Betty Levy, a native of Melsungen in Hessen, emigrated to South Africa in February 1940. To this end, leading up to her emigration, she stayed with relatives in Hamburg for the time being. Starting in November 1939, she thus underwent the prescribed emigration approval proceedings conducted by the Foreign Currency Office Devisenstelle of the Hamburg “Chief Finance Administrator” Oberfinanzpräsident, in the course of which her financial circumstances were examined. In addition, she had to submit a list of all the items she wanted to take along with her when emigrating. The list totals ten pages of forms. The excerpt shown here details 125 items of various kinds, including furniture, kitchen utensils, cutlery, and books. For each item, the number, date of acquisition and, in some cases, the purchase price are noted. All items are assigned to one of three “sections,” depending on whether they were acquired before 1933, after 1933, or specifically in preparation for emigration. The list also shows numerous traces of subsequent examination by Foreign Currency Office Devisenstelle staff, such as deletions, stampings, and marginal notes. Betty Levy’s individual case file stems from the holdings pertaining to the Chief Finance Administrator Oberfinanzpräsident in the Hamburg State Archives, featuring about 10,000 other proceedings that have been preserved. The course of this particular set of proceedings is exemplary, even though the moving goods listed are unusual in this case: Most of them are new furnishings for a furniture store that Levy intended to open in South Africa. Her former store in Melsungen had been destroyed by the Nazis in the November Pogrom of 1938.
Register of Moving Goods of Betty Levy, Hamburg, 13.11.1939 (translated by Erwin Fink), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://keydocuments.net/source/jgo:source-254> [February 25, 2024].