Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

Max Haas * 1895

Mittelweg 29 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

1941 Lodz
1942 ermordet in Chelmo

further stumbling stones in Mittelweg 29:
Lilly Haas, Manfred Haas

Max Haas, born on 16 Apr. 1895 in Borken, deported to Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941, further deported to Chelmno on 10 Sept. 1942

Mittelweg 29 (Rotherbaum)

Max Haas was born on 16 Apr. 1895 in Borken, Westphalia, as the son of Jonas Haas (1865–1942) and Bertha Haas, née Heimann (1871–1938). His siblings Helene, later married name Bähr (1893–1944), and Erich (1897–1968) were also born in Borken. Max Haas had attended the Israelite eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) in Borken and had transferred to Hittorf Gymnasium, a high school, in Recklinghausen in Apr. 1909, which he attended until the fall of 1912. In the Recklinghausen register of residents, there were entries from Apr. 1909 to Oct. 1912 as a "boarder” with various host families, such as Tannenbaum, Pape, Strafien(?), Hoppe, and Guedecke. His cousin Martin Haas (born on 6 June 1893 in Borken), enrolled at school in Recklinghausen at the same time, was accommodated for the first two years with the families Rosenthal, Paße(?) and Bendix, before they were given shared quarters starting in Oct. 1911. Martin Haas graduated from Hittorf Gymnasium in 1913.

One may assume that Max Haas completed a commercial apprenticeship after school as well as his military service. He lived in Cologne until 1927, and in June of that year, he returned to Borken; his profession indicated in the directories was that of a merchant at this time. The district town in the Westphalian Münsterland region had a population of about 5,700 then.

Max Haas married Lilli Weichselbaum (born on 24 Sept. 1907 in Berlin) and presumably moved with her to Hamburg in 1929, where their son Manfred was born (on 5 Mar. 1930). Since 1932, Max Haas was listed as a member of the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community and the local Orthodox Synagogue Association (Synagogenverband – S.V.). The Haas family lived in Hamburg from 1930 to 1941 at Mittelweg 29 (Rotherbaum); the residential address points to upscale economic circumstances.

Together with his cousins Alfons Haas and Harry Haas (both residing in Hamburg) and the senior partners and brothers Moses Haas and Jonas Haas (both living in Borken), Max Haas was the owner of the Hamburg-Altona branch of Borken-based Gebr. [Bros.] Haas & Co., which was established in 1927 and dealt in domestic and foreign timber and veneer. At the Cologne German Werkbund Exhibition of July 1914, Gebr. Haas & Co., founded in 1886, presented itself with its own exhibition stand; the local press in Borken wrote about it on 25 July 1914: "163 copies of exotic wood veneers were on display. They include specimens that must arouse the admiration of the experts. For example, one sheet of ash-root burl measuring 1.80 by 1.70 meters, another of oak-root burl measuring 1.20 by 0.80 meters was on display. Among the solid woods, a trunk of South American rosewood, a palm tree from St. Martin, Thuja from Algiers, etc. attracted particular attention. The trunks, with fronts polished, make a great impression. We left the exhibition proud of the fact that Borken was represented by such a highlight.”

In 1933, the branch office had moved from the rented commercial property at Rainweg 32 (Altona 1) to the company’s own premises at Billstrasse 158 (Hamburg-Rothenburgsort). In Dec. 1937, the Hamburg branch was deleted from the company register and, following "Aryanization,” it was renamed Ulrich, Lofink & Co. (owners Rudolf H. Ulrich and Reinhold J. Lofink) as of 1 Sept. 1938. The new "Aryan” owners of the company and the property (Billstrasse 156–158) had worked for the "Jewish” owners in the business for many years. Rudolf Ulrich (born on 5 Sept. 1907 in Karlsberg/Silesia, today Karlow in Poland) had started working for Gebr. Haas & Co. in Hamburg as an employee in 1928 after completing secondary commercial school in Görlitz. According to his denazification questionnaire, he eventually held senior positions in purchasing, sales, and organization. He belonged to the German national "Steel Helmet, League of Frontline Soldiers” ("Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten”), founded in Dec. 1918, and to the "People’s League for Germanness Abroad” (Volksbund für das Deutschtum im Ausland – VDA), as well as to the Nazi party (NSDAP) starting in Apr. 1930. He worked for the party as a training and propaganda officer from about 1935, and in 1937, he was promoted to Nazi local group leader (NSDAP-Ortsgruppenleiter). Reinhold Lofink (born on 26 June 1907 in Altona) worked for three years as a salaried timber buyer before joining Gebr. Haas & Co. in 1931. From 1933, he belonged to the NSDAP and the Marine SA (Marine-SA), where he became Obertruppführer in 1935 (an SA rank equivalent to staff sergeant). Lofink’s annual income in the period from 1931 to 1937 was between 6,000 and 9,000 RM (reichsmark), jumping to 20,000 to 30,000 RM after the takeover of his employer’s company. In addition to Ulrich and Lofink, Paul Friedrich Meyer, owner of the J. H. Dubbers & Hempell timber company (at Billstrasse 158), was also involved in the "Aryanized” business.

For the German national census in May 1939, Max Haas had been recorded both in his birthplace Borken and in Hamburg. In Borken (Bahnhofstrasse 11), the father Jonas Haas (born on 16 June 1865 in Borken), the brother Erich Haas (born on 3 Feb. 1897 in Borken), and his sons Bernard Haas (born on 4 Mar. 1933 in Borken) and Edmund Haas (born on 27 July 1935 in Borken) were also registered. Parallel to that, Bernard Haas was also registered in Breslau (today Wroclaw in Poland) at Hindenburgplatz 7.

Since 1933, anti-Semitism became a main emphasis of domestic politics in the German Reich. In the service of the NSDAP dictatorship, the authorities and state employees henceforth had to systematically register persons considered Jewish according to Nazi racial doctrine. Among other things, laws and ordinances were used to dismiss Jews from the civil service, they were no longer allowed to be members of trade associations, had to join in Jewish associations, and later had to list their assets in detail. In 1938/1939, the next tightening of the regulations was the introduction of additional Jewish compulsory first names, the prohibition of Jewish doctors and lawyers from serving "Aryan” patients and clients, and Jewish company owners were driven into ruin or forced sale ("Aryanization”) by boycotts. In order to appropriate the values of the marginalized Jewish population, their accounts were frozen and after deportation, the police immediately sealed their apartments. Court bailiffs then auctioned off the confiscated housing furnishings on behalf of the Nazi state. All of these measures also affected the Haas family.

Max, Lilli, and Manfred Haas were deported from Hamburg to the Litzmannstadt (Lodz) Ghetto in occupied Poland on 25 Oct. 1941, where they were quartered at Hausiererstrasse (Flisnicka) 6 on the fourth floor. The new arrivals were usually accommodated in makeshift collective quarters, where there were no beds and instead straw was laid out on the floor. The Jewish ghetto administration appointed a steward for each room.

In the spring of 1942, the Haas family received in the ghetto their "Departure order No. IX 549-51” (synonymous with extermination camps), from which exemption was granted only in well-founded exceptional cases. On 8 May 1942, Max Haas submitted an application to the "resettlement commission” ("Aussiedlungskommission”) for exemption from the pending May deportation. He justified the application based on his paid work as a "custodian” of his residential quarter since 11 Dec. 1941, for which he was paid 48 RM per month in addition to the family assistance of 30 RM. "I also receive regular cash remittances, so that I have not needed any support to this day,” he continued, referring to his voluntary participation in the war during World War I and the fact that he "was already active in the vegetable transportation on the Maraschin [the large Jewish cemetery in Lodz] in the early days” – his application was granted. The Haas family were thus among few people who managed obtain a deferral of further deportation. Of the 1,034 Jews deported from Hamburg, only 340 were still living in the Lodz Ghetto at that time.

Four months later, on 10 Sept. 1942, the Haas family was also deported to the Kulmhof (Chelmno) extermination camp and murdered. The actual plan had been to deport only Jews over 65 and under 14 years of age. Max Haas (47 years) and Lilli Haas (35 years) did not belong to this age group, but their son Manfred Haas (12 years) did. It is quite possible that the parents did not want to leave their son alone and joined this transport "voluntarily.”

The following outlines the fate of other relatives:
His cousin Alfons Haas (born on 3 Jan. 1895 in Borken) had lived in Hamburg at Parkallee 5 (Harvestehude) and since May 1938 at Haynstrasse 9 (Eppendorf). Since 1932, he had belonged to the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community and the moderately conservative religious association of the Neue Dammtorsynagoge (N.D.S.). He had emigrated to the Netherlands on 15 Nov. 1938. "At the end of 1938, all immigrants were asked to obtain new identification documents, which made it possible to identify those who were in the country illegally. They were concentrated in the Westerbork camp, 50 kilometers (approx. 31 miles) from the German border.” For Alfons Haas, 28 Mar. 1940 is recorded in the Memorial Book of the Federal Archives in Koblenz as the beginning of his internment in the camp, only a few weeks before the invasion of the German Wehrmacht in the Netherlands (May 1940). His wife and son were no longer able to set out to join him. Alfons Haas remained imprisoned in the Westerbork camp until 4 Sept. 1944, and he was deported from there to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, and on 29 Sept. 1944, further to the Auschwitz extermination camp. For Alfons Haas, his wife Margot, née Hirschfeldt (born on 10 June 1909 in Hamburg) and their joint son Michael (born on 30 Aug. 1931 in Hamburg), Stolpersteine were laid at Parkallee 5 in Hamburg.

His cousin Harry Haas (born on 7 Sept. 1891 in Borken) had married Charlotte Fürst (born on 29 Aug. 1908 in Hamburg) in January 1932 in Hamburg. Since 1932, was on file as a member of the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community and the religious association of the Neue Dammtorsynagoge. The married couple had a daughter, Ellen Marlene Josefa Haas (born on 16 Aug. 1933 in Hamburg). The residential addresses in Hamburg were Rothenbaumchaussee 195 (1931–1933) and Isestrasse 125 (1934–1939). Eventually, they were subtenants at Hagedornstrasse 49 with L. Conrad. In the course of the November Pogrom of 1938, Harry Haas was deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and released after two weeks. The note in his Jewish religious tax file card, "June 1939 Holland” and "U.B. ert. 13/6.39,” refer to the planned official emigration to the Netherlands and the issuing of the tax clearance certificate (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung) by state authorities. However, departure from Germany did not materialize. On 18 Nov. 1941, the family of three, together with sister-in-law Margot Haas, née Hirschfeldt (born on 10 June 1909 in Hamburg) and her son Michael Haas (born on 30 Aug. 1931 in Hamburg), were deported from Hamburg to the Minsk Ghetto in occupied Belarus.

His sister-in-law Ruth Haas, née Marks (born on 13 Oct. 1906 in Breslau [today Wroclaw in Poland]) and her three sons Lothar (born on 19 Oct. 1930 in Düsseldorf), Bernhard (born on 4 Mar. 1933 in Borken), and Edmond (born on 27 July 1935 in Borken) were living in Breslau (Hindenburgplatz 7) at the time of the German national census (May 1939); they were deported from there to the Majdanek extermination camp in 1942.

His sister Helene Bähr, née Haas (born on 21 Apr. 1893 in Borken, Westphalia) had married Dr. Hermann Bähr (born on 13 Nov. 1882, in Prenzlau, Brandenburg) in 1920 and had moved with him to Moers, where she was active in the Jewish Women’s Association (Jüdischer Frauenverein). In 1922, son Günther was born (on 25 Feb. 1922 in Düsseldorf), who moved to Berlin in 1939. Hermann Bähr was the last head of the synagogue community in Moers. His father Oskar Bähr (born on 1 May 1856 in Mayern), Rabbi in Prenzlau from 1885 to 1934, had moved to Moers with his wife Madchen/Malchen Bähr, née Wertheim (born on 23 May 1863 in Fulda), in Nov. 1934 to join their son. Hermann and Helene Bähr had to move from their apartment at Kirchstrasse 48 to a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Repelner Strasse 2 and they were deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on 25 July 1942, together with Oskar Bähr (died on 18 Oct. 1942 in Theresienstadt) and his wife Madchen/Malchen Bähr, née Wertheim (died on 5 Mar. 1943 in Theresienstadt). On 19 Oct. 1944, Hermann and Helene Bähr were deported from the Theresienstadt Ghetto to the Auschwitz extermination camp and murdered. Their 21-year-old son Günther Bähr was deported to Auschwitz-Buna on 19 Apr. 1943, and he perished in a Lower Silesian coalmine near Landeshut on 21 Feb. 1945 on the death march from Auschwitz to Gleiwitz (today Gliwice in Poland). Stolpersteine were laid at Rathausplatz 1 in Moers for Hermann, Helene, and Günther Bähr.

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

Stand: December 2020
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 221-11 (Staatskommissar für die Entnazifizierung), I (B) 9437 (Reinhold Lofink); StaH 221-11 (Staatskommissar für die Entnazifizierung), 43479 (Rudolf Ulrich); StaH 231-7 (Handelsregister), A 1 Band 170 (Gebr. Haas u. Co, HR A 37936); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Alfons Haas, Harry Haas, Max Haas; Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen (Harry Haas); Stadtarchiv Borken/ Westfalen, Recherchen von Dr. Norbert Fasse (Familie Haas); Stadtarchiv Recklinghausen, Melderegister (Max Haas, Martin Haas); Gymnasium Hittorf in Recklinghausen, Archiv (Max Haas, Martin Haas); Handelskammer Hamburg, Handelsregisterinformationen (Gebr. Haas u. Co, HR A 37936); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1935, S. 187 (J. H. Dubbers & Hempell, ausländ. Hölzer, gegr. 1843, Vieländerstr. 261–265, Inh. Paul Friedr. Meyer), S. 295 (Gebr. Haas & Cie. Zweigniederlassung Hamburg, Billstr. 158); USHMM, RG 301/1234-1236, 1942 (Museum Lodz, Briefe), Max, Lilly und Manfred Haas; Gedenkbuch Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Alfons Haas, Bernhard Haas, Edmond Haas, Helene Hella Bähr geb. Haas, Hermann Hirsch Bähr, Oskar Bähr, Madchen Malchen Bähr geb. Wertheim; Adressbuch Hamburg (Max Haas) 1930, 1931, 1940; Adressbuch Hamburg (Harry bzw. H. Haas) 1931–1934, 1936, 1938, 1939; Adressbuch Altona (Rainweg 32, ehem. Glas-Großhandel u. Leitergerüst-Verleihanstalt von Walter Greve) 1928, 1929, 1931; Telefonbuch Hamburg 1931 (Gebr. Haas & Co, Rainweg 32, Inhaber Alfons Haas, Harry Haas, Max Haas); Frank Bajohr, "Arisierung" in Hamburg, Hamburg 1998, S. 358 (Gebr. Haas & Cie., Furnierhandel, Billstr. 158); Michael Brocke/ Julius Carlebach, Die Rabbiner im Deutschen Reich 1871–1945, 2009, S. 48 (Dr. Oskar Bähr); Maike Bruhns, Geflohen aus Deutschland, Hamburger Künstler im Exil 1933–1945, Bremen 2007, S. 167 (Exil Niederlande); Andrea Löw, In der "Öde von Lodz", in: Beate Meyer (Hrsg.), Deutsche Jüdinnen und Juden in Ghettos und Lagern (1941–1945), Berlin 2017, S. 35–37, 41; Meyers Lexikon, Band 2, Leipzig 1925, S. 674 (Borken); Ursula Randt, Die Talmud Tora Schule in Hamburg 1805 bis 1942, Hamburg 2005, S. 13 (Manfred Haas); (Volkszählung 1939), Bernard Haas, Edmund Haas, Erich Haas, Jonas Haas, Max Haas; (Dr. Hermann Bähr u. Helene Bähr, 18.9.2017 eingesehen).
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

print preview  / top of page