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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Selma Schlesinger (née Philipsen) * 1876

Isestraße 96 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

1941 Minsk

further stumbling stones in Isestraße 96:
Max Dreifus, Blanka Dreifus, Gertrud Singer, Lot Voss, Margarethe Voss, Uri Voss

Selma Schlesinger, née Philipsen, born 2 May 1876 in Hamburg, deported 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Selma, called Selly, Schlesinger was a native of Hamburg. Her husband Hertz, who called himself Hermann, was born in Altona in 1863. He had a tobacco goods store. Until 1938 he had a regular income, apart from the years 1932–1933.

The Schlesingers lived on Isestraße starting in Sept. 1938, after having previously reported two other addresses. They had two daughters. Alice, born in 1900, died as a child. Emmy, born in Hamburg on 25 Jan. 1899, was married to Erich Riesenfeld. The couple lived with their daughter Ellen at Isestraße 121 (see their biographies). Hermann Schlesinger died in Sept. 1940. Emmy Riesenfeld, her husband and her daughter lived with her parents from 1939, since before the death of her father.

Selly Schlesinger’s name had been on the deportation list for Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941 but was crossed off. Three weeks later she had to board the train for Minsk with her children. Isestraße 96 was the last address for all four of them in Hamburg.

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

Stand: January 2019
© Christa Fladhammer

Quellen: 1; 2; StaH, 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992 e2, Bd. 1 und Bd. 3.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

Erich Josef Riesenfeld, born on 20 June 1897 in Zawodzia, Lodz region, deported on 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Emmy Riesenfeld, née Schlesinger, born on 25 Jan. 1899 in Hamburg, deported on 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Ellen Riesenfeld, born on 1 Oct. 1924 in Hamburg, deported on 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Selma Schlesinger, née Philipsen, born on 2 May 1876, deported on 18 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Erich Josef was married to Emmy Riesenfeld, née Schlesinger. The couple had two daughters: Alice, born in 1900, who died while still a child, and Ellen, born in 1924. The family lived at Isestrasse 121. According to the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) card file, Erich Riesenfeld was a commercial clerk. He described himself as an "emigration helper” (Auswandererhelfer), an occupation officially recognized by the "Reich Governor” ("Reichsstatthalter”) and generating a monthly wage of 200 to 300 RM (reichsmark) depending on the volume of assignments.

As early as 1939, Erich, Emmy, and Ellen Riesenfeld lived with Emmy’s parents, the Schlesingers, at Isestrasse 96, probably in order to reduce rental charges.

On 20 May 1940, Erich Riesenfeld was arrested on the market in Polish Katowice because of a trivial matter.

He had visited his mother in Katowice for two days and bought socks on the so-called free market without a ration coupon. Actually, in accordance with an ordinance dated 13 Sept. 1939, Jews were allowed to purchase spinning fabrics and shoes only by means of a ration coupon. According to the charges by the Katowice external price monitoring office (Preisüberwachungsaussendienst), Erich Riesenfeld had bought three pairs of men’s socks and six pairs of women’s socks without a ration coupon. Arrested on the spot by a police officer, he had to return the goods. A fine of 200 RM was proposed, with the case handed over to the Hamburg District Court (Amtsgericht), which had jurisdiction over Mr. Riesenfeld.

In the transcript recording the market woman’s interrogation, it was pointed out that she was not a citizen of the German Reich but a Pole, but that her grandparents were Catholic and she was "of German blood.” The woman testified that she had already purchased the socks from a remnant sale without a ration coupon, though she had been specifically asked by Erich Riesenfeld whether she was selling "free” socks. The charges by the Hamburg District Court on 23 Aug. 1940 referred to "offense against the Spinning Fabric Act [Spinnstoffgesetz].”

Erich Riesenfeld testified he had noticed that in Katowice not every ordinance was implemented exactly as in Hamburg. He had observed that in this market, clothing was sold both with and without ration coupons. Upon further inquiry, his mother declared that this was definitely common in Katowice. Accordingly, he had not intended to act with criminal intent when asking at the market stand in question as to whether men’s socks could really be obtained "free.” According to him, the market woman had then also offered him the women’s socks, also without asking for a ration coupon. Erich Riesenfeld was handed an order of summary punishment and a fine of 50 RM or ten days in prison. In a statement, Erich Riesenfeld’s "legal adviser” ("Konsulent,” a newly introduced Nazi term for Jewish lawyers banned from full legal practice in accordance with the "Reich Citizenship Laws” dated July 1938) once again pleaded for his client’s innocence, because he had acted in the belief of not having committed any breach of the law and because he had no prior criminal record. Furthermore, he put forward in favor of his client’s integrity the fact that, wounded twice as a frontline soldier, he had been awarded the Iron Cross. The files do not reveal whether the appeal succeeded. The Jewish religious tax file shows that Erich Riesenfeld continued to earn an income as late as 1940.

On 22 Sept. 1940, Riesenfeld’s father-in-law passed away. Slightly over a year later, the entire family received the deportation order on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, though they were taken off the list again. Eventually, on 18 Nov. 1941, 44-year-old Erich Riesenfeld, his 42-year-old wife Emmy, his 17-year-old daughter Ellen, and his 65-year-old mother-in-law Selma Schlesinger had to board the train to Minsk.

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

Stand: October 2018
© Christine Zinn-Lührig

Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 8; StaH, 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992 e 2, Bd. 1, 3.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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