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Max Mendel * 1876

Meißnerstraße 17 a (Eimsbüttel, Eimsbüttel)

verhaftet 1936 und 1938
KZ Fuhlsbüttel
KZ Sachsenhausen
ermordet 01.07.1939

Max Mendel, born 4/7/1876 in Altona, died 7/1/1939 at Sachsenhausen concentration camp

Meissnerstrasse 17a (Meissnerstrasse 15)

The double stigmatization of homosexual Jews in the Nazi era must have been a great burden for Max Mendel, born in the old town of Altona in 1876. He was the son of the Merchant Martin Mendel and his wife Louise, née Hecht, and absolved a commercial apprenticeship. He first worked as a merchant; later, he called himself a "dispatch clerk” or simply "employee.” He belonged to the Jewish Community; from 1923 to 1929, he paid the community tax, from 1930 on, this was waived, and from 1935 on, he was considered as a "welfare beneficiary.” Frequent changes of business and residential addresses in Eimsbüttel and St. Georg are noted on his tax card.

From 1928 to 1936, he had an enduring relationship to the clerk Ernst Wenkel (born 1901, died 1939 at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, stumbling stone planned at Vereinsstrasse 39 in Eimsbüttel), whom he also supported financially. This connection was reported to the Altona police in 1936; Max Mendel was arrested and jailed at the Altona court jail on August 27th, 1936. The Altona magistrates’ court sentenced him and Ernst Wenkel to five months in jail pursuant to Art. 175. The fact that Wenkel had received money from Max Mendel was not considered "commercial buggery.” Max Mendel served his sentence at the Altona court jail until January 26th, 1937.

Little is known about Max Mendel’s later life. He is probably identical to the Max Mendel without further life data admitted to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp on June 16th, for whom subsistence costs were accounted up to June 24th, 1938, whose admittance to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, however, was already recorded a day earlier, with full personal data. He was given the prison number 6128 and described as an "antisocial Jew unwilling to work.” Assigned to prisoners’ block 14, he died at the age of only 63 on July 1st, 1939, officially at 12:15 p.m. from "croupous pneumonia.”

Even though later research has identified Osterstrasse 20 in Eimsbüttel as Max Mendel’s last registered address, the Stumbling Stone at its present location at Meissnerstrasse 17a is justified because Max Mendel lived there for some time before his first imprisonment.

Translated by Peter Hubschmid

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2017
© Bernhard Rosenkranz (†)/Ulf Bollmann

Quellen: 1; 5; StaH 213-8 Staatsanwaltschaft Oberlandesgericht – Verwaltung, Abl. 2, 451 a E 1, 1 c; 213-11 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – Strafsachen, 1255/39; 242-1 II Gefängnisverwaltung II, Ablieferung 13; 332-5 Standesämter, 6190 (Eintrag Nr. 1090); Auskunft von Monika Liebscher, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen vom 3.10.2011; Dank an Dr. Stefan Micheler für die Zurverfügungstellung seiner Forschungsergebnisse aus dem Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein zu den dort für Altona verwahrten Strafakten Homosexueller, hier: LAS, Abteilung 352 (Altona), Nr. 7569; Rosenkranz/Bollmann/Lorenz, Homosexuellen-Verfolgung, S. 236.
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