1853 - 1917 (63 years)
||Simon Siegfried Eichenberg |
||31 Jul 1853
||70 Weender Street|
Until 1938: 63 Weender Street
1938-1945: 70 SA Street
Translator’s note: SA stands for Sturmabteilung, literally “Storm Detachment”, also known as Storm Troopers and Brown Shirts. They were the uniformed and armed political combat troops of the Nazi Party.
Bernhard Stern was aged 32 and had business qualifications when he came to the city in 1889. The same year, together with his brother-in-law Simon Eichenberg he founded the Eichenberg & Stern company. The business traded as a department store from the premises of the former Roman Emperor inn at 45 Groner Street (see photo on p. 174). Manufactured goods and ready-to-wear, furniture and soft furnishings were offered on two floors.
The department store existed for nearly 30 years until it closed at the end of 1917 after Simon Eichenberg’s death. It then merged with the adjacent Julius W. Gans department store, probably for tax reasons, the former owners retaining their economic independence. The company’s assets, stock and goods depot were now shared by Bernhard Stern and his sister Johanna Eichenberg as the business partner’s widow. Two independent businesses came into being on the old premises: Johanna Eichenberg’s store on the first floor, and Bernhard Stern’s manufactured goods and furniture store on the second floor.
Sales continued for ten years here, but in 1928 the building was acquired by the Rudolf Karstadt Corporation as successor to the Julius W. Gans company. Its intention was to expand its department store branch. As a result, at the beginning of July Bernhard Stern moved his operations to Weender Street. Business continued at the Hahnscher Haus on the first floor, once again as a single-floor store. The selection remained as before, ranging from ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing to soft furnishings and furniture.
Bernhard Stern was a businessman through and through, and despite his advanced age he did not slow down. Nor, of course, did he allow the economic crisis to get him down. Only when he fell sick in December 1932, showing him the limits of his strength, did he agree to bring his long working life to an end. The department store had a complete closing-down sale. Numerous advertisements referred to the fact that he was going out of business. But it proved extraordinarily difficult to realize his assets.
One of the reasons was the precarious state of the economy, with low wages and high unemployment. Another reason was the change in political climate which was taking place at a breakneck speed. From March onwards, the anti-Semitism which was official government policy as well as terror directed against Jews on the local level through so-called Einzelaktionen (individual actions) became more and more marked – and as a result large numbers of people thought that the closing of the business was a panic-driven closing-down sale, with prices perhaps likely to fall even further. As a result, practically nothing sold, and the advertisements in the GT took things a step further.
In the spring, the owner's health had recovered sufficiently for him to be able to make new plans. He decided to leave the town, since it was practically impossible for him to sell anything there. At the end of June, Bernhard Stern provided official notification that the Ladies and Gentlemen's Apparel, Dowry, and Furniture Store was closing down, and moved it to Hannover. It is not clear whether he actually managed to move. The only thing that is known is that Bernhard Stern died in Hannover on February 6, 1935 at the advanced age of 78.
The former single-floor store continued to be used as an apartment by tobacco dealer Erich Nehrkorn. This Parteigenosse (Party member) had for a long time had a store at the ground store. After Nathan Hahn was deported in July 1942, the parent company of R. Hahn was requisitioned by the Reich. In 1945 another change of owner took place: two weeks before the Americans arrived, the Reich let the Göttingen municipal authorities have the property for its own purposes.
An application for restitution relating to the property was filed by his heirs and approved by the Reparations Office in 1950. The Hahn family members living in the USA had the firm’s name “Raphael Hahn” again placed on the black glass frieze of the house front.
Today the house is administered by the Hahn Foundation. See Part 1, Footnote 269. Nehrkorn’s son is on the board of this foundation.
It is said that in the 1960s the local business world tried to remove this visible sign of the vanished Jewish competition. As an example, in 1966 a business owner demanded in an anonymous letter that the Trade Supervisory Office remove the firm's name: "Raphael Hahn – Hides and Skins."
||25 Tam 5613
||26 Ada 5677
||20 Mar 1917
||1 Jun 2009 |
||At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.|