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Dr. Julius Rothholz

Julius Rothholz © OTFW
Friedbergstr. 7

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf – Charlottenburg

12/06/1864 in Schwersenz / Swarzędz
02/02/1939 in Berlin

Dr. Julius Rothholz was from Schwersenz, near Posen, and was born on December 6, 1864. His father was a tradesman.

Julius Rothholz studied mathematics, statistics, and economics at university and earned a doctorate for his study on Fermat’s theorem (Giessen, 1892). He worked as a teacher until being hired as a statistician in Berlin’s state insurance agency in 1898, where he eventually became the head of the statistics department. He published many different articles on statistics (e.g., “Die deutschen Juden in Zahl und Bild” (German Jews in Numbers and Images, Berlin, 1925). He was awarded the Red Cross Medal and the Merit Cross for his work as a member of the city council and the guardianship council and as one of the founders of an organization that helped people find employment.

On October 16, 1898, he married Martha Bloch. In 1901, the two of them bought the house at Friedbergstrasse 7 with Martha’s dowry. The couple had three children – Bertha (1900–1993), Alfred (1903–1994), and Therese (1906–1943) – and four grandchildren. In 1939, Alfred managed to escape to New York with his wife Käthe and daughter Luisa, where he – although he had been an engineer in Germany – was only able to work as a mechanic.

Therese, her husband Franz Joseph Unger, and their son Heinz Joachim were murdered in 1943 in Auschwitz and Sobibor. Bertha’s husband Max Platschek, the owner of a garment factory, was supposed to have been arrested and sent to a concentration camp in connection with the “Night of Broken Glass” in November 1938, but Julius Rothholz was warned in advance by friends, and he helped his daughter Bertha, her husband, and their two sons, Hans and Karl, to escape.

Dr. Julius Rothholz committed suicide on February 2, 1939, in order to avoid being arrested by the Gestapo.

Bertha Platschek and her family were able to start a new life in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her son Karl became a successful engineer in Venezuela and the United States, while her son Hans returned to Germany in 1953 and made a name for himself as a painter and a writer.

Biographical Compilation

Gregor Strick

English Translation

Research and text: Gregor Strick