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Alice Ascher * 1880
Braamkamp 36 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)
Alice Ascher, born 16 Aug. 1880 in Hamburg, deported 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, date of death unknown
Margot Doctor, born 4 Apr. 1897 in Leobschütz, Silesia (modern-day Glubczyce, Poland), deported 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, date of death unknown
Emilie Ascher, née Blumenfeld, born 20 Aug. 1858 in Burgsteinfurt, Westphalia, died by suicide 19 July 1942 in Hamburg
Alice Ascher, daughter of Emilie Ascher and her husband Gustav Joachim, grew up with her two younger brothers at Sierichstraße 18. She never married, and worked as private secretary to the banker Max Warburg on Ballindamm. In the 1930s, she and her partner Margot Doctor lived in an apartment on the first floor of Braamkamp 36. Her mother Emilie lived in the same building.
The date of Margot Doctor’s arrival in Hamburg from her hometown in Silesia is unknown. The information on her church tax records is sparse. Her father is listed as Ary Doctor (no date of birth), her profession as "clerk.” She declared her withdrawal from the Jewish Community in 1928. In 1940 she became a compulsory member of the Jewish Religious Organization (Jüdischer Religionsverband).
Alice Ascher withdrew from the Jewish Community in 1926, but rejoined in April 1939. At that time she was working as a secretary in the office of the Warburg Bank at Mittelweg 17. This office had the task of liquidating those assets that had not been assumed by the successor company when the M. M. Warburg Bank was Aryanized. It also gradually took on the character of a center for charitable and cultural activities for the members of the Jewish community, who were increasingly shut out of public life (see Biography: Mayer, Marie and Heinrich). Until 1941, concerts and evening lectures took place in this "oasis.” Its well-stocked library was also very popular, as visitors could enjoy an unusually well-heated sojourn there in the winter. By the spring of 1941 most of the M.M. Warburg Bank’s liquidation cases were closed, and the Nazi Party confiscated the building on Mittelweg. The remaining secretaries were moved to a much smaller building on Alsterterrasse. Alice Ascher and her colleague Fräulein Baruch could now only work in half-day shifts, because there was not enough space for both of them. The office was finally closed for good in June 1941.
In January 1940, Alice Ascher still had assets worth 13,300 Reichsmarks. They were placed under a security order (Sicherunganordnung) on 29 January 1940, which restricted her access to her accounts. Alice had applied for permission to withdraw 557 Reichsmarks per month for living expenses, rent, the support of her mother, and expenses for a housekeeper. The Foreign Exchange Office (Devisenstelle) in the Office of the Chief Finanacial Administrator approved 325 Reichsmarks.
A friend of the Ascher family recalled that Max Warburg had encouraged Alice to emigrate to the US and had organized an affidavit for her. She remained in Hamburg, however, since he had not been able to get an affidavit for her partner Margot Doctor.
After Alice Ascher received her deportation notification, she was given permission to withdraw 400 Reichsmark from her account for "expenses relating to my evacuation” and as a gift for "Fräulein Margot Sara Doctor, Braamkamp 36: traveling expenses and sundry necessities,” according to the requisition form.
Alice Ascher and Margot Doctor were deported to Riga on 6 December 1941. When and how they died there is unknown.
Emilie Ascher was married to the manufacturer Joachim Ascher, and they had three children: Alice, Felix Daniel (*27 Mar. 1883), and Richard (*18 Oct. 1888). The family lived at Sierichstraße 18. Emilie Ascher must have had her own income, since she paid church taxes in her own name to the Hamburg Jewish Community from 1913-1923 and from 1932-1940. Her husband became a member of the Patriotische Gesellschaft, an organization committed to promoting public service in Hamburg in 1911. His date of death is unknown.
In the 1930s she lived on the second floor of the building at Braamkamp 36, where she was registered as "widowed.” Her daughter Alice and Alice’s partner Margot Doctor lived on the same floor, and possibly in the same apartment.
Emilie’s son Felix attended the Wilhelm-Gymnasium. He made a name for himself as an architect, designing the Tempel Oberstraße, a new synagogue for Hamburg’s Jewish reform movement, together with Robert Friedmann. The synagogue was consecrated in 1931. He and his wife Anna Karoline (née von Gizycki, formerly Hinrichsen) had no children, but she brought three children into the marriage. Felix Ascher emigrated to England in 1938, but had difficulties finding work in his profession there. The younger son Richard, a chemist, also emigrated to England.
On 6 December 1941, Emilie Ascher had to watch as her daughter Alice was deported to Riga. She was then forced to leave her apartment on Braamkamp and moved into the Jewish home for the elderly at Kurzer Kamp 6 in Fühlsbüttel, which had been designated as a "Jews’ house.” She took her own life on 19 July 1942.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Ulrike Sparr
Quellen: 1; 4; 8; AfW 270383; Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 1509, Ergänzungskarten für Angaben über Abstammung (Volkszählung v. 17.5.1939), Wohnortliste Hamburg; Forschungsstelle f. Zeitgeschichte, Werkstatt d. Erinnerung 007, Interview mit Herrn K. H., 1990; dito, telefonisch mitgeteilte Ergänzungen von Herrn K.H.; StaHH 622-1/173 Plaut A 5, A6; StaHH 314-15 OFP R 1940/6; Wilhelm Mosel, Wegweiser zu ehemaligen jüdischen Stätten in Hamburg, Heft 3, Hamburg 1989; Volkwin Marg, Gudrun Fleher, Architektur in Hamburg seit 1900, Hamburg, 1983, Nr. 87; Marlis Roß, Der Ausschluss der jüdischen Mitglieder 1935, Die Patriotische Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus, Hamburg, 2007; Wilhelm Gymnasium 1881–1956, Hamburg 1956, S. 115f.