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Naftali und Rosa beim Rodeln (24.2.1933)
Naftali und Rosa beim Rodeln (24.2.1933)

Naftali Eldod * 1899

Hallerstraße 55 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

1941 Riga

further stumbling stones in Hallerstraße 55:
David Eldod, Eli Eldod, Judith Eldod, Rosa Eldod, Walter Samuel Eldod, Bertha Jacobsohn, Dr. John Jacobsohn, Ernestine Jacobsohn, Eva Jacobsohn, Mathilde Jacobsohn, Rosalia Jacobsohn, Sally Jacobsohn

Naftali (Naphtali) Eldod (Eldad), born 2/2/1899 in Höchberg, Lower Franconia, deported to Riga on 6/12/1941
Rosa Eldod, née Fröhlich, born 2/8/1908 in Mergentheim (now Bad Mergentheim). deported to Riga on 6/12/1941
Walter Samuel Eldod, born 8/27/1934 in Hamburg, deported to Riga on 6/12/1941
Judith Eldod, born 12/15/1936 in Hamburg, deported to Riga on 6/12/1941
David Eldod, born 12/24/1937 in Hamburg, deported to Riga on 6/12/1941
Eli Eldod, born 12/1/1940 in Hamburg, deported to Riga on 6/12/1941

Hallerstrasse 55

Naftali Eldod was born 1899 in the town of Höchberg in Lower Franconia. A Jewish community existed there since ancient times. In the 19th century, there was a synagogue, a ritual bath, a cemetery and a school. The Eldods were one of the Jewish families of Höchberg. Their name is derived from a passage in the 4th book of Moses, chapter 11, 26/27, according to which the Eldods or Eldads had been endowed with the spirit of God.

Naftali Eldod’s grandfather Samuel Eldod was a merchant and treasurer of the Jewish Community of Höchberg; he died in 1920 at the age of almost 100 years. By tirelessly soliciting collections, he had enabled the building of a large house of learning in Höchberg, which became the home of the Talmud Tora school founded by the local rabbi Lazarus Ottensoser with an attached Präparandenanstalt, a "preparatory institution”, where Jewish elementary school graduates coming from afar could prepare for training as a teacher. Having successfully passed their preparatory course, the pupils switched to the Israelitic teacher training institute in Würzburg. The former Höchberg Präparandenanstalt is now a Jewish museum.

The son of Samuel Eldod, Naftali’s father, was Emanuel Eldod, born 1863. Emanuel Eldod worked for many years as a religion teacher at Präparandenanstalt. His retirement in 1929 marked the end of an era of the institution. In 1931, it was moved to Würzburg and integrated into the existing Israelitic teacher training institute. The Eldod family continued living at the Höchberg schoolhouse. Emanuel’s son Naftali as well as his younger brother Simon (born 1906) followed in their father’s footsteps and studied at the university of Würzburg to become teachers.

Under Nazi rule, the Höchberg Jews were increasingly ostracized. The representative school building was ideal for distributing Nazi propaganda, e.g. the virulently anti-Semitic weekly hate magazine Der Stürmer. More and more Jews disappeared from the Höchberg community. The last six members were deported to extermination from Würzburg in April 1942: Recha (born 1880), Emanuel Eldod’s sister, his niece Rifka (born 1902) and the Bravmanns, a married couple who lived together with these two women, were taken to the Izbika transit camp near Lublin. Emanuel Eldod, his wife Miriam and his brother Naftali (born 1870) were transported to Theresienstadt. Their "death reports” are preserved there.

Naftali Eldod, born 1899, attended elementary school and secondary school with emphasis on Latin and Greek in Würzburg, graduating with honors, especially for his violin playing. On June 7, 1918, he was drafted into the military and discharged on December 23, 1918. Subsequently, he studied modern languages in Würzburg and passed his state examinations as a teacher of English in 1922, of French in 1923, and his assessor’s examination in 1924. During his studies and his internship, Naftali Eldod, with permission of the Bavarian state authorities, taught foreign languages at the Israelitic Preparatory and Civil school in Höchberg. From September 1924, he gave boys and girls foreign language lessons at the "Jawne” highschool in Cologne. Alongside, he also gave rabbinical lessons.

His appraisals were good in all aspects; his methodical skill and pedagogical talents were especially praised, his success acknowledged by his peers. As the existence of the "Jawne” school was imperiled, Naftali Eldod applied for a position at the Israelitic Secondary School for Girls ("Lyzeum”) in Hamburg, receiving the approval of the city school authorities in 1926 to teach 26 hours a week of Hebrew, English and French. Dr. Alberto Jonas, Principal of the Israelitic Girls’ School since 1924, praised Eldod’s determined and nonetheless empathic teaching methods and remarked how useful the knowledge of foreign languages was for the girls with regard to their "progressing in other countries.” "Herr Eldod also has great knowledge of Jewish matters”, Jonas lauded, "and he knows how to educate the girls to become knowledgeable and conscious Jewish women. His classes are especially distinguished by their culture of community feeling and social consciousness.” On April 1, 1931, the school where Eldod continued to work was reorganized and renamed "Jewish Girls’ School (Elementary and Secondary School)”.

Following the pogrom night of November 9/10 1938, the by then severely decimated institution was combined with the Talmud Tora School and merely referred to as "Elementary and Secondary School for Jews.” From September 1941, the 343 boys and girls and their ten male and 13 female teachers were forced to wear the yellow "Jews’ star” visibly on the front of their clothing. Since 1939, Naftali Eldod taught a reduced number of weekly hours at the upper level that was supposed to lead to graduation under the supervision of a state commissioner. In addition, he gave language and commercial courses in English for emigrants – for which the permission was given with the reservation of repeal in case "contrary provisions were to be issued by the Reich. This permission expires with the discharge of the teacher. The discharge and the reason for the discharge are to be reported to the school board of the Hanse City of Hamburg immediately.” The report was made right on time: "Discharged according to the report from the Jewish Religious Association of 12/8/1941.”

Naftali Eldod and his wife Rosa had submitted an application for emigration to the USA. A certificate of non-objection for the purpose of emigration was available to the finance authorities on July 29, 1939 – before the outbreak of the war. An exact list of their assets had been certified by the currency agency. The assets of Naftali and Rosa Eldod had been confiscated to the benefit of the Reich. It can no longer be determined if no boat was available in time to take the refugees or what other reason prevented their departure. The office action from the Chief Finance Administrator of Hamburg reached the Eldod family on January 31, 1940: "Due to the war, the emigration cannot take place for the time being.”

Life in Hamburg apparently went on as usual. There are many indications that the Hamburg Jews did not believe they were in fatal danger in spite of the terrible contempt and constraints they experienced. The children of Head Rabbi Carlebach, who lived in the Eldods’ neighborhood, give a good example of this attitude. On May 1, 1939, Joseph Carlebach’s little daughter Ruth wrote to her elder sister who had emigrated to England: "Judel, I passed your greetings on to Herr Eldod, and I shall cordially greet you from him in return.” And on October 2, 1941: "Judel, we are well off, thank God. I was in the hospital for two weeks. Fine. 100 cordial greetings from sister Johanna and from Eldod, my class teacher, father of three sons and a daughter.” Also on October 1941, Schlomo Peter Carlebach wrote to his siblings abroad: "Buli will be interested to hear that I now have Toczeck in math, physics and chemistry. German and foreign languages: Eldod.” Not even two months later, the two families from Hallerstrasse were on the transport, together with many others, a total of 753 persons. The "emigrants” had been told they were to found their own settlement in the east, so they should not only bring their clothes, but also household goods and tools.

A survivor recalled how her mother had brought their baggage to the schoolhouse in Karolinenstrasse the night before departure as agreed, and met teacher Eldod there. How was her daughter doing in English, she asked him, as if school was going to go on tomorrow. But all innocence vanished the next day at the assembly point, the Masonic Lodges’ Building, where the deportees had to spend the night in terribly crowded confinement. The freight train with the Jewish citizens of Hamburg arrived at the derelict city estate of Jungfernhof a few kilometers from Riga on December 9. As the ghetto in town had not yet been completely "cleansed" of Jewish Latvians, the first transports of Germans were brought to the Jungfernhof camp.

From the reports of Schlomo Peter Carlebach, the surviving son of the Rabbi, we know that Joseph Carlebach encouraged the deportees not to surrender to despair, organized the care of the many children and even arranged for the continuation of schooling. We can assume that Naftali Eldod also acted as a teacher in the ghetto as much as in any way possible. Neither his death nor the deaths of his four children are documented. It was probably Naftali’s surviving brother Simon Eldod who reported that his sister-in-law Rosa Eldod had been murdered in April 1942. At that time, 3,000 women and children still living at Jungfernhof were loaded in buses under the pretext they were going to be transferred to better work and better quarters. In fact, they were taken to the nearby forest and shot.

Naftali Eldod’s wife Rosa, née Fröhlich, daughter of David und Berta Fröhlich, came from Mergentheim in the Rhön mountains, where a Jewish community with synagogue, ritual bath and cemetery had already existed in the middle ages. After repeated pogroms, the Jews disappeared from the town. Jews only settled there again in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, the Fröhlichs were one of the families with the longest history in Mergentheim. After the death of Rosa’s father David Fröhlich in 1925, the newspaper Der Israelit honored him with an obituary where the local rabbi called him one of the strongest supporters of the community. David Fröhlich left twelve children. His wife Berta survived him by many years, until she fell victim to the Holocaust in Bad Mergentheim. In 1925, three Fröhlich daughters had already founded families of their own and had children.

On July 7, 1933, 17-year-old Rosa Fröhlich in Bad Mergentheim married the teacher Naftali Eldod from nearby Höchberg. The couple moved to Hamburg, their first home was at Parkallee 6. In 1934, when Walter, their first son was born, the family moved to Brahmsallee 24. In summer of 1941, after the birth of their fourth child, the Eldods move to Hallerstrasse 55 (then named Ostmarkstrasse). Only their birth certificates give testimony of these four human beings who were destroyed before they had a chance to develop.

On the transport and in the ghetto, they were freezing, starving, overtired little kids unable to understand why their parents could not help them out of that misery. As the time of their mother’s death is given as the spring of 1942, it must be assumed that, if the children were still alive then, they were dragged out to the forest to massacred together with their mother. The name Rosa Eldod is not only inscribed on a Stumbling Stone in Hamburg, but also on a monument that the City of Bad Mergentheim erected in memory of the members of the Jewish Community murdered by the Nazi regime. It can no longer be determined if Naftali Eldod was among the 300 men fit to work who were left behind at Jungfernhof and later taken to the Riga ghetto.

Naftali Eldod was declared dead effective May 8, 1945, the day the war ended. According to a certificate of inheritance issued by the district court of Hamburg on July 23, 1952, three siblings and a nephew of Naftali Eldod had reported there. They had been able to emigrate to Israel and later found their own families there. Surely, they remembered the fate of their parents and their brother. However, none of them ever reported back to Hamburg.

Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: September 2019
© Inge Grolle

Quellen: 1; 2; 4; StaH 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident FVG 7844; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 21705, 361-3 A 736 Schulverwaltung, Personalakte; Gedenkblatt der Gedenkstätte Yad Vashem, eingereicht von Shimon Eldod (Bruder); Bauer/Meinighaus, "Markt Höchberg, S. 124; Randt, Die Talmud Tora Schule, S. 177, S. 242; Dies., Carolinenstraße 35, S. 89; Gillis-Carlebach, Jedes Kind, S. 289, S. 304.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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