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Stolpersteine für Margarethe und Martin Heynemann sowie Lizzi Silberberg
© Gesche Cordes

Margarethe Heynemann (née Klein) * 1877

Schulterblatt 134 links (vormals Margaretenstraße 2) (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

JG. 1877
ERMORDET 15.5.1944

further stumbling stones in Schulterblatt 134 links (vormals Margaretenstraße 2):
Martin Heynemann, Lizzi Silberberg

Margarethe Heynemann, née Klein, born 18 Sept.1877 in Leipzig, deported 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, deported 15 May 1944 to Auschwitz-Birkenau and murdered
Martin Heynemann, born 15 April 1872 in Hamburg, deported 15 July 1942 to Theresienstadt, died there 26 Mar. 1943
Lizzi Silberberg, née Heynemann, born 28 Feb. 1901 in Altona, deported 25 Oct. 1941 to Lodz, deported 12 May 1942 to the extermination camp Chelmno, murdered

Schulterblatt 134 left (Margaretenstraße 2)

Martin Heynemann’s parents were the traveling salesman Israel and his wife Pauline Heynemann, née Levy. Martin Heynemann’s wife Margarethe came from Leipzig. Her parents were the horse trader Leonhard Klein and his wife Johanna, née Lewin. When Martin Heynemann wed on 20 Aug. 1897 in Altona, his profession was noted in the register as cigar manufacturer. The length of time he produced cigars is not known. Later he might have earned a living as a traveling salesman or sales representative. At the time of his wedding, he lived in Hamburg in Neustadt at III. Elbstraße 19 II and Margarethe lived with her parents in Altona at Reventlowplatz.

The couple Martin and Margarethe Heynemann had seven children: Max (born 1897), Rudolf (born 1899), Lizzi (born 1901), John (born 1902), Nelly (born 1905), Regina (born 1906) and Leonhard (born 1908).

After Margarethe and Martin Heynemann moved from Altona to Hamburg in the mid 1930s, they lived at Margaretenstraße 2. Nelly was the first child to be born in Hamburg. In 1912 Martin Heynemann was awarded citizenship of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

From March 1937 Margarethe and Martin Heynemann resided for a longer period on the ground floor at Schäferkampsallee 49, together with their son Max and his family. The couple’s final physical address was the "Jewish house" and former Samuel-Levy-Stift at Bundesstraße 35. Altogether 104 people were deported from there on 15 July 1942. Martin Heynemann died eight months after his deportation on 26 Mar. 1943 in Theresienstadt. Those who died in Theresienstadt were cremated in a small crematorium, the ashes put into cardboard boxes. In 1944, as the Russian front drew closer, they were dumped into the Ohre (Eger) River.

On 15 May 1944, Margarethe Heynemann was deported from the concentration camp Theresienstadt to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, nearly two years after her deportation from Hamburg. The transport contained 2,503 people – 1,736 women and girls and 767 men and boys. They were housed in the family camp of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Camp B II b. Most likely Margarethe Heynemann was murdered by gas during the time when the family camp was shut down on 11 or 12 July 1944.

Margarethe and Martin Heynemann’s daughter Lizzi was born in Altona. In 1925 she married the Hamburger Edwin Silberberg who was her same age and at the time of the wedding lived at Brahmsallee 18. When she married, she left the German-Israelite Congregation (Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde). Her husband was of Jewish heritage, but not religious. In the summer of 1925, their only son Karl-Heinz was born.

Lizzi Silberberg was already married when she trained to become a hairdresser in the Rhineland and opened her own hairdressing shop in Hamburg in 1929. It was a so-called "floor store”, meaning she cut her customers’ hair in her apartment. First she worked in her apartment at Beim Schlump 52 I, later at Kleinen Schäferkamp 21 I. After 1933, her economic situation deteriorated due to the boycott of Jewish business people, and her sales declined further and further. One indication of this was that the Silberbergs offered a room for rent at Kleinen Schäferkamp 21, announcing the room in the classified ads of the Hamburger Familienblatt in June 1937. Lizzi’s entry in the business register states "home hairdresser, self-employed, restricted to Jewish customers”. It is not clear what year this entry was made. In 1938 Lizzi Silberberg was forced to quit her business. In Oct. 1937 she had already moved to Grindelhof 83 Hs. 11 E. At that time, her husband and son still lived in Hamburg.

In 1938 Edwin Silberberg emigrated. He was probably arrested and detained after the November pogrom. At that time he no longer had an income or any wealth, therefore his departure was subsidized by the Welfare Association of Jews in Germany (Hilfsverein der Juden in Deutschland). In August, the Jewish Religious Association’s Aid Commision (Kommission für das Fürsorgewesen des Jüdischen Religionsverbandes) had given him 65 Reichsmarks-worth of clothing for his departure. Presumably the family had decided to have the father leave first due to a shortage of financial means. Lizzi intended to try to sell her hairdressing equipment so that she could follow him. Edwin Silberberg’s goal was to reach Havana in Cuba. However that plan collapsed within a short time. When he was not allowed to enter Cuba, he instead travelled to Uruguay. On 15 Nov. 1938, Lizzi Silberberg wrote a letter to the currency exchange office which stated:

"Herewith I sincerely request that the company Menzell & Co, Hamburg, agent of the shipping company The Pacific Steam Navigation Company, Liverpool, grant permission to pay out to me the amount of 476.00 Marks. This is the equivalent value of a ticket my husband purchased from the company named above for passage from Liverpool to Havana. Prior to embarking on the journey, my husband was forced to change his plans since, in the meantime, new entry regulations were passed for Havana and my husband did not receive a visa for Havana and hence was unable to use the ticket. The sum should therefore now be reimbursed by the Liverpool shipping company, and I request permission for the company Menzell & Co to pay out the sum to me here in Reichsmarks so that I can use it to pay for departure for myself and my child."

Permission was granted on 24 Nov. 1938 and was valid for one month.

At the end of 1938 or the beginning of 1939, Lizzi managed to send her only son to England on a Kindertransport. Karl-Heinz was thirteen years old when he left Hamburg. His leaving certificate from the Talmud Tora School was dated 20 Dec. 1938. His report card stated: "Karl Heinz Silberberg attended our school from 20 Aug. 1933, starting in grade 2a in elementary school and has been a pupil in grade V 7 since April 1938." At that time he had already left Hamburg. The report card was signed by the homeroom teacher Semmer who had taken over the class after Karl-Heinz’ emigration. Karl-Heinz did not remain long in England. In May or June 1939 he was sent from England to Montevideo, Uruguay to join his father. He traveled on the steamer "Highland Monarch". Lizzi Silberberg had received a landing permit for her son for Uruguay and sent it to England on 10 May 1939. The papers had cost her a great deal of time and money. She had to have witnessed by a notary that she agreed to Karl-Heinz’ departure. His passage was paid by the "Movement for the Care of Children from Germany" in London. The organization also took care of the details of the journey. Two days before his departure, Karl-Heinz was to travel to London to pick up his visa at the consulate. They had also planned for him to meet his aunt Gine (Regina Englander) in London who had departed from Hamburg on 31 May and was supposed to arrive in London on 3 June. It is not known whether that meeting took place.

The Heynemann family had also planned to send Margarethe Heynemann, daughter of Rudolf and Martha Heynemann, to England, but at the beginning of February "Gretel” wrote her cousin that she wouldn’t be coming to London. Instead she would travel with her parents to Shanghai, and her mother added: "Unfortunately Gretel won’t be coming to England. The transports have been stopped."

For Lizzi it must have been very painful to stay behind in Hamburg without her family, for three of her siblings also left the country around the same time. She was left only with her parents and her brother Max and his family. At the start of the war, many letters were sent from Hamburg to England and Uruguay, and the letters from Uruguay to England, from father to son and vice versa, were forwarded on to Hamburg. Lizzi commiserated with the lives of her child and her husband. The grandparents Heynemann and Silberberg also wrote Karl-Heinz, their "darling Peterle" and their "golden treasure". Karl-Heinz Silberberg returned temporarily to his hometown in the 1950s to make amends. His son Thomas still lives in Uruguay today and has the letters that were sent from Hamburg in 1938 and 1939 to the émigrés.

The letters indicate that even the old parents had considered departing for England. The whole family learned English to prepare for the necessity of changing their entire lives. A carefully hand-written letter from the grandmother to her grandson still exists in which she writes to him in English. The text merely contains small mistakes. Could the old woman have learned English in her early years?

Desperately Lizzi tried to find a way to leave the country, be it to England, Shanghai, Uruguay or somewhere else. When her husband advised her to be patient, she reproached him for not knowing the situation in Hamburg. She even asked her son to write the English King in this matter. In Mar. 1939, she moved to Grindelallee 47 where she had rented a furnished room from a family by the name of Ruben. In Feb. 1939, she wrote her son: "The hairdressing salon will be auctioned off this week along with the other furniture. I won’t receive much money for any of it." Then on 6 Mar. she added: "I’m no longer allowed to work, that’s been over since the first of January."

Lizzi Silberberg was never able to leave the country. In Oct. 1941 she received deportation instructions and was sent to Lodz on 25 Oct. There she lived, at least for a time, at Müllerstraße 4/42 (today Chopina Fryderyka). From Lodz she was transported to Chelmno on 12 May 1942 and killed. Five of Lizzi’s siblings survived. Rudolf, John and Leonhard were able to emigrate via Shanghai, Regina emigrated to England in 1939. Rudolf, John und Leonhard later lived in the USA where they headed in 1947, after the USA had abolished the visa requirement for Jews following the war.

Her sister Nelly also had wanted to leave for Shanghai with her second husband Ludwig Hillel. Due to Hillel’s poor state of health, these plans collapsed. Nelly was deported from Berlin to Auschwitz on 2 Mar. 1943. At that time her name was Nelly Marcus because she had married a third time on 30 Jan. 1942. Her divorced husband Ludwig Hillel was deported from Berlin to Riga on 26 Oct. 1942. Nelly Heynemann’s first marriage was to the traveling salesman Alex Güssefeld in Hamburg in 1926 who presumably was not Jewish. As early as the summer of 1928, the couple was divorced and Nelly returned to her maiden name.

Max and Rudolf Heynemann had married women who were not Jewish. Initially Max was protected by his "privileged" mixed marriage, which produced one daughter. But at the beginning of 1945 he received orders for deportation. At that time he was sick with furunculosis, and his wife accompanied him to the collection place where she managed to postpone his deportation. There were no further deportations.

Translator: Suzanne von Engelhardt

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Susanne Lohmeyer

Quellen: 1; 2 (FVg 3518; R1940/462); 4; 5; 8; StaH 332-5 Standesämter, 8798 und 137/1925; StaH 332-5, 6645 und 33/1926; StaH 332-5, 5941 u. 791/1897; StaH 351-11 AfW, AZ 280201 Silberberg, Lizzi; StaH 362-6/10 Talmud Tora Schule; 741-4 Fotoarchiv Sa 1248; StaH 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992e2 Band 1 Deportationsliste; Telefongespräch mit Helga Gröne, geb. Heynemann am 28.5.2009; Schreiben der Gedenkstätte Terezín vom März 1987; Schreiben des Museums Auschwitz-Birkenau vom 7.8.1987; Schreiben des Nationalarchivs zur Untersuchung von Nazi-Verbrechen in Warschau vom 2.12.1987; Auskunft vom Standesamt Mitte Berlin vom 22.4.2010; Brief der Gedenkstätte Terezín vom 19.3.1987; Private Briefe; Hamburger Familienblatt vom 10.6.1937; Deportationsliste Litzmannstadt, Gedenkstätte Lodz Radegast.

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