I. Buildings Integral to the Former Life and/or Persecution of Jews in Hamburg - Neustadt/St. Pauli.
© Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-jüdische Gesellschaft Hamburg.
3. No. 2 Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße
- Former Israelitische Krankenhaus (Israelite Hospital) in the former Marienstraße,
The hospital was founded by Salomon Heine (1767-1844) in memory of his wife Betty and
built in 1839 by the architect J.H. Klees-Wülbern.
It was a large hospital for its time, even for Hamburg. Jews could, with their own hospital,
observe their religious laws even in illness and death. The two-storey building, influenced by
both the renaissance and romantic styles of architecture, with its facade of round-arched
and middle risalit windows, remains today, in a restored state. The entrance is from the rear at
The former synagogue is situated on the first floor above to the attic, with its circular
windows, in the central part of the building.
It is the only remaining 19th century synagogue in Hamburg and
today serves as a memorial, and function hall. The significance of this room is indicated from
the outside by its lavishly fashioned windows with pilasters and round arches. The synagogue
was furnished according to orthodox ritual. Women sat in a narrow gallery in the attic
when taking part in services.
Former Israelitische Krankenhaus.
The Renovated Former Synogogue Today.
The following inscription was situated on a pediment on the outside of the synagogue:
Krankenhaus der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde. Der sel. Frau Betty Heine zum Andenken
erbaut von ihrem Gatten. Hamburg Anno 1841.
Krankenhaus der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde. Der sel. Frau Betty Heine zum Andenken erbaut von ihrem Gatten. Hamburg Anno 1841.
The furnishings were destroyed after the compulsory handing over of the building to the City
of Hamburg in 1939.
Today the main building houses Social Service Departments. The former Isolation Pavilion today
houses a multicultural
meeting centre. The former Old Surgery Deparment, directly opposite the rear of the building,
today houses an
The former hospital of the Wandsbek community situated at No. 52 Bei den Hütten on the
embankment opposite the end of the former No. 3 Peterstraße had been inadequate for years.
The overriding problem was how to raise the necessary funds for a new hospital. An
extraordinary meeting of the Jewish Community was held on 10.11.1939. On this evening the
wealthy banker Salomon Heine made his generous donation of 80,000 Mark.
He made three conditions:
1. The hospital was to be named after his wife Betty.
2. The existing money from an earlier collection was also to be employed.
3. A commemorative plaque carrying his name was to be errected in the synagogue.
The offer was approved and the conditions accepted.
Salomon Heine (1767-1844).
On the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone on 10.06.1841 Salomon Heine's nephew
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) wrote this famous poem:
|Das neue Israelitische Krankenhaus in Hamburg ||The new Jewish hospital in Hamburg
|Ein Hospital für arme, kranke Juden, ||A hospital for sick and needy Jews,
|Für Menschenkinder, welche dreifach elend, ||For those poor mortals who are triply wretched,
|Behaftet mit den bösen drei Gebresten: ||With three great maladies afflicted:
|Mit Armut, Körperschmerz und Judentum! ||With poverty and pain and Jewishness!
|Das schlimmste von den dreien ist das letzte, ||The worst of these three evils is the last one,
|Das tausendjährige Familienübel, ||The thousand-year-old family affliction,
|Die aus dem Niltal mitgeschleppte Plage, ||The plague dragged with them
|Der altägyptisch ungesunde Glauben. ||From the valley of the Nile,
| ||The old Egyptian unhealthy faith.
|Unheilbar tiefes Leid! Dagegen helfen ||Incurable deep-seated hurt! No treatment
|Nicht Dampfbad, Dusche, nicht die Apparate ||By vapour bath or douche can help to heal it,
|Der Chirugie, noch all die Arzneien, ||No surgery, nor all the medications
|Die dieses Haus den siechen Gästen bietet. ||The hospital can offer to its patients.
|Wird einst die Zeit, die ew'ge Göttin, tilgen ||Will Time, eternal goddess, some day end it,
|Das dunkle Weh, das sich vererbt vom Vater ||Root out this dark misfortune that the father
|Herunter auf den Sohn, - wird einst der Enkel ||Hands down to the son? And someday will the grandson
|Genesen und vernünftig sein und glücklich? ||Be healed and rational and happy?
|Ich weiß es nicht! Doch mittlerweile wollen ||I do not know! ....
|Wir preisen jenes Herz, das klug und liebreich
|Zu lindern suchte, was der Lind'rung fähig,
|Zeitlichen Balsam träufelnd in die Wunden.
|Der treue Mann! Er baute hier ein Obdach
|Für Leiden, welche heilbar durch die Künste
|Des Arztes (oder auch des Todes!), sorgte
|Für Polster, Labetrank, Wartung und Pflege -
|Ein Mann der Tat, tat er, was eben tunlich;
|Für gute Werke gab er hin den Taglohn
|Am Abend seines Lebens, menschenfreundlich,
|Durch Wohltun sich erholend von der Arbeit.
|Er gab mit reicher Hand - doch reich're Spiende
|Entrollte manchmal seinem Aug' - die Träne,
|Die kostbar schöne Träne, die er weinte
|Ob der unheilbar großen Brüderkrankhiet.
Heinrich Heine, 1841
100 years later Chief Rabbi Dr. Joseph Carlebach replied with another poem. (see below).
In 1840, a year prior to the laying of the foundation stone, the City of Hamburg had made the
site available. The Jewish Community had merely to pay an annual fee of 2 Mark. Over 500 quests
were invited to the opening ceremony. The interest in the hospital was so great that it was
necessary to open the building to public viewing for several weeks. A large garden behind the
building provided patients with peaceful convalescence; in addition there was space for
vegetables and two milkcows.
The large 8 bed wards, the small 4 bed wards, and the private rooms all had a toilet. The 80 bed
hospital served for the reception, catering for, and medical care of Jewish patients of all ages
and of both sexes. The poor and those without means were given priority of admission. Paying
patients and non-Jews were admitted when beds were available.
In 1865 the Jewish Community were once again the benefactors of Heine family benevolence:
Salomon Heine's son Carl Heine (1810-1865) donated more than 400,00 Mark to secure the
financial independence of the hospital. Like his father, Carl Heine made no stipulation regarding
religion. This was also the case with his will, in which he once again remembered the hospital,
and numerous Jewish institutions, but also left large amounts of money to christian institutions.
The City of Hamburg received a generous 200,000 Mark. (The Museum of Art).
Carl Heine (1810-1865)
After the death of Carl Heine the city named the street that runs from St. Pauli to the Israelitische
Krankenhaus Heine-Straße in recognition of the exceptional philanthropy
of two generations of the Heine family. Today the street is renamed Hamburger Berg.
Until 1880 two doctors and numerous nursing staff cared for the patients. Dr. Alsberg was
engaged as houseman in this year, and later became the successor to Dr. Leisrinck as
senior consultant for surgery. Later he became the highly regarded head of the medical department.
In 1880 an outpatients' department, the first in Hamburg, was opened in the main building. It was
the initiative of Dr. Leisrinck and had departments for eye diseases, venereal disease, skin
diseases, and diseases of the eyes, nose and throat. It was not long before the premises proved
to be too small. Four doctors i.e. Deutschmann, Michael, Unna and Dehn offered to
build, maintain and run a new outpatients' department. This was opened in 1891, enlarged in 1900
and the medical treatment extended.
Towards the end of the century the generosity of the Heine family was experienced once again.
Cécile Heine, Carl Heine's widow, donated 50,000 Mark for numerous improvements to be
made to the hospital, and additionally left 20,000 Mark to the hospital in her 1896 will.
Hardly had the century begun when discussions began regarding a further enlargement. The generosity
of the four Lewisohn brothers: Leonard, Adolph, Philip and Albert, at this time having left
Hamburg for New York, made the changes possible. In 1901 they donated 130,000 Mark for the building
of villas and medical instruments. In 1906 a nurses' home was built with the 90,000 Mark donated
by the firm M.M. Warburg & Co.. the last enlargement took place between 1928-1931. The main
building was enlarged to house a surgical department with financial assistance from the City of
Hamburg. The main building was renovated with generous financial support from the Warburg
Following the Nazi rise to power in 1933 the hospital suffered from financial difficulties, the
decline in the number of patients, personnel problems, and the problem of religious care.
The financial situation became critical due to the government loans of over 1 million RM made to
finance the extension. The interest on the loan and repayment could not be met in the face of the
decline in patients, private patients in particular. Medical insurance companies neither payed for
non-Jewish patients in Jewish hospitals nor for Jewish patients in any hospital. The number of
Jewish patients decreased rapidly.
Already in 1933 the Israelite Hospital was no longer allowed to run the nursing school. The
senior consultant for internal medicine Professor Dr. Rosenthal was robbed of his title
as professor. Also several Jewish doctors were deprived of their appointments. In the late 1930s
the hospital personnel began to diminish. Doctors sought to save themselves and their families
by "emigrating" to Palestine, England, the USA, etc.
By 1937 the fate of the Israelitische Krankenhaus was sealed. The administration made every attempt to
keep the hospital running. Fritz Warburg, the committee chairman, informed the Jewish
Community of the critical financial situation of the hospital. The City of Hamburg was not
prepared to reduce or delay the annual payments. The Community subsidized the hospital until
1939 with approximately 200,000 Mark. This amount however did not adequately cover the financial
As a result of the decline in the number of non-Jewish patients, and the general decline in the
Hamburg Jewish population, mainly through forced emigration, the hospital became too large.
In September 1939 the financial difficulty with the City of Hamburg was settled, to the benefit
of the city, in the following way:
The Jewish Community signed over the assets, the building and the property to the city financial
department. In return the city waived the unpaid debts. When required the building was to serve as
a hospital. This became necessary after the war.
The closing of the hospital in 1935 necessitated the relocation of the patients. There was an
unsuccessful attempt to locate them in wards separate from "German" patients in state hospitals;
for example the Universitätskrankenhaus Eppendorf (Hamburg University Teaching Hospital) refused
"in the interest of a strict separation of Jewish and "Aryan" patients."
No. 68 Johnsallee.
; No. 54 Johnsallee (Rebuilt).
Patients and personnel were initially moved to the private clinic of Dr. Adolf Calmamm,
known as the Calmannsche Frauenklink, at No. 68 Johnsallee, on the corner with Schlüterstraße,
later being transferred to No. 54 Johnsallee, the Siloah-Diakonissehaus,
(later destroyed by bombing) before the remaining 47 patients,
4 nurses and 4 other hospital personnel were, in 1942, moved to No. 29 Schäferkampsallee its former
inmates having been deported to Theresienstadt.
The Hospital Complex in 1930.
|A ||1841 ||Israelitische Krankenhaus
|B ||1853/9 ||Mortuary
|C ||1891 ||Outpatients' Department
|D ||1899 ||"Administrators' Residence"
|E ||1902 ||Isolation Department
|F ||1902 ||Old Surgery Department
|G ||1906/15 ||Nurses' Home
|H ||1930 ||New Surgery Department
During the war the army used the former Israelitische Krankenhaus as an orthodontic clinic and reserve
In August 1939 Chief Rabbi Dr. Joseph Carlebach held the last service in the hospital
synagogue celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the hospital.
In 1941 a modest commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone
took place. Dr. Joseph Carlebach wrote the following poem in celebration of the occasion:
Dem Jüdischen Krankenhaus zur Hundertjahrfeier am 10. Juni 1941.
Vergangen sind nun volle hundert Jahre,
Seitdem dies Hospital ein Edler schuf
Für Menschenkinder, welche dreifach elend
Durch Armut, Körperschmerz und Judentum.
Wohl manche Wandlung hat das Werk erfahren;
Zu Glanz und Größe ist's emporgestiegen,
Und wieder kleiner ward's im Zeitenwandel,
Fast ärmlich schlicht am Tag des Säculums.
Doch eins in ihm blieb gleich im Mondenwechsel:
Die schöne Menschlichkeit liebreicher Pflege,
Die hohe Kunst selbstloser großer Ärzte
Und seiner Schwestern selbstvergess'ne Treue.
Ein Segensstrom hat sich aus ihm ergossen,
Hat krafterneuernd, schmerzenstillend Vielen
Mit starker Hand einfühlend tät'gen Mitleids
Den Tod gescheucht und Leben neu geweckt.
Darin erfüll' es seine Zeilbestimmung.
Im Andern aber griff's hinaus darüber:
Nicht Arme sind's allein und nicht nur Juden,
Die Pflege sich und Balsam hier geholt.
Sieh': alle, alle suchten Heil und Obdach
In seinen stillen, saub'ren, sonn'gen Sälen;
Verschwunden war von Arm und Reich die Trennung,
Der Religionen Scheidewand vergessen.
Doch die als Juden hier Genesung suchen,
Die heut' besonders, so von fern wie nah,
Nur hier als kranke Juden weilen dürfen,
Ist's wahr, gilt ihnen Judesein als Elend?
Ist's wirklich tausendjähriges Gebrechen,
Ägypt'sche Plage und verschleppter Glaube,
Wie Dichtermund im Weihspruch einst gespöttelt
Aus trag'scher Weltverbitt'rung Höllenqualen?
Wir wissen's besser, die wir seine Welt
In ihrer Süße, ihren Giften kennen,
Nein, unser Glaube g'rad war der Beglücker,
Der weltenüberwindend stark uns macht.
Auch dieses Fest, da jüdische Menschenliebe
Den hundertjährigen Triumph begeht,
Bestärkt in uns das stolze Treubekenntnis,
Ein Jude sein ist letztes, höchstes Glück!
Oberrabbiner Dr. Joseph Carlebach, Hamburg.
The Architect J.H. Klees-Wülbern's Building Plan.
|C ||Second Floor
|B ||First Floor
A 1. Basement:
The covered rear garden entrance 2.3, leads to the stairs 1.1 to the basement.
The first of two vaulted rooms 1.2 and 1.3 contained crockery and food for
daily use in the kitchen, the other stocked the fuel supply for the kitchen range 1.12.1.
(1904, 1.2 was used as a kitchen for dairy produce).
Room 4.1 was used by service personnel. Two adjoining vaulted rooms 1.5 and 1.6
were originally intended for the storage of food. Room 1.6 was used to store peat. The two
rooms 1.7 and 1.8 were accessed by separate outside strairways 1.9. They
housed the dead prior to burial. As the customary watching over the body, its washing and ritual
preparation was not done by hospital personnel, and not in the wards, this necessitated a separate
A further room with an outside entrance housed the laundry 1.10 and mangle room, completely
separated from the rest of the basement. To prevent steam reaching the mainbuilding the ceiling was
covered with asphalt. The laundry was not in an entirely separate building as the warm water heating
originated from the steam-boiler in the main kitchen 1.12. The laundry stove was used in
winter to dry the clothes in the attic.
The hospital and kitchen were run strictly according to Mosaic Law. The kitchen contained a pressure
cooker. The stove was built in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. A room 1.13 leading off
the kitchen was used to wash up the cooking implements. Room 1.14 was a pantry.
1.17 Water Supply and Sewage Sytem
Adjacent to the two water tanks 1.17.1 suction and pressure pumps brought water from the
local water supply through the
pipes 1.17 to the storage tanks on each floor. When all tanks were full the water rose to
"reservoir" 4.3 in the attic.
The sewage pipes 1.18 ran into a sewer and from there into the river Elbe.
B 2. Ground Floor
2.1 and 2.3 Entrances
A wall with railings fronted the building. The main entrance 2.1 was lit at night by two
large side lanterns. From here one entered the vestibule 2.2. The rear covered entrance
2.3 allowed patients to be taken to reception 2.4 protected from the weather.
The recption 2.4 was adjacent to the room where the porter lived. He had a view of the
entrance and controlled entry and exit, and between 06.00 and 22.00 hrs greeted patients and
delivered them to the administration.
2.5 Doctors' Day Room
To the right and left of the vestibule were administration rooms. Room 2.5 was used as a
day room by doctors.
2.6 Conference Room
Adjacent was the council conference room, with richly framed pictures of Salomon Heine
and his wife Betty on the wall.
2.7 Doctors' Residence
The adjacent two interconnected rooms were residence for a houseman or surgeon.
2.8 Administrators' Residence
Left of the entrance. The administration had the duty to see that the hospital management and
regulations were run in accordance with Jewish religious law.
2.9 Laundry Room
This contained an built-in cupboard 2.91 stocking bed linen, bed clothes, etc.
The bathrooms were situated on the ground and first floors containing two copper baths 2.10.1.
These airy, well lit rooms contained eight beds. The nursing staff were responsible for the
heating stove 2.11.1. The fuel came from the basement. South facing rooms had linen
blinds 2.11.2. On each side of the door to the wards were small chambers. one containing
personal belongings not permitted in the ward, the other the "self-acting-water-closet" 2.11.3.
Small circular windows permitted ventilation and illumination 2.11.4. A washbasin with tap
was situated in the centre of the ward, on the chimney wall, for the ceremonial washing of the
hands throughout the day.
2.12 Dressing Kitchens
The stove 2.12.1 was used to sterilize the dressings. Quantities of water were also
prepared for room baths.
The well lit corridors extended the full length of the building. Doors closed off the ward
sections on each wing of the cooridor. Visitors passes, set visiting hours, and the ban on
commercial activity regulated the wards. There were ""self-acting-water-closet" on both sides
of the stairs 2.13.2. On both ground and first floors, towards the end of the corridors
opposite the stairs, in the wings, were semi-circular alcoves 2.13.3 containing washbasins
for normal use.
2.14 Rooms for Mentally-Ill Patients
These were rooms with a single window.
C 3. First Floor
The synagogue was situated above the main entrance. It was furnished with a gold embroidered
velvet curtain with the words of thanksgiving in hebrew. It covered the holy Torah scrolls.
A member of the administration regulated announcement of services, the allocation of seating,
and the prevention of conversation and over loud praying. DUring normal services this administrator
led prayers. Only on Sabbath and religious holidays did the employed prayer leader direct
services. He was entitled to lead the reading from the Torah, and to rely on the assistance of
the porter as sexton. Patients had the opportunity of attending morning and evening prayers.
Prior to a service the porter checked whether individuals had the necessary permit. Ambulatory
assistance was offered to those required it. The hospital waved all responsibility for prayer
shawls or prayer books left behind after a service.
<3.2 Private Rooms
Private rooms were more luxurious. Each had a wardrobe, a sofa, a washstand, and repository
In addition to the central main stairs there were stairs in both wings 3.4. They had
access to the garden.
3.5 Operating Room
The OP had windows on two sides and centrally fron above 3.5.1. There was a stove with
bellows, a wall hook to operate a block and tackle, and an alcove for bandages, dressings, etc.
D 4. Attic
The unusual form of the room right of the staiurs 4.1 was due to the light well 3.5.1
that ran from the ceiling of the OP to the roof of the attic. In the winter the drying room 4.2
received warm air to dry the hospital washing. In the second room adjacent to the stairs were
pressure pump filled, reservoirs 4.3 that supplied the entire building with water. Access
to the room was only through room 4.4.1, containing a shaft through which peat was lowered
from the attic 4.5 to the basement. All attic rooms were accessed via a narrow corridor
4.6 which included the womens' gallery in the synagogue 4.7.
The small ventilation chimneys for the wards are 4.8.
10. November 1839
Donation of 80,000 Marks by Salomom Heine for the building of a new hospital for the
German-Israelite Community in commemoration of his wife Betty.
11. December 1839
The Hamburg Senat allocated the land.
10. June 1841
Laying of the foundation stone.
7. September 1841
The handing over of the property to the Trust.
Building of a Mortuary in Talstraße.
First extensive restoration and modernization.
1. July 1880
Opening of an Outpatients' Department.
Closing of the Smallpox Department.
Building of a new Outpatients' Department as a pavilion left of the main hospital building.
Restoration of the inside and outside of the hospital.
Extension of the Mortuary (Schaar and Hinzpete, architects).
Building of an "Administrators' Residence", right of the main hospital building.
Building of a Medical Department, left of the Mortuary, and an Isolation Department, in a
pavilion, between the Outpatients' Departmentnt and the Mortuary (Friedheim, architects).
Installation of a heating system oin the main hospital building, extensions to the side wings
to house sanitary facilities and waiting rooms (Friedheim, architects).
Building of a Nurses' Home, to the rear of the "Administrators' Residence".
Extention to the Nurses' Home.
Building of an extention, right of the Surgury Department, on todays Hein-Hoyer-Straße (Distel
and Grubitz, architects).
Remnovation of the Department of Internal Medicine, the resiting of the main entrance to the
end of the east wing (Distel and Grubitz, architects).
Last renovation of the Synagogue.
Last synagogue service. Compulsory surrender of the hospital to the City of Hambvurg
(Health Department). Converted to an orthodontic clinic. Destruction of the Synagogue with the
insertion of dividing walls and a ceiling dividing the first floor from the attic, to establish
sick rooms. The bricking up of the synagogue windows to establish a standard size.
Disolving of the German-Israelite Hospital Trust. Bomb damage to the main hospital building
and extension buildings.
Simplification of the pediments, bricking up of the round arches of the windows in refurbishing
the main hospital building as flats and a business (fish restaurant).
The Development Plan for the St. Pauli 2 District prescribed a widening of Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße
necessitating the demolition of the main hospital building.
The Hamburg Senat decides to build a swimming baths in the Budapester Straße previously planned
to be built in the grounds of the former hospital.
In connectio with the discussion over the St. Pauli district development plan the continued
existence of the building was secured. A suitable use for the building was sought.
Beginning of the renovation of the outside of the main building by Sprinkenhof AG in collaboration
with the Department for the Protection of Historic Buildings.
Discussion of the Hamburg Senat regarding the restoring of the former synogogue.
Renovation and conversion of the inside of the main building as offices in accordance with the
original building as a protected buiilding (Sprinkenhof AG/ Karres, Hartinger, Dreyer, architects).
The Hamburg Senat decides the building will house the Behörde für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales/
Department of Employment, Health and Welfare.
Renovation completed. Today (1997) the building houses the Department of Social Services and the
It is planned that the St. Pauli District Administration to occupy the building.
German Text: Dip.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.
German Text: Kulturbehörde Hamburg - Denkmalschutzamt, Imstedt 20, 22083 Hamburg,
Denkmalpflege Hamburg, Nr. 5/Mai 1991 - Das ehemalige Israelitische Krankenhaus.