Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

back to select list

Johanna Rappolt (rechts) und ihre Schwestern Alice Oppenheimer (links), Weihnachten 1927
© Privatbesitz

Johanna Rappolt (née Oppenheim) * 1870

Rondeel 37 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

JG. 1870
ERMORDET 15.11.1942

Johanna Rappolt, nee Oppenheim, born 23.12.1870 in Hamburg, deported on 15.7.1942 to Theresienstadt, died there on 15.11.1942

Johanna Rappolt was born in Hamburg-Pöseldorf as the daughter of the businessman Albert Süsskind Oppenheim (1838–1911). She lived with her parents until she married Paul Rappolt (born 6.8.1863 Hamburg) in 1898. He and his brother Arthur Rappolt were owners of the textile firm Oppenheim & Rappolt, which was renamed Rappolt & Söhne.

Paul Rappolt was responsible for quality control and materials. After they were married the couple moved into a spacious apartment at 31 Mittelweg (Rotherbaum). The children Erich and Lily were born here. In 1907/1908 Paul Rappolt had built for the family an ostentatious villa at 37 Rondeel, which had a 8 stage flight of stairs when lead to an arched centre as well as cornices and a wrought iron parapets under the windows "reflecting a French city palace from the 18th century”. Ernst Dorn was the architect who a few years earlier had built the house of the brother, Arthur Rappolt at 33 Rondeel.

We know of Paul Rappolt that in addition to his work as a fashion guru that he concentrated on brand names for well- off consumers (selling to amongst others the well known Hamburg firms of Robinsohn, Hirschfeld, Staben, Unger) and the collection of Hamburg memorabilia. His private collection was probably the largest of its kind (in February 1941 its estimated value was RM 450,000). We also know that after he lost all his positions after 1933. However, with regard to Johanna Rapppolt, who was called by her brother-in-law and his family "Tütchen" and "Tante Hans" little is known.

Paul Rappolt joined the Jewish Community in 1929 a few years after his Franz und Otto Rappolt had decided to join. Johanna Rappolt remained a member of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church (in April 1936 Paul Rappolt rejoined the Evangelical-Lutheran Church but in 1939 was forced to rejoin the Jewish Religious Association).

The son Erich Rappolt (born 25.10.1902) started work as a businessman and later became a part owner of the family business. The daughter Lilly Rappolt (born 17.1. 1899), was baptised in 1900 and took confirmation with her cousin Fritz Rappolt in 1915. She studied medicine, was granted her doctorate and in 1937 and 1938 operated her own medical practice at her parents’ house at 37 Rondeel. In August 1938 she emigrate to the USA. The son Erich Rappolt migrated in January 1939 to England, where he changed his name to Eric Rigby.

In 1938 Jewish business people lost their economic foundations. They were forced to sell the successful family business of Rappolt & Söhne in June 1938 and the National Socialist state then place a security order on the Rappolts money so that they could no longer deal with their property, other than to withdraw a monthly allowance of RM 1,100. In 1939 Paul Rappolt had to pay a Jewish Wealth tax or "Judenvermögensabgabe" (ca. RM 200,000) for his family. A Reich Flight Tax or "Reichsfluchtsteuer" or more than RM 66,000 was secured on shares. The couple were forced on 3 June 1939 to leave their villa at 37 Rondeel and moved into an apartment on the second floor at 5 Heilwigstraße (Harvestehude).

The family was allowed to retain Emma Schuldt, a household employee, who had worked with the family for many years. Paul Rappolt suffered his first stroke in the autumn of 1939. His official letters were now signed by his wife Johanna or his brother Franz "in Vertretung". On 27 November 1939 Paul Rappolt wrote his will in favour of his wife and named a relative Testament Dr. jur. Morris Samson as executor.

The psychological trials of many years were not without their consequences. In March 1940, Paul Rappolt, although himself in need of care, had to look after his wife "who lay in bed due to over-exertion”, as Franz Rappolt wrote to his son in the USA. She was also worried about her sister, Alice Oppenheimer’s heart disease. Franz Rappolt supported both as best he could. However, the financial constraints and the continuing policy of discrimination prevented adequate care. By June 1940 Paul Rappolt had recovered sufficiently so that he could go for a daily walk.

He died 6 months later on 4 December 1940 after a lung inflammation and a third stroke. Once again Franz Rappolt provided support. Alice Oppenheimer (born 18.3. 1867) in the nearby 58 Sierichstraße (Winterhude) offered her sister support and refuge when the maid was not there. True Johanna Rappolt inherited her husband’s fortune but the "racially” based charges and taxes resulted in the gradually plundering of the fortune. It was only after the death of her husband that Johanna Rappolt tried to migrate to the USA with the help of her daughter who would guarantee her passage, and obtain a visa and ticket. It was too late.

After these attempts failed Johanna Rappolt tried from September 1941 together with her brother-in-law, Franz Rappolt to migrate to Cuba. They had to pay for a Cuban visa and one year’s stay on the island $US2,800. The German Reich’s appropriation of large fortunes and deduction of 90% of the amounts transferred overseas the wealthy faced Johanna Rappolt with an insuperable problem. Nevertheless the prospect of seeing her daughter Lily again obviously gave her strength. As with Franz Rappolt and his son Fritz, she began to study under an elderly teacher Spanish.

On 28 September 1941 Johanna Rappolt received a visa for Cuba. However, her departure was delayed as the Hapag steamer which was due to depart on 4 November 1941 was delayed for an indefinite time. The emotional roller coaster ride continued – the visa for Uruguay applied for on 30 August 1941 was only valid for four to five months. The trip had already been paid for. On 30 October 1941 when emigration was already banned and the first deportation transport had left Hamburg, Johanna Rapport made a payment in Reichsmarks equivalent to the value of a house in good condition. The payment was made to the "Allgemeine Treuhandstelle für die jüdische Auswanderung GmbH, Berlin (Alltreu)". It was for "the passage of Mrs. Joh. Rappolt". A month earlier she had attempted to transfer a large sum of capital to Montevideo/Uruguay of which only 4% was transferred by the German side in Uruguayan pesos (i.e. a transfer loss of 96%).

However the departure with her brother-in-law Franz Rappolt to South America did not eventuate. After Nazi Germany declared war on the USA (11.12.1941) all post, telegraph and long distance telephone calls to the USA and its neighbouring states (including Cuba) were stopped until the end of January 1942. Any contact to her daughter was broken.

From 15 September 1941 Johanna Rappolt had to wear the Jewish Star or "Judenstern". In 1942 she was ordered to leave the apartment at 5 Heilwigstraße (Harvestehude) and together with Franz Rapport moved into the Jewish Home or "Judenhaus" at 6 Beneckestraße. On 15 July 1942 on the order of the Hamburg head office of the Geheime Staatspolizei she was deported on "Transport VI/1" (totalling 926 Persons) from Hamburg to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. On the deportation lists, accurately typed, they were given the numbers "716" and "775". Her widowed sister, Alice Oppenheimer, who since March 1942 had also been forced to live at 6 Beneckestraße was "Nr. 682". Johanna Rappolt died in Theresienstadt in the so-called Dresden Barracks (a building for elderly women) on 15 November 1942, aged 71 from an intestinal infection, as was diagnosed by the 31 year old doctor and camp inmate Dr. Leo Honigwachs in the death review or "Totenbeschau".

Translation: Dr. Stephen Pallavicini

© Björn Eggert

Quellen: Staatsarchiv Hamburg (StaH) 214-1 (Gerichtsvollzieherwesen), 573 (Johanna Rappolt, 1943); StaH 231-3 (Handelsregister), A 7 Band 42 (Prokuristenprotokoll, P 10438 Paul Rappolt); StaH 231-7 (Amtsgericht Hamburg, Handels- u. Genossenschaftsregister), A 1 Band 186 (Rappolt & Söhne); StaH 232-1 (Vormundschaftsbehörde), Serie I 839, Süskind Hersch Oppenheim (1833); StaH 311-3 I (Finanzbehörde I), Abl. 1989 305-2-1/ 268 Band 2 (u.a. Immobilien Rondeel 33, Rondeel 37, Leinpfad 58, 1946-1953); StaH 314-15 (Oberfinanzpräsident), R 1940/ 0484 (Johanna Rappolt, Sicherungsanordnung); StaH 314-15 (OFP), F 1981 (Lilly Rappolt); StaH 332-3 (Zivilstandsaufsicht), A Nr. 28 (1506, Geburtsregister 1867, Alice Oppenheim); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 1466 u. 7848/1890 (Sterberegister 1890, David Berend Oppenheim); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8589 u. 93/1898 (Heiratsregister 1898, Johanna Oppenheim u. Paul Rappolt); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 7948 u. 3061/1901 (Sterberegister 1901, Charlotte Oppenheim geb. Mendel); StaH 332-5 (Standesämter), 8006 u. 306/1911 (Sterberegister 1911, Albert Süskind Oppenheim); StaH 342-2 (Militär-Ersatzbehörden), D II 31 Band 2 (Paul Rappolt); StaH 351-11 (Amt für Wiedergutmachung) 789 (Paul Rappolt); StaH 351-11 (AfW) 1653 (Johanna Rappolt); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 26162 (Eric Rigby = Erich Rappolt); StaH 351-11 (AfW), 22268 (Lilly Rappolt); StaH 522-1 (Jüdische Gemeinden), 992b (Kultussteuerkartei der Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeinde Hamburg), Paul Rappolt (1929–1936 u. 1939–1940), Johanna Rappolt (1941–1942); StaH 614-1/71 (Vereinigte 5 Logen), 5.2 H44, Nr.133 (Mitgliederverzeichnis 1901–1910); StaH 741-4 (mikroverfilmte Alte Einwohnermeldekartei 1892–1925), Süskind Albert Oppenheim, Johanna Oppenheim; Adressbuch Hamburg 1897, 1900, 1913, 1932, 1941; Fernsprechbuch Hamburg 1895, 1899–1901, 1906–1911, 1936–1940; Hamburger Börsenfirmen, Hamburg 1910, S. 113 (Carl Cohen & Co.), S. 491 (D. & F. Oppenheim); Joist Grolle/ Ina Lorenz, Der Ausschluss der jüdischen Mitglieder aus dem Verein für Hamburgische Geschichte, in: Zeitschrift des Vereins für Hamburgische Geschichte, Band 93, 2007, S. 129–131 (Paul Rappolt); Ute Haug, Zehn Jahre Provenienzforschung an der Hamburger Kunsthalle, Rahmenbedingungen und Einzelfälle, in: Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg, Die Verantwortung dauert an, Beiträge deutscher Institutionen zum Umgang mit NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenem Kulturgut, Magdeburg 2010, S. 158, 159; Thomas Held, Juden und Freimaurer in Hamburg (Magisterarbeit Uni Hamburg), Hamburg 1983, S. 91, 102, 103, 140; Marcus Meyer, Volksgemeinschaft oder Weltbruderkette – Freimaurer in der Weimarer Republik und im "Dritten Reich",in : Susanne B. Keller (Hrsg.), Königliche Kunst – Freimaurerei in Hamburg seit 1737, Altenburg 2009, S. 132, 134; Heiko Morisse, Jüdische Rechtsanwälte in Hamburg – Ausgrenzung und Verfolgung im NS-Staat, Hamburg 2003, S. 150 (Albert Oppenheimer), S. 155 (Morris Samson); Johannes Schröder, Verzeichnis der Abiturienten des Realgymnasiums des Johanneums zu Hamburg von Ostern 1875 bis Ostern 1934, Hamburg 1934, S. 56 (Erich Rappolt); Anna von Villiez, Mit aller Macht verdrängt – Entrechtung und Verfolgung "nicht arischer" Ärzte in Hamburg 1933 bis 1945, Hamburg/ München 2009, S. 380 (Lilly Rappolt, mit falscher Familienzuordnung); Kunsthalle Hamburg, telefonische Auskunft vom 7.7.2015; Denkmalschutzamt Hamburg, telefonische Auskunft vom 14.3.2008; Bau-Rundschau, Wochenschrift für das gesamte Architektur- u. Bauwesen Nord- u. Westdeutschlands, No. 42, 16. Oktober 1913 (Fotografie Privatkontor im Rappolt-Haus, ohne Seitenzahl); Film und Frau, Heft 3/XIV, Hamburg 1962, S. 46–51 (Galerie Rudolf Hofmann, Rondeel 37); Institut Theresienstädter Initiative/ Nationalarchiv Prag, Jüdische Matriken, Todesfallanzeigen, Ghetto Theresienstadt 12236 (Johanna Rappolt); Friedhof Hamburg-Ohlsdorf, Grabprotokoll Nr. 42.495 vom 30. Mai 1906, Familiengrab Oppenheim (AA 23, 311-328); Korrespondenz von Franz Rappolt und seinem Sohn Ernst Rappolt in den USA, 1940–1941, Privatbesitz; Brief von Eric Rigby (= Erich Rappolt) aus Hamburg nach England, 4.9.1945, Privatbesitz; St. Johannis-Kirche Harvestehude, Konfirmationsregister 1915 (Lilly Rappolt); (eingesehen 22.9.2007 u. 7.12.2015), Passagierliste der S. S. Manhattan 1938 (Hamburg – New York, Lilly Rappolt) und der S. S. City of Newport News (New York – San Francisco, Lilly Rappolt).

print preview  / top of page