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Walter Oettinger * 1905

Bei der Matthäuskirche 5 (Hamburg-Nord, Winterhude)

JG. 1905
ERMORDET 24.5.1943

Johann Friedrich Paul Oettinger, born 9.9.1906, 1933 emigrated to Amsterdam, where he committed suicide on 16.5.1940

Elisabeth Oettinger geb. Oettinger, born 4.10.1909 in Hamburg, 1933 emigrated to Amsterdam, where she committed suicide on 16.5.1940.

Thomas Martin Oettinger, born 21.8.1936 in Amsterdam, killed by his parents out of desperation on 16.5.1940

Ernst Philip Robert Oettinger, born 12.3.1939 in Amsterdam, killed by his parents out of desperation on 16.5.1940

Maria-Louisen-Str. 104

Walter Oettinger, born 23.5.1905 in Hamburg, murdered on 24.5.1943 in Amsterdam

Bei der Matthäuskirche 5

Elisabeth Oettinger was the youngest of four children born to Ernst Oettinger (born 2.6.1867) and his wife Erna nee Levy (born 13.9.1880). Her eldest sister, Paula (born 17.5.1901) followed Hellmuth (born 16.8.1902), who in 1936 with his wife Ruth nee Katzenstein emigrated to Belgium, and Walter (born 23.5.1905), who when 17 years old fell seriously ill and was thereafter physically disabled.
The family lived for a long time at 47 Agnesstraße,but later, into the 1930s they lived at 104 Maria-Louisen-Straße.

Elisabeth’s father together with his brother, Joseph (born 4.8.1863, married Recha, nee Rau), were owners of the tobacco import firm N. Oettinger & Co, which was founded by his father Heimann Noa and located at 6 Kehrwieder. He died on 23 August 1936.

Elisabeth Oettinger, who was called Lotte by her family, seems to have worked as an employee in a business. She left Hamburg in June 1933 after she was registered as a member of the Jewish Community. She probably wanted to emigrate to London but never got further than the Netherlands.

It was probably no later than this that she met again her cousin, Dr. Johann Friedrich Paul (known as Fritz, born 9.9.1906) Oettinger, who also had been born in Hamburg. They married. Fritz was the son of Martin Oettinger (one of Joseph Oettinger’s brothers) and his wife Claire, nee Seckel. With his elder brother Hans (born 2.10.1900) he grew up in family’s apartment at 127 Isestraße. His father Martin, who died in 1925 was employed in the family business at Kehrwieder. Fritz appears to have studied law but then had followed the family tradition and became a tobacco merchant.

With his wife Elisabeth he lived in Amsterdam, at 148 Stadionkade. Their first child, Thomas Martin, was born on 21.8.1933. His brother, Ernst Philip Robert, followed on 12.3.1939.

From1934 Fritz’ brother Hans with his wife Anni nee Mainz, who was born in 1908 lived in Amsterdam at 50 Schuberstraat. Their son, Martin Arnold, born 15.10.1929 lived with them as did his widowed mother, Claire.

In May 1939 Elisabeth’s brother Walter arrived in Amsterdam and took up residence at Stadionkade.

German troops occupied The Netherlands and Belgium on 10 May 1940. On 16 May 1940 Fritz and Elisabeth Oettinger killed their two children and then took their own lives.

After that Walter Oettinger lived at first with his relatives and in various hiding places in Amsterdam. On 1. May 1943 he moved in with Louis van Gasteren, the later well-known film producer. Five days later, on 24 May, he was "mudered in the bath tub” by van Gasteren (according to his sister-in-law Ruth Katzenstein in her memorial for him in Yad Vashem),put in a box and hidden in a ditch. The corpse was soon found and in 1944 van Gasteren was convicted of manslaughter. He was released in an amnesty in 1946. After his release he stated that he had feared that he would be betrayed by Walter Oettinger and that his act was one of resistance, which had not been recognised. He even supplied for a pension as a member of the resistance, but this was rejected. His version of events has been doubted in several Dutch publications published since the 1990s and some suspect it involved robbery and murder. Van Gasteren has used judicial means to defend himself against these allegations. In the mean time the Dutch courts have determined that van Gasteren has to accept that his version of events is questioned. What really happened on 23 May 1943 at 146 Beethovenstraat 146, Amsterdam is still unclear.

Fritz Oettinger’s brother, Hans, was deported in 1944 to Bergen Belsen, where he died on 17.11.1944. His wife and son were deported with him but it is not known whether they survived. His mother, Claire, has been deported in 1942 to Bergen-Belsen where she died on 13 March 1945.

Translation: Dr. Stephen Pallavicini

© Ulrike Sparr

Quellen: 1; 4; 5; 8; Auskunft Christoph Strupp, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte Hamburg, 27.3.2008; (einges. 19.03.2008), (einges. 19.3.2008); NL/_main/Nieuws/Nieuwsbrief/Nieuwsbrief+februari+2008/Hoge+Raad_Media/default.htm (einges. 20.3.2008); Jürgen Sielemann, Aber seid alle beruhigt, Briefe von Regina van Son an ihre Familie 1941–1942, Hamburg 2005; E-Mail-Informationen von Herrn Prof. Löwenberg, 12.7.2016 und 5.1.2017.
Zur Nummerierung häufig genutzter Quellen siehe Recherche und Quellen.

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