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Siegmund Biedermann * 1904

Wohlwillstraße 2 (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Pauli)

JG. 1904
ERMORDET 11.10.1941

Henriette Biedermann, née Weinberg (Weinberger), wife of the late Mr. Waldapfel, born on 17 Feb. 1857 (17 Mar. 1857) in Vienna, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 25 Aug. 1942
Joel (Julius) Biedermann, born on 6 Jan. 1860 in Sulow (Pulow), deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 3 May 1944

Seilerstraße 33

Siegmund (Walter) Biedermann, born on 20 Dec. 1904 in Hannover, detained from Oct. 1935 to Apr. 1936 at the Hamburg pretrial detention center, from June 1940 to Oct. 1941 at the Hamburg pretrial detention center, the Harburg penitentiary, as well as the Fuhlsbüttel, Neuengamme, and Dachau concentration camps, died at the Dachau concentration camp on 11 Oct. 1941

Wohlwillstraße 2 (formerly Jägerstraße 2)

Joel Biedermann’s parents were Schaje and Rytka Biedermann, née Rotteramann. Joel became a merchant and married Else (Elschen) Rosenberg, with whom he had two sons: Bruno, born on 1 May 1898, and Siegmund, born on 20 Dec. 1904. Both were born in Hannover.

A child of Henriette Biedermann’s first marriage, daughter Elisabeth Frieda Waldapfel was born in Prague on 29 June 1892. The latter had a son in 1921, and her subsequent married name was Kaunitz. Henriette’s husband, Mr. Waldapfel, died. At age 67, Henriette married Joel, who was three years her junior. The couple initially lived at Seilerstraße 33. In early Jan. 1938, they moved to Durchschnitt 1, a building of the Louis-Levy Foundation, which was subsequently declared a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”). They were deported together to Theresienstadt in July 1942. A few weeks after their arrival, Henriette died of "heart insufficiency” – according to the entry in her death notice. Joel maintained contact to the wife of his son Bruno, who managed to emigrate to the USA: "In 1943, my wife received two postcards from my father from the concentration camp, which were the last signs of life. After that, I did not hear anything more from him, and despite inquiries, I was unable to learn anything further about my father’s death.”

According to the classifications of the 1939 census, Siegmund was the son of a Jewish and a non-Jewish parent. In that same census, Siegmund’s father Joel was considered Jewish: By way of his lineage, the census officials recorded that he was the grandson of four Jewish grandparents. For Siegmund’s mother Else, no data exists as to how the Nazi census officials would have classified her. The pieces that can be reconstructed from Siegmund Biedermann’s story suggest that he did not identify himself as a Jew.

He attended elementary school (Volksschule) in Hamburg, subsequently completing an apprenticeship as a waiter in Ludwigslust and initially working in this occupation. From 1921 to 1924, he was employed as a hand at a chicken farm, then working on shipyards and in the show business at fairgrounds. Since 1926, he had jobs as a driver of motor-powered cabs before becoming unemployed in Aug. 1938.

At the beginning of 1928, he married Elfriede Puvogel, a native of Hamburg born in 1903. She was from a Protestant family. Their daughters Gertrud and Margot were born prior to their marriage, in 1924 and 1927. The 1939 census entry does not list them as Jewish. According to Nazi classification, however, they were considered "half-Jews of the first degree” ("Mischlinge ersten Grades”). Thus, they were – as they documented in their applications to the Restitution Office (Amt für Wiedergutmachung) – confronted with anti-Semitic discrimination and massively hindered in their professional development.

On 15 Oct. 1935, Biedermann was taken into custody on charges of an offence against Sec. 2 Par. 2 of the "Law against Treacherous Attacks on the State and Party and for the Protection of Party Uniforms” ("Gesetz gegen heimtückische Angriffe auf Staat und Partei und zum Schutz der Parteiuniformen”) and convicted by the Hanseatic special court (Hanseatisches Sondergericht) on 28 Apr. 1936. He had supposedly worn an NSDAP party badge without authorization. Due to the period spent in pretrial detention, his sentence was considered served. In his defense, the Restitution Office later assumed that he "was in contact with many people in the course of his job as a taxi driver, wearing the badge as a cover.”

Following his release in 1936, Siegmund rented a three-bedroom apartment at Jägerstraße 2. In addition to the Biedermanns, it also accommodated Elfriede’s mother, her brother Harry, and until May 1940, her sister Irmgard with husband and son. In the "house registration” card file (Hausmeldekartei), the apartment owner registered is Walter Biedermann, of Lutheran faith. The Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) card kept by the Jewish Community indicates him joining at the end of Apr. 1936, two days after his release from custody.

On 18 June 1940, Siegmund Biedermann was arrested again. The Gestapo accused him of not having applied for a "Jews’ identity card” ("Judenkennkarte”) and not having assumed the first name of "Israel.” On 2 Aug., he was transferred from the Hamburg pretrial detention center to the Hamburg-Harburg prison. The conviction on 8 July specified a prison term of two and a half months. Accordingly, Biedermann would have been released on 6 Oct. However, on 6 Sept. 1940 he was "conveyed to” the Gestapo and sent as a "protective custody prisoner” ("Schutzhäftling”) to the Fuhlsbüttel and Neuengamme concentration camps. From there, he wrote to his daughter Gertrud on 23 Aug. 1941 "that he had been in the central military hospital from Sept. 1940 to May 1941.” He underwent in-patient treatment for tuberculosis in June 1941. On 14 Sept. 1941, Siegmund Biedermann was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died shortly afterward.

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

© Christiane Jungblut

Quellen: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; AB 1938, Teil 1; StaH 242-1 II, Gefängnisverwaltung II, Abl. 16, Untersuchungskartei für Männer; StaH 331-1 II, Polizeibehörde II, Abl. vom 18.09.84, Band 1; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen A51/1, K 2516; StaH 351-11 AfW, 641; StaH 351-11 AfW, 815; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 201204 Biedermann, Siegmund; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992 e 1 Band 6; KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen. Hier abweichend:
(2) Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 1509 Reichssippenamt, Ergänzungskarten der Volkszählung vom 17. Mai 1939

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