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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Rifka Moses (née Grünberg) * 1896

Grindelallee 116 (Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum)

JG. 1896

further stumbling stones in Grindelallee 116:
Iwan Moses, Ruth Moses, Siegmund Rosenbaum, Edgar Rosenbaum, Eva Hava Walden, Schlome Salmen Walden, Else von der Wall

Iwan Moses, born on 4 Oct. 1888 in Hamburg, deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941, perished there
Rifka (Becky) Moses, née Grünberg, born on 15 Apr. 1896 in Constantinople, deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941, killed there
Ruth Moses, born on 1 May 1925 in Altona, deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941, killed there

Grindelallee 116

Iwan Moses’ parents were the merchant Joseph Moses and his wife Jenni, née Levy. On 30 June 1901, his brother Salo Moses (see Grindelallee 129) was born. The family lived in Hamburg-Neustadt, first at 2nd Elbstrasse 9, and after Salo’s birth at Hütten 109 on the second floor.

Iwan Moses was a bookbinder by trade, and in the 1920s, he worked in the printing department of Konrad Hanf Publishers. This publishing house issued the Hamburgische Submissionsanzeiger, in which public invitations to tender were published as well as some titles of literature current at that time. On 27 Oct. 1911, Iwan Moses married Martha Kracht, also Jewish, who had been born on 22 Jan. 1890 in Bielefeld. Almost ten years later, on 2 July 1921, this marriage was divorced and on 16 Mar. 1923, Ivan re-married. His second wife was Rifka (also called Becky) Grünberg and she had been born in Constantinople. Probably because of this place of birth, exotic at that time, she could not provide a birth certificate for the marriage and introduced herself at the civil registry office as Rifka Becky Grünberg, born on 17 May 1896. In 1938, a marginal note on the marriage document stated: "On the basis of a legally binding decision of the District Court [Amtsgericht] in Hamburg of 31 Aug. 1938, the following item is corrected: The female spouse named in the registration has only the first name Rifka, and she was born on 15 Apr. 1896.” Lotte Degner, a relative of Iwan Moses, who applied for restitution after the war, recalled that Rifka had been employed as a secretary at the Russian Trade Mission until her deportation (i.e., until Nov. 1941). The Russian Trade Mission at Schwanenwik 37 ceased its activities after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, and it was no longer possible to reconstruct whether Rifka Moses was employed there until then.

Iwan Moses rose in the Konrad Hanf Company up to the position of manager; however, the company had to declare bankruptcy in 1926 and it was deleted from the company register in 1928. It is unclear whether he found employment again immediately afterward, and there are only inaccurate details about his further career. At that time, he paid only small amounts of Jewish religious tax (Kultussteuer), which was waived altogether in 1931. In the years 1937/38, he was employed for a while at the Hans Hartmann printing house (Hamo-Druck). The company was located at Grosse Reichenstrasse 75. From 1936, the Hamburg directory also lists "Hartmann, Hans Vertr. [representative]” under the address of Hohe Bleichen 5-7. This address is also mentioned on the Jewish religious tax file card of Iwan Moses. Possibly, he worked as a representative for Hans Hartmann, because on the occasion of his planned emigration in 1939, he stated that he was employed as a "seller of printed matter.” During the war, he was probably also used as a forced laborer. Lotte Degner stated that he had been forced to work in a print shop on Gröningstrasse. Possibly, it was the Konrad Hanf publishing house’s printing plant, which was continued under a different management and located at Neue Gröningerstrasse 30, not far from the business address of the publishing house at Zippelhaus.

The Moses family lived at various addresses, including at Bogenstrasse 11a, where Iwan Moses’ mother and the Karger family lived in the mid-1920s (see Grindelhof 68), and at Bismarckstrasse 73. From 1938 at the latest until the deportation, they lived on the second floor of Grindelallee 116.

Iwan Moses planned to emigrate in 1939. Daughter Ruth, who attended the Israelite Girls’ School, was supposed to come along to Britain, but Rifka Moses had to or wanted to stay in Hamburg. The reason for this does not emerge from the files, but it may have been due to lack of a visa.

Iwan told the Chief Finance Administrator (Oberfinanzpräsident) that he was a bookbinder and that he was currently a seller of printed matter. As an annual income, he indicated 1,575 RM (reichsmark) and 500 RM in assets. He wanted to emigrate via Britain to the USA. In addition, the list of goods to be taken along had already been submitted, and the confirmation that he no longer owed the state any money was available to the authorities as of 24 Jan. 1939. The customs investigation department expressed no objection to the shipping of the goods – with the exception that the registered silver items were to be taken to the pawnshop. On 12 May 1939, the shipping agent, A. Th. Paulsen, reported the shipment of the moving goods destined for the USA. However, Iwan and Ruth Moses stayed in Hamburg. On 20 Nov.1939, the Chief Finance Administrator requested "immediate information as to whether and, if so, when and where Iwan Israel Moses [...] was deregistered with the police.” The answer dated 7 Dec. 1939 stated, "Moses was present here. There is no possibility of emigration at present.” With the outbreak of war in Sept. 1939, the opportunities for emigration were almost completely eliminated. What had happened before, however, to prevent the departure of father and daughter, originally planned for 7 Mar. 1939, remains unclear.

Reporting to the assembly area on Moorweide on 8 Nov. 1941, the family was deported to Minsk, where all traces of them disappear.

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: 1; 2; 5; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2181 Nr. 4755, 3173 Nr. 635, 8778 Nr. 130; StaH 314-15 Oberfinanzpräsident FVg 7962; StaH 351-11_ Amt für Wiedergutmachung 38212; Auszug Handelsreg. 1928; Adressbücher Hamburg 1920, 1926, 1930–1937; (letzter Aufruf: 15.1.2015); Randt: Carolinenstrasse 35.
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