Wilhelminenhöhe (Wilhelmine Heights) From its very beginning to its very end, 1923-1946

I. Wilhelminenhöhe – Changing Stages

(see: Irmgard Stein, Jüdische Baudenkmäler in Hamburg, Hamburg 1984)


“Wilhelminenhöhe”, in the suburb of Blankenese near Hamburg, was an expanse of land, purchased with the help of a Jewish philanthropic fund and named in memory of Wilhelmine Gotthold. Up to this very day, Wilhelminenhöhe has been connected with both happy and sad memories.

The property had initially been intended as a location for establishing a hospital for the Jewish mentally ill. However, development plans changed again and again and buildings were added accordingly.

In the summer of 1923 Wilhelminenhöhe was put at the disposition of the Office for Social Welfare to serve as a holiday camp for Jewish children. In 1924 ethe land was definitively dedicated to serve this purpose.

The main building was enlarged and a glassed-enclosed balcony, a sun porch, bedrooms and bathrooms were added, as well as a reading room. From the big balcony one had a beautiful view on a forest of pine trees and of the Elbe River. A playroom was built and last but not least a synagogue.

In 1925special section for babies and little children up to the age of six was added which operated until 1939.

At the end of the 1930sthe Jewish youth organizations received a number of rooms which served as a youth center.Walks and excursions in the immediate vicinity started from Wilhelminenhöhe.

From the beginning of May 1935 the buildings also served as a Jewish youth hostel and recreation facility.

A number of rooms were used as guest rooms and there were two separate kitchens, for meat and for dairy.

From the beginning of the 1930s Wilhelminenhöhe also served as a vocational training center for young Jewish girls from Hamburg and its surroundings. Courses in gardening, housekeeping and agriculture, as preparation for emigration to Palestine, were conducted. To facilitate such training, gardenlike fields and a hothouse were established.

GreenhouseAgricultural training at Wilhelminenhöhe 1933/34

In 1941 the Jewish community was forced to sell Wilhelminenhöhe to the Hamburg municipality at an absurdly low price.

Until today this property has not been returned to the Jewish Community.