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Bertha Lewig (née Cohn) * 1867
Gryphiusstraße 1 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)
Bertha Lewig, née Cohn, born 14.9.1867 in Beuthen, deported on 15.7.1942 to Theresienstadt Ghetto, further deported on 21.9.1942 to extermination camp Treblinka
Gryphiusstraße 1 (Winterhude)
She was born as Bertha Cohn in Beuthen, a town with about 15,000 inhabitants in the Upper Silesian industrial area. The Jewish Community of Beuthen numbered about 1,600 people at that time. Her parents were the merchant Gustav Cohn and Friederike, née Rechnitz. The number of Jewish Community members of Beuthen increased significantly during this period, so a new synagogue in Moorish style was built at Friedrich-Wilhelmplatz in 1867-1869.
Bertha became engaged in 1888 at the age of 21; her gold engagement ring was set with blue and white diamonds. In 1889 she married her fiancé, Hamburg merchant Hugo Siegmund Lewig (1854-1915), in Berlin and moved in with him in Hamburg. His father Martin Meyer Lewig (1820-1907), who had a doctorate, was a general practitioner in Hamburg and had been a Hamburg citizen since 1855. And his father Lazarus Levy, "Oeconom" at the Jewish hospital in Hamburg, had had the family name changed to Lewig before 1842. Hugo's sister Helene Lewig (1852-1921) had lived with their father Martin Lewig until his death.
Bertha and Hugo Lewig had two children: Fritz Lewig (born Nov. 16, 1889 in Hamburg) and Franziska Lewig (born March 12, 1891 in Hamburg). The family lived at Grindelhof 100/ Rotherbaum (1890-1891), at Hagedornstraße 47/Harvestehude (1892-1906) and in a 7-room apartment at Maria-Louisen-Straße 55/ Winterhude (1906-1915).
For the latter apartment, many new furnishings were purchased: such as two leather armchairs and a walnut table, sofa, upholstered chairs and wicker furniture, a brass floor lamp with silk shade and a Singer sewing machine. High-quality ornaments such as a richly gilded Meissen porcelain bowl, various Meissen porcelain figurines (including Raub der Europa and Kugelwerferin), and crystal teapots with silver lids decorated the apartment.
Hugo Lewig, together with Robert Heckscher, had founded the banking business Hugo Lewig & Heckscher in Hamburg in 1898, which run its offices at Neuer Wall 41 (1899-1910) and later at Neuer Wall 44 (1911-1920). On the Jewish Community`s cult tax card and in the address books of 1899 and 1912, the business was referred to as "Bankkommission." When Hugo Lewig died in July 1915, Bertha Lewig took over his shares in the business. Fritz Lewig had power of attorney there until January 1920, when he opened a banking business under his name at the same address. The company Hugo Lewig & Heckscher received a liquidator in April 1920 and was deleted from the commercial register in 1924.
After the death of her husband, Bertha Lewig moved into a 6-room apartment at Gryphiusstraße 1 I. Floor, where she lived for 15 years. From 1923 onwards, no payments for her were recorded on the Jewish Community's Kultussteuerkartei.
From 1933, her home address in the Hamburg address book was Kurzer Kamp 6 (Fuhlsbüttel). There she lived in a 1-room apartment in the Mendelsohnstift. The large furniture was unsuitable for this small apartment, so Bertha Lewig bought, among other things, a matching walnut bookcase, a bridge table, a small couch and a radio.
For the deportation planned by the National Socialists, she was quartered in the building at Schäferkampsallee 29, which had been declared a "Judenhaus". The Jewish Community's home for the elderly, designed for 15 residents, was occupied by considerably more Jewish people from 1941 onwards, after the Gestapo had instructed the community to take in those who had become homeless as a result of expulsion.
Both children had grown up in the meantime: the son Fritz had completed a commercial apprenticeship, later received procuration in his father's company and ran his own banking business from 1920 to 1930. The daughter had studied medicine and received her doctorate. Both emigrated to South Africa. The daughter had been in Johannesburg since December 1933. Until the beginning of the war in 1939, she was in regular contact with her mother by letter; after that, only brief communications via the Red Cross were possible.
Bertha Lewig was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto on July 15, 1942. From there, she was further deported to the Treblinka extermination camp only two months later and murdered.
During the restitution proceedings in the 1950s, Bertha Lewig was declared dead on May 9, 1945.
Translation Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2023
© Björn Eggert
Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 213-13, 20824 (Bertha Lewig Erben); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7985 u. 150/1906 (Sterberegister 1906, Sophie Lewig geb. Menke); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7988 u. 270/1907 (Sterberegister 1907, Martin Meyer Lewig); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 9737 u. 1784/1915 (Sterberegister 1915, Hugo Siegmund Lewig); StaH 332-7 (Staatsangehörigkeitsaufsicht), A I e 40 Band 7, Bürgerregister von 1845-1875 L-R (Dr. med. Max Meyer Lewig, 34 Jahre alt, Arzt, 22.6.1855 Nr. 761); StaH 332-8 (Meldewesen), K 6509 (mikroverfilmte Alte Einwohnermeldekartei 1892-1925), Helene Lewig, Dr. med. Martin Meyer Lewig; StaH 342-2 (Militär-Ersatzbehörden), DII 135 Band 5 (Fritz Lewig); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung), 1178 (Bertha Lewig); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Hugo Lewig/ Bertha Lewig; Landesarchiv Berlin, Heiratsregister der Berliner Standesämter, Berlin VI (1889 Hugo Siegmund Lewig u. Bertha Cohn); Handelskammer Hamburg, Handelsregisterinformationen (Hugo Lewig & Heckscher, HR A 14218; Fritz Lewig, HR A 22593); Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1910, S. 394 (Hugo Lewig & Heckscher, gegr. 1898, Fonds- u. Immobilienmakler, Inhaber Hugo Lewig u. Robert Heckscher, Neuer Wall 41, Börsenplatz Pfeiler 62 Sitze a und b); Hamburger Börsenfirmen 1926, S. 625 (Fritz Lewig, Bank-Kommission, gegr. 1920, Telex: Filiusbank, Mönkedamm 8); Israelitisches Krankenhaus (Hrsg.), 150 Jahre Israelitisches Krankenhaus in Hamburg, Hamburg 1997, S. 22 (Lazarus Lewig); Wilhelm Mosel, Wegweiser zu ehemaligen jüdischen Stätten in Hamburg, Heft 2, Hamburg 1985, S. 25-30 (Schäferkampsallee 27 u. 29); Adressbuch Hamburg 1842 (Lazarus Lewig, Oeconom am israelitischen Krankenhause, Hütten 52); Adressbuch Hamburg (Hugo Lewig) 1890-1892, 1894, 1898, 1901, 1903, 1905-1907, 1916-1917; Adressbuch Hamburg (Witwe Hugo Lewig) 1930, 1931; Adressbuch Hamburg (Witwe Bertha Lewig) 1933, 1937, 1939; Adressbuch Hamburg (Hugo Lewig & Heckscher) 1899, 1911, 1912, 1920; Adressbuch Hamburg (Fritz Lewig Bankgeschäft), 1921 (Neuer Wall 44), 1922-1923 (Pelzerstr. 5), 1925 (Mönkedamm 8), 1930 (Gryphiusstr. 1); Adressbuch Hamburg (Gryphiusstr. 1), 1920, 1930; https://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/ (Bertha Lewig) eingesehen 4.1.2022.