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Dr. Samuel van Biema * 1865

Sophienterrasse 17 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

Freitod 29.9.1938 Hamburg

Dr. Samuel van Biema, born 20.10.1865 in Leer/East Frisia, suicide 29.9.1938 in Hamburg

Sophienterrasse 17 (Harvestehude)

Samuel van Biema was born in Leer/East Frisia in the west of the former Kingdom of Hanover as the son of the wholesaler Hermann Samuel van Biema (born Apr. 9, 1828 in Leer) and Esther van Biema, née Israels (born June 19, 1840 in Weener). The birth certificate was issued by the Jewish community in Leer. A religious reference of the family name is conceivable, since the lectern for the Torah reading is called Bima.

Samuel had five siblings: Benjamin, called Bernhard van Biema (born Nov. 18,1860 in Leer), Breine, called Bertha van Biema (born May 4, 1862 in Leer), Lewi, called Louis (later Ludwig) van Biema (born June 23, 1864 in Leer), Victor van Biema (born Dec. 17, 1866 in Leer) and Isidor Hermann van Biema (born July 15, 1876 in Leer). The father had been granted citizenship in Leer in 1855 and was active as a wholesaler with his own manufactory trade. He moved to Hanover in 1891 together with his wife and youngest son. Hermann van Biema Senior died there in 1903.

After graduating from high school, Samuel van Biema studied medicine at the "Royal Bavarian Friedrich-Alexanders University of Erlangen" (1886-1888); he lived in Erlangen with Schneider Heumann (Herfeestraße 5) as a subtenant from April 1887. Afterwards he studied in Berlin and Strasbourg/ Alsace. He received his doctorate in Strasbourg in May 1890 on the subject of polio and was licensed in January 1891.

His first position as a physician took him to Hamburg, where relatives of his lived. From 1891 to 1892 he worked as an assistant physician at the Israelite Hospital. During the cholera epidemic in Hamburg, he worked from August to December 1892 as a medical assistant at the Medizialbureau (Neuer Wall 90), which was part of the administrative department for police and internal affairs. From 1893 to 1894 he was an assistant physician at the Hamburg State Vaccination Institute.

He became self-employed as a general practitioner in 1895, and his practices were located at Neustädter Fuhlentwiete 85/86 (1895), Neustädter Fuhlentwiete 57 (1896-1898), Neustädter Fuhlentwiete 78/79 (1898-1900), Fuhlentwiete 42 (1901-1903), as well as Gänsemarkt 33 (1904-1912), Gänsemarkt 51/52 (et al. 1912-1920) and Gänsemarkt 53 (April 1932-May 1938), among others. In addition, he was also licensed as a police physician and district physician in the Hamburg districts of Rotherbaum and Harvestehude from 1922 to 1931. He had been a member of the Jewish community of Hamburg since at least 1913.

Samuel van Biema married Adeline Brasch (born March 27, 1875 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld) in November 1897 in Lippstadt. Witnesses to the marriage were his brother, the merchant Bernhard van Biema from Krefeld (1860-1939), and the bride's cousin, the manufacturer of "English-style men's cloth" and city councilor, Max Grünebaum from Cottbus (born Nov. 6, 1851 in Lippstadt/Westphalia). The couple had a daughter together, Rose Charlotte, called "Lotte" (born Sept. 14, 1898). The family lived in Hamburg-Harvestehude in a spacious rented apartment at Jungfrauenthal 5 II. floor (1913-1931), where the post office 37 had rented rooms on the first floor and 1st floor of the house.

At the beginning of 1931, the van Biemas dissolved this apartment and moved entirely to the Gänsemarkt. As early as November 1930, Samuel van Biema, now 65 years old, had submitted a request to relocate his practice rooms as a district physician; he inquired "whether I am permitted to carry out my activities as a district physician from my apartment at Gänsemarkt 51 II, where my practice has been located for years. As a result of the emergency decree, my income from the practice has declined greatly, so that it would mean a considerable material relief for me if I could give up my apartment at Jungfrauenthal."

Eight years later, at the beginning of 1938, the Kasserärztliche Vereinigung excluded Jewish physicians from the private substitute health insurance funds. Thus their economic destruction of existence was further accelerated. At the end of June 1938, the van Biema couple moved to Sophienterrasse 17 II. floor/ Harvestehude. The Hamburg Medical Association noted on May 31, 1938, that Samuel van Biema would give up his medical practice "due to old age." At the end of July 1938, the "Fourth Decree to the Reich Citizenship Law" revoked the license to practice medicine of all Jewish physicians as of September 30, 1938.

Only four months later, on September 29, 1938, the 72-year-old Samuel van Biema hanged himself in the attic of his apartment. The wife notified the doctor Hermann Bohm (born January 9, 1869 in Graudenz) at Grindelallee 126 and the police station 24/formerly police station 19 at Oberstraße 128. Police chief constable A. Schleede noted "melancholy" as the reason for the suicide.

Samuel van Biema, knowing the procedures for suicide cases, had handwritten on a prescription note: "To the police authorities. I hereby declare that I voluntarily depart from life. I ask to refrain from an autopsy. I have determined that I will be cremated. Samuel van Biema." District and police physician Wilhelm Zipperling (Winterhuder Marktplatz 15), his successor at this post, was notified by the police to officially determine the death and sign the death certificate.

The fate of other family members:
Samuel's brother Benjamin, called Bernhard van Biema (born Nov. 18, 1860 in Leer) had moved as a merchant from Leer to Krefeld in 1885, where he had married Helene Rüdenberg (born Aug. 16, 1871 in Krefeld) in 1894 and had operated a silk goods factory since circa 1890. The couple had, among others, two daughters: Hilde (born Nov. 13, 1894 in Hamburg) and Ilse (born June 19, 1897 in Krefeld). Until 1897 the place of residence had been Hamburg, then Krefeld for eight years. In 1905 the family moved to Bochum, where Bernhard van Biema had already been an apprentice in 1879. In October 1916, Bernhard van Biema and his wife converted from the Jewish to the Christian faith. Bernhard van Biema died on March 25, 1939. His widow Helene van Biema, née Rüdenberg moved to Basel in September 1939 and was expatriated in Germany in May 1940; this step was not reversed until 1952, when she was re-naturalized.

His brother Ludwig van Biema (born June 23, 1864 in Leer) studied law in Hannover, Leipzig and Berlin and lived in Hannover since 1891. He changed his first name from "Levi called Louis" to Ludwig in December 1919 and was last resident of Hannover at Eichendorffstr. 7. He died in Hannover on June 3, 1939.

His brother Victor van Biema (born Dec. 16, 1866 in Leer), married to Elisabeth Amalia, née Kann (born May 7, 1876 in Hannover) was first active as a farmer and later as owner of the export company Bernhard van Biema (Große Reichenstraße 17) in Hamburg. He lived in Hamburg at Isestraße 125 I. Stock (1908-1920) and died on November 17, 1920 in Hamburg. The company was taken over by Friedrich Ockert and continued under his name (1920-1955). His wife died in 1927 in the Israelite Hospital in Hamburg. His daughter Lissy Levy, née van Biema (born Dec. 6, 1898 in Hamburg) lived, among other places, at Gryphiusstraße 5 in 1927 and at Sophienterrasse 17 in March 1939.

His cousin Walter Samuel van Biema (born Aug. 1, 1860 in Leer), son of the tanner/leather manufacturer Benjamin van Biema (born 1821) and Julia née Wolfers (born Sept. 17, 1838 in Minden), was an export agent and from at least 1898 owner of the Wilhelm Wolfers company (1864-1922, textile export). He acquired Hamburg citizenship in 1904. In 1892 he married Elise, née Philippson (1868-1924) from Hamburg, with whom he had sons Walter Julius (1894-1915) and Edgar Julius (born Oct. 23, 1901 in Hamburg). In December 1918 he officially adopted the first name Walter instead of Samuel, which was now also subsequently noted in his marriage certificate. Walter van Biema senior married Marie, née Wassertrüdinger, in his second marriage in 1925. He lived in Hamburg at Klosterallee 25 (among other places 1898-1904) and last in a 7-room apartment in the house Hochallee 53 (1905-1941), which he had bought. He died in his apartment on August 26, 1941 and, according to the tax card of the Jewish community, was buried in the "Zentralfriedhof" (Central Cemetery), as he had wished in the joint will of August 18, 1941. Among other things, he was a member of the elite North German Regatta Association in 1904. His son Walter van Biema (born March 3, 1894 in Hamburg) had graduated from the Realgymnasium Johanneum in Hamburg in 1912, had converted to the Christian denomination and worked as a merchant. As a non-commissioned officer of the Hamburg Field Artillery Regiment 45, he succumbed to his wounds on June 6, 1915, near Moulin in French captivity. His mother and his uncle Wilhelm Philippson established the "Kriegsblindenstiftung zum Andenken an den Einjährig-Kriegsfreiwilligen Unteroffizier Walter van Biema" in April 1916. The interest on the foundation's capital of 20,000 marks was earmarked for the support of blinded soldiers.

In April 1934, the daughter Charlotte van Biema emigrated with her husband and two daughters from the Belgian port of Antwerp to the USA. After graduating from high school in Hamburg, she had studied medicine in Göttingen (1918-1919), Freiburg/Breisgau (1919-1920), and Munich (1921), submitted her dissertation on "Glaucoma without High Pressure" in 1924, and received her license to practice medicine in 1925. In 1924 Charlotte van Biema had married the Hamburg-born pathologist Paul Kimmelstiel (1900-1970), son of the hat shop owner (Neuer Wall 39) Adolph Kimmelstiel (1854-1918) and Ernestine "Erna" Kimmelstiel, née August. The witnesses were Samuel van Biema and the uncle of the groom, Moritz Kimmelstiel. Before their emigration, Charlotte and Paul Kimmelstiel had presumably worked in a joint practice at Haynstraße 33 (Eppendorf); the official telephone directory of 1931 listed Paul Kimmelstiel there as Dr. med. and Privatdozent, but with no indication of office hours. Her last Hamburg residential address was Innocentiastraße 50 (Harvestehude) with the shipowner and house owner Arnold Bernstein (born January 23, 1888 in Breslau) and his wife Lilli (born June 20, 1896 in Hamburg). The Nazi state had set a 96% deduction for the money transfer to the USA, so that instead of the 17,500 Reichsmark, only 705.93 Reichsmark arrived in US dollars. Charlotte Kimmelstiel, née van Biema died in 1975 in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Samuel van Biema's widowed wife Adeline van Biema, née Brasch, attempted to emigrate to the USA in July 1939 without success. She had to move to Alte Rabenstraße 9 (Rotherbaum) in June 1940 and was not able to emigrate from Hamburg via Russia and Japan to the USA until July 17, 1940. Before that, the Nazi state had already plundered her assets with legal regulations, including the Jewish property tax (62,000 RM), emigration tax to the Jewish community (12,000 RM), which was meanwhile controlled by the state, Reich flight tax (40,000 RM), as well as the compulsory delivery of jewelry and precious metals for a minimal equivalent value (7,000 RM). The Nazi state applied a discount of 96% to the 10,000 Reichsmark transferred to the USA, so that only 400 Marks were transferred to North America. Adeline van Biema acquired US citizenship in 1947 and died in the state of North Carolina in 1963.

Samuel's brother Hermann van Biema (born July 15, 1870 in Leer), his wife Erna van Biema, née Jariskowsky (born December 27, 1892 in Aachen) and their son Gerhard (born February 28, 1920 in Hanover) emigrated from Germany. On August 27, 1940, they los their German citizenship and their remaining assets were confiscated. Erna van Biema received U.S. citizenship in 1949.

Bruno Wassertrüdinger (born Sept. 13, 1877 in Fürth), son of Siegmund and Cäcilie Wassertrüdinger, worked as a commercial clerk and accountant in Berlin-Wilmersdorf and was best man at the wedding of Marie Fontheim, née Wassertrüdinger and Walter van Biema in 1925. Since 1926 he was listed as a member of the Jewish community of Hamburg; in the meantime he was a member of the Jewish community of Altona from 1931 to 1934 with the residential address President-Krahn-Strasse 8 near Reimer. At the end of November 1936 he moved to Hamburg-Eimsbüttel into the single house Kippingstraße 25 as a subtenant. The exclusion and professional destruction of his existence in Nazi Germany was followed by his imprisonment in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp until November 23, 1938. The census of May 1939, with separate registration of Jewish residents, continued to show him with the residential address Kippingstraße 25, subletting from house owner and master painter Ivan Levy. Bruno Wassertrüdinger was deported from Hamburg to the Minsk ghetto on November 8, 1941; his date of death is unknown. In 1954, the Hamburg District Court declared him dead at the end of 1945. A Stolperstein was laid for him at Kippingstraße 25 (ss

For Marie van Biema, née Wassertrüdinger, widowed Fontheim (born Jan. 13, 1870 in Fürth) a Stolperstein was laid in Hochallee 53 (Harvestehude). In her first marriage she was married to the merchant Louis Fontheim and had lived with him at Hansastraße 62. After his death, she married Walter van Biema in 1925 in her second marriage and moved in with him at Hochallee 53. She was forcibly quartered in a "Judenhaus" at Innocentiastr. 37 on February 11, 1942. On February 16, 1942, she was imprisoned in the concentration camp Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel and on June 27, 1942, she was further deported to the concentration camp Ravensbrück, where she died on September 7, 1942. Already in May 1942, the house Hochallee 53 had been sold from the property of Mr. and Mrs. van Biema by the forced trustee "Hamburgische Grundstücks-Verwaltungsgesellschaft von 1938 mbH".

Marie's married daughter from her first marriage, Margarethe Eichholz, née Fontheim (born Feb. 25, 1894 in Hamburg) had married the merchant Jacques Theodor Friedrich Eichholz (born March 24, 1884 in Hamburg) in Hamburg in 1917 and had emigrated to India in 1939.

Alfred van Biema and Carry Karoline van Biema were murdered in the Auschwitz extermination camp. They were cousins of Samuel van Biema. Reichsbahnoberrat Ing. Alfred August van Biema (born Dec. 8, 1882 in Hanover) had accepted the Protestant denomination in 1903 and married in Berlin-Treptow in 1908. In accordance with his management position at the Reichsbahn, he had to change his places of employment frequently, so he lived with his wife, son Adolf (born April 1, 1910 in Berlin) and daughter Mathilde (born 18.10.1923 in Lüneburg) in Among other places in Berlin (1910-1911), Stettin (until 1922), Lüneburg (1922-1924) and Halle/Saale (1924-1928), last in Essen, where his wife (...) née Schmidt (born January 8, 1887 in Kottwitz/Kreis Breslau) died in 1936. Alfred van Biema was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto via the Düsseldorf assembly base on July 21, 1942, and on to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp on October 28, 1944, where he was murdered.

Carry Karoline van Biema (born October 17, 1881 in Hanover), the daughter of the lawyer Adolf van Biema (born March 9, 1847 in Leer) and Hedwig van Biema, née Burg (born August 1, 1860 in Berlin, 1939 resident of Hildesheim) was a painter. According to the Hanover registration register, she moved from Hanover (Alleestr. 21) to Barcelona on May 1, 1933; in April 1938 she emigrated to the Netherlands. She was sent from Utrecht (Mengelberglaan 62) to the transit camp Westerbork on August 26, 1942, and on August 28, 1942, she was further deported to the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she was murdered immediately after her arrival on August 31, 1942. Her sister Margarete van Biema (1888-1953), also born in Hanover, was a music teacher in Hildesheim from 1911 to 1933, was still living there (Zingelstr. 9) at the time of the census in May 1939, and survived the Holocaust by fleeing to Brussels.

Moritz Kimmelstiel (born Dec. 18, 1861 in Fürth/Bavaria), a merchant and the uncle of Samuel van Biem's son-in-law Paul Kimmelstiel, lived in Berlin-Schöneberg in 1924; he, his wife Minna Kimmelstiel née Wolff (born May 28, 1875 in Cologne) and his son Ernst Kimmelstiel (born May 24, 1898 in Berlin) were also registered in this district at Innsbrucker Strasse 8 at the time of the census in May 1939. The Kimmelstiel family was deported from Berlin to the Theresienstadt ghetto on August 19, 1942, where Moritz Kimmelstiel died on October 11, 1942.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2022
© Björn Eggert

Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 213-13 (Wiedergutmachungsamt beim Landgericht Hamburg), 7637 (Marie van Biema); StaH 231-7 (Handels- u. Genossenschaftsregister), A 1 Band 22 (HR A 5737 Wilhelm Wolfers), StaH 331-5 (Polizeibehörde – unnatürliche Sterbefälle), 3 Akte 1938 Nr. 1492 (Samuel van Biema); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 2798 u. 1054/1892 (Heiratsregister 1892, Walter van Biema u. Elise Philippson); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 2334 u. 599/1894 (Geburtsregister 1894, Walter Julius van Biema); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 6342 u. 3014/1894 (Geburtsregister 1894, Hilde van Biema); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 9096 u. 428/1894 (Geburtsregister 1894, Margarethe Fontheim); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 2461 u. 3013/1898 (Geburtsregister 1898, Charlotte van Biema); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 9147 u. 2619/1898 (Geburtsregister 1898, Lissy van Biema); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 13273 u. 669/1900 (Geburtsregister 1900, Paul Kimmelstiel); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8790 u. 56/1924 (Heiratsregister 1924, Charlotte van Biema u. Paul Kimmelstiel); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8791 u. 286/1924 (Heiratsregister 1924, Edgar van Biema u. Alice Menge); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8077 u. 375/1924 (Sterberegister 1924, Elise van Biema geb. Philippson); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8798 u. 117/1925 (Heiratsregister 1925, Walter van Biema); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 926 u. 435/1927 (Sterberegister 1927, Elisabeth Amalia van Biema geb. Kenn); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8155 u. 90/1938 (Sterberegister 1938, Samuel van Biema); StaH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), A I e 40 Band 13 (Bürgerregister 1899-1905, 3.6.1904 Samuel genannt Walter van Biema K1 Nr. 718); StaH 332-8 (Alte Einwohnermeldekartei), K 4241 (Bernhard van Biema, Charlotte van Biema, Victor van Biema); StaH 332-8 (Meldewesen), K 2445 (Hausmeldekartei Kippingstr. 25, Bruno Wassertrüdinger); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 2912 (Adeline van Biema); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 20938 (Dr. Lotte Kimmelstiel geb. van Biema); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 1389 (Marie van Biema); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 3445 (Bruno Wassertrüdinger); StaH 352-5 (Gesundheitsbehörde – Todesbescheinigungen), 1938, Standesamt 3b, Nr. 90; StaH 352-10 (Gesundheitsverwaltung – Personalakten), 104 (Dr. Siegfried Samuel van Biema, 1892-1938); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Arnold Bernstein, Marie van Biema, Samuel van Biema, Walter van Biema, Louis Fontheim (unvollständig), Paul Kimmelstiel, Bruno Wassertrüdinger; StaH 611-19 (Walter van Biema – Kriegsblindenstiftung 1916–1943), 1-3 (Satzung, Schriftwechsel Vorstand, Abrechnungen); Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork (NL), Personenkarte aus Westerbork, Sterbeurkunde (Carry Karoline van Biema); Stadtarchiv Leer; Universitätsarchiv Erlangen, UAE A3/21 Nr. 68 (Sittenzeugnis für Samuel van Biema, 30.7.1888); Stadtarchiv Erlangen, Studentenverzeichnis (Samuel van Biema); Stadtarchiv Lippstadt, Heiratsregister Nr. 72/1897 (Samuel van Biema u. Adeline Brasch); Stadtarchiv Cottbus, Cottbuser Anzeiger 5.11.1921 (Max Grünebaum); Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, Meldekartei (Alfred van Biema); Stadtarchiv Krefeld, Bestand 26 II (Meldekarte Bernhard van Biema); Universitätsarchiv Göttingen, Matrikel 190 (Charlotte van Biema); Haus der Essener Geschichte (Stadtarchiv), Meldekarte (Alfred van Biema); Stadtarchiv Halle/ Saale, Adressbuch 1925, 1928 (Regierungsbaurat Alfred van Biema, Kaiserstraße 12); Landeshauptstadt Hannover, Fachbereich Öffentliche Ordnung, Meldekartei; Gedenkstätte u. Museum Sachsenhausen, Archiv, D 1A/1015, Bl. 59 und D 1A/1020 Bl.435 (Bruno Wassertrüdinger); Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Gedenkbuch, Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter nationalsozialistischer Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933–1945 (Marie van Biema); Gedenkbuch Hamburg, 1995, S. 37 (Samuel van Biema, Marie van Biema); Adressbuch Hamburg (Biema van) 1894–1896, 1898–1906, 1909, 1912–1914; Adressbuch Hamburg (Straßenverzeichnis, Hochallee 53 u. Jungfrauenthal 5) 1929; Adressbuch Hamburg (Straßenverzeichnis, Kippingstr. 25) 1938; Adressbuch Hamburg (Bohm) 1938; Adressbuch Berlin (Alfred van Biema) 1911; Telefonbuch Hamburg 1914, 1920, 1931; Handelskammer Hamburg, Handelsregisterinformationen (Firma Bernhard van Biema, HR A 10338; Firma Wilhelm Wolfers, HR A 5737); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1910, S. 721 (W. Wolfers); Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein, Jahresbericht für 1904, Hamburg März 1905, S. 75 (W. van Biema); Johannes Schröder, Verzeichnis der Abiturienten des Realgymnasiums des Johanneums zu Hamburg von Ostern 1875 bis Ostern 1934, Hamburg 1934, S. 44 (Nr. 676 Walter van Biema); Anna von Villiez, Mit aller Kraft verdrängt. Entrechtung und Verfolgung "nicht arischer" Ärzte in Hamburg 1933 bis 1945, München/Hamburg 2009, S. 228 (Samuel van Biema), S. 320 (Charlotte Kimmelstiel geb. van Biema); Manfred Wagner, Die jüdischen Familien in Leer und ihre Herkunft, Aurich 2015; (Einbürgerungsregister North Carolina, Sterbeurkunden North Carolina, USA Find a Grave-Index, jeweils Adeline van Biema, eingesehen 4.4.2016); census Gemany (Hermann Böhm, Hamburg, Grindelallee 126/8 I); www. (Alfred van Biema, Carry van Biema, Lotte van Biema, Margarethe van Biema); (Passagierliste der S.S. Gerolstein von Antwerpen nach New York, Familie Kimmelstiel; Jahrbuch des Randolph Macon Woman’s College, Lynchburg/Virginia, Ruth Kimmelstiel; Heirat 18.7.1917 in Hamburg von Jacques Eichholz u. Margarethe Fontheim, eingesehen 17.10.2016); (US-Einbürgerungsregister 1949 Erna van Biema; Sterbeurkunde Hamburg 155/1916 Walter van Biema; eingesehen 31.10.2016).

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