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John Rogozinski * 1885
Brahmsallee 25 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
Flucht in den Tod 10.07.1940
John Rogozinski, born 28 June 1885 in Hamburg, death by suicide 10 July 1940 in the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp
Brahmsallee 25 (Hansastraße 64)
Very little could be discovered about the life of the merchant John Rogozinski and his death at the age of 55. He was born in 1885 at Caffamacherreihe 4 in Hamburg-Neustadt. His parents were the leather manufacturer Bernhard (Berg) Rogozinski and his wife Helena, née Sonnenberg. Both parents were Jewish, and raised their children John, Leopold (*1883), and Gertrud (*1890) in the faith. Bernhard Rogozinski was from a merchant family from Gnesen in the Prussian province of Posen. Helene Sonnenberg was the daughter of a passementier (a maker of elaborate trimmings for clothing). Berhnard Rogozinski died in 1925, aged nearly 70; Helene died in 1938, aged 76.
John Rogozinski never married. He became a member of the Hamburg Jewish Community in 1921. He lived at various addresses, initially with his parents at Isestraße 25, then in rented rooms first at Annenstraße 4, then at Heinrich-Barth Straße 19. In 1935 he moved to Leipzig, but returned to Hamburg and lived in rented rooms at Hansastraße 64 in Harvestehude.
Whether John Rogozinski was actually homosexual or not is unknown, but he was arrested on 9 July 1940 by the 24th Police Commissariat, which was in charge of homosexual "offenses," on suspicion of committing a prohibited homosexual act. He was put into "protective custody” at the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp. On the next day he was found dead in his cell at 5:12 am. The cause of death was listed as "suicide by hanging" with a belt. It remains unclear whether he was subjected to "intensified interrogation,” mistreated, and possibly died as a result of injuries, or if he chose death rather than enduring the impending interrogation as a doubly-stigmatized homosexual Jew.
His siblings were able to escape Nazi persecution by emigrating. His sister Trude had married the pharmacist Reinhold Israel, who later changed his name in the US to Ronald Mamlok, in 1922. They fled via Lisbon to New York in May 1941. Their son Gerhard Dieter Ludwig Israel, later Dwight Mamlok, born in 1923, had escaped with a children's transport to Sweden in April 1939. He joined his parents in the US, but suffered from chronic anxiety from the anti-Jewish propaganda he had experienced in his youth and the separation from his parents. In the late 1950s the family was living in San Mateo, California.
A Stolperstein at John Rogozinski’s last address, Hansastraße 64 (present-day Brahmsallee 25), memorializes his fate.
Translator: Amy Lee
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: September 2019
© Bernhard Rosenkranz (†)/Ulf Bollmann
Quellen: 1; 4; HAB II 1940; StaH, 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Ablieferung 2, 451 a E 1, 1 e; 331-5 Polizeibehörde – Unnatürliche Sterbefälle, 1394/40; 332-5 Standesämter, 2104 (Eintrag Nr. 3108), 2640 (Eintrag Nr. 432) und 9917 (Eintrag Nr. 740); 351-11 AfW, 14871; Rosenkranz/Bollmann/Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 250.
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