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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Ella Nathan * 1886
Mansteinstraße 7 (Eimsbüttel, Hoheluft-West)
further stumbling stones in Mansteinstraße 7:
Helene Nathan, née Müller, born on 15 Dec. 1862 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, murdered there in May 1942
Ella Nathan, born on 19 June 1886 in Hamburg, deported on 6 Dec. 1941 to Riga, murdered there in May 1942
Helene Nathan was born as Helene Müller in Hamburg on 15 Dec. 1862. Her parents were Arnold and Henriette Müller, née Burchard. Her husband was Morris Nathan (born on 23 Feb. 1861). They were married on 1 Jan. 1885. Morris Nathan passed away on 1 Feb. 1916. He had been paralyzed for 25 years and unfit for work. Helene Nathan had to contribute to supporting the family. At the time when Morris Nathan had not been quite as ill yet, Helene Nathan had opened a store selling trousseau articles. Later, when he required permanent care, she rented a large apartment, renting out rooms and operating a guesthouse at Hoheluftchaussee 65.
The marriage produced two children: daughter Ella, born on 19 June 1886, and son Gustav, born on 23 Aug. 1890.
The German-Israelitic Community noted for Ella Nathan the joining of the Jewish Community as of the year 1919, though not assessing her for the Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer), because she received "welfare” as she was "unfit for gainful employment.” Ella did not marry; she lived with her parents and then, from 1916 on, with her mother, respectively. No information was recorded regarding her disabilities. Initially, the Nathan family or, respectively, the mother and daughter resided at Mansteinstrasse 7; in the 1930s at Hoheluftchaussee 65 for a while; also at Wrangelstrasse 37 for a brief period; and finally, at Sonninstrasse 12 in Altona, in a so-called "Jews’ house” ("Judenhaus”).
Morris Nathan paid taxes to the Jewish Community since 1913. In 1917, these were waived. Minor tax entries – by that time for Helene Nathan – followed only in the years from 1922 onward. They are clues to Helene Nathan pursuing gainful employment. Subsequently, Helene and Ella Nathan became the responsibility of the welfare authority.
On 4/6 Dec. 1941, Helene Nathan was deported along with her daughter to Riga-Jungfernhof. Initially, only Ella had been ordered to report to the deportation. However, the mother did not want to let her leave by herself, applying to accompany her on the transport. Both perished in May 1942.
The son and brother, Gustav Nathan, a railroad assistant (Eisenbahnassistent) by occupation, was already married by then – the wedding with Anna Ots-Buchhorn (born on 2 May 1898 in Arensburg [today Kuressaare]/Estonia) had taken place on 20 Dec. 1918. The marriage produced three children: Wera Helene, born on 31 Dec. 1919, died already on 25 Mar. 1923 as a result of leukemia. A second child, Annemarie Ella, was born on 12 Oct. 1921, and Sonja Wera on 13 Feb. 1924. The two girls were baptized as Protestants. Gustav Nathan called himself a dissident.
Although he was assessed for taxes by the Jewish Community from 1921 onward, this applied only until 1927. Only in 1939 did he become a member of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland). By that time, he had been dismissed as a Reich Railway Secretary (Reichsbahnsekretär) – based on the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” ("Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums”) dating from 1933.
In 1940, he left the Reich Association [of Jews] again, for as a Jew living in a "mixed marriage” ("Mischehe”), he was not obligated to be a member. The marriage with Anna Ots-Buchhorn protected him from this. Later, the daughter described what the everyday life of the young Nathan family with their two children looked like: "Annemarie [i.e., herself, note by P. O.] was able to attend the so-called Oberbau (senior grades of elementary school) and complete the intermediate secondary school certificate (the principal of her school had supported her after the application had been turned down earlier) from 1935 until 1938 and even business school from 1938 until 1940 while still in Hamburg. Unfortunately, for her younger sister Sonja this was no longer possible because of her descent. She had to get a job after completing the eight-grade elementary school (Volksschule). In July 1939, Sonja managed with assistance from Quakers to emigrate on a children transport (Kindertransport) to Britain, where she was first quartered with a family and later allowed to work in a business office. By this time, i.e., in July 1939, Annemarie was already too old for a children transport to Britain …” After vocational training, she completed her one-year obligatory labor service ("Pflichtjahr”) from the spring of 1940 until the spring of 1941, then starting an office position at the Chemische Fabrik Kleemann & Co., a chemical plant located in Hamburg-Billbrook at Berzeliusstrasse 41 in May 1941. She got access to this job because her mother contributed to the family’s livelihood by cleaning and sewing; the pension of the father, having been forced into retirement, did not suffice. "When my mother mended the bed linen for the family of Mr. Paul Kleemann (the director of the chemical plant) in the spring of 1941, she told the family that her older daughter [i.e., Annemarie] had attended business school and was looking for employment after completing her obligatory labor service. Without hesitation, Mr. Kleemann said ‘Can start working for me!’ Thus, I worked there until everything burnt to the ground, our apartment and the Chemische Fabrik as well, which occurred in July 1943.”
The air raids on Hamburg intensified and during the night of 27 to 28 July 1943, the Nathan family lost their home because of bomb damage. They were evacuated together with many thousands of people and quartered with farmers near Flensburg. The parents found refuge with two nice elderly women, and Annemarie moved into the room of another farmer’s son, who had been drafted into the German Wehrmacht. Hanging above her bed at this place was a Hitler portrait that she removed from the wall without asking for permission.
In the new accommodations, Annemarie fell ill. A nurse of the National Socialist People’s Welfare authority (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt – NSV) was called in. She had heard about the removal of the picture and since the last name of the patient was Jewish, she reported her to the Gestapo. On 13 Aug. 1943, Annemarie was arrested. Until 28 Oct. 1943, she was detained in prisons in Klixbüll near Niebüll and in Flensburg, was sent on a transport and committed to the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp on 3 Nov. 1943. She was quartered there in various camp sections and had to work for the Siemens Company:
"After I had been forced, in the beginning, to perform heavier physical labor in Ravensbrück, also being used in the weaving mill, I was able to work for Siemens starting in early Apr. 1944. Siemens had opened a branch near Ravensbrück, about a ten-minute walk away from the camp. We worked day and night shifts on an alternating schedule. Work was light, at least in Hall 8 where I was deployed. Of course, we marched to work under close guard. The setup was, however, that we had to line up for roll call in the mornings and in the evenings so that thousands of prisoners could be counted, and that frequently took hours and hours. Consequently, we were often late for work and Siemens management was not happy about that. Therefore, a subcamp was established right next to the plant, we called it Siemens camp [Siemenslager]. There, we needed to line up for roll call only once a day and the counting went much faster. I was accommodated in the Siemenslager from Nov. 1944 until mid-Apr. 1945. In mid-Apr. 1945, Siemens in Ravensbrück was dismantled. We came back to the large camp, until we were eventually put on a transport on 27 Apr. 1945 (...) along with hundreds of other women on transport, marching, destination unknown. On the evening of 28 Apr. 1945 ‘escape’ with a few other women, picked up on the country road by the white busses of the Swedish Red Cross on 29 Apr. 1945, taken to Lübeck, and on 30 Apr. 1945, going by ship to Sweden, arriving there in the early morning of 2 May 1945.”
After a period of recuperation and subsequent work as a domestic help, she was employed at the office of the Stockholm Jewish Community starting in 1947. In 1948, she married "her childhood friend” Karl-Walter Schlegel.
In 1986, Annemarie Schlegel retired. Her sister Sonja moved from Britain to Sweden in 1950. She married in 1952; her husband was Georg Wolff, who had come with his parents to Sweden from Danzig (today Gdansk in Poland) even before the war. Their daughter is Eva Wolff.
Gustav Nathan passed away in Hamburg on 10 Sept. 1952, Anna Nathan (née Ots-Buchhorn) on 18 May 1954.
The closest relatives of Helene Nathan (née Müller) were her brother, the artist and painter Carl Josef Müller (called Karl Müller, born on 19 Jan. 1865 in Hamburg) – who was deported with his wife Louise Rebecka Müller (née Hauer, born on 12 Feb. 1872 in Hamburg) to Theresienstadt on 15 July 1942; he died there on 29 Oct. 1942; Louise Rebecka was transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp on 15 May 1944 (see Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Winterhude, p. 175f.); Anna David (née Müller, born on 16 June 1866 in Hamburg) was deported on 19 July 1942 to Theresienstadt and died there on 7 Nov. 1942. Lina Heyn (née Müller; born on 4 Jan. 1875 in Hamburg) was deported with her husband Leopold Heyn (born on 5 June 1866 in Neuhaus) to Theresienstadt on 19 July 1942; she died there on 12 Aug. 1942 – one day after her husband.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: November 2017
© Peter Offenborn
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; telefonische Informationen und Schreiben von Annemarie Schlegel vom 7.10.2010; StaH 351-11 AfW, 768; HAB.
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