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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Ruth Riess * 1912

Eppendorfer Landstraße 86 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)

JG. 1912

further stumbling stones in Eppendorfer Landstraße 86:
Bernhard Goslar

Bernhard Goslar, born on 1 Aug. 1881 in Hamburg, in 1933 flight to France, deported from the Drancy internment camp to the Majdanek concentration camp on 4 Mar. 1943 and murdered

Ruth Riess, née Goslar, born on 7 June 1912 in Hamburg, in 1933 flight to France, deported from the Drancy internment camp to the Auschwitz concentration camp on 10 Aug. 1942 and murdered

Eppendorfer Landstrasse 86

"The butcher Moritz Gosslar, residing at Hamburg, 2 Jacobistrasse No. 3, of the Jewish faith [...] gave notice that Sophie, née Elias, his wife, of the Jewish faith, residing with him [...] in his apartment, gave birth on the first of August of the year one thousand eight hundred eighty and one, in the afternoon at three o’clock, to a child of the male sex, who had received the first name of Bernhard.” This constitutes the civil record entry of Bernhard’s birth. The last name of "Gosslar” was later changed to "Goslar.”

Bernhard had three older sisters: Regine, (1876–1924); Elise, born in 1877; and Selma, born in 1879. Elise and Selma died as babies; Regine married the butcher Jacob Heymann (1869–1919) from Friedrichstadt in 1898. The couple had two children. Son Alfred (born on 27 Apr. 1902 in Friedrichstadt) studied medicine, and since 1927, he ran a medical practice on Ausschlägerweg in Hamburg. After his license as a statutory health insurance physician and independent medical examiner had been withdrawn on 30 June 1933 for "racial” reasons, he lived on savings until his emigration in Mar. 1934. In the USA, he was finally able to reopen a practice as a doctor and obstetrician. (He died in Utica, New York State, in 1970.)

Daughter Elly (born on 26 Oct. 1898 in Friedrichstadt) married the Hamburg merchant Adolf Hirschel in 1922 and lived with him in Berlin. Son Hans was born there in 1925. The Hirschel family was able to flee to Switzerland in the 1930s and to reach the USA via Portugal in 1941. Alfred had vouched for them.

Back to Bernhard: He attended the Talmud Tora School until he finished his one-year graduating class ("Einjähriges”), obtaining the intermediate school-leaving certificate ("mittlere Reife”). He then completed a commercial apprenticeship at the Hamburg-based Haberer export company. Before he founded the Jastrow & Goslar import company together with a partner in 1907, he worked as an employee at the company that trained him. A few weeks after his thirtieth birthday, he married Mary Mehrgut (born on 22 Nov. 1890), who was also Jewish, a daughter of Schöntje and Samuel Mehrgut and sister of Sophie Mehrgut (see

The couple rented an apartment in the house at Eppendorfer Landstrasse 86, and their daughter Ruth was born in 1912. From 1915 until being wounded, Bernhard Goslar fought as a soldier on the Russian front, then until the armistice in France. For this, he was awarded the Iron Cross second class as well as the Hanseatic Cross. His mother Sophie (born in 1849) passed away in 1917; his father Moritz then moved to Friedrichstadt to stay with Bernhard’s sister Regine. Passing away there in Dec. 1918, he was buried in the Hamburg-Ohlsdorf Jewish Cemetery.

Since Bernhard Goslar’s partner had also been conscripted as well, the Jastrow & Goslar Company could not be continued during the war. After his return, Bernhard had to earn his living as an independent representative of various import companies. Later, together with two partners, he founded a home loan bank in the Gutrufhaus building on Neuer Wall.

In the summer of 1933, he took up a job as managing director at a home loan bank in Frankfurt/Main, a position he had to hand over to a party member of the Nazi party (NSDAP) after a short time, as his wife wrote after the war. She continued to explain, "Since my husband could not find any other position under the circumstances at the time, we were forced to emigrate, namely to Paris in Aug. 1933. At first, we could not get permission to work there and then we had to feed ourselves laboriously by means of a small eatery until the outbreak of war forced us to give up everything.”

Apparently, Bernhard and Mary had a lunch restaurant and possibly offered other meals as well. Probably, other refugees were among their guests. Neither of them had any gastronomic experience. Mary had attended the Dr. Loewenberg School until the age of 16 and then received training in accounting. After her wedding, she had worked as a homemaker and mother until 1927 when she became a representative for several textile companies. From 1931 until she emigrated, she had distributed linens and knitwear from her apartment. In Paris, daughter Ruth also seemed to have helped in the small family business. Her last job is listed as "restaurant employee.” In 1932, Ruth had graduated from the "Lyzeum Fräulein Witt,” a private girls’ high school in Hamburg, then attended a commercial college and worked as a cashier.

In May 1940, the family was interned in the Gurs camp and soon afterward torn apart. Mary survived the Recebedou and Nexon concentration camps in the following years. In Mar. 1943, she underwent surgery at the Limoges hospital responsible for Nexon prisoners. Apparently, she managed to escape from there, for during the next few months she went underground, staying with a farmer close to the Resistance. She "slept in his barn, and when investigations were to be feared, in a nearby forest, at which time she was partly dependent on chestnuts for survival.” These months she felt were terrible: "My life was constantly threatened by the fear of being picked up by the Nazis, and I had to live in a really inhumane way in order to evade the multiple raids,” she wrote later. Malnourished and ill, she was finally hidden in the hospital of Limoges until liberation. (After the war, she emigrated to the USA, where she married Hermann Messer, also a survivor of the Shoah. Mary Messer died on 27 Jan 1963.)

Ruth must have got married in France, because she was registered in the documents preserved there under the last name of Riess. At the beginning of 1941, she was transferred from Gurs to the Rivesaltes camp, then back to Gurs, where an entry indicating "div.” (divorcée) – i.e., divorced – appears on her file card. On 10 Aug. 1942, she was deported from the Drancy transit camp near Paris on Konvoi no. 17 to Auschwitz and murdered.

Bernhard Goslar was, according to later statements by his wife, imprisoned in the Verney concentration camp from August to Dec. 1940, transferred from there back to Gurs, sent to the Recebedou concentration camp in Oct. 1941 and to Nexon in Nov. 1942. At the end of Feb. 1943, his arrival, coming from Gurs, was registered in the Drancy transit camp. On 4 Mar. 1943, he was deported on Konvoi no. 50 to Majdanek in occupied Poland and murdered.

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

Stand: June 2020
© Sabine Brunotte

Quellen: 1; 5; 8; StaH 332-5_2006; StaH 332-5_2221; StaH 332-5_1878 ; StaH 332-5_1914; StaH 332-5_1961; StaH 332-5_54; StaH 332-5_85; StaH 332-5_2905; StaH 332-5_770; StaH 351-11_12893; StaH 351-11_26358; schriftliche Auskunft Archives du Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris, vom 28.9.2017; schriftliche Auskunft Stadtarchiv Friedrichstadt, E-Mails vom 13.2.2018 und 23.2.2018; zum Tod von Dr. Alfred Heymann, Zugriff 2.3.2018; Passagierliste S.S. "Exeter" von Lissabon nach New York 18.4.1941, Zugriff 2.3.2018; schriftliche Auskunft Dr. Daniel Teichman, Zürich, E-Mail vom 16.3.2018; schriftliche Auskunft Jacques Pons, Archives départementales, Département des Pyrénées-Atlantiques, E-Mail vom 19.6.2018.
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