II. Buildings Integral to the Former Life and/or Persecution of Jews in Hamburg - Eimsbüttel/Rotherbaum I.
© Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-jüdische Gesellschaft Hamburg.
13. No. 37 Laufgraben.
The new building of the Israelitsche Mädchen-Waisenhaus Paulinenstift (Israelite Girls' Orphanage Paulinen Trust) was built in 1883/84, on a 820 m² area of public land at No. 37 Laufgraben, and opened on 4.05.1880. At the end of the 1770s the former building at No. 5 zweite Marktstraße had become inadequate for its function and the administration of the Paulinen Trust had decided on a transfer to a larger site.
From the outset the financial status of the trust was unsound. A major part of the revenue consisted of annual voluntary contributions, legacies, and occasional donations. However, the administration endeavoured to fulfil all requests for the admission of orphans, the conditions of entry having been met, and requests were never refused due to the financial circumstances of the trust. In accordance with the statutes of the orphanage the children received conscientious and loving care, bed, board, clothing, medical care, a religious upbringing in accordance with the spirit and principles of Judaism, and an education to equip them, through their ability and early training, to live the life of an ordinary, respectable citizen, and be "useful" members of society.
The administration of the trust consisted of a 5 member management, Isaak J. Jaffé as donator of the building, being a life member, and an 8 member deputation. One member of the management occupied the post of president, and two members held posts of inspectors. The inspectors, together with the honorary women members, were responsible for the supervision of the upbringing and behaviour of the girls. They were also responsible for keeping a register of all the charges. The deputation advised the management. A manageress was responsible for maintaining the order and routine of the home, the supervision of the children outside school hours, and the monotoring of homework, needlework and housework.
The 14th June, being the birthday of the late Frau Pauline Jaffé, née Goldschmidt, in whose memory the Paulinen Trust was founded, was to be "eternally" celebrated in and by the orphanage. The lawyer Dr. John Israel, was the untiring president of the management until 1892. Otto May succeeded him. From the founding of the orphanage Marianne Lipschütz was honorary "mother" and "good friend" to the girls. Jeanette Haurwitz was manageresss until 1898. Louis Tannenwald, teacher from Rendsburg, and his wife, née Jacob succeeded her as orphanage parents.
In 1906, there had been 156 girls admitted to the orphanage since its founding 50 years before. In 1906 there were 28 girls in the home. Of the 8 that left that year two were trained as dressmakers, three as kindergarten teachers, and one as a florist. As in earlier years, when time and weather permitted, walks and trips were undertaken, and excursions during the holidays.
Dr. Julius Sachs was responsible for the medical care of the girls from 1886 to 1905. His successor was Dr. Otto Meyer.
Over the years the Paulinenstift incorporated the following trusts: Charlotte Jaffé-Stiftung,
Pauline Jaffé-Stiftung, Adolph Schwerin-Stiftung,
Dr. Daniel Hertz und Elsbeth Hertz-Stiftung, and Julius Oppenheim-Stiftung.
In 1920, due to "the requirements of the day", the Paulinenstift proposed that the Deutsche-Israelitische Gemeinde (German Israelite Community) assume responsibilty for the orphanage. The board and council of representatives of the German Israelite Community agreed. Jacob Alexander became the chairman of the new board of the Paulinenstift. In 1929 a second floor was added to the building.
The room that accommodated the 8 to 12 girl students of the school for rituelle Haushaltungsunterricht für schulentlassene Mädchen (ritual housekeeping for school leavers) was situated on this second floor. The head of the school attached great importance to remaining in permanent contact with former girls of the home. Gertude Benzian was the head of the school from 1920 onward. All housework in the home was done by these apprentice housekeepers, who received instruction in all household tasks. The department for vocational training exempted these girls, among whom were girls from outside the home, from attending the compulsory vocational training schools in recognition of this year of ritual household training. The school also undertook the training in cooking of those girls who had completed their years training in housekeeping in the state vocational schools for women's vocations, who for ritual reasons could not do their cooking there. The Hamburg School Authority recognized the Paulinenstift as training establishment for these girls, and their syllabuses officially included the school for this part of their training.
From September 1931, pre-school children, previously cared for in Wilhelminenhöhe, were accommodated at No. 37 Laufgraben. The school-age children attended the Israelitische Töchterschule (Israelite Girls' School) at No. 35 Karolinenstraße. At the end of the school year 1931/32 an orphanage girl received the school-leaving certificate of the Talmud-Tora-Oberrealschule (non-classical secondary school).
The Paulinenstift was to convey the spirit and atmosphere of a family home and not the inhuman routine of an institution. The various institutional measures were to imperceptibly get the girls to regard themselves as a large family. The elder girls were responsible for the younger ones. The orphanage was subject to inspection by the Hamburg Child Welfare Department, and had the entire respect and confidence of the Hamburg authorities.
Aby S. Warburg, and then Dr. Ernst Loewenberg were for years chairmen of the board of directors of the orphanage. Elisabeth Mirabeau succeeded Gertrude Benzian as head of the home until she emigrated to the USA in July 1938. The board chose Edith Rosenthal to succeed her. Edith Rosenthal had previously worked under Gertrude Benzian.
In 1939 a number of the girls of the Paulinenstift, together with other Jewish children were, with the
approval of the Gestapo, taken on a Kindertransport to Sweden.
All these children were murdered.
At the end of November 1941 the remaining Paulinenstift girls were combined and accommodated with the boys of the Waisen-Institut (Boys' Orphanage) at No. 3 Papendamm.
The building at No. 37 Laufgraben became the "Jüdisches Alters- und Pflegeheim" (Jewish Nursing and Old People's Home). Julius Gottschalk later became its director. The building accommodated a number of elderly people who were later deported from Hamburg on the three transports to Theresienstadt on 19.07.1942, 10.03.1943 and 24.03.1943. A total of 26 individuals were deported from this building.
The building can therefore be seen as having functioned as a "Judenhaus" ("Jewish Building").
The building exists today. It is in private ownership. A memorial plaque has been erected on the façade of the building. The plaque reads:
Hier wurde am 4 Mai 1884 der Neubau
20 Mädchen des Paulinenstiftes wurden ab
Bezirksversammlung Eimsbüttel 1956.
German text: Dipl.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.