THE ALTMARK, THE SETTLERS FROM
AND THE HANSEATIC LEAGUE
1134 Count Albrecht der Bär became Lord of the Altmark. From Holland
and Flanders he recruited colonists live in the area.
They build dikes to prevent the regular flooding of the Elbe
River. The dike they build range from the 'Arneburger'
highlands in the south all the way to Wendland in the
west. It is a masterpiece of the Dutch art of
settlers from Holland also introduced the use of bricks
as a building material. What is now the 'Lange Straße'
in Werben, was in those days the Dutch settlement, an
independant community that existed well into the 13th
1281 Osterburg is called a 'märkgräfliche municio',
which means that the town was surrounded by a wall. Apart
from the craftsmen,
cloth-manufacturer, shoemakers and beerbrewers were
Their trade brought them in far
away regions. Around 1400 8 cities in the Altmark, among them
Osterburg, Seehausen and Werben, were a member of the Hanseatic League.
30-year was brought a lot of trouble to the Altmark. As
many as five times Osterburg was plundered, by Swedish,
Danish and by the own empirial forces. The Swedish King
Gustav II erected in 1631 a stronghold near Werben.
Untill 1641 there was a lot of fighting to conquer this 'Schwedenschanze'.
'825 Jahre Osterburg' and 'Jahrbuch 1992 Landkreis
Osterburg'; Kreisverwaltung Osterburg]
Holzhausen is situated close to the river Elbe. In 1771,
while the river was flooded, a Griep family had their
youngest son born.
- Dietrich Griep and his
wife Katharina Dorothea Köhn lived in Klein Holzhausen. They had four
children: Johann Heinrich Griep
(1766), Marie Dorothea
(1767), Johann Gottfried (1771) and Dorothea
Gottfried Griep, their youngest son, was born
April 5, 1771, at a moment that, according
to the birth register, the Elbe river was flooded. He
married Katharina Dorothea Wichert. They had at least one
Karl Friedrich Griep was born in Klein
Holzhausen on March 6, 1811. He had, being a Freigutsbesitzer,
a farm near Osterburg. In 1835 he married at Schönberg
to Marie Elise Dahms from Herzfelde. They had also at
least a son:
Friedrich Griep was born on June 13, 1843, at
Klein Schallum near Osterburg. He is a farmer and he
married Maria Magdalena Lindemann-Lübbe from Kankel.
Around 1898 they moved to Hamburg, where he worked as a Kaibeambter
(habour clerk). They had 14 children, among them:
Otto Griep, was a professor for chemistry at an
all girls high school in Hamburg (Lerchenfeld Gymnasium).
He married Else, whose parents had a furniture store at
the Lübeckerstrasse. They build a house outside the city
limits of Hamburg in Großhansdorf.
-- Friedrich Griep, married Johanna
Feldhusen from Cuxhaven and had three children: Günther,
Grethe en Ursula.
-- Elise Griep was a dressmaker with her
own studio. She never married, just had a steady rich
boyfriend. She died of breast cancer.
-- Anna Griep married a man from Vienna
from a rich house, but who hadn't learned anything so she
had to work as a sewing sleeves to bring in the money.
They had two children: a son that was killed in Russia in
World War II and a daughter, Leopoldine. Anna and her
husband were bombed out in Hamburg in 1943 and sent to
the Bohemian forest, a very beautiful but lonely place.
Since they didn't have money nor connections, they
couldn't return to Hamburg and died there shortly after
-- Marie Griep married en went to live
in Rostock. They had at least a daughter, Betha.
-- Auguste Griep married Emil Ehmke.
Their son Bernhard was killed in Russia in World War II.
-- Sophie Griep never married, but
cared for her old parents, then lived in their apartment,
renting out to single people. She also worked as a piano
-- Hans Hermann Griep was born in
Hamburg on May 18, 1898. He married Gertrud Haack and
worked as a streetcar conductor, office worker, and
representative for sail cloth. They had two daughters: Hannelore
en Lieselotte Griep. Hans died in
Hamburg on December 28, 1989.
This information is provided by Jeffrey
L. Engle of Granit Bay, California, who is
married to a granddaughter of Hans Hermann Griep.
||While most of the
Griep's from Holzhausen have moved away,
members of the Griep family stayed in the Altmark till
For instance Holger Griep,
who runs a garage in the hamlet of Haverland, part of
In 1999, Jürgen Griep of Groß Garz, wrote that he
(born in 1949) and his younger brother
Holger Griep (born
in 1951), are both sons of Otto Griep from Lindenberg/Groß
In the old Hanseatic city of Osterburg
there is also a Griep family living. There is not much information about them yet.
Friedrich Griep was born September 20, 1769, at
Osterburg. About 1836 he married Dorothea Sophie Schild.
Their daughter, Sophie Friederieke Wilhelmine,
born September 4, 1837, married in 1859 at Osterburg
Carl Wilhelm Hachtel.
Information provided by Gerd Hachtel
Griep, born on April 20, 1912, at Osterburg, was
killed on August 4, 1944 in France, serving as a corporal
in the German Army. He is buried in Pomichet.