy had emigrated there the year before. Nevertheless, for reasons unknown, Marth and Siegfried Hess did not implement the plan. They were not granted much time, and in addition had once more to change addresses. From September 1940, they were sub-lessees of Brummer at Schlüterstrasse 63, fifth floor.
In 1941, the first deportation of Jews in Hamburg was being prepared by the Gestapo. On 25 October 1941, the transport left the city from the Hannover Railroad Station. 1024 people arrived in the "Litzmannstadt” ghetto that the Germans had established in the city of Lodz. Among them were Martha and Siegfried Hess and Martha’s daughter-in-law, Lizzy Silberberg.
Even in the ghetto, they went on their last way together: the family members lived only a short time at the address Müllerstrasse 4/42 (today Chopina Fryderyka). On 7 May 1942, Siegfried and Martha Hess were sent on a transport to the 37-mile distant Chelmno extermination camp and presumably murdered in mobile gas trucks on the same day. Lizzy Silberberg shared the same fate on 12 May 1942.
Lizzy Silberberg is commemorated by a stone at Schulterblatt 134, Martha and Siegfried Hess, with one in front of the house at Brahmsallee 6.
Edwin Silberberg and his son survived in Uruguay.
Helmuth Silberberg was able to start a new life in the USA. He died on 1 November 1986 at 81 years of age.
In March 1947, with the support of the Jewish American aid organization, the ”JOINT,” Kurt and Lizzy Silberberg succeeded in leaving Shanghai for the USA, where they took American citizenship in 1952. Kurt and Lizzy Silberberg became Curtis and Lissie Silbey. Curtis Silbey died on 9 December 1955. His widow remarried.
The Brummer family, with whom Martha and Siegfried Hess shared a flat for a year at Schlüterstrasse 63, were likewise deported to the Lodz ghetto and murdered. Five commemorative stones in front of the house at Schlüterstrasse 63 remember them.
Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: September 2019
© Christina Igla
Quellen: 1; StaH 231-7_Handelsregister_ B1995-124 (Bankhaus Lewandowski); 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident_R1939-2380; _ FVg 8194; 332-03_Zivilstandsamt_B36/2187;332-5 Personenstandsregister 1914/5588/1877 (Geburtsurkunde Martha Rosskamm), 8602/233/1900 (Heiratsurkunde Henriette Rosskamm), 8584/295/1897 (Heiratsurkunde Martha R. + Moses Silberberg), _024/55/1934 (Sterbeurkunde Moritz Silberberg); 332-8 Melderegister "Toten- und Verzogenenkartei", Film Nr. 6831, Hausmeldekartei Filme Nr. 2358, 2370 (Woldensweg), 2427, 2440 (Brahmsallee), 2443 (Hansastraße); 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung _20531,-28980,-3659;352-5_1934 StaAmt2a Nr. 55 Todesbescheinigung Moses Silberberg; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde _Deportationslisten 992e2-1; Hamburger Adressbuch-online- Zugriffe am 6.9.2015, http://www.albrecht-thaer-gymnasium.de (Zugriff am 6.9.2015), www.death-records.mooseroots.com/d/n/Howard-Silbey (Zugriff 5.9.2015), www.tracingthepast.org (Zugriff am 6.9.2015), www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de (Biographie für Lizzi Silberberg, geschrieben von Susanne Lohmeyer), Zugriff am 11.9.2015; Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Hrsg.), Heimat, S. 123; Archiv Lodz, Unterlagen aus dem Getto Lodz, zu Martha und Siegfried Hess.
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