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Ilse Wagener (née Elkeles) * 1898
Eilbeker Weg 87 (Wandsbek, Eilbek)
Max Moses Wagener, born 4/1/1885 in Hamburg, detained at the Fuhlsbüttel police prison in 1938, deported to Lodz 10/25/1941, died there on 7/13/1942
Ilse Wagener, née Elkeles, born 7/30/1898 in Hamburg, deported to Lodz 10/25/1941, died there on 12/7/1943
Erich Wagener, born 10/2/1927 in Hamburg, deported to Lodz 10/25/1941, died there on 7/4/1943
Hans Wagener, born 11/10/1929 in Hamburg, deported to Lodz 10/25/1941
Eilbeker Weg 87
Max Moses Wagener, son of the bookbinder Joseph Wagener and his wife Hannchen, née Graff, came from a Jewish family. He was born April 1st, 1885 in Hamburg. After finishing school, he learned the craft of a ladies’ tailor. As a member of the Jewish Community in Hamburg, he paid culture tax for the first time in 1927. He had already been 29 when he volunteered for military service at the beginning of World War I in 1914 and was assigned to the Reserve Infantry Regiment 224 that consisted mainly of volunteers. In 1915, he was awarded the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross "for merits in the current war. In May 1920, Max Moses Wagener retroactively received the Iron Cross of the second class.
Ilse Elkeles, born July 30th, 1898 in Hamburg, came from a Jewish family. Her parents Leopold and Emma Elkeles lived at Rutschbahn 21 when Ilse was born. Her father ran a fashion store, later, he worked as a travelling salesman.
Max Moses Wagener and Ilse Elkeles married in Hamburg on December 10th, 1926. They had two sons, Erich, born October 2nd, 1927, and Hans, born November 10th, 1929.
Before he married, Max Moses Wagener lived at Ottostrasse 14 (now: Schellingstrasse) in Eilbek. The newlyweds’ first home was in Quickbornstrasse 45 in Hamburg-Hoheluft. At the time, Max Moses Wagener was listed in the Hamburg telephone book as a ladies’ tailor and proprietor of a fashion store and haberdashery. In 19129, probably after the birth of their second son, the family got An apartment at Mildestieg 2a in Hamburg-Barmbek, where they lived until 1934. After a short intermezzo at Eilbeker Weg 87, the Hamburg address book lists Max Moses Wagener at Bornstrasse 20 from 1935 to 1937, then at Rappstrasse 20, and finally, from 1940, in Klosterallee. We do not know if he still had his shop then.
Like many Hewish men, Max Moses Wagener was arrested during the November pogrom and detained at the Fuhlsbüttel police prison from November 11th to 12th, and then transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He was released on December 17th, 1938.
In October 1941, the family was served the deportation order at their home in Klosterallee. Max Moses and Ilse Wagener had to report to the house of the Masonic lodges in Moorweidenstrasse with their sons Erich (14) and Hans (11), from where they were deported to Lodz in Poland on October 25th, at the time called Litzmannstadt by the German occupants.
In the Lodz ghetto, the family was quartered in apartment no. 7 at Bleigasse no. 9, subsequently in the apartments no. 6 and 7 in Runge Strasse 10. We have no details about the conditions in those quarters. Later addresses in the ghetto were apartment no. 18 in Blechgasse 14 and Gnesener Strasse no. 26.
In May 1942, the Gestapo ghetto administration ordered the "resettlement” of half of the 21,000 German-speaking Jews from the Lodz ghetto. The use of the term "resettlement” in combination with purposely spread rumors was to create the delusion that the destination of the transport was a forced labor camp. Actually, the deported were to be murdered in specially equipped gas chamber trucks immediately on arrival in Chelmno (then called Kulmhof by the Germans), approx. 70 km away. Application for exemption from or deferral of the "resettlement " were allowed. Applicants had a chance of success if they were bearers of the Iron Cross or the Wounded Medal ort could prove they had an official employment. Obviously, the Wagener family was also threatened by being transported to Chelmno. Max Moses Wagener’s signed application to stay in the Lodz ghetto is preserved. In it, he points out that he had been "employed at the indoor slipper department” from December 1941 until March 18th, 1942. Attached is a certification that identifies him as a bearer of the Second Class of the Iron Cross and of the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross.
His application was successful. Max Moses Wagener lived in the Lodz ghetto until July 1942. He died there of malnutrition on July 13th, 1942. His elder Erich died of tuberculosis of the lung on April 7th, 1943, aged 15. Ilse Wagener only survived here son by two months; she died on July 12th, 1943, allegedly from inflammation of the intestines.
Hans Wagener also perished, but we do not know when, where and how.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2019
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 9; AB; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9145-1584/1898, 2101-1555/1885, 8807-417/26; StaH 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung Abl. 2, 451 a E 1, 1 c (Haftzeit in Fuhlsbüttel); 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992 e2 Deportationslisten; Archiwum Panstwowe, Lodz; USHMM, RG 15.083 302/998-1002; Loose und andere, Kulmhof – Das unbekannte Vernichtungslager am Ner.
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