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Selma Elias * 1904
Markusstraße etwa gegenüber Hausnr. 15 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
Handeltje Elias, née Cohen, born 7/12/1873 in Bellingwolde, Netherlands, deported to Theresienstadt on 5/5/1943, died there on 11/20/1943
Helmuth Elias, born 8/2/1936 in Hamburg, deported to Riga-Jungfernhof on 12/6/1941
Selma Elias, born 11/15/1904 in Hamburg, deported to Riga-Jungfernhof on 12/6/1941
Markusstrasse across from number 15 (Marcusstrasse 9)
Handeltje Elias was born July 12, 1873 in Bellingwolde in the Netherlands. Her father Nochum Cohen (born 2/28/1831, died 9/1/1907) came from Oude Pekela, was a merchant and, like his father Samuel Nochum (born 4/12/1804, died 1/28/1893), worked as a butcher. Handeltje’s mother Sina (Sientje/Lina) (born 1/21/1839, died 9/22/1904) was the daughter of Mozes Nathan and Dina, née Frank and came from Bourtange. The couple had married in Bellingwolde on March 11, 1871, where their elder daughter Dina (born 2/5/1872, died 10/25/1904) was born. Her brother Mozes (born 11/8/1875, died 2/3/1934) was born in his father’s home town Oude Pekela. In 1879, the family emigrated to nearby Eastern Frisia in Germany. From about 1890, the family lived in Rhaudermoor in the Rhauderwieke region. The graves of Nochum Cohen, his wife Sina and their daughter Dina are at the cemetery in Schleusenweg in Leer, Eastern Frisia.
Handeltje is said to have worked as a housemaid in Amsterdam for a time, where on September 21, 1893, she gave birth to a son, who was named Hermann. On April 30, 1904 in Hamburg, she married Nathan Elias, a printer; they lived at Brüderstrasse 25. Nathan Elias was born on in Hamburg on October 2, 1877 as the son of Michael Alexander Elias, an office messenger, and his wife Bertha, née Pohly. Only the couple’s daughters Selma and Bertha are listed on the culture tax card of Handeltje und Nathan Elias – there is no mention of a son named Hermann. Selma was born on November 15, 1904, Bertha on March 7, 1908, when the family lived at Marcusstrasse 9 (today’s Markusstrasse was newly built after complete destruction by the bombings of 1943).
Selma, the eldest daughter, had various jobs at a number of companies. She was an office clerk a warehouse girl and a temporary salesgirl at Warenhaus L. Wagner in Elbstrasse 70, a department store, as well as at the fashion store of Gebrüder Robinsohn in Neuer Wall. She worked as an usher at the Thalia movie theater and, from 1939 on, as a housemaid and domestic helper for Jewish families only.
On August 2, 1936, she had given birth to a son, whom she named Helmut. Her father Nathan Elias died at the Israelitic Hospital on October 30 of the same year. When Handeltje Elias, her daughter Selma and her grandson Helmut were forced to leave their home in Marcusstrasse, they were quartered at the Jewish Hertz-Joseph-Levy-Stift at Grossneumarkt 56, where they lived until the first deportation order arrived.
Selma Elias was deported to Riga-Jungfernhof on December 6, 1941 together with her five-year-old son Helmut, who was included on the list of persons who had "volunteered” for "evacuation”.
Handeltje Elias’ last residences in Hamburg were the Jewish Community’s "old folks’ houses” at Schlachterstrasse 40/42, and then Laufgraben 37, at the former orphanage for girls, where she was served her deportation order to Theresienstadt on May 5, 1943. The girls previously living there had been forced to move to the orphanage for boys at the end of November 1941. Both facilities were now so called "Jew's houses”. Handeltje Elias died in Theresienstadt on November 20, 1943.
Her younger daughter Bertha worked as "buffet waitress” at the saloons "Ballhaus” and "Indra”. Unlike her sister, she had left her parents’ home early – for lack of space, as she said herself, and lived as a subtenant at various addresses. For a time, she lived from welfare payments. On November 17, 1940, she married Edgar Heimberg, who was twenty years older than she. Edgar had been born on September 14, 1888 in Padberg, Westphalia as the son of Louis Heimberg and his wife Meta, née Oppenheimer. Louis Heimberg was a chemist and sold chemicals from his home at Goethestrasse 20 in Hamburg-Wandsbek. On October 25, 1941, Bertha and Edgar Heimberg were deported from there to the "Litzmannstadt” ghetto in Lodz, Poland, as were their neighbors Jenny und Hermann Hirsch (cf. there). Their names had initially put on the transport list as "replacement for potential absentees”. From Lodz, they were deported on to the extermination camp Chelmno/Kulmhof, probably on May 7, 1942. Stumbling Stones at the corner Robert-Schuman Brücke/Jüthornstrasse 49 (formerly Goethestrasse 20) commemorate them (cf. Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Wandsbek mit den Walddörfern).
Mozes Cohen, Handeltje’s brother, committed suicide in February 3, 1934 in Rhaudermoor, on the day he was forced to sell the property where he lived to the community authorities.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: 1; 3; 9; StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1254 (Heimberg, Bertha); StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1126 (Elias, Selma); StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1912 u 4663/1877; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3021 u 377/1904; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 14233 u 2597/1904; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1053 u 395/1936; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e Band 1; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e Band 3; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e Band 5; Michael Till Heinze, http://www.archiv-heinze.de/colonien/westrhfehn/kirchenWF/andere/juden/Cohen/cohen.html; Louven/Pietsch: Stolpersteine, S. 66.
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