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Max Fryc * 1919
Diagonalstraße 13 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamm)
BENTSCHEN / ZBASZYN
Schaje Fryc/Fritz, born on 16 Aug. 1895 in Tomaszow /Poland, fled to Argentina in 1937
Golda Fryc/Fritz, née Vienna, born on 8 Apr. 1899 in Czestochowa /Poland, deported to Bentschen/Zbaszyn during the "expulsion of Polish Jews” ("Polenaktion”) in 1938, fate unknown
Max Fryc/Fritz, born on 12 Aug. 1919 Altona, deported to Poland during the "expulsion of Polish Jews” ("Polenaktion”) in 1938, on 20 Aug. 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, on 25 Jan. 1945 to the Mauthausen concentration camp, subcamp Melk, Ebensee, liberated on 6 May 1945
Szaja, Schaja or Schaje Fryc, also written as Fritz, born on 16 Aug. 1895 in Tomaszow Mazowiecki near Lodz in Poland, moved to the German Reich during the war in 1915. His older brother Manuel, like Schaje a tailor by profession, and their mother, Cyporja/ Zipora, née Szamczanowicz, also moved to Germany. In 1928, the mother was registered in Altona, the father, Moszek or Moses Maier Fritz/Fryc, had already died.
Schaje Fryc married Golda Wien, born on 8 Apr. 1899 in Tschenstochau/ Czestochowa in Silesia. Her sister, the later violinist Gitla Dobra Beckers, born on 3 Apr. 1902 in Bendzin/Silesia (today Bedzin in Poland), also resided in Germany.
Golda and Schaje Fryc had Polish citizenship and retained it. They joined the German-Israelitic Community in Hamburg, where they were registered on 3 Feb. 1919. Schaje did not work as a tailor, but set up his own business, a shoe repair shop at Borgfelder Strasse 84 in Hamburg-Borgfelde. The family lived at Diagonalstrasse 13 in Hamburg-Hamm. Their son Max Meier was born there on 12 Aug. 1919.
When he joined the Jewish Community, Schaje Fryc was assessed for community tax, but he fell behind with his payments during the inflation period. In 1927, he paid a sum of 210 RM (reichsmark). No sooner had he regained a foothold in business than the world economic crisis made itself felt. In 1929, he paid 9 RM in community tax, the amount of 10 RM assessed for 1930 was waived. That means he was not doing well economically.
Already in 1928, on 28 April, Schaje Fryc gave notification he was relocating to Leipzig and moved in with his brother Manuel residing at Goldhahngässchen 2/4, who ran a tailor’s shop there. In the meantime, he had started a family. His wife Dora, née Lopate, born on 21 Jan. 1898 in Brody, had given birth to two sons, Martin Max, born 11 Feb. 1926, and Berthold Nathan, born 22 Sept. 1927.
By this time, Manuel and Schaje Fryc worked together, with Schaje commuting between Leipzig and Hamburg. On 30 Apr. 1931, Golda Fryc moved to Leipzig with her son Max and lived with her relatives until Nov. 1931. Schaje Fryc was not able to rent a separate apartment again. The family changed address several times, residing as subtenants.
On Saturday, 10 Sept.1932, Max Fryc’ bar mitzvah took place in the Leipzig Community Synagogue. He attended the 32nd eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) on Yorkstrasse, which later served for a short time as a collection point for deportations, and became a carpenter after leaving school.
Schaje, Golda, and Max renewed their Polish passports at regular intervals. Schaje Fryc saw no future for himself and his family in Germany and emigrated to Argentina in Nov. 1937 with the intention of having his wife Golda and son Max join him later. However, the so-called "expulsion of Polish Jews” ("Polenaktion”) thwarted this: They were deported to Bentschen/Zbaszyn together with their relatives Manuel, Dora, Martin Max and Berthold Nathan Fryc on 28 Oct. 1938. There, all traces of Golda Fryc disappear. Schaje Fryc was also considered missing in Poland, as the Memorial Book of the German Federal Archives shows, but thanks to the residents’ registration file from Leipzig this turned out to be an error.
Apparently, Max Fryc went to Czestochowa, the birthplace of his mother, probably together with her. Stations of his imprisonment were the Blizyn concentration camp, a subcamp of the Lublin-Majdanek concentration camp; from 20 August 1944 onward, the Auschwitz concentration camp; and the Mauthausen concentration camp, where he was transferred on 25 Jan. 1945 and registered with prisoner number 116,725. Max Fryc/Fritz was included in the Hamburg Memorial Book for the Jewish Victims of National Socialism. In the meantime, it has become known that he was assigned to the Melk external detachment, which bore the cover name of ‘Quarz.’ At this location, prisoners drove tunnels into the mountain so that ball bearings could be produced in underground facilities. The prerequisites for this were above-ground settlements and elevated tanks.
Between 11 and 15 Apr. 1945, the SS cleared the Melk camp in the face of the approaching Soviet army. Plans to murder the prisoners in the tunnels by blasting were not implemented. Instead, they were transported in several groups by ship, train, and on foot to the Mauthausen main camp and from there to the Ebensee subcamp. There, Max Fryc was freed by American troops on 6 May 1945. He later settled in Montreuil/Seine in France.
Max Fryc’s aunt Gitla Dobra Beckers and her husband Artur-Jacob, who had converted to Judaism in 1921, survived the Nazi regime in a "privileged mixed marriage” ("privilegierte Mischehe”).
Their son Hermann, born on 18 Sept. 1923, lost his life in the Gross Rosen concentration camp in 1942, according to his mother. His death has not yet been officially confirmed.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: September 2020
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaHH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 390 Wählerverzeichnis; 351-11, Amt für Wiedergutmachung 25288; Israelitische Religionsgemeinde zu Leipzig, Schreiben vom 4.9.2019: Meldekarteikarten, Gemeindeblatt 1932 Nr. 21, Korrespondenz Max Fryc, Gedenkbuchauszug; KZ Gedenkstätte Mauthausen, AMM/Y36b Häftlingszugangsbuch der politischen Abteilung, AMM/2/2/7/1/HPK Häftlings-Personal-Karte;
https://www.stadtgeschichtliches-museum-leipzig.de/fileadmin/inhalte/pdf/Deportationen_Leipzig.pdf, Abruf 4.9.2019; https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/vha2981, Abruf 2.1.2019.
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