II. Buildings Integral to the Former Life and/or Persecution of Jews in Hamburg - Eimsbüttel/Rotherbaum I.
© Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-jüdische Gesellschaft Hamburg.
10. No. 58 Bundesstraße/Beim Schlump.
The Realgymnasium am rechten Alsterufer was opened on 15.04.1907 with an Untertertia (lower fourth form, i.e. 8th year in German schools) of 19 pupils, initially in two houses at Nos. 43 and 45 Alsterkamp, in the district of Harvestehude. On 1.05.1907 the Hamburg Senat (executive) resolved to name the newly opened school Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium. In his speech the head teacher related how honoured and privileged the school was to have been given the name of the famous, Hamburg born and educated, pioneering physicist. Dr. Gustav Ferdinand Hertz, father of the prematurely deceased Heinrich Hertz, conveyed his "deep felt" gratitude to the School Authority for the honour of having the school named after his son, and for installing a bust of Heinrich Hertz in the school.
On 19.04.1910 the school moved into the new building on the corner of Beim Schlump and Bundesstraße. The site was adjoined on both sides by public property.
To avoid the noise from the street as many classrooms as possible were situated overlooking the school yard at the rear. Whereas the building lies along Beim Schlump the main entrance is situated in Bundesstraße. It was not until 1934 that it acquired its present number, i.e. No. 58 Bundesstraße. This entrance, reached by a flight of stairs, allows access to all floors and to the assembly hall. The ceremonial inaugeration of the school, with the unveiling of the bust of Heinrich Hertz, took place on 1.07.1911, in the school's assembly hall. The Präses of the School Authority (Präses = a senator who is the head of a civil service department) referred to Heinrich Hertz as one of "Hamburg's most famous sons".
In 1935 the Hamburg Senat (executive), in answer to a motion raised by the Education Authority, resolved not to rename the Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium the Schlageter-Realgymnasium, after Albert Leo Schlageter (1894-1923), German officer and Freikorpskämfer (right-wing mercenaries employed by the government), who, from 1922 onward, was a member of the Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) (Nazi Party). He was arrested by the French police at the beginning of April 1923 and, shortly thereafter, sentenced to death by a military court for sabotaging French and Belgian troop supply lines, during their occupation of the Ruhr. He was executed on 26.05.1923 in the Golzheimer Heide, near Düsseldorf. The announcement of the renaming was to have taken place on the anniversary of Schlageter's death on 26.05.1935. In the same year, on 19.09.1935, the Secondary School inspector informed the conference of head teachers that it had been decided that the Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium was to be renamed the Realgymnasium am rechten Alsterufer. There was to be no announcement to the press. The deficiency of places in vocational training establishments had become so extreme that a redress had to be made. It had therefore been decided that, at Easter 1937, the Realgymnasium building was to be vacated for this purpose. In the meantime the school roll had declined to around 150 pupils. The school was moved and amalgamated with the Lightwarkschule at No. 23 Vossberg, in the district of Winterhude. The building at No. 58 Bundestraße became the Staatliche Gewerbeschule 2 (Vocational Training College 2). Here plumbers, precision engineers, electricians, tool makers and optical lens grinders were trained.
As the majority of teachers from the Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium transfered to the almost empty Lightwarkschule (Lichtmark was the first Dirctor of the Hamburg Kunsthalle (Art Gallery)), the tradition of the Heinrich-Hertz-Realgymnasium was to a certain extent retained.
In 1945, the Oberschule am Stadtpark, was consciously given the name Heinrich-Hertz-Schule. Today its successor is the Kooperative Gesamtschule Heinrich-Hertz-Schule at No. 72-76 Grasweg, in the distict of Winterhude. However, the bust, that went missing at the end of the Nazi period, has as yet not been returned. The school, on its new site, remains committed to its name. In 1957, on the 100th anniversary of Heinrich Hertz's birth, the school organized a commemoration which presented a detailed look at Heinrich Hertz's life and work.
David Wolff Hertz (1757-1822), fourth son of Benjamin Wolff Hertz, moved to Hamburg in 1793 where he made his living as a jeweller. He and his wife Schöne Hertz (1760-1834) were buried in the former Jewish cemetery in Ottensen. Their first son Wolff Hertz (1790-1859), was chairman of the Jewish community between 1825-1831 and 1841-1848. His brother Hertz Hertz (1797-1862) was a respected businessman. He was married to Betty Oppenheim, the daughter of the banker Salomon Oppenheim, from Cologne. Hertz Hertz converted to Christianity and took the name Heinrich David Hertz. He was a member of the Hamburg Bürgerschaft (parliament) between 1860-1862. Their eldest son David Gustav Hertz (1827-1914) also converted to Christianity and took the name Gustav Ferdinand Hertz. He attended the Akademische Gymnasium, was an advocate in Hamburg, became member of the Hamburg Bürgerschaft in 1859, became Oberlandesgerichtsrat in 1879, and was a Senator between 1887 and 1904. He was principally responsible for the system of justice and prison system. He married Anna Elisabeth, née Pfefferkorn, a pastor's daughter from Frankfurt am Main. Their son was Heinrich Hertz.
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was born on 22nd February 1857 in Hamburg. After attending a private Realschule, Heinrich prepared himself, by private study, for the Johanneum at which, after only a year, he passed his Abitur (GCE A-levels), the best in his class. He showed an early interest in the natural sciences, and a practical skill in building physics equipment. He was also an enthusiastic linguist, learning Arabic and Sanskrit. After years of study and travel in Frankfurt, Dresden, Munich and Berlin, with a stopover in Kiel, in 1880 he received his Ph.D. magna cum laude from the University of Berlin with a thesis on the electromagnetic induction in rotating spheres. In Berlin he studied under Kirschhoff and Hermann von Helmholz. He became professor of experimental physics at the Karlsruhe Polytechnic at the age of 28. He carried out extensive investigations into the connection between light and electricity. He was the first to prove experimentally that electricity had a wave form and that electric waves could be relected and broken. In 1883 he began his studies of the 1865 electromagnetic theory of James Clark Maxwell, and generated waves known as Hertz Waves in the laboratory and measured their length and velosity. He showed that the nature of their vibration and their suseptibility to reflection and refraction were the same as those of light and heat waves. By so doing he established beyond any doubt that light and heat are electromagnetic radiation. In 1889, Hertz was appointed professor of physics at the University of Bonn, where he continued his research on the discharge of electricity in rarefied gases.
A lecture to professional colleagues in the autumn of 1889 in Heidelberg can be seen as the "birth" of radio and sound film. He was also the discoverer of the photoelectric effect, and contributed to the elasticity theory. He died on the 1st January 1894 in Bonn, after a long illness. His early death prevented him from experiencing the practical results of his work. He is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Ohlsdorf.
His scientific papers were translated into English and published in three volumes:
Gustav Ludwig Hertz born on 22.07.1887 in Hamburg was a nephew of Heinrich Hertz. He was the German physicist who, with James Franck, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1925 for work that confirmed the theory that energy can be absorbed by an atom only in definite amounts. He studied at the universities of Göttingen, Munich, and Berlin, and was appointed an assistant in physics at the University of Berlin in 1913, where he began to work with Franck. Their experiments showed that when an electron strikes an atom, it must possess a certain minimum energy in order to displace another electron from the atom. This energy is called an ionization potential and varies for different elements. Their measurements showed that the distinct wavelengths of light emitted by each element corresponds to the series of possible energy states for the atoms of that element. This had been foreseen by Niels Bohr, who utilized the quantum theory to explain the nature of the atom.
In 1925 Gustav Hertz was appointed professor of physics at the University of Halle and in 1928 professor of physics at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. In 1932 he devised a method of separating the isotopes of neon.
Gustav Hertz was engaged in research in the Soviet Union from 1945 until 1954. He returned to East Germany in 1954 and was professor of physics and director of the Physics Institute in Leipzig until 1961. He died in East Berlin on 30.10.1975.
In 1899, only five years after his death, Hamburg honoured Heinrich Hertz by naming a
street in the district of Uhlenhorst after him. He is also one of the eminent Hamburg citizens
whose head appears in relief on a column in the entrance hall of the Hamburg Rathaus (town hall).
After the Second World War, Hamburg named the circa 270 metre TV Tower in Rentzelstraße after him,
Heinrich-Hertz-Turm. The tower and its adjoining buildings are situated on the site of
Emilie Wüstenfeld-Schule. A plaque, on the tower, approximately 20 metres above the ground,
carries the inscription:
From the outset, the former Realgymnasium am rechten Alsterufer, or Heinrich Hertz-Realgymnasium had a relatively high proportion of Jewish pupils.
The number of Jewish pupils rose, as did their percentage of the total school population, until summer half-year 1910. Thereafter, whereas the number of Jewish pupils rose, they became a smaller percentage of the total school population, due to the large increase in intake of other pupils.
The percentage of Jewish pupils attending the school is relatively small. There is a sharp drop in numbers in 1937 before it increases again in 1938. The 1937 figure of only one Jewish pupil attending the school is probably directly connected to the transfer of the school to No. 23 Vossberg, in the district of Winterhude, at Easter of that year, and the slight increase in 1938 with the consolidation of the school.
On 15.05.1936 there were 14 "jüdisch-mischblütige" ("half-caste") pupils and 17 Jewish pupils, as defined by the Nuremberg Laws, i.e. 31 pupils or 8·4% who were classified as "nicht-arisch" ("non-Aryan"). On the 25.05.1937 there were 8 "jüdisch-mischblütige" ("half-caste") pupils and 1 Jewish pupil, i.e. 9 pupils or 1·8% classified as "nicht-arisch" ("non-Aryan").
There were 32 pupils enrolled in the school between 1932-1936 who were registered as being "mosaisch" (Mosaic=Jewish) or "nicht-arisch" ("non-Aryan"). It can be assumed that all these were classified as being Jewish by the Nuremberg Laws. Of these pupils at least four were deported and murdered. Two of the four are registered in the school records:
Ludwig Siegmond Cohn, born 21.05.1921 in Hamburg, school leaving date: 28.03.1936, salesman, address: No. 36 Hansastraße, together with his sister Lilly Cohn, born 17.12.1923 in Hamburg, blue-collar worker, of the same address, were deported on 8.11.1941 to the "deutsche" ("German") ghetto in Minsk, in Byelorussia, where they were murdered.
Rudolf-Adolf Luca, born 27.05.1919 in Bielefeld, school leaving date: 8.07.1933, apprentice joiner, address: No. 153 Sierichstraße, together with his parents, of the same address, were deported to the ghetto in Lodz/Litzmannstadt, in central Poland, southwest of Warsaw, and murdered.
Otto Edgar Rosenstern, born 1.02.1922 in Hamburg, school leaving date: 20.12.1935, was murdered on 18.09.1941 in Mauthausen concentration camp, southeast of Linz on the River Donau.
Otto Alfred Spiro, born 17.05.1923 in Hamburg, school leaving date: 30.03.1937, address: No. 25 Bogenstraße, together with his parents of the same address, were deported on 8.11.1941 to the "deutsche" ("German") ghetto in Minsk, in Byelorussia, and murdered.
In conclusion extracts are included from accounts of the school given by former pupils, classified as Jewish or "non-Aryan" by the Nuremberg Laws. The large number of pupils who left the school must be seen as the result of the specific school climate which was at least typical in certain classes. Pupils were confronted with discrimination legitimated by so-called racial reasons.
Herr M., in Hamburg, gives the following account:
In addition Herr H. recounts:
In 1978, Israel's highest judge was Dr. Cahim Cohen. He was a former GCE A level student of
the school, and a nephew of Chief Rabbi Dr. Joseph Carlebach.
Today the building at No. 58 Bundesstraße houses the Staatliche Gewerbeschule Installationstechnik (technical college).
German text: Dipl.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.