Museum Ulm
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A Furniture Shop at Marktplatz 9?: The Fate of the Jewish Family Klappholz

The history of the house at Marktplatz 9, now part of the Museum Ulm, is closely linked to the Jewish Klappholz family. Originally inhabited by the Klappholz family and used as a furniture shop, they were forced to emigrate during the Nazi era due to persecution. Even at that time, the premises of the Ulm Museum extended over several buildings directly adjacent to the furniture store.

From Furniture Store to Hospital Foundation to Museum Building

Owner of the building was the brewery owner August Leibinger. He planned to transfer the building to the Sparkasse Ulm as early as 1936, less than a year before the Klappholz family emigrated. A written exchange with Jakob Klappholz has not yet been verified, which presumably means that he was never informed of the discussions. In December 1937, after the Klappholz family emigrated, the decision was made not to realise these transfer plans and the “Leibinger property” became the property of the Ulm Hospital Foundation instead. Finally, the city of Ulm acquired the house in 1939 in a further exchange deal and used it for municipal offices, with the Ulm Museum also receiving parts of the premises.

The fate of the previous residents

Jakob Klappholz (1891-1942), his wife Wilhelmine (1902-1942) and their three children Walter (1924-1942), Julia (1930-1942) and Ottilie (1933-1942) did not survive the Shoah. After the family left Germany on 20 April 1937, they settled in Brünn/Brno and opened a knitwear factory there. In the spring of 1939, the Gestapo confiscated their home and in August of the same year, the trustee Johann Hilger liquidated the Klappholz company that had been transferred to him. Three years later, in April 1942, the Gestapo deported all family members to the Warsaw ghetto via Theresienstadt. Just a few months later, the Klappholz family was deported to the Treblinka concentration camp and murdered there.

The building complex at Marktplatz 9 will be demolished as part of the current renovation work at the Ulm Museum. The Stolpersteine (literally “stumbling stones”; Small memorial brass plates embedded in the pavement) laid for all family members in 2018 have already been removed and stored in the museum for safekeeping so that they can be placed back in their original location once the construction work is complete.


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