The Memoir of Julius Loewenthal, Part I: Growing Up in Frankfurt

In March, 2020, I wrote about the family of my cousin Julius Loewenthal, the son of Kiele Stern and Abraham Loewenthal, grandson of Sarah Goldschmidt and Salomon Stern, and great-grandson of Meyer Goldschmidt, my four-times great-uncle. Julius was married to Elsa Werner, his second cousin, the daughter of Helene Katzenstein, granddaughter of Malchen Goldschmidt, Sarah Goldschmidt’s younger sister.

They had four children: Ruth, born in 1905, Herbert, born in 1907, Hilda, born in 1911, and Karl Werner Loewenthal, born in 1918.

The basic facts of their story were described in detail here: the car accident that killed Ruth Loewenthal and her husband Leonhard Fulda and seriously injured Julius; the escape of Julius and Elsa from Germany; the murder of Ruth and Leonhard’s daughter Margot by the Nazis; Hilda’s marriage and divorce from Max Stern, the founder of the Hartz Mountain Corporation; Herbert Loewenthal’s move to Zurich after first immigrating to New York; and Karl’s departure to England to study at the Leicester Textile School and then serve in the British armed forces during World War II, during which time he changed his name to Garry Warner on the advice of his superior officer in case he was captured by the Nazis.

Since writing that post back in March, I have had the pleasure of connecting with and talking to Garry Warner-Loewenthal’s daughter Joanne, my fifth cousin. She has shared with me the memoir her grandfather Julius Loewenthal wrote in 1940 while the war was still going on and before he learned of the fate of his granddaughter Margot.

Joanne has generously given me permission to share some of the memoir, which was translated from German to English by her father Garry. As always, having the words of someone who lived through these experiences is so much more powerful than the words of a third person like me. In the next set of posts I will share some of the most poignant parts of Julius Loewenthal’s memoir. Today’s post will focus on the early years of Julius’ life in the Jewish community of Frankfurt in the late nineteenth century.

I have made a few editing changes and have selected only portions of the memoir, but have preserved as much as possible the tone and content of the original, including the capitalization of nouns that Garry Warner-Loewenthal preserved when he translated his father’s text.


I saw the light of day on August 24th 1874 in Wiesbaden near Frankfurt in our home on the Orianenstrasse…. When I was one year old, my parents moved back to Frankfurt. My father established a Wine Dealership in Frankfurt. …I had to help there a great deal during my youth. I had to fill bottles, cork them, and seal them, then carry the Wine to the customers.

… Later my dear Grandmother Sara [Goldschmidt] Stern with her Sons Adolf [also known as Abraham] and Mayer moved in with us and we shared a common household. That was an enormous strain and work for my dear mother, especially since she had borne 6 children of whom one died….

When I was 5 ½ years of age I was already sent to school. The school was located near the Synagogue near our House; all this was near as in those days nearly all Jews in Frankfurt lived in this neighborhood of Rechneigraben. In that locality was a Fishmarket on Fridays and before the high holidays you could buy your Lulef and your chickens. Thus, there always was lots of activity and commerce.

The Jewish community was led by the famous and highly respected Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch. I remember with joy this small in stature man with his brilliant eyes….

Selig Goldschmidt was the brother of my grandmother Sara Stern. He lived in Frankfurt during that time. He was a successful and very highly respected merchant. His knowledge of the world was great as were his religious convictions. He assisted Rabbi Hirsch in everything he could and what was necessary for the good of the Jewish community…..Rabbi Hirsch was the leader of a community who counted among its members many learned and wealthy individuals. Before the 1st World War there existed enormous wealth among the families of the Frankfurt congregation and the position of the Jews in Germany was then a respected one….Thus, their businesses were successful and they contributed much to Art and Culture of the country.

J & S Goldschmidt store on Kaiserstrasse in Frankfurt, c. 1890, Library of Congress Control Number 2002713666, found at https://lccn.loc.gov/2002713666

I attended the school I was enrolled in for 9 years. It was a very difficult time for me because much was demanded from me and much more than is expected of children today. Even on Sundays we had to go to school. I needed tutoring and for that I visited the house of my teacher Mr. Kauffmann. He was an unpleasant and very strict teacher who managed to rob me of the last sunshine of my youth. We had no free days at all, not even holidays….The results of this was that my health was never good and I became the easy victim of every serious sickness, which was dangerous as in those days little medication existed to combat these illnesses.

….There were always many family affairs. Bar mitzvahs, weddings, etc. never ended and were celebrated with pomp and generosity as befitted the wealth of those families. It was not a rare occasion when 600 or more people were invited to these affairs. It was common for individuals to create their music compositions and write their own theater pieces and present same on these occasions. Costumes were loaned from the Opera and Ballet houses. We children were always encouraged to make speeches during these festivities and after meals. We were encouraged to speak of Torah and general subjects. I write these things because I want to tell my children how happy the German Jews once lived.

The house of Selig Goldschmidt was a central meeting place for the family. Every Friday evening after the Evening meal was always a large reception in his home. During these occasions the family had much fun and for the children there was much activity. On Saturdays the central meeting place for the family was in his brother’s home, Falk Goldschmidt, who was a very humorous and charming individual who always kept everybody laughing and happy.

My Grandmother Sara Stern…lived in my parents’ house….Her brothers and sisters visited often and many many times we sat around our table talking by the light of the candles as gas and electric was not available at the time. I was very good at drawing when I was a child and often presented my drawings of different subjects to my relatives when they came to the house. It needs no mention that the Jewish holidays such as Seder, Succoth and all the others were celebrated with much joy and the strict observance of Jewish religious laws. … Both of our Uncles [Meier and Adolf] were like fathers to us and after my father died at an early age, they became our protectors and supporters until we children were old enough to take over.

Khal Adath Jeshurun synagogue in Frankfurt, the synagogue attended by the Goldschmidt family. https://www.kajinc.org/about/history

…I finished school at the age of 14 and my father sent me to a wholesale jobbing business as an apprentice. It was a very hard apprenticeship. … However, no one got me down. My first task was to bring order into the large inventory of the firm that even my employer praised as was not his custom to praise anyone. I requested a sample case and went out and sold merchandise with good results and much to the amazement of everyone. I made such a good place for myself that later the employer, Mr. Adler, requested that my brother Siegfried also join the firm as an apprentice.


I will end here for now and pick up in the next post with Julius as a young adult, his experience with the cholera epidemic, his marriage, and his life as an adult in Eschwege, Germany, before the rise of the Nazis to power in 1933.

I am so grateful to my cousin Joanne for allowing me to share these excerpts from her grandfather’s memoir. To read about their lives in the late nineteenth century has added such depth and color to my understanding of the lives led by my Goldschmidt family as Jews in Germany during those years.

Helmina Goldschmidt Rapp, Part I: Another Young Widow

For the past month I’ve been writing updates  to earlier posts, mostly about my Goldschmidt relatives but also a few from my Seligmann relatives. I am finally ready to return to the Goldschmidts with new research, starting with the youngest of the five children of Jacob Meier Goldschmidt and Jettchen Cahn, Helmina Goldschmidt.

Helmina was born on October 23, 1863, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Helmina Goldschmidt birth record. Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8824, Description Year Range: 1863, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

She married Leopold Rapp on November 2, 1883, in Niederrad-und-Oberrad, Germany. Leopold was the son of David Rapp and Rebecka Kulp and was born in Frankfurt on July 18, 1854.

Helmina Goldschmidt and Leopold Rapp, marriage record. Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 9427,  1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Helmina and Leopold had three children.  David Leopold Rapp (later known as Arthur Rapp) was born on November 15, 1884, in Frankfurt.

Arthur David Leopold Rapp birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8997, Year Range: 1884, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Helene Rapp was born on August 25, 1887, in Frankfurt.

Helene Rapp birth record. Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9032, Description, Year Range: 1887, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

And Alice Rapp was born in Frankfurt on October 4, 1890.

Alice Rapp birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9076, Description, Year Range: 1890, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Unfortunately, Leopold Rapp died just three years after the birth of their last child. He died on October 13, 1893, in Frankfurt, leaving Helmina a widow with three very young children. Arthur was turning nine, Helene was seven, and Alice was three.

Leopold Rapp death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10465
Description, Year Range: 1893, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Helene Rapp married when she was only nineteen. On February 8, 1907, she married Sally Lehmann in Frankfurt. Sally was the son of Isaak Lehman and Bertha Neu and was born in Kannstadt on September 2, 1877.

Marriage record of Helene Rapp and Sally Lehmann, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1907, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

They had three children. Ludwig Lehmann was born February 9, 1908, in Frankfurt.1 His sister Felise was born four years later in 1912, but died as a child on May 5, 1918, in Frankfurt. A third child, Else Berta was born January 8, 1922.2

Felise Lehmann death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10805, Year Range: 1918, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Helene’s older brother David Leopold also married in 1907. He married Herta Landsberg on December 19, 1907, in Frankfurt. Herta was the daughter of Sally Landsberg and Martha Lorch and was born in Frankfurt on June 14, 1887.

Marriage of David Leopold Rapp to Herta Landsberg, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1907, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Arthur and Herta had one child, Henriette “Rita” Rapp, born on September 21, 1908, in Frankfurt.3

Arthur and Herta’s marriage did not last; they were divorced on November 10, 1917, as seen on the notation on their marriage record above, and Arthur later married Alice Johanna Kahn in Frankfurt on May 6, 1921. She was the daughter of Markus Kahn and Emilie Kahn and was born in Frankfurt on February 24, 1895.

Marriage of David Leopold Rapp to Alice Kahn, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1921, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

The notation on both David’s birth record and his marriage record to Alice was translated for me by Cathy Meder-Dempsey; it provides that as of March 8, 1924, David Leopold Rapp had received authorization to add the additional first name Arthur to his name. He was thereafter referred to as Arthur and will also be so on the blog.

Arthur and Alice Rapp had two sons. Helmut Leopold Rapp was born on February 11, 1923, in Berlin.4 His brother Gunther Rapp was born in Frankfurt on December 10, 1925.5

Finally, the youngest child of Helmina Goldschmidt and Leopold Rapp, Alice, was married on September 23, 1910, in Frankfurt to Saly Stern, the son of Markus Stern and Franziska Oppenheimer. Saly was born on November 26, 1877, in Frankfurt.

Marriage record of Alice Rapp and Saly Stern, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1910, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Alice and Saly had three children. Grete was born on September 16, 1911 in Frankfurt.6 Walter was born December 3, 1917, in Frankfurt,7 and Elizabeth Ruth Stern was born on January 21, 1919, in Frankfurt.8

Helmina Goldschmidt Rapp had thus managed to raise all three of her children to adulthood, and by the 1920s, all three were married and raising children of their own and living in Frankfurt. Obviously, everything changed in the 1930s with the rise of the Nazis.

 


  1. E.g., Louis Ludwig Lehman, [Yehuda Ludwig Lehman] , Birth Date: 9 Feb 1908
    Age: 58, Naturalization Date: 27 Jun 1966, Residence: New York, New York
    Title and Location of Court: New York Southern District. Ancestry.com. New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 
  2. Else Berta Spitzer, Birth Date: 8 Jan 1922, Age: 36, Naturalization Date: 5 Jan 1959, Residence: New York, New York, Title and Location of Court: New York Southern District, Ancestry.com. New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 
  3. Henriette Rapp marriage record, Landesarchiv Berlin; Berlin, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Laufendenummer: 189, Description
    Register Year or Type: 1929 (Erstregister), Ancestry.com. Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1936 
  4. Helmut Harold Rapp declaration of intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 626) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 496501-497400),
    Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  5. Gordon Rapp, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 539, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  6.  Grete Stern, Gender: Female, Nationality: German, Birth Date: 16 Sep 1911
    Birth Place: Frankfurt, Germany, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/89, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945 
  7. Walter Stern, World War II draft registration, U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  8. Elizabeth Ruth Stern, Birth Date: 21 Jan 1919, Birth Place: Frankfurt A, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 13 Feb 1997, Father: Sally Stern, Mother: Alice Rapp, SSN: 127144714, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

Marcel Goldschmidt’s Children: The Two Who Survived

Marcel (born Mayer) Goldschmidt, the fourth child of Jacob Meier Goldschmidt and Jettchen Cahn, died in 1928 and was survived by his wife and first cousin, Hedwig Goldschmidt, and their four children, Jacob, Nelly, Else, and Grete. Hedwig and two of those children, Jacob and Grete, would survive the Holocaust. Nelly and Else were not as fortunate. This post will tell the story of Hedwig and the two children who escaped.

Grete and her husband Berthold Heimerdinger and their daughter Gabrielle were the first to leave Germany. They arrived in New York on June 22, 1934, and were going to Berthold’s brother Leonard Heimerdinger in New York City.

Berthold Heimerdinger and family, ship manifest, Year: 1934; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 101, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Two months later Berthold declared his intention to become a US citizen.  He was working as a securities dealer at that time, and the family was residing at 1212 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Berthold Heimerdinger, Declaration of Intent, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 478) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 355901-357000), Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Grete’s mother Hedwig came to visit them in New York in April, 1935, for a four month stay, listing her son Jacob as the person to contact back in Frankfurt,1 but Hedwig returned to Germany after her visit. She returned for another visit two years later on October 29, 1937, but this time listed her residence as Zurich, Switzerland, where her contact person was a friend named Julius Wolf.2

Sometime thereafter Hedwig must have left Switzerland because when she arrived in England on March 18, 1938, she listed her last address as Amsterdam.3 I don’t know where she was during World War II. More on that in a later post. By 1952, she was living in the United States.

Ancestry.com. New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989 [

In 1940, Grete, Berthold, and Gabrielle Heimerdinger were living in Queens, New York, and Berthold was working as a jewelry dealer.4 According to Berthold’s draft registration for World War II, he was self-employed.

Berthold Heimerdinger, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Grete’s brother Jacob arrived in New York on August 30, 1941, from Lisbon, Portugal, with his last residence being Nice, France. On his declaration of intention to become a US citizen, Jacob listed his occupation as an art dealer, like so many of his extended family members from Frankfurt.

Jacob Goldschmidt, Declaration of Intent, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21 Description Description: (Roll 644) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 512901-513900) Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

According to his World War II draft registration completed the following year, Jacob was living at 26 East 63rd Street in New York and listed Herman Goldschmidt as the person who would always know where he was. Herman was his cousin, the son of Julius Falk Goldschmidt and Helene Goldschmidt II, and was living at the same address, 26 East 63rd Street.

Thus, Jacob was living with his cousins, not his sister Grete. Jacob did not list an occupation on his draft registration, but listed his place of business as the same address as his (and his cousins’) residence, 26 East 63rd Street. (Note also that on the naturalization index card for his mother Hedwig above, she also listed 26 East 63rd Street as her address in 1952.)

Jacob Goldschmidt, World War II draft registration, The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Jacob had reported on his declaration of intent that he was not married and had no children. However, David Baron and Roger Cibella’s research reported that Jacob married in France on June 20, 1940, and thereafter had two children born in France, one in December 1941 and one in 1952. Although I have no documentation of the marriage or the births of the children, I did find airline documents showing that the wife and two children visited Jacob in New York City during the 1950s.[^5] By 1964, Jacob had relocated to France, presumably to be closer to his family.5

Gabrielle Heimerdinger, Grete and Berthold’s daughter, married Erwin Vogel on September 8, 1943, in New York City.6 Erwin was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 23, 1921, to Kurt and Edith Vogel, and had immigrated to the US with his family in 1937, coming from Antwerp, Belgium. They settled in Chicago, where they were living in 1940.7

On his 1942 draft registration for World War II, Erwin was living in Hoboken, New Jersey, and working for the Stevens Institute of Technology, from which he received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1944. Gabrielle and Erwin had four children.8

Erwin Vogel, World War II draft registration, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 686
Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

Thus, Hedwig and her son Jacob and her daughter Grete and Grete’s family all survived the Holocaust. Grete’s husband Berthold Heimerdinger died in June 1961 at the age of 71.9 Hedwig died on December 9, 1964; she was 87.10 Jacob Goldschmidt died in October 1976 in France. He was eighty years old.11

Grete was the last surviving child of Marcel and Hedwig Goldschmidt. She lived a long life, dying on January 2, 2003, in New York at the age of 98.12 She had outlived her daughter Gabrielle Heimerdinger Vogel, who died January 19, 1990, in Rockville, Maryland, where she and her family had relocated in 1972.13 Gabrielle was 65 and was survived by her husband Erwin and their four children.

Grete and Jacob were fortunate to have left Germany when they did. The other two siblings, Else and Nelly, faced tragic deaths at the hands of the Nazis, as we will see in my next post.

 

 

 


  1. Hedwig Goldschmidt, ship manifest, Year: 1935; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 80, Ship or Roll Number: Albert Ballin, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  2. Hedwig Goldschmidt, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 8, Ship or Roll Number: Manhattan, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  3. Hedwig Goldschmidt, ship manifest 1938, The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists.; Class: BT26; Piece: 1158, Month: Mar, Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 
  4. Berthold Heimerdinger and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, Queens, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02732; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 41-614, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5. This information came from his mother’s death announcement in the December 11, 1964, New York Times, p, 39, found at https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1964/12/11/97361257.html?pageNumber=39 
  6.  Gabrielle J Heimerdinger, Gender: Female, Marriage License Date: 8 Sep 1943, Marriage License Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse: Erwin Vogel, License Number: 21889, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 9, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  7. Kurt Vogel and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00934; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 103-447, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. 
  8. “Unconventional Aeronautics Engineer Erwin Vogel, 88, Dies,” The Washington Post, October 28, 2009, found at https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/27/AR2009102703825.html 
  9.  Berthold Heimerdinger, Social Security Number: 085-28-3608, Birth Date: 10 Sep
    Issue Year: 1952-1953, Issue State: New York, Death Date: Jun 1961, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. December 11, 1964, New York Times, p, 39, found at https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1964/12/11/97361257.html?pageNumber=39 
  11.  Jacob Goldschmidt, Social Security Number: 085-28-0743, Birth Date: 1 Jul 1896
    Issue Year: 1952-1953, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 912, (U.S. Consulate) Paris, France, Death Date: Oct 1976, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12. Greta Goldschmidt Heimerdinger, Birth Date: 25 Sep 1904, Birth Place: Frankfurt, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 2 Jan 2003, Father: Marcel Goldschmidt
    Mother: Hedwig Goldschmidt, SSN: 064167857, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  13. Gabrielle Joan Heimerdinger, [Gabrielle Vogel], Birth Date: 16 Dec 1924, Birth Place: Wiesbaden, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 19 Jan 1990, Father: Berthold Heimerdinger, Mother: Grete Goldschmidt, SSN: 102185390
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

Jacob Meier Goldschmidt’s Third Child, Julius Goldschmidt: Cousins Marrying Cousins Who Married Cousins

Jacob Meier Goldschmidt’s third child Julius Goldschmidt married Elise Seligmann on June 9, 1882. Elise was the daughter of Hermann Seligmann and Regina Cahn. She was born on April 23, 1863, in Frankfurt.

Marriage record of Julius Goldschmidt and Elise Seligmann, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 9417, Year Range: 1882, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

When I saw that Elise’s mother’s birth name was Regina Cahn, I wondered whether she was possibly related to Jettchen Cahn, her husband Julius’ mother. I knew that Jettchen’s parents were Aaron Simon Cahn and Minna Gamburg, as seen on her marriage record. I looked for records for Elise’s mother Regina Cahn and learned that indeed her parents were also Aaron Simon Cahn and Minna Gamburg. That meant that Julius had married his first cousin on his mother’s side, his mother’s sister’s daughter.

Julius and Elise had five children, Helene, Mimi, Jacob, Amalie and Regina.

Helene Goldschmidt was born on January 16, 1886, in Frankfurt. And that meant there were two family members named Helene Goldschmidt, Julius’ sister (Helene I) and his daughter (Helene II). Helene Goldschmidt II was also apparently known as Leni, so I will often just refer to her by her nickname. [It makes this work so much harder when the family keeps repeating names: Jacob, Amalie, and Regina are also the names of some of Julius’ siblings and cousins.]

Helene Goldschmidt II birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9015, Year Range: 1886, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Mimi was born in August 9, 1887, but died three years later on February 16, 1891.

Mimi Goldschmidt death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10440, Year Range: 1891, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Jacob Goldschmidt, to be referred to as Jacob (Julius) Goldschmidt to distinguish him from all the others with that name, was born on September 27, 1890, in Frankfurt.

Jacob (Julius) Goldschmidt, birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9076, Year Range: 1890, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

A third daughter, Amalie, was born in 1892 and also died as a young child. She died on November 22, 1893, in Frankfurt, when she was only a year old.

Amalie Goldschmidt death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10466, Year Range: 1893, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Finally, Regina Goldschmidt was born on March 7, 1900, in Frankfurt.1

Unfortunately, the death records for Mimi and Amalie do not reveal the cause of death. Losing two young children must have been devastating, and I do wonder whether being the children of first cousins contributed in any way to their deaths.

On May 1, 1905, Helene Goldschmidt II married Julius Falk Goldschmidt, son of Falk Goldschmidt, her grandfather Jacob’s brother.

Marriage record of Helene Goldschmidt II to Julius Falk Goldschmidt, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1905, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Julius Falk Goldschmidt and Leni’s father Julius Goldschmidt (son of Jacob Meier Goldschmidt) were first cousins. That is, Leni Goldschmidt and her husband Julius Falk Goldschmidt were first cousins, once removed.

In November, 1909, Leni and her husband Julius Falk and her younger brother Jacob all traveled to New York from Cherbourg. The ship manifest indicated that Julius Falk and Jacob were merchants and that they were all non-immigrant aliens.  Julius Falk and Jacob were traveling on business, and Leni was traveling for pleasure.

Goldschmidt, ship manifest, Year: 1909; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1381; Line: 1; Page Number: 120 Description Ship or Roll Number: Roll 1381 Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Year: 1909; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1381; Line: 1; Page Number: 120 Description Ship or Roll Number: Roll 1381 Source Information Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Leni and Julius Falk Goldschmidt had their first child, Felix Arthur Goldschmidt, on September 10, 1910, in Frankfurt.2 His brother Hermann Goldschmidt was born on December 6, 1912, in Frankfurt. 3

I didn’t want to even try and calculate how Hermann and Felix were related to each other in addition to being brothers, given that two of their maternal great-grandmothers were sisters (I think that means Felix and Hermann were third cousins) and their parents were first cousins, once removed (making Felix and Herman their mother’s second cousins as well as her sons, I think).

Jacob (Julius) Goldschmidt married Nellie Jaffa, daughter of Maximilian Jaffa and Toni Babette Landsberger, in Berlin on October 11, 1918; Nellie was born in Berlin on January 17, 1899.

Marriage record of Jacob Goldschmidt and Nellie Jaffa, Certificate Number: 515
Archive Sequence Number: 433, Register Type: Zum Erstregister erklärtes Zweitregister
Ancestry.com. Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920

The marriage did not last long, as they were divorced on October 25, 1922, as indicated on the marriage record’s notation in the upper right hand corner. Not long after, Jacob immigrated to the US and became a naturalized US citizen on March 20, 1924:

Jacob Goldschmidt, naturalzation certificate, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 257) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 127601-128400), Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Note that like so many others in the Goldschmidt family, Jacob was an art dealer. Note also that he indicated that he was unmarried.

The youngest of Julius and Elise’s chidlren, Regina, married Siegfried Rosenberger on March 10, 1921, in Frankfurt. Siegfried was the son of Sigmund and Dina Rosenberger and was born on July 25, 1889, in Stuttgart.

Marriage record of Regina Blanche Goldschmidt and Siegfried Rosenberger, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, 1921, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Regina and Siegfried had two children born in the 1920s.

Thus, by 1925, the two surviving daughters of Julius and Elise, Leni and Regina, were married and had children, and their brother Jacob had immigrated to the US where he was an art dealer. The story of Julius and Elise and their two daughters and family from the 1930s onward will continue in the next post.

 


  1. Regina Goldschmidt marriage record, Certificate Number: 251
    Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2. Felix Goldschmidt, Birth Date: 10 Sep 1910, Birth Place: Frankfurt am Main, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, DC; Name Index of Jews Whose German Nationality Was Annulled by the Nazi Regime (Berlin Documents Center); Record Group: 242, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1675 – 1958; Record Group ARC ID: 569; Publication Number: T355; Roll: 3, Fränkel, Werner – Hartmann, Hermann, Ancestry.com. Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944 
  3.  Hermann Goldschmidt, Birth Date: 6 Dez 1912, Birth Place: Frankfurt am Main,
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, DC; Name Index of Jews Whose German Nationality Was Annulled by the Nazi Regime (Berlin Documents Center); Record Group: 242, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1675 – 1958; Record Group ARC ID: 569; Publication Number: T355; Roll: 3, Fränkel, Werner – Hartmann, Hermann. Ancestry.com. Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944 

Regina Goldschmidt’s Children: Did They Escape in Time or Not?

When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Regina Goldschmidt Meyer had already outlived her husband Aaron Meyer, who had died in 1902, and two of her seven children, Sally having died in childhood and Jacob in 1928. Her other five children—Alfred, Max, Siegfried, Ferdinand, and Amalie— were still living as well as a number of grandchildren.

But Regina died in Frankfurt on October 7, 1938, just a month before Kristallnacht. She was 83 years old.

Regina Goldschmidt Meyer, death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 11076, Year Range: 1938, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Some of her five surviving children fared better than others during the Holocaust. For some, I ran into brick walls when I tried to learn more about their lives during or after the war. For others, I discovered tragedy. This post will focus on her four oldest children and their families.

The fate of Regina’s oldest child, Alfred Meyer, is somewhat unclear. I found only two documents for him after his birth record. First, I found this card in the Arolsen Archives:

With help from the German Genealogy group, I learned that this card says that Alfred was a widower and that he had no occupation. The final column indicates that Alfred was still living in Frankfurt on April 24, 1939, and then left for France and was there until November 3, 1939.

The second card, also from the Arolsen Archives, came up through a search on Ancestry.com:

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

According to the description on Ancestry, this document was prepared after the war by the American forces occupying West Germany as an attempt to document the Jews who had been persecuted by the Nazis. This particular document lists those who had become or were French citizens. Under the last category, “Aufenthaltsdaten,” or dates of stay, it says April 24, 1939, to November 3, 1939. This appears to be consistent with the other card from the Arolsen Archives.

But what happened to Alfred after November 3, 1939? Did he return to Frankfurt and survive? Was he killed? He does not appear in either the Yad Vashem database or the US Holocaust Memorial and Museum database. There are many other post-war records for men named Alfred Meyer, but the name is so common and the records so vague in identification information that I have no idea what happened to my cousin Alfred Meyer. Cibella and Baron say he died in a concentration camp, and I fear that that is probably the case even though I can’t find him at Yad Vashem.

As noted above, Alfred’s brother Jacob Meyer had died in 1928, leaving his wife Elli and their children to survive him. I was able to find records for Elli showing that she had immigrated to England by 1939; she and her son Arthur are listed together on the 1939 England and Wales Register.

Ellie and Arthur Meyer, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/416H, Enumeration District: APCA, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register

Arthur also registered as an enemy alien in 1939; at that time he was working as an apprentice shirt cutter for Harrod’s. Note that his address is 28c Maida Avenue.

Arthur Meyer, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/187, Piece Number Description: 187: German Internees Released in UK 1939-1942: Mayer-Morgens, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945

Also living at 28c Maida Avenue in 1939 when she registered as an enemy alien was Arthur’s sister Hilde Meyer, who was a student and an unemployed domestic worker.

Hilde Meyer, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/61, Piece Number Description: 061: Internees at Liberty in UK 1939-1942: Mer-Mid, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945

On the 1939 England and Wales Register, Hilde was working as a parlor maid and living elsewhere, so she must have found work by the time that was enumerated.1

As for the third child whom Cibella/Baron identified as a child of Jacob and Elli Meyer, Lotte Henriette Meyer, I did not have much luck locating records. Cibella/Baron report that she married Helmut Leopold Wallach in Frankfurt on April 27, 1934, and that they had twin daughters born in 1935, but I could not find a marriage record or birth records for the twins. I did find a 1937 ship manifest for a Lotte Wallach with two daughters born in 1935, heading from England to Argentina2 and a separate 1937 manifest for a Helmut Leopold Wallach heading to Uruguay,3 but nothing more specific to tie Lotte to Jacob and Elli Meyer or to Helmut Wallach.

Elli Loeser Meyer lived the rest of her life in England, dying there on April 18, 1966. The listing for her in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar names “Arthur Meyers, company director,” as one of the executors.4 I have been unable so far to find any other later records for any of her children. Thus, I do not know when or where they died, whether or not they married or had children, or anything else.

Max Meyer and his family escaped from Nazi Germany to Argentina. It appears that their son Arnold had immigrated there in July, 1936, but had been living in Basel, Switzerland prior to heading to Buenos Aires:

Arnold Meyer, Ancestry.com. Swiss Overseas Emigration, 1910-1953. Original data: Schweizerisches Auswanderungsamt und Auswanderungsbüro. Überseeische Auswanderungen aus der Schweiz, 1910-1953. Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv (National Archives of Switzerland). E 2175 – 2.

According to Cibella/Baron, Arnold’s parents Max and Anna also both immigrated to Buenos Aires and died there, Anna in 1941 and Max in 1952. Unfortunately, I have no records for these events or for Arnold’s death in 1959.

Siegfried Meyer met a tragic end. He immigrated to the Netherlands, but on April 21, 1943, he was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where he was murdered on November 23, 1943, and cremated.5

Arolsen Arhives, 1 Incarceration Documents / 1.1 Camps and Ghettos / 1.1.42 Theresienstadt Ghetto /1.1.42.2 Card File Theresienstadt /Ghetto Theresienstadt Card File, Reference Code
11422001

Thus, for Regina’s four oldest children, I have mixed results. Jacob’s family ended up in England and possibly Argentina; Max’s family ended up in Argentina. Tragically, Siegfried was murdered by the Nazis, and Alfred probably was also.

The next post will report on Regina’s youngest son, Ferdinand, and his family.


  1.  Hilde Meyer, Gender: Female, Marital status: Single, Birth Date: 21 Nov 1912, Residence Year: 1939, Address: 24, Residence Place: Yiewsley and West Drayton, Middlesex, England, Occupation: Parlourmaid, Schedule Number: 167, Sub Schedule Number: 3, Enumeration District: BZAA, Registration district: 127/1, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/994A, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register 
  2. Lotte Wallach, Gender: Female, Age: 31, Birth Date: abt 1906, Departure Date: 16 Oct 1937, Port of Departure: Southampton, England, Destination Port: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ship Name: Almanzora, Shipping Line: Royal Mail Lines Limited, Official Number: 136353, Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 
  3. Helmut Wallach, Gender: Male, Age: 31, Birth Date: abt 1906, Departure Date: 5 Feb 1937, Port of Departure: Southampton, England, Destination Port: Montevideo, Uruguay, Ship Name: Arlanza, Shipping Line: Royal Mail Lines Limited
    Official Number: 132021, Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 
  4. Elli Meyer, Death Date: 18 Apr 1966, Death Place: London, England, Probate Date: 6 Jun 1966, Probate Registry: London, England, Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 
  5. Siegfried Meyer, entries at Yad Vashem:  https://tinyurl.com/yazazrxa and https://tinyurl.com/y6v946fm 

Regina Goldschmidt Meyer: Another Young Widow

Now I turn to Jacob Goldschmidt and Jettchen Cahn’s second daughter Regina Goldschmidt, who married eight months after her older sister Helene. She married Aaron Meyer in Frankfurt on August 26, 1874. Aaron was born on October 10, 1846, in Linz, Germany, to Abraham Meyer and Amalie Jacob.

Marriage record of Regina Goldschmidt and Aaron Meyer, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Year Range: 1874, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Regina and Aaron had six sons and one daughter.

Alfred Meyer was born on June 16, 1875, in Frankfurt.

Alfred Meyer, birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8865, Year Range: 1875, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Jacob Meyer was born on September 29, 1876, in Frankfurt.

Jacob Meyer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8895 Description Year Range: 1876 Source Information Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Max Meyer was born on May 13, 1878, in Frankfurt:

Max Meyer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8917, Year Range: 1878, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Siegfried Meyer was born on August 16, 1881, in Frankfurt:

Siegfried Meyer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8957, Year Range: 1881, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

A fifth son, Sally Meyer, was born on February 26, 1883, but died just a few days later on March 2, 1883, in Frankfurt.

Sally Meyer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Laufende Nummer: 145, Year Range: 1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Sally Meyer, death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10361
Year Range: 1883, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Regina and Aaron’s sixth son Ferdinand Meyer was born on April 27, 1886, in Frankfurt.

Ferdinand Meyer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9017, Year Range: 1886, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Finally, Regina and Aaron had a daughter Amalie Meyer, who was born on January 12, 1892, in Frankfurt:

Amalie Meyer, brith record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9100, Year Range: 1892,  Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Like her sister Helene and her mother Jettchen, Regina was widowed at a relatively young age. Aaron Meyer died on December 30, 1902. He was only 56 years old, and Regina was 47. Their six surviving children ranged in age from 27 (Alfred) to ten years old (Amalie).

Aaron Meyer, death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10565
Year Range: 1902, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

I have not yet found any marriage records for Alfred Meyer or Siegfried Meyer, but Regina’s other children all married.

Jacob Meyer married Elli Loeser on February 26, 1906. She was born June 24, 1884, in Koln, Germany, to Ferdinand Loeser and Helene Doctor.

Marriage record for Jacob Meyer Elli Loeser, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 9690, Year Range: 1906, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

According to Roger Cibella and David Baron’s research, Jacob and Elli had three children, Lotte (1907), Hilde (19120, and Arthur (1916).

Sadly, Jacob Meyer died when he was 51 on August 23, 1928. He was survived by his wife Elli and their children.

Jacob Meyer, death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10941
Year Range: 1928, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Max Meyer married Anna Katzenstein on February 28, 1910, in Eschwege, Germany.  She was born in that town on December 19, 1886, to Gustav Katzenstein and Julia Loewenstein Kayser.

Marriage of Max Meyer and Anna Katzenstein, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923, Year Range: 1910, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

According to Cibella/Baron, Max and Anna had one child, and I am looking for a record to establish that connection.

Ferdinand Meyer married Friederike Jaenecke on February 6, 1920, in Frankfurt. She was born to Karl Adelbert Jaenecke and Friederike Elisabethe Weber on July 6, 1891, in Frankfurt. Friederike was Protestant, not Jewish, one of the few “mixed marriages” I’ve encountered in my research of my relatives living in Germany during this time period.

Ferdinand Meyer and Friederike Jaenecke marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1920, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Ferdinand and Friederike had two children. Eleanora Meyer was born in Frankfurt on August 23, 1919. I do not have a birth record for her, but obtained this date from her parents’ naturalization papers filed years later.1 I noticed, of course, that her birth date was almost six months before Ferdinand and Friederike’s wedding on February 6, 1920. I assume that Ferdinand was nevertheless the biological father. This also may explain the unlikely marriage of a Jew and a Protestant in 1920.

Their second child, Erich Adelbert Meyer, was born on January 30, 1924, in Frankfurt.2

Finally, Regina and Aaron’s youngest child and only daughter, Amallie Meyer, married Charles Bloch in Frankfurt on November 24, 1911. Charles was born on August 14, 1881, in Frankfurt, to Julius Bloch and Clara Herzberg.

Marriage record of Amalie Meyer and Charles Bloch, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923, Year Range: 1910, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Amalie and Charles had a daughter Ilse (or Else) Helen Bloch born in Frankfurt on May 30, 1913.3

Thus, by 1933, Regina Goldschmidt Meyer had survived her husband Aaron and two of her children, Jacob and Sally. Her other five children and her many grandchildren were still living when Hitler came to power in 1933.

We will pick up with Regina and her family in the next series of posts.

 


  1. Friederike Meyer naturationalization papers, 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, Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-1950 
  2. Erich Meyer naturalization papers, The National Archives at Atlanta, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization, compiled 1880 – 1975; NAI Number: 2111793; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. Florida, Naturalization Records, 1847-1995 
  3. Else Helen Bloch naturalization papers, Declaration Date: 2 Sep 1941
    Declaration Place: New York, Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Declaration Number: 498770, Box Number: 372, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21,
    Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 

Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s Children: Marriages and Divorces

The oldest child of Jacob Meier Goldschmidt and Jettchen Cahn, Helene Goldschmidt Fuld, was widowed as a young mother in 1882 and left to raise her four children on her own: Clementine II (1874), Minna (1875), Harry (1878) and Hedwig (1880).

In the 1890s, her three daughters all married.

The oldest daughter Clementine Fuld II married David Cramer, son of Jacob Cramer and Caroline Furth, on June 24, 1892, in Frankfurt. David was born in Thundorf, Germany on January 1, 1862.

Marriage of Clementine Fuld and David Cramer, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1892, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Clementine II and David had two children. Sally David Cramer was born on May 21, 1893, in Frankfurt.

Sally David Cramer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9120, Year Range: 1893, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

His sister Caroline Lilly Cramer was born the following year on September 26, 1894, in Frankfurt.

Caroline Lilly Cramer birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9138, Year Range: 1894, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Caroline Lilly Cramer (known as Lilly) married Arthur Drey on January 27, 1919. Arthur was the son of Simon Drey and Flora Lovis and was born on September 9, 1890, in Wuerzberg, Germany. Arthur and Lilly would have three children born between 1919 and 1926: Claude (1919),1 Florence (1921),2 and Elisabeth (1926).3

Lilly Cramer and Arthur Drey marriage record,
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Lilly Cramer Drey’s brother Sally Cramer married two years after she did. Sally married Margarete Steinberg on April 29, 1921 in Frankfurt. She was born in Frankfurt to Albert and Carrie Steinberg on April 24, 1898.  Sally and Margarete had two sons born in the 1920s: Hans (1921)4 and Peter (1923).5

Sally Cramer and Margarete Steinberg marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1921, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salomon and Helene’s second child, Minna Fuld, married Leo Offenstadt on September 7, 1894, just over two months after her sister Clementine’s wedding. Leo was born on June 6, 1870, in Frankfurt, the son of Amschel Offenstadt and Julie Schwab.

Marriage record of Minna Fuld and Leo Offenstadt, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

They had one daughter, Flora Offenstadt, born the following year on June 30, 1895, in Frankfurt.

Flora Offenstadt birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_9153, Year Range: 1895, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Minna and Leo were divorced on November 15, 1904, as noted on their marriage record. According to several sources, including Roger Cibella and David Baron, in 1906 Minna then married Ladislaus Polacovitz, who was born in Kala, Hungary, on April 30, 1868. These sources also report that Minna and Ladislaus had a child, Liselotte Polacovitz, on May 14, 1907, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

I cannot find any source for the marriage or any other official record for Ladislaus, but I do have a FindAGrave entry for Ladislaus Polacavitz indicating that he died on September 13, 1913, in Frankfurt, just seven years after their marriage, if the unsourced marriage date is correct.6

I have only two records that support the marriage of Ladislaus Polacovitz to Minna Fuld. The first is Minna’s third marriage record. On June 8, 1923 in Frankfurt, a Minna Polakovicz geb. Fuld married Hermann Heinrich Karl Reuss.

Marriage record of Minna Fuld and Hermann Reuss, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1923, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

The second record is a marriage record for a Liselotte Polacovitz and Wilhelm Strauss-Reich dated January 5, 1928. Wilhelm was the son of Benjamin Strauss and Franziska Silberberg and was born in Munich on May 29, 1899.

Marriage of Liselotte Polacovitz and Wilhelm Strauss-Reich, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1928, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

The marriage record does not include Liselotte’s parents’ names, but one of the witnesses to that marriage was Clementine Fuld Cramer, Minna’s sister, supporting the inference that Liselotte was related to Minna Fuld Polacovitz. Liselotte and Wilhelm had one child born in the 1920s, according to Cibella/Baron.

Meanwhile, Minna’s daughter from her first marriage, Flora Offenstadt, had married Hermann Durlacher on November 21, 1918, in Hamburg. That record indicates that her mother’s name was currently Polacovitz. Hermann Durlacher was born in Muehringen, Germany, on October 14, 1885, to Julius Durlacher and Luise Schweitzer. Flora and Hermann would have two children, Siegfried Fritz Julius Thomas, born in Hamburg on September 1, 1919,7 and Ulla Louise Sara, born on July 27, 1923, in Hamburg.8

Marriage of Flora Offerstadt and Hermann Durlacher, Year Range and Volume: 1918 Band 02
Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920. Original data: Best. 332-5 Standesämter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland.

Here is a chart showing Minna’s three husbands and her two children and their spouses.

The youngest of Helene and Salomon’s daughters, Hedwig Fuld, also married before the 20th century began. She was nineteen when she married Isidor Reiling on November 17, 1899, in Frankfurt. Isidor was born in Mainz on October 30, 1867, making him thirteen years older than Hedwig. He was the son of David Reiling and Esther Schmalkalden.

Marriage record of Hedwig Fuld and Isidor Reiling, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1899, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hedwig and Isidor had one daughter, Netti Reiling, born in Mainz on November 19, 1900.

Netti Reiling birth record,Year Range: 1900 Band 5, Ancestry.com. Mainz, Germany, Birth Records, 1872-1900. Original data: Personenstandsregister Geburtenregister 1876-1900. Digital images. Stadtarchiv Mainz, Mainz, Germany.

On August 10,1925, Netti married Laszlo Radvani, who was born in September 13, 1900, in Budapest. I will have a lot to say about Netti and Laszlo in a later post.

Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s son Harry Fuld married Flora Sondheimer sometime early in the 20th century. Flora was born in Strassbourg, France, on January 22, 1881, to Aron Sondheimer and Fanny Oppenheimer.9 I do not have a marriage record for Harry and Flora, but David Baron and Roger Cibella’s rerport shows that they were married in Strassbourg on March 12, 1903.

Harry and Flora had one child who shared his father’s name, Harry Fuld, Jr. He was born in Frankfurt on September 2, 1913.10 The fact that Harry was born ten years after the date reported for his parents’ marriage makes me wonder whether that date is correct. and if it is correct, whether there were other pregnancies prior to the birth of Harry, Jr.

Harry, Sr., and Flora divorced sometime before May 28, 1920, when Harry married his second wife, Ida Margareta Maria Felsmann. She was the daughter of Eugen Felsmann and Emma Stolze and was born in Mainz on December 8, 1884. They had one son, Peter Harry Fuld, born in Frankfurt on February 12, 1921.11

Marriage of Harry Fuld, Sr. and Ida Margarete Maria Felsmann, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1920, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Harry and Ida divorced in 1926, and on May 12, 1926, Harry married his third wife, Elsa Cajzago Tedesco, who had also been previously married. Elsa was born in Funfkirchen, Hungary, on March 21, 1881, and was living in Budapest at the time of the marriage. More on Elsa in a subsequent post.

Marriage record of Harry Fuld and Elsa Tedesco, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Year Range: 1926, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Here’s a chart showing Harry’s three marriages and his children.

While all these marriages, divorces, and births were occurring, the family lost its matriarch when Helene Goldschmidt Fuld died on April 15, 1922, at the age of 68.

Helene Goldschmidt I Fuld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10857, Year Range: 1922, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

She had outlived her husband Salomon by forty years and had managed to raise four children on her own. Looking at Minna and Harry’s marital histories–each married three times—one has to wonder what impact losing their father when they were so young had on them.

That brings Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s family up to the late 1920s. Next we will see what happened to each of them in the 1930s and after.

 


  1. Claude Drey, Birth Date: 13 Nov 1919, Birth Place: Frankfort, Germany, Registration Date: 1 Jul 1941, Registration Place: New York, New York, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  2. Dorothy Drey, Naturalization papers, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  3. Elizabeth Drey, Birth Date: 22 Jan 1926, Birth Place: Frankfurt Yi, Federal Republic of Germany, Father: Arthur Drey, Mother: Lilly Cramer, SSN: 076202437, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4.  Hans Clemens Cramer, Birth Date: 15 Dez 1921, Birth Place: Bonn, Last Residence: Frankfurt am Main, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, DC; Name Index of Jews Whose German Nationality Was Annulled by the Nazi Regime (Berlin Documents Center); Record Group: 242, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1675 – 1958; Record Group ARC ID: 569; Publication Number: T355; Roll: 2, Brüll, Erna – Fränkel, Werner, Ancestry.com. Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944 
  5.  Peter Andreas Cramer, Age: 8, Death Date: 14 Feb 1932, Death Place: Frankfurt, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Frankfurt IV
    Certificate Number: 180, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 11001, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  6. Ancestry.com. Germany, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. 
  7.  Siegfried Fritz Julius Thomas Durlacher, Birth Date: 1 Sep 1919, Birth Place: Hamburg, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, DC; Name Index of Jews Whose German Nationality Was Annulled by the Nazi Regime (Berlin Documents Center); Record Group: 242, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1675 – 1958; Record Group ARC ID: 569; Publication Number: T355; Roll: 2, Brüll, Erna – Fränkel, Werner, Ancestry.com. Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944 
  8.  Ulla Louise Sara Durlacher, Birth Date: 27 Jul 1923, Birth Place: Hamburg, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, DC; Name Index of Jews Whose German Nationality Was Annulled by the Nazi Regime (Berlin Documents Center); Record Group: 242, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1675 – 1958; Record Group ARC ID: 569; Publication Number: T355; Roll: 2, Brüll, Erna – Fränkel, Werner, Ancestry.com. Germany, Index of Jews Whose German Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944 
  9. Flora Sondheimer Fuld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 11125, Year Range: 1941, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  10. Harry Fuld, Gender: Male, Nationality: German, Birth Date: 2 Sep 1913, Birth Place: Frankfurt, Germany, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/152, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945 
  11. Peter Fuld death record, Deutschland, Hessen, Frankfurt, Standesbücher 1928-1978,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKVW-26XV : 12 April 2019), Peter Harry Fuld, 21 Mar 1962; citing Death, Frankfurt am Main, Hessen, Deutschland, Hessische 

A Mother and Her Daughter, Both Widowed Too Young

Having told the stories of my four-times great-uncle Meyer Goldschmidt’s two oldest children, Ella and Sarah, I now turn to his oldest son and third child, Jacob Meier Goldschmidt. Jacob was born on October 26, 1824, in Grebenstein, Germany. We saw that Jacob married Jettchen Cahn on July 6, 1853.

Jacob and Jettchen had five children.

Helene Goldschmidt was born on April 4, 1854, in Frankfurt.

Helene Goldschmidt birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8804, Year Range: 1854, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Regina Goldschmidt was born July 31, 1855, in Frankfurt.

Regina Goldschmidt birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8806, Year Range: 1855, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Julius Goldschmidt was born on March 20, 1858, in Frankfurt.

Julius Goldschmidt birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8812, Year Range: 1858, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Mayer Goldschmidt (obviously named for his grandfather and later known as Marcel) was born on July 12, 1860, in Frankfurt.

Mayer Goldschmidt birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8816, Year  Range: 1860, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

And finally, Helmina Goldschmidt was born in Frankfurt on October 23, 1863.

Helmina Goldschmidt birth record, Certificate Number: 1368, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8824, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

But Jacob Meier Goldschmidt did not live to see those five children grow up. He died January 20, 1864, when he was only 39 and his children were all younger than ten years old. Little Helmina was only three months old and never knew her father.

Jacob Meier Goldschmidt, death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10258, Year Range: 1864, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Losing their father at such a young age must have been traumatic for the family. Fortunately, Jacob’s family continued to grow and become his legacy—his five children, twenty-two grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren, as we will see.

The rest of this post and the set that follow will focus on his oldest child, Helene Goldschmidt Fuld, and her family.

Helene married Salomon Fuld on January 23, 1874, in Frankfurt.

Helene Goldschmidt I marriage to Salomon Fuld, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Year Range: 1874, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salomon was also a Frankfurt native, born there on February 5, 1836, making him nineteen years older than Helene. He was the son of Herz Salomon Fuld and Caroline Schuster and the older brother of Clementine Fuld, wife of Selig Goldschmidt, who was Helene’s uncle, her father Jacob’s brother.

Helene and Salomon had four children, Clementine, Minna, Harry and Hedwig.

Clementine Fuld was born December 3, 1874, in Frankfurt. At first I thought she’d been named for Salomon’s sister, but his sister Clementine was still alive when her niece was born. If the baby was named for her living aunt, that would have been unusual, given Jewish naming patterns. She could have been named for the same deceased relative for whom Clementine I was named.  But it seemed to happen a few times in this branch of the family that children were given the names of living relatives. I will refer to Helene and Salomon’s daughter as Clementine Fuld II.

Clementine Fuld II birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8859, Year Range: 1874, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Helene and Salomon’s second daughter Minna Fuld was born on December 13, 1875, in Frankfurt.

Minna Fuld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8867, Year Range: 1875, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Harry Fuld was born on February 3, 1879, in Frankfurt.

Harry Fuld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8927, Year Range: 1879, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

And finally, Hedwig Fuld was born in Frankfurt on February 21, 1880.

Hedwig Fuld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_8941, Year Range: 1880, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Then, just as Helene had lost her own father when she was just nine years old, her children lost their father as young children when Salomon Fuld died on May 27, 1882 at the age of 46. Helene was only 28, a widow with four children ranging in age from two year old Hedwig to seven year old Clementine II.

Salomon Fuld, death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10353, Year Range: 1882, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Helene managed to raise those four children on her own, perhaps with the help of her extended family, as we will see in the next post.

 

Escaping from Germany, Part II: Julius Loewenthal’s Family

Although the story of Selma Loewenthal Schwabacher’s family had happy endings in that the entire family safely left Germany and made new lives for themselves in the US, the story of Selma’s brother Julius is more complicated and more heartbreaking.

Julius Loewenthal and his wife Elsa Werner had four children, as we have seen: Ruth, born in 1905, Herbert, born in 1907, Hilda, born in 1911, and Karl Werner Loewenthal, born in 1918. Ruth had married Leonhard Fulda on March 16, 1928, in Eschwege, where her family lived.

Marriage Record of Ruth Loewenthal and Leonhard Fulda, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923; Laufende Nummer: 1913
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

On September 21, 1930, Ruth gave birth to their daughter, Margot Fulda, in Mainz, Germany.1

That happy event was followed by the marriage of Julius and Elsa’s younger daughter Hilda Loewenthal to Max Stern on July 25, 1934, in Hamburg.

Hilda Loewenthal and Max Stern marriage record (found in a biography of Max Stern posted on Ancestry)

Max Stern was born in Fulda, Germany, on October 22, 1898, to Emanuel and Caroline Stern,2 and had immigrated to the United States in 1926.3 He brought with him a shipment of five thousand singing canaries he’d accepted as repayment for a debt4 and started a bird store, as seen on the 1930 census. That business eventually grew into the highly successful pet and pet food company, Hartz Mountain Corporation.

Max had returned to Germany to marry Hilda Loewenthal, and then he and his bride returned to New York in August 1934.5 They visited Germany in 1935,6 but returned to New York, where their three children were thereafter born.

Max Stern, 1930 US census, Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0270; FHL microfilm: 2341293, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

Meanwhile, during these years, Hitler had taken power in Germany, and the Nazi persecution of the Jews had begun by the time Hilda and Max married in 1934. Herbert Loewenthal, Julius and Elsa’s second child and older son, left Germany and arrived in New York on February 22, 1935, with the intention of remaining permanently. He filed a declaration of intention to become a citizen on September 20, 1935, describing his occupation as international clearing and barter.

Herbert Loewenthal, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Description: (Roll 489) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 367301-368300), Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Julius and Elsa came to New York to visit their children in February, 1936, but only for sixty days, according to the ship manifest.7

To learn more details about what happened to the family of Julius Loewenthal thereafter, I was fortunate to find the award and decision of the Claims Resolution Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as the “Warner-Loewenthal Claims Resolution Tribunal Opinion”) issued in response to a claim filed in the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation by Julius and Elsa’s youngest child Karl Werner Loewenthal, also known as Garry Warner-Loewenthal .

According to the official website for the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation:

In 1996 and 1997, a series of class action lawsuits were filed in several United States federal courts against Swiss banks and other Swiss entities, alleging that financial institutions in Switzerland collaborated with and aided the Nazi Regime by knowingly retaining and concealing assets of Holocaust victims, and by accepting and laundering illegally obtained Nazi loot and profits of slave labor. All of the cases were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“the Court”). ….

The lawsuits were filed because in the decades after the Holocaust, Swiss financial institutions had failed to return deposits to the Nazi victims (or their relatives) who had entrusted their assets to the banks. Although the issue of these bank accounts had been raised many times during the decades after the Holocaust, in the late 1990s, the banks’ behavior came under scrutiny of a type that Switzerland had not experienced before.

The litigation was settled in 2000, and a special master was appointed to establish a process for distributing compensation to claimants. Garry Warner-Loewenthal filed a claim for the account of his father, and the tribunal’s full decision on his claim can be found here. It details the facts alleged by Julius’ son in support of his claim, for which he was awarded 47,400 Swiss francs.

According to the Warner-Loewenthal Claims Resolution Tribunal Opinion, Herbert Loewenthal moved from the US to Zurich, Switzerland before 1937. Ruth Loewenthal and her husband Leonhard Fulda were planning to move to the US and in the fall of 1937, they went to visit Ruth’s brother Herbert in Switzerland before immigrating, accompanied by Ruth and Herbert’s father Julius Loewenthal. Central to the claim was the allegation that Julius had deposited money in a Swiss bank while in Zurich.

Tragically, Ruth and Leonhard were killed in a terrible automobile accident on October 3, 1937, while returning to Germany from Switzerland. Julius was seriously injured, but survived. Ruth and Leonhard’s daughter Margot, orphaned at seven years old, went to live with her father’s parents, Isaak and Joanna Fulda in Mainz.

In November 1937, just a month after the accident that killed their daughter and son-in-law, Julius and Elsa again visited New York for a limited time but returned to Germany.8 I have to wonder whether at this point they wanted to immigrate, given what was happening in Germany. Perhaps they could not get a visa allowing them to stay permanently. According to information given to Warner-Loewenthal Claims Resolution Tribunal Opinion, after the Nazis confiscated Julius’ business, he and Elsa fled to the Netherlands in 1938 and then to London. Finally, in May 1939, they were able to immigrate permanently to the United States.9

Julius and Elsa Loewenthal, ship manifest from England to New York, Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 . Original data: Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Outwards Passenger Lists. BT27. Records of the Commercial, Companies, Labour, Railways and Statistics Departments. Records of the Board of Trade and of successor and related bodies. The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England.

By the time the 1940 census was enumerated, Julius and Elsa were living in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York. Neither listed an occupation.10 Their daughter Hilda and her family were living in Manhattan, and Max Stern listed his occupation as a bird food merchant.11

Julius and Elsa’s youngest child Karl had fled to England in 1938, according to the Warner-Loewenthal Claims Resolution Tribunal Opinion. In November, 1939, Karl was found exempt from being interned as an enemy alien. He was working as a trainee in a hosiery factory in Leicester.

The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/56,  056: Internees at Liberty in UK 1939-1942: Lir-Lov
Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945

During the war Karl joined the British Armed Forces and was advised to change his name to Garry Charles Warner “for his own protection.”  When he immigrated to the United States after the war in August, 1946, he added “Loewenthal” back to his name and was known as Garry Charles Warner-Loewenthal, as described in the Warner-Loewenthal Claims Resolution Tribunal Opinion.

It might seem that Julius Loewenthal’s family was relatively fortunate as Julius, Elsa, Hilda and her husband Max Stern, Herbert, and Karl/Garry all survived the Holocaust and the war. Ruth and her husband Leonhard Fulda were killed, but not by the Nazis; they died in a car accident. Of course, Ruth and Leonhard might never have been involved in an accident if they hadn’t gone to Switzerland to visit Herbert, who had been forced to leave Germany because of the Nazis.

But that is not the end of the story. Recall that Ruth and Leonhard’s daughter Margot had gone to live with her paternal grandparents, the Fuldas, in Mainz after losing her parents in October 1937. The Fulda family—Isaac and Johanna, their son Ernst and his wife Emma, and Margot, Ruth and Leonhard’s orphaned daughter—all escaped to Amsterdam in 1939. But they were ultimately deported from there to Sobibor, where every single one of them was murdered by the Nazis in 1943, including little Margot, who was not yet thirteen years old.12

Julius Loewenthal had survived a terrible car accident that caused him serious harm, the deaths of his daughter Ruth and her husband Leonhard in that accident, the confiscation of his business, the loss of his homeland, the escape first to the Netherlands, then England, and finally to the US, and, worst of all, the murder of his granddaughter Margot. Having survived all that, he died not long after the war ended on November 20, 1946, at the age of 72.13

Four years later, his daughter Hilda divorced Max Stern. She would marry again, but that marriage also did not last.14 Her mother Elsa Werner Loewenthal died in 1961 in New York at the age of 77,15 and then her brother Herbert died in Zurich in 1962; he was only 53 and had never married.16 Hilda Loewenthal Stern Duschinsky died on July 29, 1980; she was 68 and was survived by her children and grandchildren.17

That left only Garry Charles Warner-Loewenthal, born Karl Werner Loewenthal. He had married after the war and had one child.18 I could not find much other information about Garry, but we do know that just a few years before he died when he was already in his eighties, he filed a claim in the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation and received some compensation for all that his family had lost. Garry died at the age of 87 in West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 1, 2005.19

The story of the family of Julius Loewenthal serves as a painful reminder that even those who survived the Holocaust suffered greatly and lived with those scars forever after.

 

 

 

 


  1. German Federal Archives Residents’ List Annotations:Für tot erklärt.,
    1939 Census ID Number(s):VZ392415, German Federal Archive ID Number: 871897, found at https://tinyurl.com/vb6ntsu 
  2. Birth record of Max Stern, Familien- und Geburtsregister der Juden von Fulda 1748-1899 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 345)AutorHessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Wiesbaden, p. 202. 
  3.  Staats Archiv Bremen; Bremen, Germany; Bremen Passenger Lists; Archive Number: AIII15-18.08.1926-2_N, Ancestry.com. Web: Bremen, Germany, Passenger Lists Index, 1907-1939 
  4. “Max Stern, Founder of Hartz Mountain,” The Herald-News
    Passaic, New Jersey, 21 May 1982, Fri • Page 31 
  5. Max and Hilda Stern, ship manifest, Year: 1934; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5526; Line: 1; Page Number: 118, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island) 
  6. Max and Hilda Stern, ship manifest, Year: 1935; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5683; Line: 1; Page Number: 8,
    Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  7. Julius and Elsa Loewenthal, ship manifest, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5769; Line: 1; Page Number: 4, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  8. Julius and Elsa Loewenthal, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6081; Line: 25; Page Number: 48, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  9. Julius and Elsa Loewenthal, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6328; Line: 1; Page Number: 6, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  10. Julius and Elsa Loewenthal, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, Queens, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02746; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 41-1374B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  11. Max and Hilda Stern and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02642; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 31-774, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  12. German Federal Archives Residents’ List Annotations:Für tot erklärt.
    1939 Census ID Number(s):VZ392415, German Federal Archive ID Number: 871897 at https://tinyurl.com/vb6ntsu  Also, see the entries at Yad Vashem, https://tinyurl.com/ts3xacc 
  13. Certificate Number: 9313, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  14. Divorce Date: Mar 1950, County: Elmore, Ancestry.com. Alabama Divorce Index, 1950-1959. Original data: Alabama Center for Health Statistics. Alabama Divorce Index, 1950-1959. Montgomery, AL, USA: Alabama Center for Health Statistics. Marriage of Hilda Stern to Eugene Duschinsky, License Number: 609, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  15. Death Date: 22 Mar 1961, Death Place: Queens, New York, New York, USA
    Certificate Number: 3535, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Death Index, 1949-1965 
  16. See Warner-Loewenthal Claims Resolution Tribunal Opinion 
  17.  Social Security Number: 057-38-8878, Birth Date: 22 Oct 1911, Death Date: Jul 1980, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  18.  License Number: 650, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Queens, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  19. Death Date: 1 Mar 2005, SSN: 056244639, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

Sarah Goldschmidt’s Sons 1910-1930: Years of Comfort, Years of Loss

We saw that the family of Sarah Goldschmidt and Salomon Stern’s daughter Keile Stern Loewenthal experienced much growth and prosperity during the 1910s and 1920s. This post will focus on their two sons, Abraham and Mayer, and their lives between 1910 and 1930.

As of 1910, Abraham (known as Adolf) Stern and his wife and first cousin Johanna Goldschmidt had four grown children: Siegfried, Clementine, Sittah Sarah, and Alice. I am so grateful to Siegfried’s grandson Rafi Stern, my fifth cousin, who kindly shared the photographs that appear in this post.

This photograph shows the house where Abraham and Johanna lived and raised their children in Frankfurt. As you can see, the family was quite comfortably situated as Abraham was a successful merchant in Frankfurt.

Home of Abraham Adolf Stern and Johanna Goldschmidt in Frankfurt. Courtesy of their great-grandson, Rafi Stern.

Their son Siegfried Stern married Lea Hirsch on June 4, 1912, in Frankfurt.1 She was born in Halberstadt, Germany, on April 10, 1892, to Abraham Hirsch and Mathilde Kulp.2 Siegfried and Lea had two sons, Erich Ernst Benjamin Stern, born March 27, 1913, in Frankfurt,3 and Gunther Stern, born May 5, 1916, in Frankfurt.4

Siegfried Stern, courtesy of Rafi Stern.

Siegfried, Lea, and Erich Stern c.

Siegfried, Lea, and Erich Stern, 1913. Courtesy of Siegfried’s grandson, Rafi Stern.

Home of Siegfried Stern as it looks today. Courtesy of his grandson, Rafi Stern.

Abraham and Johanna’s second child Clementine Stern was married to Siegfried Oppenheimer, a doctor, and had a daughter Erika, born in 1909, as seen in my earlier post. Clementine would have two more children, William Erwin Oppenheimer, born on October 29, 1912, in Frankfurt,5 and Sarah Gabriele Oppenheimer, born July 20, 1917, in Frankfurt.6

Clementine’s sister Sittah Sarah Stern married Abraham Albert Mainz on October 3, 1911, in Mainz. He was born in Paris, France, on May 31, 1883, to Leopold Mainz and Hermine Straus.

Marriage record of Sarah Sittah Stern and Abraham Mainz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Sittah Sarah and Abraham Mainz would have two children, Marguerite Wera Mainz, born in Frankfurt on October 22, 1913,7 and Helmut Walter Solomon Mainz, born April 13, 1918, in Frankfurt.8 The photograph below depicts their home in Frankfurt on the first and second floors of the building.

Building in Frankfurt where Sittah Sarah and Abraham Mainz lived. Courtesy of Rafi Stern.

Abraham and Johanna would lose their two oldest children in the next several years. First, Clementine Stern Oppenheimer died on January 18, 1919, in Frankfurt. She was only 29 years old and left behind three young children, Erika (ten), William Erwin (seven), and Sarah Gabriele (two). Like millions of others, Clementine died from the Spanish flu epidemic, according to her great-nephew, my cousin Rafi.

Clementine Stern Oppenheimer death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10812, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

A year later, as so often happened in Jewish families back then, Clementine’s younger sister Alice Lea Stern married Clementine’s widower Siegfried Oppenheimer. They were married on October 6, 1920, in Frankfurt.

Marriage record of Alice Lea Stern to Siegfried Oppenheimer, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Alice and Siegfried would have five children together in the 1920s.

Just two years after losing Clementine, Abraham and Johanna lost their first born, Siegfried Stern. He died on July 9, 1921, in Oberursel, Germany. He was only 32.  He died at the Frankfurter Kuranstalt Hohemark, a psychiatric hospital.  According to his grandson Rafi, Siegfried had suffered a business failure and become despondent. He was hospitalized and tragically took his own life. He left behind his wife Lea and their two young children Erich (eight) and Gunther (five).

Siegfried Stern death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 908; Signatur: 3821, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Below is Siegfried’s gravestone, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and the inscription is heartbreaking to read, knowing Siegfried’s story. I am grateful to the members of Tracing the Tribe for this partial translation:

Here lies buried Mr. Shlomo son in Mr. Asher Avraham STERN “shlita” (indicates that his father was alive at the time of the sons death).
A man who feared G-d, he revived the hearts of the downtrodden in secret.

He was pure in his thoughts and pure in his body, and all his purpose was the returning of his soul, pure, to his maker.

He respected his father and his mother with all of his ability.

He respected his wife more than his own body.

He died with a good name at the age of 32 to the sorrow of all that knew him, on the holy day of Shabbos, 3 Tamuz, and was buried with crying and eulogies on Monday the 5th of the same month. (5)681 (according to the small count) (1921).
May his soul be bound in the bonds of life.

 

Gravestone of Siegfried Stern, courtesy of his grandson Rafi Stern.

Siegfried’s widow Lea remarried a few years after Siegfried’s death and would have two more children with her second husband, Ernst Sigmund Schwarzschhild.9

Not long after losing his children Siegfried and Clementine, Abraham Adolf Stern himself passed away. He died on December 29, 1925, at the age of 67. He was survived by his wife/cousin Johanna and his two remaining children, Sittah Sarah and Alice Lea, and his grandchildren.

Abraham Stern death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10909, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

The kind people at Tracing the Tribe translated Abraham’s gravestone for me:

Here is buried
Asher Avraham son of Shlomo called Adolf Albert Stern
a great man and a leader of his people
complete in his deeds and of good discernment.
The beginning of his wisdom comes from his belief in God

He oversaw his children and descendants

His house was a house of the righteous and a dwelling place of Torah
His soul is entwined in that of his humble wife.
You are gone and caused the middle of the day to turn dark. From heaven you are alive with us.

Died 12 Tevet and buried 14th of the month, [year] 5686 / [abbreviation]

May his soul be bound in the bond of life.

 

Abraham Adolf Stern gravestone. Courtesy of his great-grandson, Rafi Stern.

Abraham’s brother Mayer Stern and his wife Gella Hirsch had two children born in the 1890s, Elsa and Markus. Elsa married Jacob Alfred Schwarzschild on January 22, 1911, in Frankfurt. Jacob was the son of Alfred Isaac Schwarzchild and Recha Goldschmidt and was born February 12, 1885 in Frankfurt.  Jacob was Elsa’s second cousin. His mother Recha was the daughter of Selig Goldschmidt, and Elsa’s father Mayer was the son of Sarah Goldschmidt, Selig’s older sister. Once again, the family tree was bending around itself.

Marriage record of Elsa Stern and Jacob Schwarzschild, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Elsa and Jacob had one child, Elizabeth, reportedly born July 26, 1915, in Frankfurt.10

Elsa’s marriage to Jacob did not last, despite the cousin relationship. The marginal comment on their marriage record attests to their divorce. Thank you to the members of the German Genealogy group who provided the translation of this comment:

Certified transcript
By decree nisi of the Regional Court at Frankfurt on Main, which became final at the end of 27 June 1920, the marriage between the banker Jakob Alfred Schwarzschild and Else Sara Schwarzschild née Stern has been divorced.
Frankfurt on Main, 13 October 1920
Civil Registry Clerk
pp. Dippel
Certified
Frankfurt on Main, 9 February 1921
[Signature]
Court Clerk

On August 18, 1920, just months after the divorce became final, Elsa Stern Schwarzschild married Alfred Hirsch.  Alfred was born in Hamburg to Esaias Hirsch and Charlotte Wolf on May 19, 1890.  Together, Alfred and Elsa had three children born in the 1920s.11

Marriage record of Elsa Stern to Alfred Hirsch, Year Range and Volume: 1920 Band 03
Ancestry.com. Hamburg, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920

Mayer and Gella’s son Markus married Rhee (Rosa) Mess on August 25, 1923, in Frankfurt. She was born in Radziwillow, Poland on July 25, 1898, to Samuel Mess and Ester-Raza Landis.12

Thus, as the family approached the 1930s, Sarah Goldschmidt’s surviving descendants were living comfortable lives, but had suffered a number of terrible losses between 1910 and 1930, including two of Sarah’s children, Keile and Abraham, and three of her grandchildren, Abraham’s children Clementine Stern Oppenheimer and Siegfried Stern, and Keile’s daughter Martha Loewenthal Wolff.

But Lina and Mayer were still living as of 1930 as were eight of Sarah’s grandchildren. All of them would see their comfortable and prosperous lives as German Jews upturned by the rise of Nazism in the coming decade.

 


  1. The marriage date comes from the Cibella/Baron research; I have no primary source for this specific date, but it is clear that Siegfried and Lea married before 1913 when their son Erich was born. 
  2. Certificate Number: 98, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930. 
  3.  The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/89, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945 
  4. The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/197, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945  
  5. Application for Palestinian Citizenship, Israel State Archives website found at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/archives/#/Archive/0b07170680034dc1/File/0b071706810638e5 
  6. SSN: 121546243, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  7.  The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/222, Description
    Piece Number Description: 222: Dead Index (Wives of Germans etc) 1941-1947: Eastw-Fey, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945 
  8.  The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/58, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945 
  9. Marriage record of Ernst Schwarzschild and Lea Hirsch Stern, Certificate Number: 98, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 903, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  10. This is the date provided by Cibella/Baron. I also found one record for an Isabel Schwarzschild Weil born on that date: 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: 701, Ancestry.com. New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1967. I believe this is for Elsa and Jacob’s daughter. I am still looking for additional records. 
  11. Application for Palestinian Citizenship, Israeli State Archives, at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/archives/#/Archive/0b07170680034dc1/File/0b07170680fd6abf 
  12.  National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, Description
    Description: (Roll 1256) Petition No· 352904 – Petition No· 353350, Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943