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Selma Birmann (née Nissensohn) * 1890
Fruchtallee 89 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)
Josef (Josek) Birman, born on 5 Nov. 1889 (or 3 Nov. 1889) in Prezdborz (or Lodz), expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, deported to Lodz, murdered in Chelmno
Selma Birman, née Nissensohn, born on 6 Aug. 1890 in Hamburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, deported to Lodz, murdered in Chelmno
Ruth Birman, born on 14 Aug. 1921 in Hamburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, deported to Lodz, murdered in Chelmno
Werner Birman, born on 10 Apr. 1924 in Hamburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, deported to Lodz, murdered in Chelmno
Marion Birman, born on 25 Aug. 1928 in Hamburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, deported to Lodz, murdered in Chelmno
Two granddaughters of the Hamburg print shop owner Siegmund Nissensohn survived the Holocaust because they were sent to Britain on a "children transport” (Kindertransport) in May 1939. At the suggestion of one granddaughter, who visited Hamburg during the course of a Hamburg Senate program, "Stolpersteine” were laid for the family members deported and murdered. For Siegmund Nissensohn, a Stolperstein is located at Dillstraße 15, and for son Arthur, daughter-in-law Sorka, as well as grandson Joachim Nissensohn, Stolpersteine are located at Hallerplatz 10. For daughters Selma Rajsfus (see corresponding entry) and her husband, Stolpersteine are located at Eppendorfer Weg 78, and for Therese Braun and her husband Daniel, Stolpersteine were laid in Altona. Daughter Paula managed to emigrate with her husband, Herbert Friedberg, to the USA. Siegmund Nissensohn was the owner of a German-Hebrew printing company, printing many documents for the German-Israelitic Community, e.g. in 1905 the commemorative publication for the centenary celebrations of the Talmud Tora Realschule. In old age, he lived at Dillstraße 15 in a building of the Hesse Foundation, which later became a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”).
One of Siegmund Nissensohn’s daughters was Selma Birman. Josef Birman’s parents were Löb Schlaumann Birman and Rahel, née Plaschke. The 1939 Hamburg directory lists Josef Birman with a business address at Rentzelstraße 12 and a residential address at Dillstraße 15. At this time, he endeavored to deal in used furniture. Probably, he was actually an auctioneer by profession. Daughter Ruth Birman completed a tailor’s apprenticeship and was an apprentice without income from Oct. 1937 until Apr. 1941. In the 1920s, a different address appears in every year of the directory, and the name was repeatedly spelled "Birmann” with double "n.” This spelling also appears in the Memorial Book of the Federal Archives. Josek Birman had changed his Polish name into a German one. Dillstraße 15, where the Birmans had lived since about 1930, was also the place of residence of Selma Birman’s father. Her sister Therese moved to Dillstraße with her husband and two daughters in 1935 or 1936, and her brother Arthur Nissensohn and family found refuge there as well.
The Birman family had Polish citizenship and was expelled to Zbaszyn in the course of the so-called "Polenaktion.” The couple and their three underage children fell victim to this operation. A part of the expellees were allowed to enter Poland after several weeks, others were refused to do so. They stayed at the provisional camp for months, like the Birman family who had to remain there until the summer of 1939. Then, the father was permitted to return to Hamburg for four weeks to dissolve the household and prepare the family belongings for shipment to Poland. He once again stayed at Dillstraße 15, with his brother-in-law, Arthur Nissensohn. He was forced to list and get approval for everything he owned. A stamp collection, jewelry, and silverware were estimated. His application for extension of his stay in July 1939 was not approved and his passport was invalidated as of 6 Aug. 1939. Therefore, he left for Poland on 29 July 1939. The furniture was put in storage with a moving company. A letter by the Jewish Community to the foreign currency office reveals that in Aug. 1939, the family was staying in Lodz. Subsequently, they lived in the Lodz Ghetto until all family members were "resettled” to the Chelmno extermination camp and murdered there at a date unknown to us.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Susanne Lohmeyer, Jonas Stier
Quellen: 1; 2 (FVg 5253); 4;5; FZH/WdE 1500; HABII 1925 bis 1933, 1939; Hamburger Fernsprechbuch 1926; Gesche Cordes, Stolpersteine, S. 34 f., S. 146 f.