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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Max Leo Neumann * 1924
Großneumarkt 56 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
MAX LEO NEUMANN
further stumbling stones in Großneumarkt 56:
Sella Cohen, Bertha Cohen, A(h)ron Albert Cohn, Thekla Daltrop, David Elias, Theresia Elias, Louisa(e) Elias, Camilla Fuchs, Siegmund Josephi, Robert Martin Levy, Hertha Liebermann, Fritz Mainzer, Siegfried Neumann, Fanny Neumann, Lieselotte Neumann, Mirjam Neumann, Therese Neumann, Bela Neumann, Josef Polack, Bertha Polack, Eva Samuel, Rosa Weinberg, Siegfried Weinberg
Alfred Levi Neumann, born 3 Jan. 1920 in Hamburg, imprisoned 1937, 1938 at Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp, 1941 Hamburg Penitentiary, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Judis Neumann, born 21 May 1940 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Uri Neumann, born 14 July 1941 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Ursula Neumann, née Rosenblum, born 8 Jan. 1922 in Oldenburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Markusstraße 10 (Marcusstraße 61)
Bela Neumann, born 23 Feb. 1939 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Fanny Neumann, née Krügel, born 31 Dec. 1897 in Cologne, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Lieselotte Clara Neumann, born 22 Nov. 1921 in Hamburg, imprisoned 12 May 1941 at Ravensbrück concentration camp, killed 8 May 1942 at Bernburg killing center on the River Saale
Max Leo Neumann, born 21 Nov. 1924 in Hamburg, imprisoned 11 Mar. 1941, deported 10 Dec. 1942 to Auschwitz, killed there 17 Feb. 1943
Mirjam Gerda Margot Neumann, born 27 Nov. 1923 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Siegfried Neumann, born 26 Jan. 1900 in Hamburg, repeatedly imprisoned, perished 13 Jan. 1940 at Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Therese Ella Bertha Neumann, born 20 Aug. 1926 in Hamburg, deported in June 1941 to an unknown destination, killed in June 1942, place unknown
Fanny Krügel and Siegfried Neumann both came from Jewish working-class families with many children. They wed on New Year’s Day in 1920 in Hamburg.
Fanny’s father Julius Ludwig Otto Krügel (born 29 June 1869) was a native of Beneckenstein near Leipzig, he worked in Hamburg as a coachman. Her mother Helene Chenia Slota, née Michlowitsch (alternative spellings Mischlowitz/Mitchlowitsch) (born 27 June 1867, died 17 Nov. 1932), came from a Russian Jewish family living in New Minsk near Warsaw. The couple had married in Leipzig in 1894. Three years later, Fanny was born in Cologne. The Krügels had more children, however only five are known by name: her brothers born in Leipzig, Max (born 20 Mar. 1895, died 27 Aug. 1947), Marcus (born 12 Nov. 1899) and Leopold (born 24 May 1902) as well as her brothers born in Hamburg, Willi (born 9 Aug. 1907) and Hermann (born 15 Sept. 1910). Apart from Willi Krügel, they all survived the Holocaust.
Siegfried Neumann’s parents were the cooper and vegetable seller Lewin Neumann (born 29 Apr. 1859 in Dirschau, died 19 Oct. 1919) and his wife Mathilde, née Lohde (born 30 July 1859, died 18 Dec. 1927). The eldest of their six children were born in Praust near Gdansk and in Kiel (see the Geistlich Family). Their son Siegfried was born in 1900 at Lincolnstraße 8 in the district St. Pauli (see the Geistlich Family and Moritz Neumann Family).
The Neumann and Krügel families later lived as neighbors at Marienstraße 13 and 17 (as of 1940 on Jan-Valkenburg-Straße, which today ends in a cul-de-sac but used to extend farther to the corner of Elbstraße and Hütten).
Siegfried Neumann set out to sea as a stoker. He was still very young at the birth of his first children, Kurt Werner on 22 Oct. 1918 and Alfred Levi on 3. Jan. 1920. Fanny, two years older than Siegfried, was a trained salesperson. After they were married, she and their two children moved in with her widowed mother-in-law at Marienstraße 13 until she found her own apartment at Alten Steinweg 57. They had four more children: Lieselotte Clara on 22 Nov. 1921, Mirjam Gerda Margot on 27 Nov. 1923, Max Leo on 21 Nov. 1924 and the youngest Therese Ella Bertha on 20 Aug. 1926.
The family’s financial circumstances became difficult when Siegfried Neumann had to sign off from seafaring in the early 1920s because he had contracted malaria. He then worked as an "irregular” dock worker, stevedore and barge driver, sharing the fate of many family fathers who were unable to earn a regular income during the world economic crisis. In the interim, the Neumann Family received welfare payments and as of 1926 lived at Caffamacherreihe 28. They moved house twice more, to Neustädter Straße 93 in 1934 and to Friedrichstraße 11 in the St. Pauli neighborhood in 1935 until they received a subsidized apartment at the Jewish Hertz-Joseph-Levy Foundation at Großneumarkt 56 in 1938.
The family’s welfare file described Siegfried Neumann as being "talented above average”. His "efforts to earn a living [were] greatly hindered by the difficult circumstances on the job market.” Siegfried Neumann was variously called on to do "emergency work” for a maximum of four weeks. Afterwards he again had to rely on unemployment benefits or welfare payments. In one of those work gangs in Hamburg-Farmsen, the other workers elected him as their "representative”. But he was let go from that job too in Sept. 1927.
A staff member of the welfare office later noted in his file following a visit to his home in 1932 that Siegfried Neumann, "by the way, is also well versed in domestic chores, taking care of the household,” and has taught his children extensively about "communist ideas”. He tied together his political and athletic interests by becoming the chairman of the Phoenix Red Workers Athletic Association. According to his son Kurt, his father was arrested the first time immediately after the National Socialists took power in 1933.
Since he was unable to raise the money for tuition at private schools or high schools, Siegfried Neumann sent his children to Jewish schools, "to give them the best possible education they can be afforded for free.” The Hebrew lessons were a "necessary evil” they had to make the best of.
His sons attended the Talmud Torah School in the Grindelviertel neighborhood, his daughters Lieselotte and Mirjam attended the Israelite Daughters’ School on Carolinenstraße, and Therese went to the Community’s girls’ school at Johnsallee 33. The two eldest brothers Kurt and Alfred were able to start occupational training following their formal education, but their younger siblings were prohibited from using the apprenticeship placement agency because of their Jewish background.
As a result, Lieselotte Neumann was no longer allowed to obtain vocational training in Apr. 1935 when she graduated from second grade (corresponding to today’s seventh grade) of elementary school. She primarily worked as a maid, but also as a messenger at the company Gebrüder Robinsohn and as an extra at Flora Theater. When she was picked by the Gestapo on 4 Oct. 1938 and taken to Hütten Prison, she was pregnant. The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, one of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, forbade extramarital relations between Jewish and non-Jewish partners.
Her non-Jewish financée Karl Muszinski (see his entry) was arrested six days later. However it did not come to legal proceedings for "racial defilement” because Karl Muszinski "allegedly” took his own life on 15 Oct. 1938 in his cell at Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison by hanging himself.
Lieselotte was released from prison heavily pregnant and taken to the state care home on Oberaltenallee before being moved to Finkenau Women’s Hospital for delivery. Her daughter Bela was born on 23 Feb. 1939. After giving birth, she and her daughter were initially returned to the care facility and then stayed at Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison in "protective custody” until 23 June 1939.
She then worked with her sister Mirjam Neumann, who had been dismissed from school in 1938, at a wool combing factory in Hamburg-Harburg – they both were probably "compulsory workers” due to the welfare payments they had received. In Mar. 1941 Lieselotte Neumann was once again taken into custody under the pretext of "racial defilement”. Prior to that, on 17 Jan. 1941, she had been sentenced to one week in prison for "fraud and counterfeiting documents”. She served her sentence during her "protective custody” in the women’s division at Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison.
Lieselotte Neumann was transferred to Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp on 12 May 1941. In spring of 1942 she was "examined” and selected by the physician Friedrich Mennecke, within the framework of "Operation 14 f 13” which was part of the National Socialists’ "euthanasia” program, then killed in the gas chamber of the Bernburg killing center on the River Saale along with other concentration camp prisoners who were no longer able to work. Her brother Max, who was in custody at the time, received news via the Fuhlsbüttel prison administration that his sister had died of purulent pleurisy on 8 May 1942 following an influenza infection. According to a record of the Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery, her urn burial did not take place until 12 May 1943.
By that time, her brother Kurt Neumann had already left Germany. After leaving school in 1933, Kurt was able to start training in machine construction at the company L. Anker at Humboldstraße 55 where he stayed on as an employee when he finished his training. He would have liked to have become an engineer and attended night school at the Technical University, but he had to stop after six months. His brother Alfred was still undergoing training in machine construction, which he had begun at the company of Karl Thormaehlen on Lagerstraße in Hamburg-Altona in May 1934, when the two brothers were arrested on 5 Oct. 1938, a day after their sister Lieselotte.
After his release from "protective custody” in July 1938, Alfred Neumann was banned from taking his final examination. He found work at various companies until he too was arrested under the pretext of "racial defilement” on 20 Jan. 1939. However Hamburg District Court acquitted him on 10 Feb. 1939 for lack of evidenced. Alfred then tried to leave Germany as quickly as possible. He worked for free on a steamer to earn his passage "overseas”. The ship was to set out at the end of Dec. 1939, but the outbreak of war prevented its departure. Alfred was no longer able to leave Germany. Instead, he moved in with his fiancée Ursula Rosenblum (born 8 Jan. 1922 in Oldenburg) at Marcusstraße 61 (today Markusstraße). They were married on 9 May 1940. Shortly after their wedding, they and Ursula’s father Siegfried Rosenblum (see Paula Schulz) and Ursula’s younger siblings Margot (born 27 Dec. 1917) and Paul (born 24 Apr. 1919) had to move into the "Jewish house” in Altona at Breitestraße 54 where their children were born, Judis on 21 May 1940 and Uri on 14 July 1941.
Following his arrest on 5 Oct. 1938, Alfred’s older brother Kurt was released from Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison a short time later on 31 Oct., only to be arrested again a few days later in the wake of the November pogrom Kristallnacht. He was released from prison on 15 Dec. 1938 under the provision that he leave Germany as fast as possible. On 10 Mar. 1939 he married his fiancée Hilda Henriette Heymann (born 16 Mar. 1920) (see the Heymann Family), and they fled with their son Sally (born 5 Sept. 1938) on 12 Apr. 1939 via Italy to Shanghai since Shanghai did not require a visa to enter the country. The young couple left Hamburg utterly penniless and did not even have enough money to buy milk for their son Sally when they had to wait two days for their ship in Italy.
Initially Kurt was not able to find work in Shanghai, so the family was supported by the American Joint Distribution Committee. They lived on Tongshan Road until they, like all the Jewish refugees, were placed in a ghetto by the Japanese in 1941 in the Hongkew district. The poor provisions and unsanitary conditions led to all sorts of diseases. Sally was not able to withstand the living conditions there, he died in Shanghai at the age of five. With the support of an aid organization, the couple and their daughter Marion Bella (born 12 Jan. 1941 in Shanghai) managed to immigrate in 1947 to relatives in the United States, where they went on to have more children.
Max Neumann, the youngest brother, finished his formal education in Apr. 1939. He would have liked to have become a locksmith. His opportunity to begin an apprenticeship at a "Jewish locksmith’s shop” failed because his father refused to grant his permission. That opportunity undoubtedly meant the training workshop belonging to the German-Israelite Community at Weidenallee 10a, a recognized training center (Hakhshara) which prepared people for life in Palestine. In a later memoir, Max reported he found his adolescence very hard. The then 15-year-old felt he had less freedom than his siblings since he had to earn money to support his family at such a young age.
Max first worked at various jobs and signed up in Oct. 1939 for harvest work in Neuendorf. The Neuendorf estate in Fürstenwalde on the Spree was also a recognized Hakhshara training center where teenagers were trained to work in agriculture. After two weeks, a serious illness forced him to return home. Following his recovery and discharge from the hospital, he performed "obligatory work”, his final assignment doing gardening work for the company Sundermann in Niendorf. On 11 Mar. 1941 Max was also arrested on suspicion of "racial defilement”. Hamburg’s youth criminal court sentenced him on 1 Nov. 1941 to two years in prison which he was to serve at Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison. On 20 Dec. 1941 Max Neumann wrote in a letter to the public prosecutor’s office, "My mother along with my three siblings have recently been relocated to Litzmannstadt [Lodz Ghetto]. My father has already passed away. I myself still have 18 months left to serve on my prison sentence. As a result of my relatives’ resettlement, they can no longer visit me. Since I am only 17 years old, it would be highly desirable for me that my mother and my siblings have the opportunity to visit me. Therefore I request that I be transferred from Hamburg to Litzmannstadt for the remainder of my sentence.”
His request was approved by Public Prosecutor Paul because he found "it to be in the interest of the 17-year-old prisoner to be able to maintain contact with his relatives” and because "as a Jew the administrative office will be resettling him away from Hamburg anyway once he has finished his prison term.”
And yet Max Neumann remained imprisoned in Hamburg. Just shy of a year later, on 10 Dec. 1942, he was transferred to Auschwitz by decree of the Reich Minister of Justice to make all jails and penitentiaries "free of Jews”. Max Neumann was killed in Auschwitz on 17 Feb. 1943.
His mother Fanny Neumann was arrested on 5 Oct. 1938 along with her eldest sons Kurt and Alfred. The planned criminal proceedings for "aiding and abetting racial defilement” and "serious procuring of prostitutes” was suspended following the death of her daughter’s fiancée Karl Muszinski. After her release from Fuhlsbüttel Police Prison on 4 Jan. 1939, Fanny moved in with her sister-in-law Therese Brune, née Neumann (born 5 Nov. 1895 in Kiel), on Caffamacherreihe, where she had left her three youngest children during her detainment. She undertook every effort for her whole family to emigrate. Mirjam, Therese and Max were to be taken to England on a children transport through the aid organization of German Jews. Her husband Siegfried Neumann wanted to immigrate to Shanghai with their son Kurt. As mentioned above, he had been arrested in the course of the operation "Work-shy Reich” on 10 June 1938 along with his brother Nathan Neumann (born 12 Dec. 1890 in Kiel), his brother-in-law Willi Krügel and Siegfried Rosenblum, the father of his future daughter-in-law Ursula who had been in "protective custody” since 23 June 1938 at Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
His family was informed "that he would not be released unless he emigrated.” Once Fanny Neumann had gathered all the documents necessary to emigrate, Siegfried Neumann was released from prison building 16 on 28 Mar. 1939, but his departure failed because the ship to Shanghai was allegedly overbooked. The other family members had also already obtained their "clearance certificates” required to emigrate, yet their emigration failed too. They were probably lacking the financial means, and the outbreak of war on 1 Sept. 1939 also diminished the number of countries willing to take in refugees.
The Neumann Family moved into part of a small apartment at Caffamacherreihe 18. Siegfried Neumann was called up to work as a forced laborer at the company Vogt on Finkenwärder (today Finkenwerder). Following an argument, probably with a foreman, he was arrested in the summer of 1939 and again taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The words "work-shy Jew, recidivist” were noted in his prison file.
Fanny Neumann had to move with her five children and grandchild Bela into a small basement apartment at Rappastraße 6 in Sept. 1939, in a so-called Jewish house. It was there that she received notification that her husband had hung himself in Barack 35 of Sachsenhausen concentration camp at midnight on 13 Jan. 1940. She had the urn with his ashes sent to Hamburg. It was buried at Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery, as was later the urn of their daughter Lieselotte.
After the death of her husband, Fanny Neumann hoped she would be able to improve the living situation for herself and her children based on her status as a "half-breed of the first degree”. On 23 Apr. 1941 she wrote to the Office for Race Politics in Berlin, "I Fanny Sara Neumann, née Krügel was born on 31 Dec. 1897 in Cologne as a half-breed. My father is a pure-blooded Aryan, my mother was Jewish. All relevant documents can be provided upon request. On 31 Dec. 1920, I married the Jew Siegfried Neumann who perished in Jan. 1940. Due to that marriage, I was automatically considered Jewish in accordance with the Nuremberg Laws. Now that I am widowed, I request that I once again be regarded as a half-breed. I attended an Aryan school and was raised as such. I kindly ask the Race Office to approve my request.”
She was not recognized as a "half-breed”. Instead she was fined 10 Reich Marks because she had neglected to note her "Jewish identification number” and her "identification card location” in her petition. (The compulsory identification card for Jews was introduced on 23 July 1938. By law the identification card had to be presented without being asked for or mentioned in written correspondence).
In Oct. 1941 the names of Fanny Neumann, her daughter Mirjam and grandchild Bela were placed on the substitute list for possible no-shows for a transport to "Litzmannstadt” ghetto in Lodz.
Some of the Jewish men and women on the regular list dodged the transport or took their own lives prior to deportation. The Neumanns had to fill in the gaps, Bela Neumann with the number 129, Fanny Neumann with the number 130 and Mirjam Neumann with the number 131. Fanny’s son Alfred Neumann volunteered to go with his wife Ursula and their two children so as not to be separated from the others. On 25 Oct. 1941 they boarded the train for Lodz along with 1,027 other people at Hanoverschen Train Station (today Lohseplatz). Fanny Neumann, according to family lore, sang with her children and grandchildren to bolster their spirits. Stumbling Stones will soon be laid for Alfred and Ursula Neumann and their children at Markusstraße.
We have not been able to determine the fate of her daughter Therese Neumann. Documents show that she was registered on 27/28 Apr. 1941 at the home of the Jewish Women’s Association in Neu-Isenburg at Taunusstraße 9. Managed by the activist for social policies and women’s rights Bertha Pappenheim (born 1859, died 1936), this public institution, opened in 1907, had become a refuge for Jewish women and children. The institution also took in children until shortly before its closure in 1942, children whose parents were no longer able to feed them. The authorities also committed to their care adolescents from correctional facilities and work houses.
Therese Neumann was deregistered from her home in Neu-Isenburg on 30 June 1941 and taken to Offenbach Police Prison where all further trace of her was lost. She was deported to an unknown destination in 1941 and killed in June 1942 at an unknown location.
Siegfried Neumann’s sister Therese Brune, who had given refuge to his wife and his youngest children for a time, perished along with her daughter Carla Zancke, née Gransee (born 15 Mar. 1915), and grandchild Günter (born 21 June 1934) the night of 28 July 1943 in the basement of the building at Sachsenstraße 23 in Hammerbrook during an Allied bombing raid.
His brother Nathan Neumann, who lived with his non-Jewish wife Pauline Auguste Emma Julie, née Fiedler (born 4 Feb. 1894 in Altona, died 8 July 1944) and their children at Glashüttenstraße 88, was killed in Auschwitz on 16 Dec. 1942.
Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 1; StaH 351-11 AfW 42086 (Neumann, Kurt Werner); StaH 351-11 AfW 43403 (Neumann, Alfred); StaH 351-11 AfW 23901 (Neumann, Siegfried); StaH 351-11 AfW 44840 (Neumann, Lieselotte); StaH 351-11 AfW 46495 (Neumann, Max Leo); StaH 351-11 AfW 46260 (Neumann, Miriam); StaH 213-11 Amtsgericht Hamburg 7311/41; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung 1125; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung 3978; StaH 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung Abl. 10, St. 266; StaH 242-1II Abl. 13, jüngere Gefangenenkarteikarte Frauen (Neumann, Lieselotte); StaH 332-5 Standesämter 13401 u 273/1900; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 6027 u 774/1915; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3266 u 128/1915; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8739 u 974/1919; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3372 u 1291/1920; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 926 u 499/1927; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9860 u 1233/1932; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1224 u 8145/1943; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1200 u 458/1944; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8206 u 719/1947; StaH 314-15 OFP FVg 5683; Auskunft aus der Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück von Ronny Welsch-Lehmann, E-Mail vom 16.5.2011; Gespräche mit Ursula Geistlich und Ruth Dräger, 2011; http://gedenkbuch.neu-isenburg.de, eingesehen am 19.5.2014; Dokumente und Fotos von Diane Weber (USA) am 25.7.2016 und 8.8.2016 und 17.8.2016.