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Benni Bartfeld * 1935
Horner Landstraße 69 (Hamburg-Mitte, Horn)
ZBASZYN / POLEN
Max Moses Jacob Bartfeld, born on 23 Feb. 1897 in Peczenizyn, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, murdered in Belzec probably in 1942
Rosa Bartfeld, née Bartfeld, born on 4 Oct. 1901 in Harburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, murdered in Belzec probably in 1942
Benni Bartfeld, born on 20 Sept. 1935 in Hamburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, murdered in Belzec probably in 1942
Jutta Bartfeld, born on 5 Oct. 1930 in Altona, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, murdered in Belzec probably in 1942
Horner Landstraße 69 (Horner Landstraße 71)
"In about 1930, [my brother Max Bartfeld] moved to Hamburg, living there until his deportation to Poland in 1938 and working at the very end in the [horse]hair trade. …
I only know that his business situation was quite favorable, as a result of which he did not heed my repeated pleas to leave Germany because of the current circumstances. He always raised the objection that he was unable to wind up things from one day to the other, putting me off to a later date, until fate struck him like many others.”
With these lines, Emanuel Bartfeld described to the Restitution Office (Amt für Wiedergutmachung) the economic situation of his brother Moses Jacob Bartfeld that had prevented him from emigrating in time. Emanuel Bartfeld, three years the senior of his brother Moses Jacob Bartfeld, who called himself Max Jacob Bartfeld, emigrated to Palestine in Sept. 1933. In 1934 his wife followed him with the four children and the parents in law Abraham and Perl Spiegel.
Emanuel had attended Realschule [a practice-oriented secondary school up to grade 10], finishing it with the intermediate secondary school certificate (Mittlere Reife) and then commencing a commercial apprenticeship. In 1916, he was called up for military service. After his discharge, he returned to Altona and found a job with the Spiegel Company (Coke, briquette, wood). Two days before Emanuel married his boss’ daughter, Sara Spiegel, his brother Max Moses Jacob came to Altona on 17 Mar 1920.
Together the two brothers set up a business of their own in 1923. In the former public swimming pool at Bürgerstraße 108 (today: Thedebad = pool), they ran a flourishing steam-operated horsehair finishing shop; horsehair, hair from horses’ manes and tails, played an important role as upholstery material. The City of Altona cancelled the 15-year lease in return for considerable compensation in 1928, and the brothers parted ways. Emanuel Bartfeld and his wife Sara built up, among other things, a profitable mail-order business for linen goods.
For his marriage to Rosa Bartfeld, daughter of the merchant Israel Bartfeld from Harburg, on 24 May 1928, Max Moses Jacob required documents from Poland, on which his name was mistakenly spelled as "Bardfeld,” leading to all kinds of problems. In the course of researching, neither the author of this biography nor Emanuel Bartfeld’s authorized representative for the restitution proceedings found the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card because they were looking under the name of "Bartfeld, M.J.,” the entry on the membership list of the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community dating from 1935, which also lacks the first name "Max.” The Hamburg Memorial Book lists daughter Jutta, born in Altona on 5 Oct. 1930, separately from her parents and her younger brother Benni, born in Hamburg in 1935, as "Juta Bartfeld.” Adding further to the confusion was the fact that Rosa Bartfeld’s maiden name was also Bartfeld. Her family came from Kolomyia (Kolomea) in Galicia, where her sisters Golda on 10 Feb. 1896, and Phaya/Berta on 31 January 1899 were born, while she was born in Harburg on 4 Oct. 1901.
One year after Max and Rosa Bartfeld's marriage her mother Jutta Chancia, née Krug, died. She was buried at the Jewish cemetery in Harburg. Her father Israel Bartfeld stayed in Harburg and Wilhelmsburg (see the same). Golda, Rosa's oldest sister, emigrated with her husband Ephraim/Fritz Bartfeld to Palestine like Emanuel Bartfeld in 1934. On 20 September 1935 Rosa gave birth to her son Benni.
As Emanuel Bartfeld reported later, Max did well economically after his move to Hamburg until his expulsion to Poland on 28 Oct. 1938, even though he did not reach the living standard of his brother with his family of six, who lived in Hamburg’s Palmaille Street in a 6-bedroom apartment, while he made do with a 3-bedroom apartment. Moreover, Max Bartfeld lived in more affordable neighborhoods, initially on Alfredstraße in Borgfelde, then at Horner Landstraße 71, and eventually at Grindelhof 64. In the beginning, the brothers managed their companies from their homes. Max Bartfeld continued in the hair business, first as an employee, then, after his dismissal due to his Jewish descent, as a self-employed person, and he did profitable business even as late as 1938.
As a member of the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community, Max Moses Jacob Bartfeld joined the orthodox Synagogue Association in 1937. That same year, Jutta Bartfeld was probably enrolled in the girls’ school of the German-Israelitic Community in Carolinenstraße.
The sudden expulsion left the Bartfeld family no opportunity to wind up business and dissolve their household. The police took the married couple and their two children away in the morning and sealed the apartment. It was not possible to determine what happened to their belongings then; in any case, Max Bartfeld did not return to Hamburg to settle his affairs. Together with approx. 1,000 other Jews of Polish origin they were transported by train to the German-Polish frontier near Zbaszyn on 28 Oct. 1938 and driven across the border. As long as it was unclear what ought to happen with them, they remained in the frontier area, subsequently finding accommodation with Max Bartfeld’s older brother, Hansyn/Henryk Bartfeld, a lawyer, and his wife Anna in Mostyska (Mosciska) near Lviv (Lemberg). Even after the occupation by the German Wehrmacht, Rosa Bartfeld corresponded with her sister Golda in Palestine until the spring of 1940. "In the course of the evacuation of the people living in the town of Mosciska/Poland by the German occupational authority on 12 Oct. 1942, all of the occupants were taken from the house of Dr. H. Bartfeld, a lawyer known to me, including the visiting brother of the homeowner, Mr. Max Bartfeld with his wife and two children. They were reportedly deported to the Belzec extermination camp. I was spared this measure because during the time of occupation, I confessed myself to be non-Jewish.” This testimony by Zipora Meinemer, given on 6 May 1963 in Tel Aviv, seems to come close to the truth regarding the end to the lives of Max Moses Jacob, Rosa, Jutta, and Benni Bartfeld.
The traces of the parents of Hansyk, Emanuel and Max Bartfeld, Solomon Osias/Jehoschua Bartfeld and Hudi/Judi, née Tintel, are lost in Peczenizyn. Rosa Bartfeld's father Israel, born 10.10.1870 in Krasna, had entered into a second marriage. He and Sara Fleischmann, born 6.9.1902 in Vilnius, married on 7 July 1940. They were deported on 6 December 1941 to Riga, where they lost their trail.
Translator: Erwin FinkKindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: February 2019
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1; 4; 5 digital BA Berlin; 8; Hamburger Adressbücher, StaH 213-1, 1202, Ausländische Ehefähigkeitszeugnisse; 332-5, diverse Personenstandsregister; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 2445, 16002; 552-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 391; Barbara Günther, Israel und Sara Bartfeld, Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Harburg und Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg, S. 290–292; Fotos und freundliche Mitteilungen von Ester Cohen, Januar 2019.
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