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Gertrude Kendziorek (née Baumblatt) * 1901
Auenstraße 6 (Wandsbek, Eilbek)
Hermann Kendziorek, born 12 Sep. 1868 in Gorka, Samter district (now: Szamotuly, Western Poland), died 13 Oct. 1943 in the "Kamp Westerbork police transit camp for Jews”
Regine (called Rieke) Kendziorek, née Haase, born 23 Sep. 1868 in Wreschen (now: Wrzesnia, Poland), deported to Auschwitz from the "Kamp Westerbork police transit camp for Jews”, on 8 Feb. 1944 and murdered there on 11 Feb. 1944
Leo Kendziorek, born 14 Mar. 1898 in Neustadt an der Warthe (now: Nowe Miasto nad Warta, Poland, deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941
Gertrude Kendziorek, née Baumblatt, born 26 Nov. 1901 in Bad Nauheim, deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941
Heinz Kendziorek, born 24 Apr. 1929 in Hamburg, deported to Minsk on 8 Nov. 1941
The Jewish Kendziorek family came from the former Pomerania, where they made a good living with their own companies, and had acquired esteem by entrepreneurial success and public offices. From 1933 on, boycott measures step by step stifled their business, until the economic basis for their life in Pomerania was destroyed. A part of the family therefore temporarily moved to Hamburg, where a relative, Leo Kendziorek, had been running a drugstore since the early 1920s. But in Hamburg, too, the pressure of persecution increased – two members of the family emigrated to Palestine, one relative to Guatemala. Other family members decided to flee to the Netherlands, where they later fell into the hands of the Nazi occupying forces. Another branch of the family moved to Lübeck, from where they were deported to Riga, whereas the Kendzioreks who had remained in Hamburg were deported to Minsk.
The family senior Hermann Kendziorek was born September 12, 1868 in Gorka, Samter district (now: Szamotuly, Poland), approx. 210 km south-east of Stettin. He first attended secondary school at his birthplace, then changed to the boarding school in Filehne (now: Wielen, Poland), approx. 150 km south-east of Stettin, where he graduated from junior high school.
After his schooling, Hermann Kendziorek absolved an apprenticeship as a grain merchant in Poznań and set up his own business in Neustadt an der Warthe. The Grain trading company included a grocery store and a hardware store. In Neustadt, he met Regine (called Rieke) Haase, who was to become his wife. Rieke was born into a Jewish family on September 23rd, 1869 in Wreschen (now: Wrzesnia), approx 50 km east of Poznań, first attended the secondary school for girls and later the lyceum, and subsequently absolved a commercial apprenticeship at a company in Neustadt an der Warthe.
After Hermann Kendziorek had sold his first company in 1900, he acquired a long-established grain trading company in Pyritz in Pomerania (now: Pyrzyce, Poland), continuing it under the name of J. Hahn Nachfolger H. Kendziorek, and developing it into one of the most important enterprises Weizacker district. The company regularly employed twelve people and owned one truck and one, at times two passenger cars.
Regine Kendziorek was always the "first worker” in her husband’s business, so that two aides were employed in the Kendziorek household, plus a housekeeper who doubled as a governess.
His very successful business led to Hermann Kendzioreks appointment as a sworn interpreter for German and Polish at the district court of Pyritz and also as arbiter for the Association of Grain and Potato Merchants of the Stettin District. In spite of the anti-Semitic tendencies that had already become evident at the time, Hermann Kendziorek seems to have been an esteemed citizen in is region.
Like many of his fellow Jews, Hermann Kendziorek volunteered to service in the army of the German Reich 1914, serving with the Black Hussars in Poznań as a second lieutenant..
Regine and Hermann Kendziorek had six children: daughter Ruth, born August 22nd, 1901 in Pyritz, and the sons Walter, born December 31st, 1895, most likely in Soldin (now: Mysliborz, Poland, in the former Neumark; Kurt, born March 14th, 1898 in Neustadt an der Warthe, Hans, born October 14th, 1899 in Neustadt an der Warthe, and Alfons, born February 6th, 1903 in Oyritz.
The sons Walter and Hans also worked at the family company that was given the legal status of an ordinary partnership from about 1930, when the sons had become official partners. The youngest son Alfons, after completing his commercial apprenticeship, had worked in Düsseldorf, Labes in Pomerania and Hamburg, returned to Pyritz and became an employee in the family company. Alfons, too, was to become a partner, but that no longer came about..
Kurt Kendziorek, the middle of the five sons, lived with his wife Gertrud, née Aronsohn, and their daughters Inge and Erika in the small town of Soldin, where he was born. Kurt ran his own transport company with five long-haul trucks, a gas station and a garage yard.
Leo, the third eldest son, became a druggist and, together with his brother Alfons, in the early 1920s founded a drugstore and chemicals shop at Wandsbeker Chaussee 155 in Hamburg. We will learn more about Leo Kendziorek and his family in detail further on.
Ruth, the only daughter, in 1927 married the Merchant Max Friedrich Stempel from Altona, living with him in his home town (which in 1937 was incorporated into Hamburg in 1937), residing at Mörkenstrasse 1.
The conditions for the Kendziorek family changed severely when the Nazis came to power in 1933: former business partners began to boycott the Jewish grain trader Kendziorek more and more. Sales plummeted until the business was hardly tenable any more in 1936. Son and company shareholder Walter Kendziorek saw no future for himself, left the Pyritz company in 1937 and emigrated to Palestine. At the same time, the remaining owners Hermann and Hans Kendziorek were forced to lease the company. Hermann Kendziorek personally owned a residential property with a storage building in Bahnerstrasse 32 and a large, modern grain silo in Bahnhofstrasse, as well a storage property with a barn in the street then called Adolf-Hitler-Strasse. A hauler from Schleswig-Holstein bought the formerly prosperous Pyritz grain trading company far below its value in 1937 or 1938, as he later contentedly told.
Confronted with massive economic and political pressure, Regine and Hermann Kendziorek and their sons Hans and Alfons moved to Hamburg in September 1937, near to their relative, the above-mentioned druggist Leo Kendziorek; the family found a dwelling in Pappelallee 46 in the Eilbek district, only 15 minutes walking distance their son’s drugstore. Hermann Kendziorek from then on is referred to as a pensioner in the documents. He belonged to the Jewish community of Hamburg from October 1st, 1937 to March 6th, 1939.
Kurt Kendziorek, too, came to Hamburg with his family in the summer of 1938 after he had failed to maintain his hauling business in Soldin due to intensive harassment, in spite of his huge efforts. Half a year later, the family moved on to Lübeck, finding a dwelling at Schwartauer Allee 9a.
In September 1938, Alfons Kendziorek travelled to Palestine to check the chances of settling there. It was there that he heard about the terror against Jews, their businesses and synagogues on November 9th, 1938, and the concurrent massive arrest in Germany, and decided not to return there.
Hans Kendziorek, who had come to Hamburg with his parents Hermann and Regine, now also left his native country that had turned hostile to him. Hans settled in Guatemala, living in comparatively poor conditions.
Hermann and Regine Kendziorek had obviously lost confidence in Germany, probably encouraged in their decision by the news of the arrest of their son Leo in connection with pogrom of November 1938 and a "hard interrogation” of Hermann Kendziorek at the end of January 1939, when he had been accused of sending allegedly new clothes trimmed to look old to his son Alfons in Palestine without the necessary permit. Two shirts and two pairs of shoes were classified as new by the Hamburg Customs Investigation Department in spite of the fact that Hermann Kendziorek insisted that the items had already been worn by his son. The clothes and a duvet were first confiscated, but later again released, after Hermann Kendziorek had admitted that the shirts might have been new, but he had not realized this because they had already been washed. He was given a fine of 50 RM, and it was decreed that he was to pay a levy of approx 30 RM to the "Deutsche Golddiskontbank” for any further application for permission to send (Dego) personal items to his son.
On February 2nd, 1939, Hermann Kendziorek formally applied for a permit to send clothes and bedclothes to his son Alfons in Tel Aviv, including a pair of working pants, two pairs of shoes, eight small and six large handkerchiefs, two aprons and other items. For the application he paid a Dego levy of 30 RM on March 6th, 1939.
In a questionnaire for emigrants, signed on February 25th, 1939, Hermann Kendziorek declared he wanted to emigrate to the Netherlands. He gave his 1938 income as 3768 RM. His values, listed in that document, included his bank deposit and securities worth nearly 1,300 RM and a property in Pyritz with a standard value of 22.300 RM, mortgaged with 3,700 RM. In his two-page, closely written list of relocation goods, Hermann Kendziorek itemized all objects purchased before and after Jan 1st, 1933 in addition to things that had been expressly bought for the emigration – these were pieces of clothing worth 412.25 RM, for which the Chief finance Administrator demanded an equal amount as Dego levy on March 15th, 1939. However, the sum was paid in securities with a value of 500.43 RM
Hermann und Regine Kendziorek, by now both aged 70, left Hamburg at the end of March, 1939, to join their daughter Ruth Stempel, who had previously emigrated to the Netherlands; before being allowed to leave, Hermann Kendziorek had to pay a further 11,250 RM to the state as "levy on Jewish assets”. A Hamburg moving company still well-known today transported the household. Maastricht, Attilaweg 25, was the first destination of the flight. Ruth and her husband Max Friedrich Stempel lived there, having already emigrated to Amsterdam shortly after the Nazis came to power. Max and Ruth Stempel’s son Werner Joachim was born on October 28th, 1934 in Amsterdam.
Both families, the Kendzioreks and the Stempel family, moved to Amsterdam, Scheldeplein 1, in November 1939. First, they all lived there. In August, 1940, Hermann and Regine got an apartment of their own at Scheldeplein 16. In September, 1942, they again moved, to Nieuwer Amstellaan 35 huis in Amsterdam.
On May 10th, 1940, German troops attacked the neutral Netherlands, smashing the putative safety of the Jews who had immigrated from Germany. The German Wehrmacht utilized the "Central Refugee Camp Westerbork” established shortly before the war by the Dutch government in the Drenthe province for their purposes, imprisoning all Dutch Jews as well as those who had previously fled from Germany and Austria. Transports from all over the Netherlands to the "Police Refugee camp Kamp Westerbork” started in July 1942. Every Tuesday, a freight train with a large number of prisoners departed from the camp, primarily for the extermination camps in Auschwitz and Sobibor.
Hermann and Regine Kendzioreks daughter Ruth Stempel, their son-in-law Max Friedrich and their grandson Werner Joachim, born, born 1934 in Amsterdam, were committed to Westerbork on April 20th, 1943. On September 18th, 1943, the Germans also took Hermann and Regine Kendziorek into custody and brought them to Westerbork. Hermann Kendziorek died there a few days later on October 13th, 1943 at the age of 75. His wife Regine was in the camp hospital at the time (barakke 82); she was deported to Auschwitz on February 8th, 1944 and murdered after her arrival on February 11th, 1944. Daughter Ruth, son-in-law Max Friedrich and grandson Werner Joachim were deported to Auschwitz with the same transport. February 11th, 1944 is also considered to be the date of their death.
Stumbling Stones for Hermann und Regine Kendziorek lie at Pappelallee 46.
Druggist Leo Kendziorek, his wife Gertrude and their son Heinz were the only members of the family that remained in Hamburg after his parents had fled to the Netherlands. Leo Kendziorek had been registered in the central Hamburg trade register as "dealer of drugs and chemical compounds for medical purposes, as well as of fashion accessories, photographic materials, household items and distilled brandy”, In the 1923 Hamburg address book, he was entered with his drugstore at Wandsbeker Chaussee 155, the business he had founded with his brother Alfons.
Alfons Kendziorek had cancelled the partnership with his brother Leo and opened a shop at Rothenbaumchaussee 109, where he also lived. The Hamburg address book of 1927 contains the lapidary entry ""Kendziorek A. u. Walter Rebhuhn, Rothenbaumchaussee 109". The trade register here designates the learned merchant as druggist.
According to the reports of former employees, Leo Kendziorek’s drugstore was very well established. It had five departments: drugs, perfumery, photographic and darkroom materials, paint, fireworks and joke items. Leo Kendziorek, later also his wife and two employees worked here. The shop in Wandsbeker Chaussee enabled Leo Kendziorek and his family to lead a comfortable life.
Leo Kendziorek, member of the Jewish Community since 1924, was married to Gertrude, née Baumblatt, from a Jewish family in Bad Nauheim, Hesse, born on November 26th, 1901. Their only son Heinz was born on April 24th, 1929.
The Leo Kendziorek family first lived at Auenstrasse 6 in Hamburg-Eilbek. In 1932/1933 they moved to Wandsbeker Chaussee 159. The business address now was also Wandsbeker Chaussee 159, where the family lived in a well-equipped apartment with living-room, dining-room, bedroom and kitchen.
There are no reports about the situation of the drugstore or the family’s living conditions after the Nazis came to power. The circumstances, however, must have been very gloomy. It seems that emigration was a continuous subject of conversation in the family. By the mid-thirties, four of Leo Kendziorek’s siblings had left Germany. The fact that Leo and Gertrude Kendziorek already wanted to leave the country by early 1936 indicates that their living conditions had drastically deteriorated for them, too. Their destination was Palestine. The preserved declaration of assets of February 6th, 1936 was surely completed in connection with plans for emigration.
In Palestine, the Kendziorek family wanted to build up a new existence in an agricultural settlement, but the money necessary for emigration seems not yet to have been available in full. Therefore, relatives abroad tried to support their brother’s project. The efforts for emigration dragged on for years. In 1939, the family still hoped to be able to leave Germany. Most likely, emigration failed due to the breakout of war.
In the aftermath of the pogrom of November 1938, things got dramatically worse for the small Kendziorek family, too. A letter of November 20th from Gertrude Kendziorek’s parents-in-law to her brother states: "Like so many, Trude resigns herself to her fate, and we are all hoping that Leo will return in good health.” Leo had been arrested during the pogrom night and was detained as a prisoner of the Gestapo at the Fuhlsbüttel Police Jail from November 11th to the 30th. On December 14th, 1938, Gertrude Kendziorek: "We are no occupied with the closure of our shop, and you can imagine what a huge job that is. This work had to be completed by the end of 1938, because, from January 1st, 1939, Jews were no longer allowed to do business.
On January 2nd, 1939, Gertrude Kendziorek again wrote to her brother: "Our shop is now rented to a confectioner. Within a short stretch of our street, there are eight more such [Jewish] shops. There were three drugstores within the same distance, and we were not allowed to sell, because there were too many. Had we only sold out earlier. We will get almost nothing from the shop. Everything is still standing as it was. As time goes on, you just don’t care anymore
For Leo and Gertrude’ son Heinz Kendziorek, things also changed. He had reached school age in 1935, and from April 26th, 1938, he attended the Talmud Tora School in Hamburg’s Grindel quarter, next to the great synagogue; previously, he had been enrolled in a neighborhood public school in Eilbek. The cause for changing schools is unknown, but it is likely that Heinz Kendziorek could no longer bear the hostilities against him. Anyway, the family had only anticipated the banishment of Jewish children from public schools by a couple of months. The Nazis issued an order to this effect, forbidding Jewish children to attend state schools effective November 15th, 1938.
By 1939, Leo Kendziorek’s assets had diminished from more than 15,000 RM to 3,400 RM within a short time. According to an annotation by the currency office of Hamburg’s Chief Finance Administrator of June 1939, the decrease was due to "major losses during the liquidation of the company (drugstore)” – with no mention of the fact that the liquidation of the prosperous company had been forced. The "Levy on Jewish Assets” of 2,500 RM further diminished Leo Kendziorek’s financial resources.
After the forced abandonment of the drugstore, the Kendziorek family also had to vacate the apartment attached to the store at Wandsbeker Chaussee 159. The family moved in with Leo’s parents at Pappelallee 46 for a short time, then got a three-room flat at Finkenau 5. From November 1st, 1939, the only had a single room in the apartment of Regensburger family at Hansastrasse. It was there that the received their deportation orders.
Leo and Gertrude Kendziorek, their son Heinz and 965 others had to present themselves at the building of the Masonic Lodges (which had been confiscated by the Nazis) in Moorweidenstrasse on November 8th, 1941. Early next morning, all these people were taken to the (now no longer existing) Hannover railway station in closed police vans, guarded by policemen. The transport arrived in Minsk in the evening of November 11th, 1941. From then on, there were no further signs of life from Leo, Gertrude and Heinz Kendziorek. They were declared dead effective May 8th, 1945.
Stumbling Stones for Leo, Gertrude and Heinz Kendziorek lie at Auenstrasse 6.
Hermann and Regine Kendziorek’s daughter, Ruth Stempel also fell victim to the Nazi Regime, as did her husband Max Friedrich Stempel and their son Werner Joachim.
Kurt, the eldest son of Hermann und Regina Kendziorek was deported from Lübeck to Riga via Hamburg on December 6th, 1941, together with his wife Gertrud, née Aronsohn, and their daughters Erika and Inge Marion. Gertrud met her death near Riga; a stumbling stone for her lies in Lübeck. Kurt and his two daughters Erika and Marion are among the few who returned.
Helene, Martha and Regina Regensburger, from whom Leo, Gertrude and Heinz Wolfgang Kendziorek had rented a single room for their final days in Hamburg, were also displaced to Riga on the transport of December 6th, 1941. There was no further sign of life from these three women.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: October 2016
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 6; 8; 9; AB; StaH 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft OLG – Verwaltung Abl. 2 451 a E 1,1 c (Verpflegungsabrechnungen für Häftlinge); 314-15 OFP Oberfinanzpräsident F 1286 (Auswandererakte Leo Kendziorek), R 1940/629 (Devisenakte Leo Kendziorek), Str 552 (Hermann Kendziorek); 332-5 Standesämter 630-3419/1897, 6301-3419/1897; 351-11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung 1337, 1415, 7139, 20916, 22223, 25088, 26905, 261101; 424-11 Schiedsmannsamt Altona 5867 (Todeserklärung Ruth und Max Stempel); 522-1 Jüdische Gemeinden 992 e 2, Bd. 2, Deportationslisten; www.joodsmonument.nl; Dank an Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann für Informationen zur Familie Kendziorek.
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