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Clara Brauer
© Privatbesitz

Clara Brauer * 1877

Luisenweg 12 -16 (Hamburg-Mitte, Hamm)

JG. 1877

Clara Brauer, born 4.10.1877 in Beuthen/Oberschlesien (today Bytom/Poland), deported to Minsk 18.11.1941

Luisenweg 12-16

Clara Nanny Brauer came from a Jewish family. Her father was the merchant Adolf Brauer, her mother was Henriette, née Berg. She had an older brother, Heinrich Carl, born on 8 May 1876, and a younger sister, Hedwig, born on 31 March 1879. According to the "Adressbuch der Stadt Beuthen O.S. und der ländlichen Ortschaften des Kreises Beuthen 1880", the family lived at Krakauer Straße 23, where the company in which Adolf Brauer worked was also located:
"H. Brauer, Specereiwaaren". According to the Duden dictionary, "Spezereiwaren" is another term for delicatessen.

We know nothing about Clara's childhood and youth. Her son Horst Brauer wrote in a letter he sent from Sao Paulo/Brazil in 2006: "After finishing school, she went to Vienna to train as a dressmaker. Around 1910 she went to Berlin, and in 1914 she moved to Hamburg. Here she gave birth to her son on 2 November 1916 as an unmarried mother [...]" She later gave the father`s name as "Arthur Geduldig, Meineckestraße 8, Berlin". Her grandson in Brazil thought this was a made up name. However, the Berlin address book of 1916 lists an engineer of this name in Brüsseler Straße.

According to Horst, Clara was a Social Democrat and worked for Germany in the 1920/22 referendum committee for her native Upper Silesia. (In the referendum in Upper Silesia on 20 March 1921, 59,4 percent of the inhabitants voted in favour of remaining with Germany and 40.6 percent in favour of joining the newly established Poland, whereupon the region was divided between the two states). She was a member of the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeinde Hamburg.
Clara made sure her son received a good education. And, Horst continues, "with wise foresight, she also had him learn English."

He then wrote about himself: "... brought up until the age of six in the Protestant family of Mr. Barkmann in Alt-Rahlstedt. Then my mother took me to live with her in Hamburg, where I was enrolled at the Pröbenweg school. We lived on the corner of Pröbenweg and Louisenweg. After primary school, I went to the Oberbau Burgstraße school. The headmaster was the Social Democrat Brunkhorst. Immediately after graduation, I started my commercial apprenticeship at the Weill and Reineke company [...]". Erich Weill and Hans Reineke were friends from the youth movement and in 1922 had founded the company together as an import and export firm. Specialising in profiles for refrigeration and air conditioning technology, the company is now run by the third generation.

We do not know where Clara pursued her profession as a seamstress. We do know that she occasionally sewed for Fanny Borchardt (see, who lived in the neighbourhood.
When the economic situation for Jews continued to deteriorate in the mid-1930s, she, like so many others, had to apply for welfare benefits. The welfare application form from October 1934 shows that she lived with her son in a three-room flat at Rumpffsweg 35, 1st floor. The rent was 70 Reichsmark (RM) per month, one room was sublet for 25 RM per month. However, the subtenant had just moved out without paying the last rent. Clara also stated that she was being supported by her brother with 100 RM per month. Heinrich Carl (Heinz) Brauer had been living in Prague with his wife Cilly, née Berkovitz (born 24 June 1879), since September 1933. Cilly came from Teschen (today the Polish-Czech twin town of Cieszyn/Český Těšín), where the couple had married in 1899. Heinz was a businessman, and he and his wife travelled a lot, including to Budapest, London, Paris and Marienbad.

Despite her precarious situation, Clara did not receive any ongoing support from the Welfare Office after applying, but only vouchers for free medical and dental treatment. She was supposed to repay the costs, advanced by the Office for a hospital stay in September 1935, in instalments. Apparently, the Welfare Office considered the sum of 140 RM per month (support from her brother plus Horst's training allowance of approx. 40 RM) was sufficient to cover the living costs for the two two of them.

In December 1935, a note in Clara's file stated that her brother was ill and could no longer support her and that her nephew in Berlin would take over this task. The identity of this nephew could not be established. Clara's sister Hedwig, who had been married to the merchant Abraham Kadisch since 1910 and lived in Berlin, had no children. He must have been a son of Heinz and Cilly. Heinz Breuer died on 25 March 1936 in the Löw Sanatorium in Vienna. His body was transferred to Prague and buried in the Zizkov Jewish Cemetery (now the New Jewish Cemetery). The grave still exists. The inscription states that Heinz was a father and grandfather. Cilly, his widow, left Prague in July 1939. We do not know her further fate.

Clara's son Horst completed his apprenticeship in 1936 and continued to work for Weill and Reineke. In December 1938, he and his friend Hans Hochfeld managed to escape to Brazil. Both had succeded in obtaining a tourist visa, issued by the consulate employee Aracy de Carvalho, who was later honoured as a righteous among the nations by the world Holocaust remembrance center Yad Vashem. (For Hans Hochfeld's parents, see Julie and Alfred Hochfeld at

At that time, in December 1938, legal immigration to Brazil was no longer possible for Jews. The two young men had to buy return tickets because of the tourist visa. For the first few years they stayed in the country illegally and were not officially allowed to work. The Jewish community of Sao Paulo, CIP (Congresao Israelita Paulista), which had been founded by German refugees in 1936, supported them.

In November 1938 Horst was registered as living "with his mother" at Oberstraße 113. We do not know how she paid her expenses after his departure. In the following months, she moved house several times, probably to save on rent. At the end of February 1939, she had to undergo cancer surgery at the Israelite Hospital. She lived for a short time as a subtenant "with Wallach" at Haynstraße 19 before moving to Loogestieg 19 "with Heller", where she is listed as a domestic servant. Clara had hoped to follow her son to Brazil, but this did not happen.

Clara Brauer received the deportation order to Minsk in November 1941 at Bornstraße 20 in the apartment rented by a certain Katzenstein. Her son's former boss, Hans Reineke, accompanied her to the assembly point.

There are stumbling stones (Stolpersteine) for Clara's sister and brother-in-law in Berlin Steglitz. At a time unknown to us, Hedwig Kadisch was admitted to the Wittenau sanatorium (now the Karl Bonhoeffer Nervenklinik) on the instructions of the Wilmersdorf medical officer and from there was taken to the Israelite sanatorium and nursing home for the mentally and emotionally ill in Bendorf-Sayn near Koblenz. Founded in 1869 by the merchant Meyer Jacoby for Jewish patients, the clinic called Jacoby'sche Anstalt (Jacoby`s institution) remained relatively undisturbed during the first years of the Nazi regime. In 1940, the Jacoby family was able to escape to South America. The Reich Association of Jews in Germany had to take over the administration of the clinic, which became the only institution for "mentally ill Jews" in the Reich according to the decree of 12 December 1940. Between March and November 1942, 573 patients were sent from there to the extermination camps, Hedwig Kadisch to Sobibor on 15 June 1942. Her husband Adolf was forced to move into a so-called Jews` house at Hubertusallee 37 in Berlin Grunewald in 1942 and was deported from there to Raasiku near Reval (now Tallinn) in Estonia on 26 September 1942.

Hans Reineke who had acompanied Clara Brauer to the assembly point was a courageous man who, by his own account, was a member of the SPD, the Reichsbanner and a Masonic lodge until 1933. He had retained his humanity, as he had not only stood by Clara Brauer, but also sent parcels and encouraging letters to the Theresienstadt concentration camp to Clara and Walter Bacher (see and other friends. For this he was imprisoned in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp in 1943. The reason given: As a "German-blooded person", he was to be instructed about his duties towards "racially inferior enemies of the state". It only became known in 2011 that Hans Reineke in 1943 had also helped two French forced labourers to escape.

Horst Brauer remained grateful to Hans Reineke throughout his life for accompanying his mother to the assembly centre, after the war he sent him care packages. Horst Brauer died in Sao Paulo in 2007.

Like most of those deported to the Minsk ghetto, Clara Brauer did not survive. We do not know exactly when, where or how she perished.

Translator: Sabine Brunotte

Stand: February 2024
© Sabine Brunotte/Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: 1; 5; StaH 351-11_41263; StaH 351-14_1012; StaH 314-15_FVg 2124; Gespräch mit dem Enkel F. B. in Sao Paulo/Brasilien, 27.12.2016; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, Mitgliederzählung der DGH 1928; schriftliche Auskunft Magda Veleska, Prag, E-Mails vom 7., 12. und 18.8.2023; Adressbuch der Stadt Beuthen O.S. Und der ländlichen Ortschaften des Kreises Beuthen 1880, eingesehen bei Adressbü, Zugriff 18.8.2023; Barbara Brix, Clara und Walter Bacher Hamburg Theresienstadt Auschwitz, Hamburg 2023, S. 84 ff; zu Specereiwaaren, Zugriff 21.01.2024; zu Firma Weill und Reineke, Zugriff 21.01.2024;, Zugriff 22.1.2024;,, Zugriff 23.1.2024; Zugriff 1.2.2024.
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