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Wolf-Trio: (v. l.) Ludwig, Leopold und James Wolf
© Archiv Dieter Guderian

James Wolf * 1870

Bismarckstraße 11 (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

1942 Theresienstadt
tot am 3.1.1943


further stumbling stones in Bismarckstraße 11:
Pauline Wolf

James Wolf, born on 2 Dec. 1870 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942, date of death 3 Jan. 1943
Pauline Wolf, née Isaac, born on 27 Jan. 1867 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942, date of death 3 Mar. 1944

James Wolf was born in Hamburg on 2 Dec. 1870; he was the eleventh child of Isaac Joseph Isaac and Pauline Levin. Around the mid-1890s, the brothers Ludwig, Leopold, and James joined forces to form a "Humoristic Song Quartet – Wolf Trio” ("Humoristisches Gesangsterzett – Wolf-Trio.” He left the group in 1906. Probably he no longer wanted to do gigs. He must have settled down already by marrying his cousin, Pauline Isaac. They got married in 1899. The union remained childless. The 1907 directory lists him as James Wolf residing at Bismarckstrasse 11, where James operated a newspaper shop. The Hamburg directory shows that he took it over from J.F.N. Werdier, newspaper dispatch. He lived and worked there until 1937. In this terrible year, he lost his shop because the Nazis probably intended it for an "Aryan.” He also had to leave the apartment connected with it. He was 68 years old at the time. Of course, it could also be that he wished to "retire.”

He moved into a house at Lehmweg 9, where besides him, additional family members and other Jews resided. Helene Löwenthal, his sister, had temporarily lived on Schäferkampsallee after her husband’s death. When James and his wife were deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942, they and many other Jews had already been committed to Wohlersallee 58. This was one of the "Jews’ houses” ("Judenhäuser”) in which many people were crowded together before being deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942. James died in Theresienstadt on 3 Jan. 1943.

A remarkable observation is that James was already registered with the family name of Wolf in Hamburg’s 1907 directory. For him, too, the official name change from Isaac to Wolf was not made either until 31 Mar. 1924, according to the evidence. The brothers, too, were already registered under the family name of Wolf before 1924, Ludwig in 1921 and Leopold in 1922). The fact that James was apparently the first to "officially” bear the family name of Wolf leads Johann-Hinrich Möller to assume that he took over the name of his father-in-law, Wolf Isaac, born in 1839, a musician. Pauline’s document No. 11668 from Civil Registry Office A 29 is of interest in this context:

Extract from Hamburg State Archives, Civil Registry Office A 29 (Film archive S 3108, recording date Aug. 1964)
No. 11668 Entered on fourth April 1867
A girl, first name: Pauline
born in wedlock on twenty-seventh of March 1867 at 2:30 in the afternoon
Place of birth: Hamburg, Neustrasse No 7
Father: Wolf Isaac,
his place of birth/citizenship: Hamburg Proclamation Protocol 1866 No. 766,
Age 28 years; Profession: musician
Mother: Henriette née Epstein
her place of birth: Gehaus, citizenship/place of residence as above
Age: 24 years, Trade: -
Place and date of the wedding: right here. (German-Israelite Community) on 23 May 1866
Name of the obstetrician or midwife: Dr. de la Camp and Mrs. Levien
notification of birth by the father
The following documents are produced: certificate of marriage
The accuracy of the above notifications, unless already attested by documents, shall be attested by signature in lieu of an oath.
signed Wolf Isaac
signed Brümmer

Hamburg, 22 Apr. 1924
According to the Senate’s decision of 31 Mar. 1924, the child also named in this document must also bear the last name of Wolf instead of Isaac.
The vital statistics official. Signed N.N.

According to a written announcement dated 12 Dec. 1938, Pauline Isaac, later Wolf, now married, has additionally assumed the first name of "Sara.”
Hamburg, on 15 Dec. 1938, signed N.N.

H. died on 3 Mar. 1944 in Theresienstadt (see St.A. Arolsen I, No 319/1959).

The second entry may be particularly revealing in this connection: "According to a written announcement dated 12 Dec. 1938, Pauline Isaac, later Wolf, current married name Wolf, has additionally assumed the first name of "Sara.” According to this, Pauline already had the last name of Wolf before she married James.

James was small in stature. He was extraordinarily strong. When the sometimes rather sedate newspaper ladies came to pick up the newspapers, he apparently lifted some of them up and sat them on the store’s bench. By doing so, he made sure in his own way that there was a good mood in the shop. Probably the wedding of his niece Esther Edda with Kurt Guderian took place in his apartment at Bismarckstrasse 11, where he also had his shop. James was described as an exceptionally likeable person. He enjoyed frequently socializing with siblings and nephews in the evenings and playing a good round of skat.

James was married to his cousin Pauline, almost four years his senior, the daughter of Wolf Isaac and his wife Henriette Epstein. Wolf and James’ father (Isaac Joseph Isaac) were brothers. Pauline was born on 27 Mar. 1867. However, she was generally called Paula in the family. Maybe she had decided on this name herself at a later time. Together with her husband, she was also deported to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942. She survived James by exactly 12 months, dying on 3 Mar. 1944.

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

Stand: May 2019
© Dieter Guderian (†)

Quelle: Auszug aus Dieter Guderian, Die Hamburger Originale Tetje und Fietje – Lebensgeschichte der Gebrüder Wolf und ihrer Familie Isaac, Cardamina Verlag 2006, S. 148–152.

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