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Leopold Belzinger * 1866
Rutschbahn 25 a (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
Erna Belzinger, born on 13 June 1894 in Hamburg, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the "euthanasia killing center” in Brandenburg/Havel
Leopold Belzinger, born on 25 Aug. 1866 in Hamburg, murdered on 10 Mar. 1944 in Theresienstadt
Minna Belzinger, née Cohen, born on 14 Aug. 1871 in Altona, murdered on 6 Oct. 1942 in Theresienstadt
Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Rotherbaum, at Rutschbahn 25a
Erna Belzinger was born on 13 June 1894 at Wilhelminenstrasse 13 (today Hein-Hoyer-Strasse) in Hamburg-St. Pauli as the second oldest child of the married couple Leopold and Minna Belzinger, née Cohen. Her parents were of the Jewish faith. When her older brother Max was born on 1 Aug. 1893, the parents had lived a few houses away at Wilhelminenstrasse 73. The younger brother Siegfried was born on 8 Aug. 1897 at Kieler Strasse 84 (today Clemens-Schultz-Strasse, St. Pauli) and the younger sister Franziska on 6 Nov. 1899 at Wilhelminenstrasse 63.
Erna’s father, Leopold Belzinger, born in 1866, ran a pipe and meerschaum wholesale business at Catharinenstrasse 31 together with his partner Joseph Jacobsohn from Kieler Strasse 87. Meerschaum was mainly used to make cigar holders and pipe bowls, but also smaller ornamental objects. Later he traded exclusively in cigars. Leopold Belzinger and his six siblings Jacob, Carl, Luis (Louis), Alma Ida, Rosa, and Henry lived in Hamburg in the second generation. Their father, the furrier Philip Belzinger, had immigrated to Hamburg from Winschoten/Groningen in the 1860s, married Rosa Lademer, born in Altona in 1840, and obtained Hamburg civic rights (Bürgerrecht, i.e., citizenship) on 15 Apr. 1864.
Erna Belzinger’s brothers, Max and Siegfried, were killed in the First World War. Max died on 30 Aug. 1915. His place of death is unknown. Siegfried died on 3 June 1918 in Belgium as a sailor in a naval unit. His grave is in Diksmuide-Vladslo (block 2, grave 2190).
Erna Belzinger, about whose childhood and adolescence we know nothing, remained unmarried. In Sept. 1922, she joined the Jewish Community. Reportedly, she did not practice a profession, although her "status” was noted on the file card of the Friedrichsberg State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg), the only document still preserved about her from this institution, as a Haustochter [note: in this context, a daughter of legal working age employed at home as a domestic help/nanny]. She had already been to Friedrichsberg twice before being admitted there again on 15 Feb. 1938. One month later, what was by then the Psychiatric and Mental Hospital of the Hansische University” ("Psychiatrische und Nervenklinik der Hansischen Universität”) committed her to the Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Hamburg-Langenhorn). The reason given was "states of excitement.”
In the 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 to Langenhorn by 18 Sept. 1940. After all Jewish patients from the North German institutions had arrived in Langenhorn, they were loaded on to a train at the Ochsenzoll freight station together with the Jewish patients who had lived there for some time – including Erna Belzinger – and taken to Brandenburg/Havel on 23 Sept. 1940. On the same day, they were killed with carbon monoxide in the part of the former penitentiary converted into a gas-killing facility. Only one patient, Ilse Herta Zachmann, escaped this fate at first (see corresponding entry).
A report of Erna Belzinger’s death reached her birth records office in Hamburg. The birth entry of the records office notes: "deceased No. 335/41 St.A. [records office] Chelm II Generalgouvernement.”
Those murdered in Brandenburg, however, were never in Chelm (Polish) or Cholm (German), a town east of Lublin. The former Polish sanatorium there no longer existed after SS units had murdered almost all 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.
It is not known whether Erna Belzinger’s parents learned of their daughter’s death. They had remained behind alone in Hamburg and had lived for many years at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 1 in Hamburg-Rotherbaum. In 1937, they moved to Rutschbahn 25a, also in Rotherbaum, a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”). Jews were forcibly quartered in "Jews’ houses” in extremely confined conditions. The Belzinger couple had to move again, namely into a "Jews’ house,” this time at Schlachterstrasse 40/42 house 4/5 in Hamburg-Neustadt. There they received the deportation order. Minna and Leopold Belzinger were deported from Hamburg to the Theresienstadt "ghetto for the elderly” ("Altergetto”) on 20 July 1942. Minna Belzinger died there on 6 Oct. 1942, allegedly from intestinal inflammation, Leopold Belzinger also died in Theresienstadt, on 10 Mar. 1944.
Erna Belzinger’s sister Franziska (Fräncis), born on 6 Nov. 1899, and her husband Levy Bari left Germany in the spring of 1939 with their three sons, Manfred, born in 1921, Siegfried, born in 1922, and Wolfgang, born in 1928. They emigrated to the USA.
Minna, Leopold, and Erna Belzinger are commemorated by Stolpersteine at Rutschbahn 25a. In memory of Leopold Belzinger’s brother Carl, who took his own life on 26 Sept. 1942, and his sister Rosa, who died on 29 Mar. 1941, Stolpersteine are located at Bornstrasse 18 in Rotherbaum.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: June 2020
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 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); 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident R 1939 2672 Carl Belzinger; 332-3 Zivilstandsaufsicht A–237 Geburtsregister Nr. 1441/1871 Carl Belzinger, A_227 Geburtsregister Nr. 1350/1868 Jacob Belzinger, A_220 Geburtsregister Nr. 812/1866 Leopold Belzinger, A_256 Geburtsregister Nr. 197/1875 Luis Belzinger; 332-5 Standeämter 2315 Geburtsregister Nr. 2899/1893 Max Belzinger; 2344 Geburtsregister Nr. 2236/1894 Erna Belzinger, 2432 Geburtsregister Nr. 2773/1897 Siegfried Belzinger, 8741 Heiratsregister Nr. 426/1920 Franziska Belzinger/Levy Bari, 13168 Geburtsregister Nr. 2734/1899 Gertrud Belzinger; 332-7 Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht AIe 40 Bd. 5 Einbürgerung Philip Belzinger; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.1.39–23.9.40; UKE/IGEM, Archiv, Patienten-Karteikarte Erna Belzinger der Staatskrankenanstalt Friedrichsberg; http://www.weltkriegsopfer.de/Krieg-Opfer-Max-Belzinger_Soldaten_0_462233.html (Zugriff 25.8.2015); http://www.weltkriegsopfer.de/Kriegsopfer-Siegfried-Belzinger_Soldaten_0_99118.html (Zugriff 25.8.2015); http://www.holocaust.cz/de/search?query=Belzinger&x=0&y=0 (Zugriff 26.8.2015); Biographie Carl und Rosa Belzinger: http://www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de/?&MAIN_ID=7&r_name=Belzinger&r_strasse=&r_bezirk=&r_stteil=&r_sort=Nachname_AUF&recherche=recherche&submitter=suchen&BIO_ID=669 (Zugriff 26.8.2015).
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