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Fritz Michael Allen * 1907
Wohlers Allee 28 (Altona, Altona-Altstadt)
1937 Flucht Holland
1942 deportiert nach Auschwitz
Evelyn Allen, born on 11 Jan. 1938 in exile in Amsterdam, deported on 15 July 1942 to Auschwitz, murdered
Fritz Michael Allen, born on 11 Aug. 1907, in 1937 flight to the Netherlands, deported on 15 July 1942 to Auschwitz, murdered in Dec. 1942
Julia Allen, née Silberberg, born on 21 Sept. 1907, in 1937 flight to the Netherlands, deported on 15 July 1942 to Auschwitz, in 1944 deported to Ravensbrück, perished
Ruth Allen, born on 13 Nov. 1934, in 1937 flight to the Netherlands, deported on 15 July 1942 to Auschwitz, murdered
Wohlers Allee 28 (Wohlersallee)
Even though the Allen family from Altona managed to emigrate to the Netherlands in 1937, they were not able to save themselves anymore from the persecution of the Jews starting in the German-occupied Netherlands as well in 1942.
Fritz Michael Allen was born on 11 Aug. 1907 in Hamburg as the son of Louis and Minna Allen, née Ruben. His mother, born in 1875, was a native of Hamburg. The ancestors of the family on the father’s side had emigrated to Hamburg from the United States. Dr. Louis Allen was an accredited chemist, operating together with Dr. M. H. Auerbach a commercial lab at Catharinenstrasse 25 in Hamburg, a special lab for the oil, fat, and tanning industry. Fritz Allen had two older brothers: Hans, born on 15 June 1900, and Kurt, who had been born two years before him, on 6 Oct. 1905, as well as a younger brother named Ernst, born on 3 Oct. 1911.
The family lived in Hamburg at Nonnenstieg 13. In 1917, when Fritz was ten years old, his father passed away. He left behind his wife Minna as a well-to-do widow, who was able to provide her son Fritz with commercial training. In the 1920s, Minna Allen resided with her sons in Lokstedt at Behrkampsweg 11. In May 1931, the family moved to Husumerstrasse 8 in Hamburg.
At the beginning of the 1930s, Fritz Allen married Julia Silberberg who was of the same age. She came from Altona, where she was born on 21 Sept. 1907 as the daughter of Siegmund and Fanny Silberberg (see corresponding biographies). Starting in 1932, the Allen couple established a household of their own at Wohlersallee 28. The house belonged to Julia Allen’s father, who operated a large-scale slaughterhouse. The area along Wohlersallee and around St. Johannis Church, respectively, had developed into a solid middle-class neighborhood, where middle-class tradesmen, craftsmen, and merchants lived, but also senior civil servants, physicians, and lawyers. Moreover, many Jews having immigrated from the East had settled there; small orthodox synagogues had been established at Wohlersallee 62 and Adolphstrasse 69 (today Bernstorffstrasse).
On 13 Nov. 1934, daughter Ruth was born as the child of the merchant Fritz Allen and the homemaker Julia Allen. From 1937 onward, Fritz Allen was listed on the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card as a "salaried employee.”
The oldest brother, Kurt Allen, had already started a business of his own earlier; he worked as a merchant at Neuer Wall 74 in the "Paulsenhaus,” an office building steeped in tradition. His wife Selma, née Posner, gave birth to son Bernd in Aug. 1936.
However, the commercial activities of the brothers came to an end when Jewish enterprises were boycotted and Jews pushed out of occupations after the Nazis assumed power. The younger brother, Ernst Allen, emigrated to Palestine as early as 1934, after he had been dismissed as the only Jewish commercial clerk from the Bruno Schaps Company at Jungfernstieg 24.
Between 1933 and 1941, 10,000 to 12,000 Jews emigrated from Hamburg. A first wave of emigration set in immediately after the National Socialists had taken power, and a second wave followed after the passage of the Nuremberg laws [on race] in 1935. Fritz and Julia Allen too began preparing their emigration.
On 12 Oct. 1937, they and their little daughter departed for the Netherlands. Kurt Allen emigrated to the Netherlands on the same day, succeeding in traveling further from there to Palestine two months later, on 12 Dec. 1938. Possibly, Fritz and Julia Allen wished to follow him suit and depart from Amsterdam by passage on a ship.
However, Julia Allen was pregnant. On 11 Jan. 1938, daughter Evelyn was born.
After the occupation of the Netherlands by the German Wehrmacht in 1940, emigration was hardly possible any longer. In Feb. 1941, the family lived in Amsterdam at Volkerakstraat 22. In July 1942, the German occupiers began deporting Dutch Jews and Jews having emigrated from Germany. In the course of large-scale raids, German and Dutch police officers arrested those from their houses who had not voluntarily followed the deportation orders, disguised as calls for labor duty, or those who had gone into hiding.
On 15 July 1942, the Allen family was transported from Amsterdam to the Westerbork assembly camp. In the village of Hooghalen, five kilometers (some 3 miles) away from the camp, they were forced to get off the train and walk to Westerbork. The Westerbork central transit camp was used by the Nazi occupiers for the deportation of Jews from the Netherlands. There the Allens were registered and given something to eat. After one or two hours, they were again forced to board the train that transported them to the Auschwitz extermination camp in occupied Poland. It was the first transport from Westerbork; 1,135 people overall had to set out on the journey that lasted several days. They arrived in Auschwitz on 16 or 17 July.
As a rule, immediately upon arrival there, the deportees were murdered in the gas chambers, particularly children and the elderly or persons no longer fit for work. After the war, Julia Allen was declared dead as of 17 July 1942. Daughter Ruth perished at the age of seven, and Evelyn only reached the age of four. According to the Memorial Book of the Federal Archives, Fritz Allen was declared dead as of 3 Dec. 1942, according to the "Jewish Monument Community” commemorative project in the Netherlands, as of 30 Dec. 1942.
In 1938, Fritz Allen’s nephew, Jehuda Claus Allen, born in 1927, the son of Hans (later Henry) Allen and Johanna Allen, née Simon, reached Palestine without his parents on one of the last transports of the Youth Aliyah (Jugend-Alija) where his uncle Ernst Allen took care of him. The parents had separated: The graduate engineer Hans Allen had been detained in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp following the Pogrom of Nov. 1938, subsequently emigrating to Great Britain. The mother had left the boy in the care of the Jewish boys’ orphanage on Papendamm. In 1941, Johanna Allen was deported to Lodz, where she perished.
Siegmund Silberberg, Julia Allen’s father, born on 23 Mar. 1874 in Hamburg, was deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt and from there further to Treblinka on 21 September, where he was murdered.
Minna Allen, Fritz Allen’s mother, managed to emigrate to Palestine in 1938. She passed away in Israel in 1965.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: April 2018
© Birgit Gewehr
Quellen: 4; 5; 8; AB Altona; StaH 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, 36678 (Allen, Ernst), und 2845 (Allen, Minna); FZH/WdE 650, Jehuda Claus Allen, 8.6.2000; Informationen von Guido Abuys, Kamp Westerbork; Informationen von: In Memoriam – Nederlandse oorlogsslachtoffers, Nederlandse Oorlogsgravenstichting (Dutch War Victims Authority), ‘s-Gravenhage (courtesy of the Association of Yad Vashem Friends in Netherlands, Amsterdam).
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