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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Flora Sänger (née Löwenberg) * 1895
Bundesstraße 95 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)
Erwin Sänger, born 17 Feb. 1935 in Hamburg, admitted 13 July 1942 to the Pediatric Department of the Langenhorn Mental and Nursing Home where he was killed 10 Apr. 1943
Flora Sänger, née Löwenberg, born 12 July 1895 in Hanover, deported 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, deported 28 Oct. 1944 on to Auschwitz
Rosa Sänger, née Friedburg, born 30 May 1866 in Hamburg, deported 18 June 1942 from Munich to Theresienstadt, killed 21 Apr. 1944
Willy Sänger, born 26 May 1893 in Buttenwiesen, Bavaria, deported 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, deported 28 Sept. 1944 to Auschwitz
The fact that a stumbling stone was laid for Rosa Sänger in front of the house at Bundesstraße 95 was an error whose circumstances only came to light over the course of research. Rosa Sänger, born in Hamburg and deported from Munich to Theresienstadt where she was killed, was not Willy Sänger’s mother.
His mother’s name was Röschen Sänger, daughter of the cleaning products merchant Gottschalk Friedburg and his wife Johanne, née Rosenbaum. Röschen Sänger was born in Hamburg on 14 May 1871. Her husband Jacob (born in 1857) was a native of Buttenwiesen in Bavaria. His parents were the shopkeeper Salomon Sänger and his wife Peppi, née Einstein.
Röschen and Jacob Sänger wed on 16 June 1892 in Hamburg. They had five children: the twins Willy and Edith (born on 25 and 26 May 1893), Paula (born on 28 June 1894), Bertha (born on 13 Mar. 1896) and Irma (born on 26 June 1900). After their wedding, the couple lived in Buttenwiesen and moved to Hamburg in 1898. Of their five children, only the youngest, Irma, was born in the Hanseatic city.
Röschen Sänger had an older half-sister by the name of Rosa. Rosa Friedburg was also a daughter of Gottschalk Friedburg, however her mother was Sara, née Alexander. Rosa was born on 20 May 1866, five years Röschen’s senior. Her mother Sara had died young so her father remarried in 1867. Röschen was the offspring from that new union. In Feb. 1890 Rosa married the butcher Abraham Sänger, a native of Buttenwiesen in Bavaria who lived in Hamburg. Her half-sister Röschen then married Abraham’s brother Jacob Sänger who lived in Buttenwiesen. She most likely met him through her half-sister. At the time of the girls’ weddings, they lived with their family on Peterstraße in Neustadt.
While Rosa Sänger initially lived with her family in Hamburg and later moved to Bavaria, Röschen and Jacob Sänger did just the opposite. In 1912 Jacob Sänger was granted Hamburg citizenship. At the time he sold household goods. The family had lived in Hamburg’s Neustadt until 1906, at Neuen Steinweg 16 and at Kohlhöfen 42. Then they moved to Grindel, first to Grindelberg 7a, then to Grindelallee 150, followed by several other moves around the city. When Jacob Sänger died in 1916, his family lived at Bogenstraße 4. His death certificate noted his occupation as "manager".
After Jacob’s death, Röschen Sänger lived in Hamburg at different addresses, including with her children at Bundesstraße 95, at Liliencronstraße 10 (today Heymannstraße) and at Johnsallee 54. In the end, as the persecution escalated, she lived at Schlachterstraße 40/42, House 5 and in 1941 at Isestraße 79 (with Salomon). Röschen Sänger was a seamstress, but unable to work. Her only son Willy supported her financially.
From 1940 Röschen Sänger undertook efforts to emigrate. In a "clearance certificate” from 11 Apr. 1940, her destination was noted as South America. On 1 July 1940, her destination had changed to Shanghai. On 15 Oct. 1941 Röschen Sänger finally left her hometown of Hamburg once and for all. Fortunately she was aware that she her life was in imminent danger and had to do everything in her power to find a way to leave the country. Via Berlin she took the train to Barcelona where she boarded a ship to Cuba. She had to wait four weeks in Cuba before continuing her journey on a ship to Columbia and then taking a plane from Columbia to Ecuador where her daughter Bertha Gumpel lived. She actually had wanted to go to California to join her daughter Irma and Irma’s husband Julius Freundlich. However, Röschen Sänger was unable to obtain a visa for the USA. It wasn’t until 1945 that she was able to travel there by plane via Miami, for the Panama Canal was closed to foreigners at that time. Her son-in-law Bruno Gumpel financed her journey from Germany to Ecuador, while her travel costs from Ecuador to the USA were covered by her son-in-law Julius Freundlich, who had changed his name to Julius Friend in the USA. Röschen Sänger, who called herself Rosa Saenger in America, died shortly before her 100th birthday in San Diego.
Her son Willy Sänger attended the Talmud Torah School in Hamburg and then completed a bank apprenticeship, possibly at the banking establishment Moses Lewinsohn where he was later employed. From 1920 he worked as a secretary, accountant and cashier at the German-Israelite Community where he was also responsible for the branch office of the charitable foundations. Willy, one day younger than his twin sister Edith, married Flora Löwenberg from Hanover (see the Löwenberg Family). Flora was the daughter of Michaelis Löwenberg and his wife Rosa Rebekka – apparently called Babette by her family –, née Seewald. The Löwenbergs had four daughters: Henny (born in 1892), Else (born in 1893), Flora (born in 1895) and Irma (born in 1897) – all born in Hanover. Flora Sänger was a teacher, later a housewife. Willy Sänger had been a member of the Community since 1920, when he began working there. The family lived at Bundesstraße 95. In Oct. 1939 they were forced to move to Beneckestraße 4 I, likely due to persecution. At that point in time, Willy and Flora’s son Jacob had already escaped to England on a child transport where he lived with a foster family. In 1941 Willy’s niece Inge Löbenstein came to live with them as her parents had been able to emigrate. It is not clear how long Willy Sänger worked for the Community. In the end he was employed as a warehouse worker for the company Semmelhaak & Wulf, however that job was probably forced labor. The Hamburg address noted for Willy Sänger on the deportation list for the transport to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942 was Beneckestraße 4, the address for his wife Flora was Beneckestraße 6. The couple was deported to Theresienstadt on the same transport. They were separated by the order for onward transport: While Willy was taken to Auschwitz on 28 Sept. 1944 and killed, Flora was sent down the same path one month later.
The youngest member of the family, Erwin, had Down’s syndrome. On 13 July 1942 he was admitted to the Pediatric Department of the Langenhorn Mental and Nursing Home by the Gestapo, at the same time as his parents were deported to Theresienstadt. Until that time he had evidently lived with his family, and his disability was certainly known to the authorities. His parents took him to Langenhorn where they explained to the nurses that they had to be at the collection point for deportation at 4 o’clock the next morning and by order of the Gestapo were not allowed to take their son with them. His mother cried when she had to leave her child. Erwin’s medical history did not survive in the hospital’s archive. His Aunt Irma, one of his father’s sisters, reported during redress of wrongs proceedings that Erwin’s development was delayed. Thus he did not learn to walk and feed himself until he was three years old. The pediatrician Kurt Freundlich had cared for him. He did not start school in Hamburg, which likely had to do in part with his delayed development due to his disorder but also due, of course, to the fact that Jewish children were no longer allowed to attend school in the 1940s. On 10 Apr. 1943, Erwin Sänger was killed in the night by the physician Friedrich Knigge. A natural cause of death (bronchopneumonia) was intentionally recorded on his death certificate. Erwin was buried in Ohlsdorf on 14 Apr. 1943. The Jewish Religious Association was forced to pay for his burial. The files of the Langenhorn Mental and Nursing Home show that the facility wanted to inform the child’s parents about the death of their son in a telegram to Beneckestraße 4, even though they had been deported immediately after admission of their child. Erwin Sänger appears to have been the only disabled Jewish child in Hamburg who was not deported but instead killed in a Hamburg pediatric ward.
What became of the other family members? Edith, Willy’s twin sister, was deported to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942 like her twin brother and her sister-in-law Flora. Her last address was on Dillstraße. Before that she had lived at Isestraße 79 (with Salomon) and on Schlachterstraße, presumably with her mother. Edith attempted to immigrate to South America. In Feb. 1939 she filled out the questionnaire for emigrants. At that time she lived at Liliencronstraße 10, presumably with the family of her twin brother’s wife. She noted her occupation as seamstress. She was no longer allowed to work as a seamstress in 1939, instead earning money as a "supervisor”. Since she had no assets – she reported an annual income of 1200 Reichsmarks – she hoped to receive welfare from an aid organization. A "clearance certificate” dated 28 Feb. was extended to 30 June 1939, however she did not manage to emigrate by that date either. A later "clearance certificate” was dated Apr. 1940. At that time Edith Sänger lived at Isestraße 79. Yet Edith was not able to emigrate and instead was deported to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942. In Feb. 1945 she was taken to Switzerland. The operation belonged to the release agreements arranged between the National Socialists and international organizations. That transport was the only one of its kind. Hitler probably stopped the operation when he heard about it. 1200 people were on that transport, most of them elderly. The fact that Edith Sänger survived the hell of Theresienstadt and later was reunited with her mother and sisters in California borders on a miracle. She wed and her married name was Edith Schloss. From 1948 to 1955 she worked for the company Ratner Manufacturing Co. in San Diego. She was forced to stop work there when she was barely able to see. Edith Schloss, née Sänger, died on 7 Jan. 1984.
Paula Sänger married her childhood sweetheart in 1919, the butcher John Löbenstein (born in Hamburg in 1894), son of the master butcher Abraham Löbenstein who lived at Grindelhof 8. Until her wedding, she worked as an office clerk. The couple had three children, their son Jacob Daniel (born in 1920), their daughter Jetta (born in 1921), who died as in infant from a heart condition, and their daughter Inge (born in 1923). In the mid 1930s, the family lived at Johnsallee 54. Their son Jacob Daniel emigrated to Paraguay on a ship in 1939 at the age of 18. From there he travelled on to Argentina. The Löbensteins also wanted to immigrate to Paraguay in 1938, but their emigration encountered some obstacles. In Feb. 1939, their removal items were examined in their dwelling. At that time, John Löbenstein was no longer a butcher. Instead he managed the property of the Jewish Community at Johnsallee 54, a building that the Community had acquired in 1928. From 1929 to 1937 it had been used by various Jewish institutions, above all by youth organization. It had housed, among other things, an after-school care facility for Jewish school children. John Löbenstein’s occupation was noted as "caretaker” on his culture tax card. From Sept. 1939 until July 1942 the building was part of the Jewish Hospital because the garden house building at Johnsallee 68 was overflowing. By 1942 the number of patients had dropped so low that the building at number 54 was no longer needed. In July 1942, 12 people were deported from there to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. On 18 Dec. 1942, it had to be sold to the City of Hamburg.
After the building had become a hospital, the Löbenstein couple ran a care home for the Jewish Community. Before the Löbensteins managed to emigrate, the family had to move to Schlachterstraße 40/42, House 5 where their mother and sister Edith also lived. The family immigrated to Argentina in June 1941 and later moved to California. The couple experienced the tragedy of having to leave their daughter Inge behind in Hamburg because the entry permit was not valid for her. She was taken in by her Uncle Willy. On 6 Nov. 1941 Inge married a man be the name of Rosenthal. Since both of them were deported to Lodz two days after their wedding, it is likely that the deportation was the reason they got married. The deportation list noted her maiden name Löbenstein at the address Beneckestraße 4 where her aunt and uncle also lived. They were listed as "voluntary evacuees”. Inge’s mother Paula Löbenstein suffered the rest of her life for having had to leave her daughter behind in Hamburg.
In 1924 Bertha Sänger married the executive Gumpel (born in Hamburg in 1897). At the time of their wedding, they lived at Loogestieg 4. The couple then lived at Isestraße 49. Bruno Gumpel owned the import-export company Ephraim, Gumpel & Co. That company, which he had founded in 1929, was "Aryanized" on 1 Aug. 1938 and taken over by Ernst O. Timmermann. Bertha and her husband Bruno immigrated to Ecuador in Jan. 1939. Their son Edgar (born in 1925) and Ruth Löbenstein (born in 1922) immigrated with them. Ruth Löbenstein was the daughter of Siegfried Löbenstein, presumably a brother of John Löbenstein. The fact that all of Röschen Sänger’s children headed for South America may have had to do with Bruno Gumpel’s business contacts. Despite all his efforts, Bruno Gumpel was not able to find work in Ecuador. Hence he and his family moved to New York in 1945 where Bruno’s brother Berthold Gumpel ran the export business Gluestock Trading Service Inc., which Bruno joined. That company too folded in 1956, and Bruno Gumpel and his family were penniless. The Gumpels later lived in San Diego, California, as did Bertha’s mother and sisters.
In Dec. 1922 Irma Sänger married the businessman Julius Freundlich who lived at Glashüttenstraße 111 D. The two were able to immigrate to the USA, as were Julius Freundlich’s two brothers and a sister. Julius’ mother Johanna was deported on 18 Nov. 1941 from Hamburg to Minsk. Irma Freundlich, née Sänger, lived as Irma Friend in San Diego in the 1960s.
Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: January 2019
© Susanne Lohmeyer
Quellen: 1; 2 (FVg 5738; FVg 5739; FVg 5486; R 1938/1945); 4; 5; 8; StaH 30, K6847; StaH 332-3 Zivilstandsaufsicht Nr. 3032 A 110; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 8032 u. 84/1916; StaH 332-5, 2796 und 709/1892; StaH 332-5, 2758 und 131/1890; StaH 332-5, 8677 u. 737/1922; StaH 332-5, 8729 u. 283/1919; StaH 332-5, 3489 u. 293/1924; StaH 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht, B III + 112690; StaH 351-11 AfW, 090132 Jack Black; StaH 351-11 AfW, 1875 (Rosa Saenger nach Willy Saenger); StaH 351-11 AfW, 18345 (Bertha Gumpel); StaH 351-11 AfW, 19687 (Bruno Gumpel); StaH 351-11 Afw, 2316 Johanna Freundlich; StaH 351-11 AfW, 16204 (Julius Löbenstein); StaH 351-11 AfW; 16858 (Paula Löbenstein); StaH 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Erwin Sänger (30111); Gedenkbuch der Münchner Juden, S. 392; HAB II 1904, 1937; Standesamt Buttenwiesen; Terezin Digital Resource Center. Zugriff 19.6.2010; www.ghetto-theresienstadt.de/pages/t/transporte.htm, Zugriff 20.6.2010; www1.uni-hamburg.de/rz3a035/johnsallee2.html, Zugriff 23.6.2010; Marc Burlon, Die "Euthanasie" an Kindern; Ernst Klee, "Euthanasie", S. 343; Hildegard Thevs, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Rothenburgsort, S. 146ff.
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