The former Hertz-Joseph-Levy-Stift (Housing Trust) was founded in 1854. In his will Hertz Joseph Levy provided for the establishment of Freiwohnungen (subsidized houses) for the needy. In 1906 two buildings were built, Nos. 54-57 Großneumarkt, containing 19 subsidized flats. They were allocated according to the conditions of the Lazarus-Gumpel-Stift (Housing Trust) i.e. established to accommodate needy Jewish tenants.
The current building No. 56 and 57, formerly No 56, was once a "Judenhaus" ("Jewish House"). An Act of 30.04.1939 was concerned with the tenancy of Jews. From the beginning of 1941, with the growing serious housing shortage following allied bombing raids, Jewish owner occupiers and tenants were forced to vacate their accommodation and accept the allocation of smaller flats. "Judenhäuser" was the Gestapo term for buildings managed or administered by the Jüdischen Religionsverband (Jewish Religious Federation Hamburg). In the first months of 1942, i.e. before the end of March, nearly all Jews remaining in Hamburg were forced to move into these buildings. On instructions from the "Aufsichtsbehörde" ("supervisory authority") i.e. the Gestapo, the Jewish Religious Federation Hamburg had to administer, within these first few months of 1942, the removal of the then 2,400 "Jews" living in Hamburg, identifiable by the "Judenstern", into the circa 80 buildings of the Federation (the so-called "Judenhäuser"). Exempt from this action were a mere circa 280 "Judenstern" identifiable Jews, living in their own property, with relatives, in hospital, or in prison. Following the deportation in July 1942 and after 1.08.1942 nearly all the "Jews" remaining in Hamburg were accommodated in these buildings.
From a total of 38 people deported from this building in 1942 the following are known:
Both buildings with entrances Nos. 54, 55, 56, 57 exist today:
The groundfloor is used commercially. The additional four storeys of this brick building contain flats. The building in the courtyard at the rear built in 1900, that also belonged to the housing trust as did another house at the rear of the main building, were demolished in 1981 because of their poor structural condition.
Todays buildings are administered by the SAGA (Siedlungs-Aktiengesellschaft Hamburg) Housing Trust.
The original inscription Hertz-Joseph-Levy-Stift is to be seen on the facade of the
building and recalls the former Housing Trust.
German text: Dipl.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.