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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Lilly Nathan * 1891
Washingtonallee 50 (Hamburg-Mitte, Horn)
further stumbling stones in Washingtonallee 50:
Erna Helene Nathan
Lilly Nathan, born on 11 Mar. 1891 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga
Helene Nathan, born on 14 Nov. 1894 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga
The sisters Lilly and Helene Nathan were the only Jewish residents of Horn deported directly from their local residential address. When they received the order for "resettlement” ("Aussiedlung”) to the East on 6 Dec. 1941, they were just as unaware as the other 751 persons deported with them of what that meant. In Riga, no preparations were in place for this transport. From Skirotava train station, the arrivals covered several kilometers by foot to get to "Jungfernhof,” a dilapidated farming estate. The accommodations awaiting them there were entirely inadequate considering the severe winter conditions. Nothing is known about Lilly and Helene Nathan’s fate after their departure from Hamburg.
Lilly and Helene Nathan’s grandparents and parents had already died before the transfer of power to Hitler. Helene and Lilly’s grandfather on their father’s side, Asher Samuel Nathan, had headed the Rescuers’ Corps (Rettercorps) of the fire department founded in Hamburg after the great fire of 1842. He and his wife Male, née Renner, had already passed away before Lilly and Helene were born. The girls’ father, Simon Nathan, born on 6 Sept. 1861 in Hamburg, worked as a paperhanger. The grandparents on the mother’s side were the messenger Salomon Lewald and his wife Sara, née Plaut. On 5 Aug. 1888, Simon Nathan married his second wife, the widow Olga Lewald, née Nathan, born on 30 May 1856 in Hamburg. They lived in Hamburg-Neustadt at Pilatuspool 20.
When Lilly Sophie was born on 11 Mar. 1891, the household already included Ella and Albert from the earlier marriages; the last child born was Erna Helene on 14 Nov. 1894. Simon Nathan moved with his family to Hütten 6, also located in Hamburg-Neustadt. At an advanced age, he no longer worked as a paperhanger but as a warehouseman. In 1917, he was documented for the first time as a taxable member in the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community, paying dues until his death.
Lilly and Helene Nathan remained unmarried and started working. As a correspondent with Controll GmbH, Lilly earned a modest income, though it did allow her to lead an independent life. Her sister Helene gave up her gainful employment as a salaried employee for health reasons in 1927. Her pension did not suffice to cover her living expenses, which meant Lilly supported her as well. Like her parents, she belonged to the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community.
On 5 Aug. 1929, Simon Nathan passed away, his wife following him on 4 Jan. 1931. Olga Nathan died at home in the presence of her daughters. At the time, Lilly Nathan worked as a personal secretary. After their mother’s death, the sisters Lilly and Helene Nathan gave up the parents’ apartment and moved to Neumayrstrasse 4, also located in Hamburg-Neustadt. The only details known about their siblings Ella and Albert are that Ella got married and Albert moved away from Hamburg.
Lilly Nathan left Hamburg between 1931 and 1936, in each instance for an extended period, to work in Lohra (Marburg administrative district) and Wolfhagen (Kassel administrative district). Upon going back, she worked as a domestic help in return for free room and board as well as an allowance. Helene Nathan supplemented her pension by revenues from subletting. Lilly Nathan got engaged to Bernhard Gelbart. He emigrated to the USA, where she intended to follow him via an intermediate stop in Britain.
On 2 May 1939, she obtained the tax clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung). The expert’s report prepared by the customs inspector read, "The items listed under number 1 are largely wedding goods of the applicant and not yet used. The fiancé, Bernhard Gelbart, formerly residing at Hansastrasse 71 with Oppenheim, has already emigrated to the USA. The engagement announcement in the newspaper has been produced.” The customs inspector did not demand payment of a duty to the Gold Discount Bank ("Dego-Abgabe”). Lilly Nathan’s permanent deregistration with the authorities was also on file, after which the passage documents were handed to her; however, as of 23 Aug. 1939, her passport was invalidated. The reason why her emigration failed is unknown, probably because of the impending outbreak of World War II.
The sisters moved to Washingtonallee 50 in Horn. Lilly paid dues to the Jewish Community on a regular basis, with the sums ranging slightly over the minimum rate. No details are known about how they fared in other respects.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: November 2017
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1; 2 FVg 5720; 4; 5; 6; StaH, 332-5 Standesämter, 2729+1087/1888, 952+466/1929, 978+10/1931; 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 e 2, Bd. 3.
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