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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Julius Rappaport * 1927

Wexstraße 4–6 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1927
ERMORDET 23.9.1942

further stumbling stones in Wexstraße 4–6:
Erna Goldberg, Walt(h)er Goldberg, Kurt-Hermann Goldberg, Werner-Richard Goldberg, Hans-Hermann Goldberg, Fanny Rappaport, Ella Rappaport, Berthold Rappaport, Leib Rappaport

Leib/Leo Rappaport, born 20 Apr. 1885 in Zastawna, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, killed 23 Sept. 1942 at Chelmno (Kulmhof)
Fanny Rappaport, née Diamant, born 30 May 1900 in Rożniątów, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, killed 23 Sept. 1942 at Chelmno (Kulmhof)
Ella Rappaport, born 20 Feb. 1925 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz where she died 27 Oct. 1943
Julius Rappaport, born 17 Nov. 1927 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, killed 23 Sept. 1942 at Chelmno (Kulmhof)
Berthold Rappaport, born 19 Sept. 1932 in Hamburg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, killed 23 Sept. 1942 at Chelmno (Kulmhof)

Wexstraße 4-6 (Wexstraße 6)

The master carpenter Leib Rappaport was a native of Bukovina, which at the time belonged to the Habsburg Monarchy. The small town Zastawna (today Sastawna), where he was born the son of Jewish parents on 20 Apr. 1885, belonged to Romania after World War I and today is part of Ukraine. His father was Benjamin Rattenbach (born 15 May 1856), his mother’s name was Schene Elke Rifka Rappaport. Their children, Leib and his three siblings Srul/Saul (born10 Mar. 1881), Mordko/Jankel (born 25 Dec. 1887) and Rifka/Ryfka (born 8 Apr. 1890), either were given the mother’s last name or later took it on themselves. According to family lore, that was not an uncommon practice in their homeland if the mother came from a family of higher standing. It is also possible that his parents "only” wed according to Jewish tradition and did not have a civil wedding.

The Rattenbach/Rappaport Family, while living in Hamburg, had Austrian citizenship and were declared Romanian citizens after World War I. Benjamin Rattenbach was co-owner of the wholesale cigar business Benjamin & Co. at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße 19. His wife had evidently died while they were still living in Zastawna. Benjamin Rattenbach died on 27 June 1928, his grave is at Langenfelde Jewish Cemetery.

His eldest son Srul came to Hamburg in 1901, he registered in Neustadt at Elbstraße 75 (today Neanderstraße), initially using the family name Rattenbach. When applying to the Hamburg government for naturalization of his entire family in Apr. 1920, he noted that he had attended a "Ruthenic elementary school” in his homeland, like his siblings. The three brothers completed vocational training in a trade. Leib became a carpenter, Mordko a shoe maker, later a cloth merchant. Srul had trained as a tailor in Chernivtsi and then worked in manufacturing at the company Rappolt and Sons (see Franz Rappolt) from 1902 to 1917. In 1903 he married the cook Frime/Frieda Sinnreich (born 18 Aug. 1880) at the Wiznitz Community (today Wyschnyzja, Ukraine) in Bukovina and changed his last name to Rappaport. As of 1912 the couple lived with their five children in the Hamburg neighborhood Eimsbüttel at Kielortallee 25 in the Oppenheim Foundation where they ran a tailoring shop from 1917. During World War I Srul Rappaport worked as a tailor for the military at the uniform office in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. His brother served as a soldier in World War I. Leib Rappaport was still in a Russian prisoner of war camp in Apr. 1920.

After his release, Leib Rappaport married the seamstress Fanny Diamant. She moved to Hamburg for her wedding, according to her brother Avraham Anschel Diamant (born 14 May 1913) in 1920 or 1921. Their father Jakob Diamant died as a soldier in World War I, their mother Bina Hana, née Wassermann (born 1882), had lived with her children in Rożniątów a village in Upper Silesia (today Poland) where Fanny was born on 30 May 1900.

Fanny and Leib Rappaport first lived in the Hamburg neighborhood of St. Pauli at Bartelsstraße 5. They had three children, Ella, Julius and Berthold, who were born in Hamburg between 1925 and 1932. In 1927 Leib Rappaport opened his own carpentry business in St.Pauli at Altonaerstraße 20a (today Altonaer Straße). Two years later he moved his workshop to Alten Steinweg 57. He changed his Jewish-sounding name Leib to Leo. At the time the family lived at Schlachterstraße 46/47 in the Jewish Lazarus-Gumpel-Stift and around 1934 moved to Wexstraße 6, where today Stumbling Stones bear witness to them outside a building constructed after the war. In 1936 they moved to Agathenstraße 3, into the Nanny-Jonas-Stift in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel. Leib Rappaport was already running his carpentry business at Agathenstraße 12. At the start of 1939, when Jews were no longer allowed to be self-employed, both brothers Srul and Leib probably had to give up their workshops. Mordko Rappaport had recognized early on the sign of the times and immigrated to the USA with his wife Rifka, née Braun (Brun), at the end of 1936. Their children Gertrud (born 20 Sept. 1912) and Max (born 4 May 1914), who had immigrated to Palestine in 1935, followed them in 1937.

In Aug. 1939 Leib Rappaport received a "clearance certificate” from the Hamburg foreign currency office, required to leave the country. He must have also been trying to escape Germany with his family. However, after the outbreak of war in Sept. 1939 it was too late for legal emigration, moreover Leib Rappaport and his family were considered stateless due to his place of birth. The note "Sept. 1939 abroad” was crossed out again on his religious tax card at the Israelite Community in Hamburg.

Leib’s sister Rifka Gänser, née Rappaport, acquired Polish citizenship when she married the salesman Karl Gänser (born 9 Aug. 1891) in Hamburg on 28 Nov. 1919 as he was born in Grzymalow, Galicia. She came to Hamburg at the end of 1904 where she worked as a maid and cook. According to an entry on his religious tax card, Karl Gänser left his apartment at Dillstraße 21 in Aug. 1938 and immigrated to Istanbul. Rifka Gänser was among the thousand or so Hamburg Jewish men and women with Polish citizenship deported over the Polish border to Zbaszyn (Bentschen) on 28 Oct. 1938. Her last address was Beim Schlump 24. The Gänsers were declared dead in June 1961 by a legally binding decision of the Hamburg Local Court. Their date of death was set as 31 Dec. 1943. Their son Max (born 30 Apr. 1925) was deported from Bornstraße 22 to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941 and killed. The fate of his sister Ella (born 19 Feb. 1921) could not be traced.

Srul’s children Ella (born 8 Mar. 1904), Rosa (born 15 Apr. 1906), Max (born 27 Apr. 1908, died 1951), Feiwich/Friedrich (born 11 Dec. 1910) und Arthur (born 5 Dec. 1912) managed to immigrate to the USA in 1938. Their parents stayed behind in Hamburg. They received their deportation orders for the first Hamburg mass transport on 25 Oct. 1941 to "Litzmannstadt” Ghetto in Lodz along with Leib and Fanny Rappaport and their three underage children.

In Lodz Ghetto, Leib Rappaport and his family were first housed at Rubens Straße 2, Room 40 and in Feb. 1942 at Altmarkt 4. When lists were compiled for transport to the nearby extermination camp Chelmno (Kulmhof) at the beginning of May 1942, they also received a "departure order”. Since Leib Rappaport had worked in the "construction department” since Nov. 1941 as a carpenter, the letter Leib Rappaport had written to the "Deportation Commission” on 8 May 1942 requesting that he be removed from that transport, received the stamp "UWZGLEDNIONE” – granted. Fanny too had received her orders but was exempted due to her husband’s work certificate. Only people who could prove that they had an important job in the ghetto stood a chance of surviving.

The Rappaport Family lived a brief five months together before they had to leave the ghetto on another transport on 23 Sept. 1942 without their daughter Ella.

Ella Rappaport, registered in the ghetto as a laborer, died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 27 Oct. 1943 at the "ghetto hospital”.

Srul and Frime Rappaport had already been taken to Chelmno (Kulmhof) on 25 Apr. 1942 where they were killed in a gas van.

Fanny Rappaport’s family in Rożniątów was also among the victims of the Shoah. After the war her brother Avraham Anschel Diamant, mentioned above, who lived with his sister and brother-in-law in Hamburg until his arrest and expulsion to Poland at the end of 1933, attested to his family’s fate at the Yad Vashem Memorial, presumably as his family’s only survivor.

Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: June 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; 9; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 689 u 459/1913; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8730 u 684/1919; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 940 u 265/1928; StaH 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht BVI 2087; StaH 351-11 AfW 39308 (Diamant, Avraham Anschel); StaH 351-11 AfW 5263 (Rappaport, Saul); StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 1; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 3; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen K 6770; Lodz Hospital, Der Hamburger Gesellschaft für Genealogie zur Verfügung gestellt von Peter W. Landé, 2009, USHMM, Washington, bearbeitet von Margot Löhr; Yad Vashem, Zentrale Datenbank der Namen der Holocaustopfer Simon Diamant (Gedenkblatt); Yad Vashem, Zentrale Datenbank der Namen der Holocaustopfer Rubin Diamant (Gedenkblatt); Yad Vashem, Zentrale Datenbank der Namen der Holocaustopfer Klara Diamant (Gedenkblatt); Yad Vashem, Zentrale Datenbank der Namen der Holocaustopfer Bina Diamant (Gedenkblatt); USHMM, RG 15.083, 302/586-632, Fritz Neubauer Universität Bielefeld, E-Mail vom 11.6.2014; Auskünfte von Ben Rappaport in Israel, E-Mail am 17.3.2015; (Zugriff 16.3.2015); (Zugriff 11.4.2015).
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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