Search for Names, Places and Biographies
Already layed Stumbling Stones
Nanny Feilmann (née Pels) * 1856
Bornstraße 25 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)
Carl Feilmann, born on 6 Nov. 1887 in Jever/Oldenburg, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Marianne Feilmann, née Gossels, born on 13 June 1892 in Hinte/Emden, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Nanny Feilmann, née Pels, born on 7 Feb. 1856 in Gnarrenburg/Rotenburg District, deported on 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 13 Oct. 1942
The Feilmanns were an old-established Jewish family from Jever, a family that dates back to Meyer Levi, who in 1697 became a "protected Jew” ("Schutzjude”) in Jever. Jews became full citizens based on the Prussian Jewish Edict dated 11 Mar. 1812, which also applied in East Friesland from 1813 to 1815, if they received permanent last names and performed military service. Meyer Levi’s family was given the name Pfeilmann or Feilmann. They were among the livestock dealers and butchers in Jever who, like other Jewish residents, left Jever at the latest after the November Pogrom of 1938. The last ones were forced to leave in 1940, when the area was made "free of Jews” ("judenfrei”). They settled in large cities or emigrated, with the Netherlands being their preferred destination. There were many family connections there, including those of the Feilmann family. Often, however, the persons affected did not succeed in regaining a foothold economically or in emigrating to safe foreign countries. The once varied life of established Jewish urban and rural communities in East Friesland ended before the Second World War began.
When Nanny Feilmann, née Pels, and Isaak Levy Feilmann married around 1877, the Jewish Community in Jever, with approximately 200 members, was just experiencing a heyday. An expression of this was the renovation of the synagogue in 1880.
Nanny Feilmann was born on 7 Feb. 1856 as Nanny Pels in Gnarrenburg, today a neighborhood of Bremervörde, where only a few Jews resided at that time. Her father Isaak Nathan Pels was a livestock dealer and married Friederike Holländer around 1850. As far as is known, Nanny had six brothers and sisters, an older brother Nathan, the first-born and heir, as well as three younger brothers and two sisters. Their names, Hermann, Elise, Anton, Lina, and Siegmund, testify to the assimilation of the family. Presumably, Nanny lived with her parents as a Haustochter [note: in this context, a daughter of legal working age employed at home as a domestic help/nanny] until her marriage. She then moved in with her husband in Jever, where they initially lived on Schlachtstrasse. There she gave birth to their daughter Jenny on 8 Mar. 1878 and one year later to son Leopold.
Following the construction of the new development area in the west of the city, Isaak Feilmann acquired real estate on Blauestrasse and set up his business and family residence there.
In addition to the residential house with the slaughterhouse and outbuildings, his property also included pasture and marshland.
The third child, Frieda, was born on Blauestrasse. In July 1883, Nanny Feilmann gave birth to another daughter. She was named Hedwig. Hedwig was just six weeks old when Leopold passed away. Even before the next child, Ella, was born in 1885, Hedwig died as well. Both children were buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Schenum, where their gravestones are still located today.
Nanny gave birth to two more sons, on 6 Nov. 1887 to Carl and finally, on 29 Jan. 1891 to Harry. As was the case with Hedwig, the names of Ella and Harry were not recorded in the registry office until several days after their births. None of the children received a name that could be traced back to their ancestors, and none received more than one.
In the meantime, Nanny’s sister Elise (born in 1859) had also married a brother of her husband Isaak, David Levi Feilmann. They also lived in Jever, on Steinstrasse, where their two children Leopold David (on 12 Apr. 1885) and Lilli (on 28 Jan. 1891) were born.
Nanny’s oldest brother Nathan Pels married Elise Elle bath Moses, from which emerged the permanent family name of Mosessohn. A brother of Elise, Marcus Mosessohn, married Nanny’s sister Lina. Elise and Nathan Pels Jr. lived in Achim, where the father Isaak Nathan Pels spent his retirement. He died there on 28 Dec. 1905, his daughter-in-law Elise six years later, and his son Nathan in 1932. Lina and Marcus Mosessohn also lived in Achim until Lina moved to Bremen after the death of her husband. Their marriage produced two children, Moses and Lilli, who later went to the USA.
Other relatives of Isaak Feilmann, also butchers and temporarily active in the pig trade, lived in Jever, at Hopfenzaun 15, until they too moved to Hamburg.
As was customary at the time, only the names of the heads of household and company owners appeared in the documents concerning the families and companies. In family businesses such as Isaak Feilmann’s, family members that did not have their own employment contracts usually worked with them. Their names are not documented. Nanny later received a small pension, though it is impossible to ascertain whether from her employment or as a widow or based on some other legitimation.
Jenny and Frieda Feilmann, who until then had lived with their parents as "Haustöchter, "both married in 1908 in Jever, Frieda on 2 June the merchant Hermann Heimann Cohn, born on 26 Nov. 1867 in Hooksiel, and Jenny on Oct. 24 the merchant Richard Lindenberg, born on 1 Apr. 1871 in Vilsen. His background points to Argentina.
Frieda Cohn moved to join her husband in Hooksiel, where Nanny Feilmann’s first grandchild, Arno, was born on 20 Feb. 1909. He was followed three years later by granddaughter Elsa/Else.
Ella married Benjamin Leiser from Kerpen (born on 12 July 1885) and moved to Bochum.
Carl Feilmann did his military service, from which he was discharged on 23 Sept. 1910 at the age of nearly 23, and he took part in World War I, from which he returned after the end of the war on 16 Dec. 1918. He married Marianne Marie, née Gossels, born on 18 June 1892, in Hinte in the Aurich District. She also came from a family of butchers. Like Nanny Feilmann-Pels, her parents, Isachar Gossels, and her mother, Betty, née Karseboom, were closely connected to the Jewish Community in Emden through family ties. Isachar Gossels and his family probably lived in Emden for a time, and Marianne and Carl Feilmann likely married there.
As the oldest son, Carl Feilmann stayed in his parents’ business, and his wife worked with him, as did Nanny. The only detail known about the youngest, Harry, is that he married in Soltau in 1928 and later emigrated to the USA.
Although the Jewish Community in Jever had grown steadily, it had to reassert itself repeatedly between Jever municipal law (Jeversches Kommunalrecht) and the Oldenburg Ducal Code (Oldenburger Herzöglicher Ordnung), economic upswing, and anti-Semitic resentment. Trade, especially in livestock, formed the basis of livelihood for the Jewish residents. When the horse trade collapsed after the First World War and inflation hit all sectors of the economy, many Jews left the city. Isaak and Nanny Feilmann stayed. They were integrated and part of the middle class. Isaak Feilmann belonged to the butchers’ guild for the city and the Jever district, he was an honorary member of the Niedersächsischer Handwerkerbund e.V. (Lower Saxony Craftsmen’s Association) and a top marksman of the shooting club. His company not only supplied the Jewish Community, but also offered "daily fatty ox meat, fatty pork, and various kinds of sausage and soup bones” for everyone.
At the age of 74, Isaak Feilmann died at home on 27 Feb. 1924 and he was buried on 3 March in the cemetery in Schenum. Nanny Feilmann placed an advertisement in the Jeversche Wochenblatt reading, "Instead of special notice.
After short, severe illness, my dear husband, our father-in-law, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law and uncle, Isaak Feilmann passed away gently and quietly this afternoon in his seventy-fourth year.
In deep mourning on behalf of the relatives: Mrs. Nanny Feilmann, née Pels.
Jever, 27 February 1924.
The funeral will take place Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock departing from the last residence, Blauestrasse.”
The time between death and burial, unusually long for the Jewish tradition, resulted from the Jewish and Christian holidays. Non-Jewish colleagues and club members also attended the funeral. Half an hour before, the fellow marksmen gathered at the "Goldener Engel” tavern for the funeral parade, which led to the cemetery 4 kilometers (approx. 2.5 miles) away. There Isaak Feilmann’s gravestone, unlike that of his children Leopold and Hedwig, is no longer to be found today.
Frieda and Hermann Cohn returned from Hooksiel to Blauestrasse in Jever, perhaps to support Carl Feilmann in running the business or perhaps for health reasons. On 3 Mar. 1932, Arno Cohn died at the age of 23 in his parents’ house, and Hermann Cohn followed him two years later in the Sophienstift, a residential home, in Jever.
The transfer of power to Hitler was followed by far-reaching interventions in the economic life of Jever’s Jews, the call for a boycott of Jewish stores, and the ban on trading at public livestock markets. Personal trade relations with individual farmers were not affected by this at first, but the non-Jewish farmers came under increasing pressure from Nazi neighbors and the police. Thus, Carl Feilmann soon only advertised the sale of fresh Grützwurst [fatty, highly seasoned sausage containing bacon and groats], small parts and cuts of meat, and soup bones. Carl Feilmann is no longer listed as a contributor in the rabbinate treasury list dated 14 Sept. 1933. Presumably, he left the Jewish Community and did not immediately join the local Jewish Community after his move to Hamburg, because he was not listed as a contributor there until 1940.
Despite all the restrictions, business was still going so well that Carl Feilmann looked for an "orderly girl” in the Jevener Wochenblatt by advertisement on 14 Aug. 1934. Two years later, however, Carl Feilmann gave up his entire landed estate. The real estate on Blauestrasse became the property of an oven setter, and the pasture plots went to an old-established family of bakers. On 23 Aug. 1937, Carl Feilmann deregistered his business and apparently moved to Hamburg with his mother Nanny and his wife Marianne immediately afterward. Their marriage had remained childless.
At the same time, Else/Elsa Cohn, who had married Arthur Hartogsohn, born in Emden on 1 Oct. 1907, around 1935, and had a son Arno (born on 19 Jan. 1936), emigrated to the Netherlands on 22 Sept. 1937. The family settled in Amsterdam, where Else then went by Cohn-Hartogsohn. There they were joined on 25 May 1939 by Else’s mother Frieda Cohn, by that time, Feilmann-Cohn. She lived to see the birth of a second grandchild, Uri Salomon, who was born on 9 Nov. 1939. They resided in separate homes at Ijsselstraat 27 and 37.
Nanny Feilmann joined the local Jewish Community on 25 Aug. 1937, immediately after her arrival in Hamburg. Her son’s date of joining is not recorded, but from Apr. 1938 onward, he was assessed for community taxes. She resided with him and his daughter-in-law Marianne as subtenants at Heinrich-Barth-Strasse 3. Carl Feilmann and his wife ran a hot ironing shop in the neighborhood at Rappstrasse 2. Nanny Feilmann’s pension was so low, at 150 RM (reichsmark) per year, that she made no contributions to the Jewish Community. She was supported by her son. In the course of the November Pogrom of 1938, he was imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, as was his brother-in-law Benjamin Leiser, Ella’s husband. Benjamin Leiser was released on 7 Dec. 1938, and Carl Feilmann four days later.
On 13 Apr. 1939, Nanny, Carl, and Marianne Feilmann moved into an apartment on the raised ground floor at Bornstrasse 25. Carl was given a position at the Jewish Hospital with a low, though taxable salary, but starting in 1940, he paid only the "head tax” ("Kopfgeld”) of 1 RM per month as a contribution to the Community.
When the deportations of Hamburg Jews "for development work in the East” ("zum Aufbau im Osten”) began in the fall of 1941, Carl and Marianne Feilmann were ordered to report for the second transport on 8 Nov. 1941. They departed Hamburg for Minsk, where they were committed to the ghetto. Carl Feilmann was 55 years old, his wife Marianne 50. The transport also included the relatives Hugo and Julius Feilmann, who had moved to Hamburg as well. The last of the Feilmanns having moved in from Jever was Elsa, born on 20 Apr. 1890 (see biography of Gembicki/Kemlinski/Schwab Hohenfelde), who was deported to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941. All traces of her disappear with the deportations.
After the deportation of her son and daughter-in-law, Nanny Feilmann moved to Bornstrasse 6, where she lived as a subtenant with Albert Isenberg. After only half a year, on 20 Apr. 1942, the Jewish Community accommodated her in its own rooms at Beneckestrasse 6. There she received the order to "outmigrate” to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942. She was 86 years old, without relatives in this transport. She died in the completely overcrowded ghetto, where diseases were rampant, on 13 Oct. 1942.
Whether Nanny Feilmann still had any word from her other children, we do not know. Ten days after she had moved into the house at Beneckestrasse 6, on 30 Apr. 1942, her daughter Ella and son-in-law Benjamin Leiser were transported from Bochum to the Zamosc Ghetto near Lublin, where all traces of them disappear. None of them survived.
The deportations of the Jews from the Netherlands began somewhat later. Frieda Feilmann-Cohn was interned in Vught-‘s-Hertogenbosch from 15 to 19 Jan. 1943, and then transferred to the Westerbork transit camp. From there, she was deported to Auschwitz on 2 Feb. 1943, where she was murdered on 5 Feb. 1943. On 13 July 1943, Arthur Hartogsohn and his wife Else Cohn-Hartogsohn, Nanny Feilmann’s granddaughter, and their sons Arno, seven years old, and Uri, were deported to the Sobibor extermination camp, where they were murdered on 16 July 1943.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: December 2020
© Hildegard Thevs
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 7; 9; Hamburger Adressbücher; StaH 522-1, 992 d Band 8; Gröschlerhaus Jever, FEIL911, dankenswerter Weise von Hartmut Peters zur Verfügung gestellt; http://www.alemannia-judaica.de/jever.htm; http://www.jüdische-gemeinden.de/index.php/gemeinden/a-b/468-bremervoerde-niedersachsen; http://www.alemannia-judaica.de/jever_friedhof.htm; http://www.online-ofb.de/famreport.php?ofb=juden_nw&ID=I137226&nachname=FEILMANN&modus=&lang=de; http://www.online-ofb.de/namelist.php?nachname=GOSSELS&ofb=juden_nw&modus=&lang=de; http://www.alemannia-judaica.de/emden_synagoge.htm; http://www.online-ofb.de/namelist.php?ofb=juden_nw&nachname=HOLLAENDER&modus=&lang=de; http://www.online-ofb.de/namelist.php?nachname=PELS&ofb=juden_nw&modus=&lang=de; Joodsmonument, Zugriffe 11.11.2016; Landesarchiv Niedersachsen, Oldenburg, Personenstandsregister mit freundlicher Unterstützung von Bärbel Negro; Hartmut Peters, hrsg., Verbannte Bürger. Die Juden aus Jever. Jever 1984.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".