Salomon Blumenfeld’s Children Thekla and Felix: Killed by the Nazis

In April, 1933,  Salomon Blumenfeld’s two children from his first marriage, Thekla Blumenfeld Gruenbaum and Felix Blumenfeld, were both living in Kassel, Germany. All of their children and grandchildren were also still in Germany. With Hitler’s rise to power, some of the family members left Germany not long afterwards. But others were not so fortunate.

Thekla Blumenfeld Gruenbaum was murdered by the Nazis. She was first deported to Theriesenstadt on July 25, 1942.  Two months later on September 26, 1942, she was sent to the extermination camp at Treblinka where she was killed. She was seventy years old. She had lived a hard life—losing her mother when she was just a toddler, being left behind by her father a few years later, losing her husband, and then being killed at Treblinka.

Thekla’s daughter Caecilie and her husband Walter Herzog were living in Krefeld, Germany, before the war. I am still researching where and when, but the evidence indicates that the two children of Caecilie and Walter, Renata and Manfred, were sent to England before the war.1 Walter was a successful silk tie manufacturer and had deposited a fair amount of money in a Swiss banking account; that account was confiscated by the Nazis.2 In December 1941, both Walter and Caecile3 were deported to the concentration camp in Riga, Latvia. Walter was later transferred to Buchenwald where he was “declared dead” on May 8, 1945.

Caecile was sent from Riga to the Stutthof concentration camp.4 The Holocaust Encyclopedia provided this information about the Stutthof camp:5

Conditions in the camp were brutal. Many prisoners died in typhus epidemics that swept the camp in the winter of 1942 and again in 1944. Those whom the SS guards judged too weak or sick to work were gassed in the camp’s small gas chamber. Gassing with Zyklon B View This Term in the Glossary gas began in June 1944. Camp doctors also killed sick or injured prisoners in the infirmary with lethal injections. More than 60,000 people died in the camp.

The Germans used Stutthof prisoners as forced laborers. … In 1944, as forced labor by concentration camp prisoners became increasingly important in armaments production, a Focke-Wulff airplane factory was constructed at Stutthof. Eventually, the Stutthof camp system became a vast network of forced-labor camps….

The evacuation of prisoners from the Stutthof camp system in northern Poland began in January 1945. When the final evacuation began, there were nearly 50,000 prisoners, the overwhelming majority of them Jews, in the Stutthof camp system. About 5,000 prisoners from Stutthof subcamps were marched to the Baltic Sea coast, forced into the water, and machine gunned. The rest of the prisoners were marched in the direction of Lauenburg in eastern Germany. They were cut off by advancing Soviet forces. The Germans forced the surviving prisoners back to Stutthof. Marching in severe winter conditions and treated brutally by SS guards, thousands died during the march.

In late April 1945, the remaining prisoners were removed from Stutthof by sea, since Stutthof was completely encircled by Soviet forces. Again, hundreds of prisoners were forced into the sea and shot. … It has been estimated that over 25,000 prisoners, one in two, died during the evacuation from Stutthof and its subcamps. 

Soviet forces liberated Stutthof on May 9, 1945, and liberated about 100 prisoners who had managed to hide during the final evacuation of the camp.

How did Caecilie manage to survive this ordeal? Was she one of the hundred who were hiding in the camp during its final evacuation? Her odds for survival were overwhelmingly low, yet somehow she did. After time as a displaced person and with the help of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), she was able to immigrate to the US in July 1946.

Arolesn Archives; Bad Arlosen, Germany, Resettlement Year: 1946, Ancestry.com. Free Acces Africa, Asia and Europe, Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons, 1946-1971

I was able to locate more information about Thekla’s brother Felix Blumenfeld through several sources, including a detailed and well-sourced biography online. Felix had studied medicine at both the University of Marburg and the University of Munich. He served as a ship’s doctor and later as doctor in a POW camp during World War I. As we saw, Felix lost his first wife Thekla Wertheim in 1917, and on February 16, 1920, in Nordhausen, Germany, he married his second wife Helene Petri, who was not Jewish. She was born on October 20, 1894, in Nordhausen, the daughter of Fritz Petri and Bertha Peter. Felix and Helene were living in Kassel, where Felix was a practicing pediatrician.

The detailed biography of Felix I found online describes in great detail all the contributions that Felix made as a doctor and citizen in Kassel.

Encouraged by the high infant mortality rate among children of poor parents, he began to use his position as a doctor and to get involved in society. At his suggestion, milk kitchens were built in which perfectly hygienic milk-grain mixtures were produced as baby food and sold using a deposit bottle system . The products were also given free of charge to the poor.

He also served as the medical director of the children and infant’s home/hospital in the city and also was involved in other charitable and civic organizations.

Despite his service in World War I and all these contributions he made as a doctor and citizen, Felix was persecuted by the Nazis. 

Just a few weeks after the National Socialists came to power on April 1, 1933, as a Jew, he was deprived of the management of the children’s hospital, he was banned from working and had to give up his apartment and practice…. His property and library were confiscated and owing to the fact that his wife Leni was not Jewish, he was initially allowed to live in his summer house a…. He was forced to do auxiliary and road construction work and had to collect rags and scrap at the municipal scrap yard . He was exposed to constant discrimination and surveillance by the Gestapo.

A second biography written for the occasion of the installation of Stolpersteine in Felix Blumenfeld’s honor in Kassel also reported this information and explained that Felix ultimately decided to end his own life in order to avoid deportation and also to protect his wife Helene.

Before killing himself on January 25, 1942, Felix wrote a long letter to his two sons in America, Edgar and Gerd, explaining why he had decided to take his own life. The first part of the letter details some of the abuse and persecution he had endured, and then he ends with these paragraphs, as translated by DeepL:

But enough of that ! Let’s get to the main thing ! Life is no longer bearable for me! All my hope, to which I had clung, was to get out of this hell and to be united with you in a near or distant time. I dare not count on that hope any longer. For with the years of war my years of life also increase. But the worst thing at the present moment is that out of sheer arbitrariness they have deprived me of all my property and referred me to my hands work or to public welfare. Subsequently, they also “expropriated the wife of the Jew”, although since 1939 there had been a legal separation of property, i.e. there was no legal basis for this. Leni was in Berlin and has the prospect of getting part of her property back if she gets a divorce. I want to agree to this divorce in order not to endanger Lenimutter’s livelihood again and again through my person. In that case, however, my life, which has been ruined through no fault of my own, has lost all the more meaning, especially since it is not known what else will be done to us.

Under these circumstances, death seems more desirable to me than an existence with ever new torments. I am therefore leaving this world of meanness, baseness and inhumanity in order to enter eternal peace and to seek the path that leads from darkness to light.

My last thoughts belong to my faithful comrade, on an often thorny path, and to you my beloved children, my Edgar, Gerd, Annchen, Lotte and Little Gerard ! You will be with me in the hour that demands strength and courage. Especially with you, my Gerd, I would have liked to hold a conversation, you dear, you good one! Stay as good as you have been so far, and be the one who makes sure that you always stay together faithfully. Then I am always in your midst and remain eternally connected with you. Without looking backwards, move forward and build a more beautiful life in a hopefully better world. May it be a comforting thought to you that your father is relieved of all fear, worry and pain after his departure. We remain united ! ! You will never forget me, I know that, because my love for you was, is and will be infinite.

V a t e r

*** Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***

Like his sister Thekla, Felix Blumenfeld lost his mother as a baby, then his father, and then his first wife. Nevertheless, he grew up to be a devoted father and pediatrician who contributed greatly to his community. Although not technically murdered by the Nazis, Felix is also rightfully counted among those whose deaths were caused by Nazi persecution.

There was one more death in the family attributable to Nazi Germany. Thekla Blumenfeld Gruenbaum’s grandson, Caecilie and Walter Herzog’s son Manfred, was killed in action while fighting for the Allies in Europe sometime in the spring of 1945.

Thus, the Nazis killed both Thekla and Felix, the two children Salomon Blumenfeld had with his first wife Caecilie Erlanger, as well as Thekla’s son-in-law Walter Herzog; in addition, Thekla’s grandson Manfred Herzog died fighting the Nazis in World War II. I can’t help but think about how Felix and Thekla’s lives would have been different if their father Salomon had taken them with him when he moved to Spain.

They were survived by the rest of the family. Their stories will be told in the next post.


  1. To be discussed in the next post. 
  2. Special Master’s Final Report on the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks Settlement), Case No. CV 96-4849 (ERK)(MDG) (Consolidated with CV 96-5161 and CV 97-461) United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, pp.28-30. 
  3. Cecilia Herzog [Cecilia Gruenbaum] Birth Date: 26 Apr 1900 Birth Place: Kassel
    Residence: Krefeld Camp: Riga/Stutthof Ancestry.com. Poland, German Jews at Stutthof Concentration Camp, 1940-1945; Entry at the US Holocaust Memorial and Museum at https://www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=3187531 
  4. See Note 3. 
  5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Stutthof.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/stutthof Accessed October 5, 2021. 

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 

Salomon Blumenfeld: My Cousin in Spain

The life of Salomon Blumenfeld, the third child and third son of Abraham Blumenfeld II and Giedel Strauss, took a surprising (to me) turn and landed me in a country I had never before researched—Spain.

Salomon (also known as Scholem or Salli) was born on March 28, 1845, in Momberg.

Scholem Salli Blumenfeld birth record, Arcinsys Archives of Hessen, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 628, p. 14

According to one source, Salomon moved to Giessen, Germany, where he was the owner of a textile shop. Sometime before 1872 he married Caecilie Erlanger, the daughter of Moritz Erlanger and Rosa Wertheim. She was born on May 16, 1849, in Marburg.1

Salomon and Caecilie had two children. Thekla Blumenfeld was born on March 18, 1872, in Giessen,2 and her brother Felix was born there on May 2, 1873.3 I am very grateful to Michael Moritz for locating their birth records. Michael has been an immense help in my research of Salomon and his family, as you will see more of below. I never would have been able to decipher these records except for Salomon’s name at the bottom without Michael’s help.

Thekla Blumenfeld birth record, Matrikel, 1823-1909 Authors: Jüdische Gemeinde Gießen (KrSt. Gießen) (Main Author), Image 903 at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8H-QH3X?cat=834331

Matrikel, 1823-1909 Authors: Jüdische Gemeinde Gießen (KrSt. Gießen) (Main Author), Image 923, found at https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS8H-Q457?cat=834331

Then just seven months after giving birth to her son Felix, Caecilie Erlanger Blumenfeld died on December 31, 1873, or possibly January 1, 1874 (secondary sources vary, and even with Michael’s help, I cannot find a death record for her). She was only 24 years old, and Salomon was left with two babies, one just seven months old and the other not yet two years old. How was he able to care for those children? Or did he turn their care over to someone else—perhaps Caecile’s family?

I am not sure, but just over two years later on April 18, 1876, he married Emma Bendheim. Emma, the daughter of Loeb Bendheim and Carolina Lichtenstein, was born in Auerbach, Germany, on June 19, 1854.

Salomon Blumenfeld and Emma Bendheim marriage, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 330, Year Range: 1876, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salomon and Emma had one child together, a son Moritz, born on January 24, 1877, in Giessen, Germany.4

Sometime within the next six years or so, Salomon, Emma, and Moritz left Germany and moved to Huelva, Spain. It took some digging and the help of Michael Moritz to figure that out. Let me explain my research path.

In researching Salomon and Emma’s son Moritz Blumenfeld, I kept running across another man named Moritz Blumenfeld who was born in 1887 whereas my cousin Moritz was born in 1877. Numerous trees on Ancestry indicated that my Moritz Blumenfeld died in World War I, fighting for Germany, but my research of the relevant sources revealed that those trees were confusing the 1887 Moritz Blumenfeld with my cousin Moritz. I couldn’t, however, find any death record for my Moritz.

So I posted a question on Tracing the Tribe that included the marriage record for my Moritz (more on that below), and Michael Moritz provided the answer. What I couldn’t decipher on that record was that Moritz was living in Huelva, Spain at the time of his marriage in 1903, not in Germany where he was born and where he was married.

Snip of Moritz Blumenfeld’s marriage record showing he was living in Huelva, Spain. Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 357, 1903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Michael then searched on FamilySearch for Blumenfeld in Spain and found numerous records indicating that Salomon Blumenfeld, now known as Emanuel or Manuel Blumenfeld, his wife Emma, and their son Moritz, known in Spain as Mauricio, had been living in Huelva, Spain, since sometime in the early 1880s. Here, for example, is the 1888-1889 register for Huelva listing Manuel and Emma Blumenfelt [sic], indicating that they had been residing there for nine years (the last column on the right). (Emma was not 24, but rather 34, in 1888, and Manuel/Salomon would have been 43, not 42.)

“España, Provincia de Huelva, registros municipales, 1760-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPJG-SPC?cc=2015357&wc=32PD-K68%3A336532701%2C336532702%2C336623501 : 20 December 2018), Huelva > Huelva > Padrones 1888-1889 > image 761 of 883; archivos municipales, Huelva (municipal archives, Huelva).

This is the 1894-1897 register showing Manuel, Emma, and Mauricio Blumenfels [sic] living in Huelva; this one says they’d been there for ten years. There is no sign of Thekla or Felix, the children born from Salomon/Manuel’s marriage to Caecilie Erlanger.

“España, Provincia de Huelva, registros municipales, 1760-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPXW-SHPB?cc=2015357&wc=32PD-ZNL%3A336532701%2C336532702%2C336629901 : 20 December 2018), Huelva > Huelva > Padrones 1905-1906 > image 430 of 1083; archivos municipales, Huelva (municipal archives, Huelva).

What would have taken Salomon/Manuel to Spain and specifically Huelva, Spain? Huelva is a port city in southwestern Spain in Andalusia. It experienced tremendous growth in the 1870s and afterward due to the important copper mines located to its north owned by a British mining company, Rio Tinto. The Andalucia website described the impact of the mining industry on Huelva in the following terms:

Huelva was declared provincial capital in 1833 and by the end of the 19th century was undergoing a massive transformation with the influx of foreign capital from mining interests. Its main function as a maritime port became secondary to its industrial importance as mining activities grew, based on the exploitation of the Río Tinto mines by the Río Tinto Company and five other British mining firms. 

The mining companies changed the architectural face of Huelva, building industrial structures like the wharfs in the port used for unloading minerals, workshops and the railway. Culturally, Huelva underwent a revival and cultivated a more cosmopolitan atmosphere with the arrival of mainly British and German workers. This was a time of great surplus wealth, which was lavished on elegant edifices in the centre….

The Spanish records that appear above indicate that Manuel was a “sastre” or a tailor, so it would not appear that his specific occupation drew him to Huelva. Perhaps Salomon was drawn by the city’s growth and the potential for personal prosperity. Maybe he just needed to leave behind the tragedy of losing his first wife.

He certainly wasn’t drawn to Huelva for its Jewish community. Although Spain had once been a center for Jewish life, that ended with the Inquisition in the late 15th century when most Jews either converted or left the country or practiced Judaism in hiding or were killed. Even today there are only about 50,000 Jews in all of Spain, and they tend to live in the bigger cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, but not in Huelva or even in Seville, the closest big city to Huelva.

That may explain why Salomon and Emma’s son Moritz/Mauricio returned to Germany to marry. On February 15, 1903, he married Rosa Bendheim in Auerbach, Germany. Rosa was the daughter of Jonas Bendheim and Julie Kapp and was born in Auerbach on September 28, 1883. Jonas Bendheim was a first cousin to Moritz’s mother Emma Bendheim, making Moritz and Rosa second cousins as well as husband and wife.

Marriage record of Moritz Blumenfeld and Rosa Bendheim, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 357, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Moritz and Rosa returned to Huelva to live after they married and had one child, a daughter Gertrudis, born in Huelva, Spain, on December 17, 1903.5

The last record I have for Salomon, Emma, and Moritz is the 1905-1906 register for Huelva. It shows that no one in the household had an occupation.

“España, Provincia de Huelva, registros municipales, 1760-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPXW-SHPB?cc=2015357&wc=32PD-ZNL%3A336532701%2C336532702%2C336629901 : 20 December 2018), Huelva > Huelva > Padrones 1905-1906 > image 430 of 1083; archivos municipales, Huelva (municipal archives, Huelva).

I did find a 1922 ship manifest for Moritz’s wife Rosa and daughter Gertrudis that indicates that Gertrudis was living in Kassel, Germany, but Rosa was living in Seville, and that both were traveling from Hamburg to Seville.6

Another document also indicated that Gertrudis once lived in Kassel, but had left in 1921.

Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947

If Rosa was living in Seville, perhaps Salomon, Emma, and Moritz had also moved there sometime after 1905-1906. Or perhaps one or more of them had died by 1922. Unfortunately I cannot locate any record of their deaths nor do I have any record of Rosa’s death. I contacted someone in Seville, but he was unable to find any record of my Blumenfeld family living or dying there. I also asked a native of Seville who now lives in the US and is the son-in-law of our close friends to see if he could find anything, but he also had no luck. So I think I may never find a record for the deaths of Salomon/Manuel Blumenfeld, his wife Emma, or his son Moritz/Mauricio or his wife Rosa.

But I do know what happened to Salomon and Emma’s granddaughter Gertrudis Blumenfeld. In 1922 she married Maximo Jose Kahan. He was born Maximilian Josef Kahn, son of Isidor Kahn and Emma Nussbaum, on August 11, 1897, in Frankfurt, Germany.7

In about 1920, Maximilian left Germany and settled in Madrid, where he became Maximo Jose Kahan. He became a successful writer of essays and books and a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers. How and where he met Gertrudis is not known. But soon after they married, they moved to Toledo, Spain. Then he and Gertrudis left Spain during the Spanish Civil War and immigrated to Mexico in about 1939.

It appears that Gertrudis remained in Mexico for the rest of her life, dying there on February 3, 1964, at the age of 60.

Gertrudis Blumenfeld Kahn, death record, Archivo de Registro Civil de Distrito Federal (Civil Registry Archives); Federal District, Mexico, Year: 1959 – 1964, Ancestry.com. Federal District, Mexico, Civil Registration Deaths, 1861-1987

Maximo, however, left Mexico (and presumably Gertrudis) and immigrated to Argentina, where he died on July 20, 1953. He was 55. As far as I can tell, Gertrudis and Maximo did not have children.

It was a challenge and fun to dive into a brand new country. Now I hope I can learn what happened to Salomon/Manuel, Emma, Moritz/Mauricio and Rosa Blumenfeld.

But in the meantime, what about Salomon’s two children with his first wife Caecile Erlanger, Thekla and Felix? What happened to them?

To be continued…

 

 


  1. I cannot locate any original records for the dates of either Caecilie’s birth or her marriage to Salomon, but those are the dates incorporated into numerous secondary sources, including JewishGen and several trees on Ancestry and MyHeritage. 
  2.  Thekla Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 22, Birth Date: 18 Mrz 1872 (18 Mar 1872), Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1894, Marriage Place: Marburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Marburg, Father: Salomon Blumenfeld, Mother: Cäcilie Blumenfeld, Spouse: Max Grünbaum, Certificate Number: 47, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5607, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  3.  Felix Blumenfeld, Age: 29, Birth Date: 2 Mai 1873 (2 May 1873), Marriage Date: 22 Aug 1902, Marriage Place: Frankfurt am Main, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Frankfurt am Main, Father: Salomon Blumenfeld
    Mother: Cäcilie Blumenfeld, Spouse: Thekla Wertheim, Certificate Number: 1776, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  4. Moritz Blumenfeld marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 357, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  5. Gertrude Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Nationality: Deutsch Juden
    Residence Age: 17, Record Type: Residence, Birth Date: 17 Dez 1903 (17 Dec 1903)
    Birth Place: Bluelva (Spanien. Last Residence: Kassel, Sojourn Start Date: 1 Aug 1921
    Residence Place: Kassel Kassel, Notes: Foreigners who were living in the location during the war – permanently or temporarily, Reference Number: 02010101 oS
    Document ID: 70442412, Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 
  6. Rose and Gertrudis Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 289; Page: 1395; Microfilm No.: K_1844, Description Month: Band 289 (30 Sep 1922 – 10 Okt 1922, 10 Aug 1922 – 5 Sep 1922), Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 
  7. Maximilian Josef Kahn, birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9188, Year Range: 1897, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901 

The Final Chapter of Baruch Blumenfeld’s Family: His Daughter Charlotte

Having told the story of Antonie Blumenfeld Engelbert and that of her children Margot, Julius, and Elfriede and of her grandchildren Edith, Werner, Gunther, and Inge, I now turn to the story of Antonie’s younger sister, Charlotte Blumenfeld, daughter of Baruch Blumenfeld and Emma Docter.

Charlotte Jeanette Blumenfeld, as we saw, married Hermann Hammel on January 24, 1900, and they had one daughter, Klara, who was born on February 17, 1901, in Frankfurt, Germany, where Charlotte and Hermann resided. Hermann was a merchant.

On July 26, 1920, in Frankfurt, Klara Hammel married Siegfried Braun. He was more than eleven years older than Klara and was born in Nuernberg on August 27, 1889. His parents were Isidor Braun and Kathi Hermann; both had died by the time Siegfried served in the German army during World War I. Siegfried served for at least three years of the war in the infantry and in the automobile replacement unit. When he married Klara in 1920, he was living in Frankfurt and working as a merchant.

Marriage record, Klara Hammel to Siegfried Braun, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; München; Abteilung IV Kriegsarchiv. Kriegstammrollen, 1914-1918; Volume: 18828. Kriegsstammrolle: Bd. 6, Volume: 18828- Kriegsstammrolle: Bd- 6, Ancestry.com. Bavaria, Germany, World War I Personnel Rosters, 1914-1918

Klara and Siegfried’s first child Lieselotte was born in Frankfurt on September 4, 1922.1 Her brother Walter Isidor Braun was born a year later on December 7, 1923, also in Frankfurt.2 A third child was stillborn on January 25, 1926, in Frankfurt.3

The life of this family changed dramatically once Hitler came to power. I am very grateful to Klara and Siegfried’s grandson Stephen for sharing their stories with me. They all immigrated to Amsterdam not long after Hitler’s rise to power. While there, Lieselotte, then a teenager, met the man who would later become her husband, Fritz (later Fred) Rothschild. He was son of Daniel Rothschild and Martha Aumann and was born in Bruchsal, Germany, on August 22, 1921. His family also had left Germany for Amsterdam to escape the Nazis.4

Hermann Hammel, Charlotte Blumenfeld’s husband, died in Amsterdam on February 19, 1939; he was 71 years old. After World War II started in September, 1939, the rest of the Hammel family left Amsterdam for Wales, where they were living at the time of the enumeration of the 1939 England and Wales Register. Lieselotte was thus separated from her boyfriend Fred Rothschild, but the two corresponded during the war; his family had also left Amsterdam and immigrated to Canada.5

Braun and Hammel, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/7534J, Enumeration District: ZDGM, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register (the two children of Siegfried and Claire Braun are hidden)

But even the UK was not a true safe harbor for the family. Siegfried was determined to be an enemy alien on October 12, 1939, and he and his family were sent to the Isle of Man like so many other Jewish refugees from Germany. Only Charlotte was not interned. They were released on September 30, 1940, and relocated to London where they lived for the duration of the war.6

Siegfried Braun, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/168, Piece Number Description: 168: German Internees Released in UK 1939-1942: Bohrman-Bud, Ancestry.com. UK, World War II Alien Internees, 1939-1945

Once the war ended, Lieselotte Braun was reunited with Fred Rothschild, and they were married in London on August 11, 1946.

The Montreal Gazette, August 23, 1946, p. 13

After marrying, Lieselotte and Fred immigrated to Canada and then the US and eventually settled in New York City; they would have two children.

A year after Lieselotte’s marriage, the rest of her family—her grandmother Charlotte, her parents Klara (now Claire) Hammel and Siegfried Braun, and her brother Walter—also immigrated to the US and settled in New York. They eventually owned a women’s clothing store in Washington Heights in New York.7

Walter Braun married Hannelore Delheim in 1954.8 She was born in Ludwigschafen, Germany, in August 1931, and came to the US with her parents, Friedericke and Rosette Delheim, and her brother in 1939.9 Walter and Hannelore had two children.

Charlotte Blumenfeld Hammel died on July 11, 1958; she was 83 years old.10 I found it poignant that she ended up in New York living not far from where her father Baruch had been living in 1920. I wonder whether she ever knew that.

Her son-in-law Siegfried Braun died on August 8, 1961 at the age of 71.11 His wife Claire Hammel Braun survived him by over twenty years. She died July 19, 1983, in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She was 83 and was survived by her children and grandchildren.12

Claire’s son Walter Braun only survived her by three years. He was 62 when he died on March 15, 1986, in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife and children as well as his sister Lieselotte.13

Lieselotte lived to age 91 and died on October 13, 2013, in Palm Beach, Florida. Her husband Fred Rothschild died the following year, also in Palm Beach. He was 92 when he died on March 27, 2014.14 They are survived by their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Thus, Baruch Blumenfeld, who left his family in Germany sometime before 1900 and came to the US where he died in 1923, has numerous descendants now living in the US. They are here because their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents were either able to leave Germany before it was too late like Charlotte and her family and Antonie’s son Julius and his family and Gunther Goldschmidt or because they somehow managed to survive the tortures of the Holocaust like Antonie’s daughter Elfriede, her husband Rudolf and their daughter Inge.

Tragically, Baruch’s granddaughter—Antonie’s daughter—Margot, her husband Gustav, and their daughter Edith were not among those who survived or escaped in time. They are among the six million who must never be forgotten.


  1. Lieselotte Rothschild Arrival Age 38, Birth Date 4 Sep 1922, Birth Place, Frankfurt/Main, Arrival Date7 May 1961, Arrival Place New York, New York, USA, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; NAI Number: 2848504; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A3998; NARA Roll Number: 482, Ancestry.com. New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1967 
  2. Walter Isidore Braun, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 7 Dec 1923
    Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: Mar 1986
    Father: Frederick S Braun, Mother: Claire Hammel, SSN: 082240422, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  3.  Knabe Braun, Gender: männlich (Male), Death Date: 25 Jan 1926, Death Place: Frankfurt, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Frankfurt I
    Father: Siegfried Braun, Mother: Klara Braun. Certificate Number: 106, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10913, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  4. Email from Steve Rothschild, August 27, 2021. Fred Rothschild, Age: 31
    Birth Date: 22 Aug 1921, Issue Date: 11 Aug 1953, State: New York
    Locality, Court: Eastern District of New York, District Court, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Index to Naturalization Petitions of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1865-1957; Microfilm Serial: M1164; Microfilm Roll: 114, Ancestry.com. U.S., Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995. Geni Profile at https://www.geni.com/people/Fred-Fritz-Rothschild/6000000017506676383?through=6000000017506915284#name=Fred%20(Fritz)%20Rothschild? 
  5. Email from Steve Rothschild, August 27, 2021. 
  6. Email from Steve Rothschild, August 30, 2021. 
  7. Clara and Siegfried Braun, Walter Braun, Charlotte Hammel, ship manifest, Year: 1947; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Numbers: 190, 238, Ship or Roll Number: America,Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. Email from Steve Rothschild, August 30, 2021. 
  8. Walter Braun, Gender: Male, Marriage License Date: 1954, Marriage License Place: Bronx, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse: Hannelore Dellheim, License Number: 423, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Bronx,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  9. Delheim family, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 4; Page Number: 127, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  10. Charlotte Hammel, Age: 63, Birth Date: abt 1895, Death Date: 11 Jul 1958
    Death Place: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 15348, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965 
  11. Frederick Braun, Age: 71, Birth Date: abt 1890, Death Date: 8 Aug 1961, Death Place: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 17272, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965 
  12.  Claire Braun, Social Security Number: 088-28-7956, Birth Date: 17 Feb 1901
    Issue Year: 1951-1953, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10964, Palisades, Rockland, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1983, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13. Walter Isidore Braun, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 7 Dec 1923
    Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: Mar 1986
    Father: Frederick S Braun, Mother: Claire Hammel, SSN: 082240422, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  14. “Fred Rothschild,” Palm Beach Daily News, Palm Beach, Florida
    30 Mar 2014, Sun • Page A002 

A Survivor’s Story: The Shoah Foundation Testimony of Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer, Part II

By the time she turned sixteen on April 13, 1945, Inge Goldschmidt had been to three concentration camps and beaten by Nazi youth in Kassel and by guards at the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Oederan. She had been separated from her brother, who was sent to the US in October 1938, and then from her parents in 1944 when she was sent from Theriesenstadt to Auschwitz. She had no idea whether her parents were alive and assumed that they were not.1

The day after her sixteenth birthday, she and the others imprisoned at the Oederan camp were transported in cattle wagons away from the Eastern front where Russia was making headway into Germany. They stopped at many camps, and finally on April 21, 1945, Inge and the others were dropped off at Theriesenstadt, the place where she had last seen her parents, Elfriede Engelbert and Rudolf Goldschmidt. She had not seen them in close to a year and did not expect to find them alive. They also assumed she had been killed at Auschwitz.

Someone recognized Inge as she entered Theriesenstadt, and when she told Inge that her parents were still alive and still at Theriesenstadt, Inge passed out. Inge was dangerously sick with typhoid, weighing only sixty pounds. Her mother didn’t recognize her when she saw her. Slowly Inge was nursed back to health and joyfully reunited with her parents.

The war ended, and the Russians took over Theriesenstadt. Even though they were no longer at war, the people had nowhere to go and no way to get anywhere because of the destruction of the train lines and roads by Allied bombing during the war. Inge and her parents stayed at Theriesenstadt until July 1945 when they then returned to Cologne, where they were provided with an apartment.

Transit card from Terezin, Elfriede Goldschmidt, 1945. Courtesy of the family

You can see from their eyes and expressions in this photograph taken after the war some of the effects of their experiences during the Holocaust.

Elfriede, Rudolf, and Inge Goldschmidt c. 1945 Courtesy of the family

Inge joined a youth group of other Jewish survivors; most did not have any family members who survived, and her parents helped many of them, becoming like surrogate parents to her friends. Here is a photograph of her with some of her friends in post-war Cologne.

Inge Goldschmidt and friends in Cologne, c. 1947-1948. Courtesy of the family

These two photographs of Inge taken in post-war Cologne show some of the rubble caused by the bombing of Cologne.

Inge Goldschmidt, c. 1947-1948, Cologne. Courtesy of the family

Inge Goldschmidt, c. 1949 Courtesy of the family

Inge’s brother Gunther sent her this photograph for her nineteenth birthday in April, 1948.

Gunther Goldschmidt, 1948. Courtesy of the family

Elfriede and Rudolf desperately wanted to get to the US and be reunited with their son Gunther, but because Cologne was in the British Sector, they could not get permission to do so. So for three and a half years they waited until Gunther was able to get his parents out, and then once they arrived in the US, Elfriede and Rudolph were able to get Inge out. Apparently children could get visas for parents and vice versa, but siblings could not get them for siblings.

Rudolf and Elfriede Goldschmidt in Bremen, leaving for the US, 1949. Courtesy of the family

Finally in July 1949, the family was reunited. Inge was now twenty years old. Her parents were working at a hotel in the Catskills and had no money.

Rudolf and Elfriede Goldschmidt in the Catskills (Fleishmans) in the summer of 1949. Courtesy of the family

Inge got a job in a factory in New York, and in the fall her parents joined her in New York also where they all lived in a furnished room together. Gunther was in school in Boston; although he came and lived with his family for some period of time, he remained closest to his foster family, never fully recovering from the long separation from his parents and sister. But this photograph captures Gunther and Inge in a joyful moment together.

Inge and Gunther Goldschmidt c. 1950-1951 Courtesy of the family

Inge married Ernst Oppenheimer on October 14, 1950.2 Ernst was born in Augsburg, Germany, on October 17, 1919, to David Oppenheimer and Maria Kraus.3 Ernst had been sent to Dachau Concentration Camp in November 1938  after Kristallnacht, and after he was released, he was immediately sent to England, where he was in the Kushner displaced person camp until he left for the US in March, 1940. He then served in the US Army, where he was stationed at Fort Knox. He also worked on the Manhattan Project.4 Ernst and Inge had two children. Inge, who had been forced to end her formal education at age ten, passed her GED test and went to college and received not only her bachelor’s degree but also a master’s degree. She became a teacher and a librarian and worked in the New York City schools for many years.

Ernst Oppenheimer and Inge Goldschmidt, 1950 Courtesy of the family

I also learned from Gunther Goldschmidt’s daughter Lisa more about his life after World War II. He married Barbara Cohen on May 16, 1959. They had three children and had moved to southern California by 1962, eventually settling in Encino. Gunther started his own advertising business there and was very successful; more importantly, Lisa described him as a devoted father.He remained close to his foster family for the rest of his life.1

Gunther and Inge’s father Rudolf Goldschmidt died on February 25, 1960, in New York; he was 73 years old.5

Tragically Gunther died from a heart attack when he was only 47; he died on November 30, 1972, in San Francisco, and was survived by his wife and young children.6

Inge and Gunther’s mother Elfriede Engelbert Goldschmidt made the surprising decision to return to Germany when she grew older. She wanted to live in a Jewish home for the elderly there and not burden her daughter. She died there on May 20, 1986; she was 85 years old.7

Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer, who gave this interview in 1996, died twenty years later on January 24, 2016, at the age of 86.8 She was survived by her children and grandchildren, her husband Ernst having died on July 2, 2010,9 when he was ninety years old.

We should all be forever grateful to Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer and those like her who shared their stories and allowed us all to understand not only the cruel side of human nature, but also the strength and resilience of human nature. Inge’s will to survive as a young teenager under the worst of circumstances was remarkable, and her ability to move forward—to marry and have children, to go back and receive a college education and to pursue a career as a teacher and librarian—is an inspiration and a lesson in hope for all of us.


  1. The information in this post, except where otherwise noted, is from the Shoah Foundation interview with Inge Oppenheimer. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. The photographs are all courtesy of Marsha Eidlin.
  2. Ernst Oppenheimer, Gender: Male, Marriage License Date: 1950
    Marriage License Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse:
    Ingeborg Goldschmidt, License Number: 26365, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018. Email from Marsha Eidlin, daughter of Ernst and Inge Oppenheimer, August 31, 2021. 
  3.  Ernst Oppenheimer, Declaration Age: 24, Record Type: Petition, Birth Date: 17 Oct 1919, Birth Place: Rugsburg, Bavaria, Germany, Declaration Date: 13 Jan 1944
    Declaration Place: Jackson, Mississippi, USA, Court District: U.S. District Court for the Jackson Division of the Southern District of Mississippi, Petition Number: 400, The National Archives at Atlanta; Atlanta, Georgia; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. Mississippi, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1907-2008. Name: Max Oscar Oppenheimer
    [brother of Ernst Oppenheimer], Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 19 Apr 1915
    Birth Place: Schrobenhaus, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 16 Oct 2006
    Father: David Oppenheimer, Mother: Maria Kraus, SSN: 092147186, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. 
  4. Email from Marsha Eidlin, daughter of Ernst and Inge Oppenheimer, August 31, 2021. 
  5. Rudo Goldschmidt, Age: 73, Birth Date: abt 1887, Death Date: 25 Feb 1960
    Death Place: Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 4206, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965 
  6. Gunther Goldschmidt, Social Security #: 488207584, Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 17 Jul 1925, Death Date: 30 Nov 1972, Death Place: San Francisco, Place: San Francisco; Date: 30 Nov 1972; Social Security: 488207584, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. 
  7. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. 
  8. New York Times obituary at https://archive.nytimes.com/query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage-9C04EFD71F3AF932A05752C0A9609D8B63.html; Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/214436745/inge-oppenheimer : accessed 12 September 2021), memorial page for Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer (unknown–24 Jan 2016), Find a Grave Memorial ID 214436745, citing Beth-El Cemetery, Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Lauren A. Hubberman Cohen (contributor 49135178) Burial Details Unknown. 
  9. Ernest Oppenheimer, Social Security Number: 094-14-0365, Birth Date: 17 Oct 1919, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Last Benefit: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: 2 Jul 2010, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

  1. Email from Lisa Goldschmidt, September 25, 2021. Gunther Goldschmidt, Spouse: Barbara Anne Cohen, Marriage Date: 2 Sep 1958, Recorded county: Clark, Page: F01, Ancestry.com. Nevada, U.S., Marriage Index, 1956-2005 

A Survivor’s Story: The Shoah Foundation Testimony of Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer

Antonie Blumenfeld and her husband Siegfried Engelbert died before Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 and thus were spared seeing that their daughter Margot and her husband Gustav Neuhaus were sent to the Warsaw Ghetto and killed there in September 1942 and that their granddaughter Edith Neuhaus Kempner was killed at Auschwitz just two months later.

They were also spared knowing that their son Julius and his wife Ilse and son Werner were forced to leave Germany in 1939 to escape Hitler, but eventually survived and settled in the United States.

And they were spared knowing the terrible ordeals endured by their youngest child Elfriede and her husband Rudolf Goldschmidt and their children Gunther and Inge.

But we must remember their experiences and honor their memories. Thanks to the Shoah Foundation, we now have extensive interviews with many of the Holocaust survivors, including one with Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer, my fifth cousin.

I was privileged to listen to Inge’s interview and will attempt in my own words to tell her story. I am grateful to the Shoah Foundation for allowing me to do so. Except where noted, all the information below came from Inge’s interview.1 All the photographs are courtesy of Inge’s daughter Marsha.

Inge was born to Elfriede Engelbert and Rudolf Goldschmidt on April 13, 1929, in Kassel, Germany, just four years before Hitler came to power. She had almost no memory of life in Germany before the Nazis took control. She and her family lived in Kassel until 1938 when they moved to Cologne. Her memories of life in Kassel were terrible because of the persecution and harassment they faced as Jews. She and her brother Gunther went to a Jewish school and were often beaten up on the way home by Nazi youth members. As a result of incidents like that, the school decided to close fifteen minutes before the non-Jewish schools so that children could get home safely.

Here is a photograph of Inge with her brother Gunther taken in about 1934.

Gunther and Inge Goldschmidt. c. 1934-1935. Courtesy of the family

Inge’s father Rudolf was a veteran of World War I and had suffered a serious head injury while fighting for Germany. As a result, he eventually became paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. The family was living on the pension he received for his service in the war while also being forced to endure the anti-Semitism promoted by the government. Rudolf was very well-informed and followed the news on a radio tuned to the BBC, and although he wanted to leave Germany, his disability and their limited resources made that impossible.

Here is a photograph of Rudolf in uniform during World War I.

Rudolf Goldschmidt, c. 1914-1918. Courtesy of the family

Instead the family decided to leave Kassel and move to Cologne in 1938, believing that in the larger city they would be safer and also that life would be easier because it was less hilly than Kassel and thus easier for Elfriede to push Rudolf’s wheelchair. Here are two photographs of Inge from around this time.

Inge Goldschmidt, c. 1938-1939. Courtesy of the family

Inge and Rudolf Goldschmidt. Courtesy of the family

Gunther celebrated his bar mitzvah in Cologne in the summer of 1938, and a few months later in October his parents registered him for a children’s transport out of Germany to the United States. He ended up in St. Louis living with a foster family for many years. He was only thirteen. Inge was only nine and too young for those transports, so she stayed in Cologne with her parents. The photograph below shows the family at the train station in Cologne the day Gunther left for the US.

Margot Engelbert Neuhaus, Gustav Neuhas, Elfriede Engelbert Goldschmidt, Rudolf Goldschmidt, Inge Goldschmidt, unknown man. 1938. Courtesy of the family

Although things were initially better in Cologne than they had been in Kassel, after Kristallnacht and then once the war started in September 1939, conditions worsened. Their phones were taken, then their bicycles, and they lived in constant fear of being arrested. Then when the Allies started bombing Cologne in the early 1940s, they lived in fear of the bombs and poison gas as well. They moved frequently from one apartment to another and were later rounded up with other Jews and taken to a temporary camp outside of the city. By then they were required to wear the yellow star to identify them as Jews. Inge had hers pinned instead of sewn on as required so that she could sneak out of the camp and shop for the family, removing her star to do so without revealing that she was Jewish.

The star Inge Goldschmidt wore in Germany. Courtesy of the family

Elfriede Engelbert Goldschmidt identity card, 1939. Courtesy of the family

Then in 1942 the family was deported to Theriesenstadt. Inge and her mother Elfriede were in one of the barracks together, and her father Rudolf was in a separate men’s barrack. Interestingly, he was living with other men who were disabled World War I veterans. Inge speculated that but for his service in World War I he never would have been allowed to survive at all, given his physical disability.

Inge’s memories of life in Theriesenstadt are horrendous. She was scared and hungry all the time and often very ill. Her knee became infected, and she had to have it drained in the camp hospital without receiving anesthesia. They lived with bed bugs, lice, and a lack of sanitary facilities. They had no news of what was happening in the war or outside the camp itself.

Inge lived at Theriesenstadt for two years, and then in 1944 she was sent to Auschwitz and separated from her family. She was now fifteen years old and sick with typhus. Despite being sick, she knew enough not to let on and so did not get transported with those who were ill and were instantly killed when they arrived at Auschwitz. The train to Auschwitz was a nightmare—all of them standing packed into the cars with no food and sleeping standing up with only a bucket for a toilet.

She remembered vividly her arrival at Auschwitz. They arrived at night, and it was bitterly cold. The Kapos (Jewish prisoners forced to act as guards and agents for the Nazis) were screaming at them all to move out of the train while armed Nazi guards surrounded them. Inge went with the other women into one large room where they were forced to strip and have their heads shaved. They took cold showers and were disinfected and given rags to wear. She recalled one woman going into labor and giving birth during this ordeal and remembered hearing the women around her screaming when they realized they would never see their children again.

Inge was only at Auschwitz for a few weeks, but her memories of that time and place were seared in her memory. She recalled standing for hours each day in the snow for inspection while the guards selected those who would go to the gas chambers. Once she needed to urinate so badly that she just squatted on the ground and was beaten by the guard for doing so. At one point she was so despondent that she was going to run into the electric fence and kill herself, as she’d seen others do. But a kind woman convinced her not to, and so she survived.

After a few weeks she was selected to be sent to another camp near Leipzig, Germany, called Oederan. Oederan opened in September 1944; three transports brought five hundred women from Auschwitz to work in a munitions factory in a converted thread factory. Inge worked in the munitions factory making bullets; she recounted how she and the other prisoners tried to do things to sabotage the machines, although they knew they could be killed if they were caught. While at Oederan, she saw bright lights in the distance and asked innocently if that was the sun. It was in fact the fires from the Allied bombing of Dresden, which was about 35 miles away. A guard, thinking she was being disrespectful, punched her in the mouth and knocked out one of her teeth.

On April 12, 1945, the day before her 16th birthday, Inge heard that FDR had died, and she was bereft, believing that America was their one hope for survival and that FDR was a hero. But the news about the war was also starting to break through, and there were rumors that the Russians were coming to liberate them. What would she do if she survived to be liberated? What would she learn about the fate of her parents?

To be continued…


  1. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. 

Antonie’s Children Margot Engelbert Neuhaus and Julius Engelbert

Antonie Blumenfeld Engelbert, daughter of Baruch Blumenfeld and Emma Docter, died in 1929, and her husband Siegfried Engelbert died three years later. They never knew what was going to happen to their family just a decade after their deaths.

Their oldest daughter Margot and her husband Gustav stayed in Goettingen after Hitler came to power in 1933. After Kristallnacht in November 1938, Gustav was forced by the Nazis to sell his cattle trading business far below its market value, a business that had been in his family since 1858 when it was started by his grandfather. Margot and Gustav were transported on March 31, 1942, to the Warsaw Ghetto, where they were killed on September 30, 1942. Here are the Pages of Testimony on file with Yad Vashem:1

Margot and Gustav’s daughter Edith also was murdered by the Nazis. After she was prohibited from attending the local high school for girls in Goettingen in 1938, she went to Hamburg and then to Berlin, where she met and married her husband Herbert Kempner in 1942. But Herbert and Edith’s marriage was short-lived because on November 29, 1942, they were both deported to Auschwitz and murdered there. I am so grateful to Dennis Aron, who shared with me the entries about Gustav, Margot, and Edith from Die Juedischen Buerger im Kreis Goettingen 1933-1945: Ein Gedenkbuch, including this photograph of Edith. 2

Tragically, Margot and Gustav and their daughter Edith have no living descendants because of the Nazis. Thus, we must all remember them instead.

The other two children of Antonie Blumenfeld and Siegfried Engelbert survived the Holocaust, but not without facing Nazi persecution.

Their son Julius Engelbert, his wife Ilse, and their nine-year-old son Werner fled to Bolivia on September 23, 1939.3 Six years later the family immigrated to the United States, arriving on December 23, 1945.4 They settled in Brooklyn, New York, and they all became US citizens in 1952. Werner Engelbert became a pharmacist after graduating from the College of Pharmacy of the City of New York in 1952.5 According to his niece Marsha, Julius saved the many wonderful photographs published in this series of posts when he fled Germany in 1939. How fortunate we all are that he did.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995

Julius Engelbert died in New York on July 25, 1965; he was 67. He was killed in a car accident driving to or from the Catskills.6 His wife Ilse survived him by twenty years, dying in February 1985 at the age of 78.7 Their son Werner died in 2019.8 He was survived by his wife and children and grandchildren.

Elfriede Engelbert Goldschmidt and her family also survived the Holocaust, but their path to survival was more complicated than that of her brother Julius and his family. I was privileged to listen to the testimony that Inge Goldschmidt Oppenheimer, Elfriede’s daughter, gave to the Shoah Foundation in 1996,9 and her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. I will share her story in my next post.


  1. Margot Engelbert Neuhaus, Yad Vashem, at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1306232&ind=2;  Gustav Neuhaus, Yad Vashem at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1306229&ind=2. See also Uta Schaefer-Richter and Joerg Klein, Die Juedischen Buerger im Kreis Goettingen 1933-1945: Ein Gedenkbuch (Wallstein Verlag 1992), pp. 190-191. 
  2. Uta Schaefer-Richter and Joerg Klein, Die Juedischen Buerger im Kreis Goettingen 1933-1945: Ein Gedenkbuch (Wallstein Verlag 1992), p.190.Die Juedischen Buerger im Kreis Goettingen 1933-1945: Ein Gedenkbuch (Wallstein Verlag Goettingen), p. 126. 
  3. Julius Engelbert, Nationality: Deutsch Juden, Record Type: Miscellaneous
    Birth Date: 18 Okt 1897 (18 Oct 1897), Birth Place: Kassel, Residence Place: Kassel Kassel, Notes: Lists of judicial and official files concerning foreigners and German Jews
    Reference Number: 02010101 oS, Document ID: 70443285, Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 
  4. Joseph Julius Engelbert, ship manifest, Year: 1945; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 22; Page Number: 41, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  5. Werner J Engelbert, Yearbook Date: 1952, School: College of Pharmacy of the City of New York, School Location: New York, New York, USA, U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012″; School Name: College of Pharmacy of the City of New York; Year: 1952,
    Ancestry.com. U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 
  6. Julius Engelbert, Gender: Male, Age: 67, Birth Date: abt 1898, Residence Place: Adelphi, Kings, New York, USA, Death Date: 25 Jul 1965, Death Place: New York, USA, New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Death Index,
    Ancestry.com. New York State, U.S., Death Index, 1957-1969. Email from Marsha Eidlin, September 25, 2021. 
  7. Ilse Engelbert, Social Security Number: 129-22-5815, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1906
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11210, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, USA, Death Date: Feb 1985, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  8. https://jewishfunerals.com/service/werner-j-engelbert/ 
  9. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. 

Who Arranged Baruch Blumenfeld’s Burial? An Update

This is just a quick update to the questions raised in last week’s post about the death certificate of my relative Baruch Blumenfeld. I was mystified by the fact that someone named Mary Farley had made the burial arrangements as indicated on what (I thought) was the reverse of Baruch’s death certificate.

But then a very astute reader, Lisa K of the GerSIG group on Facebook, noticed that that was not in fact the reverse of Baruch’s death certificate, but the reverse of a death certificate for someone named James B. Graham. Boy, was I embarrassed that I hadn’t noticed that!

I sent away again to the Family History Library for Baruch’s death certificate, pointing out that they had sent the wrong image, and I’ve now received the correct image. Here it is:

As you can see, although it’s a bit hard to read, the person who arranged for Baruch’s burial was “M  Neuberger,” identified as his niece.

Some of you may recall that in 1920 Baruch was living with a widow and her daughter named Getta and Emma Neuberger. I am assuming Emma was the M Neuberger who arranged Baruch’s burial. Perhaps the person taking the information heard Emma as M.

Baruch Blumenfeld, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 14, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1212; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1047
Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

But was she in fact Baruch’s niece? I don’t think so. Getta Neuberger and her family came from Thalmassing, Germany, in Bavaria in the early 1900s.1 Thalmassing is over 200 miles from Momberg where Baruch had lived in Germany. All of Baruch’s siblings married people from the Hesse region, and none of them were named Neuberger or Schwab, Getta’s birth surname. Anything is possible, I suppose, but my guess is that Emma Neuberger saw Baruch like an uncle and thus called herself his niece in order to arrange his burial.

Getta Schwab Neuberger died in 1930,2 and Emma died in 1933.3 Like Baruch Blumenfeld, they are buried at Union Fields cemetery in Queens, New York. They may have been the closest thing he had to a family after leaving his family behind in Germany.


  1. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, Name: Getta Neuburger, Gender: weiblich (Female), Ethnicity/Nationality: Bayern, Marital status: verheiratet (Married), Departure Age: 60, Birth Date: abt 1846, Residence Place: Thalmässing, Departure Date: 27 Okt 1906 (27 Oct 1906), Departure Place: Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany), Arrival Place: Cuxhaven; Boulogne-sur-Mer; Plymouth; New York, Ship Name: Pennsylvania
    Shipping Clerk: Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft), Shipping Line: Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft), Ship Type: Dampfschiff, Ship Flag: Deutschland
    Emigration: nein, Accommodation: 2. Klasse, Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 183
    Household Members: Getta Neuburger 60, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 183; Page: 2591; Microfilm No.: K_1797, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 
  2. “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WGW-1XW : 3 June 2020), Getta Newberger, 1930. 
  3. “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WGR-DGD : 3 June 2020), Emma Neuburger, 1933. 

Baruch Blumenfeld’s Daughter Antonie: Life Before the Nazis

Although I have no definitive answer as to when Baruch Blumenfeld left his family in Germany, I do have information about what happened to his two daughters and their children.

As we saw, Baruch and Emma had two daughters: Antonie and Charlotte Jeanette, born in 1872 and 1875, respectively. This post and the three that follow will focus on Antonie and her descendants. I am deeply grateful to Antonie’s great-granddaughter Marsha for sharing her collection of family photos with me so that I can bring Antonie and her family to life.

Antonie married Sussel Siegfried (known as Siegfried) Engelbert in Neustadt, Germany, in 1894, and they had three children: Margot (born 1895), Joseph Julius (known as Julius) (born 1897), and Elfriede (born 1900). Siegfried owned a clothing store in Kassel, shown in this photograph.

Engelbert store, c. 1900, Kassel. Courtesy of the family.

The photograph below is of Antonie and below that are three photographs of her children, one taken in 1911 of Elfriede and Margot and an unknown little girl, the other taken in about 1920 of all three of Antonie and Siegfried Engelbert’s children, and the last a photograph of Julius Engelbert with his parents Antonie and Siegfried.

Antonie Blumenfeld Engelbert undated. Courtesy of the family

Elfriede Engelbert, unknown girl, Margot Engelbert, 1911. Courtesy of the family

Margot, Julius, and Elfriede Engelbert, c. 1920. Courtesy of the family

Julius, Antonie, and Siegfried Engelbert. Courtesy of the family

Margot married Gustav Neuhaus on December 3, 1920. He was born on December 5, 1884, in Bremke, Germany, to Hermann Neuhaus and Bernhardine Neuhaus. He was a cattle dealer in Goettingen, Germany; his grandfather had started the business in 1858.1

Marriage record of Margot Engelbert and Gustav Neuhaus, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910, Year Range: 1920, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Margot and Gustav had one child, a daughter Edith, born on March 9, 1922.

Elfriede Caroline Engelbert married Ruben Rudolf (known as Rudolf) Goldschmidt on August 19, 1924, in Kassel, Germany. Rudolf, the son of Gabriel Goldschmidt and Jettchen Levi, was born in Spangenburg, Germany, on January 23, 1887.2

Marriage record of Elfriede Engelbert and Ruben Goldschmidt, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 910, Year Range: 1924, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Here is a photograph of Elfriede and Rudolf taken when they were engaged in 1924.

Elfriede Engelbert and Rudolf Goldschmidt, 1924. Courtesy of the family

Marsha also shared the menu from Elfriede and Rudolf’s wedding. It must have been quite a lavish celebration.

Elfriede and Rudolf had two children, Gunther, born July 17, 1925,3 and Inge, born April 13, 1929,4 in Kassel where they resided.

Here are some photographs of Gunther and Inge as young children.

Gunther and Elfriede Engelbert Goldschmidt, 1925. Courtesy of the family

Inge and Gunther Goldschmidt, 1931. Courtesy of the family

Inge and Gunther Goldschmidt, c. 1931. Courtesy of the family

Elfriede, Gunther, and Inge Goldschmidt c. 1931. Courtesy of the family

Antonie lived long enough to see her three grandchildren born, but she died on May 23, 1929, a month after Inge’s birth. She was survived by her husband and her children and grandchildren.

Antonie Blumenfeld Engelbert death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 910; Signatur: 5619, Year Range: 1929, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Here is one more photograph of Antonie and Julius and a photograph of Antonie’s headstone.

Siegfried Engelbert and Antonie Blumenfeld Engelbert. Courtesy of the family

Courtesy of the family

Julius Engelbert married a few months after his mother’s death. On August 29, 1929, he married Ilse Wolf in Marburg, Germany. She was born in Marburg on March 31, 1906. Julius and Ilse had one child, Werner, born in Kassel in 1930.5

Julius Engelbert and Ilse Wolf marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5652, Year Range: 1929, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Two years later Siegfried Engelbert died on July 12, 1932, in Kassel.6 He was 65 and died before the Nazi takeover of Germany the following year.  He and Antonie were spared seeing what would happen to their children.

In this photograph are Elfriede, Rudolf, and Inge with Margot and her daughter Edith taken in 1936.  No one could have predicted what was to happen to them all in the next decade.

Elfriede Engelbert Goldschmidt, Inge Goldschmidt, Rudolf Goldschmidt, Edith Neuhaus, Margot Neuhaus, 1936. Courtesy of the family

To be continued.

 


  1. Gustav Neuhaus, Yad Vashem entry,  https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1306229&ind=2 and from the Neuhaus Family Tree on Ancestry found at https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/60044058/person/342252900990/facts. See also Uta Schaefer-Richter and Joerg Klein, Die Juedischen Buerger im Kreis Goettingen 1933-1945: Ein Gedenkbuch (Wallstein Verlag 1992), p.190. 
  2. Arcinsys Archives Hessen, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 782, p. 63. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. 
  3. Gunther Goldschmidt, Social Security #: 488207584, Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 17 Jul 1925, Death Date: 30 Nov 1972, Death Place: San Francisco, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997 
  4. Inge Oppenheimer, Interview 11370. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1996. Accessed 17 August 2021. 
  5. Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Reference Code: 02010101 oS, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947; Werner Jack Engelbert, Age: 22, Birth Date: 21 Jul 1930, Issue Date: 29 Jan 1952, State: New York
    Locality, Court: Eastern District of New York, District Court, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Index to Naturalization Petitions of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1865-1957; Microfilm Serial: M1164; Microfilm Roll: 53, Ancestry.com. U.S., Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995 
  6. LAGIS Hessen Archives, Nr 587, p. 291, Standesamt Kassel I Sterberegister 1932, Eintrags-Nr. 301-600 (StadtAKS Best. A 3.35.1 Nr. 3.1.310) Autor Stadtarchiv Kassel Erscheinungsort Kassel IErscheinungsjahr 1932 

Baruch Blumenfeld: Where and When Did He Die, Part II

The mystery of where and when Baruch Blumenfeld died led me down several rabbit holes to answer several questions. Did Baruch Blumenfeld move to New York and leave his wife Emma and his daughters and his grandchildren behind? Was the 1920 census accurate in reporting that he had immigrated to the US in 1869 and become a US citizen in 1875? If so, how did he marry Emma in 1872 and father two children between 1872 and 1875? And did he really die in New York City in 1923?

I turned to several Facebook groups for further help to confirm that this was the correct Baruch. First, I asked on Tracing the Tribe for help finding more information about the Baruch Blumenfeld who died in New York. My fellow Blumenfeld cousin Tova Levi suggested that I try and find a connection to the family with whom Baruch was living in 1920. That led me to search for Getta and Emma Neuberger and their place of origin, including locating their extended family in New York and searching for naturalization records that might reveal where they came from in Germany.

Baruch Blumenfeld, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 14, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1212; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 1047 Source Information Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census

After hours of searching and getting help from the New York City genealogy group, the German genealogy group, and the GerSIG group, including from Sandy Hahn Lanman and Matt Luders, I concluded that the Neuberger family came from Thalmassig in Bavaria, not anywhere near Hesse where Baruch had lived, and that thus it was unlikely that my Baruch would have known them before coming to the US.

Steph Mayer, one of the members of the German Genealogy group, also was very helpful. She made several suggestions, including sending me a link to the entry for Baruch Blumenfeld on genealogy.net, an important Germany genealogy website. Steph recommended that I email the contact person, Hartwig Faber, to see if he had any additional information.

And so I did, and Hartwig helped solve one part of this mystery. He noted that on the 1900 marriage record for Baruch’s daughter Charlotte, Baruch is described as living at an unknown distance. That is, by 1900 Baruch’s whereabouts were no longer known by his family.

Marriage record of Charlotte Jeanette Blumenfeld and Hermann Hammel, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 6510
Year Range: 1900, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Here is the transcription and translation of that part of the record:

Tochter des in unbekannter Ferne weilenden Kaufmanns Baruch Abraham Blumenfeld und der nochlebenden Ehefrau Emma geb. Docter wohnhaft in Neustadt.

Daughter of the merchant Baruch Abraham Blumenfeld, living in unknown distance, and the still living wife Emma, née Docter, living in Neustadt.

That record supports the possibility that Baruch did immigrate to the US and did die in New York in 1923.

But I can’t still cannot find a Baruch Blumenfeld on any ship manifest even when I search without limiting by dates or with wildcards on the name.

I also have had no luck finding any naturalization papers for him. I’ve gone through indexed and unindexed records on Ancestry and FamilySearch, and the only citizenship record that came close was a declaration of intention dated October 8, 1873 by a Baruch Blum. In that era declarations carried no identifying information other than the name and country of origin, so that doesn’t help very much. And I remain skeptical that Baruch would have been in the US at that time, given that he married Emma in 1872 and had a baby later that year and a second three years later.

I also cannot find a Baruch Blumenfeld on any census record in the US except the 1920 census. If he really immigrated to the US in 1869, he should have appeared on the 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910 US census enumerations.

I did find a German-born Benny Blumenfeld living as a boarder in New York in 1915 on the New York State census of that year. He was 72, so born in or close to 1843. He had no occupation. Could that be Baruch? Maybe. It says he’s been in the US for 32 years or since 1883. That would make a lot more sense than 1869, the year given on the 1920 census. There’s even a young man listed below, also a boarder in the same household, who was a butcher. Do you think this could be my Baruch?

Benny Blumenfeld 1915 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 10; Assembly District: 10; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 38, District: A·D· 10 E·D· 10, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1915

But there is no one else with a similar name and age that I could locate on the 1900 or 1910 US census. My working hypothesis at this point is that Baruch Blumenfeld took on an assumed name when he immigrated and then changed it back years later.

When I received the copy of the actual death certificate for the Baruch Blumenfeld who died in New York in 1923, I was even more certain that he was the same person as my cousin Baruch Blumenfeld.

The first page of that certificate first of all made it clear that his mother’s surname was Strauss, not Lhauss. Secondly, his age is given as 80 years and eight months. Since he died in September, 1923, that means he was born in January, 1843. My Baruch was born on January 29, 1843. This definitely supports the conclusion that this was my Baruch Blumenfeld.

One other interesting bit of information is included on first page of the certificate. It reports that he had been living in the US and in New York for 42 years or since 1881. That would make a lot more sense than the year given on the 1920 census—1869. By 1881 both of Baruch’s daughters were born, and he very well might have left Germany around that time.

I was feeling pretty excited that I had enough information to confirm that this was my cousin Baruch Blumenfeld—until I looked at the reverse side of the certificate.

It indicated that Mary Farley, a sister of the deceased, had hired the undertaker to take care of Baruch’s burial. Mary Farley? A sister? There were many Mary Farleys living in the US 1923—too many to count. If I limited my search to New York City, I found 32 registered to vote in New York in 1924.1 I also searched for a Mary Farley born in Germany living in or near New York who might be the woman named on the death certificate. I only found one woman with that name born in Germany; she lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and was married to a native-born American named John Farley. Her maiden name was Richardt, not Blumenfeld.

UPDATE!! Thank you so much to Lisa K of the GerSIG group on Facebook for pointing out that this is NOT the reverse of the death certificate for Baruch Blumenfeld, but for someone named James Graham. So Mary Farley must have been HIS sister. I’ve now ordered a correct version of the reverse of Baruch’s death certificate.

I very much doubt any one of the many possible Mary Farleys was Baruch’s sister. Friend, neighbor, whatever—she likely said she was the sister so she could arrange the burial for him.

What do you think? Have I convinced you that the Baruch Blumenfeld who died in New York in 1923 was the same man born in Momberg, Germany, on January 29, 1843, to Abraham Blumenfeld II and Giedel Strauss? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

I am so very grateful to the genealogy village for all the help I’ve received to try and learn what happened to my cousin Baruch Blumenfeld.