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Else Jacobsohn (née Rosenblum) * 1882
Steindamm 12 (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Georg)
Else Jacobsohn, née Rosenblum, born on 27 Sept. 1882 in Salzwedel, deported to Minsk on 18 Nov. 1941
Manfred Jacobsohn, born on 19 Oct. 1922 in Hamburg, murdered in Auschwitz on 2 Jan. 1944
last residential address: Steindamm 12
Else Jacobsohn was the daughter of the Jewish couple Moritz and Cäcilie Rosenblum, who lived in Salzwedel in the "Old March” (Altmark) in today’s state of Sachsen-Anhalt. The father practiced the profession of a legal consultant. His daughter Else obtained the intermediate secondary school certificate (mittlere Reife) and then completed a commercial apprenticeship in the clothing industry. After finishing her vocational training, she worked as a purchaser for the Tietz Company, first in Braunschweig and then in Hamburg. There she met the merchant John Jacobsohn (born in Lübeck in 1875), getting married to him in 1914.
The couple had two sons: Ernst, born in 1916, and his brother Manfred, born in 1922. At the time of their marriage, John Jacobsohn already owned a store selling stationary and souvenirs on Kirchenallee, across from the central station. In 1928, after her husband’s early death, Else Jacobsohn continued to operate the business; from Oct. 1930 on, she lived with her two sons in a three-and-a-half-bedroom apartment at Steindamm 12, opposite the Hansa Theater. Her store still did rather well even in the 1930s due to its favorable location near the central station, especially during the traveling season.
However, in early 1938, she had to clear the store because the building accommodating it being was redesigned. Because of this, she opened a new store with the same goods at Lange Reihe 16, where she apparently had her living quarters as well. Due to the less favorable location and the constantly mounting discrimination against Jewish stores, the business did very poorly, which forced her to give it up again in Aug. 1938. Consequently, Else Jacobsohn found herself depending on welfare assistance from the state and the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband).
Her son Ernst had still been able to complete a bookseller’s apprenticeship, though not finding any work because of his Jewish descent. He left Hamburg in 1936 already, emigrating to the Netherlands in early 1938 after having lived in Cologne and Nuremberg – eventually, in 1939, he emigrated to Palestine. Apparently, his younger brother Manfred was detained in a concentration camp in 1938 (possibly having been arrested during the November Pogrom of 1938) and after his release fled, at the end of 1938, as a 16-year old, to the Netherlands as well, though not accompanying Ernst to Palestine later. As for many other Jewish refugees, the Netherlands became a trap for Manfred Jacobsohn after the invasion of German troops. He was initially interned in the Westerbork concentration camp, from where he was deported to Auschwitz in Nov. 1943; he was murdered there on 2 Jan. 1944.
After Else Jacobsohn had been forced to close her last store, she changed her place of residence very frequently, moving to a series of single rooms as a subtenant until she ended in the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Kielortallee 22. On 18 Nov. 1941, she was eventually deported from there on the transport comprised of 407 male and female Jews to the Minsk Ghetto in Belarus, which she did not survive.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Benedikt Behrens
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; AfW, Entschädigungsakte und Fürsorgeakte; AB 1939; Oorlogsgravenstichting (Niederlande), Website http://www.ogs.nl.
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