Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss Part V: Her Son Max Strauss, My Husband’s Next Door Neighbors

Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss‘ third son Meier, like his older brother Moritz/Morris, had immigrated to the US long before the Nazis came to power in Germany. He had arrived in 1903 when he was 24, married Augusta Schoenmann in 1914, and had two children with her, Irving, born in 1917, and Herbert, 1919. In 1930, the family was living in Hoboken, New Jersey, where Meier, now called Max, owned a bakery.

In 1940, Max and his family were back in New York living in the Bronx, and Max was still a baker. They were living at 1944 Andrews Avenue, which is down the block from where my mother-in-law, her brother, her father, her sister-in-law, and her niece were living (1892 Andrews Avenue) in 1940 and in the building right next door to the building (1940 Andrews Avenue) where my husband later grew up in the 1960s. We wish we knew whether the Strauss family knew my husband’s family. Their son Irving was born the same year as my mother-in-law so perhaps they did know one another. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Here is a photograph of 1940 Andrews Avenue, probably taken around the time that the Strauss family was living right next door at 1944 Andrews Avenue.

Irving was working as a waiter at Child’s Restaurant in 1940, and Herbert was a clerk for an import-export company.1 On October 16, 1940, Irving (now using the name Irvin) registered for the draft; he had moved to Washington, DC, and was working for the Census Bureau.

Irvin Strauss, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 221, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Herbert registered for the draft the same day as his brother, October 16, 1940. He was still living at home and working for D. Roditi & Sons, a well-known international import-export business.

Herbert Strauss, 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

Herbert enlisted in the US Army on April 23, 1941.2 According to his obituary, he “served five-and-a-half years in the U.S. Army during WWII earning a Bronze Star while in the 14th Armored Division during the liberation of Europe.” His obituary continued, saying, “Upon his return to civilian life, he joined an import/export company and was transferred to Mexico City.”3

Irvin married Betty Farber on May 28, 1949, in Washington, DC.4 She was born on December 7, 1924 to Louis Farber and Anna Kohn in New York.5 In 1950 they were living in DC, and Irvin was working as an economist for the Census Bureau. Betty was a statistician for the Department of the Interior. Irvin and Betty had two children born in the 1950s.

Irvin and Betty Strauss, 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: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 3466; Sheet Number: 77; Enumeration District: 1-997, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census

Herbert Strauss married Ruth Brunell in Cuernevaca Morelos, Mexico, on September 11, 1954. Ruth was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1931. Herbert and Ruth were still living in Mexico when Ruth petitioned for naturalization in 1954.6 They had two children born in the 1950s.

Although I cannot find any records to substantiate the date, one of the great-grandchildren of Max and Augusta Strauss has a tree on Ancestry that lists 1954 as the year that Augusta Schoemann Strauss died. Although Augusta is indexed in the Social Security Applications and Claims Index 7and had a Social Security number, she is not listed in the Social Security Death Index. Nor can I find any records for when Max died, and his great-grandchild’s Ancestry tree also has no date for his death. I sent two messages to that tree owner, but have received no response. I’ve now sent one to one of the grandchildren of Max and Augusta and am hoping I hear back.

Sadly, Max and Augusta’s son Irvin died when he was only 46 years old on October 25, 1963, in Silver Spring, Maryland. He left behind his wife Betty and his two young children.

Irvin Strauss, death notice, Washington Evening Star, October 25, 1963, p.33.

Herbert Strauss lived a longer life than his older brother. He and his family left Mexico and moved to San Diego, California, in 1983. He died in Encinitas, California, on September 7, 2012, at the age of 92. He was survived by his wife Ruth and their children and grandchildren.

Someday I hope to learn whether any of my husband’s relatives knew any of my Strauss cousins. Stranger things have happened!


  1. Max Strauss and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02497; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 3-1461, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Herbert Strauss, Army Enlistment records, 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: 04643; Reel: 186, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 
  3. U-T San Diego () , obit for STRAUSS, HERBERT M. “HERBIE”, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/14171898479354C0-14171898479354C0 : accessed 25 August 2022) 
  4. Irvin Strauss, Gender: Male, Age: 32, Birth Date: abt 1917, Marriage Date: 28 May 1949, Marriage Place: District of Columbia, USA, Spouse: Betty A Farber, Film Number: 002320035, Ancestry.com. Washington, D.C., U.S., Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  5. This information came from an Ancestry family tree that was apparently created by Betty and Irvin’s grandchild, so I am assuming it is accurate. In addition, I found two references to her date of birth in other places. Betty F. Kupinsky, Death Age: 89, Birth Date: 7 Dec 1924, Residence Place: Bethesda, Maryland, Death Date: 1 Dec 2014
    Obituary Date: 5 Dec 2014, Ancestry.com. U.S., Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection, 1847-Current. 
  6. Ruth Brunell Strauss, Petition for Naturalization, The National Archives at Fort Worth; Fort Worth, Texas; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Title/Description: Naturalization Petitions, 1954 – 1955, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1852-1991 
  7. Augusta Strauss, [Augusta Schoemann], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 13 Jun 1888, Birth Place: Odenheim Bad, Federal Republic of Germany, Father:
    Elias Schoemann, Mother: Karolina Mannheimer, SSN: 054205349, Notes: May 1943: Name listed as AUGUSTA STRAUSS, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007.