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James Lissauer and his wife Dora, nee Wisser, b.1897, lived at Altengammer Straße 13.

Altengammer Straße today, Photo: 2009, Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann
Altengammer Straße today, Photo: 2009, Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann

From 1934 to 1938 James Lissauer, together with his non-Jewish wife Dora, lived in the attic flat at Altengammer Straße 13. The owner of the building lived on the first floor while the ground floor was rented out to another family.

A portion from the 1848 announcement “concerning the family names adopted by the Israelite residents in the State of Lübeck".
A portion from the 1848 announcement  “concerning the family names adopted by the Israelite residents in the State of Lübeck".

James Lissauer was born on the 8th of February 1885 in Hamburg as son of Ephraim Joseph Lissauer, a trader from Lübeck, and his non-Jewish wife Helene, neé Lissauer. The extended Lissauer family had been resident in Lübeck since 1848 and even earlier than that in Moisling.

Jacob Haimann Lissauer, James’s grandfather, had bought the building Schildstraße as residence of his family and headquarters of his company after he moved to Lübeck. Here James Lissauer grew up among his parents, siblings, grandparents and other relatives. He had four elder brothers: Meno, Hermann, Ernst and Friedemannfriedo, his elder sister Betty and his younger sister Irma.

Schildstraße with a view of Aegidienkirche (St. Giles Church), the third building from the left is No. 5. Foto: Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte der Hansestadt Lübeck
Schildstraße with a view of Aegidienkirche (St. Giles Church), the third building from the left is No. 5. Foto: Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte der Hansestadt Lübeck

It can be assumed that James attended the school of the Israelite Community, which was held in the new synagogue in St.-Annen-Straße. There he also attended religions education by Rabbi Salomon Carlebach.

According to the Lübeck directories of 1908 and 1909 there were the names of Ephraim Joseph Lissauer, trader, Hermann Lissauer, junk dealer and Simon Emmering, livestock dealer at Schildstraße 5. Simon Emmering who came from Holland, had married James's elder sister Betty in 1904.

When the grandparents had died the parents lived with their four children on the second floor. Until 1926 James Lissauer lived at Schildstraße 5. It was obviously only then that the then 41-year-old journeyman butcher established his own home. His wife Dora Christine Elisa, née Wisser, was twelve years younger than he. She was a Protestant, and was born in Lübeck on the 15th of December 1897. They moved within the district of St.Lorenz from Hansering 17 to Sumpfkrug 8 then to Brüderstraße 5 before they moved to Stockelsdorf just to the west of Lübeck in 1930, then back to Ritterstraße 24 in June 1931 and finally to Altengammer Straße 13 on the 7th of May 1934.

The couple had no children.

1935 Leaflet, inserted into the newspapers calling on people to boycott Jewish places of business
1935 Leaflet, inserted into the newspapers calling on people to boycott Jewish places of business
Cattle market in Lübeck, 1935
Cattle market in Lübeck, 1935

James Lissauer’s job titles changed from journeyman butcher to haulier of cattle to finally simply transport worker. Presumably he first worked at the Lübeck Slaughterhouse but with the Jews working there experiencing increasing difficulties he left and tried to earn a living in other ways.

The last entries on his registration card are stamped with "Erk. dienstlich behandelt" (German for „fingerprinted and photographed) and "20thDec. 38 / 4th February 39 n. Holland von Amts wegen" (German for „In Holland as ordered by the government”). From this we can conclude that James Lissauer was among the many Jewish men, who were arrested during the night of the pogrom on the 9th and 10th  of November 1938. Like all the other men from Lübeck, who had been arrested, he was sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp north of Berlin. Through his family connections with the Emmering family, who had already emigrated to Holland, he was able to obtain his release and flee to Holland in December 1938, where his wife was able to follow him in early February 1939.

But the safety from the Nazis his exile in Holland provided him died shortly after he arrived.  After Holland’s occupation by the Germans in May 1940 Dora and James Lissauer were interned in Camp Westerbork, Holland.There Dora Lissauer lost her life on 29 May 1941 aged 43 years.

On the 18th of January 1944 James Lisaauer was deported to Theresienstadt, (now Terezin, Czech Republic) and from there on the 16th of May 1944 to Auschwitz. James Lissauer was murdered on the 7th of July 1944, at the age of 59.

A lot of James Lissauer’s relatives also became victims of Shoah. Here we want to name only few names: His younger sister Irma Rosenstein, née Lissauer, born 1896, her husband Otto Rosenstein, her daughter Leah Lieselotte, born 1929, and their little son Ferdinand Epgraim, born 1937 all died in Litzmannstadt, (now Lodz, Poland).  Their son Hermann Rosenstein, born 1922, fled from Lübeck to Amsterdam, was first deported to Auschwitz and lost his life in an air attack while being in a transport of prisoners from a subcamp od concentration camp Dachau near Munich..

His elder sister Betty Emmering, née Lissauer, born1881, was deported from Holland first to Bergen-Belsen, then to Theresienstadt, (now Terezin, Czech Republic) and then on to Auschwitz and was murdered there. Also their children lost their lives in various extermination camps. Only her daughter Marianne could escape to the USA. Presumably she was the only survivor of her extended family.

References in Addition to Standard Reference Materials:

  • Adressbücher und Meldekartei der Hansestadt Lübeck (Address and Registration Records of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck)
  • Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 109, 110
  • Datenpool JSHD der Forschungsstelle “Juden in Schleswig-Holstein” an der Universität Flensburg
  • Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands: www.joodsmonument.nl
  • Goldberg, Bettina/ Paul, Gerhard: Matrosenanzug - Davidstern. Bilder jüdischen Lebens aus der Provinz, Neumünster 2002
  • Herinnerungscentrum Kamp Westerbork, Auskünfte von Josée Martin
  • Klatt, Ingaburgh: “...dahin wie ein Schatten”, Aspekte jüdischen Lebens in Lübeck, Lübeck 1993
  • Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein, Abt. 761, Nr. 17414
  • Memorbuch zum Gedenken an die jüdischen, in der Schoa umgekommenen Schleswig-Holsteiner und Schleswig-Holsteinerinnen, hrsg. V. Miriam Gillis-Carlebach, Hamburg 1996
  • Albrecht Schreiber, Zwischen Davidstern und Doppeladler, Illustrierte Chronik der Juden in Moisling und Lübeck, Lübeck 1992
  • Yad Vashem, The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names
  • Zeitzeugengespräche (Conversations with contemporaries of James Lissauer)


Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann, 2009 and 2012

Translation: Martin Harnisch and Glenn Sellick