Hugo Heilbrunn – born in Frickhofen (now Dornburg), Hesse, Germany, on 22 August 1905
Profession in country of origin: livestock trader
Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany on 1 August 1939
Translation into English of the text above (very kindly submitted by a Kitchener descendant) Bad Harzburg, points in history The Jewish history of Harzburg can ostensibly be seen at a glance at Max Ohrenstein’s former Hotel “Ernst August”. The Hotel “Herzog Ernst August” (formerly the “Bellevue”) – as shown in a postcard from 1925 – exemplifies the eventful history of the Jews in Bad Harzburg. The building was situated in the town centre between the Lutherean church and the former Town Hall. Before it came into the ownership of Max Ohrenstein in 1921, and especially before being visited by Jewish guests, it sat on the list of anti-semitic houses in which Jews were not welcome. In November 1938 it was the scene of brutal attacks against the operator and guests: it was subsequently aryanized. Between 1946 and 1950, survivors of the concentration camps were admitted here to recover at the convalescent home.
Peter adds: “Part of the prison had an execution wing where convicted prisoners were guillotined. It is located south of Braunschweig. Here is a link to the prison memorial site: https://wolfenbuettel.stiftung-ng.de.”
Peter adds –
- The list of possessions is interesting for a couple of reasons:
- The day of birth is wrong
- Selma, his future wife, is referred to as Braut which I took to be bride. This cannot be true as he only married in June 1939. Perhaps it means betrothed.
- What isn’t clear is the point in time to which the list refers. Judging by the different coloured ink, I assumed it was completed on Hugo’s arrival and subsequently updated with his release details. However, I was told that Pogrom prisoners were not issued standard camp clothing given they were not intended to stay long. My father did, however, remain an unusually long time, so perhaps he was issued prison clothes. Either way, it may be that Selma sent some and hence the package document. Alternatively, her package might have contained money and documents in order for him to arrange his release.
“This list is, I believe, the evening headcount of prisoners in hut 20. My father was released the next day. It shows that there were still 8657 prisoners in the camp – presumably Jews. The camp had a fenced of section for Pogrom detainees. Apparently over thirteen thousand were shipped on 103 transports in the three days following Pogrom Nacht.”
For a history of Buchenwald, Peter recommends Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1937-1945, edited by the Gedenkstätte Buchenwald, compiled by Harry Stein, published by Wallstein Verlag, ISBN 978-3-89244-695-8 (2005).