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Richard J. Philipp * 1917
Oberstraße 107 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)
1944 KZ Mauthausen
Helene Caroline Philipp, née Bass, born 5/16/1883 (divergently: 1881) in Frankfurt/Main, died in Bergen-Belsen on 1/14/1945
Julius Philipp, born 3/1/1878 in Wandsbek (now Hamburg), died in Bergen-Belsen on 3/15/1945
Richard Philipp, born 2/5/1917 in Hamburg, died in Mauthausen concentration camp on 3/10/1945
Last family residence: Oberstrasse 107
Business address: Steintorweg 6
For more than three decades, the Jewish Philipp family owned a major metal brokerage and trading company in Hamburg-St. Georg, founded by Julius Philipp in 1901. Julius attended school in Wandsbek, his place of birth, from 1884 to 1893, achieving his secondary level certificate. From 1893 to 1897, he absolved an apprenticeship with the Gustav Bau metal and ore trading company. In 1901, he set up his own metal, precious metals and scrap brokerage business at Steintorweg 6 in St. Georg.
In 1907, he married Helene Caroline Bass; they had five children: Julia (born 1909), Ernst (born 1911), Max (born 1912), Herbert (born 1915), Richard (born 1917) and Mary (born 1920). The family initially lived in Schlüterstrasse, later moved to Oberstrasse 107, which remained the family residence until 1934. In the course of time, Philipp’s company became one of the leaders of the market in Hamburg; in the 1920s, it had a branch office in Berlin. Julius Philipp also owned shares his brothers’ companies, who worked in the same field in London and New York. He was a member of the board of the Hamburg Metal Association and of the Metal Market board. In 1905, Julius Philipp had joined the Bürgerverein von St. Georg, the district Citizens’ Association, a fact that documents his ties to the neighborhood.
Apparently foreboding early that he and his family had no more perspective in Germany after the establishment of the Nazi regime, Julius Philipp emigrated to Amsterdam, first by himself, to lay an economic basis for himself in his industry, hoping to have his wife and their children not yet of legal age join him later. Helene Philipp and the sons Herbert and Richard did follow him to Holland in 1936, although it had become evident that the head of the family was only able to continue his business on a substantially smaller scale. The Philipps’ daughter Mary initially moved to Frankfurt to attend the Jewish Housekeeping School there; when the Nazi government shut down the institution in 1937, she followed the rest of her family to Amsterdam.
After the German occupation of the Netherlands in spring of 1940, the Philipp family desperately tried to flee overseas. In the fall of 1941, they apparently had six-month-visas for Cuba, but were unable to leave the Netherlands because the Nazi occupation authorities had issued a general ban for Jews to leave the countries under German control. Apparently, Julius Philipp even obtained a Honduranian passport for himself (his death certificate from Bergen-Belsen notes that he was a citizen of the Central American country).
In March 1943, the whole family was taken to the Westerbork concentration camp in the Netherlands; Helene Philipp at the time was already severely ill. At the beginning of 1944, Julius and Helene Philipp and their children Herbert and Mary were deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; Julius Philipp was the first to perish there on March 15th, 1944, allegedly of "angina pectoris.” His wife Helene died on January 14th, 1945. Herbert and Mary survived the Nazi persecution and the terrible conditions in the concentration camp. Their brother Richard was also deported from Westerbork in 1944, to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where he died only a few weeks before the end of the war on March 10th, 1945.
Stumbling Stones commemorating the Philipp family lie before their last Hamburg residence at Oberstrasse 107 in Harvestehude; a further stone for Julius Philipp is to be laid near his former business address in Steintorweg, near the main railroad station.
Translated by Peter Hubschmid
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: February 2018
© Benedikt Behrens
Quellen: 1; 4; 8; AfW, Entschädigungsakte; Website Oorlogsgravenstichting, Niederlande, http://www.ogs.nl.
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