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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Bertha Hirsch * 1902

Grindelhof 30 (TTS) (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

1943 Theresienstadt
1944 Auschwitz ermordet


further stumbling stones in Grindelhof 30 (TTS):
Dr. Walter Bacher, Emil Emanuel Badrian, Asriel Brager, Ilse Brager, Sally Brager, Dr. Joseph Carlebach, Dr. Hermann Freudenberger, Josua Falk Friedlaender, Julius Hamburger, Walter Nathan Herz, Leopold Hirsch, Dr. Alberto Jonas, Benno Kesstecher, Heinz Leidersdorf, Richard Levi, Emil Nachum, Mathias Stein, Artur Toczek

Ernestine Hirsch, née Weiss, b. 10.23.1869 in Tyrnau, deported to Theresienstadt on 5.5.1943, died there on 10.7.1943
Bertha Hirsch, b. 7.4.1902 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 5.5.1943, deported again to Auschwitz, murdered on 10.28.1944

Grindelhof 100

Ernestine Weiss was born in Hungary in Tyrnau, which at her birth belonged to Hungary. (Today it is called Trnava and lies in Slovakia.) Ernestine was the oldest of three children born to Rabbi Heinrich Weiss (1843-1904) and his first wife Charlotte, née Abeles, who died on 1 June 1874. Heinrich Weiss’ second marriage on 20 January 1875 was to the rabbi’s daughter, Karoline Deutsch (1843-1917). In this marriage, eight children were born before 1888, of which four died in childhood. The family resettled in Hamburg in January 1878. In 1879, Heinrich Weiss became the rabbi of the D. S. Wallich Klaus (synagogue), which had been erected in 1798 with funds from the will of the deceased banker and jewelry dealer Daniel Salomon Wallich, who died in 1789. The Klaus was situated at 1 Elbstrasse 2-5, later Elbstrasse 10, in the New City, where the Weiss family also lived.

Karoline Weiss was for that time quite an emancipated woman, who made a name for herself as a writer. In Franz Brümmer’s 1913 Lexikon of German Poetic and Prose Writers from the Beginning of the 19th Century to the Present, Karoline’s career path is described: "in the year 1870, she came to Berlin to further her education and worked here at the same time for the ‘Volkszeitung.’ After her marriage, she worked as a writer, even as her host of children grew larger. Under her maiden name, Karoline Deutsch, there appeared in 1883 the serialized novel, The Judge of the High Bench, in the daily Hamburger Nachrichten.” She published two novels and several tales in book form. The obituary for Heinrich Weiss in the Neue Hamburger Zeitung of 9 September 1904 mentioned him first as the "husband of the famous writer, Karoline Deutsch,” before he himself was commended as the administrative rabbi at the "Wallich Klausinstitut,” who had held this post for 25 years and who "enjoyed great respect and esteem in congregational circles.”

Possibly, Ernestine was inspired by her stepmother to follow an unusual route by taking up a profession that was rarely practiced by women at the time. She became a dentist, or as she described it initially, a "dental artist.” She completed her training over two semesters in Vienna with Julius Scheff at the Imperial-Royal Dental Clinic of the University of Vienna. In 1895, she advertised in the Hamburger Nachrichten: "Atelier for cosmetic dentistry, fillings, tooth extractions, etc. for women and children--Ernestine Weiss,…Consultations from 9 to 4 o’clock, those without means, from 4-5 o’clock--Grindelallee 140 II.” That she only treated women and children was probably owed to contemporary ideas of propriety.

Ernestine did not give up her practice when she married the physician Max Hirsch (1867-1928) in 1901; since 1898, he practiced as "a general PR actioner, surgeon, and obstetrician,” at first on Schlüterstrasse, later on Grindelallee. In the Hamburg directory, even after their marriage, Ernestine and Max Hirsch maintained separate entries, even though they were at the same address.

Max Hirsch was the son of the Jewish businessman Julius Hirsch (1823-1906) and his wife Bertha, née Meyer (1825-1893). Max and Ernestine’s only child, born 4 July 1902, was named after her mother, Bertha. For many years the couple lived and practiced together at Grindelallee 37. Max Hirsch died there on 12 December 1928 and was buried at the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery.

Bertha’s daughter remained single. She also took up a profession and was the school secretary at the Talmud Torah School. In April 1939, she went through the amalgamation of the school with the Israelite Girls School in the building on Grindelhof and then in September the forced move of all pupils into the building of the Israelite Girls School at Karolinenstrasse 35. She worked as the last secretary until the closing of the school in May 1942.

From 1934 to 1937, Ernestine and Bertha lived together at Grindelallee 100, afterwards at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 28. At the end, they had to move to the "Jew house” at Beneckestrasse 2. They were deported from there to Theresienstadt on 5 May 1943.

On 6 July 1943, the household that Ernestine and Bertha had to leave behind was auctioned off "voluntarily” in the court bailiff’s hall at Drehbahn 36. The list of the sold portion consisted of 53 items. The most precious item was a three-doored armoire with mirror at RM 250, a kitchen cupboard at RM 130, a couch at RM 120, and a 58-piece set of dishes that sold for RM 120. The auction yielded RM 1,516, which after a deduction of fees, amounted to RM 1,421.95 which was transferred to the postal check transfer account of the Higher Finance Treasury.

Ernestine died in Theresienstadt on 7 October 1943. The more resilient Bertha was deported from there to Auschwitz on 28 October 1944 and there murdered.

Two of Ernestine’s siblings were also victims of the Shoah. Her sister Irma, b. 4 January 1878 in Hamburg, was, in October 1941, together with her husband, Hillel Chassel, deported to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto and died there on 30 June 1943. The commemorative stones for Irma and Hillel Schassel lie at Isestrasse 69 (see "Stolpersteine in der Hamburger Isestraße" und

Ernestine’s brother Elias Edwin, born on 5 August 1882 in Hamburg, had been committed to the Langenhorn psychiatric hospital after a "severe nervous breakdown.” In April 1941, he was taken to the Jacoby Mental Hospital in Bendorf-Sayn near Koblenz. From 1940 until the summer of 1941, on orders of the Reich Ministry of the Interior and in the wake of "euthanasia measures,” Jewish patients in mental institutions from all over Germany were collected at Bendorf-Sayn and, in 1942, together with other Jews in the Koblenz area, were shipped off to the General Gouvernment of Poland and murdered. Elias Edwin Weiss was taken out of Bendorf-Sayn via the "transit camp” Izbica to the Belzec extermination camp and murdered. The commemorative stone for Elias Edwin Weiss lies at Münxplatz 11 (see "Stolpersteine in Hamburg-St. Georg" and

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

© Petra Schmolinske

Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 5; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8610 u. 464/1901, 8094 u. 606/1928, 536 u. 1226/1904, 770 u. 294/1917, 84 u. 1476/1880, 162 u. 5082/1884, 242 u. 621/1888, 273 u.3177/1890, 7880 u. 2247/1893, 7985 u. 51/1906; Hamburger Adressbücher; Friedhof Ohlsdorf Bestattungsregister; StaH 214-1 Gerichtsvollzieherwesen 354; StaH 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht BIII 70446; Kirchner: Geschichte; Brümmer: Lexikon; Hamburger Nachrichten, 26.7.1896, online: (letzter Aufruf: 4.6.2016); Neue Hamburger Zeitung 9.9.1904, online: (letzter Aufruf: 4.6.2016); Hamburger Nachrichten 30.3.–21.4.1883, online: (letzter Aufruf: 4.6.2016); Stein: Jüdische Baudenkmäler; Preuß: Gelehrte Juden; Schabow: Die Israelitische Heil- und Pflegeanstalt, S. 55–95; Liste der am 15.6.1942 aus der Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Bendorf-Sayn ausgesiedelten Juden, in: Dokumente des Gedenkens, Koblenz 1974, S. 274–280.
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