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Max Kupferbach * 1880

Georg-Thielen-Gasse 2 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

JG. 1880

Max Kupferbach, born 16 Feb. 1880 in Hamburg, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Max Kupferbach, like Martha Abel and Alfred Kupferbach (see: Biographies), was the child of Nathan Kupferbach and his wife Bertha, née Herzberg. There were three other siblings: Leo (*4 Jan. 1884), Hanchen (married name Löwner, formerly Frankenthal, *26 May 1886, died during the deportations), and Elsa (married name Mentzel, *7 Aug. 1894). Their father Nathan Kupferbach was a grain wholesaler. The family lived first on Schulterblatt, and later in the Neustadt borough.

Until the last decade of the 19th century, the family held strictly to Jewish Law. They then relaxed their observance somewhat, but still kept the Jewish holidays. Max Kupferbach began school at the Talmud Tora School on Kohlhöfen, then switched to Dr. Lange’s private school. He never completed his schooling, but went on to do a three-year apprenticeship as a clerk. Because he could not find a job in this profession, he worked as a courier until well into the First World War. Although he was considered unfit for military service, he was assigned to work as an orderly at various military hospitals. His father died in 1918. Together with his mother and his younger brother Alfred, he moved to Blücherstraße 17 (present-day Kottwitzstraße) in Hoheluft. Around 1933 they moved to an apartment at Hauersweg 6 in the newly-built Jarrestadt. Hermann Abel, the son of Alphons Abel (see: Biographies), lived with them until 1934. Max’s mother died in 1936, shortly after Alfred had emigrated to Holland. At the latest in 1937, Max Kupferbach moved one street over to Thielengasse 2. His sister, Martha Abel, lived across the street at house number 9.

Max Kupferbach worked as a newsagent until 1937, and was then unemployed and received welfare subsidies. In 1938 he was conscripted to work for the Nazis’ Winter Relief program. In August 1938, he was reported to the police for indecent exposure. The incident was not investigated until June 1939, and then Kupferbach was accused of "racial defilement.” The accusation proved to be unfounded, but he was still charged with indecent exposure. On the grounds that "as an unmarried Jew he is likely to abscond” (according to the court transcript), Max Kupferbach was imprisoned on 13 June 1939, and transferred to the Fuhlsbüttel Concentration Camp on 22 June at the latest. The trial took place on 19 June. Kupferbach was found not guilty and released from Fuhlsbüttel on 1 July 1939. The District Attorney’s Office appealed the decision, but the case was dismissed, citing the Führer-Edict on Amnesty of 9 September 1939” as the reason.

After his release from prison, Max Kupferbach lived in the "Jews’ house” at Rappstraße 15. He was deported to Minsk on 8 November 1941. All traces of him were lost after his arrival there.

Translator: Amy Lee

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen 1; 4; 8; StaHH 213-11, St.L6 Strafsachen 7863/39; Personenstandsbuch Standesamt Hamburg-Mitte.

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