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Betty Gerisch (née Meyer) * 1873

Martin-Luther-Straße 8 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1873

Betty Gerisch, née Meyer, widowed Jürgensen, born on 2.12.1873 in Hamburg, deported on 19.7.1942 to Theresienstadt, further deported on 15.5.1944 to Auschwitz

Martin-Luther-Straße 8

The life of Betty Gerisch was marked by strokes of fate and losses. She was born into a Jewish family on December 2, 1873. Her parents, the merchant and tailor Salomon Meyer (born 22.3.1847) and Henriette (Hanchen), née Kalkar (born 1.3.1847), lived in Hamburg's Neustadt, at that time the main residential area for Hamburg Jews. She will have received her first name Betty in memory of her grandmother Betty Kalkar, née Glogau, sister of the renowned Hamburg bookseller and antiquarian Lazarus Moses Glogau, (born 5.7.1805 in Hamburg, death 9.10.1887). She had married Levin Kalkar (d. 1863), a "merchant" from Copenhagen, in the Hanseatic city in 1842.

Betty's father Salomon Meyer came from Dawillen, district Memel (today Lithuania). His parents were the merchant Moses Meyer and Chai, née Cohn. (According to civil records, Chai Meyer later lived widowed in Kaukehmen, Heinrichswalde County, now Russia, and is then said to have died in "America.")

Already one year after Betty's birth her brother Louis was born in 1874. They were followed by Minna in 1876 and Adolph in 1878, both of whom died shortly after birth. The family lived in a basement apartment at 2. Marktstraße 20/21 (renamed Marcusstraße in 1900), at first probably as subtenants, since only the edition "Neues Adreßbuch der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg für das Jahr 1877" lists Salomon Meyer. The occupation was noted as "Cassierer" (cashier). In 1878 they moved to Kurzestraße (today Kurze Straße), courtyard 28, House 12. There, in their apartment, Henriette Meyer died on October 12, 1879 at the age of only 32.

Betty was not yet six years old when her mother died, and compounding the loss was the fact that her father was in prison at the time and still had two years and seven months to serve.

On October 23, 1879, Salomon Meyer authorized Lazarus Moses Glogau in a letter from the Fuhlsbüttel prison to settle the inheritance matters in the interest of his children. Why or how Salomon Meyer came into conflict with the law is not clear from the available documents.

The Jewish Community had already arranged for Henriette Meyer's burial at its cemetry in Altona-Ottensen. The accommodation of her children was taken over by the Allgemeine Armenanstalt (institution for poor relief), and they went to live with the lottery shop operator Berend Levy at Kraienkamp Platz 22, House 6 (today Krayenkamp). There, only a few months later, Betty's brother Louis died on January 12, 1880, and his burial also took place at the Jewish Cemetery in Ottensen.

We do not know how Betty's further childhood and adolescence went, nor do we know whether her father took her back to him after his release from prison. Salomon Meyer entered into a second marriage with Johanna Arnheim (born Dec. 9, 1855 in Jeßnitz, Saxony-Anhalt) on March 20, 1883. She came from Leipzig, where her parents the merchant Aron Arnheim and Bertha née Meyerheim lived in Berliner-Straße 109.

Three more children were born in this marriage: Arthur (born 12.12.1884), Dora (born27.4.1886) and David (born 18.1.1895). The Hamburg address books list Salomon Meyer first at Neuer Steinweg 25/26, then in 1887 at Schlachterstraße 54 (the street no longer exists) and from 1889 to 1902 at Mühlenstraße 38 (today part of Gerstäckerstraße), now with the occupation "tailor."

Salomon Meyer acted as best man when his daughter Betty married on March 23, 1897, at the age of 23. Her husband became the non-Jewish laborer Johann Heinrich Adolph Jürgensen (born 3.1.1866), son of a mate (Steuermann) from Altona. At the time of their marriage, the young couple lived as subtenants in the street Bei den Mühren 48 until they found an inexpensive apartment in the Abraham Philipp-Schuldt-Stiftung, founded in 1896, at Zeughausstraße 12, second floor. (The foundation offered small apartments for blameless people with small incomes). Johann Jürgensen was last employed as a tallyman (cargo inspector in the port). He died on November 25, 1908 at the age of only 42. No children were born of the marriage.

On March 20, 1910, Betty Jürgensen entered into a second marriage; she married Robert Hugo Gerisch (born April 11, 1857 in Reichenbach/Vogtland), who was also non-Jewish and employed as a tallyman, and who lived as a subtenant at Zeughausstraße 34. His parents, the baker Johann Friedrich Louis Gerisch and Christiane Friederike, née Preiss, had last lived in Meerane in Saxony.

The Gerisch couple moved into a shared apartment at Venusberg 35/36. In 1915 they moved to Martin-Luther-Straße 8, second floor. There Betty Gerisch became a widow for the second time on February 10, 1922.

In the summer of 1928, Betty Gerisch turned to the Hamburg Welfare Office with a request for a rent subsidy of 33 RM (Reichsmark). In her application, she stated that she had been working as a checkroom attendant at the music hall for 19 years and that due to illness she could only be gainfully employed for a few days a week on a limited basis. By the end of 1931, rent debts had accumulated and Betty Gerisch had to leave the apartment on Martin-Luther-Straße. She found a cheaper two-room apartment, but without heating, for 40 RM in nearby Pastorenstraße 9 (the section of this street was destroyed during World War II). To keep the costs down, she took in the divorced carpenter Ferdinand Thies (born 19.9.1865) as a subtenant.

In September 1933, Betty Gerisch, as a Jew, lost her job as a checkroom attendant, as noted in her welfare file. She received only a small widow's and old-age pension of a total of RM 26 per month, which did not cover the rent, after the death of her subtenant Ferdinand Thies in December 1938. Employees of the Welfare Office suggested to Betty Gerisch that she should try to find an apartment in a foundation.

On November 29, 1938, Betty Gerisch registered in due time with the responsible registry office that she now had to use the additional compulsory name Sara (as of January 1, 1939, Jews had to use the compulsory names "Israel" and "Sara" if they did not bear one of the approved "Jewish names").

The death of her "Aryan" husbands removed the protection that a "mixed marriage" would have offered her in other respects.

On June 26, 1939, Betty Gerisch was quartered in the nearby Lazarus-Gumpel-Stift at Schlachterstraße 46/47, house 4, apartment 25. The former Stift building then served as a so-called Judenhaus, a collection point for the upcoming deportations. At that time her welfare support also ended because the state welfare authority discontinued support for Jews at that time.

Betty Gerisch received her deportation order for June 19, 1942, at the Nordheim-Stift retirement home at Schlachterstraße 40/42, also now a "Judenhaus." She was transported with 926 Hamburg Jews to the Theresienstadt ghetto. From there, on May 15, 1944, she was sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp, where she was probably murdered immediately after her arrival.

The fate of her half-siblings:
Arthur Meyer lived as a merchant in Berlin. On May 9, 1912, he married the saleswoman Meta Lutterkort (born March 29, 1886 in Gerdauen/ Königsberg) in the Charlottenburg district. The marriage was divorced in 1922. When he reported the death of his mother Johanna Meyer to the relevant registry office in Hamburg on January 3, 1924, he was living in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, at Uhlandstraße 143 (his father Salomon Meyer had already died in the "insane asylum" Friedrichsberg on July 3, 1917). On June 25, 1925, he entered into a second marriage with the non-Jewish seamstress Frida Martha Gauer, (born Nov. 29, 1897 in Insterburg/East Prussia). Arthur Meyer died of a sugar disease on November 4, 1940 in his apartment at Pfalzburger Straße 34.

Dora Meyer had married the painter and varnisher Siegfried Emanuel, (born Dec. 11, 1871) in Hamburg on Oct. 31, 1909. At that time she lived with her parents at Seilerstraße 39 in the St. Pauli district. The Emanuel couple first lived in Hamburg-Neustadt at Thielbeck 2, then in the Grindelviertel at Laufgraben 10, and since 1914 at Grindelallee 9. Dora Emanuel died on January 20, 1918 in the Barmbek Hospital. Siegfried Emanuel was deported to Theresienstadt with his second wife Clara, née Florsheim (born Aug. 31, 1886 in Hünfeld), on July 19, 1942. Siegfried Emanuel died there on July 5, 1943, and his wife was deported to Auschwitz on October 12, 1944 and murdered.

David Meyer had married the non-Jewish Ida Emma Rokos (born 1.10.1898 in Bochum) on 20 June 1922 in Bochum. David Meyer was a furniture painter and had served in the First World War. The couple lived at 86 Wittener Straße. At the beginning of 1943, like all Jews in Westphalia, David Meyer was banned from working; instead, he was called up for labor duty in Kamen (probably in tramway construction) and in June 1944 was transferred to a labor camp in Oestrich near Letmathe. On August 10, 1944, David Meyer was arrested in Letmathe. From the Bochum police headquarters he was taken to Buchenwald concentration camp on December 2, 1944. The reason given for his incarceration was "political Jew”. For the prisoner personnel card, he indicated his religious affiliation as "Protestant". Only a short time later, David Meyer was transferred to subcamp SIII Ohrdruf, where he died on January 27, 1945. The presumed cause of death was cardiac and circulatory weakness with sepsis.

Translation Beate Meyer

Stand: February 2023
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: 4; 5; 8; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 71 u 2998/1879; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1928 u 569/1878; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 50 u 634/1878; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1887 u 4742/1873; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 83 u 147/1880; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2881 u 211/1897; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 605 u 1092/1908; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3150 u 129/1910; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 853 u 93/1922; StaH 332-5_2369 u. 309/1895; StaH 332-5_2127 u. 2186/1886; StaH 332-5_2653 u. 227/1883; StaH 332-5_6962 u. 1252/1917; StaH 332-5_2943 u. 379/1900; StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1196; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 5; StaH 232-2_EI 9640; StaH 332-2 III A Band 63 Alphabetisches Gesamtregister der Sterbefälle, 1816-1866; Heiratsregister Arthur Meyer und Meta Lutterkort am 9.5.1912 in Berlin (Zugriff 22.10.2021); Heiratsregister Arthur Meyer und Frida Martha Gauer am 25.6.1925 in Berlin (Zugriff 22.10.2021); Geburtsregister Frida Martha Gauer am 29.11.1897 in Insterburg (Zugriff 22.10.2021); Sterberegister David Meyer in Weimar am 27.1.1945 (Zugriff 22.10.2021); Sterberegister David Meyer in Weimar am 27.1.1945 (Zugriff 22.10.2021); Sterberegister Arthur Meyer in Berlin am 4.11.1940 (Zugriff 22.10.2021); (Zugriff 3.8.2021);; (Zugriff 3.8.2021); meyer&doc_id=6618398 (Zugriff 3.8.2021); (Zugriff 22.10.2021); (Zugriff 22.10.2021); Hubert Schneider: Leben nach dem Überleben, Juden in Bochum nach 1945; Renate Hauschild-Thiessen, Lazarus Moses Glogau, in Hamburgische Biografien Personenlexikon, Hrg. Franklin Kopitzsch und Dirk Brietzke, Wallstein S. 135-136.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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