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Closed Cases

An overview of the restitutions and donations to date

To date, a settlement as defined in the Washington Declaration has been achieved for over 500 books. In some cases, the heirs have taken the books back into the family's ownership, in other cases the books have been handed over to our library, now as a genuine gift, or the books have been given to other institutions at the request of the heirs.

Overview of restitutions and donations

  • Batzdorff, Alfred (2012)

  • Becker, Abraham (2013)

    • 1 book


      Abraham Becker was born on 19 December 1920 in Kiel. The Youth Aliya had been preparing him for emigration to Palestine since 1934. However, after the November pogroms in 1938, he fled to the UK. In July 1939, Abraham Becker came to Northern Ireland where he met the woman who was to become his wife, Erna Horn. After the war, they moved to London where Abraham Becker lived up to his death. His two daughters were delighted to take their father's book back into the family's possession.

  • Bick, Ignatz und Mira (2010)

  • Blumenthal, Hanns (2018) - not available in English

    • 1 Buch

      Hanns Blumenthal lebte mit seiner Familie in der Hamburger Isestrasse 139. Die Familie wanderte 1936 nach Sao Paolo Brasilien aus. Die Familie musste eine Kunstsammlung und eine große Bibliothek zurücklassen. Eines der Bücher tauchte im Bestand der Theatersammlung auf und konnte an zwei Enkelinnen restituiert werden.

  • Bohn, Hilde/Hönigswald, Richard (2012)

    • 1 book


      Hilde Bohn married the philosopher Richard Hönigswald in 1930. In 1939 the couple emigrated to the USA via Switzerland with the help of friends. The book probably came into the Stabi's holdings after their removal possessions being transported from Switzerland were seized at the port of Hamburg. It remains in the library as a gift from their granddaughter.

  • Cohn, Gustav Gabriel (2018) - not available in English

    • ca. 70 Bücher

      Gustav Gabriel Cohn, geb. 1863, war in Hamburg als Fondsmakler an der Hamburger Wertpapierbörse tätig. Der Geschäftsmann baute sich im Laufe seines Lebens eine umfangreiche und wertvolle Privatbibliothek aus Hebraika auf. Gustav Cohn wurde 1942 nach Theresienstadt deportiert und kam dort um. Es handelt sich um ca. 70 Bücher insgesamt. Bislang wurde ein Teil an die Enkel in den Niederlanden und Israel restituiert.

      Gustav Gabriel Cohn

      Gustav Gabriel Cohn

  • Cohn, Heinrich A. (2010)

    • 23 books


      At the request of the family, the books found in the Stabi belonging to the military rabbi Dr. Heinrich A. Cohn, born in Basel in 1889, were passed to the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin. In 1939, Heinrich A. Cohn successfully emigrated from Germany. With his family, he reached the UK via Hamburg and Switzerland, where he died in 1966.

  • Dublon, Daniel und Henni (2018) - not available in English

  • Ehrlich, Georg (2013)

    • 1 book


      Georg Ehrlich, born on 1 August 1904 in Altona, was a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) since 1923. After 1933, he worked in Altona in a resistance group. This was discovered in 1934 and Georg Ehrlich was arrested. His library was also seized. One of his books was given to the Stabi in 1940 by the Gestapo as a “gift”. Georg Ehrlich served a 2½-year prison sentence for “preparing to commit high treason”. After 1945, Ehrlich became involved in the democratic reconstruction of Hamburg. His children donated the book to the Stabi.

  • Friedländer, Grete und Hans (2016)

    • 4 books

      Margarete Friedländer née Frein and her husband Hans ran a shop for silks and finery in Breslau. They had two children: Susanne (Schoschana) and Werner (Schaul). Their children left Germany early and emigrated with the help of the Youth Aliya to Palestine (later Israel). Margarete and Hans fled 1939 to London and went from there to Palestine. The family’s belongings stored in containers were confiscated in the Hamburg harbor. The books were not restituted to Werner Friedländer’s son Yacoov in Haifa.

  • Gesellschaft zur Beförderung des Christentums unter den Juden (2011)

    • 4 books


      In 1941, the “Society for promoting Christianity amongst the Jews” (Gesellschaft zur Beförderung des Christentums unter den Juden) was prohibited by the National Socialists and its property was seized.  Four books originally owned by the Society were returned to its legal successor, the Berlin Mission (Berliner Missionswerk).


  • Halberstadt, Felix (2015)

    • 1 book


      Felix Halberstadt was a Jewish commercial agent for textiles in Hamburg and led a religious life. His son Hellmuth emigrated to the USA in 1939. Felix and his wife Josabeth did not manage to escape from Germany. In December 1941, they were deported and shot near Riga. The book found in the Stabi was incorporated into the existing estate of Felix's son Howard Hall at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.

  • Heckscher, Caesar (2012)

    • 1 book


      Hannelore Heckscher was the youngest daughter of Dr. Caesar Heckscher. She was born on 28 April 1922 in Hamburg. Via a complicated route through the UK and France, Martinique, Port of Spain and Havana, she finally managed to emigrate to the USA. The library was able to return the book to her granddaughter.

  • Heilbrun, Kurt (2011)

    • 1 book


      Curt Heilbrun lived in Erfurt and was incarcerated for one month in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1938 during the November pogroms. In 1939 the family managed to leave for the UK. Their possessions were meant to follow, but were confiscated at the port of Hamburg and auctioned off – except for one book that was given to the Stabi Hamburg by the Gestapo as a “gift”. This consisted of the collected works of Heinrich Heine, given to Curt Heilbrun in 1899 by his parents for his 16th birthday. The book has now been returned to his granddaughter.

  • Jellinek Mercedes, Raoul (2016)

    • 5 books


      Raoul Fernand Jellinek Mercedes (1888–1939) had an extensive library, in addition to a valuable collection of musical instruments and paintings, which he and his wife gradually had to sell out of necessity from 1938 onwards. To avoid being arrested, he took his own life on 10 February 1939. The books from his library have turned up in various libraries and some have been returned. These include the music library at the Essen City Library, the Leipzig University Library, the Berlin Central and Regional Library, the Medical University of Vienna Library and, now, the Stabi Hamburg.

  • Kacser, Henrik (2013)

    • 2 books


      Henrik Kacser was born in 1918 in Romania as Heinrich Kacser. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Berlin. Just before he finished school, the family moved to Hamburg. A short time later, Henrik Kacser migrated to Belfast in Northern Ireland where his sister was already living. His father Soma Kacser remained in Hamburg. In June 1943 he was deported via Theresienstadt to Auschwitz, where he was killed in 1944. In autumn 2013, two books were returned to Henrik Kacser's widow.

  • Katzmann, Max (2013)

    • 2 books

      Max Katzmann was born on 5 May 1889 in Geroda. The Katzmann family lived in Kitzingen. Max Katzmann, a qualified rabbi, worked for a long time in the Würzburg area as a wine merchant. On 24 March 1942, Max and his wife Bella together with nine other family members were taken to the Izbica transit camp and, from there, probably to one of the extermination camps in Belzec and Sobibor where they were murdered. Via the former synagogue in Kitzingen, their niece was found in the USA to whom the two books owned by Max Katzmann were returned.

  • Levy, Ludwig (2014)

    • 15 books


      Ludwig Levy, born on 10 March 1875, was a scrap metal dealer in Rothenburgsort. His son Hartwig emigrated to the USA with his wife Irma in 1939. The emigration plans of Ludwig and his wife Ida failed. In July 1942, they were deported to Theresienstadt from where they were taken to the Maly Trostinec extermination camp around two months later. In August 2014, we were able to contact their daughter-in-law and, at her request, the books have now found a new home in the library of the Jewish Community in Hamburg.

  • Loebenstein, Eliesar (2017)

    • 1 book


      Eliesar (called Emil) was an official of the Hamburg synagogue Association and lived with his wife Rahel and their two daughters Sofie and Irma in the Hamburg. His daughters managed to emigrate to South Africa and England but he with his wife was deported to Theresienstadt in the 1942. His traces are lost in 1944 in Auschwitz. The Babylonian Talmud in an edition from Wilma (published 1908-1922) was restituted to his grandson in Israel who was named after him.

  • Mauthner, Victor (2016)

    • 1 book


      Viktor Mauthner was an accountant in Prague. Together with his wife Anna and their youngest son Pavel he was deported in 1943 first to Theresienstadt and later to Auschwitz, where all three were killed. A book which had belonged to Viktor Mauthner was found in our stocks. We were able to restitute it to Viktor Mauthner grandson in Israel.

  • Mendel, Anna und Paul (2011)

    • 3 books


      Three books belonging to Anna and Paul Mendel were registered as “old stocks” in the acquisition journals of the Stabi Hamburg. The term "old stocks" was used for all volumes whose origin was unclear or – particularly after the end of the war in 1945 – was perhaps intended to remain unclear. Anna and Paul Mendel lived in Hamburg until they were deported to Theresienstadt in July 1942, where they perished. The books are back in the library's holdings as a donation from their great-nephew.

  • Netter, Emil und Ida (2012)

  • Norden, Joseph (2013)

    • 7 books


      Rabbi Dr. Joseph Norden was born in Hamburg on 17 May 1870. After working from 1907 to 1935 in Elberfeld (Wuppertal), he returned to Hamburg. He refused to emigrate, but remained in his community. On 15 July 1942, he was deported to Theresienstadt where he died on 7 February 1943. One book was returned to his great-grandson, four other books were donated to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Yad Vashem Memorial-World Holocaust Remembrance Center and the Wuppertal Old Synagogue museum and memorial.

  • Ochs, Samuel (2012)

    • 12 books


      The Jewish scholar Dr. Samuel Ochs managed to leave for London in 1939 after he had been arrested in 1938, taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp and severely abused there. The book found in the Stabi Hamburg probably arrived at the port of Hamburg as part of the removal possessions. The possessions were confiscated and auctioned off, while the book was given to the Stabi Hamburg by the Gestapo. It has now been returned to Samuel Ochs' granddaughter.

  • Petschek, Ignaz und Helene (2013)

  • Reiss, Marie May (2008)

    • 4 books


      Four books from Hamburg citizen Marie May Reiss were found in the stock of the Stabi Hamburg; they came to the library in 1943 as a gift from the Gestapo. Marie May Reiss, born in 1895, lived with her children in Hamburg-Harvestehude after her husband's early death. With her daughter Ingeborg she was deported to Auschwitz in June 1942,  where her traces are lost. The great-nephew of Marie May Reiss, who lives in the UK, decided to donate the books to the Stabi.

  • Simon, Hermann und Rose (2016)

    • 4 books


      Hermann Simon died in 1923. His wife Rose Simon (née Weinberg) married Leopold Kaufmann. He immigrated without her to Bolivia at the end of the 1930s and got divorced. Rose Kaufmann (née Weinberg) died in prison in August 1942. Hermann and Rose Simon were the grandparents of Hermann Simon, the founding director of the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin. He was given his grandparents' four books.

  • Spier, Hilde (2014)

    • 1 book


      The philologist Hilde Spier and her husband Karl lived first in Cologne and later in Erfurt. In 1935 they travelled first to Belgium and, from there, to France. After the defeat of France, the couple desperately tried to leave the country. An attempted escape in August 1942 failed and Hilde and Karl Spier were arrested. With the help of a guard, they managed to consign their children to the care of an Italian diplomat who hid them in Italy until the end of the war. A short time later, the couple were deported to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Their children were very moved by the return of their parents' book.

  • Warburg, Fritz (2010)

    • 2 books


      A book with the stamp of Fritz Warburg, which had been assigned to the Stabi Hamburg in 1943 as a “gift”, was offered to the heirs as restitution. Fritz Warburg immigrated to Sweden in May 1939 and, from 1957, lived with his wife Anna in Israel. The family decided to donate the book to the Stabi.