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Roline Isenberg (née Isenberg) * 1872

Billstedter Hauptstraße 50 (Hamburg-Mitte, Billstedt)

JG. 1872
ERMORDET 27.2.1944

further stumbling stones in Billstedter Hauptstraße 50:
David Isenberg

David Daniel Isenberg, born on 26 Apr. 1861 in Hamburg, deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, death there on 22 Feb. 1943
Roline (Rosa Karoline) Isenberg, née Isenberg, born on 25 July 1872 in Hamburg, deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, death there on 27 Feb. 1944

Billstedter Hauptstrasse 50 (Hamburger Strasse 89)

In 2003, a grade-nine class of a lower secondary school (Hauptschule) on Möllner Landstrasse in Billstedt did research into the life story of the footwear merchant David Isenberg and his wife Roline, having two Stolpersteine laid at today’s Billstedter Hauptstrasse 50 to commemorate them. For their project, the class received the BERTINI Prize. Based on access, existing since 1 July 2009, to the register of births, deaths, and marriages within the Hamburg State Archive, it was subsequently possible to complement the results of their research at the time. Some questions were impossible to answer even then: What prompted David Isenberg to move to Schiffbek in 1915? When did he return to Hamburg? Why did the foreign currency office of the Hamburg Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) omit blocking his quite considerable assets?

David Daniel Isenberg and his wife Rosa Karoline, called Roline, were born in Hamburg. They were cousins. Their fathers, the brothers Salomon and Moses Isenberg, were natives of Bremke near Göttingen and had moved to Hamburg, where they went their separate ways.

Since 1895 at the latest, David and his brother Leopold jointly operated a wholesale trade in footwear, textiles, and cloths at Wexstrasse 1, where their parents lived as well. After ten years, they relocated their business to Amelungstrasse 13/14 and confined themselves to trading in footwear. The store there had already existed since 1894, with changing owners, under the name of "Gebr. Isenberg, Schuhwaren en gros” ("Isenberg Bros., footwear wholesale"). When David’s mother Friederike died in 1902, his father moved together with him to Eimsbütteler Strasse 45. On 11 Mar. 1909, at the age of 48, David Isenberg got married to his cousin, 37-year-old Roline Isenberg, who moved in with him and her father-in-law. The marriage remained childless.

Roline Isenberg’s father, Moses, had had his first name "Germanized” to Moritz, though he continued to be officially registered as Moses Isenberg. He operated a lottery business. He married the teacher’s daughter Jeanette Posner, born on 29 Dec. 1839 in Norrköping/Sweden, who had moved to Hamburg along with her parents. The family with six children were among the first tenants of the Marcus Nordheim-Stift, newly built in 1882, at Schlachterstrasse 40/42, where they lived for two decades, with some of the children residing there even longer, like Roline, the oldest daughter.

Roline became a tailor and sales assistant. At the age of 20, she left her parents’ home for the first time, temporarily living at Eichenallee 3 in Othmarschen. It was impossible to clarify whether she worked in her occupation, nor her subsequent activities from 1894 until 1896 in Kiel and in 1901 in Aurich. Following the death of her father Moses Isenberg on 2 Oct. 1901, she returned to Hamburg and stayed there until shortly after the death of her mother Friederike on 28 May 1902. Afterward, she worked on the Island of Norderney for six years, from 1902 until 1908. The parents’ house at Schlachterstrasse 40/42 remained her Hamburg address until her marriage.

When David and Roline Isenberg were married in 1909, of their parents only Salomon Isenberg was still alive, 74 years old and a retiree. He acted as a witness to the marriage. David and Roline Isenberg belonged to the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community and the orthodox Synagogue Association (Synagogenverband).

The footwear wholesale trade of the Isenberg brothers suffered considerable losses during the First World War. The brothers Leopold and David Isenberg temporarily lived together at Bogenstrasse 11 in Eimsbüttel. In 1911, Salomon Isenberg moved in with his son David to Wilhelminenstrasse 65 in the St. Pauli quarter and in 1915 to what was then the Prussian town of Schiffbek at the eastern border of Hamburg to Hamburger Strasse 89, where David and Roline followed him. There, Salomon Isenberg died in 1916, and he was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf.

David and Roline Isenberg became members of the Wandsbek Jewish Community, but they kept their membership of the Hamburg Jewish Community by paying a minimum contribution.

Just when David Isenberg opened his footwear store in Schiffbek is unknown. Possibly, it took place in connection with the liquidation of the shoe wholesale business, which he managed together with his brother Leopold at Amelungstrasse 13/14, in 1916. Their youngest brother John continued to run the enterprise. Leopold and John Isenberg went on working in the shoe business until their deaths – Leopold died in 1918, John in 1932.

David Isenberg operated a workshop with store premises on Hamburger Strasse in 1930, separate from the office at Möllner Landstrasse 51 and the apartment at Bergstrasse 2. In 1935, he obtained a Hamburg trade license.

When and why David and Roline Isenberg gave up the business and apartment in Schiffbek, returning to Hamburg, was impossible to resolve. Reasons of age may have played a role. A contemporary witness reports that the move away took place due to the plundering of their store during the November Pogrom of 1938. Possibly, this may be a mix-up with the April boycott of 1933, for David and Roline Isenberg were registered with the police authorities in Hamburg as early as 1934/35. From then on, they lived as subtenants in Harvestehude, although their affluence would have allowed them to rent or buy an apartment of their own. We do not know the reasons for their modest lifestyle. They returned as full members to the Hamburg German-Israelitic Community.

In the meantime, other family members left Hamburg: Sister-in-law Sara Isenberg, Leopold’s widow, moved with her son Arthur and his family to Frankfurt/Main in 1935. Roline’s brother Martin passed away on 24 May 1939, after his son Manfred had already emigrated to Palestine. Martin’s widow, Roline’s sister-in-law Selma Isenberg, got a job at the Talmud Tora School, teaching "religious education and secular knowledge.”

David Isenberg had considerable assets, without the currency office of the Chief Finance Administrator imposing a "security order” ("Sicherungsanordnung”) on them. There is no explanation for this unusual scenario. There is mention of a last will, but it was impossible to find any further details about it. One may assume that subsequently the assets "fell to the Reich” either indirectly by means of a "home purchase contract” ("Heimeinkaufsvertrag”) for Theresienstadt or after the deportation.

In 1942, part of David and Roline Isenberg’s life came full circle in a threatening way: The Jewish Community quartered the Isenberg couple, forced by the Gestapo, at Schlachterstrasse 40/42. The Marcus Nordheim-Stift, where Roline Isenberg had lived with her parents 40 years before and where her parents had also passed away, now served as a "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”) towards preparing the deportations. There, David and Roline Isenberg, by then 70 and, respectively, 81 years old, received the order for transport to the "ghetto for the elderly” ("Altersgetto”) of Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942.

David Isenberg died already half a year after his arrival in Theresienstadt on 22 Feb. 1943 at the age of almost 82, of "enteritis,” a disease raging in the ghetto due to inadequate hygiene, poor nutrition, and an uncertain future. Roline Isenberg reached the age of 71; the cause of her death is not known. By the time she perished on 27 Feb. 1944, her sisters-in-law were no longer alive. In all probability, Selma Isenberg was murdered in Auschwitz in July 1942; Sara Isenberg in Treblinka in Sept. 1942. Prior to that, she had spent three weeks in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, where the relatives possibly met up one more time. Her son Arthur Isenberg and his wife Paula were murdered in the Majdanek extermination camp in 1941.

Translator: Erwin Fink

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Initiative Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Billstedt

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; StaH, 231-7 Handelsregister, A 1 Band 78, Nr.n 19153 u. 19157; 332-5 Standesämter, 488+1519/1901; 503+772/1902; 503+903/1902; 760+87/1916; 992+13/1932; 8033+704/1916; 8729+251/1919; 332-8 Meldewesen, K 6329; 376-3 Zentralgewerbekartei, VIII Cc1 1915-1930, K 3846; 552-1 Jüdische Gemeinden, 992 e 2, Bde 4 u. 5; AB div., 1923 u. 1930 Schiffbek; Grundbuchamt Hamburg-Mitte, Grundbuch Bd. 36, Bl. 1219; ASB-Projekt 2003; Randt, Talmud Tora Schule.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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