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Thessa Kargauer * 1929
Grindelallee 168 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
LODZ / LITZMANNSTADT
1942 CHELMNO / KULMHOF
Cäcilie Kargauer, née Vogel, b. 6.14.1887 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto, murdered in the Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp on 5.10.1942
Ruth Julie Kargauer, b. 10.14.1919 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto, murdered in the Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp on 5.10.1942
Gerd Julius Kargauer, b. 12.8.1920 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz/ Litzmannstadt ghetto, murdered in the Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp on 5.10.1942
Norbert Kargauer, b. 9.29.1926 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz/ Litzmannstadt ghetto, murdered in the Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp on 5.10.1942
Thessa Kargauer, b. 6.7.1929 in Hamburg, deported on 10.25.1941 to the Lodz/ Litzmannstadt ghetto, murdered in the Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp on 5.10.1942
On 4 April 1911, Cäcilie Vogel and Bernhard Kargauer (b. 1870) got married in a civil ceremony. As witnesses, Cäcilie chose her brother Eduard Vogel (1884-1943), while her husband named Anton Speyer, who was, like him, a member of the Hamburg Jewish Congregation. The fathers of the couple, Samuel Kargauer and Isaac Vogel, were already dead. Their mothers, however, took part in the wedding: Tischel Therese Kargauer, née Dreyer, and Auguste (Julie) Vogel, née Nordheimer.
Eight months later, on 2 November 1911, the couple greeted the birth of their daughter, Carmen. The family grew in the following years: Heinz Isaac on 18 January 1913, Egon Samuel on 9 October 1914, Ruth on 14 October 1919, Gerd Julius on 8 December 1920, Norbert on 29 September 1926, and Thessa Therese on 7 June 1929.
Bernhard Kargauer was in commerce and led an agency business on Gärtnerstrasse, among other places. Over the course of time, the business declined, which owed not a little to the world economic crisis. The monthly income frequently did not suffice for the necessities, heating fuel or shoes for the seven children. As early as 1921, the family applied for state aid, which they did receive. That continued with brief interruptions until 1929. In the meantime, the Kargauers lived on Bundespasssage, which was renamed Bundesweg in 1926. At the beginning of the 1930s, the family again needed support from the Health and Welfare Office of the City of Hamburg. After completing the formalities, continuous payments were afforded to the Kargauer family, which had of no assets.
With entry into power by the Nazis on 30 January 1933, the lives of Jews worsened severely. Clearly visible evidence of this was the 1 April 1933 boycott of Jewish businesses--particularly in Grindel, the Jewish quarter of Hamburg. The famous photograph of "Germans, do not buy from Jews” in front of the egg store at Grindelallee 79 testified to this. At this time, because the children were getting bigger, the Kargauers looked for new lodgings, finding them in 1934-1935 at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 7. The apartment consisted of six rooms, two of which were sublet, as well as a cellar room which a woman subleased. However, the woman frequently could not pay the rent, so that the financial situation of the family continued to worsen. Despite the difficult situation, however, there was cause for joy at the beginning of November 1935. Cäcilie and Bernhard Kargauer were made grandparents for the first time by their eldest daughter Carmen and her husband, Alfons Liebenthal (b. 8 December 1903 in Wilhelmsburg, see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de). Their granddaughter Fränzel was born in Hamburg on 3 October 1935 in Hamburg.
The welfare officials paid frequent house visits to the family. Each time the responsible case worker meticulously noted the circumstances of the family, for example, that the Jewish Religion Association supported the Kargauers with a small monthly sum. Simultaneously, the officials received an anonymous tip that Bernhard Kargauer was pursuing work at a firm on Bornstrasse. Thereupon, the firm received a "visit” from the officials. The owner confirmed that she received marginal help from Bernhard Kargauer, "which he now and then rendered for nominal pay.” This caused the officials to note in the records, "a warning by the block leader was issued.” Moreover, the case worker reminded Bernhard Kargauer to properly keep his work book, threatening him with the blocking of welfare support. The family woes knew no end. Their landlord won a court judgment that evicted them in mid-1934. The grounds were arrears in rent and the resultant irregular payment of rental installments. Once again, the family was looking for an apartment and was able in April 1936 to move into Grindelallee 168. The two youngest children, Norbert and Thessa, attended neighborhood schools. At the same time, Gerd Kargauer began an apprenticeship as a cooper (barrel maker) in the wine and spirits dealership, Joh. A. Petersen on Borgfelder Strasse. It is unlikely that he finished his training because from March 1938, the "Aryanization” of Jewish businesses was proceeding. Gerd’s firm was also affected. It went the same with his sister Ruth, who also began her training in 1936, presumably in the household of the Lanzkron family on Eppendorfer Landstrasse where she also lived. In October 1937, she returned to the parental home. Thus, the brother and sister were no longer contributing to the maintenance of the family. They temporarily found new work. Gerd worked as a messenger for a department store in Eilbek; Ruth was a day worker in a family home. They left nothing untried in the effort to help their family financially. With new ordinances, Jews were further and further isolated from their former lives. Thus, Gerd and Ruth Kargauer, independently of one another, decided to emigrate. Gerd wanted to go to Palestine in September 1939, Ruth to England. For reasons unknown, both remained in Hamburg.
In their new apartment, too, the Kargauers had to sublet rooms. Thus, the traveling salesman Alphons Friedberg (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de), together with his son Helmuth (b. 1921) lived with them. The money was not sufficient, however, and once again they fell behind in the rent. In his need, Bernhard Kargauer asked the Jewish Religion Association for financial support. It granted him a low monthly sum, for which he voluntarily participated in the morning and evening prayers at the Neuen Dammtor synagogue and performed small tasks for the religious services. This, however, led again to anonymous tips to the welfare office, in which several people, including Bernhard Kargauer, were denounced. As a result, the Dammtor Congregation had to justify itself.
Once again the family grew. On 22 August 1938, Carmen and Alfons Liebenthal’s second child was born, named Salo. A few weeks later, during the night of 9 and 10 November 1938, Germany’s synagogues burned. This pogrom, which the Nazis represented as an expression of the "spontaneous wrath of the Volk,” led to nationwide arrests of Jewish men. After the welfare office paid a house visit to the Kargauer family, a case worker noted: "Bernhard Kargauer and his son Gerd were arrested on 10 November 1938; the son is still under arrest, as is the sub-lessee Alphons Friedberg. Heinz Kargauer and the son-in-law of Alfons Liebenthal are still incarcerated. The support from the synagogue lapses as of 1 December 1938. Likewise the wages of Heinz Kargauer and Liebenthal’s son-in-law have ceased. For this reason, their wives have moved in together. Thus, the family finds itself in need." At the beginning of 1939, a new ordinance went into effect, requiring Jews and Jewesses to adopt additional names. Men had to add the compulsory name "Israel,” women the name "Sara.” Hiding these names, for example at offices or with officials, was a punishable offense.
Cäcilie and Bernhard Kargauer’s youngest daughter, Thessa, was at this time diagnosed by the family doctor with a chronic inflammation of the appendix. He initiated admission to the Israelite Hospital on Eckernförder Strasse. The application formalities having been completed by the administrative director Gertrud Stillschwieg (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de), Thessa was admitted to outpatient treatment in early February 1939.
The system of limitations on Jews became ever more restrictive. In May 1939, the family was sued in the District Court, resulting in a termination of their rental agreement at Grindelallee 168. The suit before the Hamburg real estate administration was brought by the landlord Adolph Cohen, whose residence was in Amsterdam. He had scarcely any influence over the decision, because at the end of April 1939, a new Reich law concerning the "rental relationships with Jews” came into force, eliminating protections for renters.
The meanwhile almost seventy-year old father of the family, Bernhard Kargauer, suffering from heart failure and rheumatism, wrote from his sickbed to the Welfare Office pleading for aid. He described how his grown children and their families, as well as his two school-aged children, supported him and his wife financially. However, the support would end soon because the children were trying to emigrate. In early September 1939, it came to a conversation between the welfare authorities and Cäcilie Kargauer. Her husband was, at this point, in the hospital, from which he was released in mid-September. She said that "emigration was delayed and they were penniless.” Because the German Reich was at war on 1 September 1939, emigration was in any case now out of the question.
The family again had to move. The Jewish Religion Association informed the Kargauers, "that from the end of October 1939 a property with an apartment belonging to the Congregation at Breite Strasse 11, in Altona, would be available to move into. But because the rent lay above the standard rate, their son Egon took over a room in the dwelling, so that now the rent lay under the standard rent.” However, state permission was required in advance from the Residential Supervision Office. The dwelling on Breite Strasse later was declared a "Jew house.” Egon Kargauer and his wife Regina were already living in the house where their children were born.
On 18 August 1941, Bernhard Kargauer died of a heart attack. His last resting place was in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery, where he had reserved a double gravesite for his wife and himself. However, Cäcilie Kargauer’s grave remained empty.
On the first transport from Hamburg, on 25 October 1941, the Gestapo deported Cäcilie and her four children, Ruth Julie, Gerd Julius, Norbert, and Thessa to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto. From there, all were sent to the Chelmno (Kulmhof) extermination camp and, on 10 May 1942, murdered.
Cäcilie and Bernhard Kargauer’s daughter Carmen and her family also lost their lives in the Shoah. With their children Fränzel and Salo, the couple had lived at varying addresses in Hamburg, among others at Heilwigstrasse 37 in Eppendorf and on Grabenstrasse in the Karolinenviertel. In 1934, Carmen’s husband Alfons Liebenthal, for reasons unknown, had to serve time in prison. In connection to the November Pogrom of 9-10 November 1938, the young father was sent first to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp (Kolafu) and then transferred from there to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. On 25 October 1941, the Gestapo deported the Liebenthal family to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto, where Carmen and Fränzel died.
Alfons Liebenthal and the not yet four-year old Salo were, like Cäcilie Kargauer and her four children, murdered in the Chelmno extermination camp.
To the memory of Carmen and Alfons Liebenthal and their children Fränzel and Salo, commemorative stones were laid at Rappstrasse 7, their last freely chosen residence.
The Kargauer’s eldest son, Heinz, had been married since the early 1940s to Gisela Mularski (b. 12 April 1920 in Brzeziny, near Lodz; see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de). The pair had no children. Gisela’s parents were Leweck and Cilly Mularski, who also came from Poland. Leweck had learned tailoring. They all lived in difficult financial circumstances and mutually supported each other. In the period 1936-1939, the Nazis incarcerated Heinz Kargauer in, among other places, the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps. In 1938, two of Gisela’s younger sisters had already emigrated to England, while her youngest brother Siegfried remained in Hamburg.
Heinz and Gisela Kargauer, as well as Leweck, Cilly, and Siegfried Mularski, wanted to flee to Shanghai. However, flight was no longer possible. On 25 October 1941, the Gestapo deported them also to the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) ghetto, where Cilly Mularski died. The other family members were murdered in 1942 at the Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp.
To the memory of the Kargauer and Mularski families, commemorative stones have been laid at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 1, their last freely chosen residence.
On 8 September 1938, the Kargauer’s second oldest son, Egon Samuel, had married Regine Finkelstein (b. 5 February 1915 in Altona). Her parents, Aron and Etil Finkelstein, both came from Poland. In early November 1936, the Gestapo arrested Egon Kargauer. After four months of pretrial detention, he was again set free. On 10-11 November 1938 (the night of the pogrom), he was sent in "protective custody” to Kolafu. Afterwards he was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, from which he was released at the end of January 1939--on the condition that he emigrate speedily. The couple also prepared for emigration to Shanghai. However, Regina Kargauer was pregnant and gave birth on 4 November 1939 to a daughter, Judis. On 7 December 1940, there followed a son, Denny. The Finkelstein grandparents never got to know their grandchildren. By October 1938, they were, as a result of the "Poland Action,” deported to Poland, along with their daughter Rosa (b. 31 May 1925 in Hamburg; see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
Commemorative stones have been laid for Aron, Etil, and Rosa Finkelstein at Max-Brauer-Allee 247.
On 25 October 1941, the Gestapo deported Egon, Regina, Judis, and Denny Kargauer to the Lodz/Litzmannstadt ghetto. Denny and Regina died there in early 1942. Egon and Judis Kargauer were murdered in the Chelmno extermination camp in 1942.
To the memory of the Kargauer parents and their two little children, commemorative stones have been laid at Breite Strasse 11/Pepermölenbek.
Cäcilie Kargauer‘s older brother Eduard (b. 4 June 1884 in Hamburg) was married to Selly Rundstein (b. 9 January 1887 in Altona). They had four children: Hedwig (23 November 1908), Ivan Isaak (18. February 1910), Erwin Max (7. February 1915), and Werner Martin (14 February 1924). The youngest son Werner Martin escaped the Shoah with a Children’s Transport to England. Eduard and Selly Vogel, as well as Cäcilie’s other siblings and their wives and husbands--Hedwig and Manfred Meier, Ivan Isaak Vogel and Hilde, née Gerson, Erwin Max Vogel, and Lotte, née Koretz--were deported to the Lodz ghetto on 25 October 1941, whereupon all traces of them were lost. In their memory, commemorative stones lie before their last residential addresses (see for each of them, www.stolpersteine- hamburg.de).
Thus, the National Socialists murdered almost all the members of a large, widely ramified Jewish family of Hamburg, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Translator: Richard Levy
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Sonja Zoder
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; 9; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9023 u. 2602/1887, 8677 u. 217/1911; 5425 u. 874/1941; StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge Sonderakten 1356; Randt: Talmud-Tora-Schule, S. 14; Mosel: Wegweiser Neustadt, Mosel: Wegweiser Rotherbaum; Gewehr: Stolpersteine; Bajohr: "Arisierung"; Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden (Hrsg.): Das Jüdische Hamburg.
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