Escaping from Germany, Part IV: Helene and Martha Loewenthal, An Unfinished Research Project

I am really torn. Do I post about my family history in these times when we are all so anxious and focused on the present and the future, not the past? I prepared this post a few weeks ago, and in re-reading it now, I decided that reading about how others faced serious threats to their lives and their family’s lives might provide hope and strength to some who read it. So I am going forward.


Thus far we have seen what happened to three of Abraham Loewenthal and Keile Stern’s children and their children during the Holocaust. This post will report on the two youngest siblings, Helene and Martha, and their families. How did their lives change as a result of the Holocaust?

We saw that Helene Loewenthal’s first marriage to Edward Feuchtwanger had not lasted and that in 1913 she had married Oscar Friedrich August Heinrich Maximilian Schultze. They had one child, Elisabeth Auguste Aloysia Schultze, born on December 3, 1914, in Coblenz, Germany, where she was baptized on May 12, 1915. Thanks to my dear friend Aaron Knappstein, I now have Elisabeth’s birth record.

Notice that it indicates that her religion was evanglische, i.e., Protestant.
Elisabeth Schultze, birth record, Coblenz

Oscar Schultze died on September 6, 1931, in Hanover, Germany. (Thank you again to Aaron Knappstein for obtaining this death record for me.) He was survived by his widow Helene and daughter Elisabeth.

StadtAH_1_NR_3_08_2_1057_1920_1931 Oscar Schultze death certificate

Despite the fact that Elisabeth was raised as a Christian and that her mother Helene had married a Christian, both Elisabeth and Helene were enumerated as minorities on the 1939 Minority Census in Germany, living in Hannover.1 Helene died three years later on November 28, 1942, according to this document found in the Arolsen Archives. She was 65. It incorrectly lists her birth name as Loewenstein, not Loewenthal, but this is definitely my cousin Helene.

1 Incarceration Documents / 1.2 Miscellaneous / 1.2.4 Various Organizations /
1.2.4.1 “Reichsvereinigung der Juden” Card File / 12673184 – HELENE SCHULTZE. ITS Digital Archive, Arolsen Archives

I don’t know what happened to Elisabeth during the Nazi era after 1939. She would have been considered a “Mischling” of the first degree since her mother was born Jewish as were her mother’s parents, and not as a Jew because she was not disqualified from being a Mischling under the criteria enumerated by the Nazis, that is, she was not raised as a Jew nor was she married to one before 1935. Whether she faced any persecution or not is not clear, but we’ve seen that other Mischlings were persecuted.

But Elisabeth did survive the war. As indicated on the annotation to the birth record shown below, Elisabeth married in Hamburg in 1955 and died in Bad Krozingen in 1991. Aaron Knappstein is now looking to see if he can find her marriage and death records. Since it appears that Elisabeth married when she was 41, I assume she did not have children.

Annotation to birth record of Elisabeth Schultze

As for Martha Loewenthal, I have mostly secondary information from my cousins Roger Cibella and David Baron and numerous unsourced family trees on Ancestry and Heritage, but I will report what I can as best I can to do honor to these cousins. We’ve seen already that she married Jakob Wolff and that they had three children in the first decade of the 20th century: Anna, Hans Anton, and Hans Walter.

UPDATE: Thank you once again to Aaron Knappstein, who has located the marriage record for Anna Wolff and Simon Wittekind. They were married on June 7, 1929, in Frankfurt. Simon was the son of Wilhelm Wittekind and Fanny Mendele, and he was born in Bad Kissingen on December 10, 1892. He had served in World War I for Germany.2 He was a doctor.

Less than a year after witnessing her daughter’s marriage, Martha Loewenthal Wolff died on May 19, 1930, in Frankfurt, as we saw.

Her widower Jakob Wolff immigrated to Palestine on August 21, 1934. By that time Jakob had remarried; his second wife was Ilse Gruenebaum, born October 27, 1901, in Maden, Germany. They became naturalized citizens of Palestine on July 21, 1938.3

Naturalization Certificate of Jacob and Ilse Wolff found at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/archives/#/Archive/0b07170680034dc1/File/0b07170680e4ea29

MyHeritage reports that Jakob and Martha (Loewenthal) Wolff’s children all also ended up in Palestine/Israel, where they married and had children and have descendants still living in Israel. Their father Jakob died on October 14, 1953, in Israel. He was 77.4

If and when I find more documentation for Elisabeth Schultze and the descendants of Martha Loewenthal Wolff, I will update this post. For now, that brings to a close the stories of the children of Sarah Goldschmidt Stern’s daughter Keile and her husband Abraham Loewenthal. Next I will turn to the families of Keile’s brother Abraham Stern and his wife and cousin, Johanna Goldschmidt, and their fate during and after the Nazi era.

 

 


  1. Helene and Elisabeth Schultze, German Federal Archives, Abteilung R (Deutsches Reich), List of Jewish Residents of the German Reich 1933-1945, found at https://tinyurl.com/tyzfaab and at https://tinyurl.com/tjfhud3 
  2.  Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; München; Abteilung IV Kriegsarchiv. Kriegstammrollen, 1914-1918; Volume: 20351. Kriegsstammrolle, Ancestry.com. Bavaria, Germany, WWI Personnel Rosters, 1914-1918 
  3. Immigration and Naturalization File of Jacob and Ilse Wolff, Israel Archives, found at https://tinyurl.com/r7524xh 
  4. https://tinyurl.com/regavyr 

21 thoughts on “Escaping from Germany, Part IV: Helene and Martha Loewenthal, An Unfinished Research Project

  1. Amy, I find it entirely appropriate to publish a post on the escape of some of your family from the Nazi persecution during these difficult times caused by the coronavirus. Apart from instilling hope, it adds some important perspective and tells people how small the death toll is by comparison to the millions of people who were murdered in the death camps during the Nazi era.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Peter, and that’s my hope—that somehow this will instill hope, not despair. I am having such a hard time focusing these days that I am wondering whether others are as well. I am slower to read blogs, not doing much new research, and generally antsy. But I am hoping that the fear and anxiety will quiet down a bit and my head will be more clear soon.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Peter, again you got it right all the way. I shared the same reservations Amy had but no more. As the family historians we all can provide immediate examples through the family stories to our immediate kin and circle of friends online and real life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amy, every generation lives through some form of war or conflict but none so great as the
    holocaust era which represented just about six years of global misery. It’s good for descendants to hear these stories and more importantly, to keep them well documented.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We’ve been in self-imposed isolation for 8 days with cold/flu symptoms but not serious enough to be tested. I haven’t been able to get anything done other than keeping in touch with close family. I cannot concentrate on the things I start. Hopefully, once I am over this cold, I will be able to think more positively and get my house cleaned and some washing done. Everything has had to wait.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Amy, I enjoyed this posting so much. You have enough documentation to create a stable platform for future findings. I would like to know more about Elizabeth’s later years and what happened during the Nazi era. With what you have here there is enough to know whether future findings pertain to your Elizabeth.

    Although she got married later in life there is always the possibility she had one child, maybe two. My Grandmother Josie told me very often that women did have babies after they turned 40. These were called “bonus babies” or “surprises”. Since women go into menopause at different ages anything is possible! Good luck on learning more about Elizabeth. Also I am very happy for you to have met cousins to help you with this research.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I also am curious about what happened to Elisabeth, and I am hoping that Aaron can locate more information. Maybe she did have children—that would be the best outcome because if they were born after 1955, odds are they are still alive and can fill in some of the gaps. Thanks, Emily.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy do keep writing. Reading the blogs and working on my own family history has been a great way to pass the time while I stay inside. One thing that has crossed my mind many times in the last few days is how nice it is to be able to do so much research on the internet in the comfort of your own home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Charles. I am hoping to get into a pattern of research. Fortunately I had about five posts all or mostly written before all this. But I am having a very hard time focusing on anything new. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Like

  6. There are two reasons to post. One is as you say. The other is that we need some normalcy and routine. I’ve been struggling today with wanting to fulfill #2, but I don’t have time for the research and blog prep every week right now. Still trying to work it out. I really want my research at least a bit organized. I am curious how Elisabeth survived the war.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, you too!!!! Healthy and sane to you and yours!!!! I actually have been working on one of my fill in the gaps, but then I get distracted . . . hah. Of course, I do! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Families of Kiele Stern Loewenthal and Abraham Stern: An Update | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  8. Pingback: Martha Loewenthal Wolff’s Family: An Update from Israel | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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