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Bernhard Feldheim * 1905
Valentinskamp 46 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
Bela Feldheim, born on 1/16/1941 in Hamburg, deported to Auschwitz on 7/11/1942
Bernhard Feldheim, 5/17/1905 in Unna, Westphalia, deported to Minsk on 11/8/1941
Ella Feldheim, née Posner, born 9/2/1911 in Hamburg, deported to Auschwitz on 7/11/1942
Ingeborg Feldheim, born 2/15/1933 in Hamburg, deported to Auschwitz on 7/11/1942
On March 29, 1916, the 5,000th Stumbling Stone in Hamburg was laid – for an infant. Little Bela Feldheim was murdered before she could leave any trace in the year and half of her life. She was born into a poor, disrupted Jewish family. Already her parents had grown up in in meager circumstances, remained dependent on welfare benefits and had never got out of the alleys of the cramped Gängeviertel before they were deported and murdered.
Her mother Ella Feldheim was born in Hamburg as the eldest daughter of the Jewish couple Ernst Posner (cf. there) and the widow Johanna Wolf, née Gans, at their home in ABC-Strasse 32, two months before her parents married on November 2, 1911. Whereas Ella’s father Ernst Posner (born 10/2/1881), who described himself as "not religious”, and had grown up in the Gängeviertel of Hamburg’s Neustadt district, her mother Johanna (born 9/27/1873, died 8/22/1939) came from the small Hessian town of Bebra, an intersection of Germany’s Main north-south and east-west railroad lines. Her family later lived in nearby Rotenburg an der Fulda, where her father, the tailor Moses Gans, also officiated as the temple servant.
Ella had three elder half-sisters: Franziska (born 1/25/1904), Bertha (born 5/1/1905, died 11/28/1917), and Selma (born 8/19/1906) from her mother’s first marriage. Two farther children followed Ella: Martin (born 10/16/1913) and Frieda (born 4/28/1915).
As a cab driver, Ernst Posner had a hard time making a living for his family, all the more the more when he lost his job during World War I. Temporarily until 1917, he worked as packer at the newspaper General-Anzeiger für Hamburg-Altona. And, in spite of the fact that Ernst Posner was described as a hard worker in the family’s welfare record, he only found temporary work at the port in the following years.
The Posner family lived in very modest circumstances, sometimes even in great need. As the youngest children Ella, Martin and Frieda were not sufficiently provided for, the public youth welfare agency had them temporarily boarded at the Israelitic orphans’ and education institution in Esslingen near Stuttgart, Mülbergerstrasse 146. They returned to their family at Christmas, 1929.
Ella’s parents were often forced to move. They lived at Valentinskamp 26, later at number 96, moved to Speckstrasse 50, then to the rear building of Schlachterstrasse 50. In 1923, the Posners’ address was Mauerstrasse 5, across from St. Michael’s Church, until, at the beginning of 1934, they moved once again, to Wexstrasse 34 Their 3 ½-room "almost dark” apartment was on the ground floor of a backyard building, accessible by the Grosse Trampgang, a passageway.
As a young woman, Ella met Bernhard Feldheim, a furniture mover. They got engaged and first lived with Ella’s parents in Mauerstrasse. When they married on December 24, 1932, they lived as subtenants at number 9 (no longer existing) Winkelstrasse, which connected Valentinskamp and Dammtorwall. Ella was heavily pregnant and Bernhard Feldheim out of a job, so the couple moved back in with Ella’s parents in Mauerstrasse, who gave them their front room. Daughter Ingeborg was born on February 15, 1933. Only three years later was the young family able to found their own household at Valentinskamp 46. Ella and Bernhard’s second daughter, who was given the name Bela, was born on January 16, 1941.
Ella’s husband Bernhard Feldheim (born 5/17/1905) came from Unna, Westphalia. His father, Joseph/Julius Feldheim, a house painter and gunpowder factory worker, son of a master butcher from Hörde (now incorporated into the city of Dortmund), had died at the age of 47 in a jail in Bergedorf. His mother Emma Feldheim, née van Cleef (born 7/21/1876 in Haselünne, Emsland county, died 8/22/1932) lived at Peterstrasse 51 in Hamburg.
Bernhard Feldheim also had a brother, Siegfried Albert Feldheim (born 9/26/1906 in Dortmund), married to Henny Margarete Bielschowsky (born 4/17/1919); in April 1939, Henny’s sister Ruth Bielschowsky (born 10/7/1914) married Ella’s brother Martin Posner.
Bernhard and Ella’s marriage seems to have been not happy; Ella left her husband, and she and the two girls moved in with her half-sister Selma Delfs, née Wolf, who lived in a "privileged mixed marriage” with her "Aryan” husband at Markusstrasse 11. At the end of 1941, Ella and her children were forced to move to the "Jews’ house” (formerly Lazarus-Gumpel-Stift, Schlachterstrasse 46/47 house 3 – the street off Grossneumarkt no longer exists). The apartment at the Stift had become vacant on November 8, 1941, when the previous tenant Marianne Hecker (cf. there) had been deported to Minsk with her sons Max und Louis.
Surely, Ella’s eldest daughter was not only adversely affected by constant danger and persecution, but also by the separation of her parents. She attended the girls’ school of the German-Israelitic Community in Carolinenstrasse 35. When this was closed, she was among the seven youngest Jewish children who now continued to have lessons at the Jewish boys’ orphanage at Papendamm 3 until schooling for Jewish children was forbidden in the whole Reich on June 30, 1942. Her teacher Rebecka Cohn (born 6/28/1881) wrote a final report for Ingeborg, her first and last report card: "Ingeborg is 9 years old. She has not managed to learn to read and write, and her capability in arithmetic is also insufficient. Inge tries hard. She is a quiet child who never disturbs the class. She is very helpful and good at practical tasks (e.g. housework). She was absent 36 days”.
On July 11, 1942, Ella Feldheim, her daughter Ingeborg an little Bela, now 18 months old, were deported to Auschwitz, where it is most likely they were sent directly to the gas chamber on arrival.
Ingeborg’s teacher Rebecka Cohn (cf. Ahron Albert Cohn) suffered the same fate. A Stumbling Stone for her was laid at Husumer Strasse 2.
After separating from his wife, Bernhard Feldheim had moved in with his brother in-law Martin Posner (cf. there) at Wexstrasse 3, where he received the deportation order for the transport to the Minsk ghetto on November 8, 1941.
Ella’ brother Martin, their father Ernst Posner, her brother-on-law and his wife Henny Margarete from Fruchtallee 135, were transported to the "Litzmannstadt” ghetto in Lodz, Poland on October 25, 1941. Her sister Frieda Posner was murdered at the Bernburg killing institution on April 12, 1942. Her half-sister Franziska Starken, née Wolf, imprisoned at the women’s concentration Ravensbrück, was deported on to Auschwitz, where she was initially assigned to the labor camp. She perished there on October 14, 1942.
Selma Delfs, née Wolf, lost her home in Markusstrasse in the bombings of June 1943. She fled to Bromberg (now Bydgoszcz in Poland) with her children and illegally returned to Hamburg six months later. Her former neighbor Anni Pollhans concealed her in an attic at Hofweg 77 in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst. In order to get ration cards, Selma Delfs decided to re-register in Hamburg, whereupon she was ordered to report to the Gestapo for "labor deployment”. She managed to get a deferment to arrange for the accommodation of her children and took the opportunity to go underground. Selma Delfs and her children survived in a ruined building in ABC-Strasse until British troops occupied Hamburg on May 3, 1945.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: 1; 4; StaH 741-4 Sa 1248; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2008 u 4647/1881; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2077 u 1908/1884; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 294 u 596/1891; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 14228 u 271/1904; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3173 u 645/1911; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 767 u 316/1917; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 7042 u 339/1924; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 5360 u 970/1925; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 13684 u 433/1931; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 994 u 179/1932; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 13846 u 838/1932; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1024 u 205/1934; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1105 u 315/1939; StaH 351-11 AfW 31198 (Delfs, Selma); StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1707 (Posner, Ernst); StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1004 (Brüggemeyer, Mathilde); StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht 4996/40; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht 8329/41; StaH 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht 2295/42; Schindler-Saefkow: Gedenkbuch, S. 490; Randt: Carolinenstraße, S. 184f.; Auskunft aus der Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück von Monika Schnell, E-Mail vom 11.6.2014; Opfer des NS-Regimes – Angenrods letzte Israeliten, Mitteilungen des Oberhessischen Geschichtsvereins Gießen, http://www.ohg-giessen.de/mohg/95_2010/13-stahl-opfer-out.pdf (Zugriff 16.2.2014); http://ancestry.hassia-judaica.de (Zugriff 16.2.2014); http://stevemorse.org/dachau/dachau.html (Zugriff 10.12.2014).
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