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Regina Danciger (née Dawidowitz) * 1878

Heider Straße 18 (Hamburg-Nord, Hoheluft-Ost)

JG. 1878
"VERLEGT" 23.9.1940
ERMORDET 23.9.1940

further stumbling stones in Heider Straße 18:
Wolf Danciger

Regina Danciger, née Dawidowitz, born on 8 Nov. 1878 in Zloczew, Poland, murdered on 23 Sept. 1940 in the Brandenburg/Havel euthanasia killing center

Stolperstein in Hamburg-Hoheluft-Ost, at Heider Strasse 8 (formerly Heidestrasse)

Regina (Rifka/Rivka/Rywka) Danciger was born as Regina Davidowitz in Zloczew near Lodz (Poland) on 8 Nov. 1878. She was married to Wolf Danciger, a merchant born in 1869 in Widawa, Poland. The couple had five daughters: Sara Sonja, born on 22 Apr. 1898, married name Amstein, residing in Berlin; Frymeta (Fimetta), born on 21 Dec. 1899; Jochaweta, born on 13 Nov. 1903; Blima (Bluma), born on 25 Oct. 1906; and Dora (Dwora/Devora), born on 29 Apr. 1910. With the exception of Sara Sonja, who was born in Zloczew, all other daughters were born in Widawa.

The family held Polish citizenship and belonged to the Jewish faith. Regina’s husband Wolf was devoutly religious.

When the Danciger family immigrated to Germany, they first lived in the liberal Altona quarter at Schulterblatt 35 and from about 1934 at Heidestrasse 18 (today Heidestrasse 8) in Hamburg.

The Danciger couple ran a corset shop in Hoheluftchaussee 127, which was also open on Saturday. On this day, Regina Danciger would staff the store, because for Wolf Danciger, working on the Sabbath was not compatible with his religious duties. The family also ran a shoe repair shop at the same address, but under the name of Dwora Danciger. In the Hamburg directory and on the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card, Sonja and Regina Danciger are also named as owners for the corset business and Blima for the shoe repair business.

From 1933 onward, the Danciger family suffered, as did all people of Jewish descent, from the constantly escalating measures of discrimination and exclusion taken by the Nazis. This may have caused Blima Danciger to leave Hamburg. She emigrated to Belgium in 1937 and married Aron Rosenblum on 27 October of the same year. The couple had a daughter, Judith. The family survived by moving from one hiding place to another under degrading conditions.

Wolf Danciger was one of about 1,000 Hamburg Jews holding Polish citizenship who arrested on 28 Oct. 1938 by uniformed police (Ordnungspolizei) and Gestapo forces, deported by rail from Hamburg-Altona station, and driven brutally across the German-Polish border near the Polish town of Zbaszyn (German: Bentschen). The fate of most of them is not documented. In the first half of 1939, a minority of those expelled received permission to return to Hamburg on condition that they emigrate within a few weeks.

Wolf Danciger’s fate is unclear. His daughter Frymeta declared in the 1960s, "My father Wolf Danciger was deported to Poland in 1938 and died there.” However, an investigation report of the Hamburg Customs Investigation Department dated 7 Feb. 1939 might contradict this. The report includes the following note on a radio set that was listed in an index: "It is a high-quality, modern radio valued at 298 RM [reichsmark] which was not acquired 1 ½ years ago as stated by D. on 28 Jan. 1939, but was purchased on 15 May 1938.” If the reference there was to Wolf Danciger, he would have temporarily returned from Zbaszyn. Furthermore, the investigation report states that the carrying along of a radio set worth 298 RM was to be refused. "Danciger is a Polish citizen. If the Jew Danciger attaches particular importance to taking the set with him and voluntarily agrees to pay a Dego-Abgabe of RM 600,-, there is no objection to the release of the set.” (During the Nazi period, the "Dego-Abgabe” was a duty payable to the German Gold Discount Bank [Deutsche Golddiskontbank – Dego] in the case of "emigrations.”) After that, all traces of Wolf Danciger disappear.

In addition to Wolf Danciger’s deportation, the family was also under strain due to the events of the November Pogrom of 9 Nov. 1938. Although attacks on the two Danciger businesses or destruction have not been recorded, the psychological pressure caused by the pogrom night would have been immense in any case.

The Danciger family was struck by another blow when the "Ordinance on the Elimination of the Jews from German Economic Life” ("Verordnung zur Ausschaltung der Juden aus dem deutschen Wirtschaftsleben”) dated 23 Nov. 1938 ordered the final closure of all Jewish businesses and firms as of 1 Jan. 1939. The family had to close their two stores by the end of 1938 at the latest. Consequently, the entries pertaining to the corset store and the shoe repair shop are missing in the 1939 Hamburg directory.

Regina Danciger suffered from a mental illness about which details are not known. It may have been triggered by increasing discrimination against Jewish people since the Nazis had assumed power. After a brief stay at the Langenhorn State Hospital (Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn) in early 1935, she was re-admitted to Langenhorn on 31 August of the same year. Her daughter Frymeta remembered in the course of the restitution proceedings: "... my mother went mad because of the persecution and she was admitted to the Langenhorn institution, and from there she was deported to Poland, where she perished.”

In the spring/summer of 1940, the "euthanasia” headquarters in Berlin, located at Tiergartenstrasse 4, planned a special operation aimed against Jews in public and private sanatoriums and nursing homes. It had the Jewish persons living in the institutions registered and moved together in what were officially so-called collection institutions. The Hamburg-Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Hamburg-Langenhorn) was designated the North German collection institution. All institutions in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Mecklenburg were ordered to move the Jews living in their facilities there by 18 Sept. 1940. After all Jewish patients from the North German institutions had arrived in Langenhorn, they were taken to Brandenburg/Havel on 23 Sept. 1940, together with the Jewish patients who had lived there for some time on a transport comprised of 136 persons overall. On the same day, they were killed with carbon monoxide in the part of the former penitentiary converted into a gas-killing facility. Only one patient, Ilse Herta Zachmann, escaped this fate at first (see corresponding entry).

The details provided by Regina Danciger’s surviving daughters in the post-war restitution proceedings indicate that they had no correct information about their mother’s place of death. In the documented death notices of other Jews murdered in Brandenburg, it was claimed that the person affected had died in Chelm or Cholm. Those murdered in Brandenburg, however, were never in Chelm (Polish) or Cholm (German), a town east of Lublin. The former Polish sanatorium there no longer existed after SS units had murdered almost all patients on 12 Jan. 1940. Also, there was no German records office in Chelm. Its fabrication and the use of postdated dates of death served to disguise the killing operation and at the same time enabled the authorities to claim higher care expenses for periods extended accordingly.

We know about Regina and Wolf Danciger’s daughters Blima (see above) and Frymeta that they survived the Holocaust. Frymeta Danciger married Hersch Slominsky and had a son by the name of Leon with him in 1926. The family left Hamburg in 1933 and hoped to be able to protect themselves from Nazi persecution in Belgium. No further details are known.

Jochaweta, who had married Nachemja Goldfluss, had been a resident of Belgium continuously since 1932, according to her own statements to the Belgian authorities. In contrast, she was still listed as a member of the Hamburg Jewish Community until 1938. We have no information about detentions or deportations of Jochaweta and her husband from Belgium. There are no entries for Sara and Dora Danciger in the Memorial Book of the German Federal Archives.

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

© Ingo Wille

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; 9; AB; StaH 133-1 III Staatsarchiv III, 3171-2/4 U.A. 4, Liste psychisch kranker jüdischer Patientinnen und Patienten der psychiatrischen Anstalt Langenhorn, die aufgrund nationalsozialistischer "Euthanasie-Maßnahmen" ermordet wurden, zusammengestellt von Peter von Rönn, Hamburg (Projektgruppe zur Erforschung des Schicksals psychisch Kranker in Langenhorn); 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident 3236 Wolf Danciger; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 1498 (Danciger), 3851 (Danciger), 36299 (Rosenblum Danciger); 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 Aufnahme-/Abgangsbuch Langenhorn 26.8.1939 bis 27.1.1941; Dokumentationszentrum Kazerne Dossin, Belgien, Auskünfte über Szimeta und Jochaweta Danciger sowie Nachemja Go.
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