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Simone Sidonie (Semaja Franziska) Davidsohn, geb. Hirsch

Widenmayerstr. 45

Frankfurt am Main
Date of death:
Place of death:
Victim group:
Als Jüdinnen und Juden Verfolgte
Erinnerungszeichen (Stele)

Semaya Hirsch was born in Frankfurt am Main on May 31, 1879, the daughter of the merchant Simon Hirsch and his wife Jette, née Kaufmann. She grew up with her brother, Ludwig Hirsch, who was three year older and deaf. After the death of her father, her mother remarried, her second marriage being with the Mannheim factory owner Julius Hellmann.
In Mannheim on March 19, 1901, Semaya Hirsch married the Frankfurt merchant Julius Davidsohn, who was born on February 8, 1874 in HanoverThe Jewish couple moved from Berlin to Munich in 1917 and lived here from 1920 to 1939 at Widenmayerstrasse 45. They took in Semaya Davidsohn’s brother Ludwig to live with them in 1932.
The lives of Semaya Davidsohn and her husband changed radically with the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. During the “Kristallnacht” pogroms on November 9-10, 1938, the Gestapo (secret state police) arrested Julius Davidsohn and interned him in Dachau concentration camp. On November 25, 1938, the Gestapo confiscated nine art objects from their flat. On April 4 and 11, 1939, the Davidsohns were forced to deliver some 30 items of jewellery and a great number of silver items to the sales office of the Städtisches Leihamt (city pawnbroker). In September 1939 they had to leave their home in Widenmayerstrasse; for around two years they lived in one room in the “Jew house” at Leopoldstrasse 52 a, before finding lodging at Bayerstrasse 52. They had yet another forced change of dwelling in November 1941, this time to Trogerstrasse 44. Just less than a fortnight later, the Gestapo crammed them into the "Heimanlage für Juden" ("home facility for Jews"), a mass accommodation at Clemens-August-Strasse 9. On July 7, 1942 the Gestapo seized their assets, including bonds with a value of RM 37,745.19. On June 17, 1942, the Gestapo deported them to the Theresienstadt ghetto. Semaya Davidsohn died there on April 24, 1943 as a result of the catastrophic conditions to which especially older people were exposed. Her husband had already died on August 11, 1942. Her brother Ludwig Hirsch was deported to Theresienstadt on July 1, 1942 and murdered there on December 8, 1942.
It was not until 2019 that the objects stolen from the Davidsohns were restored to their heirs by the Bavarian museums the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung. (Text: Andrea Bambi; editor: C. Fritsche; translation: C. Hales)

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