Gerson Blumenfeld II, Final Chapter: Katinka Blumenfeld Rosenberg and Her Family

This is the final chapter in the story of the children of Gerson Blumenfeld II, son of Isaak Blumenfeld I. It completes the story of the family of Gerson’s daughter, Katinka Blumenfeld Rosenberg. Thank you to my cousin Michael, Katinka’s grandson, and his uncle, Henry, Katinka’s son, for sharing their family’s story.

Michael shared this adorable photograph of Katinka’s three sons, Guenther, Heinz, and Walter, taken in 1931 when they were still in Germany. Walter was ten, Guenther five, and Henry two years old.

Guenther, Heinz, and Walter Rosenberg, 1931. Courtesy of Michael Rosenberg

Michael also provided me with scans of his grandmother Katinka’s German passport, which included photographs of Katinka and her two younger sons, Guenther and Heinz.

As we saw, the family arrived in the US in early 1940, and when the 1940 US census was taken, Katinka and her husband Emanuel (known primarily as Emil) Rosenberg and their three sons, Walter, Guenther, and Heinz, now Henry, were living in Manhattan, and Emanuel was a salesman for a retail grocery business. Walter, then 19, was a machine operator in a watch factory. Gunter (14) and Henry (11) were in school.

Katinka filed a declaration of intention to become a US citizen on July 5, 1940, as did her husband Emanuel. Their son Walter filed his two weeks later on July 20, 1940.

The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention For Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21 Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention For Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21 Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Walter Rosenberg declaration of intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention For Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 596) Declarations of Intention For Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 468501-469500), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Walter registered for the draft on February 15, 1942. Although the official records from the National Archives and Records Administration show that Walter enlisted on November 27, 1942,1 his petition for naturalization dated April 21, 1945, states that he joined the US Army on December 5, 1942. His petition was granted, and Walter became a US citizen that day in Alexandria, Louisiana, where he was stationed. Because he knew German, he worked as a translator interrogating German POWs.

Walter Rosenberg, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Walter Rosenberg petition for naturalization, National Archives and Records Administration – Southeast Region (Atlanta); Atlanta, GA; Petitions For Naturalization, Compiled 1922-1964; Series Number: 648598; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21 Naturalization Petitions, 1944-1945, Ancestry.com. Louisiana, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1836-2001

On his eighteenth birthday, July 7, 1943, Guenther Rosenberg registered for the draft. He was then working for his cousin, Kurt Simon, son of his aunt Meta Blumenfeld Simon, and living in Wayawanda, New York, where Kurt was also living, as we saw. Guenther entered the US Army on June 28, 1944, and on September 15, 1944, he became a US citizen in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was stationed. He was honorably discharged from the army on November 5, 1944,2 after his foot was injured by a hand grenade.3

Guenther Rosenberg, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York State, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147 Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Guenther Rosenberg, petition for naturalization, The National Archives at Atlanta; Atlanta, Ga; ARC Title: Petitions For Naturalization, 1880-1975; NAI Number: 2111793; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21
 Jacksonville Petition and Records, Oct 1944 – Jan 1945 (Roll 190), Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1847-1995

Henry (now using that name), the youngest son, also registered for the draft shortly after his eighteenth birthday; he filed his registration on August 22, 1946. He was living at home with his parents in New York and was a student. Fortunately, by that time World War II had ended.

Katinka became a citizen on December 6, 1945.

Katinka Blumenfeld Rosenberg certificate of naturalization. Courtesy of Michael Rosenberg

After Walter was discharged from the US army, he returned to New York and opened up a grocery store with his brother Guenther in 1947, located on Broadway at 163rd Street in Washington Heights and  called Rosenberg Brothers Dairy.4

On July 10, 1949, Walter Rosenberg married Margot Scharlack in New York City. They met when she came into his grocery store.5 Margot was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 24, 1924, to Max Scharlack and Recha Hirsch,6 and had immigrated to the US with her family on November 1, 1937.7 In 1940, she and her family were living in San Antonio, Texas, where her father was a bookkeeper for a music store.8

In 1950, Walter and Margot were living in New York City where Walter owned a retail grocery store and Margot was a radio assembler.9 Walter and Margot would have two children, including my cousin Michael.

Michael shared with me these photographs taken in the early 1950s, one of him as a baby with his Uncle Henry and the other with his grandparents Katinka and Emil, and one of his grandparents alone.

Katinka Blumenfeld Rosenberg, Michael Rosenberg, Emil Rosenberg. Courtesy of Michael Rosenberg

Michael Rosenberg and Henry Rosenberg. Courtesy of Michael Rosenberg

Katinka and Emil Rosenberg   Courtesy of Michael Rosenberg

Meanwhile, Katinka, Emanuel (using Emil here), and their other two sons Guenther, here listed as George, and Henry were also living in New York City in 1950, not too far from Walter and Margot. Emil listed his occupation as a shipping clerk for a wholesale grocery store and George reported that he was the proprietor of a retail grocery store, the store he owned with his brother Walter. Henry had no occupation listed.

Emil Rosenberg and family, 1950 US census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: New York, New York, New York; Roll: 3572; Sheet Number: 7; Enumeration District: 31-2292, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census

On June 17, 1951, Guenther/George married Lottie Rosenthal in Napa, California.10 She was the daughter of Frederick Rosenthal and Bella Lorch and was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 8, 1929.11 She came with her parents to New York on November 11, 1937,12 but then sailed from New York to San Francisco, California, on November 27, 1937, arriving there on December 13, 1937.13 Lottie and her parents settled in Napa, California, where her father worked as a power machine operator in a garment factory in 1940.14

According to Lottie’s obituary, “[i]n 1950, she traveled to New York City to visit family, and, in turn, met her future husband, George. Married in 1951, they continued in the family business of Rosenthal’s Fresh Ranch Eggs, which later changed to the Rosenthal’s Dried Fruit and Nut business, which is now known as Napa Nuts. In 1953, both Lottie and George along with several other families co-founded Congregation Beth Shalom, where she was an active member for more than 50 years.” George and Lottie had two children born in the 1950s.15

Henry Rosenberg married Victoria Hammerschlag in 1963. Victoria was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1937, after her parents immigrated there from Germany. Victoria is the second cousin, once removed, of Vera Hammerschlag, who later married Milton Hamburger, Henry’s first cousin, once removed. Henry and Victoria have three children, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.16

A year after Henry married Victoria, Emil Rosenberg died at age 79 on August 1, 1964.17 Katinka survived her husband by less than three years; she died on April 19, 1967, at the age of 75.18

Photo courtesy of Michael Rosenberg

Their son Guenther/George also did not live to see his eightieth birthday. He died on October 27, 1998, in Napa, California; he was only seventy-three.19 Fortunately, both of his brothers have had greater longevity. Walter Rosenberg was 94 when he died on November 28, 2014, in New York.20 And Henry Rosenberg, with whom I had the great pleasure of speaking, is still alive and well at 94.

Thank you again to my cousins Michael Rosenberg and Henry Rosenberg for sharing their stories, memories, and photographs.

That completes the story of Gerson Blumenfeld II and his family. Tomorrow morning I will be participating in a Blumenfeld Hanukkah Zoom with some of Gerson’s descendants as well as many descendants of other Blumenfeld ancestors. I will be sure to report on that next week.

Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

 

 


  1. Walter J Rosenberg, Race: White, Marital Status: Single, with dependents (Single)
    Rank: Private, Birth Year: 1920, Nativity State or Country: Danzig or Germany, Citizenship: Not Yet a Citizen, Residence: New York, New York, Education: 2 years of high school, Civil Occupation: Semiskilled occupations in manufacture of clocks, watches, jewelry, and articles of precious metals, Enlistment Date: 27 Nov 1942
    Enlistment Place: New York City, New York, Service Number: 32645393, Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA, Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
    Source: Civil Life, Height: 66, Weight: 114, National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 05442; Reel: 208, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 
  2. Guenther G Rosenberg, Race: White, Marital Status: Single, without dependents (Single), Rank: Private, Birth Year: 1925, Nativity State or Country: Danzig or Germany
    Citizenship: Not Yet a Citizen, Residence: New York, New York, Education: 2 years of high school, Civil Occupation: Skilled occupations in the manufacture of miscellaneous products, Enlistment Date: 28 Jun 1944, Enlistment Place: Camp Upton Yaphank, New York, Service Number: 42138415, Branch: No branch assignment, Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men), Source: Civil Life, National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 15088; Reel: 20, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 
  3. Email from Michael Rosenberg, November 30, 2022. 
  4. Ibid. 
  5. Ibid. See also Walter J Rosenberg, Gender: Male, Marriage License Date: 5 Jul 1949, Marriage License Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse:
    Margot Scharlack, License Number: 18136, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 26, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  6. Margot Scharlack, [Margot Rosenberg], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 24 May 1924, Birth Place: Frankfurt, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 3 Apr 2005, Father: Max Scharlack Mother: Recha Hirsch, SSN: 461261953, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. 
  7. Margot Scharlack, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 15; Page Number: 81, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  8. Scharlack family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas; Roll: m-t0627-04206; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 259-149, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  9. Walter Rosenberg, 1950 US census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: New York, New York, New York; Roll: 3572; Sheet Number: 71; Enumeration District: 31-2291, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census 
  10. Guenther G Rosenberg, Gender: Male, Estimated Birth Year: abt 1926
    Age: 25, Marriage Date: 17 Jun 1951, Marriage Place: Napa, California, USA
    Spouse: Lottie Rosenthal Spouse Age: 22, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Marriage Index, 1949-1959. 
  11. Napa Valley Register (August 19, 2014) , obit for Lottie Rosenberg, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/14FD71AE3A70B180-14FD71AE3A70B180 : accessed 2 December 2022) 
  12. Rosenthal family, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 15; Page Number: 171, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  13. Rosenthal family, ship manifest, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving At San Francisco, California; NAI Number: 4498993; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 
  14. Rosenthal family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Napa, Napa, California; Roll: m-t0627-00269; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 28-12A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  15. See Note 11, supra. 
  16. Phone conversation with Henry Rosenberg on October 30, 2022. Email from Michael Rosenberg, November 30, 2022. 
  17.  Emanuel Rosenberg, Social Security Number: 092-16-4853, Birth Date: 29 Jun 1885 Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Death Date: Aug 1964, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  18. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/236669638/katinka-rosenberg: accessed 02 December 2022), memorial page for Katinka Rosenberg (1891–1967), Find a Grave Memorial ID 236669638, citing Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA; Maintained by dalya d (contributor 46972551) . (Headstone has date.) 
  19. Guenther Rosenberg, [George G Rosenberg], [George Rosenberg], Gender: Male
    Race: White, Birth Date: 7 Jul 1925, Birth Place: Frankfurt MA, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 27 Oct 1998, Father: Emil Rosenberg Mother:  Katinka Blumenfeld, SSN: 093129735, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  20. Information from Michael Rosenberg, email dated December 21, 2022. 

21 thoughts on “Gerson Blumenfeld II, Final Chapter: Katinka Blumenfeld Rosenberg and Her Family

  1. Amy, there’s so much material here that I’ve forgotten the comments I had nearer the beginning! haha, I have to go back. Oh, yes! Can you IMAGINE being in Walter’s position and being given the job to interrogate German POWs? That is just so hard to imagine. There’s a good idea for you to write a new novel about! The photos are beautiful with some gorgeous smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Hanukkah!!! What a lovely conclusion to this line – speaking with Henry must have been so interesting. And I can imagine for Walter, it must have been very satisfying using his German to interrogate POWs and influence the course of the war with the information he likely extracted and passed to his superiors.

    As always, I loved the family photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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