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).
Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee
Date and place of birth: 22/08/1905 in Frickhofen
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 712 474
Home Office ref: C 804
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Sandwich, Kent
Normal occupation: Cattle dealer
Name and address of employer: -
Decision of tribunal: Exempted "C"
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes
Whether desires to be repatriated: No
Richborough camp tribunal no. 2
Source: National Archives, Home Office: Aliens Department: Internees Index, 1939-1947
Editor’s note: We are not allowed to reproduce National Archives (UK) images, but we are permitted to reproduce the material from them, as shown above
Affidavit given by Hugo Heilbrunn in February 1955 in relation to his claim for compensation from the German State.
English translation follows.
Translation to English, below
Affidavit given by Hugo Heilbrunn in February 1955 in relation to his claim for compensation from the German State
With knowledge of the meaning of an Affidavit and of the penalty for giving false witness under both British and German law, I the undersigned Hugo Heilbrunn living at 1 Burton Road, London NW6 give the following statement regarding my claim lodged with the Compensation authority in Cologne.
I am Jewish
Because of my religion, I was arrested on November 9th, 1938 in a hotel in Bad Harzburg. I was employed there as a porter.
Together with other arrested Bad Harzburg Jews, I was arrested and taken to Braunschweig This arrest was undertaken by SS personnel.
The SS personnel abused the Jews being taken to Braunschweig. They used rubber truncheons and other methods to inflict this abuse. All the teeth in my lower jaw were broken.
Together with those arrested, we were transported to KZ Buchenwald. I was released from there on 22nd April 1939.
Since the end of January until my release, I, together with others was forced to carry out hard labour at the waterworks in Weimar. I can well remember that night after night, we had to drag a heavy stone back to the camp.
On my release an SS man kicked me in the abdomen with his hobnailed boot.
Because of this internal injury I have been constantly under medical care.
After my release I went to Cologne to my fiancé Selma Berger. She lived at 37 Luxenburgerstrasse with her mother whom she cared for.
I lived in Cologne and got married there.
I secured medical treatment in Cologne.
From Cologne, my final German address, I emigrated to England on 31stJuly 1939.
I had to leave my wife behind as she had no visa to come to England.
As I have since discovered, during the war, my wife was transported east and did not return.
My wife was legally declared dead as of 31 December 1945 by the Cologne District Court on the 23rd May 1952
Submitted by Peter Heilbrunn for his late father Hugo Heilbrunn