Escaping from Germany to Brazil and Israel: Brick Walls


We’ve already seen that Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s second child, Minna Fuld, who was born in 1875, had a complicated marital history. First, she married Leo Offenstadt in 1894 when she was eighteen, and that marriage ended in divorce in 1904. She and Leo had had one child, Flora, in 1894. Then Minna married Ladislaus Polacovits in 1906, and he died in 1913; Minna had one child with Ladislaus, Lisolette, who was born in 1907.

Finally, Minna married Hermann Heinrich Karl Reuss in 1923, with whom she had no children. Hermann is listed in the 1940 Frankfurt directory1 and died in Frankfurt on September 27, 1947.

Hermann Reuss death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 225
Year Range: 1947, Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

His death certificate indicates that he was a widower at the time of his death. I have no record for Minna’s death, but unsourced trees indicate that she died in Tel Aviv on May 3, 1944. Had Hermann gone with her to Palestine and returned to Germany after she died? Or had Hermann never left Germany?  I don’t know.

As we saw, Minna’s daughter Flora Offenstadt2 married Hermann Durlacher in 1918 and had two children with him, Siegfried Julius Thomas (known as Thomas) and Ulla Louise Sara. Flora and the two children immigrated to Brazil in 1939, as seen in these immigration cards.

Flora Offenstadt Durlacher, Digital GS Number: 004764836 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Siegfried Julius Thomas Durlacher, Digital GS Number: 004916940 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Ulla Durlacher, Digital GS Number: 004916940 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

I could not locate any further records for Hermann Durlacher, but several unsourced trees indicate that he died in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on November 15, 1954, so perhaps he also immigrated to Brazil either before, with, or after his family. I don’t know what happened to Flora or her two children after they immigrated to Brazil in 1939. An unsourced tree on Geni reports that Thomas died in Sao Paulo on December 23, 2007.

Minna’s second daughter, Liselotte Polacovits, married Wilhelm Strauss-Reich on June 5, 1928, and had one child, as discussed here. I was not able to find information about their whereabouts during the 1930s, but by 1942 Liselotte and Wilhelm both had Palestinian passports that they renewed in 1947. I was able to locate a marriage record for their son (who may still be living) in England, so perhaps they also ended up in England or maybe they stayed in Israel.

Liselotte Strauss-Reich, Israel Archives, at

Thus, there is much to do to learn more about Minna and her descendants. So far, however, I’ve hit dead ends and brick walls. Searching online for answers in Brazil and Israel has led me nowhere. Not knowing how to read either Portuguese or Hebrew (except some basic terms) makes the task even more difficult. If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.




  1.  Title: Amtliches Frankfurter Adressbuch, Deutsche National Bibliothek; Leipzig, Deutschland; Publisher: August Scherl; Signatur: ZC 811; Laufende Nummer: 1, Germany and Surrounding Areas, Address Books, 1815-1974 
  2. Flora’s father, Minna’s first husband Leo Offenstadt, died at Theriesenstadt concentration camp on January 9, 1943. See his entry at Yad Vashem at 

22 thoughts on “Escaping from Germany to Brazil and Israel: Brick Walls

  1. Hi Amy, it seems Minna took a chance on love.❤ Maybe she married Leo as she was “with child” but it didn’t work out and she married Ladislaus thinking they had a long life together ahead of them. A tragedy for her that he passed away so young. My bird brain has no idea’s how you can further this branch of the tree, unless someone who speaks Hebrew or Portugese can help you. I had a look on our BMD records in the UK and nothing showed up with their name, referring to the son who may still be alive and living in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for checking, Shirley. I also had no luck on Ancestry finding any further records for him. Now I have to decide if there is a way to find them in Israel or Brazil. It won’t be easy!


  2. Dear Amy Cohen,

    I hope you and your family….and all the extended family are all healthy and doing well in our “new world order”. It’s really weird, I think we are all awaiting the “bell” to ‘go back to Normal’ and indeed, we have no idea what that might mean anymore. Will it really be 2 years before I can get on a plane, visit my grandkids, hold hands or hug someone? Truly, it’s still such a shock and change! Staying at home with my computer and piles of “to do” might just get “too much” one of these days…but so far, so good. I am SOOOOO happy to have made my move to Santa Fe and be settled here. I can walk and bike and be outside. I do get to ’see’ a few folks from Far Away…6-10 feet…now and then. I have enjoyed a lot more phone time with kids, grandkids and family. ALL GOOD.

    ONE of my special nieces and I were chatting and I mentioned you and your research and then I realized that SHE is in the family line that you are researching and she AND perhaps her two brothers may wish to be in contact with you and at least have a peek at your initial research on the family tree. These are grandchildren of Marion Katz Baum. Just as a refresher: Marion had 3 sons; Donald, Edwin and Richard. I married Edwin and our children are Karey and Daniel. I am via cc, referring you to Ginny Baum Taylor (Virginia) who is the child of Donald who when married to Francis ________, (Ginny fill in the blanks) had three children: Don Jr, Robert, and Virginia.

    I’m simply putting you in contact with Ginny and she, in turn can fill in any blanks she wishes to, after you two connect…and see if her brothers also want to be included.

    OK…my outreach for the day is done. Lunchtime here and then I might clean something and throw away some more accumulated papers. HAHA. YES, I have showered and dressed for the day. WHooPeee.

    Sue Schaefer Baum


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Sue! I hope to hear from her. And enjoy SF—you know that my great-great-uncle was Arthur Seligman, governor of New Mexico, and that his father, my great-great-grandfather Bernard Seligman, was one of the early Jewish merchants who settled in Santa Fe. We were there several years ago. Such a beautiful place.


  3. I’m a little confused. So Hermann died in Frankfort in 1947? Where was he during the war? Did I miss that? And 1944 for Minna? When did she go and how? Soooooo much still to learn with this branch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Escaping from Germany to Brazil and Israel: Brick Walls — Brotmanblog: A Family Journey – Truth Troubles

  5. Pingback: Minna Fuld and Her Descendants: New Cousins from Sao Paulo, But A Brick Wall Remains | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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