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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Sara Gertrud Theiner (née Bauer) * 1872

Curschmannstraße 8 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)

JG 1872

further stumbling stones in Curschmannstraße 8:
Johanna Allen, Helene Elsa Bauer, Ilse Lippstadt, Iwan von der Walde

Sara Gertrud Theiner, née Bauer, born on 30 May 1872, humiliated/deprived of her rights, flight to death on 6 Mar. 1942

Curschmannstrasse 8

"We voluntarily depart from EXISTENCE [DASEIN] because we see only difficulties and ordeals in the future with what is coming, so we leave this protective roof. And we are no longer up to it all. We do not wish under any circumstances to be brought back into this hostile, unfriendly world!
Signed Sara Gertrud Theiner
Signed Helene Elsa Bauer”

Those who wrote these lines on 5 Mar. 1942 were the sisters Helene Elsa Bauer and Sara Gertrud Theiner, who had lived together on the third floor of Curschmannstrasse 8 in the Hoheluft-Ost quarter since 5 Feb. 1932. They chose suicide on 6 Mar. 1942.

Sara Gertrud Bauer had been born in Hamburg on 30 May 1872, the fourth of seven children of the Jewish couple Philipp Louis Bauer and Clara Chaje Bauer, née Ollendorf. (Philipp Louis Bauer died on 11 June 1894; Clara Chaje Bauer followed on 10 Oct. 1907. Both were buried in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery).

We know nothing about Sara Gertrud Bauer’s childhood or any training.

She married in Hamburg on 9 May 1904 Berthold Theiner, a Jewish merchant who had lived in Hamburg since 29 Sept. 1900. He was born on 4 Jan. 1852 in Wotitz (Votice, today Czech Republic) as a child of the merchant Josef Theiner and his wife Johanna, née Kopperl. We do not know anything about his childhood either.

Berthold Theiner, together with the Jewish merchant Richard Janowitzer (born on 4 Oct. 1870), had founded the Theiner & Janowitzer Company with headquarters in Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil. The enterprise had specialized in finishing watches from other companies. Berthold Theiner and Richard Janowitzer also opened a Hamburg branch at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 3–5 in Hamburg-Neustadt on 13 Oct. 1900. From 1904 to 1907, this branch was located at Admiralitätsstrasse 33–36, and from 1908 at Spitaler Strasse 12 in Hamburg-Altstadt.

Parallel to an apartment in Rio, the Bauer couple had rented one at Hallerstrasse 76 in Harvestehude from 1905 to 1916. In 1916, they moved to Isestrasse 64.

During one of their frequent trips to Brazil, Berthold Theiner died on 17 July 1919 in São Paulo, Brazil. (Presumably, he was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in São Paulo). The Theiner & Janowitzer Company, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, continued to operate under this name after Berthold Theiner’s death.

Starting in 1920, Sara Gertrud Theiner had herself entered in the directory as a widow. She kept the apartment at Isestrasse 64 until 1932, when she moved in with her sister Helene Elsa Bauer at Curschmannstrasse 8.

Sara Gertrud Theiner remained closely associated with the Theiner & Janowitzer Company. However, the current owner Richard Janowitzer came into conflict with the supplier company Schwarz in Düsseldorf. That company had supplied poorly manufactured filter housings. Richard Janowitzer took the company to court in Hamburg on 1 Nov. 1935, but he lost. In 1938, he fled with his family to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the company’s headquarters there. Because of the flight, the Nazi authorities accused him of fraud. (He died on 3 Mar. 1943 in Rio de Janeiro). The Theiner & Janowitzer Company was taken over by Ringel & Co. in 1939 in the course of "Aryanization.”

Sara Gertrud Theiner still received an annual pension amounting to 4,000 RM (reichsmark) from the company until 1938. By this time, she came under the scrutiny of the authorities. On 21 June 1939, the Chief Finance Administration (Oberfinanzdirektion) asked her to disclose her financial circumstances. Apart from the pension, she stated that she was financially supported by Jewish friends. The Chief Finance Administration imposed a "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung”) on her assets, which she was no longer allowed to dispose of freely by then.

In the meantime, her sister Helene Elsa had rented out another room of her apartment to subtenant Ilse Lippstadt (born on 31 Dec. 1905). She was deported to Minsk on 18 Nov. 1941 and murdered (see

Mounting humiliations and progressive deprivation of rights made life increasingly difficult for the sisters. They decided to depart from life together. Why did they choose 6 March as the date of their deaths? They were to move to a "Jews house” ("Judenhaus”) on 15 Mar. 1942.

Their brother Eugen Philipp had already been forced to move to the "Jews’ house” at Sedanstrasse 23 on 30 Oct. 1941, where mainly elderly Jews had to spend the time until deportation. The sisters therefore knew what new restrictions a move to a "Jews’ house” involved, also realizing that they were threatened with deportation from there. They no longer wanted to expose themselves to this.

The sisters got their papers in order, obtained sleeping pills, and asked the physician Wolfson in advance for a house call to their apartment for 6 Mar. 1942. They also summoned their nephew Rolf Bauer from Leipzig, to whom they handed over the keys to their apartment. The sisters wrote the farewell letter mentioned above, took the barbiturates, and lay down in their beds.

Sara Gertrud Theiner died on the morning of 6 Mar. 1942. An ambulance was still called for Helene Elsa Bauer. She died on the same day at 8:15 p.m. in the Israelite Hospital on Johnsallee.

Sara Gertrud Theiner and Helene Elsa Bauer were buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel.

Details regarding the fate of Sara Gertrud Theiner’s siblings:

Olga Bauer (born on 26 Dec. 1864) died on 4 Apr. 1869 and she was buried in the Jewish Grindelfriedhof Cemetery.

Paul Ludwig Bauer (born on 29 Nov. 1877), married to Frida Emma Caroline née Heylmann, who was not Jewish, died on 8 June 1918 and was buried in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery.

Conrad Philipp Bauer (born on 12 Feb. 1871), was married to non-Jewish Helene Bauer, née Greve. He died on 28 Mar. 1927.

Eugen Philipp Bauer (born on 16 July 1862) was deported to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942 and died there on 4 July 1943. (A Stolperstein will be laid for Eugen Philipp Bauer at Wrangelstrasse 8 in June 2021.)

Helene Elsa Bauer (born on 9 May 1875), a teacher in Hamburg, committed suicide together with her sister Sara Gertrud Theiner on 6 Mar. 1942 (see

Rudolf Bauer (born on 11 Mar. 1880) lived in Leipzig for many years. Where and when he died could not be determined.

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

Stand: August 2021
© Bärbel Klein

Quellen: StaH 1; 2; 4; 5; 7; 8; 9; 111-2_B II b 172UA 3; 331-5_3 Akte_398/1942; 331-5_3 Akte_762/1942; 332-3_3401/1875; 332-5_4705/1877; 332-5_1113/1880; 332-5_109/1884; 332-5_909/1892; 332-5_933/1894; 332-5_372/1901; 332-5_477/1902; 332-5_308/1904; 332-5_455/1907; 332-5_362/1916; 332-5_163/1917; 332-5_971/1918; 332-5_525/1920; 332-5_126/1927; 332-5_120/1942; 332-5_215/1942; 332-5_602/1952; 351-11_939; 351-11_14363; 351-14_937; 614-1/71_177; 741-4_K2439;;;; (Einsicht am 20.10.2020). Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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