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Paula Frank * 1872
St. Benedictstraße 29 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
GEDEMÜTIGT / ENTRECHTET
FLUCHT IN DEN TOD
Paula Frank, née Meyer, born on 22 Dec. 1872, humiliated/deprived of her rights, flight to death on 11 Nov. 1941
St. Benedictstrasse 29 (Harvestehude)
Paula Meyer was born in Cologne on 22 Dec. 1872 as the second of three children of the Jewish couple Moritz Meyer and Julie, née Kaufmann. We know nothing about her childhood or any training. She married Simon Samuel Frank on 5 Aug. 1892 in Cologne.
Samuel Frank, born on 4 Mar. 1863, the first of three children of the lumber merchant Samuel Elias Semmy Frank and his wife Caroline, née Karpeles, was from Hamburg (Semmy Frank died on 27 Mar. 1899, Caroline Frank on 14 Aug. 1910; both were buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel). We know nothing about Samuel Frank’s childhood, where he had studied, or when he received his doctorate. He had acquired citizenship in Hamburg on 11 Mar. 1884. From 1889 to 1892, Samuel Frank operated a law firm at Hohe Bleichen 18 in Hamburg-Neustadt, which he then relocated to Hohe Bleichen 15.
At the time of his wedding, Samuel Frank left his parents’ home at Grindelberg 44 and rented his own apartment at Schlump 86 in the Rotherbaum quarter on 29 July 1892. The wedding took place in Cologne. On 4 Dec. 1893, the Frank couple had a son, Edgar. In 1898, they moved to Klosterallee 22, where their daughter Anna was born on 18 Feb. 1899. The family members belonged to the Jewish Community, but Edgar and Anna were raised Protestant by their parents.
On 4 July 1901, Samuel Frank bought a house built in 1887 featuring an 885-square-meter (some 9,500 sq. ft.) plot of land at Hansastrasse 55 in Harvestehude; it cost the handsome sum of 140,000 marks. It was not intended as a residence, but as old-age security. For this reason, he acquired another house at Kieler Strasse 27–31 (today Clemens-Schultz-Strasse 27–31) in the St. Pauli quarter for 76,000 marks.
Samuel Frank secured the entire family financially through the two houses with a clever legal construct: He had his siblings Simon Samuel, Max Semmy Frank, Rosa Stein, née Frank, and their spouses and children, as well as his wife’s parents, Moritz and Julie Meyer in Cologne, registered as landowners. Community of property was agreed between these parties. Each owner, if he or she was in financial need, could take out a mortgage on these houses. Moreover, as one can gather from the land register file, all persons who took advantage of this option also paid off their mortgages (Only later, when Edgar Frank’s parents-in-law ran into financial distress and had taken out a mortgage on the house at Hansastrasse 55, being unable to pay it back, Paula Frank forgave them this debt in 1926).
From 1903 to 1905, Samuel Frank worked as a lawyer in his office at Dammtorstrasse 38 in Hamburg-Neustadt. From 1906 to 1916, he acted as lottery director at Neuer Wall 30 (In 1842, after the severe Hamburg fire that claimed 50 lives and cost 20,000 people their homes, a lottery was held by the city of Hamburg – as it had been in earlier years – to alleviate hardship in the city).
On 2 Apr. 1916, Samuel Frank died at the age of 54. He was buried in the Ilandkoppel Jewish Cemetery on 5 Apr. 1916.
In 1917, Paula Frank moved with Edgar and Anna, who were young adults by then, to Schlüterstrasse 14 in the Rotherbaum quarter. She resided there until 1927.
In 1928, Edgar Frank, by that time a property manager by profession, bought a house for his mother featuring six apartments (two each on the ground, second, and third floors) at Heimhuder Strasse 37. In 1929, Paula Frank’s daughter Anna, who had divorced her husband Siegmund Fürth, moved in there with her daughter Marianne. Edgar Frank’s mother-in-law, Rosalie Saul, née Baneth (born on 8 July 1863), also got one of the apartments.
On 30 July 1938, the foreign currency office imposed a "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung”) on Paula Frank’s account with Hamburger Sparkasse, i.e., she was only allowed to dispose of an approved amount of money. The office granted her 1,000 RM (reichsmark) toward her own living expenses and those of her daughter and granddaughter.
Paula Frank, Anna Fürth, and Marianne Fürth moved to St. Benedictstrasse 29 in Eppendorf on 13 Oct. 1938, because Edgar Frank had to sell the house at Heimhuder Strasse 37 to a non-Jewish buyer who subsequently set up a guesthouse there.
By then, Paula Frank, Anna, and Marianne Fürth lived off their reserve funds and the rental income from the apartments at Hansastrasse 55 and Kieler Strasse 27–31 (today Clemens-Schultz-Strasse). They rented out a room to Paul and Lucie Salomon, who moved in on 31 Dec. 1938. (Their house at St. Benedictstrasse 27 had also been sold to non-Jewish buyers. The Salomon couple committed suicide on 22 Sept. 1941. See www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de).
Paula Frank’s properties were also to be sold. In 1936, the so-called assessed value of land/real estate had been regulated uniformly throughout the Reich. The assessed value (which was used to calculate the property tax and was often far below the market-dependent sales value) for the house at Hansastrasse 55 had been set at 74,000 RM on 17 Sept. 1936. In 1938, it was stipulated that a permit from the Chief Finance Administration (Oberfinanzdirektion) was mandatory when selling a house.
Paula Frank received such a permit for the sale of the houses on Hansastrasse and Kieler Strasse. The house on Hansastrasse was sold on 14 Feb. 1939 for 76,000 RM (which was only slightly above the assessed value and far below the sale value) to the non-Jewish Ludwig Artmann from Jesteburg. The house in what was then Kieler Strasse in the St. Pauli quarter changed hands on 25 Nov. 1939 for 135,500 RM to the non-Jewish buyers Walter and John Werth. Paula Frank had to pay the proceeds of the sale into an escrow account, whose funds she was also unable to dispose of freely.
During this difficult time for Paula Frank, her daughter Anna Fürth was in hospital from Mar. to Aug. 1938 and then in a sanatorium in Berlin until the end of the year. Paula Frank bore the costs for these stays. Her son Edgar, who had emigrated to the USA with his family in 1938, had given her a loan worth 9,000 RM for this purpose.
On 4 Sept. 1939, the Chief Finance Administration demanded that Paula Frank disclose her income. Her submitted statement of living expenses was closely examined. She had applied for permission to use 790 RM per month for living expenses from her assets for the three-person household; she was granted the sum of 475 RM as of 20 Oct. 1939.
For the sale of the house at Kieler Strasse 27–31, the tax office also levied a compensatory levy of 15,000 RM. It added the compensatory levy to the sale price and, by decision dated 27 Dec. 1939, assessed an increment value tax of 10,064.45 RM to be borne by Paula Frank.
Paula Frank’s nephew Leonhard Stein (born on 8 July 1894), formerly a public prosecutor in Hamburg and dismissed on 19 Apr. 1933 because of his Jewish descent, took over the complicated correspondence with the tax office and the Warburg Bank. On 5 Jan. 1940, he appealed the decision on behalf of the Frank family, arguing that the compensatory levy ought to be omitted from the calculation of the increment value tax. In addition, the costs of sale had not been taken into account to the full extent. The tax office then took 65.40 RM in notary costs into account, but postponed the actual decision until a similar case had been clarified by the Reich Fiscal Court (Reichsfinanzhof). This court ruled against the seller. The Frank family therefore withdrew the objection on 2 Dec. 1940. Subsequent appeals by the family concerning the increment value tax were also rejected.
In the meantime, the deportations had begun in Hamburg: Rosa Stein and her son Leonhard Stein were deported to the Lodz Ghetto on 25 Oct. 1941 (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de). Paula Frank therefore hired the Jewish lawyer Ernst Kaufmann (see www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de) as her new legal representative, who by then had to call himself a "legal adviser” ("Konsulent”). His efforts were also unsuccessful; all costs of the petitions were borne by Paula Frank.
In the meantime, Paula Frank’s granddaughter had died of meningitis at Eppendorf University Hospital on 29 Dec. 1940. She was buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel.
On 11 Nov. 1941, Paula Frank and Anna Fürth chose suicide, taking their own lives with barbiturates in their apartment at St. Benedictstrasse 29. They were buried three days later in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel.
Details on the fate of the child of Paula and Samuel Frank:
Edgar Frank (born on 4 Mar. 1893) and Ruth, née Saul (born on 12 May 1902), had the children Lotte Frank (born on 15 Mar. 1923), Werner Frank (born on 9 Sept. 1926), and Gerda Frank (born on 29 June 1931). The family fled to the USA in 1938. Edgar Frank died there on 19 Sept. 1961.
Details on the fate of the siblings of Paula Frank, née Meyer:
Philipp Ernst Meyer (born on 26 Aug. 1871) managed to escape to Brazil at a time unknown to us.
Helene Meyer (born on 3 Jan. 1880) married Benno Rülf in Cologne. The couple fled to the Netherlands in 1939; they were deported from the Westerbork camp to Auschwitz and murdered there.
Details on the fate of the siblings of Simon Samuel Frank:
Max Semmy Frank (born on 10 Nov. 1868) married Emma Tentler (born on 18 May 1873) on 27 June 1913. They had the children Clara Louise Frank (born on 15 Aug. 1896) and Edith Frank (born on 19 Aug. 1899). The children were able to flee. Emma Frank died on 8 May 1905 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel. Max Semmy Frank entered into a second marital union with his late wife’s sister Jenny Philippine Tentler (born on 24 May 1874). She died on 13 Jan. 1931; Max Semmy Frank followed on 31 Aug. 1932. Both were buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel.
Rosa Stein, née Frank (born on 2 Dec. 1872.) and Karl Stein (born on 18 June 1858) had children Leonhard Stein (born on 8 July 1894) and Margarete Stein (born on 7 May 1897). Karl Stein died on 17 Feb. 1898 and he was buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Ilandkoppel. Margarete Stein fled to Palestine in 1934. Rosa Stein and her son Leonhard Stein were deported – see above – to the Lodz Ghetto on 25 Oct. 1941.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: August 2021
© Bärbel Klein
Quellen: StaH 1; 2; 4; 5; 8; 9; 213-13_2481; 213-13_2591; 213-13_2592; 213-13_2593; 213-13_2594; 213-13_2595; 213-13_2596; 213-13_2597; 213-13_6940; 213-13_13834; 213-13_24818; 221-4_15; 351-11_11463; 351-11_36009; 351-11_46527; 351-11_11463; 351-11_47974; 331-5_3 Akte_250/1941; 331-5_3 Akte_222/1941; 332-5_2007/1893; 332-5_316/1895; 332-5_656/1899; 332-5_390/1899; 332-5_380/1910; 332-5_176/1913; 332-5_249/1916; 332-5_401/1927; 332-5_532/1932; 332-5_2289/1940; 332-5_515/1941; 332-5_499/1941; 621-1/84-4, Nr. 432/1932 Sterbeurkunde Frankfurt am Main / Fürth Nr. 58/1808 Heirat Katzenstein/Fürth; Amtsgericht Grundbuch Harvestehude Hansastraße 55/Bl. 2217; 331-5_Journal 1941 zu Salomon; Beate Meyer (Hrsg.), Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der Hamburger Juden. Geschichte. Zeugnis. Erinnerung, Hamburg/Göttingen 2006, S. S. 56f.; www.geni.com; www.wikipedea.de; www.geni.com; www.ancestry.de; https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henriette_F%C3%BCrth (Einsicht am 18.9.2020).
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