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Max Aschkenazy * 1904
Sternstraße 29 (Altona, Sternschanze)
Mirjam (Maria, Mariam, Miriam, Marie) Aschkenazy, née Aschkenazy, born 15 May 1875 in Buczacz, murdered 4 Feb. 1944 in Buczacz or in the Belzec extermination camp
Max (Maks) Nathan (Natan) Aschkenazy, born 25 Dec. 1904 in Troppau (modern-day Opava in the Czech Republic), expelled to Zbaszyn 28 Oct. 1938, murdered 25 Oct. 1943 in Buczacz
Regina (Ruwa) Aschkenazy, née Goldblatt (Goltblat), born 25 Dec 1909 (26 Dec 1907) in Lancut, murdered 4 Feb. 1944 in Buczacz or in the Belzec extermaination camp
Rita Aschkenazy, born 17 June 1937 in Hamburg, murdered 4 Feb. 1944 in Buczacz or in the Belzec extermination camp
Mirjam Aschkenazy married David (Elio Davis) Aschkenazy, who was also from Buczacz, around 1900. Both were Polish citizens. Their first son Hermann (later: Chaim) was born in 1902 in Buczacz. Their second son Max Nathan was born two years later in Troppau, which today is called Opava and is in the Czech Republic near the border to Poland. The family moved to Hamburg, where Hermann attended the Talmud Torah School between 1911 and 1918. Max was a pupil there from 1912 until 1920. Both brothers were in the same class between 1914 and 1917. In 1914 the family lived at Wohldorferstraße 36 in Barmbek, where they ran a greengrocer’s shop in the same building – it sold "eggs and vegetables.” The Aschkenazys became members of the Jewish Community in 1918. Church tax records indicate that Hermann left Germany in 1925, but according to his own statement he emigrated to Palestine in 1929.
After her husband’s death in 1932, Mirjam continued to run the grocery together with her son Max. Max had done his professional training as an "egg candler” or "egg tester.” Egg candlers used a special gadget, with a candle as a light source, to test the freshness and stage of development of an egg. An entry in the church tax records indicates that the Aschkenazy’s shop was closed as of 1 January 1934. At that time Mirjam and Max lived at Heinskamp 37.
Regina Goldblatt was the eldest daughter of Max Goldblatt (*13 Mar. 1892 in Lancut), a sales clerk, and his wife Lina (*15 Feb. 1893 in Lancut). Regina was a citizen of Poland, her father was Austrian. In 1909, when Regina was born, Lancut was a small town with a population of about 5000. It is near Rzeszów in southeastern Poland. Regina’s father fought in the First World War. In 1919 the Goldblatts moved to Altona and lived at Parallelstraße 53 until at least 1925. They were members of the Altona High German Israelitic Community. Regina’s brother Markus (later: Max) was born on 26 February 1912. Her sister Rosa was born on 8 October 1919, and the youngest brother Saly on 8 March 1921. Both of the younger children were born in Altona.
Regina Goldblatt and Max Aschkenazy became acquainted and married. Their first child, Devy Elias, was born on 5 July 1934. On 1 April 1936, Regina, Devy and Max, together with Max’s mother Mirjam, moved to Sternstraße 29. Mirjam visited her son Hermann in Palestine, where she remained for about a year then returned to Hamburg. Regina and Max Aschkenazy’s daughter Rita was born in the summer of 1937. In 1938 Regina’s brother Markus emigrated to Cuba, and then to the US, which granted him a visa in December 1940.
Like many other Polish Jews, Max Aschkenazy was expelled from the Reich to Zbaszyn, a town on the German-Polish border (also called Bentschen) on 28 October 1938. The Polish government first refused them entry. An essay on the webpage for the "Memorial Book for the Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933-1945” describes the situation as follows: "The German police were forcing people on country roads or along railway tracks; subsequently, the first trains reached the border crossing. Contemporary witnesses reported about chaotic situations. Several thousand were wandering around this no man's land, they were crowding the railway property and they were occupying station buildings or squares in the vicinity as well as meadows surrounding the border town of Bentschen.”
An index card archived by the International Tracing Service lists an address in Zbaszyn for Max Aschkenazy: Pl. Wolnosci 12 (Freedom Square). A list form the Zbaszyn refugee camp states that he neither wrote nor spoke Polish. His brother-in-law (Regina’s brother) Saly Goldblatt also lived at Pl. Wolnosci 12 from 28 October 1938 to June 1939. Saly and his father Max returned to Hamburg in July 1939. They were both sent to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp on 9 September 1939. Saly was released in mid-January 1940 and later emigrated to the US. Max had to remain at Fuhlsbüttel and was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in February 1940, where he died on 17 May.
Regina remained in Hamburg, and she and her two children moved to General-Litzmannstraße 108, where they shared an apartment with her mother and her sister Rosa. General-Litzmannstraße was later renamed Stresemannstraße; the house number 108 is now 93. Regina applied for permission to emigrate to Poland on 25 April 1939, and the Hamburg-Wandsbek tax office granted her a certificate of clearance. She, Devy and Rita left Germany in May 1939. Her mother Lina and her sister Rosa moved to Adolfstraße (today Bernstorffstraße), their last address in Hamburg. On 6 December 1941 they were deported to the Jungfernhof concentration camp, near the Riga ghetto. They did not survive.
The Aschkenazy family – Mirjam, Max, Regina, Devy and Rita – reunited in Buczacz in 1939. Buczacz was a town in Galicia that had belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of the First World War, then to Poland until 1939. In September 1939 it was incorporated into the Ternopol Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR. German troops invaded Buczacz in July 1941, and murdered up to 7000 of its Jewish residents while it was under Nazi occupation. The Red Army liberated the town for the first time in March 1944, and again in July 1944 after the Nazis had recaptured it. At the time of the final liberation, only about 100 Jews were still alive.
A distant relative of Hermann Aschkenazy, Dora Popol, made the following statement on 5 January 1961:
"I lived in Buczacz, Poland from 1939 onwards. When I arrived in Buczacz, Chaim Aschkenazy’s mother [Mirjam], his brother Nathan [Max] and his wife [Regina] and two children [Devy and Rita] lived there with Miriam Aschkenazy’s brother Mosche Aschkenazy. So when the Germans came to Buczacz in 1941, his mother and his brother with his wife and children were in Buczacz. Miriam Aschkenazy and Nathan Aschkenazy had to start wearing the yellow star in July 1941. The first operation in Buczacz was in November 1941, and Chaim Aschkenazy’s mother Miriam Aschkenazy and his brother Nathan with his wife Regina (née Goldblatt) and children Devy and Rita Aschkenazy and I were taken away. I was holding Devy Aschkenay’s hand, and shortly before we were loaded into the train I was able to flee with him. Miriam Aschkenazy, Regina Aschkenazy, Nathan Aschkenazy and little Rita Aschkenazy were loaded onto the train, and no one who was on this train survived. I heard that they were taken to Belz [Belzec] to the extermination camp. I took Devy back to Buczacz and kept him with me. We were in the Buczacz ghetto for about 2 more years, and later we hid in the woods. After the liberation we went back to Buczacz, which was then Russian.”
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
© Christiane Jungblut
Quellen: 1; 2; 4, 5; 8; AB 1939; StaH 314-15 OFP, FVg 4568; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 080321 Goldblatt, Sidney; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 150890 Goldblatt, Benjamin; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 260212 Goldblatt, Max; StaH 351-11 AfW, Abl. 2008/1, 290574 Aschkenazy, Mirjam; StaH 522-1, 161; StaH 362-6/10 Talmud-Tora-Schule, TT 19; USHMM, 3.9.2008, Karteikarte über den Verbleib von Maks Aschkenazi in Zbaszyn; USHMM, 22.1.2009, Liste des Lagers Zbaszyn; Gedenkbuch Bundesarchiv, Abschiebung, http://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/zwangsausweisung.html?page=2 (10.11.2008).
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(2) Bundesarchiv Berlin, R 1509 Reichssippenamt, Ergänzungskarten der Volkszählung vom 17. Mai 1939