Case File of Sarah Blumenau, a Ward of the Court from Hamburg, 1913-1914 [Excerpt]

Source Description

The following source, a court decision ordering a child into correctional education, stems from the file of Sarah Blumenau  Names have been changed, the daughter of a fashion saleswoman named Tanja B. and a legal councilor named W. born out of wedlock in Hamburg in 1897, who was sent to a reform school. Like numerous other files of children in correctional education, her file is kept at the Archive New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum in Berlin. Sarah B.’s file contains a copy of the court order for correctional education, the correspondence between the German Israelite Community Association (DIGB)  Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund and the Hamburg welfare office, as well as letters written by Sarah’s mother, Tanja B., to the DIGB. Since Sarah had to have surgery – one of her eyes was removed – the correspondence between the physician in charge and the DIGB is part of the file as well. Files on children in correctional education provide information on their background, the reasons they were sent to reform school, and sometimes on the parents. Therefore they are not only valuable sources of information on correctional education methods, but also on the relationship between parents and children, parents’ attitudes towards reform schools or on the institutions’ perception of the children. These files can thus be used as sources on family history as well as on the history of social concepts of child education.
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Recommended Citation

Case File of Sarah Blumenau, a Ward of the Court from Hamburg, 1913-1914 [Excerpt] (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <> [May 22, 2024].