Over 90 years ago in Hamburg
Rudolf Ballin Foundation: A story that started in Hamburg and continued in Hamburg via New York, Los Angeles, New York.
Eugenie Pappenheim was born in Vienna in 1842. She became a great soprano and also made a guest appearance in Hamburg in 1874: she found her roles in the Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser.
In 1875 she emigrated to America and left Hamburg for New York with the steamship Gellert in the first cabin as a member of the Wachtel Opera Company, which was composed by the famous tenor Theodor Wachtel. She stayed in North America forever and was extremely successful there, among others. at the New York Academy of Music.
Speech by Hermann Lange, former State Councilor, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rudolf Ballin Foundation, on the 75th anniversary of the Rudolf Ballin Foundation on February 23, 2001 at the home of the Evangelical Academy Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, Sometimes a blessing of money comes unexpectedly: At the end of May 1924, the following brief note appeared in the Hamburg newspaper:
"Donation to alleviate child misery: In her will, Eugenie Bellin, who died in Los Angeles, bequeathed $ 10,000 to the cities of Hamburg and Vienna to alleviate child misery."
In a letter dated May 26, 1924, Dresdner Bank had already informed the financial department that it had learned from business friends in New York on the cable route that a woman Eugenie Pappenheim had left the city of Hamburg with an amount of $ 10,000. It offers the services of its American business friends, who maintain a special department for the handling of American inheritance matters and who have been familiar with the legal regulations and practices of such cases for many years.
By letter of July 2, 1924, Brodek finally reported & Raphael, Counselors at Law, 67 Wall Street, New York, a top address for financial matters. Her Mr. Raphael was executor of the estate of Eugenie R. Ballin, who had left the cities of Vienna and Hamburg with $ 10,000 each in her will, "to be used for relieving distress among poor children in their respective cities."
Unfortunately it turned out that Eugenie Bellin, Eugenie Pappenheim and Eugenie R. Ballin were one and the same woman and Hamburg was only entitled to $ 10,000 at a time. But after all, that too was a substantial sum.
Eugenie R. Ballin, the testator, was the wife of Rudolf Ballin, who was born in Germany in 1860, immigrated to the United States in 1880 and died there in 1922. Do you know about him? unlike his wife – not very much, especially not whether and what connection he had to Hamburg.
Eugenie Regina Pappenheim – whose date of birth is sometimes given as 1842, elsewhere as 1848 or 1849 and sometimes even as 1859 – was, as the great singers’ dictionary by Kutsch and Riemens reports, a famous opera singer who had been at the city theater since her early years from Linz (Donau) as Valentine in the "Huguenots" von Giacomo Meyerbeer made her debut, sang in the opera houses of Leipzig, Vienna, Schwerin, Braunschweig, Mannheim, Hamburg and Berlin before she went to America with the Wachtel Opera Company and made a great career there. She sang in the American premieres of great Wagner operas, the Senta in "Flying Dutchman", the Brünnhilde in the "Valkyrie" and the Irene in "Rienzi". Apparently, she often embodied women’s roles, in which a conflict between love and duty or social role was discussed, which could only be solved at the price of self-surrender. After retiring from the stage, Eugenie Pappenheim worked as a singing teacher in New York before she died in Los Angeles in 1924, about two years after her husband. For her there was a connection to Hamburg insofar as she sang various roles at the local opera and during this time – as the foreigners’ protocol for women of January 2, 1875 listed here – on "Gänsemarkt 53 on the 1st floor with Ms. Scholz" lived.
The people of Hamburg knew what to do with the money. The welfare office advocated using the total amount for the construction of a children’s convalescent home, as it is becoming more and more apparent as a defect that Hamburg does not have its own convalescent home in a beautifully situated rural area, as it did in Wyk already have a Seeheim on Föhr (own) ?. The State Councilor Dr. was the recipient of this proposal. Lohse, who sent him to the then mayor Dr. Petersen advocated noting that the home passed on "should be fairly close to Hamburg in order to avoid the long transports, which are expensive and disadvantageous for the health of some children. A suitable house (can) be easily and inexpensively purchased today". The mayor sent this proposal to the executor in America in early August 1924, who immediately accepted it as "a very excellent suggestion" accepted, so that the implementation of the proposals could be started immediately.
The proposals were substantiated in a detailed memorandum. It was suggested that a non-profit private institution be founded. In this way you can also collect donations and tap other sources of finance, but at the same time in the organs of this institution "the decisive influence of the authority" to back up. Architects were commissioned to develop plans based on a construction program, which "avoiding any luxury meets modern requirements". It was decided to implement the design with the lowest construction costs, which was estimated at 427,500 marks, as this "than by far the best", "especially with regard to the economy and practicality of the internal system" to be seen. The German consulate general in New York sent a check for a partial amount of $ 5,000 and announced that the rest would be swept as soon as it was clarified whether inheritance tax was payable on the legacy. Negotiations were started with the city of Lüneburg on the provision of a building site near the local Solbad, the expansion of which the city was then operating. Donations were collected, an interest-free mortgage was taken out by the State Insurance Institute of the Hanseatic cities, and citizens were asked by the Senate to grant another interest-free loan so that the building shell could still be built in 1925 "before the start of the frost period" could be accomplished. All of this happened in a relatively short time: When it comes down to it, administration can also act quickly.
In October 1926 it was "Hamburg children’s home Linden-Au" put into operation in Lüneburg. It had places for 35 toddlers, 75 schoolchildren and 15 school-leaved young girls. In particular – as stated in a report from 1928 "scrofulous and rachitic children, primarily from the circles of the underprivileged population of Hamburg". The daily price for the cure was then – including the brine baths! – 3.50 marks. Depending on the situation, a state grant could also be granted. The management of the home was in the hands "a matron who was educated and nursed" placed. She was assisted by nursing and educational staff and the necessary house staff. Mrs. Oberin Aenne Meier ran the home from 1927 to 1960, an enormous amount of time, considering what has happened in the world during this time.
The institution of the home in Lüneburg was built for this occasion "Rudolf-Ballin-Stiftung". Its statutes were approved by a Senate resolution of December 10, 1925. This date is considered the "birthday" the foundation, whose 75th return we celebrate today. For a long time, the Linden-Au home was the foundation’s only home. Linden-Au and Rudolf Ballin Foundation were identical.
The foundation of the foundation – like that of other similar institutions at that time: the already mentioned Seeheim auf Föhr or the youth recreation center Puan Klent, which also celebrated its 75th anniversary some time ago – took place against the background of a development that resulted from diverse reform activities was marked in Hamburg. To name a few keywords: The four-year common elementary school was set up, school fees and learning material contributions for the elementary school were abolished, the university and the adult education center were founded. The public book halls, which had received government grants since 1901, were made independent and expanded as a foundation. Fritz Schumacher gave new impulses to housing construction in the interest of healthy living conditions. All of this took into account the pent-up need for reform in a democratic Hamburg and added to social welfare activities that had already started in the church in the 19th century: in 1833 e.g. Johann Hinrich Wichern had the Rauhe Haus, 1848 den "Hamburg Association for Inner Mission" founded. In 1832 Amalie Sieveking called the "Female association for poor and nursing" in life. In the middle of the century, the pastor Sengelmann laid the foundation for institutions from which the Alsterdorf institutions later grew. In 1875 the "Charitable school association" (since 1937 "Hamburg school association") founded, who took care of the needy pupils and took care of their clothes, healthy food, supervision and relaxation.
Generally speaking, these developments owe both to the advancement of knowledge in medicine and the need to find answers to the increasingly pressing social questions. Medical research expanded the diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities of doctors. At the same time, people became increasingly aware of the social connections that are important for the development of diseases and the chance of their healing. This development begins in the 19th century. It receives an additional boost from efforts to cope with the social consequences of the First World War and the post-war period, in which material need and the consequences of malnutrition hit the non-possessing circles particularly hard. In particular, the devaluation of private charity and welfare associated with inflation drew noticeably closer limits. Health care was increasingly understood as a political, not least communal task, which had to supplement and partially replace the work of private organizations, which had developed in particular in church contexts. For youth welfare, the Reich Youth Welfare Act of 1922, which expressly provides for partnership-based cooperation between public and free youth welfare, marks an important milestone in development.
In the course of medical development, a new emphatic awareness of health is emerging. Illness ceases to be something to be accepted fatalistically. One recognizes causal relationships and uses this knowledge for interventions, not least and especially in the area of hygiene. The medical care system is being expanded sustainably. The number of doctors is growing rapidly. At the same time, the medical profession specializes. The general family doctor is gradually replaced by the specialist. The first specialists include e.g. the pediatricians. In Pettenkofer’s discovery in the cities, the connections between the pollution of water, soil and air and the "major epidemics" (Cholera and typhoid in particular) through the demand for a supply of clean water, for sewerage and garbage disposal. Urban baths – especially bathtubs and shower baths – are built. School doctors and school nurses are deployed and school meals are introduced for poor and weak children. The seaside resorts developed from the amusement and recreation areas of the wealthy to health care and health care facilities for the general public.
This development is fueled by humanitarian, economic and moral impulses: it is about humanity in caring for the needy as well as maintaining work ability, preventing the emergence of welfare cases and enforcing civic morals and decent behavior. In a citizenship debate, in which the Senate in 1920 was supposed to provide funds for the purchase of the land in Puan Klent, e.g. a member of parliament also emphasizes the need to promote the home by saying that it is not just about physically strengthening the children. Rather, this is also necessary for moral reasons. Because "in a weakened body the resistance to the moral dangers to which (especially girls) are exposed is much lower than in a healthy body." Ultimately, this also addresses the morbidity of society as a whole, against which it is necessary to mobilize suitable defenses. The realization of the dream of living in a simple and natural environment, whose contrast to the living conditions in an urban environment clearly appears, appears as a suitable therapeutic agent. In all of this, there were serious class and shift differences with regard to health risks. The income and thus the nutrition as well as the living and working conditions are different. There is also a difference in awareness of health risks and behavioral handling of them: The "Health hierarchy" for infant and childhood diseases – like Thomas Nipperdey * in his "German history" writes – at that time e.g. from the civil servants to the liberal professions, the employees, the self-employed to the skilled workers and then with a significantly larger jump to the unskilled workers and – in a further leap – to the agricultural workers. The disease risk was lowest in civil servant families and by far the highest in agricultural worker families. The skilled workers apparently adapted to the new behavior patterns much faster than the unskilled workers and, given their situation, were certainly able to do this more easily than they did. Even then, rural life was probably less healthy for the rural residents than for the townspeople who could afford to temporarily move to the countryside.
The Rudolf Ballin Foundation developed favorably, but did not remain unaffected by the events of the following period. By changing the statutes, the foundation was founded in 1937 "Hamburg Children’s Home Foundation "Linden-Au" renamed to remove the memory of what was believed to be the Jewish founder. In 1942, the articles of association were supplemented by the clause that only German people may be taken into account when providing benefits. In 1939 the home was confiscated as a reserve hospital. However, the toddler department could be continued in a spa hotel and later on private property. After the war, the Linden-Au home served various purposes of the British occupying powers, most recently as officers’ quarters, before it could be put into operation again on 10 January 1995 as a children’s home. By the way, the cost rate was now 5.45 DM per day. In 1950 the changes to the statutes made during the National Socialist period were also reversed.
At the end of the 1950s, the foundation registered a significant drop in applications for deportation. This was related to a change in the health situation of children and adolescents. Until now, diseases such as bronchial gland TB, scrofulosis, rickets and nutritional disorders in infancy have played an important role, but pediatricians are now increasingly diagnosing behavioral disorders. The Rudolf Ballin Foundation decided to adjust to this new problem in its offer. A so-called psychosomatic department was set up in Linden-Au, and psychologists and psychiatrists were added to the staff. Many in this room probably experienced this phase in the development of the children’s home in Lüneburg before the home was finally closed in the mid-1990s. Dealing with the situation of the affected children had changed again. Not the exclusion but the integration was and is the sign of the times. You don’t solve certain problems by passing children from institution to institution. You have to take care of the children where they live and you have to try to eliminate the causes of problems in the social situation of your family or those around you.
At the time of its dissolution, the Linden-Au home was no longer the only mainstay of the foundation. On January 1, 1987, the assets of the Rudolf Ballin Foundation were transferred to the Association for the Care of Children and Adolescents in Hamburg. The club was in at the same time "Rudolf Ballin Foundation e.V.." renamed. He still bears this name today and, as you know, runs health resorts in Wyk auf Föhr, in Timmendorf and in the Allgäu. Above all, however, the association has gotten very involved in day care for children in Hamburg and has thus significantly expanded its activities. The facilities and activities of the Rudolf Ballin Foundation are an indispensable part of the offer of growing importance for the children and young people of this city.
The Rudolf Ballin Foundation Association has shown great vitality and the ability to adapt to new developments in the past. This ensures their existence also for the future. The fact that this has succeeded and will continue to succeed is, of course, primarily due to the many colleagues who work with great commitment and educational imagination in the facilities of the Rudolf Ballin Foundation. As the chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, the daily work in the homes is limited. The meetings of the board of directors in one or the other facility and the associated discussion with the employees nevertheless make me certain in this judgment. We would like to thank you that we can also look to the future of the foundation with great confidence. Of course, the success of your work also depends on cooperation with many partners, not least in the districts. Thanks to them too. The partners with whom the Rudolf Ballin Foundation has worked in the past and will continue to work in the future include representatives of science. "evaluation" was no longer a foreign word for the Rudolf Ballin Foundation than it was elsewhere – e.g. in education – with some difficulty began to prevail. Another example of a forward-looking discussion of new developments is collaboration with the Department of Medical Psychology of the University Hospital Eppendorf. I am very excited to see Prof. Bullinger’s lecture.
The health problems of children and adolescents, as is well known, have by no means been solved with all the advances that medicine has made. This is due to the fact that health, I recall what I have already said, is above all a result of the circumstances in which people live and which determine their behavior. The "Health hierarchy", Thomas Nipperdey spoke of is above all an educational hierarchy. The "educational hierarchy" is not congruent with the respective level of prosperity. As we know, growing prosperity creates its own health risks. We just have to think about the daily sins we commit against our health: with improper nutrition, with a lack of exercise, with avoidable stress in everyday work. We are not a good role model for children in our behavior. It is no different here than with many problems that we treat as youth problems, but which are really only the mirror of the adult world. The problem is not the children, but the adults. You shouldn’t let children get paid, especially not those who grow up in difficult social and family – and in this sense not health-promoting – situations and who cannot find help and support if you do "well-being" is impaired.
Health depends on the chance to learn how to behave in order to reduce the risk of illness and on the ability and willingness to act according to these insights. We have to give children the chance to learn and occasionally distance themselves from a situation that makes them sick, but that they are not responsible for and that they cannot change on their own and without support. Help must always also help for them Familys his. Nobody knows this better than the Rudolf Ballin Foundation. They will continue to be needed in the future.
Port of Dreams – BallinStadt
On July 5, the BallinStadt Emigration World Hamburg opened its gates on the Elbe island of Veddel. On the floor of the historic emigration city, which was built by the HAPAG shipping company under its general manager Albert Ballin between 1898 and 1901 and expanded in 1906/07, a new attraction for tourists from Germany, Europe and America was created.
BallinStadt is dedicated to the history of over five million people who left their homes between 1850 and 1934 to set out for America from Hamburg and start a new life.
Born in Vienna, emigrated from Hamburg to New York to the USA: Eugenie Ballin, born Pappenheim, founder of the Rudolf Ballin Foundation, is part of this emigration world.
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