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Ernst Baruch Levy * 1914
Klosterallee 47 Oberstraße (Hamburg-Nord, Hoheluft-Ost)
Ernst Baruch Levy, born 07/03/1914 in Hamburg, transported to Auschwitz from the Herzogenbusch concentration camp in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Holland (Kamp Vught) to Auschwitz, murdered there on 03/31/1944.
Ernst Baruch Levy was the son of Siegfried Levy, born on June 11th, 1879 in Hamburg, and his wife Martha, née Ingelsheimer, born on February 26th, 1892 in Frankfurt. The couple had two further children: Herbert Gerson Levy (born 02/12/1918) and Lina Ruth Levy (born 12/28/1920). With the exception of Baruch, the family survived the Holocaust, Herbert Gerson in Teheran, the others in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Ernst Baruch Levy was enrolled at the Talmud Tora Realschule in Hamburg at Easter of 1921. In March 1931, aged 16 ½, he passed his finishing exam there. At the beginning of the following term, he entered the upper level, now called Oberrealschule, with the Abitur as goal. This should have been achieved at Easter of 1934. In April, 1933, however, he was arrested right out of school and remained in jail for two months. The reasons for his arrest are unclear.
Levy’s further biography, however, suggests that his ties to an organization of the political left that had been outlawed in February, 1933 may have been the reason for the charges against him. In any way, Levy considered his situation as serious enough to quit school a year before the Abitur and leave Germany. In June 1933, immediately following his release, he left the country for Sweden, later going on to Finland, a safe haven. Then, however, he made the fatal decision to emigrate to the Netherlands and settle in Amsterdam. It is unknown when Ernst Baruch Levy arrived there; it was probably in the mid-1930s, definitely a couple of years before the beginning of World War II. That he wandered from country to country like a seeker or fugitive may be explained by the fact that, still a minor and without completed education, he had to find a place to pull through. In Holland, he succeeded, gaining ground and making his living as an independent merchant. And he stayed there when the German army occupied the country.
Like all Jews living in Holland, he had to wear the yellow star from May 2nd, 1942. In July of that year, now 28, he married the 20-year old Jewish Dutch girl Bella Przyrowsky, a person full of courage like himself.
The two them, already jeopardized as Jews, engaged in extremely risky political matters, maintaining contacts to the western section of the illegal German Communist Party (KPD) thar tried to organize a resistance movement from the Netherlands. In a sweeping raid by the German Sicherheitspolizei and Sicherheitsdienst (SD) on April 4th, 1943, the group was largely rounded up. 21 persons were arrested, among them their leader Erich Gentsch as well as Baruch and Bella Levy.
The Levys were first brought to the Amsterdam SD bureau in Euterpestraat for questioning. Baruch Levy was charged with having "given shelter to German emigrants during their illegality or otherwise supported them in connection with their illegal activities.” Bella was considered an accessory. They were taken to the German remand center and penitentiary in Scheveningen (bitter nickname: "Oranjehotel”) – a sure sign that Police and SD did not intend to let them get away. Five months later, they were taken to the Herzogenbusch concentration camp (Kamp Vught).
Bella miraculously managed to escape from the camp, go into hiding and survive the war and persecution.
Baruch had no chance. He was deported to Auschwitz on November 15th, 1943, and died there on March 31st, 1944 at the age of 29.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: March 2017
© Johannes Grossmann
Quellen: 4; 5; 8; StaH 314-15 AfW Abl. 2008/1, 030714 Levy, Ernst Baruch; www. Joods-monument.nl/ person/532392 (eingesehen am 9.5.2010); NIOD Institute for War- Holocaust- and Genocidestudies (Amsterdam): Vught cartotheek; NIOD: Archief 250b_inv.122; NIOD: Schlussbericht_archief 273_inv.41; NIOD: Archief 20_register; E-Mail von Karen Tessel (NIOD) vom 7.1.2011; Peukert, KPD, 1980, S. 374–381.
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