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Jacob Levy * 1867

Heinrich-Hertz-Straße 19 (Hamburg-Nord, Uhlenhorst)

Flucht in den Tod 27.02.1942

further stumbling stones in Heinrich-Hertz-Straße 19:
Sara Levy

Jacob Rosenbacher-Levy, born 03/25/1867, flight to death on 02/27/1942
Sara Levy, née Fehr, born 01/14/1868, flight to death on 02/27/1942

Heinrich-Hertz-Strasse 19

The merchant Jacob Levy was born in Hamburg as the youngest son of Nachmann Jacob Levy and his wife Sophie, née Rosenbacher, who came from Prague. His sister Anna, born May 30th, 18964, was three years older. The Levy family had lived at Sophienterrasse 17, in a small private lane connecting the Alster Lake to Mittelweg, since 1875. The father Nachmann Jacob Levy was a merchant who had his own company, "Mobilien-Lager, Holz- u. Fournier-Handl.”, a wood and furniture store, with headquarters at Catharinenstrasse 31 in Hamburg’s old town, directly on the dike.

Sophie Levy died in 1892; following her husband’s death in 1904, the spacious household in the town villa was dissolved, and Jacob Levy moved to his first own apartment at Uhlenhorster Weg 37.

Sara Fehr, who married Jacob Levy, was the daughter of Salomon and Johanna Fehr, née Behrens, and came from Brunswick (Braunschweig). Jacob and Sara married in Berlin-Charlottenburg on March 23rd, 1906. After their marriage, they moved to Heinrich-Hertz-Strasse 19. The Jewish couple had no children.

After 30 years in their home in Heinrich-Hertz-Strasse, the Levys were ordered to move out on March 1st, 1936. They ignored this order, moving instead to Leipziger Strasse 19 (today an extension of Heinrich-Hertz-Strasse). They had very little contact with their new neighbors. When a new letter from the Gestapo was delivered in February of 1942, ordering them to vacate their home by March 1st, the couple decided to take their own lives. They were both 74 years old.

In the evening of February 26th, 1942, they dropped the key to their home in the mailbox of the office of their attorney Samson at Ferdinandstrasse 76; Samson was also the executor of the couple’s will. When the attorney discovered the keys the next morning, he went directly to the police precinct, assuming that the Levys had committed suicide.

Accompanied by a police sergeant, Samson drove to the Levys’ home, where they found the couple, Jacob Levy sitting in an armchair, his wife Sara lying on the floor. In the kitchen, there were four empty Veronal tablet tubes. The Jewish physician Berthold Hannes was summoned; he diagnosed an overdose of barbiturates and had the Levys taken to the Israelitic Hospital in Johnsallee 54, as husband and wife were still alive. Samson took care of the security of the home and of the couple’s estate.

The wife of the janitor of the house in Leipziger Strasse made the following statement to the police: "A charwoman occasionally came to clean at the Levys’; I don’t know her name or where she lives. Yesterday (Thursday) evening at 10:00 p.m. I heard the piano being played in the Levy’s apartment – it’s directly above ours. At around 11:30, we heard pieces of furniture being moved from the front towards the kitchen at the back of the apartment. Everybody in the house knew that the Levys were supposed to move out of their home. I suppose they decided to voluntarily leave their life to avoid this.”

Jacob Levy died on February 27th; his wife followed him a few days later, on March 1st, 1942. Jacob Levy’s sister Anna Levy also committed suicide; she died on July 15th, 1942, of an overdose of sleeping pills.

Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: March 2017
© Carmen Smiatacz

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; StaHH 314-15, OFP, R 1941/181; StaHH 331-5, 3 Akte 378; StaHH 331-5, 3 Akte 377; Sparr: Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Winterhude, S. 141.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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