Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

Sara Lennhoff * 1893

Eppendorfer Landstraße 18 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)

1941 Lodz

further stumbling stones in Eppendorfer Landstraße 18:
Erna Fischer, Hermann Fischer, Adolph Hammerschlag, Meta Hammerschlag, Alexander Joel

Sara(h) Anne Lennhoff, born 11 Mar. 1893 in Plettenberg, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz

Eppendorfer Landstraße 18

Only very few traces of Sarah Anne Lennhoff remain in Hamburg. The State Archive contains only two documents which bear witness to her life – her tax records with the Jewish Religious Community and the list of tenants in her apartment building at Eppendorfer Landstraße 18.

In Plettenberg, where Sarah was born, a column was erected at the Jewish Cemetery on 1 June 2010 in memory of the Jewish residents who were murdered during the Nazi era. Sarah Anne Lennhoff is among those memorialized.

Plettenberg is in the western region of the Sauerland. In 1871 the town had a population of about 2000. Only 40 years later, in 1910, the population was 6000. During this time of industrialization, metal-working firms settled here. Later heavy industry developed.

We do not know what the professions of Sarah’s parents, Isaak and Lina Thalberg Lennhoff, were. Her grandfather Jacob Lennhoff was a butcher and tradesman. It is possible that Isaak (*10 September 1866) also worked in this branch. It is also possible that he met his wife through his business. Lina (*1865) was from Wetzlar and was the daughter of the cattle dealer Meyer Thalberg and his wife Emma, née Simon. Lina died in 1896, a few months after the birth of her youngest daughter Emilie. She had borne three children in the space of three years – Sarah in 1893, Sigmund in 1894 (died 1908), and Emilie. Two years after her death, Isaak married Regina Franziska Thalberg, Lina’s elder sister. Regina kept the family’s household, and was heavily pregnant when she and Isaak married. It can thus be assumed that she had worked for the family for quite a while, and had acted as a mother to the three small children. There was no grandmother to help out, as Isaak’s mother had died in 1892.

Isaak had six siblings – three sisters and three brothers. One of the brothers, Simon (called Sally), had lived in Soltau since 1899, where he ran a textile business. He and his wife had two daughters, Paula and Selma. At least three of the other siblings lived in Plettenberg. Sarah thus grew up in a large extended family, with two full and three half-siblings. There is no information about her schooling, vocational training, or work history.

At some point before 1928, Sarah Anne Lennhoff was living in Soltau, probably with her Uncle Sally. The Plettenberg city records have an entry under her name: "moved from Soltau 3 October 1926, profession: sales clerk.” Perhaps she had worked in Sally’s shop. Six months later she moved again. A second entry in the records states: "moved away 19 March 1929 to (illegible).” Sarah’s father Isaak Lennhoff died on 12 August 1932 in Plettenberg-Böddinghausen.

In February 1936, Sarah moved to Hamburg to work in the home of the Fischer family at Eppendorfer Landstraße 18. The family lived in a four-room apartment on the third floor. The household consisted of Hugo Fischer, his wife Erna, their 26-year-old son Maximilian Kurt, and a boarder, Ernst Bendix. Hugo Fischer’s insurance company was also listed under this address.

An entry in Sarah’s religious community tax records, dated April 1936, reads "only visiting.” In late April of the same year, her cousin Selma from Soltau began working for the Cohen family – perhaps Sarah had gotten her the job? Selma only remained in the position for three months, then she returned to Soltau. She later emigrated to England. Her father Sally died in the Theresienstadt Ghetto.

Sarah’s "visit” to Hamburg lasted 5½ years. During this time, her income was so low that she was exempt from paying religious community taxes to the Israelitic community. An entry from February 1938 reads "earns 35 Reichsmarks per month.” She later received 30 RM plus free room and board. An entry dated 9 October 1940 reads "must support mother and sister.” It is hard to imagine how she did this. The sister mentioned was her half-sister Hedwig (*14 August 1900), who had been living with her mother since 1936 at Steinbrinkstraße 1 in Plettenberg. In January 1941, the two women, who were apparently destitute, were forced, under pressure from the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (German Labor Front, the Nazi trade union organization) to move to Altena. A letter from the mayor of Plettenberg to the mayor of Altena reads: "Both persons are unemployed. They have no assets. Their rent of 30 RM is paid by the Jewish Association. Funds for their living expenses, about 40 RM per month, are provided by the daughter Sara Anna, who supposedly has a position in Hamburg.”

Regina Franziska Lennhoff was assigned to a transport to Dortmund on 29 July 1942, on orders of the Dortmund city police. On the next day she was deported to Theresienstadt, where she died on 5 August 1942.

Hedwig had left Altena on 29 April of that year, destination unknown. The questions of where she was deported to, where and when she died, and from what the two women lived before they were deported must remain unanswered. Sarah had been deported from Hamburg the previous October. That meant that there was no longer any financial support for her mother and sister.

Sarah and the other residents in the Fischers’ Eppendorfer home must also have led a penurious life. Maximilan Kurt was able to emigrate to the US in March 1940. Sarah was the first of those who remained behind to receive her deportation notice. Hugo and Erna Fischer were deported on 15 July 1942, Ernst Bendix four days later, all to Theresienstadt. They were sent to Auschwitz in 1944. None of them survived.

Sarah was assigned quarters in the Lodz Ghetto at Blattbindergasse 23, Apt. 1. In May 1942, half of the German-speaking Jews who had arrived in the fall of 1941 were "evacuated.”

Those who received these "evacuation orders” were allowed to protest them, and a large number of these "last letters from Litzmannstadt (Lodz)” have survived, including the one written by Sarah Anne Lennhoff, dated 1 May 1942. It reads: "Herewith I politely request that I be put on the list of those not to be evacuated, and give as my reasons that, since my arrival here in the ghetto, I have worked with the social aid services, and cared for those from the Hamburg transport, to which I also belong, who cannot care for themselves, constantly and at every hour of the day. I hope that my request is taken into consideration, and that it is not in vain.” Her request was denied, as she had no official job in the ghetto. She left Lodz with the first group on 7 May and was murdered in Chelmno.

Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: March 2017
© Sabine Brunotte

Quellen: 1; 4; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen, A 51/1; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992e2 Band 1; Plettenberg vom 4.10.2009; Auskunft Martina Wittkopp-Beine, Stadt­­archiv Plettenberg, E-Mails vom 22.5.2010 und 25.5. 2010 sowie schriftliche Aufzeichnungen; Meldekarte Amt Plettenberg von 1929; Stadtarchiv Altena D10/191/226; URL,html, Zugriff vom 23.5.2010; Auskunft Fritz Neubauer, Universität Bielefeld, E-Mail vom 7. Juni 2010, USHMM, RG 15.083 Nr. 300/144.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

print preview  / top of page