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Clara Jaffé (née Simon) * 1877

Brahmsallee 14 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

1941 Riga

further stumbling stones in Brahmsallee 14:
Julius van Cleef

Clara Jaffé, née Simon, b. 9.15.1877 in Friedrichstadt, deported to Riga on 12.6.1941

Brahmsallee 14

Clara Jaffé’s path through life is visible only in a few places. She spent her childhood until the age of twelve in Friedrichstadt, the second child of her parents, the tradesman Simon Levy Simon and her mother Sara, née Levy. Clara’s sister, Hindelchen, called Jenny, was four years older; after Clara there followed in two year intervals, Israel in 1879 and Regine in 1881. The children attended the Jewish School, which since 1871 consisted of only a single combined class and which was soon disbanded. Jews moved out of Friedrichstadt and the other small country towns of Schleswig-Holstein to places where better working conditions were to be found. After paying "foreigners’ school fees,” Clara’s younger siblings attended the Lutheran Communal School. In 1889, the Simon family followed the general trend and left Friedrichstadt, in order to, at first, settle in Burg in the District of Dithmarschen, where traces of them end.

Only much later, Clara Simon surfaced in Hamburg. There is no information about where and how she lived in the interim. At 37 years of age, she married the Altona widower Abraham Jacob Jaffé in Hamburg and moved with him on 13 March 1914 to Roonstrasse 14, 3rd floor.

The history of Abraham Jacob Jaffé provides more entry points than that of his second wife Clara. Abraham’s father, Jacob Jaffé, worked in Hamburg as a cigar dealer; his mother Rachel came from Halberstadt. His parents’ first child, Abraham was born on 8.2.1867. Ten years later there followed a daughter and after that a second son, who died early, however. Like his father, Abraham Jacob became a businessman. In 1903,he married the three-year younger Henriette Friedländer from Stade. Only in 1909 did the couple have their first son; he died two days after his birth, without a name. In the next year, Henriette bore a healthy son, who received the name Johnny Joel. A month later, Henriette died of childbed fever. Who would take care of the infant? Perhaps, there was a grandmother who was in the position to take him. Abraham Jacob could not decide upon an immediate new marriage. How he met Clara Simon, we do not know. They married in 1914. The 47-year old Abraham Jacob did not take part in the world war, although he possessed a certificate as a reserve soldier trained in the bearing of arms. He was dealt death in a different way. He died in 1916 in Davos, presumably of tuberculosis.

After only two years of marriage, Clara Jaffé, back with her six-year old stepson Johnny, had to care for and educate him and provide for his occupational training. Occasionally, as an adult he lived with her at Klosterallee 24. At this address, Clara Jaffé earned her livelihood by renting out rooms, as she did also after having moved to Brahmsallee 14. Certainly, she participated in Johnny’s changing occupational plans, which led by circuitous routes to work as a cemetery gardener in Blankenese, and to the establishment of a family of his own. On 3 March 1940, Johnny Jaffé married the baptized "full Jewess," Anneliese Röss, who brought a daughter, born in 1938, into the marriage. A second daughter, Tirza, was born on 10.31.1941. Five weeks later Clara Jaffé was deported in a mass transport to Riga. Because the ghetto in the city did not have enough space, thousands of the newly arrived were driven to the totally dilapidated "Jungfernhof” estate outside the city. They were housed in old cattle stalls and barns in ways that made a mockery of all human dignity. Clara did not know that the entire family of her stepson John, even the healthy baby, was transported from Hamburg to Auschwitz on 11 July 1942 and sent to be gassed. When and how Clara Jaffé met her death, we do not know.

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

Stand: September 2019
© Inge Grolle

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; StaH 332-8 K6300; Heirats- und Sterberegister Alt Hamburg; Archiv Friedrichstadt, Auskunft durch Christiane Thomsen vom 1.11.2012; Anfrage beim Amt Burg St. Michaelisdonn und beim Amt Dithmarschen ohne Ergebnis; Lohmeyer, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, Bd. 1, A-L, S. 317–319; Goldberg, Abseits, S. 174–182.
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