Ferdinand Topper. Collection

Language of Description
1 Jan 1922 - 31 Dec 1948
Level of Description
  • Dutch
  • French
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

44 digitised images (5 documents and 2 documents)


Biographical History

Ferdinand Topper was born in Antwerp on 24 February 1903 as the son of Polish national Karel Topper (b. 06/01/1872 in Odessa, now Ukraine) and Austrian national Sophia Schnabel (b. 02/09/1875 in Dabrowa Tarnowska, now Poland). In 1921, Ferdinand started the procedure to obtain Belgian citizenship. The Belgian state granted his request and Ferdinand joined the Belgian army. He was stationed at several posts in Antwerp in the 1920s and 1930s. On 3 March 1925, he married the Dutch-Jewish girl Celine Selly Corper, born in Amsterdam on 28 January 1906. The couple had one son, Lucien Topper (b. 18/08/1934). In September 1942, Karel Topper was arrested and taken to the Dossin barracks. He did not survive deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport XI on 26 September 1942. Ferdinand, at the time, was working as a forced labourer for Organisation Todt in the north of France, together with 2.251 other Jewish men from Belgium. Because of his Belgian nationality, however, Ferdinand was not deported, as were the other forced labourers, to Auschwitz-Birkenau in October 1942. Ferdinand Topper returned to Belgium in Autumn 1942 and was arrested in Antwerp on 19 August 1943. He did not survive deportation via Transport XXIIB on 20 September 1943. In November 1946, Ferdinand’s mother Sophia Schnabel emigrated to the United States of America, where she passed away. The fate of Ferdinand Topper’s wife is unknown. His son Lucien Topper survived the war, got married and had two children and five grandchildren. He passed away on 13 July 2014.


Topper family, 2013

Scope and Content

This collection contains : two photos of Ferdinand Topper; Ferdinand Topper's Belgian army ID booklet, two pre-war documents issued by the Belgian army regarding the new address of Ferdinand Topper, Ferdinand Topper's call for civil duty in March 1940 and a post-war declaration of the death of Ferdinand Topper.


No further accruals are to be expected

Conditions Governing Access

Contact Kazerne Dossin Documentation Centre: archives@kazernedossin.eu

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Contact Kazerne Dossin Documentation Centre: archives@kazernedossin.eu

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Partly digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin

Existence and Location of Originals

  • KD_00076 ; Photos KD_00076_000043 and KD_00076_000044 are part of the Topper family private collection.

Related Units of Description

  • The portrait of Ferdinand Topper was also added to the "Give them a Face" portrait collection (KD_00017).


This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.