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Irma Schoeps (née Levy) * 1890
Bramfelder Straße 23 (Hamburg-Nord, Barmbek-Süd)
Jakob Schoeps, born 9/10/1877 in Zerkow, deported to Minsk on 11/8/1941
Irma Schoeps, née Levy, born 9/20/1890 in Altona, deported to Minsk on 11/8/1941
Bramfelder Strasse 23
Jakob Schoeps, also called Jacob or Jacques, was born on September 10th, 1877 in Zerkow in the Prussian province of Posen (now Poznan, Poland); his parents were Hermann Schoeps and Pauline, née Brinn. He moved to Hamburg in 1905. On January 8th, 1910, he married Irma Levy, born in Altona on September 20th, 1890. Irma’s father died early, her mother’s name was Rosa.
The Schoeps’ had three children: their son Walter Max Ludwig was born October 22nd, 1910, daughter Anneliese on January 17th, 1914, and Eva Pauline, the pet of the family, on September 26th, 1927.
Jakob Schoeps received his approbation as a physician in 1902 and obtained his accreditation with the statutory health insurance in 1905. After his wedding, he practiced as a general practitioner and obstetrician in Bramfeld, with his practice and home in Bramfelder Strasse 23 in Bramfeld. A volunteer in World War I, he became an officer and head of a military hospital. His daughter Anneliese later recalled several decorations he had received during his military service.
Schoeps’ son Walter Schoeps first attended high school in Barmbek, later switching to the high school in Eppendorf, where he gained his junior high degree. A druggist’s apprenticeship with the Krenzin&Seifert Company and at the Hamburg Druggists’ Professional School followed. Subsequently, he entered the upper commercial school of the Trade Union Association for Employees; in 1932, by recommendation of his uncle Max Schoeps, he began a commercial apprenticeship in Mülhausen, as he planned to open his own drugstore. The Nazi boycotts against Jews beginning in 1933 induced him to quit his training and return to Hamburg. Following a thorough discussion with his parents, he decided to emigrate to Palestine. Already in October 1933, his preparations were complete, and his father Jakob Schoeps sent money to Palestine to purchase a settler’s plot and build a house in Pardess-Channa. The rest of the family planned to follow.
At the end of 1934, Jakob Schoeps traveled to Palestine alone. The Jewish Agency’s Palestine Office in Berlin gave him an official confirmation that he was going on an information trip to determine if the country was a suitable place for emigration. For this purpose, he needed the approval from the State Finance Agency to pay 500 RM to the Bank of the Temple Society in Jaffa plus another 500 RM for hotel vouchers for one person.
Walter’s sister Anneliese first attended the high school for girls and then worked as an apprentice nurse at the private hospital of Dr. Kalmann in Hamburg. After that, she began a laboratory assistant’s apprenticeship at the Jewish Hospital. In October 1935, she filed an application for approval to export 27,500 RM for emigrating to Palestine; on January 1st, 1936, she married Erich Eckmann. The couple’s notice of departure is dated March 3rd, 1936. Traveling via London, they reached Palestine.
With the elder children in relative safety, Jakob Schoeps continued his medical practice in Barmbek until his approbation was revoked in 1938. In August of that year, he filed an application to pay 50,000 RM to the special account for emigration to Palestine for his planned emigration. On August 26th, the authorities indicated his application would be approved. At the beginning of September, he was served a security order. All remaining assets had to be paid into a special account, from which he was allowed to withdraw 1,000 RM per month for the subsistence of the family. A Finance Agency note reads: "Following a summons, Dr. med. Jacob Schoeps appeared and submitted his list of assets, declaring that he intended to emigrate to Palestine within the following year.” His declared assets were approx. 70,000 RM. On September 16th, he was to pay the Reich Flight Tax of 16,000 RM.
On October 8th, the Hamburg Barmbek Finance Agency informed the Gestapo that Jakob Schoeps had declared his intention to emigrate, with copies to the Customs Investigation Office, The Reich Bank, the Currency Agency and the Tax Investigation Service. In the aftermath of the Pogrom of November 9th, 1938, Jakob Schoeps and many other Jews were taken into "protective custody” and mistreated at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After Jakob’s release, the Schoeps succeeded in sending their daughter Eva abroad to join her sister in Tel Aviv.
Now, Jakob and Irma Schoeps had to give up the big apartment in Bramfelder Strasse that included the former practice; part of the furniture had already been removed for the planned emigration and stored as relocation goods at the warehouse of Keim, Krauth and Company in Altona. Jakob and Irma intended to stay with Irma’s widowed mother at Parkallee 10 in Harvestehude until their own departure. According to a receipt from the "Community Administration, Public buying agency”, Jakob Schoeps at the end of May 1939 submitted gold and silver objects, bowls, cutlery and jewelry worth 520 RM, including 10 percent handling charge.
In August 1939, the Schoeps filed new applications for clearance certificates and permission to export relocation goods, now to England, from where they hoped to travel on to Palestine. However, on September 1st, the Germans invaded Poland, beginning World War II. Two days later, Britain replied by declaring war on Germany, and the Schoeps’ travel plans had to be postponed indefinitely. At the same time, the Chief Financed Administrator conducted a new survey on Jewish assets. As a result, Jakob and Irma Schoeps were now allowed to withdraw only 275 RM per month from their blocked account, effective November 1st. In November, Jakob Schoeps submitted a plea for reduction of the fifth instalment of the levy on Jewish assets: "Due to the levies of the past years and the payment of the Reich flight tax of 11,505 RM in August 1939, my wife’s and my assets have been strongly diminished; according to the list for the security order, it amounts to 14,430 RM. As our emigration planned for September 1939 has become impossible and we have no other source of income, we are completely dependent on this account for our subsistence. I therefore ask you to grant us the reduction.”
The Chief Finance Administrator’s answer was: "I am not competent for your request. Feel free to submit it to your appropriate Finance Agency Office.”
A new attempt followed at the beginning of 1940, with new applications for certificates, filling out questionnaires. Jakob Schoeps requested the release of 100 RM for a down payment of travel expenses ("Re: emigration”), to be paid to the Atala Travel Agency in Frankfurt, Hamburg representation. On June 27th, 1940, another request for the same amount followed, "To account for future expenses concerning my emigration, especially telegraph charges.” In the meantime, the Schoeps’ address had changed, it was now Haynstrasse 5 in Eppendorf, a "Jews’ house.”
Clearance certificates from the Finance Department, the Reichsbank and the Finance Agency were required to get passports. The procedure dragged on; in February 1941, new fees for checking the relocation goods were due. From September 1941, the Schoeps were forced to wear the "Jews’ star.” In November 1941, the couple was served the deportation order; they were taken to the Minsk ghetto. After the war, they were considered missing. Both were declared dead, Irma Schoeps effective May 8th, 1945, Jakob Schoeps for the end of 1945.
Their children survived the holocaust in Palestine. Eva’s future husband was Hanan Epstein; later, she assumed the name Chawa Avni and lived in Haifa. Her brother Walter Schoeps married Anneliese Todtenkopf in 1938; a son was born to the couple in 1941. Walter by then suffered from a serious spinal disorder, most likely caused by the unaccustomed heavy work when he built his house and tilled the plot of land where his parents, too, had planned to spend their sunset years. Unable to work in the field, he bought a horse and cart and started a small transportation business. However, this work was also too heavy for him. For a time, we worked in a warehouse, and finally as a caregiver in a mental hospital.
In 1957, Walter Schoeps applied for a loan of 10,000 marks from the German compensation program and was willing to cede further claims to the German state. The family urgently needed the money, as Walter’s wife was also physically handicapped and only partly able to work. The processing of the application dragged on.
In September 1958, Walter Schoeps traveled to Hamburg accompanied by his 17-year-old son, hoping to achieve more appearing ion person that by mail. Here in his hometown, he fell victim to a traffic accident on October 4th and died the same day at St. Georg hospital. His son suffered a nervous breakdown, and his mother Anneliese Schoeps had to come from Israel to take care of everything. She must have had a hard time getting over this new blow of fate.
Translation by Peter Hubschmid 2018
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: January 2019
© Erika Draeger
Quellen: 1; 2; 5; 8; StaHH 314-15, OFP, F 2196 Bd. 1+2; StaHH 314-15, OFP, R 1938/1874; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 22.10.10 Schoeps, Walter; StaHH 351-11, AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 23.07.13 Schoeps, Anneliese; von Villiez: Mit aller Kraft verdrängt, S. 395.
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