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Charlotte Levi (née Lamm) * 1915

Hartungstraße 9 11 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

1942 Auschwitz

further stumbling stones in Hartungstraße 9 11:
Charlotte Gurwitsch, Benjamin Helfer, Brunhilde Helfer, Richard Levi, Kurt Silberstein

Richard Levi, born on 7 Mar. 1911 in Essen, deported to Auschwitz on 11 July 1942, murdered

Grindelhof 30

Richard Levi was born the son of the Jewish merchant Josef Levi and his wife Juliette "Julie,” née Gottschalk. Julie Levi, the daughter of Bernhard Gottschalk and his wife Rosette, was born on 7 Mar. 1873 in Essen. Evidence shows that on 21 July 1942, Julie was deported from Düsseldorf to Theresienstadt, where she died on 21 Mar. 1943. Richard’s father Josef Levi was the son of Albert Levi and his wife Rose. Between 1917 and 1921, Richard attended the eight-grade Israelite Elementary School (Israelitische Volksschule) in Essen and then the Städtische Humboldt-Oberrealschule [a municipal secondary school without Latin], where he passed his secondary school-leaving examination (Reifeprüfung) in 1930. In his diploma, the subject religion was graded "very good,” in mathematics, chemistry and physical exercises he got "sufficient” in each case. In all other subjects, he received the grade of "good,” so that he passed the school-leaving examination with an average grade of "good.” The report card indicated that he was planning to study art history. In fact, he chose the subjects German, History, and English. He studied mainly in Hamburg between 1930 and 1935, but he was also enrolled in Göttingen for three semesters, spending one semester in Britain as well.

On 7 Dec. 1935, Richard registered for the academic examination qualifying him for the teaching profession at secondary schools. For this, he had to work on two topics in written form, "The lyrical treatment of the landscape by some German poets of the early Enlightenment (e.g., Brockes)” and "The Baroque as an expression of counter-reformationist and absolutist tendencies.” The oral examinations took place on 2, 5, 7, and 13 Nov. 1936. Richard passed the exams designated as "History as major subject” and "English as minor subject” with a grade of "good” and "German as major subject” even with distinction. Overall, the examination was rated as "good.” That year, even before the month of November ended, he began his practical teacher training at the Talmud Tora School in Hamburg, completing it in 1937. Afterward, he stayed on as a teacher. His employment thus already coincided with a time when the school was increasingly affected by state repression.

Richard was married to Charlotte Levi, née Lamm, who was called by the first name of Lotte. Charlotte was born on 1 Apr. 1915 in Breslau (today Wroclaw in Poland). Varying details are available about Charlotte’s professional activity. In a 1941 document, she was designated as a homemaker and on the 1942 deportation list as a hairdresser’s assistant. It is possible that she did not take up this activity until the year before the deportation. The addresses of the Levi couple, too, can only be traced with some gaps. In 1939, they were registered as residing at Rappstrasse 13, in 1941 at Durchschnitt 8, where they lived as subtenants with a female tailor by the name of Gorbelski. In addition, the Levis temporarily stayed at Hansastrasse 57 and Schlüterstrasse 5. In the Hamburg address book of 1942, a teacher by the name of Richard Levi was registered at Hansastrasse 57, but this could also be the same name. The last residence of the Levis before the deportation in July 1942 was at Hartungstrasse 9-11, in the "Jüdische Gemeinschaftshaus G.m.b.H.” ("Jewish Community House Ltd.”). Jews having lost their jobs or already affected by the first persecution measures were eventually accommodated there.

On 15 Aug. 1941, Richard lost his job at the Talmud Tora School. Officially, the dismissal was justified with austerity measures. In addition to his position at the school, Richard had worked part-time at the Institute for Jewish Economic Aid (Institut für jüdische Wirtschaftshilfe) as an English teacher since 1939. Here he gave language and trade courses to foreigners. On the deportation list dated July 1942, he was listed as a camp laborer, but there is also the possibility that he expanded his work at the Institute for Jewish Economic Aid. Anyway, in July 1941 he took up a part-time job there as a stenography teacher.

Richard and Charlotte Levi were deported on 11 July 1942. On 10 September, their apartment on Hartungstrasse was vacated and an exact list of the household effects was drawn up. Part of vacating the apartment also involved about 250 books, which illustrate the educational background of Richard Levi. They included mainly works of world literature. Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare in particular were among the young teacher’s favorites. Richard or his wife seems to have had a penchant for French city descriptions as well, as 30 books with themes along those lines document. The entire household of the Levis was auctioned on 20 Oct. for gross proceeds of 547.80 RM (reichsmark).

The transport that Richard and Charlotte Levi were forced to join went to Auschwitz. None of the deportees survived.

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

© Fabian Boehlke

Quellen: 1; 5; StaH 214-1 Gerichtsvollzieherwesen 433; StaH 361-2 II Oberschulbehörde II (Höheres Schulwesen) Abl. 2007/1_165, Richard Levi; StaH 361-3 Schulwesen – Personalakten A 0845 Richard Levi; Deportationsliste von Hamburg nach Auschwitz am 11.7.1942, (letzter Aufruf: 25.1.2016); Hamburger Adressbücher 1942; Meyer: Die Deportation; Randt: Talmud-Tora-Schule.
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