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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Ferdinand Rosenstern * 1880

Trostbrücke 2–6 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamburg-Altstadt)

JG. 1880
ERMORDET 11.10.44

further stumbling stones in Trostbrücke 2–6:
Richard Abraham, Julius Adam, Julius Asch, Georg Blankenstein, Gustav Falkenstein, Ivan Fontheim, Henry Friedenheim, Albert Holländer, Max Israel, Gustav Heinrich Leo, Heinrich Mayer, Moritz Nordheim, Kurt Perels, Ernst Moritz Rappolt, Walter Ludwig Samuel, Salomon Siegmund Schlomer, Ernst Werner, Heinrich Wohlwill, Alfred Wolff

Ferdinand Rosenstern, born on 11 Nov. 1880 in Hamburg, deported in 1943 from Westerbork to Theresienstadt, deported further on 9 Oct. 1944 to Auschwitz, murdered there on 11 Oct. 1944
Elsa Rosenstern, née Lewandowsky, born on 5 Dec. 1886 in Hamburg, deported in 1943 from Westerbork to Theresienstadt, deported further on 9 Oct. 1944 to Auschwitz, murdered there on 11 Oct. 1944
Otto Edgar Rosenstern, born on 1 Feb. 1922 in Hamburg, deported on 10 June 1941 to the Mauthausen concentration camp, perished there on 18 Sept. 1941

Leinpfad 14

Ferdinand Rosenstern was born in Hamburg and belonged to the Jewish Community. In Feb. 1909, he married Elsa Lewandowsky, who was also of Jewish descent. The couple had five children: Ernst (born on 5 Nov. 1910), Herbert (born on 9 Dec. 1911), Werner (born on 26 July 1913), Irene Lisa (born on 18 July 1916, married name Nothmann), and Otto Edgar (born on 1 Feb. 1922). By the 1930s, the older children already lived abroad; son Otto, who had attended the Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium [a high school focused on science, math, and modern languages] on Bundesstrasse until 1935, accompanied his parents into exile in Amsterdam.

The family was affluent: Ferdinand Rosenstern had inherited "Rosenstern und Co., Im- und Export,” an import and export house founded in Hamburg in 1848, and continued to manage it. The business, active in the South America trade, was first headquartered on Deichstrasse, later on Mönckebergstrasse. Branch offices existed in Ireland and New York. Ferdinand Rosenstern then took up trading in borax, a chemical used, among other things, for producing glass fibers, porcelain glazings, and cosmetics, representing in this capacity London-based Borax Consolidated. Apparently, he felt very attached to his hometown, for since 1913 at the latest, he was a member of the Patriotic Society (Patriotische Gesellschaft). When the association introduced the "Aryan Paragraph” ("Arierparagraph”) in 1935, he was excluded.

The subsequent anti-Jewish boycott and agitation campaigns of the Nazi regime resulted in Ferdinand Rosenstern and his wife and youngest son Otto Edgar emigrating to Amsterdam in 1937. However, the largest portion of their assets remained in Germany, being seized by the Gestapo in Dec. 1938.

Also in 1937, Ferdinand Rosenstern tried to rescue the company by transferring it to his long-standing employee Erich Schuster. However, the sale, though at a very low price as was usual in these cases, failed because of the Reich Governor’s (Reichstatthalter) objection. Schuster attempted to continue operating the company in trust, ultimately foundering in his effort because the enterprise continued to be deemed "Jewish.” Around 1940, he had to cease all business activities.

Until the German Wehrmacht invaded the Netherlands, Borax Consolidated paid a small salary to Ferdinand Rosenstern in Amsterdam, since from there he was supposed to monitor the dealings of his trustee in Hamburg. With the occupation of the Netherlands by the German Wehrmacht, the relative security of the Rosenstern family in Amsterdam ended in other respects, too. Otto Rosenstern had attended a school set up by Quakers in Eerde in the Dutch town of Ommen, serving to prepare Jewish refugees from Germany for emigration to Palestine. He was arrested on 10 June 1941 and deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp. He perished there on 18 September of that year.

The parents, Elsa and Ferdinand, were arrested by the Gestapo in May 1943 and initially taken to the Westerbork camp in the Netherlands. From there, they were deported to Theresienstadt on 25 Feb. 1944. On 9 Oct. 1944, they had to board another train, taking them to the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2018
© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: 1; 4; 8; AfW 111180, AfW 051286, AfW 010222; (einges. 4.10.2007); Wilhelm Mosel, Wegweiser zu ehemaligen jüdischen Stätten in Hamburg, Heft 2, Hamburg 1985, S. 70; Marlis Roß, Der Ausschluss der jüdischen Mitglieder 1935, die Patriotische Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus. Hamburg 2007, S. 83; Johannes Gerhardt, Die Begründer der hamburgischen wissenschaftlichen Stiftung, Hamburg 2015, S. 61.
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