II. Buildings Integral to the Former Life and/or Persecution of Jews in Hamburg - Eimsbüttel/Rotherbaum I.
© Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-jüdische Gesellschaft Hamburg.
6. No. 32 Bogenstraße/Gustav-Falke-Straße/Helene-Lange-Straße.
Helene Lange: (9.04.1849, Oldenburg - 13.05.1930, Berlin).
Viewed from the former Hansastraße and its junction with Bogenstraße.
The building which today houses the Helene-Lange-Gymnasium was built between 1908-1910 by the architect Albert Erbe, and officially opened on 1.04.1910. The Hamburg Senat (executive) resolved the school be given the name "Staatliche höhere Mädchenschule an der Hansastraße". In 1913 the Hamburg Bürgerschaft (parliament) determined that the state run Lyzeum in Hansastraße was to become an institution with three levels each with three classes with intakes at Easter and in September (Michaelmas, i.e. 29th September), and a women's school with two classes, with an Easter intake of two classes. In 1926 the Lyzeum mit Studienanstalt an der Hansastraße was renamed "Mädchen-Oberrealschule an der Hansastraße". The conversion of the Lyzeum to an Oberrealschule (girl's grammar school, specializing in the sciences) provided the teaching staff with the opportunity to request the Education Authority that the school adopt the name of the feminist, Helene Lange. The principal objection to the current name was that the school lay nine-tenths in Bogenstraße and Gustav-Falke-Straße and barely one-tenth in Hansastraße. There was not even a side entrance to the school in Hansastraße. Within the same year, i.e. 1926, the Senat resolved to rename the school, "Helene-Lange-Oberrealschule". Helene Lange was present at the ceremonial renaming of the school.
In 1934 the head teacher requested that the name of the school be changed once again. He argued that prior to 1933 the emphasis of the scholastic programme of the school had been "Völkerversöhnung" (understanding between peoples), to the detriment of the "deutsche Volkstum" (German people), and to the preferment of the Jewish element. He cited, as an example, the two Jewish women on the teaching staff who had been awarded the title of "professor". They were the only teachers with such a title. The training of trainee teachers had also been assumed by one of these Jews on taking up her post. (Frau Dr. Anita Riess assumed the responsibility for the training of trainee teachers in 1931/32. Frau Philippi was awarded the title of "professor" in 1931/32. From 1921 on, she was a member of the committee for teacher training). The Jewish girl pupils had set the atmosphere of the school. In 1935, on the occasion of the school's twenty-fifth anniversary it was stipped of the name Helene Lange and renamed "Hansa-Oberrealschule". At the anniversary celebration, the head teacher stressed how the school was imbued with a "new spirit", evidence being that one-fifth of the pupils were members of the BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel: for 14 to 18 year old girls).
It was later deemed necessary to again rename the school. In 1938 the school was renamed "Hansa-Schule, Oberschule für Mädchen (sprachliche Form)".
Between 1910-1933 around 300 Jewish pupils passed through the school.
The trend was an increase in the number of Jewish pupils attending the school, whereas in terms of the percentage of the total number of pupils in the school there was a decrease in the overall number of Jewish pupils. The largest number of Jewish pupils occured in the years 1918 and 1919; the lowest number in 1912, which was, however, the highest percentage of Jewish pupils in the school. The lowest percentage of Jewish pupils occured in 1920.
The trend, with the exception of 1938, was a decrease in the number of Jewish pupils attending the school, and also a decrease as a percentage of the total number of pupils in the school. In 1937, and from 1939 onward, no pupils of the Jewish faith attended the school.
During these 11 years, between 1933-1943, a total of 65 Jewish (Mosaic), "non-Aryan" and/or "mischblutige" ("Mischlinge") ("half-castes") girl pupils left the school. Practically all were able to emigrate or survive the Holocaust in some way or another.
It is known that one pupil, Marion Werner, (see above), born 2.06.1923 in Hamburg, together with her parents Viktor and Olga Werner, née Seligmann, living at No. 16 Woldsenweg, was deported to Lodz on 25.10.1941, and were never heard of again. Marion was Protestant-Lutheran and is an example of how the Nazis, through their so-called Racial Doctrine categorized Christians as Jewish ("non-Aryan"), which generally cost them their lives.
Following her official exclusion from the school following the "(Reichs-)Erlaß des Reichsministers für Erziehung und Unterricht über den Schulbesuch jüdischer Kinder" ("Decree of the Reich Minister of Education concerning the school attendance of "Jewish" children") of 15.11.1938, (This decree enacted the exclusion of all "Jewish" children from attending German schools) she was unable to earn more than what amounted to pocket money.
Two "non-Aryan" pupils were able to remain at the school until Easter and 30.09.1940 respectively, despite the "(Reichs-)Erlaß des Reichsministers für Erziehung und Unterricht über den Schulbesuch jüdischer Kinder".
Seven "mischblutige" ("Mischlinge") ("half-castes") pupils remained at the school until 1943.
The internal life of the school one year after the Nazis came to power, and the consequences it had for the Jewish pupils is demonstrated through a letter of complaint against the pupil Friedel (Elfriede M.).
On 14.04.1934, Elfriede M's father Herr M. wrote the following in a letter to the
Hamburg Education Authority:
In conclusion the father requested answers to the following questions:
Is it not rather the doctrine of National Socialism that Jews be seen as being different but not inferior?"
Ten days later the Administration replied "personally" to Herr M. through the Education Authority. They approved of an arrangement, with the agreement of Herr M., the head teacher and Frau A., in which Friedel be excused from attending lessons in which the Jewish Question was covered. The Administration regarded Herr M's questions to be "superfluous". However, the Administration requested a report from Frau A. concerning the conduct of the Jewish pupils in German and Religious Education lessons.
Frau A. reported that the presence of merely one Jew in the class made the Gesinnungsunterricht (Nazi ideology) difficult. Even when the Jewish girls were restrained in their comments they posed questions in almost every lesson which consciously destroyed the mood of the class. Every time the "Racial Question" or "Jewish Question" was raised in German lessons, which was often, the Jewish pupils immediately raised their hands. One had the choice of ignoring the raised hand or of hearing the objection and rejecting it. The former approach could lead the class to believing one feared the objection, the latter approach could lead to the remark having an effect on some pupils. It was almost advisable to hear the objection as otherwise the Jewish pupils were likely to confront the class with their objectives after the lesson was over. She considered the most serious and difficult problem to be the close friendships made during school-time between "them" and "our" children, in which the German children entered with "sincerity" and were "thereby" blinded to the danger of Judaism. Incidentally, through their engagement, the Jews had a good relationship with most children and young people and were the centre of attention in the class. They had a significant influence on practically all pupils due to their "precocious" intelligence. Very often the best girls in the BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel) sympathized with their situation. These friendships between Jews and non-Jews would be less likely to occur when the Jews attended their own school.
The following petition from the head teacher G. demonstrates how sphisticated the attempt was to
oust Jewish pupils in several schools, even before Education Authority directives existed.
The last established statistics show that the majority of "non-Aryan" children were
"protected", and in many schools all "non-Aryan" pupils were included under the
"protective regulation", i.e. were to be "treated equally" with "Aryan" children.
Despite the official position given to the head teacher G. by the Education Authority he continued to try to prevent "non-Aryan" children, who were officially "protected", from attending his school. On 2.10.1935, he wrote to the Education Authority regarding the new pupil Helga J. whose father was "Aryan" and mother "Jewish". Helga, who had come from a school in Wiesbaden, was living with her Jewish grandmother in Hamburg and was thereby completely under her Jewish "influence" and in addition had a strikingly Jewish appearance. He proposed she transferred to the Israelite Realschule.
In 1933, three teachers of Jewish descent were dismissed from the school. They were Frau Dr. Anita Rieß, Frau Dr. Liebstein and Dr. Leo Lederer. The two womem were able to emigrate; the fate of Dr. Lederer is unknown.
(Fahnenstock = Flagpole.)
Between 1925-1932, the school was one of the two religious schools of the Neue Dammtor-Synagoge religious association. In 1925, for example, Jewish religious education took place on three afternoons in the week, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., for those pupils enroled with the teacher J. Heinemann.
German text: Dipl.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.