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Dr. Karl Kaufmann * 1868

Abendrothsweg 23 (Hamburg-Nord, Hoheluft-Ost)

1942 Theresienstadt
ermordet 12.08.1942

further stumbling stones in Abendrothsweg 23:
Bertha Blankenstein, Edith Blankenstein, Max Kaufmann, Anna Kaufmann, Emma Michelsohn (Reinbach)

Maximilian (Max) Kaufmann, born 30 Sept. 1906 in Essen, murdered on 23. Sept. 1940 in the Extermination Centre in Brandenburg/Havel
Karl Kaufmann, born 11 Dec. 1868 in Münstermaifeld, deported 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died 12 Aug. 1942
Anna Kaufmann, née Borchardt, widowed Bergmann, born 7 Oct. 1872 in Schönberg/Mecklenburg, deported 15. July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died 16 Jan. 1943 (in planning)

Karl (Carl) Kaufmann, the father of Maximilian Kaufmann (born 30th September 1906 in Essen) grew up in Münstermaifeld on the left bank of the Rhine, a small city between Trier and Koblenz. His extensive family had settled there before 1800. After the French occupation, Jewish men and women were allowed to settle in Münstermaifeld, equal before the law, thus Samuel Kaufmann purchased a house in 1801 from the impoverished stocking weaver Matthias Wagner at Severusgasse 1. The Kaufmann’s large family made a living from trading cattle, selling cattle products and from a butcher’s shop. Only Karl Kaufmann’s grandfather had left this trade and become a saddler.

His father, Maximilian, also ran a saddlery with his wife, Rosalie, née Franck, in Münstermaifeld. Karl already belonged to a generation that attended the Christian school in town. He finished his university entrance exam and studied engineering. We don’t know when he married Else Lehmann. When she gave birth to their son Maximilian in 1906, the family lived in Essen where Else Kaufmann also likely died. Karl and Maximilian moved to Hamburg where Karl Kaufmann worked for the Altona railway management as a civil engineer. It appears that he had received his Doctorate in the meanwhile since the Church Tax card prepared for him by the Jewish Community contains the name "Dr Karl Kaufmann”. In 1923, he married the widow Anna Bergmann, née Borchardt, from Schönfeld in Mecklenburg. She was an elementary school teacher and had worked at the girl’s school in Kielortallee 20 after the death of her first husband, Adolf Bergmann. When she married in June 1923, she left teaching since only unmarried female teachers were allowed to work in public schools.

Karl’s son, Maximilian, was mentally ill. At the age of 19 he was admitted to the Langenhorn Mental and Nursing Home on 2 Oct. 1925. Over the following years, he lived at the sanatorium without being allowed to visit his family or spend the holidays at the Daniel Wormserhaus at Westerstrasse 27. It was there that the Jewish Community offered to care for male and female patients who had no other option to leave the clinic. Community members who had to stay at the Sanatorium were asked every year whether they wanted to eat matzo, the unleavened Passover bread. The clinic then sent a list to the Jewish Community with the names of those for whom it was important. Maximilian Kaufmann’s name was on the list. His name is also among those for whom: "leave to take part in the Jewish Holidays in Hamburg is out of the question”.

The administrative director of the Langenhorn Mental and Nursing home, Dr. Hanko, informed the Jewish Community in 1934 that costs for the delivery of the matzo had to be borne by the community "because the home did not have funds to pay for such special expenses”.

On 15 Apr. 1940, the Reich Interior Ministry demanded that the Health Administration report how many male and female Jews (who suffered from "feeble-mindedness” or "mental illness”) were housed in the respective institutions. Langenhorn reported 36 women and 30 men.

On 30. Aug., a communication from the Reich Interior Ministry followed which stated: "The continued state of Jews being housed together with Germans in mental asylums and nursing homes cannot be accepted any more as it has given nursing staff and the relatives of the ill reason to complain. I therefore intend to move the Jews staying in the institutions listed below to a collection asylum on 23 Sept. 1940.”

During the preceding days, Jewish patients had been transferred from asylums and nursing homes in Mecklenburg, Schleswig Holstein and Hamburg to the Mental and Nursing Home Hamburg-Langenhorn. On 23 Sept. 1940 Maximilian Kaufmann and a further 135 male and female patients were transferred not to a collection asylum but to Brandenburg an der Havel. On his Church Tax card is noted "Transferred from Langenhorn on 23.9.1940”. Maximilian Kaufmann is listed in Langenhorn in the supplementary cards for personal details concerning origin and educational background prepared for the census on 17 May 1939 and the remark "Transfer to Chelm on 23.9.1940” has been inserted.

The transport reached Brandenburg/Havel on the same day. Once there, the people were superficially examined by a physician and stamped with a number. Afterwards they had to undress and were sent in groups of twenty into an alleged shower room. The door was locked. Fittings had been installed on the ceiling that looked like shower heads but channeled Carbon Monoxide into the room. Once it had been determined that all the people had suffocated, the gas was discharged from the room. Then the dead were taken to a furnace. Only Ilse Herta Zachmann initially escaped this fate (see there).

Some relatives received notification that the patients had been transferred to the State Hospital in Chelm (polish) or Cholm (german) and had died there. However, the polish Nursing Home which had previously been there no longer existed after SS Units had murdered virtually all the patients on 12 Jan. 1940. In addition, there was no german Registry Office in Chelm, a city to the east of Lublin. It’s invention and the use of dates of death later than the real ones served to cover up the murders and simultaneously enabled payment demands for meal expenses for correspondingly longer periods of time.

His father, Karl, and his stepmother Anna Kaufmann had to leave Abendrothsweg 23 (in which Maximilain had also lived at times) and move into a "Jewish House” at Agathenstrasse 3 in Eimsbüttel. It was there that they received the deportation order in July 1942. They were sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto where Karl Kaufmann died one month later on 12 Aug. 1942 at the age of 73. Anna Kaufmann survived him by half a year. She died on 16 Jan. 1943, supposedly of a pulmonary embolism.

For Maximilian and Karl Kaufmann Stumbling Stones have been laid at Abendrothsweg 23 in Hoheluft Ost. A Stumbling Stone is also planned for Anna Kaufmann there.

Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt, updated by Steve Robinson
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: January 2018
© Maria Koser

Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 5; 7; AB; StaH 133-1 III Staatsarchiv III, 3171-2/4 U.A. 4, Liste psychisch kranker jüdischer Patientinnen und Patienten der psychiatrischen Anstalt Langenhorn, die aufgrund nationalsozialistischer "Euthanasie"-Maßnahmen ermordet wurden, zusammengestellt von Peter von Rönn, Hamburg (Projektgruppe zur Erforschung des Schicksals psychisch Kranker in Langenhorn); 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.1939 bis 27.1.1941; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt 158 1917–1939 Verpflegungslisten der Kranken jüdischen Glaubens, 166; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992e2 Band 4; 213-12 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht-NSG- 0013-053, Blatt 7; 213-12 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht-NSG- 0013-052 Beiakte Gesundheitsbehörde 1; 332-5 Standesämter 8782 Heiratsregister Nr. 394/1923 Carl Kaufmann/Anna verw. Bergmann geb. Borchardt; Bundesarchiv R 1509 Reichssippenamt; Recherche und Auskunft Ulrike Elz-Eichler, Münstermaifeld vom 14.3.2010; Recherche und Auskunft Walburga Stelzen, Verbandsgemeinde Maifeld vom 12.3.2010; Auskunft Dr. Bernhard Koll vom 14.3.2010; Recherche und Auskunft Martina Strehlen, ALTE SYNAGOGE Essen vom 9.3.2010; Recherche und Auskunft Jutta Vonrüden–Ferner, Haus der Essener Geschichte/Stadtarchiv vom 17.5. und 7.6.2010; Auskunft Einwohneramt Essen, Urkundenstelle vom 20.5.2010; Recherche und Auskunft Frau Schulz, Standesamt Schönberg vom 20.4.2010; Recherche und Auskunft Brigitta Steinbruch, Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege und Landeshauptarchiv Schwerin vom 3.5.2010; Recherche und Auskunft Marie Rümelin, KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme vom 15., 22., 26.3.2010; Recherche und Auskunft von Beatrice Falk vom 30.3.2010; Recherche und Auskunft von Nicolai M. Zimmermann; Bundesarchiv vom 20.4.2010. Koll, Bernhard (Hrsg.), Münstermaifeld – die Stadt auf dem Berge – chescat – floreat, Münstermaifeld 2003. Böhme, Klaus/Lohalm, Uwe (Hrsg.), Wege in den Tod. Hamburgs Anstalt Langenhorn und die Euthanasie in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, Hamburg 1993. Wunder, Michael/Genkel, Ingrid/Jenner, Harald, Auf dieser schiefen Ebene gibt es kein Halten mehr. Die Alsterdorfer Anstalten im Nationalsozialismus, Hamburg 1987, S. 155ff. Hinz-Wessels, Annette, Das Schicksal jüdischer Patienten in brandenburgischen Heil- und Pflegeanstalten im Nationalsozialismus, in: Hübener, Christina, Brandenburgische Heil- und Pflegeanstalten in der NS-Zeit, Berlin-Brandenburg 2002, S. 259ff.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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