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Philippine Epstein (née Jelenkiewicz) * 1874
Holstenwall 10 (Hamburg-Mitte, Neustadt)
Philippine Minna Epstein, née Jelenkiewicz, born 5/10/1874 in Hamburg, deported to Theresienstadt on 7/15/1942, died there on 11/24/1942
Philippine Epstein, daughter of the factory owner Kaskel/Lemmel Jelenkiewicz (born 6/30/1817 in Witkowo, Poland, died 6/7/1884) and his wife Ernestine, née Borchardt (born 2/17/1832, died 11/11/1914) was born to a Jewish family in Hamburg. Her distinctly elder brothers, Max Jelenkiewicz (born 4/6/1865, died 12/18/1918) and Hermann (born 1854, died 1/6/1889) were born in Gnesen in the West Prussian province of Posen (now Gniezno, Poland), her father’s home town. When Philippine was born, the family lived at ABC-Strasse 15. Her father Kaskel Jelenkiewicz owned the "Mineral- und Sodawasser-Fabrik J. G. Wright, Lager von Porter und Ale”, maker and distributor of soda water and ale at Fuhlentwiete 56, founded in 1839. His sons Max and Hermann Jelenkiewicz worked at their father’s company.
When Philippine married Leopold Epstein (born 5/3/1865, son of the merchant Salomon Epstein and his wife Philippine, née Gassmann) on May 24, 1895, she lived with her widowed mother at Hallerstrasse 4. Leopold Epstein came from Gross Strelitz in Upper Silesia (now Strzelce Opolskie, Poland). He was a doctor, had received his approbation in Leipzig in 1891 and opened his own practice at Wexstrasse 17 a year later. Their daughter Alice (born 4/7/1896), their only child, was born at the parents’ home in Wexstrasse 21. Later, the Epstein family moved to Holstenplatz 14 and from there to Holstenwall 10, where Leopold Epstein practiced until his old age. During World War I, he had served as an army doctor. He died on June 28, 1936 and was buried at the Ilandkoppel Jewish cemetery in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf.
On August 29, 1919, Alice Epstein married Max Nehemias Samuel (born 12/12/1887), a civil engineer. Max’ parents, Phillipp Uri Samuel (born 1857, died 6/7/1931), a coal dealer, and his wife Henriette, née Isaacsohn (born 7/28/1862), a school teacher, lived at Palmaille 70/72 in Altona.
After finishing highschool, Max Samuel had studied at the Technical Academy in Berlin-Charlottenburg, where he graduated in 1912. He became a manager of the Holsatia wood processing factory in Hamburg-Ottensen, a job he held until he was fired 19 years later because he was Jewish. Thereafter, he was unable to get work again.
Kurt Samuel, son of Alice and Max, born June 18, 1920 in Altona, wanted to follow his late grandfather’s footsteps and become a doctor, was not allowed to study medicine because he was Jewish. At Easter 1937, he left Schlee junior high school in Altona and began a commercial apprenticeship at the export company of Rudolf van der Walde in Hamburg-Altstadt, Brandsende 15/17. Kurt and his father Max were arrested in the pogrom night of November 9-10 1938. Friends who managed to obtain Swedish visas for the two succeeded in getting them released from Fuhlsbüttel police prison after two weeks. On December 9, 1938, Alice and Max Samuel and their son Kurt emigrated to Stockholm and in June 1939 on to Canada. Their last Hamburg Address was Mittelweg 122a.
Philippine Epstein, who had financed the preparations for their emigration and the trip to Canada, remained in Hamburg in her apartment at Klosterallee 26, where she had moved after the death of her husband. On November 15, 1938, her substantial assets were blocked by a "security order”. After payment of special taxes introduced exclusively for Jews, i.e. the "levy on Jewish assets” and the "atonement payment” (for damages the Nazis had inflicted on Jewish shops and businesses in the pogrom night), she was only allowed to dispose of her blocked account with special permission of the Chief Finance Administrator.
At the beginning of 1942, she reported her move to Haynstrasse 7 as subtenant of Dr. Mendel to the responsible authorities. Her last address in Hamburg was the "Jews’ house” at Bogenstrasse 27.
After Philippine Epstein had ceded her complete assets for a "home entry purchase contract”, she was deported to the "old folks’ ghetto” Theresienstadt July 15, 1942, together with her sister-in-law Rosa Jelenkiewicz, née Rothschild (born 3/8/1866), widow of her brother Max, who had died on December 18, 1918, and Henriette Samuel, the mother of her son-in-law. Philippine Epstein died on November 24, 1942, according to the official death notice of "a sudden heart attack”.
Rosa Jelenkiewicz and Henriette Samuel were murdered at the Treblinka extermination camp on September 21, 1942. Stumbling Stones at Alte Rabenstrasse 9 commemorate Rosa Jelenkiewicz and her son Karl (cf. Stolpersteine in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, Rotherbaum).
Karl Jelenkiewicz (born 6/27/1896) who had lived at the state mental hospital in Neustadt, Holstein since September 1923, was transferred to the killing institution Brandenburg an der Havel via the mental hospital in Hamburg-Langenhorn on September 23, 1940, and murdered by gas the day of his arrival. His sisters Lisbeth (born 3/10/1889), Gertrud (born 11/15/1891) and Margot (born 8/25/1899) were able to leave Germany in time.
The family of Philippine Epstein’s daughter Alice had a hard time starting their lives from scratch in Canada. Max Samuel died of a heart attack on July 27, 1944 when the plywood factory where he had found a job as manager went up in flames.
Max Samuel’s younger sister Ida (born 4/17/1894), who had married the Hungarian businessman Siegmund Lebovics (born 2/3/1887) in 1920, was evicted from Germany as a Hungarian citizen together with her family at the end of 1939. After the Germans invaded Hungary on June 2, 1944, Ida, her children Heinz (born 1/14/1927) and Lotte (born 12/2/1925), Lotte’s husband Adalbert Schägerin (born 2/19/1908) and their daughter Susanna (born 12/15/1943) were deported from Újpest, (New Pest) in the 4th district of the Hungarian capital Budapest to Auschwitz and murdered there.
Her elder sister Hertha (born 12/1/1886) and her husband Siegfried Meyer (born 11/15/1876) survived the Shoah – they had managed to emigrate to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via Holland in 1939. Their son Adolf Meyer (born 11/12/1910) was murdered in Sobibor on July 9, 1943, their daughter Ilse Meyer (born 12/8/1918) died on September 30, 1942 in Auschwitz.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl
Quellen: 1; 3; 5; StaH 351-11 AfW 18438 (Marcus, Alice); StaH 351-11 AfW 34772 (Samuel, Kurt); StaH 351-11 AfW 749 (Samuel, Henriette); StaH 351-11 AfW 1027 (Jelenkiewicz, Rosa); StaH 351-11 AfW 3189 (Meyer, Siegfried); StaH 314-15 OFP, R 1938/3217; StaH 351-11 AfW 8996 (Lebovits, Siegmund); StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8571 u 212/1895; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2401 u 1294/1896; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9769 u 426/1918; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 8024 u 620/1914; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 6050 u 458/1920; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 7838 u 26/1889; StaH 332-7 B III 66627; StaH 322 Jüdische Gemeinde Abl. 1993 Ordner 10 Heimeinkaufsverträge Theresienstadt; StaH 352-13 Karteikarten jüdicher Ärzte Nr. 14; Nationalarchiv in Prag/Theresienstädter Initiative, Jüdische Matriken, Todesfallanzeigen Theresienstadt (Philippine Epstein); Villiez: Kraft, S. 263; Rönn: Langenhorn, S. 70f.; Hamburger Adressbücher 1882, 1884, 1890, 1896.
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