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Henry Fürst * 1856
Richardstraße 4 (Hamburg-Nord, Uhlenhorst)
Henry Fürst, geb. 20.5.1856 in Lübeck, am 15.7.1942 nach Theresienstadt deportiert, dort am 25.9.1942 umgekommen
Henry Fürst was from Lübeck. His ancestors had lived in Moisling near Lübeck. His great- grandfather, Jacob Gumpel Fürst was born there in 1793 and lived until 1893. He married Anna Boldt, a Christian who changed her faith and took the Jewish name Sara.
In contrast to the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, Jews had been allowed to settle in Moisling since the 17th century. We don’t know when and where from the Gumpel family came to Moisling. Jacob Gumpel was a butcher. He belonged to a minority that strived for reforms in the very conservative Jewish community.
Sara and Jacob had six children, four grew to be adults.
In 1848, when the Jews finally became citizens with equal rights in Lübeck itself, they had to adopt a "firm and unmistakable” family name. Jacob decided to take the name "Fürst”.
The second eldest son Jacob now was officially called Jacob Meier Gumpel Fürst. He was 29 when in 1850 he married Hannah, "Hanchen”, Bonn from Hamburg. She was ten years younger than her husband. They had six children. Julius the second eldest died in an accident, when he was eight years old. The five surviving siblings, Mathilde (b.1851), Henry (b.1856), Isidor (b.1859.) Clara (b. 1860) and Recha (b.1863) during the course of their lives found their way to Hamburg.
In 1871, while all but Mathilde were still children their father died of the plague.
The next year Mathilde married her uncle Nehemias Bonn, her mother’s brother, in Lübeck and moved to Hamburg with him.
Her two brothers and two sisters, being 15, twelve, eleven and eight years old, were still attending school. It is not known to us which schools they went to.
In April 1875, not even 19 years old, Henry moved to Hamburg. When he registered, he named commis ( sales clerk) as profession, which meant that he aimed for a career in business. We can assume that he was employed in his brother- in- law’s business. He didn’t live with Nehemias and his sister though, but was subtenant at five different addresses. In 1881 he moved into an apartment of his own in Gurlittstraße.
Two years after Henry, his brother Isidor, also 18, came to Hamburg.. He became an assistant to a dental technician, what we today perhaps would call an apprenticeship. He only stayed for two years, and in January 1879 returned to Lübeck for a short time.
On July 30th 1887, Henry Fürst was granted the full citizenship of Hamburg. "Businessman” was his given profession then. He then held a position at his brother- in- law’s firm. "Emil Bonn, Storage and Fabrication of Woollen and Silk Yarn”. Nehemias had changed his first name. In 1898 Henry became personal liable partner of the firm and in the 1899 address book it reads:” Fürst, Henry, N. Bonn successor, Steam Dye-Works and Woollen Yarn Factory” .Thus Henry was the owner of the firm.
Nehemias died in July 1902 in Travemünde; his wife Mathilde survived him by 33 years. Until the firm went out of business in 1922 Henry remained its owner and member of the chamber of commerce.
Henry and his siblings were not the only members of the large Gumpel Fürst family to live in Hamburg. In 1879, his father’s younger brother Samuel, father of six adult children, had moved to the city. Two of his daughters were married here or in Altona. Whereas the next younger brother of his father, Anton, stayed in Lübeck, he was married to Sophie Bonn, sister of Hanchen und Nehemias. Together with his mother, and later on his own, he ran his father’s business there.
1891/92 was a fateful time for the family. In November 1891, Henry’s sister Clara married the Hamburg businessman Nathan Nachum. Three months later his mother who had followed her children here, died. She had survived her husband by 21 years. Then, in September 1892, the family had to bury their uncle Samuel. Another month later the youngest sister Rachel married the butcher, later horse dealer, Moritz Oppenheim from Elmshorn. After their wedding in Hamburg Recha moved there with her husband.
At both his sisters’ weddings Henry was one of the witnesses. It was also he who announced his uncle Samuel’s death at the register office.
It seems as if Henry was in charge of family affairs. Their mother’s death on February 28th1892 though, was announced by his brother Isidor. In 1886 Isidor had returned from the United States, where he had graduated from Harvard University with an MD of Dental Medicine. The next year he established a dental practice in Hamburg in Colonnaden. In 1897 he married Hedwig Zobel from Dresden, the only one of the large family that didn’t stem from Hamburg or Lübeck. Henry might also have been the witness to that wedding in Dresden. He himself took his time. On November 19, 1903 he married Gertrud Falck. She was 24 years younger than he and came from an old established Lübeck family.
Their wedding was witnessed by Abraham Samuel Falck, Gertrud’s father, and Isidor Fürst, Henry’s brother. When they got married they lived "An der Verbindungsbahn”. Later they moved several times within Hamburg.
On December 17th, 1904 their son Manfred, also called Noél, was born and a year later his sister, Helga.
We know very little about Henry’s and Gertrud’s life in Hamburg.
After the firm "Nehemias Bonn” 1922 dissolved, Henry obviously was employed by various firms. His entry in the telephone register was changed to "businessman”. For some time he was employed as "travelling salesman” by the firm J.G.Wright, "Wholesale of Drinks” The family seems to have slowly drifted into poverty. After 1933 they even had to live with the support of the Jewish Welfare.
From 1930 to 1939 they lived in Richardstraße.
The children meanwhile had left home. Helga had emigrated to England. In 1934 in Noél married Gertud Lackmann, a Christian, member of the Lutheran Church. In 1939 probably because the law for the protection of tenants was repealed for Jewish tenants Henry and his wife moved into an apartment in Ottostraße 50, not far from where they had lived before.
Noel and his wife had to move in there as well, even though they should have been protected by their "mixed marriage”.
In January 1940 Henry and Gertrud had to move again, this time into a "Jews Dwelling” ( Judenwohnung) in Bundestraße 43.
From there on July 15, 1942 they were deported to Theresienstadt, at the same time as Henry’s brother Isidor and his wife Hedwig, as well as their sister Mathilde’s daughter, Regina Friedrichs.
His sisters Clara Nachum and Recha Oppenheim met their fate four days later, they got to Theresienstadt in the Transport of July 19th, 1942. On September 21st 1942 Clara was deported on to Treblinka and murdered there. Her sons Alfred and Emil with his wife and two Children had already been killed in Minsk the year before.
Recha was sent to death in Treblinka on September 26th 1942, the same day, Henry died in Theresienstadt. Also his brother Isidor and his wife Hedwig perished in Theresienstadt, their son Rudolf had already been murdered in Minsk in 1941.
Regina Friedrichs was deported on to Auschwitz and murdered in 1944.
Henry’s son Noél was for the time being still protected by his "mixed marriage” status. So, in 1936 he could take his exam as a violin teacher, but then subject to the ban of profession by the measures of the NS Chamber of Music (Reichsmusikkammer) he was only allowed to teach Jewish students. Mainly, he had a position at the Jewish school in Carolinenstraße until it finally had to close in May 1942 and then in the last month in the Jewish orphanage, the last two places of the once important Jewish school system in Hamburg. He was one of the last teachers there. After the school was finally closed in June 1942 he had to do forced labour, among other things clearing rubble after the air strikes.
On February 14, 1945 the last transport from Hamburg took him to Theresienstadt. At his arrival there, he found his mother to be nothing but skin and bones and completely desperate. Both were freed on May 8, 1945 and returned to Hamburg on June 13, 1945.
In the restitution procedur (Wiedergutmachungsverfahren), Gertrud was granted 5,400 German Reichsmarks as "compensation for imprisonment". She could not benefit from it. She died on March 14, 1949, before the proceedings were closed.
Translator: Christa Fladhammer
© Christa Fladhammer
Quellen Hamburg: 1; 3; agora.sub.uni.hamburg./subhh-adress Hamburger Adressbücher Jg. 1872 bis 1909: StAH 231-3 Bd. 2 1836 bis 1904 (Handelsregister):StAH 231-7 A12 Bd.37 33621 (Handelsregister, Nehemias Bonn);StAH 231-7 A1 Bd.42 /10322 (Handelsregister, Henry Fürst); StAH 332-5/ 7874 1580/1892; (Tod Jacob Gumpel); StAH 332-5/ 2774 1057/1891; (Heirat Clara) StAH 332-5 8556 396/1892; (Heirat Recha); StAH 332-5 1896 (Heirat Isidor); StAH 332-5 8625 1903 (Heirat Henry); StAH 332-7 A I/ 13893 (1887); (Staatsangehörigkeit Henry); StAH 332-8 Meldewesen (Meldekartei für fremde Männer/Frauen); StAH 351-11 (AfW Henry Fürst; Manfred Fürst).
Quellen Lübeck: Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck (AHL); Adressbücher 1850 bis 1887; 03.05-3 Stadt- und Landamt Nr.2781(Alphabetisches Verzeichnis der Bewohner Moislings und ihrer Familienglieder, 1847); 1.1.-1 (3) ASA Interna 17304 (Namensänderungen); 1.1.-1 (3) ASA Interna 17334 (Gesuch auf Ablösung des Rabbiners); Israelitische Gemeinde Nr. 4 864/1 Genealogisches Register; ASA 2602 HR 505 Firma M. J. Gumpelfürst.
Guttkuhn, Peter, Die Geschichte der Juden in Moisling und Lübeck, Lübeck 2007; Schreiber, Albrecht, Zwischen Davidstern und Doppeladler, Lübeck 1992; Winter, David Alexander, Geschichte der jüdischen Gemeinde in Moisling/Lübeck, Lübeck 1968; Thevs, Hildegard, Biografie Regina Friedrichs, www.stolpersteine-hamburg.de.