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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Esther Neukorn * 1886

Herrengraben 4 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1886
"VERLEGT" 23.9.1940
ERMORDET 23.9.1940

further stumbling stones in Herrengraben 4:
Carolina Falck

Esther Neukorn, born on 16 Mar. 1886 in Hamburg, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the Brandenburg/Havel euthanasia killing center

Stolperstein in Hamburg-Neustadt, at Herrengraben 4, (formerly Herrengraben 91)

Esther Neukorn’s birth certificate from 1886 shows that her parents were a married couple of the Jewish faith. Doubts arose on the part of the authorities as to the legality of this marriage. The marriage had been ritually concluded and was therefore not recognized by the state. Esther Neukorn’s birth certificate was supplemented as follows on 3 Apr. 1900:

"By order of the Hamburg District Court [Amtsgericht], the following corrections are entered:
1. the mother of the child specified in the registration is not the notifying person’s wife, the ritual marriage entered into between her and the notifying spouse on 6 Feb. 1871 according to the ‘marriage record’ provided is to be regarded as a process to be ruled out from a legal standpoint.
2. the woman in question was a trader at the time of giving birth and her correct names were: "Beila, née Berkner, widowed name Spitzel.”

Thereupon, Salomon Neukorn, who had already been married once, and Beila Spitzel, née Berkner, who was widowed, married on 6 Apr. 1900 before a public registrar. On the same day, Salomon Neukorn declared at the records office, "I recognize the child with the first name Esther [.......] as being mine. Thus, Esther Neukorn also became formally the legitimate child of the merchant Salomon Neukorn and his wife Beila starting on 6 Apr. 1900.

Esther Neukorn had three sisters: Anna Neukorn, born on 25 June 1877; Carolina Neukorn, born on 5 May 1879; and Maria Neukorn, born on 17 Oct. 1881. Salomon Neukorn legitimized Maria and Carolina in the same way as Esther. The fourth daughter, Anna, had died in 1879 at the age of two. Thus, the question of her legitimacy no longer arose in 1900.

Salomon and Beila Neukorn were both born in Cracow. They held Austrian citizenship when they immigrated to Hamburg in Nov. 1885, and for the next eight years, they lived in the basement of what was then the house at Herrengraben 91 in Hamburg-Neustadt. According to the residents’ registration card dating from this time, Salomon Neukorn was active as a tradesman. The family then lived in several places in the Neustadt quarter, most recently for several years at Eichholz 48. Salomon Neukorn died on 26 May 1904 at the age of 71.

We know nothing about the childhood and youth of Esther Neukorn and her sisters. Starting in 1927, Esther probably spent several years in the Friedrichsberg State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg) until she was transferred to the Langenhorn State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn) at the beginning of 1935. From there, she was moved to the Düssin Estate in Mecklenburg on 27 Aug. 1939, where the City of Hamburg employed people with mental disabilities or mental illnesses in agriculture. In addition to Esther Neukorn, another woman and six men of Jewish descent worked there. On 13-14 Sept. 1940, Esther Neukorn, her fellow sufferer Alice Elkeles and four Jewish men were returned to the Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Hamburg-Langenhorn). One, Richard Guth, had already returned to Langenhorn on 28 Aug. 1940 (see corresponding entry).

The return of Jewish patients from Düssin to Langenhorn was part of an operation across the Reich initiated by the "euthanasia” headquarters in Berlin, located at Tiergartenstrasse 4, and the Reich Ministry of the Interior in Apr. 1940. Within this framework, all Jewish patients were first registered in sanatoriums and nursing homes in the German Reich and in the Ostmark (Nazi designation for Austria), then concentrated in so-called collection institutions and subsequently murdered with carbon monoxide in several killing facilities.

The Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” was used to concentrate 136 mentally disabled patients of Jewish descent from institutions in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg. On 23 Sept. 1940, they were transported to Brandenburg/Havel, where they were killed with gas on the same day in a converted part of the former penitentiary. Only Ilse Herta Zachmann escaped this fate at first (see corresponding entry).

On the birth register entry of Esther Neukorn, it was noted that the records office Chelm II registered her death under number 354/1941. Those murdered in Brandenburg, however, were never in Chelm (Polish) or Cholm (German), a town east of Lublin. The former Polish sanatorium there no longer existed after SS units had murdered almost all patients on 12 Jan. 1940. Also, there was no German records office in Chelm. Its fabrication and the use of postdated dates of death served to disguise the killing operation and at the same time enabled the authorities to claim higher care expenses for periods extended accordingly.

Esther Neukorn is commemorated by a Stolperstein in Hamburg-Neustadt at Herrengraben 4 (formerly Herrengraben 91). The fates of Beila, Carolina, and Maria Neukorn remain unresolved.

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

© Ingo Wille

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 6; AB; StaH 133-1 III Staatsarchiv III, 3171-2/4 U.A. 4, Liste psychisch kranker jüdischer Patientinnen und Patienten der psychiatrischen Anstalt Langenhorn, die aufgrund nationalsozialistischer "Euthanasie"-Maßnahmen ermordet wurden, zusammengestellt von Peter von Rönn, Hamburg (Projektgruppe zur Erforschung des Schicksals psychisch Kranker in Langenhorn); 332-5 Standesämter 69 Sterberegister Nr. 1811/1879 Neukorn Anna, 535 Sterberegister Nr. 720/1904 Neukorn Salomon, 1907 Geburtsregister Nr. 2476/1877 Falck Julius, 1909 Geburtsregister Nr. 3035/1877 Neukorn Anna, 1954 Geburtsregister Nr. 2234/1879 Neukorn Carolina, 2008 Geburtsregister Nr. 4929/1881 Neukorn Maria, 2125 Geburtsregister Nr. 1424/1886 Esther Neukorn, 2943 Heiratsregister Nr. 265/1900 Neukorn Salomon/Spitzel Beila, 3087 Heiratsregister Nr. 372/1990 Falck Julius/Neukorn Carolina, 8137 Sterberegister Nr. 130/1936 Julius Falck; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.1939 bis 27.1.1941; UKE/IGEM, Archiv, Patienten-Karteikarte Esther Neukorn der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg.
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