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Sophie Philip
© John D. Phillip

Sophie Philip (née Cohen) * 1885

Isestraße 61 (Eimsbüttel, Harvestehude)

1941 Lodz
1942 ermordet in Chelmno

further stumbling stones in Isestraße 61:
Josepha Ambor, Else Baer, Hedi Baer, Ingrid Baer, Joseph Baer, Minna Benjamin, Rosalie Benjamin, Emma Dugowski, Henriette Dugowski, Hermann Dugowski, Ida Dugowski, Moritz Dugowski, Wanda Dugowski, Selly Gottlieb, Heinrich Ilse, Ella Meyer, Max Meyer, Otto Meyer, Gregor Niessengart, Michael Pielen, Gertrud Rosenbaum, Edmund Sonn

Sophie Philip, nee Cohen, born 7.8.1885 in Hamburg, deported 25.10.1941 to Lodz, murdered May 1942 in Chelmno

Isestrasse 61

Sophie Philip was aged 56 and widowed for the second time for seven years, when she was deported on the 25th October 1941.

She was born in Hamburg in1885, the daughter of Adolf Leopold Cohen and his wife Alma, nee Rothschild. She grew up with her younger sisters Olga and Martha and a brother, Alfred. Her father was already deceased when she married the bookkeeper Julius Philip, also born in Hamburg on the 25th August 1908.

She bore a daughter, Hildegard, in June 1909, followed by a son, Kurt, in October 1910. The family moved in 1912 from the Husumerstrasse to Isestrasse 61. The children lost their father, Julius Philip before the age of ten. He perished on the 2nd February 1918 on the field of battle during the First World War

In June 1925 Sophie Philip married for the second time. She did not need to change her family name. Her new husband, Albert Daniel Philip, born 1878 in Hamburg, had the same family name, but was not related to her first husband. He was a partner in the prosperous textile firm "Seligsohn und Mendelson” in Grossen Burstah. The Philips enjoyed a prosperous middle-class life style.

They employed a living-in maid, a daily charwoman, a chauffeur and subsequently a nanny for their son Werner Hermann born in 1926. Like his half-sister and half-brother he lost his father early. Albert Daniel Philip died on the 27th January 1934 in the Jewish Hospital. His stepson Kurt, who at the time was still living with his parents in Isestrasse, notified the registry office of his death.

The daughter Hildegard had attended a private school from 1914 to 1924 from which she graduated. Subsequently she attended a dress-making course and on the 1st of April 1928 obtained a proficiency certificate. Not yet twenty years old she opened a dress-making salon in the apartment of her parents, where she produced self-designed dresses. Her client base grew and she was able to employ assistants. When the accommodation in the apartment became inadequate the family moved in the same building from the third to the second floor. Here a wall to the neighbouring apartment had been broken open, so an extra room was added to the original apartment. Her young brother remembers the opening being closed again when his sister left the parental home. She married in1931and in June 1934 moved to Belgium. Meanwhile divorced and remarried she emigrated in 1940 with her second husband to South America. Her brother Kurt had also found a exile in South America and died in 1953 in Bolivia.

Sophie Philip moved with her younger son into a smaller apartment in Lenhartzstrasse, where she let three rooms. Werner Hermann, the youngest, was twelve years old when, on the 1st December 1938 he was put on the very first ‘Kindertransport’. How must his mother have felt, when two months later, she managed to obtain permission to send his stamp-collection and catalogue, with the same bureaucratic procedure required to ship an entire household content. Having obtained confirmation from an assessor that the collection had no great value she was able to fulfill her son’s wish. It must have been some consolation for her that he was accommodated by friends of the family, with whose son he was already well acquainted, having spent a summer holiday with him in the Harz mountains.

The apartment in Lenhartzstrasse was requisitioned in 1939. The valuable possession of cut glass porcelain, silverware and jewellery had to be surrendered. Her daughter reported to the restitution authorities that there was such a quantity it required a handcart. No recompense was ever received.

Now alone, her mother was accommodated as sub-tenant in one room: In Isestrasse 61, where she had previously lived in some style, she found her final modest accommodation. Like Josepha Ambor, Sophie Philip lived as tenant with the family Meyer, whom she probably knew from former more prosperous times. Her son believes this may have been with the help of the building caretakers, the Ilses, that she was able to find accommodation in familiar surroundings. He recalls that the Ilses never displayed anti-Jewish prejudices and helped wherever they could.

After January 1940 Sophie Phillip had to be supported financially by the Jewish community. Her sister Martha, living in Bamberg also sent 100 Mark to her and her sister Olga in Hamburg.

In the Isestrasse Sophie Philip received the deportation order to Lodz. Her sister Olga Schindler (see the same) who, apart from Sophie had no other relatives, volunteered to join this transport, not to be separated from her sister. The address ‘Hohensteiner Strasse’ in Lodz should not disguise the fact that this was not normal accommodation but a quarter shared with numerous similarly places victims. The onward transportation to Chelmno in May 1942 meant death, since the arrivals were immediately murdered in poison-gas wagons.

Circumstances brought the youngest son Werner, who, after joining the British army called himself John David Phillip back to Hamburg a few days prior to the end of hostilities. As a young soldier he was a member of the occupying forces who arrived in Hamburg on the 3rd of May 1945. In view of his knowledge of German he belonged to the "Intelligence Corps”. After postings to various parts of the British zone of occupation he spent the last six months of his army career occupying an office/billet at Isestrasse – the former Japanese consulate.

Translated by John David Phillip

Sources: 1; 2; 8; AfW 079885 und 040609; Hamburger Adressbuch 1912 ff; Handels-Telefonbuch Groß Hamburg u.a. 1925, S.443; Auskunft per e-mail und Telefon von John David Phillip, 2013/14.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.
© Christa Fladhammer

Quellen: 1; 2; 8; AfW 079885 und 040609; Hamburger Adressbuch 1912 ff; Handels-Telefonbuch Groß Hamburg u.a. 1925, S.443; Auskunft per e-mail und Telefon von John David Phillip, 2013/14.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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