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Königstraße 95 - The Wiener Family

The former building at Königstraße 95 was demolished to make way for a new building. The former building had belonged to the Lübeck businessman Edmund Wiener since 1927 and became the residence of his family sometime in the 1930s until the family fled Nazi Germany.

The orginal buildings at Königstraße 93 and 95.
The orginal buildings at Königstraße 93 and 95.

Elias Edmund Wiener was born in Hamburg on 29 October 1867 and was the youngest child of his parents, the businessman Moses Elias Wiener and Hannchen, nee Wolf. Elias grew up in Hamburg and Ludwigslust, 100 km/62 miles east of Hamburg.

Elias Edmund Wiener as a child and in his adolescence.
Elias Edmund Wiener as a child and in his adolescence.
Moses Elias Wiener and Hannchen Wiener, nee Wolf
Moses Elias Wiener and Hannchen Wiener, nee Wolf

1884, when Elias was 17 years old, was the first time he was registered as a resident of Lübeck. He completed his occupational training at the Salomon L. Cohn Bank and afterwards he was employed at the Louis Wolf Bank.

Starting in 1890 he served his compulsory military service. At the end of 1896 he began working for the J.L. Würzburg firm. He married the then 20 year old Dina Würzburg in July of 1897. Dina was the only child of Jacob Lazarus Würzburg and his wife Friederike, nee Hirsch, who also came from Hamburg.

Jacob Lazarus Würzburg: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener
Jacob Lazarus Würzburg: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener
Friederike Würzburg, née Hirsch: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener
Friederike Würzburg, née Hirsch: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener

On the other hand Jacob Lazarus Würzburg was born in Lübeck in 1851. His family had lived in the Moisling area south of Lübeck for many generations starting in 1747/48. His parents had come to the city in 1848, when the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck finally allowed Jews to take up residence in the city. They had taken “Würzburg” as their name as required by the city of Lübeck that Jewish families have certain and consistent family names.

Marriage Certificate, front and back sides.
Marriage Certificate, front and back sides.
Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Amtgericht, Abt. 7, Testament 25 / 1907
Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Amtgericht, Abt. 7, Testament 25 / 1907

In 1876 the then 25 year old businessman, Jacob Lazarus Würzburg, married. At the end of the same year he registered with the commerce office that he was the sole proprietor of the commercial business Firma J.L. Würzburg buying and selling furs and fleece, which had been processed by his father, Lazarus Wulff Würzburg, first in Moisling and later in Lübeck. The business offices were located at Wahmstraße 22a, while their living quarters were at Königstraße 91, a building located on the corner of the intersection. Jacob Lazarus Würzburg had the building renovated according to the highest standards of the day and therefore it was considered quite luxurious. The Würburg family lived on the second floor while the floors above them were rented out. In the attic was a large room for drying laundry as well as rooms for the servants.

Dina Würzburg’s Birth Certificate
Dina Würzburg’s Birth Certificate

Jacob’s daughter, Dina, was born on 6 June 1877 and grew up in this building. From 1883 to 1893 she was a student at the Ernestinen School. She received religious instruction from a “Miss Cohn. “

After the early death of her husband in 1907 Friederike Würzbug lived alone in the apartment on the second floor of the large building. Her granddaughter, Hilda, especially loved the corner balcony where she could observe the going ons in the street and where she could play.

Dina and Edmund Wiener apparently did not want to live in the crowded city centre since they moved to the suburbs of St. Jürgen. After they married they moved to Moltkestraße 8, then in 1906 to Lessingstraße 11 and in 1914 rented an apartment on the second floor at Geniner Straße 40, which was a roomy villa with a large garden. Their daughter, Hilda Hitzel, was born in 1903, Gertrude Gitel in 1905 and Kurt Moritz on 17 January 1912. The children were raised in definitely well to do circumstances since their parents even owned a car.

Hilda, Morris and Gertrude Wiener 1912/1913
Hilda, Morris and Gertrude Wiener 1912/1913
The Wiener’s Family Car
The Wiener’s Family Car

Upon the death of his father-in-law Edmund Wiener became the proprietor of the J.L. Würzburg firm. In 1913 he and his family obtained their Free City of Lübeck citizenship and in the same year the chamber of commerce admitted him as a member since he was “a citizen and businessman.”

The Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck Citizenship Certificate for Edmund Wiener, 1913.
The Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck Citizenship Certificate for Edmund Wiener, 1913.

The Wiener family was an active member of the Jewish congregation, even though they did not live “kosher” lives. Dina Wiener was a member of the Israeli Women group as was her mother. Their children went to religious instruction classes. The Bar Mitzwa for Kurt Moritz was held in 1925.

In the same year of 1925 the business was enlarged to include a special division for furs, fur trimmings and related fur products. Custom orders, alterations and special orders for furs were also offered by the firm as well as leather goods and, starting in 1926, hats and caps.

Various Advertisements Repros by Albrecht Schreiber, Lübecker Generalanzeiger

 

In the meantime Edmund Wiener was assisted by his son-in-law, Julius Wagner (1897-1967), and later made him a partner. In 1923 Hilda Wiener married Julius Wagner and Wally Fanny, their daughter, was born in February of 1924. The young family resided at Hüxstraße 110.

Julius Wagner and Hilda Wagner, nee Wiener: Archive of the Dennis Wiener Family
Julius Wagner and Hilda Wagner, nee Wiener: Archive of the Dennis Wiener Family

Julius Wagner was the youngest of four children of David and Jette Wagner, nee Cohn. Their well known hat shop was located on the ground floor at Holstenstraße 8, with their apartment on the second floor.

In 1926 Gertrude Wiener, who was a trained office clerk, registered as having moved from Lübeck to Berlin. After a few weeks in Berlin she returned to Lübeck but did not live with her parents but rather at first rented a room from a widow who lived on Blankstraße and then after half a year lived with her grandmother, Friederike, at Königstraße 91. Finally she was registered as having moved to Warnsdorf on the Baltic Sea where her daughter, Margarita (called Rita) was born. Nothing is known about Rita’s father.

The Wiener family not only owned the buildings at Wahmstraße 22 and 22a but also the corner house at Königstraße 91 and the buildings at Königstraße 93, purchased in 1913, and Königstraße 95, purchased in 1927. From 1921 to 1931 one of the apartments in the Königstraße 95 building was rented by the Jewish businessman Alex Horwitz for his family, namely his wife, Gerta Horwitz, nee Schiff and their two children, Hans Werner Max, who was born in Lüneburg in 1909, and Anne Lise, who was born in 1913. Anne Lise attended the Ernestinen School until 1931 and then moved to Lausanne, Switzerland. Alex and Gerta Horwitz moved to the Charlottenburg district of Berlin.

The present day buildings
The present day buildings
Kurt Moritz on his motorcycle
Kurt Moritz on his motorcycle

   It was the hope of Edmund and Dina Wiener that their son Kurt Moritz would develop an interest in becoming a businessman and take over the family business, but it did not come to pass. Kurt liked to work with his hands and was interested in technical things. In 1927 he finished his schooling at the Oberrealschule zum Dom (secondary school) with average grades and started vocational training as a motor vehicle mechanic with the Friedrich Koch Firm which had two locations one on Engelsgrube and the other on Wallhalbinsel. In 1931 he completed his training and received the highest possible mark “very good” and shortly afterwards opened his own transport business “Kurt Wiener: City and Immediate Transport.” Within a few years the business boasted three vehicles and specialized in a niche market of hauling uncut timber. Gut As a member of the Motorcycle Touring Club he spent much of his free time on his motorcycle.

As to what degree the family was affected by anti-Semitic tendencies even before the Nazi Regime is not known. The same can be said for how both businesses were affected by the boycott of 1933.

Soon after the Nazi Regime came to power the Wieners ended their rent agreement at Geniner Straße 40 and move to their own property at Königstraße 95.

In 1935 the Lübeck newspapers regularly published the names and addresses of stores, medical and legal practices, and businesses, whose owners were Jewish and thereby both of the enterprises of the Wiener family were on these boycott lists. It may have been that in the face of these latest concrete intimidations the family began to consider leaving Germany.

Friederike Würzburg died on 13 March 1935 at 81 years of age after a long and difficult illness as indicated by her obituary.

 Translation of the German obituary notice:

After a serious illness our dear mother, grandmother and great grandmother,

                                   Friederike Würzbug

died in her 81st year of life.

Edm. Wiener and wife, Dina, nee Würzburg,                           Lübeck 13 March 1935                                        Burial service will be held at the Moisling Cemetery Chapel Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

Funeral wreaths respectfully declined.

 


Friederike Würzburg’s Obituary in the Lübecker Generalanzeiger (General Advertizer) published on 14 March 1935
Friederike Würzburg’s Obituary in the Lübecker Generalanzeiger (General Advertizer) published on 14 March 1935

In September of 1935 Hilde and Julius Wagner left Germany with their 11 year old daughter and immigrated to Buenos Aires. Julius Wagner had to suffer in Lübeck shameful harassment. Gertrude Wiener and her daughter also immigrated to Argentina.

The Nuremburg Race Laws came into effect in 1935 and were the deciding factor for Kurt Wiener to emigrate. His had less and less business and there were indications which warned him that the Lübecker Nazis were just preparing to cause him not only business difficulties. So it came that the 24 year old Kurt left his hometown in June of 1936 and emigrated to South Africa.

Now the 69 year old Edmund Wiener and his 59 year old wife, Dina, were also faced with the difficult question: Stay or go? In June of 1937 Edmund Wiener closed the firm J.L. Würzburg and had the inventory and furs auctioned off.

Auction Advertisement in the Lüberker Generalanzeiger
Auction Advertisement in the Lüberker Generalanzeiger

The married couple registered with the authorities as temporarily leaving Lübeck in order to travel and thereby explored the possibility of retiring in another country. At first they traveled to Argentina where they visited their daughter and then on to their son, where it was decided to live out their self imposed exile. Yet they still returned to Lübeck in April 1938 in order “to get everything in order” and to organize their emigration. Although the property at Wahmstraße 22 was sold in 1935 and the Wahmstraße22a property in 1937, the properties at Königstraße 91, 93 and 95 were certainly sold below market value to “Aryans.”

 

 

1937, Dina und Edmund Wiener with their granddaughter Rita in Buenos Aires, in possession of the the Wiener Family
1937, Dina und Edmund Wiener with their granddaughter Rita in Buenos Aires, in possession of the the Wiener Family

Apparently Edmund Wiener was spared from being arrested during the November 1938 Pogrom. Yet his “German“ given name of Edmund was no longer recognized by the authorities so he had to call himself Elias but was not required to adopt the additional name of Israel while his wife was forced to adopt the name of Sara Dina.

Certificate by the Lübeck Chief of Police for Dina Wiener of 20 Sept 1938, Archive of the Wiener Family
Certificate by the Lübeck Chief of Police for Dina Wiener of 20 Sept 1938, Archive of the Wiener Family
Reisepass von Edmund Wiener, ausgestellt im Dezember 1938: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener
Reisepass von Edmund Wiener, ausgestellt im Dezember 1938: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener
Reisepass von Dina Wiener, ausgestellt im Dezember 1938: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener
Reisepass von Dina Wiener, ausgestellt im Dezember 1938: Familienarchiv Dennis Wiener

Edmund and Dina Wiener were able to leave Germany in March 1939 with a portion of their household goods yet very little money. For one thing they were only allowed to take a small sum with them. The rest had to be deposited in a savings account that is after the costs of the move, several fees and taxes such as the 32,529 RM “Reichsfluchtsteuer” ,a tax introduced in 1931, two years before the Nazis came to power, which limited the amount of money anyone could take with them when emigrating. the “Jewish Possession Tax” and finally “Atonement Payments” for the damage done during the November Pogrom had been paid. All of these swindled the couple out of their assets. In May 1939 they were met by their son in Pietersburg, South Africa. A few months later their flight would have been impossible.

Edmund and Dina Wiener
Edmund and Dina Wiener

In South Africa the couple faced enormous challenges: They had to deal with the traumatic events of the last few years which entailed humiliation and the loss of their rights, their identity and means of making a living, learn a new language, become accustomed to a new climate and culture, accept and adjust to a simple and meagre lifestyle and be financially dependant on their son. Starting in 1942 Edmund Wiener was able to earn some money as a chiropodist. He would ride his bicycle to the homes of his clients and at the same time do the shopping while Dina took care of the household. Dina was an excellent cook.

Kurt Moritz Wiener quickly found employment in his field after arriving in South Africa and after the war started a business manufacturing agricultural and other machinery. This business grew into a large and successful enterprise. He was introduced to Judith Behr through the Jewish community in Pietersburg. They were married in 1943.

Wedding Picture of Judith Behr and Morris Wiener 1943
Wedding Picture of Judith Behr and Morris Wiener 1943
Edmund, Morris and Dennis Wiener
Edmund, Morris and Dennis Wiener

As the result of a stroke Dina Wiener died in 1946 at 69 years of age while Edmund Wiener died at 81 years of age on 6 July 1948. Although he was already suffering from pancreatic cancer he was able to celebrate the birth of his grandson, Dennis, on 6 July 1947.

Dennis was the only child of Kurt Mortiz Wiener, who while in South Africa called himself Morris Wiener, and Judith Wiener. Morris Wiener died in 1979 at the age of 66.

As of this writing Dennis and Charlotte Wiener and their daughter, Janine and her family, live in Israel, while their son, Elian, and daughter, Mandy, remain in South Africa. All five of them came to Lübeck when the Stolpersteins for their parents and grandparents were laid.

The Wiener family at the laying of the Stoplersteins on 11 July 2013
The Wiener family at the laying of the Stoplersteins on 11 July 2013

References in Addition to Standard Reference Materials

Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Staatliche Polizeiverwaltung 109, 110, 124

Grundbuch von Lübeck, Innenstadt 50 / 1495, 1496, 1497, 129 / 3842 / 3843,

Brand-Assecuranz-Cassa, Band 35 

Amtsgericht zu Lübeck, Abt. 7, Testament 25 / 1907 und Handelsregister Abt. A, 3363 Fa. J.L. Würzburg

Stadt- und Landamt 794, Staatsangehörigkeit Edmund Wiener

Personenstands- und Melderegister der Israelitischen Gemeinde

JSHD Forschungsgruppe "Juden in Schleswig-Holstein" an der Universität Flensburg, Datenpool (Erich Koch)

Gedenkbuch des Bundesarchivs online

Guttkuhn, Peter: Kleine deutsch-jüdische Geschichte in Lübeck, Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Lübeck 2004, S.62

ders., "Der Senat will gebildete Bürger haben", Jüdische Schülerinnen der Ernestinenschule während der Ära Hoffmann, in: 200 Jahre Ernestinenschule, Lübeck 2004, S.31

Klatt, Ingaburgh: “...dahin wie ein Schatten”, Aspekte jüdischen Lebens in Lübeck, Lübeck 1993

Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein, Rückerstattungsverfahren: Abt. 352.3, Nr. 6247, Nr. 6249, Nr. 6251, Nr. 6253, Nr. 7571, Nr. 7572, Nr. 7825, Abt. 510, Nr. 9213 und 9214; Entschädigungsakten: Abt. 761, Nr. 27722 und Nr. 28419

Lübecker Generalanzeiger

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

ders.: unveröffentlichtes Manuskript über Edmund Elias Wiener und Kurt Moritz Wiener, 2013

Winter, Rabbiner Dr. David: Blätter der Erinnerung zum 50jährigen Bestehen des israelitischen Frauenvereins zu Lübeck, 1877-1927, Lübeck 1927

Wiener, Dennis: The Wiener Family History, unpublished manuscript, 2013 ders.: Closing the Circle, The Stolpersteine, Lübeck 11/07/2013, self published 2013

Converstations with contemporaries of the Wiener family

Heidemarie Kugler-Weiemann and Dennis Wiener, 2013

Translation Glenn Sellick and Martin Harnisch 2015