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Already layed Stumbling Stones
Edmund Sonn * 1919
Isestraße 61 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
further stumbling stones in Isestraße 61:
Josepha Ambor, Else Baer, Hedi Baer, Ingrid Baer, Joseph Baer, Minna Benjamin, Rosalie Benjamin, Emma Dugowski, Henriette Dugowski, Hermann Dugowski, Ida Dugowski, Moritz Dugowski, Wanda Dugowski, Selly Gottlieb, Heinrich Ilse, Ella Meyer, Max Meyer, Otto Meyer, Gregor Niessengart, Sophie Philip, Michael Pielen, Gertrud Rosenbaum
Edmund Levi Sonn, born on 24 Sept. 1919, deported on 8 Nov. 1941 to Minsk
Edmund was the only son of Bertha, née Hirsch, and Hermann Sonn. His parents were not natives of Hamburg. Bertha was born on 4 Dec. 1891 in Lübeck as the daughter of Jacob Hirsch and Johanna, née Blumenthal; Hermann originally came from Neukirchen and had gone to Hamburg as a photographer. Over the years, he had managed to build up his own photo studio at Reeperbahn 58.
Until the mid-1930s, the family resided only a few minutes away from the business premises, at Neuer Steinweg 1. In 1935, they relocated to the Grindel quarter, moving into a place at Heinestrasse 15. Edmund, however, stayed there for only one year. In 1936, he moved out of his parents’ home and lived for the first time on Isestrasse, at no. 66 with Blunck. After finishing his apprenticeship as an accountant in 1937, he returned to his parents, who meanwhile had changed their place of residence once more, by then living at Eckernförderstrasse 31/32.
The reprisals against Jewish businesses showed their effects in the dwindling revenues of the photo studio as well. Until 1938, Hermann Sonn managed to hold on to it; after that, it no longer existed.
The financial difficulties of his parents may have been the reason why Edmund ultimately forewent emigration, having already contributed his entire wages of 78 RM (reichsmark) to the family budget during his traineeship, as it was needed toward rent and food.
At the beginning of Apr. 1938, he filled out the "questionnaire for emigrants” for the first time, with the intention of going to New York. Since his savings of 54 RM did not suffice for the passage by a long shot, he turned to the Relief Organization of Jews (Jüdischer Hilfsverein), which covered all but 60 RM of the expenses. Edmund loaned the remaining sum from a friend, Karl Zuss, whom he repaid the money in two installments.
After four months, all bureaucratic hurdles had been taken and the necessary certifications obtained from various authorities. Following a meticulous inspection of the baggage by officials from the foreign currency office, in Feb. 1939 the Gärtner transport company was commissioned with picking up two suitcases containing moving goods from Sonn on Eckernförderstrasse and putting them in storage until departure. The pieces of luggage waited for their owner at this location until May. In the meantime, he had postponed the departure to a later date. In Oct. 1939, when he applied for an exit permit for a second time, in this case to Great Britain, the war had already started and made emigration considerably more difficult for Jews.
The processing of Edmund’s application for an exit visa had not been completed when the "Reich Law on Tenancies with Jews” ("Reichsgesetz über die Mietverhältnisse mit Juden”) took effect on 30 Apr. 1939, abolishing free choice of lodgings for Jews. At first, Edmund was quartered at Rappstrasse 16 with Levy; in 1941, he moved as a subtenant into the apartment of the Dugowskis on the third floor of the house at Isestrasse 61. His parents were forced to give up their apartment and take up lodgings with Behr at Eppendorfer Baum 10, before being deported to Riga on 6 Dec. 1941.
By this time, their son Edmund was no longer in the city. He had been "resettled” ("ausgesiedelt”) to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941, only few months after moving to Isestrasse. Separated from each other, the entire family perished in the ghettos.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: January 2019
© Eva Decker
Quellen: 1; 2; 4; 8; Bruno Blau, Das Ausnahmerecht für die Juden in Deutschland 1933–1945, Düsseldorf 1965, Gesetz über die Mietverhältnisse mit Juden vom 30.4.1939, S. 68.
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