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Betty Mannheim * 1887

Semperstraße 87 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

JG. 1887
"VERLEGT" 23.9.1940
ERMORDET 23.9.1940

Betty Mannheim, born on 27 Feb. 1887 in Hamburg, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the "euthanasia” killing center in Brandenburg/Havel

Semperstrasse 87, Hamburg-Winterhude

Betty Mannheim was the oldest of the four children of Ernst August Mannheim, born on 18 Feb. 1839 in Eldagsen (now part of Springe in Lower Saxony), and his wife Friederike (Frieda), née Deitelzweig, born on 21 Mar. 1854 in Hildesheim. The Jewish couple married on 21 Mar. 1884 in Hamburg and lived for many years at Bornstrasse 12 in the Rotherbaum quarter. It was there that Betty Mannheim was born on 27 Feb. 1887, as were her siblings: Johanne, on 1 Feb. 1888; Emma on 2 Nov. 1889; and Otto on 15 Oct. 1891. Emma died at the age of two, on 2 Nov. 1891.

Ernst August Mannheim traded in machinery supplies up to an advanced age. The family moved their residence to Hohenfelde around 1898, lived in the St. Georg quarter for several years, then for more than ten years on Erlenkamp in the Uhlenhorst quarter, and finally at Stammannstrasse 31 in Winterhude. Betty and Johanne Mannheim resided with their parents until 1933, when they found their last domicile in the retirement home of the German-Israelite Community at Sedanstrasse 23 in Hamburg’s Rotherbaum quarter. While Johanne Mannheim then moved into a room at Isestrasse 27 with the physician couple Frida and Martin Braunschweiger, Betty Mannheim settled at Semperstrasse 87 in Winterhude. From her income as an office clerk and secretary, she regularly paid Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) to the Jewish Community from 1924 to 1936.

On 25 Jan. 1934, Betty’s mother died. Friederike Mannheim’s funeral took place on 29 January at the Ohlsdorf-Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery.

In 1935/1936, Betty Mannheim fell ill. She was admitted to the Hamburg-Friedrichsberg State Hospital (Landeskrankenanstalt Hamburg-Friedrichsberg) and on 14 Oct. 1936, she was taken to the Hamburg-Langenhorn State Hospital on a collective transport. The diagnosis was schizophrenia. Her admission was based on Sec. 22 of the Hamburg Verhältnisgesetz [i.e., Verhältnis der Verwaltung zur Rechtspflege, a law regulating the relations of the governing authority to the administration of justice]. This provision allowed the police authorities to "take persons into custody where the protection of those persons or the maintenance of public safety and peace or the prevention of danger to others” made this necessary. Betty Mannheim had tried to take her own life in the summer of 1936 for fear of losing her job. During the years she was in Langenhorn, she repeatedly spoke of a terrible crime she had committed. She was dominated by feelings of guilt, but it never became clear when the feelings of guilt had begun and what triggered them.

On 22 Nov. 1937, Betty Mannheim was transferred to the Strecknitz "sanatorium” in Lübeck. Due to the overcrowded Hamburg facilities, patients from Hamburg were repeatedly accommodated there. In addition, Strecknitz incurred lower costs due to the lower nursing care rate. Johanne Mannheim visited her sister Betty several times in Strecknitz and took great care of her well-being. Consequently, it was only logical that the Hamburg District Court (Amtsgericht) appointed Johanne as Betty’s trustee in mid-1938. Toward the end of 1938, however, Johanne saw no future for herself in Germany and prepared to leave the country. Johanne Mannheim’s position as trustee was then assumed by Martha Samson, a member of the welfare office of the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband) in Hamburg. In Nov. 1938, Johanne Mannheim visited her sister one last time. She embarked for Peru on 8 Dec. 1938. She expressed her worries about Betty from there as well. Johanne had got the impression that the doctors and especially a nurse in Strecknitz were caring for Betty, and she repeatedly expressed toward to the institutional administration her gratitude to the physicians and to nurse Maria Jacobson.

In a letter to the institutional management, she also pointed out that a gravesite next to the parents’ grave had been reserved for Betty at the Jewish cemetery on Ilandkoppel in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf.

In the spring/summer of 1940, the "euthanasia” headquarters in Berlin, located at Tiergartenstrasse 4, planned a special operation aimed against Jews in public and private sanatoriums and nursing homes. It had the Jewish persons living in the institutions registered and moved together in what were officially so-called collection institutions. The Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Hamburg-Langenhorn) was designated the North German collection institution. All institutions in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg were ordered to move the Jews living in their facilities there by 18 Sept. 1940.

Betty Mannheim arrived in Langenhorn on 16 Sept. 1940. On 23 Sept. 1940, she was transported to Brandenburg/Havel with 135 other patients from North German institutions. The transport reached the city on the same day. In the part of the former penitentiary that had been converted into a gas-killing facility, patients were immediately driven into the gas chamber and murdered by means of carbon monoxide. Only Ilse Herta Zachmann initially escaped this fate (see corresponding entry).

Ernst August Mannheim, Betty’s father, was still living in the retirement home at Sedanstrasse 23 at the time, having turned 101 years of age by then. It is not known whether and if so, when he or Betty’s sister Johanne became aware of Betty’s death. On the birth register entry of Betty Mannheim, it was noted that she had died on 7 Dec. 1940 and that the records office Chelm II had registered her death under number 599/1940. In all documented death notices, it was claimed that the person concerned had died in Chelm (Polish) or Cholm (German) east of Lublin. However, those murdered in Brandenburg were never in Chelm/Cholm. The former Polish sanatorium there no longer existed after SS units murdered almost all of its 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.

At that time, Ernst August Mannheim, Betty’s father, was still living in the retirement home at Sedanstrasse 23. He died at the age of 102 on 17 Apr. 1941. The Hamburg archives do not provide any information about Otto Mannheim, Betty’s brother. It is possible that he left his native town at a young age.

Martha Samson, who was also Betty’s guardian in the end, received the deportation order for the transport to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942. From there she was deported to Auschwitz on 9 Oct. 1944. For her, a Stolperstein is located at Hartungstrasse 12 in Hamburg-Rotherbaum.

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

Stand: July 2020
© Ingo Wille

Quellen: 1; 3; 5; 7; 9; 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); 232-5 Amtsgericht Hamburg – Vormundschaftswesen 1057; 332-5 Standesämter 1024 Sterberegister Nr. 43/1934 Friederike Mannheim, 2665 Heiratsregister Nr. 1379/1884 Ernst August Mannheim/Friederike Deitelzweig, 7858 Sterberegister Nr. 2270/1891 Emma Mannheim, 8174 Sterberegister Nr. 138/1941 Ernst August Mannheim, 9019 Geburtsregister Nr. 883/1887 Betty Mannheim, 9031 Geburtsregister Nr. 665/1888 Johanne Mannheim, 9046 Geburtsregister Nr. 1157/1889 Emma Mannheim, 9065 Geburtsregister Nr. 1462/1891 Otto Mannheim; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.1939 bis 27.1.1941; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 2/1995 Krankenakte 23564 Betty Mannheim; IMGWF Lübeck, Archiv, Patientenakte Betty Mannheim der Heilanstalt Lübeck-Strecknitz; JSHD Forschungsgruppe "Juden in Schleswig-Holstein", Datenpool Erich Koch; Schleswig. Vielliez von, Anna, Mit aller Kraft verdrängt. Entrechtung und Verfolgung "nicht arischer" Ärzte in Hamburg 1933 bis 1945, Hamburg 2009, S. 235 (Martin Braunschweiger). Delius, Peter, Das Ende von Strecknitz. Die Lübecker Heilanstalt und ihre Auflösung 1941, Kiel 1988, S. 71.
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