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Ruth Bernfeld * 1923

Beim Schlump 54 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

JG. 1923

further stumbling stones in Beim Schlump 54:
Jenny Bernfeld

Jenny Bernfeld, née Mayer, born on 15 Mar. 1895 in Hamburg, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, murdered in Auschwitz
Ruth Bernfeld, born on 1 Feb. 1923, expelled on 28 Oct. 1938 to Zbaszyn, deported in 1940 to the Krakow Ghetto

Beim Schlump 54

The Jewish residents of Hamburg, Jenny and Ruth Bernfeld, mother and daughter, were expelled in the course of the so-called "Polenaktion” of Nov. 1938 to the Polish town of Zbaszyn, with all traces of them lost in what was then the General Government (Generalgouvernement). They were considered Poles because the husband and father, Samuel Bernfeld, had been born in Galicia, receiving Polish citizenship after the First World War. Since Samuel Bernfeld himself was on a business trip when the Polish Jews were expelled from Hamburg, he survived due to this coincidence.

Jenny Mayer’s father was the confectioner Abraham Mayer (born on 10 June 1865 in Koblenz, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 23 Apr. 1944) and her mother’s name was Friederike Mayer, née Rothschild. When Jenny was born, the family lived at Neuer Steinweg 76. Jenny had at least six siblings: Paula Lange, née Mayer (born on 20 Mar. 1891 in Kassel), Abraham Alex Mayer (born on 28 Aug. 1892 in Kassel), Callmann Carl Mayer (born on 8 Dec. 1893 in Hamburg), Hedwig Kretsch, née Mayer (born on 9 Nov. 1901 in Hamburg), Gertrud Wilkending, née Mayer (born on 30 Nov. 1905 in Hamburg), and Elsa Jassy, née Mayer (born on 10 Apr. 1907 in Hamburg). Until 1892, the Mayer family had apparently lived in Kassel for an extended period, where the first two children were born, subsequently moving to Hamburg. One Abraham Mayer is listed in the 1900 directory as a "confectioner” with the address given as Grindelhof 35a, House 4, and he is probably Jenny’s father.

Jenny Mayer and Samuel Bernfeld were married in Hamburg on 10 Mar. 1922. Until then, Jenny had lived with her family at Bismarckstraße 125. Her brother Carl acted as the witness to the marriage. In Mar. 1924, Jenny gave birth to a son, who was named after her brother Carl and died at Hamburg Israelite Hospital in Mar. 1935.

Samuel Bernfeld was from Tysmenytsia in Galicia. His father had died early on. At the age of ten, Samuel left school to help his mother in the store. At 13, he was able to start an apprenticeship in Stanislav. He lived there until 1903 and then went to stay with relatives in Dresden, where he found work at the "Monopol” cigarette plant. In 1912, he relocated to Hamburg for that company. Later worked at for the "Monopol" and "Enver Bey” cigarette plants, at the very end for the "Derwisch” cigarette factory in Spaldingstraße. In June 1939, he received his deportation order. The owner of the "Derwisch” Company, Weli Derwisch, a man of Turkish descent, gave him a very good reference. Perhaps he helped Samuel Bernfeld escape to Turkey.

It must have been a shock for Samuel Bernfeld to learn after his return to Hamburg that his wife and daughter had been transported to Zbaszyn. Actually, he had been waiting with his wife and child for a visa to the USA, having already put their household goods into storage for subsequent shipment. Now he was forced to give up the apartment at Beim Schlump 54, getting a room as a subtenant. Before fleeing Hamburg, he lived at Moltkestraße 1 (at Brandl’s). In July 1939, he fled to Turkey and two years later from there to Palestine.

How Jenny and Ruth Bernfeld fared after their expulsion is not known. The last message from his wife and daughter reached Samuel Bernfeld in Palestine; they had sent him a card from Wolbrom in the General Government. Wolbrom is located south of Lodz and north of Krakow. Apparently, Ruth came to the Krakow Ghetto in 1940. There is no information as to what happened to her then. Jenny was murdered in Auschwitz.

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

© Susanne Lohmeyer

Quellen: 5; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 2371 und 1035/1895; StaH 351-11 AfW, 9000, 17097 und 45708; HAB II 1937, 1939, 1940.

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