The fate of Maurits Harpman and his wife Henriette Koppel.

Maurits Harpman, born 15 November 1901 in Amsterdam, was s aon of Josua Harpman and Bloeme Trompetter. He was born into a family of six children in total, of whom two brothers have survived the war; two sisters and a brother were killed in the Shoah. His father had passed away in 1939 and his mother already in 1922.

On 8 April he married in Amsterdam Henriette Koppel, age 30 years and born in Zupthen, a daughter of Jacob Koppel and Barendina de Bruin. At the time of his marriage, Maurtis was a diamond polisher and inspector at De Bijenkorf and Henriette worked as shoplady. The couple had no children.

After the wedding, Maurits and Henriette lived at Jan Lievenstraat 16 in Amsterdam but moved 26 July 1934 to Van der Dussenstraat 19b in Rotterdam, where Maurits his job as inspector at De Bijenkorf in Rotterdam could carry on. On 11 May 1935 the couple moved once again to Bergschelaan 303 – which became eventually also the address from where they have been carried off to Westerbork in 1942.

Henriette Harpman-Koppel was registered in Westerbork on 12 November 1942 and deported to Auschwitz on 20 November. There, three days later on arrival on 23 November 1943 she was immediately killed,

Maurits Harpman, on the other hand, had been carried off  to Westerbork already earlier, from where he has been deported to “the East”, direction Auschwitz on 10 November 1942. This transport with in total 758 deportees, stopped at Kozel, which is located about 80 km. west from Auschwitz, where 180 boys and men between 15 and 50 years were forced to leave the train, to be employed as forced labourers in the surrounding satellite camps of Auschwitz. Maurits was one of the 180 men and eventually he ended up in the forced labor camp of Blechhammer. Those, who remained in the train, were transported onwards to Auschwitz to be killed there.

One of the documents from the former labor camp Blechhammer, that have been recovered lately shows that Maurits Harpman has lost his life in Blechhammer on 5 April 1943. After the war, when this all was still unknown, the Dutch authorities has had a death certificate drawn up for Maurits Harpman; in it his official date and place of death has been established as 31 March 1944 in Mid Europe.

Sources: City Archive of Amsterdam, family registration card of Maurits Harpman; website of Maurits Harpman; City Archive of Rotterdam, family registration card of Maurits Harpman; the file cabinet of the Jewish Council, registration cards of Maurits Harpman and Henriette Harpman-Koppel; jew transports from the Netherlands and Edward Haduch, Panstwowe Muzeum, Auschwitz-Birkenau, protocol 6 maart 1946.

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