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Rebekka Rosenstein
Rebekka Rosenstein
© Yad Vashem

Rebekka Rosenstein (née Berghoff) * 1901

Rutschbahn 25 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

1941 Minsk

further stumbling stones in Rutschbahn 25:
Lieselotte Berghoff, Ludwig Berghoff, Irma Blumenthal, Isidor Blumenthal, Elise Heudenfeld, James Rosenstein, Ester Schlesinger, Joseph Sealtiel, Elise Sealtiel, Judis Sealtiel

James Rosenstein, born 30 Dec. 1901 in Hamburg, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Rebekka S. Rosenstein, née Berghoff, born 27 Mar. 1901 in Kimpolung (Romania), deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk

Rutschbahn 25

James Rosenstein was the youngest of four sons. His brothers were Siegfried (born on 31 Jan. 1894), John (born on 22 Aug. 1895) and Walt(h)er (born on 5 July 1897). His parents were Bernhard and Henriette (nicknamed Jettchen, née Goldschmidt) Rosenstein. We know nothing about James’ childhood or adolescence. As an adult he worked as a sales employee. Rebekka Rosenstein was one of six children (Ludwig, Sofie, Sidonia, Karl and Adolf) of Berl and Malka Berghoff. The family came from Bukovina, a region that belonged to Romania after World War I. The Berghoff Family immigrated to Germany around 1900, according to a grand-niece. We also know nothing about Rebekka’s childhood. During the period from 1915 to 1918 she completed training as an office clerk. Afterwards she worked several years as a secretary at the Theordor Hitzler Shipyard on Veddel Island in Hamburg. After their wedding in the 1920s, the couple lived in a 2-room apartment at Neuersteinweg 27 in Hamburg. They never had any children. The couple saved up for their own small shop. In July 1929 they had saved enough and were able to open a cigar shop with a lending library and various small goods at Schlachterstraße 40 which they ran until 1938. Then their shop was closed, like all Jewish stores. Afterwards the couple had to do forced labor until their deportation. James, Rebekka and her brother and sister-in-law Ludwig and Lieselotte Berghoff tried to flee Germany in 1939 and invested their last savings in this endeavor. Their plan was to reach the Philippines via Shanghai. Their departure was set for the 20th of Apr. 1939. However they fell prey to a phony company called "Travel Agency Franz Auffarth”. The travel agency lacked both a license for its activity as well as landing permission for the port of destination. Hence it was neither allowed to take customers nor could their ship legally leave the port in Shanghai. While their bruised customers got back their money, apart from a fee of 30 RM, James and Rebekka Rosenstein and their relatives did not make a second attempt to leave the country.

They lived in their 2-room apartment until 1941. Over the course of 1941, they had to move into a so-called Jewish house at Rutschbahn 25, House 1. Rebekka’s brother Ludwig and his highly pregnant wife Lieselotte were also forced to move to the same house. They all received deportation orders for 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk. Prior to their deportation they had to give the police an inventory of their worldly belongings along with the key to their apartment and arrive at the collection camp in the "provincial lodge for Lower Saxony" where their luggage was inspected. The next day the train departed for Minsk.

None of them survived deportation. It is not known where and when they were killed. James and Rebekka Rosenstein were declared dead after the war as of 8 May 1945. The Stolpersteine memorialize them at their last residence.

James’ brother John had already been deported from Hamburg to Lodz on 25 Oct. 1941 where he perished. His brother Walter was killed in Auschwitz on 16 Feb. 1943.

John and Hedwig (born on 12 Oct. 1896) Rosenstein’s children were able to emigrate in time. Bernhard Rosenstein (born on 5 Sept. 1922) left for Palestine in Feb. 1939, and Ingeborg Rosenstein (born on 19 Mar. 1921) immigrated to Chile at the end of Sept. 1939.

We have no information regarding the fate of James and Rebekka Rosenstein’s other siblings.

Information as of May 2016

Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: November 2017
© Katrin Janz

Quellen: StaHH, 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992b, Kultussteuerkartei; ebd., 351-11, 25065, Amt für Wiedergutmachung; ebd., 373-7 I, II A III 7 Teil 2, Überwachung eines Auswanderer-Unternehmens; Auskünfte Großnichte B. E.; Hamburger Adressbuch 1941; www.bundesarchiv/;; Petra Rentrop, Tatorte der "Endlösung". Das Ghetto Minsk und die Vernichtungsstätte von Maly Trostinez, Berlin 2011, S. 173.

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