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Selma Graulo (née Nachtigall) * 1890

Rappstraße 9 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

JG. 1890

Selma Graulo, née Nachtigall, born on 29 Sept. 1890 in Hamburg, flight to death on 10 Feb. 1945

Rappstrasse 9

Selma Graulo, née Nachtigall, was born on 29 Sept. 1890 in Hamburg. She was the youngest of six siblings who came from two marriages of her father, the optician Hirsch Nachtigall (born on 27 May 1842 in Verden/Aller – died on 15 Feb. 1915 in Hamburg). For her mother Sara, widowed name Münster, née Fraenkel (born on 21 June 1847 in Belk, District of Riebenich in Silesia, died on 27 Nov. 1918 in Hamburg), it was also her second marriage. We know nothing about Selma’s (or her siblings’) childhood, adolescence, or training. Selma’s parents died as early as 1915 and 1918, respectively. From her father’s first marriage, Selma had three half-siblings (who died before the Nazi assumption of power).

On 7 Sept. 1917, Selma married Oswald Graulo, who was born in Sliwno (Poland) on 3 June 1890, and who served as a soldier in World War I until the end of 1918.
The couple moved on 25 Sept. 1917 to Rappstrasse 9 on the second floor, where they lived with Selma’s mother until her death.
Selma was of the Jewish faith; for Oswald, the registrar noted that he belonged to the Protestant religion. From 1925 onward, Oswald Graulo worked as a representative in the tobacco industry, employed by the Joh. Wilhelm von Eicken tobacco plant.

Since the Nazis’ assumption of power in 1933, the couple feared reprisals. We know through Oswald Graulo that his wife had received an order to perform forced labor and that she had been summoned to the Gestapo several times "for petty matters.” Being an "Aryan,” he had been advised to divorce his wife, which he resolutely refused.
From the perspective of the Nazis, Selma and Oswald Graulo lived in a "privileged mixed marriage” ("privilegierte Mischehe”). This initially protected the Jewish partner, i.e., Selma, from deportation and some coercive measures such as having to wear the "Jews’ star” ("Judenstern,” i.e., the Star of David). The couple was also able to stay in their apartment.

This situation changed in 1944, for in October of that year, the non-Jewish husbands ("persons interrelated to Jews” ["jüdisch Versippte"]) of Jewish wives were called up for forced labor. Oswald, 54 years old, was supposed to report for work to the "DAF camp” (German Labor Front camp) near the Alsterdorf train station. He evaded barracking because the camp was uninhabitable. However, starting on 27 Oct. 1944, he had to report in the mornings for roll call on Hegeplatz. His daily routine henceforth involved clearing rubble, emptying garbage cans, shoveling coal, clearing snow, and cleaning the streets.

This compulsory measure was a great nervous strain on the couple, especially on Selma. Added to this were the rumors that the Jewish wives were still to be "evacuated” (a euphemistic term for deportation). She was not willing to accept this at all.

On 7 Feb. 1945, Selma put her secret plan for suicide into action. That morning she had told her subtenant, Martha Alwine Wolf, that she did not feel well and wanted to lie down again. She asked not to be disturbed and not to respond to any ringing of the doorbell.
In the afternoon, Selma Graulo was found unconscious on her bed due to the effects of sleeping-inducing medication and was taken to the Jewish Hospital at Schäferkampsallee 29 by a paramedic called in. There she died after three days on 10 Feb. 1945.
On 14 February, a train transporting Jews living in "mixed marriages” left Hamburg for Theresienstadt.

Oswald Graulo was left behind as a widower and was used as a forced laborer until Apr. 1945. After the end of the war, he found employment as an auditor in the Office of Economic Affairs.
In Nov. 1951, he left his apartment at Rappstrasse 9 and moved to Kielortallee 22.
He had found a new partner in Jettchen Behr, née Rothschild, (born on 22 Sept. 1894, died on 12 Jan. 1985), and the two married on 1 Oct. 1951. Oswald Graulo retired on 30 June 1955, and died two years later, on 22 Apr. 1957.

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

Stand: December 2020
© Christina Igla

Quellen: StaH: 331-5 Unnatürliche Todefälle_3 Akte 1945/186 (Selma Graulo); 332-5 Personenstandsunterlagen_2231/41/1890 Geburtsurkunde Selma Nachtigall, _8020/36/1914 (Sterbeurkunde Gilda Lindemann); 332—8 Meldewesen _ Hausmeldekartei Rappstr. 9 Film Nr. 2435; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung _12055 (Oswald Graulo), _12056 Jettchen Graulo;352-5 Todesbescheinigungen _1125/2a/1918 (Sarah Nachtigall, _55/20/1933 (Leo Nachtigall); 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde_ Kultussteuerkartei 992-b_ Film Nr. A29D; Hamburger Adressbuch – online- von (1938–1943) eingesehen am 7.12.2016): Gedenkbuch des Bundesarchiv –online- (eingesehen am 1.12.2016); (eingesehen am 7.12.2016), Grabregister Jüdischer Friedhof Ilandkoppel (Hamburg).

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