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Bertha Margaretha Haurwitz (née Hauer) * 1873

Eppendorfer Landstraße 46 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)

Freitod 25.10.1941

further stumbling stones in Eppendorfer Landstraße 46:
Alfred Aron, Bertha Engers, Dr. Rudolf Haurwitz, Henriette Hofmann, Siegfried Marcus, Martha Markus, Elsa Meyerhof, Käte Meyerhof, Olga Reyersbach

Bertha Margaretha Haurwitz, née Hauer, born on 31 Oct. 1873 in Hamburg, suicide on 24 Oct. 1941 in Hamburg
Dr. Rudolf Ludwig Morris Gustav Haurwitz, born on 19 May 1901 in Hamburg, suicide on 29 Nov. 1936 in Hamburg

Eppendorfer Landstrasse 46

Rudolf Haurwitz was born in Hamburg on 19 May 1901. Despite their Jewish descent, his parents, animal feeding stuff merchant Gustav Haurwitz, born on 12 Jan. 1865 in Stettin (Szczecin), and Bertha Margaretha, née Hauer, born on 31 Oct. 1873 in Hamburg, had their son – as well as his sister Clara, subsequent married name Bacher (1898–1944) (see publication on "Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Winterhude,” p. 41) – already baptized Protestant when he was a child. The father, too, was of the Lutheran faith.

The marriage of the parents, entered into in 1897, was divorced. In his second marriage, Gustav Haurwitz married the non-Jewish Margarethe Matewitz, born on 28 Oct. 1897, with whom he had two additional sons, Gerhard, born in 1916, and Harald, born in 1918. Just like their father, they would survive the persecution.

From 1907 until 1912, Rudolf Haurwitz attended the Oberrealschule [a secondary school without Latin] "auf der Uhlenhorst” and afterward, until Easter of 1919, the Johanneum Realgymnasium, [a high school focused on science, math, and modern languages], which he left after passing the high school graduation exam (Reifeprüfung) on 28 Feb. 1919.

He began studying law at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau, switched to the University of Hamburg after two semesters, and then went to the University of Göttingen for one semester. During the last four semesters until passing the first state examination on 11 July 1922, Rudolf Haurwitz again studied in Hamburg, where he also completed the subsequent legal traineeship, before doing his doctorate in law in 1923. Since 1927, he managed a law firm at Neuer Wall 32, which in 1928 relocated to Gänsemarkt 35, an address also accommodating the banking house of Julius Cohn, who lived with his wife at Eppendorfer Landstrasse 30. From 1930 onward, the law firm resided at Stadthausbrücke 43.

On 25 Apr. 1933, Rudolf Haurwitz was deprived of his license to practice law on "racial grounds.” Thus, he lost the basis of his livelihood. Therefore, he acquired a stake in the Radio Fuchs Company, taking over the business on Hohe Bleichen as the sole proprietor on 1 Mar. 1934. However, since the anti-Jewish measures against Jewish entrepreneurs were mounting and Jewish businesses faced increasingly consistent boycotts, he was at the brink of bankruptcy in 1936. The Nazis had thus ruined him economically for the second time.

Rudolf Haurwitz shot himself on 29 Nov. 1936. He only reached the age of 36.

An uncle living in Chile urged Rudolf Haurwitz, along with his fiancé and the Bacher couple (sister and brother-in-law), to emigrate there; however, none of the four yielded to the pleadings. In particular, the two men could not bring themselves to do so – possibly due to a tragic misjudgment of what still awaited them in Germany.

Just like his sister Clara Bacher and her husband, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Rudolf Haurwitz became involved in the "people’s houses movement” ("Volksheimbewegung”) and the "Socialist Young Workers” (Sozialistische Arbeiterjugend – SAJ). In a letter dated 1 Feb. 1985, Elfriede Bartels, a former student of his brother-in-law, Walter Bacher, remembers the lawyer Rudolf Haurwitz heading the apprentices’ association at the Rothenburgsort people’s house. "The Bacher/Haurwitz families did a lot for young people, and in terms of social issues, they were exemplary even then.” (letter by Elfriede Bartels to Mrs. Benthien dated 1 Feb. 1984).

In the mid-1930s, Rudolf Haurwitz led a youth group of the "Reich Association of non-Aryan Christians reg. soc.” (Reichsverband der nichtarischen Christen e. V.). Among other things, this small self-help association looked after adolescent "Jewish half-breeds of the first degree” ("jüdische Mischlinge ersten Grades”) suffering from discrimination and marginalization. For instance, Rudolf Haurwitz regularly made a trip with his group on weekends to the Seevetal region, where they stayed overnight in the hayloft of a private cabin. The trips and supervision of the group ended after the Gestapo had showed up in the hayloft and arrested Rudolf Haurwitz. One group member recalled that though he returned after some time, he did not establish contact to the young people anymore. According to this recollection, when later on the group learned that Rudolf Haurwitz had shot himself, this came as a shock and weighed heavily on all their minds.

In contrast to his sister, Clara Bacher, Rudolf Haurwitz did not belong to the Jewish Community. The sister had probably become a member together with her husband, who joined the Jewish Community in Nov. 1935.

Before moving to Eppendorfer Landstrasse 46, Rudolf Haurwitz had lived at Andreasstrasse 18 and at Dorotheenstrasse 39. It is unclear whether he lived there together with his divorced mother.

Even if mother and son had their last residential address at Eppendorfer Landstrasse 46, they lived there neither together nor at the same time. Bertha Margaretha Haurwitz moved from her apartment at Barmbecker Strasse 89, becoming a subtenant with the Aron family at Eppendorfer Landstrasse 46 on the fifth floor, only in early 1941, more than four years after her son’s suicide.

Bertha Margaretha Haurwitz was born on 31 Oct. 1873 in Hamburg. Her parents were the merchant Morris Hauer, a resident of Kiel in the very end, and his wife Caroline, née Schönewald, residing in Hamburg in the very end.

On 4 Sept. 1897, she married the animal feeding stuff merchant Gustav Haurwitz. After her divorce, which had probably taken place before 1916, since the oldest son Gerhard from Gustav Haurwitz’s second marriage was born in Sept. 1916, Bertha Margaretha Haurwitz apparently remained unattached and probably at first raised her two children, Clara and Rudolf, who still attended school. We know nothing about her life and economic circumstances in the ensuing years.

A list of assets and expenses dated Dec. 1940 reveals that her monthly expenses for rent, living costs, clothing, etc., amounting to 180–185 RM (reichsmark) were higher than the modest life annuity of 160 RM that she received. She was forced to close two mortgages adding up to at least 6,000 RM as of 1 Jan. 1941. Since according to the police file, her estate was worth approx. 6,000 RM, one must assume that she was unable to dispose of her funds freely.

Bertha Margaretha Haurwitz received – just like her landlord, Alfred Aron – an "evacuation order” for 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz. Consequently, she took an overdose of sleeping pills in her apartment at Eppendorfer Landstrasse 46 (her landlord, Alfred Aron, was already gone according to the police report), as a result of which she died on 25 Oct. 1941 at the Jewish Hospital at Johnsallee 64, where she had been taken unconscious on the orders of police. She reached the age of 68.

In the deportation list to "Litzmannstadt” (Lodz) for 25 Oct. 1941, her name was crossed out; her household goods, including valuables, were auctioned off for 1,521.90 RM on 2 Feb. 1942.

Her daughter, Clara Bacher, died in 1944 during the transport from Theresienstadt to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Bertha’s divorced husband, Gustav Haurwitz, who had entered a "mixed marriage” ("Mischehe”), was deported to Theresienstadt in Feb. 1945 and survived. Having returned to Hamburg, he died there on 10 May 1948.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Birgit Burgänger

Quellen: 3; 7; StaH 351-11 AfW, 210916; StaH 314-15 OFP, R 1940/489; StaH 331-5 Polizeibehörde, unnatürliche Sterbefälle 1941/1602; AB 1933; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen A51; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden 992e1 Band 1; StaH 331-5 Polizeibehörde, unnatürliche Sterbefälle 1941/489;StaH 214-1 Gerichtsvollzieherwesen 321; Morisse, Jüdische Rechtsanwälte, 2003; Brix, Land, mein Land, 1997; Bake/Rottmann, Wer steckt dahinter?, 2005; Dissertation Rudolf Haurwitz zum Thema: Empfiehlt sich die Berücksichtigung der Gewerbs- und Gewohnheitsmäßigkeit in dem neuen Deutschen Strafgesetzbuch, 1923; Sparr, Stolpersteine, 2008; FZH/WdE 010, Interview mit H.P.I., Transkript S. 6f.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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