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Charlotte Wolff (born Herrnfeld)

Stolperstein für Charlotte Wolff. Foto: D. Janke.
Große Hamburger Str. 30

Mitte – Mitte
May 2006

05/05/1877 in Wien
on the 5th of September 1942 to Riga
in Ghetto Riga

Charlotte Herrnfeld was born on 5 May 1877 in Vienna. Not much is known about her life. Most of the few surviving pieces of information were gleaned from the application for compensation that her daughter Alice Elsass (née Herrnfeld) submitted to the Berlin Compensation Office in March 1956. They include the names of Charlotte Herrnfeld’s parents, Salomon Hernfeld and Adele Lamberger, who were both Jewish. In around 1897 Charlotte Herrnfeld married Willy Wolff in Berlin and so gained German citizenship. The marriage failed, however, and on 18 January 1905 they were divorced. After the divorce, Charlotte Wolff lived at Oranienburger Straße 50.
Her only child Alice was born out of wedlock on 3 June 1909. While she retained her divorced husband’s surname, her daughter was named Herrnfeld. In the early 1920s Charlotte Wolff moved with her daughter to an apartment at Goltz Straße 15 in Schöneberg. She is listed in the Berlin directories of the following years as a “woman of independent means”. According to the information provided by her daughter, she was a singer and last worked for Radio Berlin. No record of her name could be found in the German radio archive; perhaps she was a member of a choir. Among the possessions she left behind were two large cases containing scores and costumes from her time on the stage. In 1933 her daughter went to live in Budapest but fled to Canada during the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. In 1941 Charlotte Wolff had to move out of her one-room apartment on Goltz Straße, according to her daughter’s statements, and henceforth lived as a subtenant of a person named Cohn at Habsburger Straße 11.
On 31 August 1942, Charlotte Wolff was deported to Riga on the “19th transport to the east”. (The date of departure of this transport is often mistakenly recorded as 5 September 1942 – when the transport list was sent to the Chief Finance President.) Charlotte Wolff was murdered on arrival.

Aktuelle Recherchen haben ergeben, dass Charlotte Wolff wenn überhaupt dann nur sehr kurzfristig in der Großen Hamburger Str. 31 gewohnt hat, dies also nicht ihre letzte frei gewählte Adresse war.

Biographical Compilation

Julia Chaker

English Translation

Charlotte Kreutzmüller

Additional Sources

Buch der Erinnerung. Die ins Baltikum deportierten deutschen, österreichischen und tschechoslowakischen Juden, bearbeitet von Wolfgang Scheffler und Diana Schulle,
herausgegeben vom Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. in Verbindung mit der Stiftung „Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum“ und der Gedenkstätte „Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz“, München 2003;