Memorial for the Jewish deportees from Steubenweg 36
In September 2013, a memorial was established for the former Jewish residents of the house at Steubenweg (now Grotiusweg) 36, which was used by the Nazis as a ‘Judenhaus’ or house for Jews. The memorial was initiated by the Association for Researching the History of the Jews in Blankenese and Irene and Gerd Schulte-Hille, who owns the estate today.
The artist Volker Lang (born in 1964) from Hamburg designed the memorial, which comprises a six-sided wooden gazebo that is 4.80 metres wide and tall and has an open roof. The planks of fine larch wood are engraved with the names and dates of birth and death of 17 people who were deported between October 1941 and July 1942 from the Hannoverscher Bahnhof to Lodz, Minsk, Riga and Auschwitz, where they were killed. Two residents of the house on Steubenweg took their own lives before they could be forced onto the last transport on 19 July 1942.
Hamburg resident Emmy Lokay had purchased the building on Steubenweg in 1930, and it was used by young Jews known as Chaluzim to prepare for emigration to Palestine. The villa later served as a daytime holiday camp for Jewish children. The Nazis turned it into a ‘Judenhaus’ where Jewish men and women were forced to live before being deported.
‘The heavens, heartgrey, must be near’ – the memorial’s designer carved this line from Paul Celan’s poem Speech-Grille (Sprachgitter, 1959) into one of the wooden planks. The quote captures the atmosphere in the gazebo under the open sky and behind the bars that block the way out.
The Association for Researching the History of the Jews in Blankenese was founded by the politician Dr Martin Schmidt from the Green Party. The association held memorial services on the anniversary of the deportations and frequently invited the Children of Blankenese, a group of Holocaust survivors who had been housed in a villa on the Kösterberg after the war. The current owners of the property at Grotiusweg 36 donated money so that the memorial could be built in the nearby municipal green area.
Verein zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Blankenese e.V.