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Helma Wehl * 1907
Haynstraße 5 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
1944 weiterdeportiert nach Stutthof
Helma Wehl, b. 11.27.1907 in Einbeck, deported to Riga on 12.6.1941, deported again on 10.1.1944 to the Stuffhof concentration camp
Helma’s father, Hermann Wehl, was the owner of a so-called Hamburg big store at Marktstrasse 11 in Einbeck, where he sold men’s and boy’s clothing, as well as shoes. Helma is said to have attended middle school and the higher secondary girls’ school. After a "year’s training” she completed her instruction in business in the parental store and afterwards worked there as a clerk. The building no longer exists.
Because of repressive measues (the SA-boycott and public slander), the firm had to close on 2 October 1936. The Goldschmidt brothers, also Jews, who had run their father’s store at Marktstrasse 21, which dealt in men’s wear and shoes, opened a successor business of a similar sort at 11 Marktstrasse. They were victims of the pogrom of November 9–10, 1938 and were quasi-expropriated – that is, the store went to an "Aryan” successor.
Helma’s younger sister Erika (b. 1911) had moved to Hamburg in 1936, probably to prepare for the settlement of her family there, in the birth city of her father, Hermann Wehl. Helma came in October 1936, along with her parents, and found a position in the Caspari Shoe House at Grindelallee 65. At first, she lived at Grindelallee 29, later until October 1939, at Werderstrasse 7, and finally, for just two years, at Haynstrasse 5 on the second floor, where Arno Glassmann and Iwan van der Walde (see their biographical entries) also lived. Her last address, since July 1941, was at Agathenstrasse 3, a "Jew house.”
In the summer of 1938, Helma’s boss also had to close his business. Afterwards, Helma struggled to get by as a domestic worker. This was the occupational label noted on her deportation list. On 6 December 1941, she along with 753 other Hamburg fellow-sufferers embarked on the trip to Riga. She seemed to have survived the terror there for three years, because in the summer of 1944 she was transferred to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig. She arrived on 1 October whereupon all further trace of her was lost.
Helma’s father, Hermann Wehl, was born in Hamburg on 28 August 1873. He attended the Talmud Torah school there. His training in business was completed in Harburg. In November 1905, he married Johanna (Hannchen) Dollefeld (b. 23 October 1869) in Hamburg. He made himself independent in the next year in Einbeck. The family likely belonged to the Jewish Congregation there. Hermann Wehl was a member of the local chapter of the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens [Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith]. The synagogue was set on fire on 9 November 1938. Whether Jews remaining there continued to hold divine services privately is not known. After 1939, there were not enough men left in Einbeck to constitute a minyan. The last synagogue Schammes [servant] committed suicide in 1941.
Hermann Wehl is represented in two photos of the Einbeck "Young Germany Bowling Club.” He was a slightly built man – thoroughly loved, as contemporaries confirm. Helma Wehl’s parents were on the same 15 July 1942 transport to Theresienstadt as Zusanne Silber, the married couple Behrend, Kurt Silberstein, and Henriette Meidner (see their biographical entries).
On 21 September 1942, Hermann Wehl was transported to the Treblinka extermination camp and murdered. Five days before this, Johanna Wehl died in the Theresienstadt ghetto after just 2 months.
Helma’s younger sister, Erika, succeeded in her timely flight from Germany, emigrating to the USA in August 1938.
Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2019
© Sabine Brunotte
Quellen: 1; 4; 6; AfW 240111 Sweet,Erika; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992e2 Band 3; Auskunft Dr. Elke Heege, Stadtmuseum und Stadtarchiv Einbeck, E-Mail vom 16.7.2009; schriftl. Auskunft Dr. Elke Heege vom 20.07.2009; Bertram/Gerdes, Verloren, Elke Heege (Hrsg.), 1998.
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