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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Marie Kahn (née Helbing) * 1865

Hudtwalckerstraße 27 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

1943 Theresienstadt
ermordet 27.03.1943

further stumbling stones in Hudtwalckerstraße 27:
Eva Kahn, Ruth Kahn, Ingrid Kahn

Marie Kahn, née Helbing, born on 16 Oct. 1865 in Fürth, deported on 24 Feb. 1943 to Theresienstadt, died on 27 Mar. 1943 in Theresienstadt
Eva Kahn, née Lipschitz, born on 2 Feb. 1895 in Lodz, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk, missing
Ruth Kahn, born on 17 Mar. 1922 in Hamburg, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk,
Ingrid Kahn, born on 28 July 1924 in Hamburg, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk,

"As I came home just then – I had done sewing work at the Kahns,’ friends of mine, for three hours – I heard the news. They were forced to depart, my old piano teacher, her daughter-in-law, and the two sweet girls aged 17 and 19 years. Yesterday I was there three times. I brought my old piano teacher a warm blouse of mine, made of one of Aunt Julie’s jackets, and a warm skirt. I parted from these pieces only reluctantly but what was I to do, she has nothing warm.” These lines were written by Regina van Son to her nephew in Scheveningen on 7 Nov. 1941.

The "old piano teacher,” Marie Kahn, had been married to Ludwig Kahn, owner of Ludwig Kahn Agenturen und Kommissionen (agencies and commissions). They had one son, James Friedrich, born on 1 Sept. 1888. Ludwig Kahn died in 1910, and his son James Friedrich continued to manage the company. During the war from 1914 until 1918, he was "in the field,” as the documentation of the Jewish Community reveals. No further details are known concerning his rank and operational area. From 1919, his address was Hudtwalckerstrasse 27, also the residence of his mother, for whom he provided. She probably contributed to her living expenses by giving piano lessons.

Eva Kahn was born as the daughter of Siegmund and Anna Lipschitz in Lodz on 2 Feb. 1895. We do not know when she and James Friedrich Kahn were married. Their daughter Ruth was born in 1922 and her sister Ingrid followed in 1924. The latter attended the Jewish girls’ school on Karolinenstrasse and after its closure, the Talmud Tora School on Grindelhof. From 1936 until 1939, she was friends with Steffi Hammerschlag (later: Wittenberg). As she recalled her schoolmate in Mar. 2008, Eva Kahn was small and skinny, drew very well, and had very beautiful handwriting.

The entries in the Hamburg phone directory reveal that from 1919 until 1926, James Friedrich Kahn was the owner of the Ludwig Kahn Company. From 1927 until 1931, he did business as an "agency for travel abroad.” From 1932 onward, the residential and company premises were located in Barmbek at Hellbrookstrasse 55. Between 1933 and 1935, the Kahns were not listed in the phone directory, and from 1936 until 1938, the entry read "travel agent for foreign countries Scandinavia and Finland,” with the address listed being Hellbrookstrasse 55. After that, the entries in the phone directory end. Starting in 1938, Marie Kahn lived with her son and his family at Hellbrookstrasse 55.

In 1939, Eva Kahn informed the Jewish Community that her husband had departed for France. After the November Pogrom of 1938, reported the contemporary witness Steffi Wittenberg, Jewish families perceived their male members to be in very serious danger. Therefore, many men went abroad in 1938/1939 (see also biography on Otto Hammerschlag) in order to protect themselves and to initiate the emigration of the rest of their family. People assumed that women and children were not in acute danger. Whether James Friedrich Kahn attempted to arrange for his mother, wife, and daughters to follow and join him or why this failed is not known, nor is his own fate. His name is not listed in the Memorial Books. Eva Kahn’s Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card contains entries – in reference to her husband – saying "in France” and "interned in 1939.” In the 1941 Hamburg directory, one can still find the entry "J. F. Kahn i/Fa. Ludwig Kahn [in the Ludwig Kahn Company] Hellbrookstr. 55.”

Whether Eva Kahn, along with her daughters and her mother-in-law, was forced to give up the apartment at Hellbrookstrasse 55 in 1940 or 1941 remains unclear. The deportation order reached them in 1941 in the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Rutschbahn 15.

In contrast to what Regina van Son, who was cited at the outset, assumed, Marie Kahn was spared the deportation on 8 Nov. 1941. Her daughter-in-law and the grandchildren were deported to Minsk that day. It is not known how they fared there or when they perished. Steffi Wittenberg remembered that Ruth Kahn had been very ill, suffering from tuberculosis. At the end of the war, the mother and daughters were considered "missing.”

Marie Kahn remained by herself in Hamburg for the time being. Her last addresses were the so-called "Jews’ houses” at Rutschbahn 15, Sedanstrasse 23, and Beneckestrasse 6. On 24 Feb. 1943, she was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, where she died on 27 Mar. 1943.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Stolperstein-Initiative Hamburg-Winterhude

Quellen: 1; 5; 8; AB 1941, 1943 (Bd.1); Jürgen Sielemann, Aber seid alle beruhigt, Briefe von Regina van Son an ihre Familie 1941–1942, Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, Hamburg 2005, S. 148f; Steffi Wittenberg geb. Hammerschlag, Gespräch am 18. März 2008; Ursula Randt, Die Talmud Tora Schule in Hamburg 1805 bis 1942, Hamburg 2005.

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