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Frieda Hamlet (née Hochfeld) * 1868

Caffamacherreihe vor dem Emporio-Hochaus (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)

JG. 1868

Frieda Hamlet, née Hochfeld, born on 19 Apr. 1868 in Höxter, deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, murdered on 21 Sept. 1942 in the Treblinka extermination camp

Caffamacherreihe in front of the Emporio high-rise (Caffamacherreihe 81)

Frieda Hamlet was born in Höxter/Weser in North Rhine-Westphalia. The fate of the Jews there was documented in detail by Fritz Ostkämper on the homepage of the Pins Forum.

Frieda’s great-grandmother, the widow Fretgen Hochfeld (born on 7 Oct. 1739, died on 4 Apr. 1839), came from Lippisch and settled with some of her adult children in Höxter in 1810. She had reached a very advanced age and died 99 years old. Her son Aron Samson Hochfeld (born on 30 May 1784, died on 19 Oct. 1872) had earned his living as a musician together with his sons. Frieda’s father Josef, who was born on 25 Dec. 1832 to this family with many children, had played the flute. Hermann Krekeler wrote about it in his book entitled Höxters Dönekens aus unserer Väter Tagen ["Höxter’s amusing stories from the times of our fathers”]: "The Hochfeld family, the father and his five sons Michel, Itzig, Mathies, David, Josef, the cousin Schmul Hochfeld, and the apprentice Heinemann formed the town’s music ensemble. The old man bowed the bass, Michel the first violin, Mathies the second, Itzig the viola, David blew the trumpet, Schmul played the clarinet, Josef the flute, and the apprentice helped Josef with the flute. They all played very well and only good pieces. Mozart, Beethoven, Lortzing, Flotow, Verdi, etc. belonged to their permanent repertoire. On Sundays, they played in the Felsenkeller on a regular basis, and Michel made his rounds among the audience and collected the money. People would give him a ‘Kastenmännchen’ (2½ Silbergroschen). All the players were well in tune, and only the flute player Josef sometimes played off key and was put off his stroke. He was always hungry, and when he saw a guest eating a sandwich with ham, his taste buds got going, and he went out of sync. However, he knew how to improvise. He blew over the hole of the flute; all you heard was pf! pf! pf! And in between, you heard him call out quietly, ‘Heinemann, where is it?’ pf! pf!, until he had the beat again.”

Josef Hochfeld had married Minna Goldschmidt (born on 13 Dec. 1843) from Lippspringe on 3 Sept. 1867. They had 15 children: Frieda, their oldest, had been born on 19 Apr. 1868. In order to feed his large family, Josef Hochfeld worked not only as an auction commissioner and furniture dealer, but also as a representative of the Royal Prussian Court Pianoforte Factory; he was a court tax collector and emigrant agent for the Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping line. He also held the office of secretary of the gymnastics club founded in 1864. Josef and Minna Hochfeld moved to Hannover in 1901, where Josef died on 8 Mar. 1905 and his wife Minna on 20 Apr. 1909.

Frieda’s brothers attended high school, the König-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Höxter, which was founded in 1867. It is not known whether the parents also attached importance to a good school education for their daughters.

On 3 July 1895, Frieda married Max Hamlet, a livestock dealer born on 2 Mar. 1871 in Schötmar in Lippe-Detmold, in her hometown of Höxter. Son Alfred was born on 24 Dec. 1897 in Dortmund. When Alfred was three years old his parents moved to Britain. There Alfred attended the elementary school in Maidenhead in Berkshire until 1912. His parents then sent him to the cattle dealer Isaak Katz based in Silixen in Lippe to learn his father’s trade. After completing three years of training, Alfred followed his mother, who had moved from London to Hamburg in July 1915. In fact, this was the place where four of Frieda’s siblings lived as well: Alexander Aron Hochfeld (born on 26 Jan. 1876, died on 27 Mar. 1951), Milius Hochfeld (see corresponding entry), Alfred Hochfeld (born on 23 Apr. 1881, see Stolpersteine in Hamburg-St. Georg), and Mary Hochfeld (born on 19 Aug. 1878), subsequent married name Stoll.

Alfred Hamlet’s father Max was in "English captivity;” probably he, like his brother-in-law Mathias Max Hochfeld (see corresponding entry), was interned as an enemy alien in Britain after the beginning of the war. Alfred was drafted into military service in Hamburg. He took part in the fighting on the Somme, near Verdun, in Ypres and in the Champagne. In 1918, he returned from the war as a non-commissioned officer, decorated with the Iron Cross Second Class and the Wound Badge in Black (Verwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz), but also with a bullet lodged near the lumbar vertebrae and suffering from poisoning with war gas. His mother had meanwhile found an apartment of her own at Wimmelsweg 9 in Winterhude. And the father, Max Hamlet, also lived with his family again since the beginning of 1918. From 1920, the couple Hamlet and son Alfred resided at Gertigstrasse 13.

In 1925 the Hamlet family left Hamburg and moved to Weinbergstrasse 14 in Detmold. Max Hamlet, listed as a "traveler” in the Detmold directory, and his son Alfred ran a wholesale produce company, selling exquisite furs and hides. After a fine for "unfair competition,” the store in Detmold was put up for compulsory auction in 1926.

According to their own statements, the Hamlet family returned to Hamburg in May 1926. At first, they rented accommodation as subtenants. In 1927, they were registered as the main tenants in Hamburg-Winterhude at Mühlenkamp 21. An attempt to become active in the fur trade again failed: Since Max and Alfred Hamlet were not furriers, the trade was forbidden to them. In 1930, the family moved to Schinkelstrasse 10, where they opened an egg shop and a game and poultry store. The business did not flourish and had to be abandoned after a short time. Frieda and Max Hamlet temporarily lived with their son Alfred in 1931, who resided as a subtenant at Grosse Bleichen 5. The following year, they became the main tenants at Valentinskamp 62 and moved again in 1935 to Caffamacherreihe 81. They tried to earn their living by renting out rooms and were supported by public funds.

The Hamlet couple was afflicted by severe diabetes, their son Alfred suffered from kidney disease and had been unable to work since 1933. He eked out a living with temporary work. In Sept. 1940, he emigrated to Belgium and was supported in Brussels by an "Emigrant Committee.” In the end, he is said to have been in a hospital in Schaarbeek because of his kidney disease, after which all traces of him disappear.

By then, Frieda Hamlet had to fend for herself, as her husband Max had already died on 14 Aug. 1937 in the St. Georg General Hospital. She was diagnosed with "pulmonary tuberculosis” and, after a hospital stay, persuaded by a "Jewish nurse” to give up her apartment. She was one of the first residents to move into the newly established Jewish retirement home, the "Nordheim-Stift” at Schlachterstrasse 40/42. Four ground floor apartments of the Marcus-Nordheim-Stift, a charitable foundation established in 1882, had been converted for this purpose. The existing retirement homes of the Jewish Community were overcrowded, and admission to public retirement homes was to be avoided in this way. Since Frieda Hamlet had to eat differently than the other residents of the home because of her diabetes and she could not cook in her new accommodation, she stayed with her younger sister Mary Stoll, née Hochfeld, at Greifswalderstrasse 60 during the day.

Frieda Hamlet received her deportation order at the "Nordheim-Stift,” and she was taken to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942 and from there to the Treblinka extermination camp on 21 Sept. 1942, where she was murdered.

The last address of her sister Mary Stoll was as a subtenant at Eichenstrasse 52 in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel. She was financially supported by her daughter Mathilde (born on 14 Aug. 1918), who worked as a sales assistant in the fashion house of the Robinsohn brothers, until the store at Neuer Wall was demolished in the November Pogrom of 1938 ("Reichskristallnacht”) and "Aryanized” at the beginning of 1939. According to the racial laws of the Nazi state, Mathilde was considered a "half-Jew” ("Halbjüdin”) because her father Johannes Stoll was non-Jewish. Although Mary Stoll’s "privileged mixed marriage” ("privilegierte Mischehe”) was divorced, she was left alone for the time being. She lost this protection after her daughter had died of diphtheria on 16 Jan. 1944 in the Eppendorf University Hospital. Mary Stoll received her deportation order two days after the death of her daughter. On 19 Jan. 1944, she was deported to Theresienstadt on a transport comprised mainly of Jews by definition” ("Geltungsjuden”), partners from dissolved "mixed marriages” or widows and widowers whose "Aryan” spouses had died. Mary Stoll was murdered in Auschwitz on 15 May 1944.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: 1; StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1252 (Hamlet, Frieda); StaH 351-14 Arbeits- und Sozialfürsorge 1251 (Hamlet, Alfred); StaH 332-5 Standesämter 1066 u 1416/1937; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9947 u 84/1944; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 5; StaH 332-8 Meldewesen K 6193; StaH 22-1 Jüdische Gemeinde Nr. 992 e 2 Band 5; Behrens: Stolpersteine, S. 92; Meyer: Verfolgung, S. 79-87; Bajohr: "Arisierung", S. 138; Fritz Ostkämper, Juden der ärmeren Schichten – die Familie Hochfeld in: Jacob Pins Gesellschaft Kunstverein Höxter e. V. Jüdische Bürger in Höxter, (Zugriff 3.2.2015) Dokumente und Ausführliche Informationen über Familie Hochfeld aus Höxer von Fritz Ostkämper am 3.7.2016; diverse Hamburger Adressbücher.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Link "Recherche und Quellen".

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