Artifact of the Month for November 2017
Richard Sally Seligmann (1884 – 1942)
Richard Seligmann was born in Hamburg as one of six children to Natalie and Sally Seligmann. He came to Norway in 1905. Richard was educated in overseas hides and fabrics, and within this area he built his business, first in Oslo, then as manager of Finn Ruud's Tannery in Jessheim. In 1927 he established the journal "Leather, shoes and skins", an independent magazine for the shoes, tanning and leather industry. In 1941 Richard Seligmann was the initiator behind the the creation of a Norwegian shoe museum on the 3rd floor of the Norwegian Technical Museum's planned new building on the corner of Thorvald Meyer Street and Sannergata.
In 1913 Richard Seligmann married Luise Benvenida Heilbut (born 1893 in Hamburg). They had four children, two of whom, Hans (born 1914) and Margit (born 1918) died of lung tuberculosis in the early 1930s. On October 26, 1942, Richard and his two surviving sons, Erik (born 1916) and Rolf (born 1920) were arrested by Norwegian state police and transferred to Berg prison camp outside Tønsberg. One month later, on November 26, the whole Seligmann-family, including Richard's wife Luise and her parents, Julius and Rosalie Heilbut (who had come as refugees from Germany to Norway in 1938), were deported with the ship Donau to Stettin, and from there to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Richard, Luise and her parents were murdered directly upon arrival. Erik and Rolfs death-dates are unknown.
The Pocket Encyclopedia with a list of Norwegian shoe factories, tanneries and leather factories was published by Richard Seligmanns magazine "Leather, shoes and skins" in 1941. It is the first published Norwegian lexicon for the shoe industry, and is a gift to the museum from Alf Bjørnar Luneborg.