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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Elsa Breslauer (née Grünfeld) * 1875

Rostocker Straße 44 (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Georg)

JG. 1875
ERMORDET 20.5.1943

further stumbling stones in Rostocker Straße 44:
Fritz Breslauer

Fritz Breslauer, born 10.2.1871 in Berlin, deported on 15.7.1942 to the Theresienstadt ghetto, murdered on 9.8.1942
Elsa Breslauer, née Grünfeld(t), born 27.7.1875 in Wismar, deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto on 15.7.1942, murdered on 20 May 1943

Rostocker Straße 44 (St. George)

Fritz Breslauer was born on February 10, 1871, into a Jewish family, as the son of Hermann (born 1838) and Elise Breslauer, née Pappenheim (born 1849). He had two sisters: Clara (born March 16, 1872) and Martha (born Aug 12, 1886) and two brothers: Albert (born Oct 24, 1874) and Richard (born June 26, 1869).

We do not know anything about the childhood and youth, the school and professional career of Fritz Breslauer. His father died on April 12, 1899, his mother on August 26, 1919.

Fritz Breslauer was married to Elsa, née Grünfeld/Grünfeldt (born July 27, 1875). She was the daughter of Bernhard and Pauline Grünfeldt, née Meyer (born 1848), the Jewish family lived in Hagenow. Elsa had six siblings: Johanna (born Sept 5, 1874), Minna (born Oct 25, 1876), Clara (born Jan 25, 1878), Hugo (born May 26, 1879), Emma (born Aug 9, 1880), and Martin Bernhard (born Jan 18, 1885). The father Bernhard Grünfeldt was a merchant and factory owner in Wismar. He died in Wismar in 1891. The mother Pauline Grünfeldt moved from Wismar with her daughters Emma, Clara and Minna to Lübeck two years after her husband's death. Pauline Grünfeldt belonged to the local Jewish community until her death in 1915.

The young Breslauer couple had a son: Hermann Bernhard (called Harry), born April 22, 1900 in Kiel, and a daughter Käthe, born November 29, 1902 also in Kiel.

Since 1900 the Breslauer family was resident in Kiel, first until 1901 living in Wilhelminenstraße 1 Dreiecksplatz), then until 1907 in Brunswiker Straße 37. Among the addresses Fritz Breslauer was listed as a merchant with a company for cleaning and fashion goods - special house for ladies cleaning. In 1907 there was also a store, the "Breslauer Putzgeschäft", at Eckernförder Straße 4.

We do not know anything about the place of residence of Fritz Breslauer and his family in the period from 1908 to 1914.

Since 1915 the Breslauer family lived in Rostocker Straße 44 in Hamburg-St. Georg. Fritz Breslauer was active both as an independent merchant in the textile industry and as an independent representative of textile companies. After the war, friends who had known the family since 1927 estimated Fritz Breslauer's income in the years 1930-1933 - most likely with the customary share of sales in the industry - at approximately 800 - 1,000 RM per month.

These friends further reported in the course of the restitution proceedings that the Breslauer family had led a middle-class life, had lived very frugally, had built up reserves for old age, and that both children had received a good education at higher schools. They remembered a 4-5 room apartment furnished with several pieces of antique furniture, and table and other ornamental silverware stored in cabinets with glass windows. The friends stated that this furniture had seemed extraordinarily valuable to them, and the antique silver had been brought into the marriage by Elsa Breslauer.

Fritz Breslauer had left the Jewish community in 1925. Whether he was baptized a Christian or considered himself a "dissident" is not known to us. However, like all "full Jews" as defined by the National Socialists, he had to rejoin the Jewish Community in 1939/1940, which was now called "Jüdischer Religionsverband e.V." (Jewish Religious Association) and had become a subordinate district office of the compulsory organization "Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland" (Reich Association of Jews in Germany).

As of 1939, the couple was penniless and was financially supported by son Hermann, also a merchant (textile wholesale). Hermann Breslauer was described by family friends as a man of handsome good looks, pleasing disposition, and other personal qualities that apparently served him well in his business life.

Hermann Breslauer, last residence in Harvestehude, Parkallee 4 at Cerini, was deported with his wife Selma Breslauer, née Kahn, to Minsk on November 8, 1941 and murdered there. After the war he was declared dead on May 8, 1945. Stolpersteine commemorate the couple Hermann and Selma Breslauer in Hamburg at Parkallee 4 and Selma Breslauer in Bamberg, Austraße 23.

In addition to the psychological burden of the deportation of their son, Fritz and Elsa Breslauer also lost their financial support. The Nazi state had also generally excluded Jews from the state welfare system and placed this burden on the Reichsvereinigung. Thus, from January on, Fritz Breslauer received the lower welfare support from the "Jewish Religious Association".

In 1942, Fritz and Elsa Breslauer had to move into the former Stift at Bundesstraße 35, which was now used as a "Judenhaus". As people over 65, they had been spared from the deportations in the fall and winter of 1941. But on July 15, 1942, they received the order for the first large-scale deportation from Hamburg to the "old people's ghetto" Theresienstadt.

Elsa Breslauer died there on May 20, 1943, followed by Fritz Breslauer on August 9, 1943. On his death certificate, the Jewish doctors had listed "pulmonary TB" and "intestinal inflammation" as illnesses, and "pneumonia" as the cause of death.

Both names can be read on the memorial plaque at Hamburg's Sternschanze in 2020, which commemorates the deportation on July 15, 1943.

Elsa Breslauer's sisters Emma, Clara and Minna were deported to Riga in 1941 and murdered there. The sisters and their fate are commemorated by Stolpersteine in Lübeck at Charlottenstraße 26 and an accompanying biography (see

The sister Johanna Borgwardt, née Grünfeldt, died on Dec 2, 1922.

Elsa Breslauer's brother Martin Bernhard was an actor, single, and died in Rostock on Nov 22, 1922.

The brother Hugo had converted to Protestantism and was baptized in Lübeck on Dec 10, 1898. He worked there as a merchant and received the certificate of admission to the citizenship of Lübeck on June 24, 1908. Nothing is known about his further fate.

Fritz Breslauer's brother Albert Breslauer, last residence Dortmunder Straße 8 in Berlin, was also deported to Theresienstadt on March 17, 1943 and died there on February 1, 1944.

His sister Martha, residing at Mozartstraße 34 in Hamburg-Barmbek, was deported with her husband Adolph Meyer (born October 26, 1871) first to Theresienstadt on July 15, 1942 and then on to Auschwitz on May 15, 1944. There, both were presumably murdered immediately after arrival. Stolpersteine commemorate the couple in Hamburg at Mozartstraße 34.

They had two sons: Erwin (born March 16, 1912) and Günter Hans Meyer (born June 26, 1923), who emigrated to Argentina in 1937 and later went from there to the USA.

Fritz Breslauer's brother Richard, two years older, had already died on June 26, 1923.
We know nothing about the fate of his sister Clara.

The only survivor of the Fritz Breslauer family was the daughter Käthe. She had married Kurt Loewenstein in Berlin, an artist in the advertising business. Being an artist, he had already changed his name from Loewenstein to Laps before the persecution began. Their last residential address was Ladeckenstraße 10 in Berlin Schmargendorf. In 1933 they emigrated to Holland, where they later went into hiding. Thus they survived and last lived in Amsterdam, Helmerstraße 137 II. In 1947 they emigrated to Norwalk, Connecticut (USA). Käthe took American citizenship and worked there as a domestic helper while her husband Kurt was ill and unemployed. She later divorced Kurt Laps and married George Lyman Paine in 1957 and then took the name Kate Paine. She lived at 6, Channing Place, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both spouses belonged to the Quaker religious community in the United States.
Kate Paine suffered from the fate of her family for the rest of her life. In 1957, she was already so seriously ill that her physician strongly advised her not to continue with the persecution of the family and the application for reparations.

Translation Beate Meyer

Stand: June 2023
© Birgit Geyer

Quellen: 1; 3; 4; 5; 7; 8, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, Hamburger Adressbücher von 1915 – 1941; Stadtarchiv Kiel – Kieler Adressbücher von 1900 – 1907; Stadtarchiv Kiel – Geburtsregister (Zugriff 14-11-2022; StaH Entschädigungssachen: 213-13_25489 (Fritz Breslauer); 213-13_7999 (Erwin und Martha Meyer); StaH Amt für Wiedergutmachung: 351-11_1737 (Adolph und Martha Meyer); 351-11_8851 (Martha Meyer); 351-11_37829 (Erwin und Martha Meyer); 522-1 Kultussteuerkartei: 741-4_K 4291; 332-8 Meldewesen: 741-4_K 2320; Theresienstädter Gedenkbuch: Todesfallanzeige (Zugriff 8.8.2022); Datenbank der Namen von Holocaust-Überlebenden und Opfern: Datensatz-Nummer 114801142 (Zugriff 8.8.2022); ITS Arolsen Archives -, DOC ID 86044504 (Zugriff 8.8.2022); 19-juli-1942 (Zugriff 8.1.2023); Auskünfte Erich Koch, Datenbank schleswig-hosteinischer Juden (Mecklenburg Volkszählung 1890 und 1900; Standesamt Rostock: Sterberegister; Lübeck Bürgerannahmebücher und Register zum Erwerb der Staatsangehörigkeit 1591-1919; Taufregister Lübeck 1898; Dr. Peter Guttkuhn, Die Lübecker Geschwister Grünfeldt, Vom Leben, Leiden und Sterben "nichtarischer” Christinnen, Lübeck 2001, herausgegeben vom Kirchenkreis Lübeck der Nordelbischen Ev.-Luth. Kirche).
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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