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Hermann Herz Herzfeld * 1857
Stormarner Straße 25 (Hamburg-Nord, Dulsberg)
Herz Hermann Herzfeld, born on 22 Dec. 1857 in Rehtem/Aller, deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, on 21 Sept. 1942 to the Treblinka extermination camp
Selda Herzfeld, née Herz, born on 19 Nov. 1859 in Hamburg, deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, on 21 Sept. 1942 to the Treblinka extermination camp
Edith Herzfeld, born on 8 Aug. 1892 in Hamburg, deported on 11 July 1942 to Auschwitz
Stormarner Strasse 25
The Herzfeld couple was married since 1886 and had six children, all of them born in Hamburg – they were Herbert (in 1888), Alice (in 1889), Julius (in 1890), Edith, Walther (in 1895), and Kurt (in 1901). Herz Herzfeld was the owner of a store selling household goods, toys, and hardware in Hamburg; in the directory of the year 1917 – shortly before he gave up his business activities – he is listed as a merchant with the trade designation of "job lot goods” ("Partiewaren”). According to the information on the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer) file card, from 1913 onward the family initially lived in the Grindel quarter, apparently moving to Fruchtallee 119 during the First World War. That same year, the couple, having earlier moved along with a large part of the family to join their son Herbert in Argentina at his request, returned to Hamburg because living conditions in the South American country had not appealed to them.
It seems that even before 1910 Herbert Herzfeld had worked in Paris for the Jewish Colonization Association founded by Baron Maurice de Hirsch at the end of the nineteenth century. The organization had acquired large plots of landed property in Argentina in order to settle Eastern European Jews there. After the return of the parents, only the brothers Herbert, Julius, and Walther stayed in Argentina. The brothers Julius and Walther returned to Germany during the First World War. Walther volunteered to join the military, but he was not stationed at the frontline, instead being deployed in the medical corps behind the front. His brother Julius, who worked in his father’s business at first, was drafted in 1918, sustaining a serious injury to the head in front-line action. Both returned to Argentina after the end of the war.
In the 1920 directory, the address of the Herzfeld couple is now listed as Rappstrasse 15, without any business activity indicated for Herz Herzfeld. Apparently, by then more than 60 years old, he had given up his business after the end of the war. In 1922 or 1923, the Herzfeld couple moved with daughter Edith, who had stayed in the family home and was an educator by occupation, to join their sons in Argentina once again. The only family members staying behind in Germany were the youngest son Kurt and the oldest daughter Alice, both of whom had started or already finished studying medicine.
However, in 1925, the Herzfeld couple returned along with their daughter Edith to Hamburg, living for a short time at (the no longer existing address of) Hinter den Höfen 9 in Hamm. In the 1926 directory, the family is listed as residing at Stormarner Strasse 25 in Dulsberg. The last residential address of these three family members was, however, the "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) at Kielortallee 22, to which they were sent at a time not known exactly. From there, the Nazi authorities first deported Edith Herzfeld to Auschwitz on 11 July 1942 and eight days later, on 19 July, her parents to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, from where they – well over 80 years old – were deported further to the Treblinka extermination camp on 21 Sept. 1942. There were no subsequent traces of life at all of the parents and the daughter.
The five other children of the family were spared this horrendous fate. After their emigration to Argentina, sons Walther and Herbert did not live in Germany anymore, at least not on a permanent basis. Julius Herzfeld, however, returned with his wife Jeanette, née Spier, from Argentina to Hamburg in 1930. Afterward, he ran a household and toy store on Grosse Johannisstrasse in Altona. In 1937, after he had been beaten up in his store by four SA men – who also mistreated his wife – because he refused to sell goods to them after closing time, and when the store lease and rental agreement for his private home was subsequently terminated by the Epa-AG, he decided to emigrate to Argentina for good in 1938. Of the monetary assets the couple owned, 8,000 RM (reichsmark), over half was lost in the foreign exchange transaction because a high deduction from the regular exchange rate was levied.
Following his studies at the University of Hamburg, son Kurt became a dentist, living in the Dulsberg district from 1925 onward, where he also operated his practice beginning in 1929. From mid-1934, he had the practice at Alsterterrasse 1 (Rotherbaum) and lived there as well. In Apr. 1935, he gave notice to the authorities of departing Hamburg, moving along with his wife Johanna, née Sander, and daughter Margit (born in 1931) to Hindenburg in Upper Silesia to join his mother-in-law with a view to preparing the family’s emigration to Britain. In May 1935, he traveled for the first time to the British Isles along with his fellow dentist Sally Neubürger from Dulsberg in order to take a course at the "Royal College of Surgeons” in Edinburgh.
From Edinburgh, he returned to Hindenburg that same year and went to London with his wife Johanna in December, where he stayed to find an apartment for the family and submit an emigration application to the German authorities from there, while his wife returned to Hindenburg one more time to get daughter Margit in Mar. 1936. The mother of Johanna Herzfeld, Bertha Sander, also managed to flee to Britain later, subsequently living in the Herzfelds’ small London apartment. After several years of receiving assistance from the "Jewish Refugees Committee” and temporary internment as a citizen of an "enemy state” on the Isle of Man, Kurt Herzfeld eventually managed, under the new name of Kenneth Hurstfield, to set himself up as a dentist in Wales and support his family himself.
According to the curriculum vitae enclosed in her doctoral thesis, the second oldest of the Herzfeld siblings, Alice, worked as a teacher "in the Hamburg elementary school service” from 1908 until 1916, also acquiring the "credentials to teach at secondary girls’ schools” by passing a special exam during this time. Following her work in the Hamburg school service, she taught "another year each in Jena and Würzburg.” Apparently, she did so to finance her university studies in Jena, which she had begun in the [1916/1917] winter semester. Prior to this, around Easter of 1916, she had made up her university entry qualification exam (Reifeprüfung) at the Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium in Hamburg, in effect by enrolling in continuing education classes. In Jena, Alice Herzfeld initially studied one semester of mathematics and natural sciences – very unusual courses of study for women at the time – before registering at the local Faculty of Medicine starting in the 1917 summer semester.
For the [1917/1918] winter semester, she changed to the University of Würzburg, though subsequently also conducting clinical studies in Freiburg and eventually in Heidelberg, where she passed the medical state examination in Dec. 1921. At the beginning of 1922, she began her clinical internship at the Würzburg University Hospital, completing it by passing her doctoral exam at the local university that same year. No further details are known about Alice Herzfeld’s later professional career; according to the Jewish religious tax file card of the Hamburg Jewish Community, her subsequent place of residence seems to have been Breslau (now Wroclaw in Poland). Apparently, she died still in the 1920s because she is no longer indicated on her parents’ Jewish religious tax file card as of 1928. For Herz, Selda, and Edith Herzfeld, Stolpersteine are located in front of the last residential address of their own choosing on Stormarner Strasse.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Benedikt Behrens
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 7; 8; StaH 552-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 e 2 (Deportationslisten); StaH 351-11 AfW, 12142 (Julius Herzfeld), 24260 (Kenneth Hurstfield), 27429 (Johanna Herzfeld); StaH 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident, F 1011 (Julius Herzfeld) und F 1012 (Kurt Herzfeld); Bibliothek des IGDJ, Volkszählungsunterlagen 1939; Angaben von Frau Prof. Dr. Anita Herzfeld (Enkelin); AB 1917ff.; Alice Herzfeld, Über klinische Blutmengenbestimmung, Diss. Universität Würzburg, 1922 (Lebenslauf).
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