Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

Kurt Herzberg * 1922

Schäferstraße 31 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

JG. 1922
ERMORDET 11.4.1943

further stumbling stones in Schäferstraße 31:
Leopold Drutowski, Elli Drutowski, Alexander Herzberg, Rieckchen Erna Herzberg

Alexander Herzberg, born on 13 Aug. 1893 in Halberstadt, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, died there on 15 Mar. 1942
Erna Rieckchen Herzberg, née Levy, born on 3 Apr. 1894 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz
Kurt Herzberg, born on 16 Oct. 1922 in Hamburg, deported on 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, died there on 11 Apr. 1943

Schäferstrasse 31

Rolf Bornholdt, the sponsor of the Stolpersteine in front of the house at Schäferstrasse 8, had lived there himself as a child. He still has early childhood memories of his former Jewish neighbors (see entry on the Drutowski family) and writes in his memoires, "’Mr. Herzberg,’ recalls Elly [his sister], when I questioned her about the fate of these Jewish neighbors decades later, ‘now and then called on us in our apartment, and you sometimes went up to his place. He had a shiny and glittering pocket watch. You sat on his lap, he pushed a button, and the cover sprang open. Enthusiastically, you would call out, ‘again, again!’, and once more there would be a click, and the watch was open. From an apartment across the street, a Nazi observed this. He rang our doorbell and said to your father, ‘If I see this one more time, your son on the lap of a Jew, I will report you to police. I will report this racial defilement [Rassenschande] to the relevant authorities!’” Rolf Bornholdt went on in his memoirs, "The Herzberg family and also the Drutowski family rang our doorbell before they … were deported. They cried as they bid us farewell and then went to the assembly point on Moorweide. Word was that because he could not walk fast enough, Mr. Herzberg was shot even on the way to the concentration camp.” Rolf Bornholdt also remembers that though Jewish neighbors went to air raid shelters during air strikes, they were humiliated there by other occupants of the house with invectives like "it reeks of garlic in here.” This was a typical example of usual everyday anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. When the underground air raid shelter of the house at Schäferstrasse 31 was damaged in an attack, the occupants of the house went to a nearby bunker above ground during air raid alerts. The Jewish neighbors were not allowed to seek shelter there. They had to hold out in their apartments. Another memory passed on in the Bornholdt family is that Alexander Herzberg took the snow shovel out of pregnant Mrs. Bornholdt’s hands when he saw her removing snow, taking on the work in her place.

Alexander Herzberg was forced to move into the house on Schäferstrasse only shortly before his deportation, probably in 1940 or 1941. Prior to that, he had lived with his family at Stellinger Weg 4 b for a long time. He was a native of Halberstadt. His parents were Adolf and Rosa Herzberg, née Seligmann. He had at least four younger siblings: Berthold (born on 21 Aug. 1896), Erich (born on 15 Apr. 1898), Paul (born on 28 Mar. 1902), and Margarethe (born on 25 Oct. 1903). None of his siblings is entered in the Memorial Book. We know about Paul Herzberg that he emigrated from Magdeburg to Palestine in Feb. 1938.

Alexander Herzberg attended the middle school [Mittelschule – a practice-oriented secondary school up to grade 10] in Magdeburg, subsequently completing a commercial apprenticeship with the Schmidt & Schaffmann Company, which traded in accessories for the tailoring business. In 1911, he suffered a work-related accident, receiving accident benefits from then on. In 1920, Alexander moved to Hamburg, working there first for the Carsch Company (The Carsch family was deported to the Minsk Ghetto on 8 Apr. 1941) and then for Eichengrün & Dreyfuss. He was an employee of Julius Eichengrün (see corresponding entry). In Mar. 1939, Alexander Herzberg lost his job.

By that time he had married Erna Levy, a native of Hamburg; in 1922, their only son Kurt was born. On the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card, Kurt is listed as a "carpenter’s apprentice.” In 1940, a separate Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card was started for Kurt. According to it, he had worked for the W. Reichert Company in Altona since May 1940. The carpenter’s shop was located at Adolphstrasse 134 (today Bernstorffstrasse).

The Herzberg family was deported to the Lodz Ghetto on 25 Oct. 1941, where Alexander Herzberg died on 15 Mar. 1942. Of Erna and Kurt Herzberg, we know that they initially lived in the ghetto at Rauchgasse 34. Apparently, in the spring of 1942, Kurt received the order for "resettlement” ("Aussiedlung”), which meant murder in the nearby Chelmno extermination camp. Therefore, he asked the "expulsion commission” ("Ausweisungskommission”) in early May to exempt him and his mother, providing as reasons the fact that he was employed as a carpenter in the ghetto and that his "wages were ample for our living.” The petition was approved by the "carpenter’s organizational unit” ("Tischlerressorts”) on 9 May 1942. On 11 Apr. 1943, Kurt Herzberg died of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Erna Herzberg evidently moved from Rauchgasse to Matrosengasse. According to the records offices of the ghetto, she "left” it on 1 Sept. 1943. No further details are known about her fate.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Susanne Lohmeyer, Jonas Stier

Quellen: 1; 5; StaH 351-11 AfW, 15350; StaH 522-1 992e 2; Stadtteilrundgänge in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, S. 20f.; HAB IV 1930, 1940; Rolf Bornholdt, Harte Schatten, S. 37ff.; Auskunft Fritz Neubauer/USHMM 301/1229-1230 v. 21.9.2012.

print preview  / top of page