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Porträt Emma Tarnowski
Emma Tarnowski, aufgenommen bei der Einwanderung nach Belgien 1938
© National Archive of Belgium, Foreigners’ Filenr. A305.307

Emma Tarnowski (née Glück) * 1907

Brahmsallee 11 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)


further stumbling stones in Brahmsallee 11:
Bertha Alexander, Hertha Coutinho, Rosa Müllner

Emma (Emmi) Tarnowski, née Glück, born on 20 June 1907 in Altona, arrested in Belgium on 10 Aug. 1943, deported on 20 Sept. 1943 to Auschwitz, murdered there

Brahmsallee 11

In Sept. 1905, Emma’s parents Bernhard (called "Berl”) (born in 1868 in Krakowen/Galicia) and Hilda Glück, née Mahler (born in 1878 in Hamburg), married in Hamburg. Bernhard Glück earned his living as a "business traveler.” Hilda had lived with her parents Moses Joseph and Cerline Mahler, née Schlesinger, at Gänsemarkt 12 in Hamburg until her marriage. Her older sister Jenny was born on 8 Feb. 1906 in Altona, then a Prussian city. The two girls were not the only children: Siegmund (born on 15 Aug. 1909), Paul (born on 19 Apr. 1911), the sisters Ruth (born on 22 Oct. 1913), and Edith (born on 20 Aug. 1915, died on 7 Oct. 1917), completed the Glück family.

They lived at Paulinenallee 18 in Altona. In 1915, the family moved to Parallelstrasse 13 (since 1950 "Eifflerstrasse” in the Sternschanze quarter) and found a new home.

As did probably her sisters Jenny and Ruth as well, Emma Glück attended the Israelite Girls’ Secondary School on Karolinenstrasse in Hamburg. Emma took an 18-month training course at the Staatliche Fröbelseminar located at Bundesstrasse 41, completing it with the successful examination to become a kindergarten teacher. Further professional stations are not known.

Her future husband, Bernhard Tarnowski (born on 31 July 1910 in Hannover), and six other siblings also came from a large Jewish family: His parents Joseph (born 1879 in Kszias/Lower Silesia) and Genia Tarnowski, née Weiszmann (born in 1878 in Olkusz, near Cracow, now the Lesser Poland Voivodship), had married very young in Olkusz at the end of Dec. 1898. With the children Abram Wolf (born on 25 Mar. 1900), Paula (born on 22 Apr. 1905), and Israel (born on 24 Nov. 1908), the family moved to Hannover in 1909. Bernhard, who will mainly be mentioned in the following, was born there as the fourth child. Only two months later, the family left Hannover to finally settle in Altona. There, three more siblings were born: David (on 16 May 1913), Regina (on 22 July 1914), and Benno (on 8 June 1920). Friedensstrasse 32 in Altona became the longstanding family address.

His father Joseph Tarnowski worked as a trader and later as a printer. The registration documents show that, for reasons unknown to us, he was imprisoned in the Altona court prison between Aug. 1923 and Feb. 1924. He left the Jewish Community on 30 Aug. 1925. As a reason, he indicated "moving to Danzig” (today Gdansk in Poland). Thus, he had separated from the family. The only thing known about his further fate is that he died on 30 June 1941 in the German-occupied city of Warsaw.

After graduating from Talmud Tora School in 1926, Bernhard began a commercial apprenticeship at the secondary raw materials wholesaler (Rohprodukten-Grosshandlung) Alfonso Hagedorn in Mattentwiete 10. He stayed there after completing his training and was given power of attorney in 1930. However, he wanted to prove his commercial skills in his own company and founded the "Haare- und Woll-Grosshandlung Bernhard Tarnowski,” a wholesaler in hair and wool at Schaarsteinwegsbrücke 2 on 1 Apr. 1932, at a time when he was still living with his mother at Friedenstrasse 32.

We do not know where and when he met Emma Glück. The two married on 9 June 1933 and moved into their first apartment together in Hamburg at Altonaer Strasse 68 on the third floor about three weeks later. They subsequently relocated to Kleiner Schäferkamp 33 and Fröbelstrasse 8 until they found suitable quarters on the second floor of Brahmsallee 11 in May 1936. The family, soon to be four, would feel at home there. Son Ralph was born on 26 May 1935, daughter Ruth on 3 June 1937.

At this time, measures against the Jewish population, especially against self-employed businesspeople, became more stringent. Bernhard Tarnowski’s industry, the secondary raw materials trade (in this case, the trade with wool), came into the focus of the Hamburg foreign currency office. According to historian Frank Bajohr, the supervisory board for wool forced some Jewish traders to sell their inventories at a fixed price on suspicion of exceeding prices. In response to these and other coercive measures, several traders fled abroad.

Bernhard Tarnowski also left the company in Hamburg and sought security for himself and his family in a foreign country. In Mar. 1938, Emma and Bernhard Tarnowski and their children left Brahmsallee 11 for Belgium, where they arrived on 15 Mar. 1938.

Emma’s father, Bernhard Glück, lived to see the birth of his two grandchildren and the emigration of his daughter Emma. He died in Apr. 1938, almost 70 years old, in Hamburg.

While preparing his emigration, Bernhard already found employment in Antwerp at Kleve & Warisch, formerly based in Hamburg, which had already moved its headquarters to Antwerp in 1935. He was able to stay in his area of work: He was given the task of setting up a department dedicated to "the trade in carcass hair, goat hair, and coarse wool.”

The family found a home and a livelihood in Antwerp until the German troops invaded France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in the 1940 western campaign. At the time of the attack on Belgium, about 90,000 Jews lived there, most of them in the four large cities of Antwerp, Brussels, Liège, and Charleroi. About 30,000 of them had come as refugees from the German Reich. After the invasion by German troops, thousands of Jews fled to France. In addition, about 8,000 Jews, mostly refugees from the German Reich, were hastily deported there.

Bernhard Tarnowski was arrested in Antwerp on 12 May 1940 and taken to prison in the city of Orleans in France. From there he was transferred for a short time to the prison in Montargis, a small town in the Departement Loiret, about 120 kilometers (nearly 75 miles) south of Paris. This was followed by a camp odyssey, the next stop being St. Cyprien. In this camp, near the southern French city of Perpignan, the people expelled to France by the military occupying force in Belgian were interned from May 1940 onward, mostly Germans who had fled from the Nazi regime to Belgium. Due to untenable conditions, the camp was closed in Oct. 1940 and those still interned there, mostly Jews, were deported to Camp de Gurs, as was Bernhard Tarnowski, who had to stay there until 11 July 1941. The camp was also characterized by catastrophic hygienic deficiencies; the prisoners received inadequate clothing and little food, which led to diseases and epidemics from which many inmates died. Bernhard Tarnowski’s last place of residence was a "camp” in Idron, as he himself described it, in the Departement Pyrénées-Atlantiques near Pau. This probably referred to Idron Castle (Maison de Retraite Idron), where camp inmates from Camp de Gurs could spend "convalescent leave” after illness. The convalescents were guarded, but in contrast to the everyday camp life at Camp de Gurs, they had bearable living conditions. From Idron, he managed to flee to Belgium in mid-Jan. 1942. The exact circumstances are not known.

In Brussels, where Emma and the children had moved in the meantime, the family finally reunited after 18 months of the ordeal in prison and camp experienced by their father and husband. Presumably, they had been able to maintain contact by letter during this time.

Later, Bernhard Tarnowski described how the measures of persecution of the Jews by the German occupying forces intensified in June 1942. For example, thousands of Jewish men and women were forced to work for the "Todt Organziation.” The "Todt Organization” was used to build, among other things, the fortified barrier along the German-French border, the so-called Siegfried Line (Westwall).

From July 1942 onward, Belgium was allocated the first deportation quotas, and a transit camp, Dossin Kazerne, a military barracks, was set up in Mechelen (Malines).

An additional stigma for the Jews was the requirement to wear a "Jews’ star” ("Judenstern”) in public. That is why Emma and Bernhard Tarnowski decided with a heavy heart to put the seven and five year old children up in safety with "Belgian people.”

On 4 Aug. 1942, the deportations began, during which almost 6,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz in six transports in Aug. 1942 alone.

Emma and Bernhard Tarnowski initially evaded this by living underground. Apparently, they had a network in Brussels that allowed them to hide undetected in different places for about 12 months. They lived in basements, garages, and attics, always one step ahead of the Gestapo’s henchmen.

10 Aug. 1943 became Emma Tarnowski’s fateful day: She had to leave the hiding place for a short time to get food, was discovered and arrested in the open street. On the same day, the Gestapo took her to the Dossin Kazerne transit camp in Mechelen, where she was registered as prisoner number 165.

On 20 Sept. 1943, she left Mechelen on the deportation train with over 1,400 other Jews in the direction of Auschwitz, where the train arrived on 22 Sept. 1943. The day she was murdered is not documented. She only reached the age of 36.

At that point, Bernhard Tarnowski was on his own. He succeeded in hiding so that he experienced the liberation of Belgium by the Allied troops on 3 Sept. 1944. After the war, he stayed in Brussels and worked as an interpreter for the British military authority. Later he became self-employed again as "administrateur délégué,” i.e., managing director of his own company "Im- und Export von Tierhaaren,” exporting and importing animal hair. Bernhard Tarnowski died in Brussels in 1987. The children Ralph and Ruth also survived. We have no information about their subsequent lives. All we know is that they were still registered with their father in Brussels at the end of the 1950s.

Bernhard Tarnowski and the children not only had to mourn the loss of the wife and mother. Nine other members of the Glück and Tarnowski families did not survive the Holocaust either. The rest of the family has been scattered all over the world.

This is what we know about Emma Tarnowski’s siblings Jenny, Siegmund, Paul, and Ruth:
Unmarried Jenny Glück (born on 8 Feb. 1906) had worked as an office clerk in Hamburg and lived at Schäferkampsallee 61 with Behr. She was deported to the German-Polish border in Bentschen/Zbaszyn on 28 Oct.1938 in connection with the "expulsion of Polish Jews” ("Polen-Aktion”). On the German-Polish border, the displaced persons were living under inhuman conditions in a makeshift camp. After its dissolution in the summer of 1939, Jenny returned to Hamburg, fled from there to Britain and in Dec. 1947 to the USA. In 1953, she was granted American citizenship. Jenny Glück died in New Jersey, USA, on 11 July 1997.
The family of Siegmund (born on 15 Aug. 1909), his wife Hildegard, née Oppenheim (born on 26 Mar. 1912), and son Bernhard Glück (born on 5 Aug. 1938) were torn apart: Mother and son received the deportation order from Hamburg to the Lodz Ghetto for 25 Oct. 1941 and they were murdered in gas vans at the Chelmno extermination site on 12 May 1942. Siegmund Glück was deported to the Fuhlsbüttel and Sachsenhausen concentration camps in 1939/1940 and deported to Auschwitz in Dec. 1942. His murder there is documented for 10 Dec. 1942. Five Stolpersteine were laid on Rutschbahn in memory of the family and a detailed biography was researched (see
Paul Glück (born on 19 Apr. 1911) worked as a commercial clerk at "Drogengrosshandlung A. Auerbach,” a wholesale drugstore. On 7 June 1934, he married Lina Treisser (born on 16 Jan. 1911). Their son Edgar was born on 14 June 1936. The family may have been able to leave for New York, USA, shortly before the "Polen-Aktion.” Paul Glück died in the USA in Sept. 1982.
Ruth Glück (born on 20 Oct. 1914) remained single like her older sister and lived together with her in Hamburg at Schäferkampsallee 61 as subtenants of Behr. From 1932 until she was deported to the Polish border as part of the "Polen-Aktion” 28 Oct. 1938, she worked for the Weill und Reineke Company as a technical employee. In July 1939, she was able to return to Hamburg. Holding a visa as a domestic worker, she managed to leave for Britain in Aug. 1939, where she earned her living as a domestic servant and waitress in a hotel until her emigration to the USA in Mar. 1947. She also worked as a chambermaid in various hotels in the USA. On 4 Nov. 1989, she died in New Jersey and was buried in the same cemetery as her sister Jenny.
Hilda Glück, Emma Tarnowski’s mother (born on 22 Jan. 1878), remained in Hamburg for the time being after the death of her husband Bernhard at Rutschbahn 22, from where she was deported to Bentschen/Zbaszyn like her children Jenny, Siegmund, and Ruth on 28 Oct. 1938 in the so-called "Polen-Aktion.” She was able to return to Hamburg in the spring of 1939, emigrate to Belgium in May 1939, and live there – at least temporarily – together with her daughter and grandchildren. She suffered the same fate as her daughter Emma did later: On 29 July 1943, she was arrested and interned as prisoner number 1,042 in the Dossin barracks. Two days later, on 31 July 1943, she was deported to Auschwitz together with over 1,500 other victims. She was probably killed immediately.

There are also some traces of the large Tarnowski family:
Abram Wolt Tarnowski (born on 25 Mar. 1900) left Altona in May 1929, moved to Hannover, and obviously emigrated to Palestine at a time unknown to us. A reference to his residence in Tel Aviv, Israel, was found in a file memo from 1961.
Paula Tarnowski (born on 22 Apr. 1905) married Szaja Tarnowski on 3 May 1927, with whom she lived in Altona until Oct. 1928, then moving to Danzig (today Gdansk in Poland) according to the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card. Emigration to the USA (via Riga) in Oct. 1934 is documented for Szaja. He lived under the new name of Sidney Turner in Los Angeles, among other places. As with her brother Abraham, in the case of Paula Tarnowski there is a clue to a residence in Tel Aviv, Israel, dating from 1961.
Israel Tarnowski (born on 24 Nov. 1908) was still unmarried when he moved away on 4 October 1933, to an "unknown destination,” as it was indicated. Until then he lived in Altona at Friedenstrasse 32 with his mother. He is said to have died in Cracow on 20 Feb. 1934.
David Tarnowski (born on 16 May 1913) married Gerda, née Löwenstein (born on 6 Oct. 1916), on 16 Sept. 1938 in Hamburg. Apparently, they wanted to emigrate to Panama in May/June 1939, but that did not happen. Instead, they went to Italy, were arrested there, and deported to the Drancy concentration camp (in southern France) on 21 Nov. 1943. They were deported to the Auschwitz extermination camp on 7 Dec. 1943. David’s date of death is 25 Mar. 1944, while Gerda’s date of death is uncertain.
Regina Tarnowski (born on 22 July 1914) worked as a dental assistant for the Jewish dentist Rudolf Möller on Jungfernstieg in Hamburg. On 27 Feb. 1938, she married Ludwig Segelbaum (born on 25 Nov. 1904) in Hamburg. He was arrested during the November Pogrom of 1938, deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, and released after the coerced promise of emigrating in the near future. The Segelbaum couple emigrated to Britain on 30 Jan. 1939, where their first son Charles was born in Mar. 1939. Ludwig Segelbaum was interned in Britain from Apr. 1940 to Apr. 1941, since as a German he was considered an "enemy alien” after the start of the war in Sept. 1939, even though he had fled the Nazi regime. Like him, up to 30,000 refugees were temporarily interned.
In Apr. 1942, the second son David was born. Ludwig Segelbaum died in Mar. 1944 at the age of 39. His widow Regina Segelbaum married the Englishman Martin Chrysler two years later.
Benno Tarnowski (born on 8 June 1920) lived at Friedenstrasse 32 in Altona until his deportation as part of the "Polen-Aktion” on 28 Oct.1938, and the documents of the registration authority in Altona had him on file as already residing in Altona again starting on 5 Dec. 1938. Concerning his further fate it is known that he was interned in the Czestochowa Ghetto, having to work from there as a Jewish forced laborer for HASAG in the "Pelcery” plant starting in June 1943. The "HASAG,” Metallwarenfabrik Hugo Schneider AG, was an industrial group that also produced ammunitions. Factories in Germany and Poland used forced laborers interned in camps. In Poland alone, about 15,000 prisoners were employed. As the Red Army approached, the camps and plants were dissolved and the prisoners were deported to the German Reich. In mid-Jan. 1945 Benno Tarnowski arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp and was sent from there on one of the death marches to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He did not survive that. The exact date of his death is unknown.
Genia Tarnowski, née Weiszmann (born on 18 Aug. 1877), the mother of the Tarnowski siblings, fled to Antwerp, where she arrived on 28 Apr. 1939. Her last address in Hamburg was Sonninstrasse 12 in Altona (Salomon Joseph and Marianna Hertz-Stiftung, a charitable foundation). At the end of Jan. 1941, she moved from Antwerp to Brussels and from June 1941 onward, she lived in Schaerbeek, a town in the Brussels metropolitan region. She survived the persecution of the Jews in Belgium and emigrated, like her daughter Regina, to Britain, where she died in London on 4 Nov. 1956.
The Stolperstein in front of the house at Brahmsallee 11 commemorates Emma Tarnowski, and other Stolpersteine have already been laid or planned, respectively, to commemorate all of the family members murdered.

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

Stand: September 2019
© Christina Igla

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 6; 8, StaH 131-1 II Senatskanzlei II, (Korrespondenz mit ehemaligen jüdischen Hamburger Bürgern) 3703; 231-7 Amtsgericht Hamburg - Handels- und Genossenschaftsregister, A 1 Bd. 70, Handelsregister A, Nr. 17050), 332-5 Personenstandsunterlagen 3042 617/1905 (Heiratsurkunde der Eltern Glück), Altona 2213 (Sterbedatum Edith Glück); 332-8 Meldewesen "Preussenkartei" Altona, Filme Nr. K4433 und K4566; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 3780 Hilda Glück, 10793 Jenny Taeger, 32359 Bernhard Tarnowski, 32360 Genia Tarnowski, 40091 Ruth Glück; 424-11 7458 Aufgebot zur Todeserklärung Joseph Tarnowski; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde 391 (Gemeindemitgliedschaft 1935–1936), Kultussteuerkartei-Filme A21, A31 und A33, Hamburger Adressbuch-online, www.findagrave (Zugriff am 10.3.2015), (Zugriff am 9.3.2015); Arolsen, Archiv-Nr.: 3636, am 22.2.2015, (Zugriff 9.3.2015); Landeshauptstadt Hannover, Fachbereich Öffentliche Ordnung, schriftliche Auskunft Herr Jung v. 26.2.2015; Kazerne Dossin, Auskunft v. 4.3.2015 v. Janiv Stamberger; Auskunft v. Belgisches Staatsarchiv, Filip Strubbe, v. 8.3. u. 15.3.2016; Meyer (Hg.), Verfolgung, S. 25; Bajohr, "Arisierung", S. 195; Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Hg.), Heimat, S. 84; Hilberg, Vernichtung, S. 631–641.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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