Salomon Blumenfeld, Part II: The Children He Left Behind in Germany

When Salomon/Manuel Blumenfeld left Germany for Spain sometime in the 1880s accompanied by his second wife Emma Bendheim and their young son Moritz, what happened to the two children he’d had with his first wife, Caecilie Erlanger? Thekla, born March 18, 1872, and Felix, born May 2, 1873, were just babies when their mother died on December 31, 1873, and young children when their father married Emma in 1876. If Salomon and Emma left for Spain in 1883 or so, Thekla and Felix would only have been eleven and ten years old. Yet there is no record of them living with their father and stepmother and half-brother in Huelva, Spain.

As best I can tell, both children remained in Germany, probably with their mother’s family. Supporting that hypothesis is the fact that when Thekla married Max Gruenbaum on June 15, 1894, they were married in Marburg, the town where Caecilie Erlanger was born and where her parents and brother were still living in the 1880s. Note also that the witnesses were both named Erlanger.

Max Gruenbaum, the son of Hermann Gruenbaum and Betty Nussbaum, was born in Rotenburg an der Fulda on March 12, 1862, making him almost exactly ten years older than Thekla or 32 to her 22.

Thekla Blumenfeld and Max Gruenbaum marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5607, Year Range: 1894
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Thekla and Max had their first child ten months after they married. Caecile Gruenbaum, obviously named for Thekla’s mother, was born on April 26, 1895, in Kassel.

Caecilie Gruenbaum birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 910_5118, Year Range: 1895, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Then came Curt Wilhelm Gruenbaum, born in Kassel on March 23, 1897.

Curt Wilhelm Gruenbaum birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 910_5127, Year Range: 1897, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Another son, Franz Moritz Gruenbaum, was born in Weimar, Germany, on April 9, 1899.

Franz Moritz Gruenbaum birth record, Stadtarchiv Weimar; Weimar, Deutschland; Geburtenbuch Weimar 1899; Series: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Reference Number: 27 2/1 Bd 1899
Ancestry.com. Weimar, Germany, Births, 1876-1903

And finally arriving thirteen years later was Rosemarie Gruenbaum, born October 8, 1912, when Thekla was forty years old.1

Thekla’s brother Felix Blumenfeld married Thekla Wertheim on August 22, 1902, in Frankfurt, Germany,2 meaning Felix’s wife and his sister had the same first name. Thekla Wertheim was born on May 8, 1879, in Frankfurt to Louis Wertheim and Amalie Hammerschlag.

Felix Blumenfeld marriage to Thekla Wertheim, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1902, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Felix and his wife Thekla had two children. Edgar Leo Blumenfeld was born on July 20, 1903, in Kassel.3 His brother Gerhard Max Blumenfeld was born in Kassel on March 3, 1906.4

Thus, Salomon Blumenfeld had six grandchildren living in Germany by 1912. Did he know them? Did he ever visit them in Germany? I don’t know.

Unfortunately, both Thekla Blumenfeld Gruenbaum and her brother Felix Blumenfeld lost their spouses at a relatively young age. Felix’s wife Thekla Wertheim Blumenfeld died when she was just 38 on August 20, 1917, in Kassel; her children were just fourteen and eleven at that time.5 And Felix’s sister Thekla lost her husband Max Gruenbaum when he was 61; he died on November 26, 1923, in Kassel,6 leaving behind his wife and their four children, ranging in age from eleven to 28 years old. Thus, both of Salomon’s children with his first wife Caecilie were widowed by 1923.

But there was good news as well. Thekla Blumenfeld Gruenbaum’s daughter Caecilie married Walter Herzog in Kassel on September 27, 1921. Walter was born on July 31, 1887, in Krefeld, Germany, to Moritz and Luise Herzog;7 he was a silk tie manufacturer. Caecilie and Walter had two children. Renata Herzog was born April 4, 1924,8 and her brother Manfred Herzog was born July 15, 1926, in Krefeld.9

Caecilie Gruenbaum and Walter Herzog marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910, Year Range: 1921, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Caecilie’s brother Curt Wilhelm Gruenbaum married Gertrude Babette Strauss in Worms, Germany, on March 9, 1930.10 She was the daughter of Leopold Strauss and Johanna Louise Goldschmidt and was born in Worms on May 20, 1901.11 Curt and Gertrude had a son Heinz Gruenbaum born January 29, 1932 in Kassel.12

Felix Blumenfeld’s son Edgar married Anna Hanau on March 27, 1933, in Neunkirchen, Germany. Anna was the daughter of Victor Hanau and Mina May and was born on March 27, 1906 in Schiffweiler, Germany. I found it sweet that Anna married Edgar on her 27th birthday.13

Unfortunately, the next month Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, and life changed dramatically for this family like it did for all Jews in Germany.


  1. Rosemarie’s birth place appears on this ship manifest: The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1891-1943; NAI Number: 4319742; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: T843; NARA Roll Number: 451, Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1963. Her precise birth date appears on the England and Wales 1939 register, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/950H, Enumeration District: BWCO, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register 
  2.  Thekla Wertheim, Gender: weiblich (Female), Birth Date: 8 Mai 1879 (8 May 1879)
    Birth Place: Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Frankfurt a.M., Stadtteile, Father: Louis Wertheim, Mother: Amalie Wertheim, Certificate Number: 1570, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8929, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 
  3. Edgar Leo Bloomfield, Declaration of Intention, National Archives at Chicago; Chicago, Illinois; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Description: Petitions, V· 1323-1325, No· 327901-328515, 1945, Ancestry.com. Illinois, U.S., Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991; “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1871-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2MH-PGMM : 17 March 2018), Edgar L Field, 23 Jun 1954; citing Lincolnwood, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference , record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm. 
  4. Gerard Max Bloomfield, Declaration of Intention, National Archives at Chicago; Chicago, Illinois; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Ancestry.com. Illinois, U.S., Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991 
  5. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/230608646/thekla-blumenfeld : accessed 10 October 2021), memorial page for Thekla Blumenfeld (1879–1917), Find a Grave Memorial ID 230608646, citing Jüdischer Friedhof Kassel-Bettenhausen, Kassel, Stadtkreis Kassel, Hessen, Germany ; Maintained by Frank K. (contributor 46941322) . 
  6.  Max Grünbaum, Age: 61, Birth Date: abt 1862, Death Date: 26 Nov 1923
    Death Place: Kassel, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kassel I, Certificate Number: 1141, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 5591, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  7. Walter Herzog, Yad Vashem entry at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1226964&ind=1 
  8. Renata Herzog Cahn, ship manifest, The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; BT27 Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and Successors: Outwards Passenger Lists; Reference Number: Series BT27-, Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 
  9. Manfred Herzog, Yad Vashem entry, at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1922326&ind=1 
  10. Kurt Wilhelm Grunbaum, Petition for Naturalization, National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization , 8/1845 – 12/1911; NAI Number: 3000057; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Petition No 277730, Jayme Gonzalez – Petition No 278386, Sarah Govenar, Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-1950 
  11. Gertrude Babette Strauss birth record, Year Range: 1901 A, Ancestry.com. Worms, Germany, Births, 1876-1902 
  12.  Henry W. Grunbaum, Social Security Number: 024-26-8623, Birth Date: 29 Jan 1932, Issue Year: 1951-1952, Issue State: Massachusetts, Last Residence: 02138, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, Death Date: 22 Oct 2008, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Kurt Wilhelm Grunbaum, Petition for Naturalization, National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization , 8/1845 – 12/1911; NAI Number: 3000057; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Petition No 277730, Jayme Gonzalez – Petition No 278386, Sarah Govenar, Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-1950 
  13. Edgar Leo Bloomfield, Declaration of Intention, National Archives at Chicago; Chicago, Illinois; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Description: Petitions, V· 1323-1325, No· 327901-328515, 1945, Ancestry.com. Anne Bloomfield, [Anne Field] [Anne Hanau] Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 27 Mar 1906, Birth Place: Schiffweiler, France [sic], Death Date: 24 Dec 1997, Father:
    Victor Hanau, Mother: Mina May, SSN: 361208715, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

15 thoughts on “Salomon Blumenfeld, Part II: The Children He Left Behind in Germany

  1. This is so fascinating to me. My grandmother, Sadie Blumenfeld Schoendorf, told her children that her father’s second wife was a mean step-mother. She and her sisters left the Old Country for NYC when she was 20, in 1900. Per her gravestone, her father’s name was Eliezer. They were from Yaszo (Jaszo) in Czechoslovakia, but she always said they were Hungarian.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Salomon Blumenfeld’s Children Thekla and Felix: Killed by the Nazis | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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