The Szekula Family of Stamp Dealers

Béla Sekula is not only responsible for all his brothers and several next generation family members entering the stamp trade. During his time in Lucerne, he founded four companies: his wholesale and retail business Béla Sekula, Cosmophilatelist AG, Globus AG, and Stamps Import and Export AG. Some of his employees later opened up their own stamp shops, or continued companies originally founded by Béla independently after his departure. Some of them are listed below.

Max Goldberger

Newspaper ad
Newspaper ad (Fliegende Blätter April 1926)
Newspaper ad
Newspaper ad
(Fliegende Blätter December 1927)
Miksa (Max) Goldberger was born in Privigye, Hungary (Prievidza, Slovakia after WWI) on March 17, 1875, as son of flour merchant Henrik Goldberger and Netti Grosz. On August 14, 1902 he married Béla Szekula’s sister Ilona (Helene), born in Szeged on April 10, 1884, in Budapest. Still living in Budapest, they had (at least) three children: daughter Erzsébet (=Elisabeth, b. 20. August 1904), son László (=Ladislav), born on April 3, 1907, and daughter Ibolya (=Viola, January 21, 1911 – March 21, 1995). Eventually, the family followed Béla Szekula to Switzerland. On February 14, 1919, the Goldbergers became Swiss citizens of Geuensee. In May 1919 Max Goldberger joined Béla’s stamp company as an employee with signatory rights (Prokura). In October 1920, while still working for Béla, he opened his own stamp business Max Goldberger in Lucerne at Hertensteinstr. 58. In February 1922, Max Goldberger’s Prokura at Béla’s company expired. In June 1923, Goldberger’s stamp business was transformed into Max Goldberger & Cie, with him and his wife as owners. In July 1929 their company was deleted from the Swiss company register when the Goldberger family left Switzerland to reopen their stamp business at Eichhornstr. 8 in Berlin. Two years later the Goldbergers made it into the news: In late 1931, after selling new prints of rare stamps as originals Max Goldberger and his son Ladislav were sentenced to three and six months in prison, respectively, for fraud. In 1934 Goldberger & Cie moved to Friedrichstr. 160. Max Goldberger died on August 5, 1936 at age 61 in Berlin.

After his father’s death Ladislav Goldberger left Germany and moved to Paris. There he continued to try his hand at the stamp trade, but after the outbreak of the war this became increasingly difficult and he began to struggle financially. In addition, after the German invasion in June 1940, things became less and less safe for him. In the spring of 1943, the Swiss consul in Paris organized transport for Swiss Jews back home. However, despite the circumstances Ladislav decided against returning to Switzerland and even confirmed with his signature that he wished to remain in Paris at his own risk. In December 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo and interned in Drancy. Unlike other Swiss Jews interened there who were later handed over to the Swiss consul, the Swiss citizenship of the Hungarian native Ladislav was ignored by the German side. On January 20, 1944, he was deported to the Extermination Camp in Auschwitz Birkenau, Poland, where he died in the Holocaust.

Cover — 1921 – 1923

Registered mail sent 1921–1923 from Göteborg, Sweden, to Lucerne, Switzerland.


Postcard — April 1, 1923

Sent on April 1, 1923, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Rödeby, Sweden.

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Cover — June 1, 1924

Registered mail sent on June 1, 1924, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Middelburg, Netherlands. Arrived on June 12, 1924.

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Cover — July 10, 1925

Sent on July 10, 1925, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Bern.

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Postcard — February 15, 1926

Sent on February 15, 1926, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Arrived on March 21, 1926.

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Scan provided by Max Brack.

Cover — June 13, 1926

Registered mail sent on June 13, 1926, from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Herne, Germany. Arrived on June 14, 1926.

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Cover — February 15, 1927

Registered mail sent on February 15, 1927, from Budapest, Hungary, to Lucerne, Switzerland. Arrived on February 16, 1927.

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Cover — May 20, 1927

Registered mail sent on May 20, 1927, from Pasuruan, Java, Dutch East Indies (today Indonesia), to Lucerne, Switzerland. Arrived on June 20, 1927.

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Cover — June 1927

Registered mail sent in June 1927 from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Cologne, Germany. Arrived on June 25, 1927.

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Postcard — May 22, 1928

Sent on May 22, 1928, from Berlin, Germany, to Cressy (today part of Bernex), Switzerland.

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Cover — April 8, 1931

Registered mail sent on April 8, 1931, from Berlin, Germany, to Kansas City, Missouri, United States. Arrived on April 21, 1931.

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