At denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof,
20 plaques commemorate the names of more than 8,000 Jews and Sinti who were deported from Hamburg between 1940 and 1945. The "Info Pavilion" with an exhibition is located at Lohseplatz. From 2026, a documentation centre developed by the Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres will embed the fate of the deportees within the wider history of National Socialist persecution.
We mourn the passing of Erika Estis, née Freundlich
We are very moved by the news of Erika Estis’ death, as we were honoured and privileged to have known her well. She had always shown a great deal of interest in the remembrance work in her native city…read more
Year-end Circular Letter 2022/2023
Dear Madam, dear Sir, dear Friends, For the first time, this review of the Foundation’s events and activities in 2022 does not come from the pen of Prof. Dr Detlef Garbe, the long-time director of…read more
Exhibition in Hamburg City Hall: "Death is always among us".
Riga was the centre of Jewish life in Latvia. With the invasion of German troops in July 1941, the city became a destination for deportations and the scene of Nazi extermination policies. Members of…read more
Dr Oliver von Wrochem New Director of the Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres
Oliver von Wrochem (*1968) has acquired a wealth of experience in university and non-university research and mediation work, among others at the University of Hamburg, the Hamburg Institute for Social…read more
(Last) Signs of Life
At a few of the destinations of national socialist deportations from Hamburg and Northern Germany the deportees were allowed to write postcards. This was the only opportunity to make contact with…read more
Events (in german)
During the Nazi era,
the Hannoverscher Bahnhof took on a whole new meaning. Between 1940 and 1945 more than 8,000 Jews, Sinti and Roma originally from Hamburg and northern Germany were deported from the city, in particular via the former Hannoverscher Bahnhof railway station. They were sent to ghettos and to concentration and extermination camps in German-occupied regions: Belzec, Litzmannstadt/Lodz, Minsk, Riga, Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. Only very few survived. Responsibility for these deportations fell to Hamburg’s local authorities and administrative bodies as well as to state organisations at Reich level. The vast majority of German society either looked idly on or actively supported these crimes.
The Hannoverscher Bahnhof was severely damaged during the Second World War and, after 1945, it was largely forgotten about. What parts of the building complex remained were razed to the ground in 1955 and 1981. As Hamburg’s HafenCity district began to emerge, the general public once again became aware of the site in the early 2000s. Associations of former victims of Nazi persecution in particular have campaigned actively to this day for a memorial that befits the memory of the victims.
Between 1940 and 1945
around 6,700 Jews were deported in 17 collective transports and more than 1,300 Sinti and Roma in three collective transports, mainly from the Hannoverscher Bahnhof. Other members of both persecuted groups were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp from Hamburg as part of smaller transport operations. The names and dates of birth of the deported are mentioned on name plates at the Memorial Site. The site also commemorates those who elected to end their lives when they found out that deportations were imminent.
A number of those affected are presented here. Their biographical details are known thanks to the survivors and the relatives of the persecuted as well as many years of research work, including the Stolpersteine commemoration project in Hamburg.
was born on 6 September 1913 and lived with his wife Marion and his daughters Hella and Mathel in the Hamburg district of Hoheluft. Despite the ever increasing persecution of the Jewish population, the family refused to emigrate as they felt they were German citizens. Following the Night of Broken Glass pogrom on 9 November 1938, Kurt Bielefeld was imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In autumn 1941, Kurt Bielefeld, his wife and daughters as well as his parents were deported to the Minsk Ghetto, where they were murdered.
Cecilie Landau (later: Lucille Eichengreen)
was born in Hamburg on 1 February 1925. Her father was murdered at Dachau concentration camp in 1941. As a Jew, aged 16, she was deported to the Litzmannstadt (Lodz) ghetto in what was then occupied Poland, along with her mother and her sister. She survived the ghetto and the concentration and extermination camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Neuengamme (Dessauer Ufer satellite camp) and Bergen-Belsen. Her mother and her sister were both murdered. It was only from 1991 onwards that Lucille Eichengreen occasionally returned to Hamburg for readings and lectures. As one of the few survivors of the deportations she spoke at the official inauguration of the ‘denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof’ memorial site in May 2017. She died in Oakland, USA, in 2020, just a few days after her 95th birthday.
was born in Seega in Thuringia on 27 February 1907. On 16 May 1940 he and his wife Alma Weiss and their seven children were arrested in their apartment in Altona and detained along with around 1,000 other Sinti and Roma at Fruit Warehouse C in the port of Hamburg. On 20 May 1940 the family was deported to the Belzec forced labour camp. Over the following years the family was torn apart. The only family members to survive were two of the daughters. Emil Weiss’s grandson Ricardo-Lenzi Laubinger, who campaigns for the rights of the minority in his capacity as president of the Sinti Union Wiesbaden e.V., has published the family’s history as a book.
was born on 17 November 1921. The daughter of a wine merchant, she grew up in affluent circumstances in the Hamburg district of Winterhude. Efforts to emigrate and an attempt on her father’s part to be recognised as a ‘quarter Jew’ in order to protect his family in Hamburg were met with failure. On 4 March 1943, Anita was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto along with her sister Margarita and her parents Leah May and Herbert Ledermann, and then to Auschwitz on 4 October 1944. Margarita Ledermann later emigrated to Palestine; she was the only member of her family to have survived several concentration and extermination camps.
Therese Rosenberg née Winterstein
was born in Felbecke in the Sauerland region on 14 March 1905. On 16 May 1940 she and her husband Hugo along with their nine children were arrested in their apartment and detained for four days at Fruit Warehouse C transit camp in the port of Hamburg. From there they were deported to the Belzec forced labour camp in occupied Poland on 20 May 1940 together with around 1,000 other Sinti and Roma. Therese Rosenberg was later deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, which she survived. All her children except for two were murdered.
Dr. Leo Lippmann
was born in Hamburg on 26 May 1881. After studying law, he embarked on a career in the civil service. In 1920 he was appointed to the State Council [Staatsrat] of the fiscal authorities in the Hamburg Senate. In April 1933 he was dismissed from the civil service because of his Jewish origins. Thereafter Leo Lippmann was on the Board of Hamburg’s Jewish Community for several years. Faced with the prospect of the forced dissolution of the Jewish Community and deportation to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, he and his wife Anna Lippmann committed suicide on the night of 10 June 1943.
was born in Hamburg on 24 October 1875. He worked as a senior tax inspector before being dismissed in 1933 because of his Jewish origins. His three sons managed to emigrate abroad in the 1930s. Gustav Wächter and his wife Minna Wächter née Sonnenberg were deported to Riga on 6 December 1941 and murdered. Their grandson, Torkel Wächter, lives in Stockholm, Sweden. As an author, he has spent many years keeping the memory of his grandparents alive.
was born in Celle on 23 November 1935. From 1936 he lived with foster parents in Adendorf near Lüneburg. On 9 March 1943 he was taken away from his family by force and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp along with more than 300 Sinti and Roma from Hamburg. He was murdered there, as were his three siblings who had been living in Hamburg prior to their deportation.
Irmgard Posner née Ditze
was born in Hamburg on 22 March 1904, the daughter of a Jewish mother and Catholic father. She gave birth to her son Michael from her first husband. On 8 November 1941 she was deported to the Minsk Ghetto with her second husband, Karl Posner, and was murdered there. Prior to her deportation she managed to speak to Michael’s school teacher and to the headmaster of the Kielortallee primary school; they both made sure that Michael was put on the evacuation programme for children in Germany, which ultimately saved his life.
In 2017 the memorial site
designated as the ‘denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof’ was officially inaugurated in the area where Platform 2 of the Hannoverscher Bahnhof had once stood. Here 20 plaques with the names of the deported commemorate the victims of Nazi crimes. The memorial ensemble is complemented by the Fuge, or ‘swathe’, as a striking design feature that cuts deep into landscape of the Park as a symbolic extension of the former railway tracks, and by the redesign of the Lohseplatz itself, which was once the forecourt of the railway station.
In 2026 a documentation centre in the immediate vicinity will embed the fate of the deported into the history of Nazi persecution. It will showcase not only the routes taken by the persecuted and the destinations of their deportations, but also the scope of action of the majority society and the deeds committed by those involved in the crimes. It will also show the fate of those 1,000 or so people persecuted mostly on political grounds who were forced into the Wehrmacht’s Bewährungsbataillon 999 [probation troop] and deployed into military service from the Hannoverscher Bahnhof. The history and post-history of the persecution will be correlated with current perspectives. Since November 2018 a six-member team headed up by Dr Oliver von Wrochem at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial has been busy working on the content for the permanent exhibition planned at the site.
The memorial site is freely accessible to all visitors.
Information Pavilion opening hours:
April – October
Monday – Sunday, 12 noon – 6 pm
Address: Lohlseplatz, northern Lohsepark at HafenCity, 20457 Hamburg
Between November and March the Information Pavilion is accessible to visitors by prior arrangement. Simply email: email@example.com (phone: 040-428 131 522).
Admission is free.
Between April and October public guided tours are held at 6 pm at the Memorial Site at Lohsepark on the last Wednesday of every month. Meeting point: denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof Information Pavilion, Lohseplatz, HafenCity, 20457 Hamburg.
School classes and other groups can book a tour at any time, subject to a fee. Museumsdienst Hamburg, phone: 040 428 131 0. The guided tour is available in English, in German and in Sign Language.
The Memorial Site and the Information Pavilion offer barrier-free access for wheelchair users.
Contact for more detailed questions about the Memorial Site and the planned documentation centre: Dr Oliver von Wrochem, Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres,.
(Last) Signs of Life
At some destinations of deportations, those who were persecuted were allowed to send and receive postcards. Despite strict conditions and censorship, these postcards give us an insight into the emotions and feelings of those who were deported from Hamburg: their hopes, fears, worries, homesickness, and longing for friends and relatives.
The Hamburg State Archive holds over 350 postcards that reached Hamburg from different ghettos and concentration camps. A few of them were unable to be delivered, often due to the fact that the intended recipients had already been themselves deported. A few postcards were never sent from the ghettos or concentration camps and stayed in the post offices. Amongst them were 200 cards addressed to Hamburg from the Litzmannstadt ghetto. They can be found today in the Archive in Łódź, Poland.