Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

Werner Rosenbaum, Ausschnitt aus Klassenfoto, 4. Klasse Wichernschule, 1927
© Archiv der Wichernschule

Werner Rosenbaum * 1916

Horner Weg 164 (Schule) (Hamburg-Mitte, Horn)

JG. 1916

Werner Rosenbaum, born on 28 Aug. 1916 Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 5 May 1943, committed to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1945, missing

Hammer Landstrasse 80 / Horner Weg 164 (school)

On his mother’s side, Werner Rosenbaum came from the Schiffbek-based Bruns family of carpenters, which belonged to the Lutheran Church. His mother Emma Sophie was born on 21 Feb. 1894; she later moved to Hamburg and lived at Hirschgraben 7 in Eilbek until her marriage to the Jewish auditor Dagobert Otto Rosenbaum. Otto Rosenbaum, born on 30 July 1880 in Hamburg and 13 years older than his wife, lived at Marienthaler Strasse 36 in neighboring Hamburg-Hamm.

By the time of their wedding on 25 Sept. 1915, Otto Rosenbaum’s mother, Eleonore, née Löwenstein, and Emma Sophie’s father had already died. Her uncle Ferdinand served as best man in his place. Although Otto Rosenbaum’s father, Markus Fränkel Scheier, called Rosenbaum, was still alive, he did not take the position of best man.

Otto and Emma Rosenbaum initially lived at Marienthaler Strasse 36, where their first son, Werner Paul, was born on 28 Aug. 1916. He was only three years old when his father died on 21 Nov. 1919 at the age of only 39. Otto Rosenbaum was buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel in Ohlsdorf.

Emma Rosenbaum married a second time, again a Jewish man: She was married on 20 Oct. 1922 to the merchant Hermann Salomon Bartnitzki, born on 14 May 1890 in Königsberg (today Kaliningrad in Russia). He joined the German-Israelitic Community on 17 Jan. 1923. Only after this, Emma Bartnitzki converted to Judaism and the couple was also married in a religious ceremony by Rabbi Simon Bamberger of the Jewish Community in Wandsbek.

Hermann Bartnitzki operated an import and export business for machines and textile goods, registered under commercial law, at Königstrasse 21/23, the "Ottoburg” in Hamburg-Neustadt. For the business year 1923, the Jewish Community assessed him to pay 100,000 RM (reichsmark) in community taxes, which in view of the high inflation had become one billion RM by the time he paid them on 23 October. After the end of the inflation period, it took five years before he again paid contributions to the Jewish Community. That means that during this time his business was going very badly.

Son Werner was enrolled in the elementary school of the Wichernschule, a school of the Rauhe Haus (a charitable foundation) in Hamburg-Horn, at Easter 1923 and he was attending the first grade when his brother Günther was born on 6 May 1923. At this time, the family moved within Hamm, first to Mittelstrasse 42, today Carl-Petersen-Strasse, and from there to Hammer Landstrasse 80.
Günther Bartnitzki attended the private Moosengel elementary school on Ritterstrasse in Eilbek and then wanted to go to the Hindenburg-Oberrealschule [a secondary school without Latin], but the parents feared that their sons would be disadvantaged because of their Jewish descent. Werner left the Wichernschule in 1933 with the school-leaving diploma after Untersekunda (grade 10); Günther graduated from the public eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule) on Pröbenweg in 1937.

From 1931 to 1936, Hermann Bartnitzki earned a good income and he was assessed to pay correspondingly high community dues. However, he had also accumulated substantial rent debts and medical expenses, as a result of which the community taxes were waived.

In 1934, Werner Rosenbaum began an apprenticeship at the Adolf Blum und Popper shipping company, located at Mönckebergstrasse 17, and then remained with the company as a well-paid international "Tarifeur” (price estimator). Günther Bartnitzki also underwent training in the freight shipping business.

Hermann and Emma Bartnitzki along with their sons belonged to the Jewish Community. Like all Jews, they suffered the repressive measures of the Nazi government. They tried to evade them by asserting their "(partly) Aryan” descent:
Hermann Bartnitzki was born to an unmarried mother and named an "Aryan” as his father, which gained him recognition as a "Jewish crossbreed of the first degree” ("Mischling 1. Grades”). According to Nazi ideology, Emma Bartnitzki was "Aryan” anyway, but due to her conversion, she was henceforth considered a "Jewess by definition” ("Geltungsjüdin”). Therefore, she and her children left the Jewish Community on 13 July 1938. At this point, her son Günther was considered to be a three-quarter German and thus worthy of military service. In 1942, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht, while Werner, who at his birth had an "all-Jewish” parent and had also belonged to the Jewish Community for a time himself, continued to be considered a "Jew by definition” and thus unworthy of military service.

After 1940, Hermann Bartnitzki repeatedly turned to the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband), as the Jewish Community was called by that time, and asked to be exempted from all taxes, as he was "without earnings and had a serious heart condition,” as he wrote on 26 May 1941:
"Concerns amount for 1941
"For several years I have been incapable of work and am supported by the Aryan part of my family. I have neither income nor assets. At the same time, I ask you to consider this letter as an application for remission of any dues.
Salomon Bartnitzki, Hammerlandstr.[asse] 80”

Thanks to his employment as a well-paid "price estimator,” Werner Rosenbaum was able to support his family to a significant extent. At first, he was left alone until he was deported
as an "enemy of the people” to Theresienstadt on 5 May 1943 with a small transport of 51 Hamburg residents. Subsequently, his parents lived in the apartment on their own until they were bombed out during the firestorm in July 1943.

Günther was killed in 1944 as a soldier. Werner was transferred to the Wulkow subcamp of the Theresienstadt concentration camp at the end of 1944 or the beginning of 1945. Barracks were to be erected there as alternative quarters for the Reich Security Main Office. Emma Rosenbaum tried to visit her son there, which resulted in her being denounced. Thereupon Werner Rosenbaum was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. From there, he wrote his mother a postcard on 13 Jan. 1945. It would be the last message from him. Place and time of his death are unknown.

The parents survived in Hamburg. In 1952, during the restitution proceedings, Hermann Bartnitzki formulated a résumé of the family’s fate during the Nazi era: "The tragedy is that one son died as a persecuted person, while the other died for his fatherland, which persecuted his brother and father.”

Hermann Bartnitzki passed away on 21 Dec. 1976. Emma Bartnitzki, née Bruns, widowed name Rosenbaum, received a parental pension as the surviving dependant of her son Werner Rosenbaum until her death at the Farmsen nursing home on 19 Feb. 1977.

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

Stand: September 2020
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1, StaHH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde, 391 (Mitgliederverzeichnis 1935), 992 d (Steuerakten), 992 e 2, Band 5; 351-11 Wiedergutmachung, 45863, 12437, 16246; 335-2, Personenstandsregister; Wichern-Schule, Archiv; E-Mail-Nachricht 28.8.2018 Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen;;;;, Zugriff 3.10.2018; JFHH.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

print preview  / top of page