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Margot Finkels (née Laser) * 1910
Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße 66 (Hamburg-Mitte, St. Pauli)
Kurt Tobias Finkels, born 1 July 1909 in Altona, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Margot Ruth Finkels, née Laser, born 19 Dec. 1910 in Wilhelmsburg, deported 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße 66 (Eckernförderstraße 66)
Salomon Finkels was born in 1875 in Hamburg, his wife Helene in 1879 in Lübeck. They had two children, Kurt Tobias and Ruth Amalie. They ran a fabric store, the Kaufhaus Finkels, at Schulterblatt 67 in Altona. The family lived at Weidenalle 4 from at least 1916 onwards – in that year Kurt was enrolled in "Class 3” at the Talmud Tora School. In 1918 he was enrolled in "Class 1a”. After his schooling, Kurt became a shipping clerk. He was registered in the Jewish Community tax records in 1931. At times he received financial support from his parents, which meant that he was not eligible for an income tax reduction. His sister Ruth lived with her parents until she emigrated to Amsterdam in 1937. She fled to England in 1940, where she was detained as an "enemy alien” until 1941.
Beginning in 1931, Salomon’s income was so low that he didn’t have to pay taxes. From 1935 onwards he only worked half-days. The parents remained on Weidenallee until at least June 1938. Later they moved to the Samuel Levy Trust at Bundesstraße 35, which was later declared a "Jews’ house.”
Kurt Finkels wife Margot Laser was the daughter of Hermann Laser and his wife Regine, née Zielinski. Margot’s mother died in 1922. Two years later her father remarried. His second wife was Frieda Simon (*1887). Margot became an office clerk and worked for Victor Franck at Große Bleichen 31. Her first tax records in Hamburg are from August 1935. She lived first at Bogenstraße 24, but then rented rooms in the Finkel residence at Rentzelstraße 19. In 1937 she moved again to rooms in the Sekkel residence at Rappstraße 2.
Margot and Kurt married in June 1938 and moved into an apartment at Rutschbahn 27. In November 1938, Margot’s brother Ernst emigrated from Cologne to Buenos Aires, and thus survived the Holocaust. Her stepmother also emigrated to Argentina.
Kurt lost his job as an office worker in early 1939. In March of that year the couple moved to Heinrich-Barth-Straße 8. His records with the Jewish Community list his job as an excavator beginning at the end of that month. Jewish recipients of welfare subsidies were often conscripted to this type of forced labor. "Excavator” was also the job listed for Kurt Finkel’s father Salomon two years later on his notice of deportation to Minsk. Kurt was listed as a shipping clerk. The census of 1939 lists the address of Kurt and Margot as Heinrich-Barth-Straße 1.
They remained there until mid-July 1940, then moved to rooms with the Bandmann family in a five-room apartment at Eckernförderstraße 66 – today Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße. The house registry lists Kurt as a manual laborer and Margot as his wife. A former neighbor said, however, that Margot had a job: "In my opinion, the Finkels’ living situation wasn’t particularly good. But they both worked, and, as I saw it, were industrious and thrifty. The woman was always dressed neatly, if simply. The man rode his bike to work in the morning.”
The Bandmanns were deported to Lodz in October 1941, and two weeks later Kurt and Margot Finkels were sent on the first deportation transport to the Minsk Ghetto. Kurt’s parents were on the same transport. The deporation list states that "they volunteered for evacuation.” Salomon Finkels was officially too old for this transport. At that time Minsk was in the Reichskommissariat Ostland, for which the guidelines for "evacuated Jews” decreed that persons over the age of 65 were to be excepted.
The building at Eckernförderstraße 66 was completely destroyed during the war. Shortly before its destruction the neighbor recalled that "some [Nazi] party members” had moved into the apartment.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Christiane Jungblut
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; AB 1936, Teil 1; 1938, Teil 1; 1939, Teil 1; StaH 214-1 Gerichtsvollzieherwesen, 245; StaH 314-15 OFP, Abl. 1998/1, J2/221-222; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen A51/1, K 2515; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 180810 Finkels, Ruth; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 191210 Finkels, Margot; StaH 522-1 Jüd. Gemeinden, 992 e 1 Band 2; Gottwaldt/Schulle, "Judendeportationen", 2005, S. 84, 87.
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(2) Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 1509 Reichssippenamt, Ergänzungskarten der Volkszählung vom 17. Mai 1939