My Cousin Anna Seghers: Activist, Author, and Survivor

The youngest child of Helene Goldschmidt and Salomon Fuld was their daughter Hedwig, born in 1880 and married to Isidor Lutz Reiling. They had one daughter, Netti, born in Mainz, Germany, in 1900. Hedwig was my third cousin, twice removed, and her daughter Netti was my fourth cousin, once removed. Their stories are those of tragedy and triumph.

Hedwig did not share the good fortune of her older siblings. She and her husband Isidor were still living in Mainz in 1940 when Isidor died on March 10 at the age of 72.

Isidor Reiling death record, Year Range: Sterberegister 1940, Band 1
Ancestry.com. Mainz, Germany, Deaths, 1876-1950. Original data: Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950. Mainz Stadtarchiv.

Hedwig did not get out of Germany in time. She was deported to the ghetto in Plaski, Poland, on March 21, 1942, and was murdered sometime thereafter by the Nazis. The record on Yad Vashem has no date or place of her death.

This Page of Testimony filed by her cousin Regina Blanche Rosenberger1 indicates that she was killed in a concentration camp, but does not name which one or when. Thus, Hedwig was one of the millions of Jews whose deaths were not recorded by the Nazis, but who were murdered by them.

Hedwig Fuld Reiling, Page of Testimony, Yad Vashem at https://tinyurl.com/t6vr4dg

Hedwig and Isidor’s daughter Netti did survive. If you look at the Page of Testimony above, you will see that Hedwig was identified as “mother of the author Anna Seghers.” Anna Seghers was Netti Reiling’s pseudonym, and she was a well-known author. Because of her renown, I was able to find a treasure trove of material about Netti including some old photographs.2

Isidor Reiling was an art expert and antique dealer like so many of his Goldschmidt in-laws. His daughter Netti developed an interest in art history, and in 1920 she moved to Heidelberg to attend the university there. She wrote her doctoral thesis on “Aspects of Jews and Jewishness in the Work of Rembrandt.”

It was while she was at the university in Heidelberg that she joined a group of left-wing intellectuals and met her husband, Laszlo Radvanyi. Laszlo was born in Budapest, Hungary on December 13, 1900. He studied economics and philosophy at the University of Budapest in 1918 and became interested in radical politics. He eventually ended up at the University of Heidelberg and continued his studies there.

In August 1925, Netti and Laszlo were married. Each had adopted a pseudonym for their writings. Netti became Anna Seghers, inspired by a Dutch artist Hercules Seghers whom she had studied at the university. Laszlo’s pseudonym was Johann Lorenz Schmidt after an 18th century German theologian. They had two children, Peter (later known as Pierre)(1926) and Ruth (1928) and were living in Berlin in 1928.

Seghers published her first novel The Revolt of the Fisherman in 1928, the same year she joined the Communist Party in Germany. She published a second book of short stories about poor workers in 1930 and two more books in 1932 and 1933.

Her left-wing views resulted in her books being banned when Hitler came to power in January, 1933, and she was even briefly arrested, according to some sources.  According to her son Pierre, he was sick with scarlet fever at the time, and his mother had taken him to a children’s home in the Black Forest to recover. When she heard of the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, she returned to Berlin. The Nazis claimed that communists had set the fire, and Netti/Anna was denounced by a neighbor. The police showed up at their home to arrest her. According to Ruth, the police did not remain long because they were afraid of catching scarlet fever. Whether or not Netti/Anna was ever taken into custody seems unclear.

The family left Germany soon thereafter and escaped to France. They lived in Paris for seven years where Laszlo started a free university for German refugees; he continued to work on anti-fascist, left-wing causes; Netti/Anna published several books during this time and also spent some time in Vienna and in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

As a Hungarian and known communist, Laszlo/Johann was interned as a “suspected national” by the French in a camp in southern France. When the Nazis invaded France and occupied Paris in the spring of 1940, Netti/Anna and the children hid in Paris until they were able to escape to Marseilles. They were eventually able to free Laszlo and leave France on March 24, 1941, when the family sailed to the US and ultimately Mexico, where they settled.

During their time in Mexico, Anna Seghers wrote her best known book, The Seventh Cross, about seven political prisoners who escape from a Nazi concentration camp. It was first published in the United States and Mexico in 1942 and became the basis of a 1944 film of the same title starring Spencer Tracy, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, and Agnes Moorehead.

The New York Times review of the film in 1944 is quite interesting. The reviewer, Bosley Crowther, found Spencer Tracy’s performance “splendid” and Jessica Tandy’s “emotionally devastating.” He described the plot as “hair-raising” and the production as filled with “crackling tension and hard-packed realism” and as preserving the “monstrousness” of Segher’s book.3

But Crowther found reason to criticize the film as being too soft on the Germans:

Without in the least overlooking the bestiality of the Nazi brutes nor the miserable self-surrender of German citizens to their black regime, this film … visions a burning zeal for freedom in some German rebels and a core of decency in common folk. …[T]he basic theme…is that in men—even in Germans—there is an instinct for good that cannot be destroyed.….

The big reservation which this writer holds with regard to this film is that regarding the discretion of its theme at this particular time. Without any question, it creates a human sympathy for the people of a nation with whom we are at war and it tends, as have others, to load Germany’s crimes on Nazi backs. Obviously this film can make sentiment for a “soft” peace. It looks as though we are getting a dandy “thriller” at a pretty high price.

I have not yet read the book nor seen the film, but hope to do one or the other while being confined during this pandemic. There are more current reviews of the book, including this one from The New York Review of Books written upon the publication of a new translation of the book in 2018:

The Seventh Cross is one of the most powerful, popular, and influential novels of the twentieth century, a hair raising thriller that helped to alert the world to the grim realities of Nazi Germany and that is no less exciting today than when it was first published in 1942. … Anna Seghers’s novel is not only a supremely suspenseful story of flight and pursuit but also a detailed portrait of a nation in the grip and thrall of totalitarianism.

Anna Seghers wrote a number of other books while living in Mexico. It was also during this time that she learned that her mother had been killed by the Nazis. Nevertheless, after the war she and her family returned to Germany, first West Berlin, later East Berlin. She continued to be a left wing and communist political activist and to write books based on her political views for the rest of her life. She was a loyal supporter of the Soviet Union and East Germany.

Laszlo Radanvanyi died on July 3, 1978, in Berlin. Like his wife, he had remained a political activist as well as a professor. Netti/Anna died five years later on June 1, 1983, in Berlin.

Rüdiger Wölk,  Münster,  CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)

On November 19, 2000, the German publication Der Welt published an interview with Netti and Laszlo’s two adult children, Pierre and Ruth, which revealed a more personal perspective on their mother. Ruth described her as “very warm, a normal mother,” and Pierre said she was “a very intuitive, extremely sensitive, even compassionate woman.”

Ruth Radanyi died on July 18, 2010 at the age of 82. Her brother Pierre, an author and physicist, is still living as far as I can tell. At this link, you can hear him read one of his mother’s poems.

The story of Netti Reiling/Anna Seghers and her family is yet another example of the literary talents of the Goldschmidt family as well as another example of the courage and resilience of the human spirit in the face of devastating hatred and danger. Although it may be hard to understand how Netti could support the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union, I cannot judge her for her views, given what she endured and what she lost as a young woman.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-P1202-317 / Sturm, Horst / CC-BY-SA 3.0 / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)


  1. Regina Blanche Rosenberg was born Regina Blanche Goldschmidt, and she was the daughter of Julius Goldschmidt, younger brother Helene Goldschmidt Fuld, Hedwig Fuld Reiling’s mother. That is, she was Hedwig’s first cousin. Regina immigrated to Canada and died in 1992. More on Regina when I get to her father’s story. 
  2. Since I don’t know when these works were first published, I can’t determine whether they are in the public domain—even though many of them were taken before 1923. See https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2012/03/06/copyright-and-the-old-family-photo/  Thus, I won’t be posting them, tempting as it might be to do so. But if you follow some of the links in the post, you will be able to see the photos. 
  3. Bosley Crowther, “The Seventh Cross, Anti-Nazi Drama, with Spencer Tracy, at Capitol,” The New York Times, September 29, 1944, p. 18. 

Retrieving Art Stolen by the Nazis and Helping Victims of Discrimination: Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s Grandsons

Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s only son Harry Fuld was my third cousin, twice removed.

Harry died on January 27, 1932, in the Netherlands, according to one source, or in Switzerland, according to others. He was 52 years old. Harry was survived by his wife and by two sons from his two earlier marriages, Harry Fuld, Jr., and Peter Harry Fuld.

By Googling Harry Fuld (sometimes I am amazed by what can be found!), I learned a great deal more about Harry and his sons than I had through ordinary genealogy tools. According to the website Deutsche Biographie,1 Harry Fuld, Sr. was a very successful entrepreneur. His grandfather Jacob Meier Goldschmidt wanted him to enter into the family’s art and antiques business, but Harry wanted to go into his own business. After training in a bank in Frankfurt and working in businesses in England, Belgium and France, he learned about an American business that leased telephone equipment and began his own such business in Germany. He experienced tremendous success, and his company expanded all over Germany as well as much of Europe. Harry also collected modern art and amassed a huge collection. When he died in 1932, he was a very wealthy man.

Harry’s heirs inherited his business and art collection, but when Hitler came to power and Jewish owned businesses were “Aryanized,” the Nazis seized the assets of the business and the art collection. There are numerous articles about the seizure of the art collection and the family’s efforts to reclaim the works after the war (see links below).

One thing that confused me about these articles is that they all referred to Harry’s widow as Lucie Mayer-Fuld, not Elsa Cajzago Tedesco, the name of his wife on the 1926 marriage record. Had Harry divorced his third wife Elsa Cajzago Tedesco Fuld and married a fourth time before he died in 1932?

That sent me down a rabbit hole, of course, looking for Lucie Mayer-Fuld. I couldn’t find a marriage record for a Lucie Mayer and Harry Fuld, nor could I find a birth record for her. The only records I initially found were listings for Lucie Mayer-Fuld in several Frankfurt directories from the late 1930s. But, of course, they did not tell me when or even whether she married Harry Fuld. Here’s one example from 1939.

Amtliches Fernsprechbuch für den Bezirk der Reichspostdirektion Berlin, 1939
Ancestry.com. German Phone Directories, 1915-1981

Then I located several ship manifests for Lucie Mayer-Fuld, but sailing with a man named Acatiu Mayer-Feld. Some of these manifests said he was born in Romania and so was Lucie; others said Hungary. I was really confused at this point. Had all those articles about the recovery of Harry’s art collection been wrong about the name of his widow?

Mayer-Fuld on passenger manifest, Year: 1941; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6521; Line: 1; Page Number: 8, Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Mayer-Fuld, passenger manifest, The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 205, Ancestry.com. U.S., Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1914-1966

The breakthrough came when I found one index of a ship manifest for a ship arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 27, 1940, that identified Lucie Mayer-Fuld’s birth place as Funfkirchen, and that rang a bell. I went back to check, and sure enough, Elsa Cajzago Tedesco Fuld was born in Funfkirchen. Could she be the same person as Lucie Mayer-Fuld? And if so, where did the Mayer in her surname come from?

Ship LUISA C. arriving to Buenos Aires on Aug 27, 1940, found at https://www.hebrewsurnames.com/arrival_LUISA%20C._1940-08-27

Searching for Acatiu, an unusual enough name, was easier than searching for Lucie, and I found this immigration card from Brazil. His father’s surname was Mayer, so the Mayer in Lucie’s name had come from Acatiu, not from her own birth name.

Acatiu Mayer-Fuld, Digital GS Number: 004914991
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

I assumed that if Acatiu had gone to Argentina in 1940 and Lucie was on the same ship with him, she also must have had an Brazilian immigration card. But it had not come up during my Ancestry search for Lucie Mayer-Fuld. This time I did a more focused search in that database, and her card appeared. And there was my answer; her parents were A. Cajzago and Alice Cajzago. Lucie Mayer-Fuld was the same person as Elsa Cajzago Tedesco Fuld, the third wife and widow of my cousin Harry Fuld. She had remarried after Harry’s death and escaped from Germany with her new husband Acatiu.

Lucie Mayer-Fuld, Digital GS Number: 004561378
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

As for Harry’s two sons, according to Wikipedia, Harry, Jr., the son of Flora Sondheimer and Harry Fuld, Sr., escaped to Switzerland in 1937, leaving his father’s art collection behind in his haste to leave Germany. By 1939, Harry, Jr. was in England. On his registration as an “enemy alien” in 1939, Harry stated that he was the manager and a shareholder of Autophone Ltd, which I assume was in some way related to his father’s phone leasing business. Harry, Jr. was sent to an internment camp as an enemy alien from June 21, 1940, until December 22, 1941, according to his enemy alien registration form.

Harry Fuld, Jr., The National Archives; Kew, London, England; HO 396 WW2 Internees (Aliens) Index Cards 1939-1947; Reference Number: HO 396/152, Piece Number Description: 152: Australia Internees 1940-1943: Germans and Austrians Released in Australia, A-J, Ancestry.com. UK, WWII Alien Internees, 1939-1945

After the war Harry, Jr., and his family began efforts to regain his father’s art collection. As the many articles devoted to these efforts reveal, it took many years and a great deal of effort, but eventually the family had some success. Sadly, most of that success came years and years after Harry, Jr., died in London on October 31, 1963;2 he was only fifty years old.

For more on the return of the family’s art collection, see the stories and images at the links listed below. Some of the works were just returned as recently as the fall of 2019. The stories are quite fascinating, the art quite beautiful. I can’t do justice to it here on the blog.

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/stolen-by-nazis-restituted-to-its-rightful-owners-now-sold-at-sotheby-s-for-magen-david-adom-uk-1.486050

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Mur_Rose

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/artworks-confiscated-nazis-restituted-jewish-art-collector-1640692

https://www.art-critique.com/en/2019/09/germany-returns-works-to-heirs-of-jewish-collector-and-businessman/

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/268431

As for Peter Harry Fuld, Harry, Sr.’s son with his second wife, Ida Felsmann, in the 1930s he was a teenager and living with his mother in Frankfurt. Ida was not Jewish, but because Peter’s father had been Jewish, making Peter a Mischling of the First Degree, Ida was concerned for his safety and sent him to Switzerland in 1937 and then to England in 1939. Peter wanted to study law at Cambridge University, but was interned on the Isle of Man as an enemy alien. He was then sent to Canada in June, 1940, where he again lived in an internment camp. According to the website for the foundation established in his name, he faced painful rejection and discrimination while confined in England and Canada: “Because of his Jewish roots on his father’s side, he was rejected by German and Jewish fugitives and avoided as a German by Canadian fellow students. He hardly found friends.”

After his release in 1941, Peter studied law at the University of Toronto and eventually returned to England after the war and devoted much of his time as a lawyer helping victims of discrimination. Peter married in 1957, but like his half-brother Harry, Jr., he died young. He died from an inoperable brain tumor on March 21, 1962, at the age of 41.

As mentioned above, a foundation was established in Peter’s name to provide support to victims of discrimination and to support education to fight discrimination.  You can learn more about the foundation here. All the information above about Peter came from that website.

Harry, Jr., and Peter died so close to each other in time that the London probate index lists them one after the other. How very sad.

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England.

Like their father Harry Fuld, Sr., both Peter and Harry, Jr., left their mark on the world and are still remembered today. They were my fourth cousins, once removed.

 


  1. Lerner, Franz, “Fuld, Harry” in: New German Biography 5 (1961), p. 725 f. [Online version]; URL: https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd136471404.html 
  2.  Registration district: Marylebone, Inferred County: London, Volume: 5d, Page: 357
    General Register Office; United Kingdom; Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 

Escaping from Germany to Brazil and Israel: Brick Walls

 

We’ve already seen that Helene Goldschmidt Fuld’s second child, Minna Fuld, who was born in 1875, had a complicated marital history. First, she married Leo Offenstadt in 1894 when she was eighteen, and that marriage ended in divorce in 1904. She and Leo had had one child, Flora, in 1894. Then Minna married Ladislaus Polacovits in 1906, and he died in 1913; Minna had one child with Ladislaus, Lisolette, who was born in 1907.

Finally, Minna married Hermann Heinrich Karl Reuss in 1923, with whom she had no children. Hermann is listed in the 1940 Frankfurt directory1 and died in Frankfurt on September 27, 1947.

Hermann Reuss death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 225
Year Range: 1947, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

His death certificate indicates that he was a widower at the time of his death. I have no record for Minna’s death, but unsourced trees indicate that she died in Tel Aviv on May 3, 1944. Had Hermann gone with her to Palestine and returned to Germany after she died? Or had Hermann never left Germany?  I don’t know.

As we saw, Minna’s daughter Flora Offenstadt2 married Hermann Durlacher in 1918 and had two children with him, Siegfried Julius Thomas (known as Thomas) and Ulla Louise Sara. Flora and the two children immigrated to Brazil in 1939, as seen in these immigration cards.

Flora Offenstadt Durlacher, Digital GS Number: 004764836
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Siegfried Julius Thomas Durlacher, Digital GS Number: 004916940
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Ulla Durlacher, Digital GS Number: 004916940
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

I could not locate any further records for Hermann Durlacher, but several unsourced trees indicate that he died in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on November 15, 1954, so perhaps he also immigrated to Brazil either before, with, or after his family. I don’t know what happened to Flora or her two children after they immigrated to Brazil in 1939. An unsourced tree on Geni reports that Thomas died in Sao Paulo on December 23, 2007.

Minna’s second daughter, Liselotte Polacovits, married Wilhelm Strauss-Reich on June 5, 1928, and had one child, as discussed here. I was not able to find information about their whereabouts during the 1930s, but by 1942 Liselotte and Wilhelm both had Palestinian passports that they renewed in 1947. I was able to locate a marriage record for their son (who may still be living) in England, so perhaps they also ended up in England or maybe they stayed in Israel.

Liselotte Strauss-Reich, Israel Archives, at https://tinyurl.com/wwdy88x

Thus, there is much to do to learn more about Minna and her descendants. So far, however, I’ve hit dead ends and brick walls. Searching online for answers in Brazil and Israel has led me nowhere. Not knowing how to read either Portuguese or Hebrew (except some basic terms) makes the task even more difficult. If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.

 

 

 


  1.  Title: Amtliches Frankfurter Adressbuch, Deutsche National Bibliothek; Leipzig, Deutschland; Publisher: August Scherl; Signatur: ZC 811; Laufende Nummer: 1, Ancestry.com. Germany and Surrounding Areas, Address Books, 1815-1974 
  2. Flora’s father, Minna’s first husband Leo Offenstadt, died at Theriesenstadt concentration camp on January 9, 1943. See his entry at Yad Vashem at https://tinyurl.com/tz3gz73. 

Escaping from Germany: Another Splintered Family, the Cramers

Helene Goldschmidt and Salomon Fuld’s oldest child, Clementine II, was born in 1874 and married David Cramer in 1892. They had two children, Sally David Cramer (1893) and Caroline Lilly Cramer (1894).

Let’s review where each member of the family was as of 1933 when the Nazis came to power and then learn where they were up through the end of World War II.

Sally David Cramer

Sally married Margarete Steinberg in 1921 and they had two sons, Hans Clemens and Peter Andreas, born in the 1920s.

Peter died as an eight-year-old on February 14, 1932, in Frankfurt.

Peter Cramer death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 11001
Year Range: 1932, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Sally and Margarete then had a third child, a daughter, born July 15, 1933, in Frankfurt,1 just months after Hitler’s rise to power.

Fortunately, they left Germany by 1939 and were living in England where Sally was working as a “company director.”2

Their family suffered another terrible tragedy when their oldest son Hans Clemens, then known as John Denis Cramer, was killed on March 23, 1943, while serving in the British army during World War II; he was only 21 and was the second child of Sally and Margarete to predecease them.3

Thus, leaving Germany had not saved young Hans/John from danger.

Hans Clemens aka John Denis Cramer, probate listing, ncestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England.

Caroline Lilly Cramer Drey

We saw that Sally’s sister Lilly (as she was known) married Arthur Drey in 1919, and they had three children born in Frankfurt in the 1920s: Dorothy, Claude, and Elizabeth. Arthur Drey was a known Expressionist poet and playwright in Germany. You can read a collection of his poems (in German, but easily translated by Google Translate) here.

Lilly and Arthur got out of Germany not long after Hitler came to power. According to this website devoted to the works of his son Claude Drey, Arthur feared he would be denounced for his anti-Nazi activities, and in 1933, he and his family left Germany and settled in Milan, Italy, for six years.

Then when Mussolini began to collaborate with Hitler in the late 1930s, Lilly and Arthur decided to leave Italy. They arrived in the United States on May 22, 1939 after first going to England, according to their naturalization papers. That was the same day that Hitler and Mussolini signed their Pact of Steel, forging a military alliance and paving the way to World War II.

Arthur Drey, Declaration of Intent, he 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 566) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 443101-444000), Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

On the 1940 census, they were living in New York City, and Arthur was working as a director for an “electric firm.”4 His World War II draft registration identified him as self-employed by the Filtered Water Service Corporation in New York City.

Arthur Drey, 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

Their son Claude was also working for his father’s company:

Claude Drey, World War II draft registration, Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

This biography of Claude provides greater details about his life:

During his first years in New York, Claude dedicated his time to studying English and engineering. He attended City College at night, and worked in the family’s water cooler rental business by day. He also began a lifetime pursuit of analytical psychology.  Claude worked with analysts under the school of Carl Jung.

In 1943, Claude’s older sister Dorothy married Rudolf Gerd Hamburger,5 who later changed his surname to Harvey.6 Rudolf was born in Berlin, Germany, on September 8, 1909, to Leo Hamburger and Johanna Borchardt.7 Dorothy and Rudolf had two children together.

Clementine Fuld and David Cramer

Meanwhile, Sally and Lilly’s parents Clementine and David Cramer had been living in Nice, France,  They arrived in New York on October 27, 1941, after the Nazis had occupied France.

David Cramer, 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 649) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 517601-518500), Ancestry.com. New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

On the ship manifest as well as the declaration of intent, they named both their children, Sally in England and Lilly in New York.

David and Clemetine Cramer, passenger manifest, Year: 1941; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6588; Line: 1; Page Number: 114
Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Thus, the whole family had left Germany in time and escaped the Nazis, but Clementine and David had lost their grandson Hans/John in the fight against the Nazis.

After the War

The family suffered two losses in the first years after the war. David Cramer died in New York on February 8, 1946 just five years after his arrival in the US and six months after the end of World War II; he was 84, and he was survived by his wife Clementine, their two children Sally and Lilly, and their grandchildren.8

Then on June 17, 1948, Dorothy Drey’s husband Rudolf was killed in a plane accident in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania.  He was one of 43 people killed when a United Airlines DC-6 tried to make an emergency landing and hit a 60,000 volt electrical tower and burst into flames.9 Dorothy was only 26 when she lost her husband; their two children were just preschoolers.

Rudolph Harvey, death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 051151-053700, Certificate Number Range: 051151-053700, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967

According to Cibella/Baron, Dorothy remarried a few years later and had another child with her second husband.

But not all the family news was bad after the war. Elizabeth, the youngest Drey sibling, married Eric Harry Caspari in September 1949, in New York City.10 Eric was the son of Leo Caspari and Margarete Meyer and was born on April 6, 1914, in Berlin, Germany. 11  Elizabeth and Eric had three children together.

In the 1950s, Claude Drey developed an interest in photography. The website devoted to his works included this comment:

As with so many other pursuits he was determined to bring it to a professional level. He studied under several photographers and was influenced by Edward Weston.  Most of his work was in black and white; he did all of his own development.  Claude was successful in having his work exhibited in several gallery shows including a one-man exhibit at the Image Gallery. His works was sold to publishers for use in advertising and appeared in several books.  

Most of Claude’s photography focused on nature. He took many pictures of animals, plants and flowers. He traveled to California and did a series on Point Lobus.  Claude’s family and friends were models – especially his young wife Grace.  His photography related in many ways to his psychological studies and particularly in his pictures of people, he tried to capture a part of their spirit.

A more unusual series of photographs Claude created was on car “graveyards” and on a slaughterhouse.  For some the pictures of the animals being killed and butchered may be disturbing.

I would imagine that that series of disturbing photographs was somewhat inspired by the experiences he had as a teenager and young man running from the Nazis and Fascists in Europe and then learning what had happened to those who had not been fortunate enough to leave in time. You can see some of Claude’s photography here.

Clementine Fuld Cramer survived her husband David by sixteen years; she died at 87 on March 30, 1962.12

Her son-in-law Arthur Drey died on July 1, 1965; he was 72.13 And his wife Lilly Cramer Drey followed him almost exactly a year later. She died on June 23, 1966, at the age of 71.14 They were survived by their three children and eight grandchildren. Their daughter Dorothy died on February 10, 1972, in New York, 15 Claude Drey died on November 7, 1989,16 and the youngest sibling Elizabeth died on July 8, 2005.17

Clementine’s son Sally Cramer, who had outlived his two sons as well as his parents and sister Lilly, died in London at the age of 87 on March 9, 1977;18 his wife Margarete died ten years later on December 10, 1987.19 She was 89. They were survived by their youngest child.

Clementine Fuld Cramer’s story is another story of German Jews who escaped in time and ended up contributing much to their new homeland. Claude Drey’s photographs are worth examining to see the beauty that he could find around him despite having had such a difficult and disrupted boyhood.

 

 

 


  1. FHL Film Number: 004909566m Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 
  2. Sally David Cramer and family, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/868A, Enumeration District: BOAA, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register 
  3. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 03 April 2020), memorial page for Pvt John Denis Cramer (unknown–23 Mar 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 151392819, citing Willesden United Synagogue Cemetery, Willesden, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) . 
  4. Arthur Drey and family, 1940 US census, Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02647; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 31-964, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  5.  Name: Dorothy Drey, Gender: Female, Marriage License Date: 26 May 1943
    Marriage License Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse: Rudolph F Hamburger, License Number: 10550, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 5, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  6. See his World War II draft registration at Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947. 
  7. Rudolf Harvey death certificate, Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 051151-053700, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1967 
  8.  Certificate Number: 3719, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1946, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  9. There are many news articles about the crash, which was the second worst in US history at that time. For example, “DC-6 Wreck Hides Cause of Tragedy,” The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 18 Jun 1948, Fri • Page 1 
  10.  Elizabeth H Drey, Marriage License Date: 9 Sep 1949, Marriage License Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse: Harry E Caspari, License Number: 24292, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 35, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  11. Eric Harry Caspari, Birth Date: 6 Apr 1914, Birth Place: Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 6 May 1975, Father: Leo Caspari, Mother: Margarete Meyer
    SSN: 168126664, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  12. Certificate Number: 7231, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Death Index, 1949-1965 
  13.  Arthur Drey, Social Security Number: 094-14-0864, Birth Date: 9 Sep 1890
    Last Residence: 10025, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1965
    Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  14.  Lilly Drey, Social Security Number: 068-24-9127, Birth Date: 26 Sep 1894
    Last Residence: 10025, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1966
    Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  15. Dorothy Schaefer, Birth Date: 30 Mar 1921, Death Date: Feb 1972
    SSN: 130142475, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  16. Claude Clemens Drey, Birth Date: 13 Nov 1919, Birth Place: Francfort PR, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 7 Nov 1989, Father: Arthur Drey, Mother: Lilly Cramer, SSN: 072127096, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  17. Elizabeth Helen Drey, [Elizabeth Helen Caspari]Birth Date: 22 Jan 1926
    Birth Place: Frankfurt Yi, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 8 Jul 2005
    Father: Arthur Drey, Mother: Lilly Cramer, SSN: 076202437, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  18. Sally Cramer, Registration district: Westminster Inferred County: Greater London
    Volume: 15, Page: 2123, General Register Office; United Kingdom; Volume: 15; Page: 2123, Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 
  19. Margarete Cramer, Death Date: 10 Dec 1987, Death Place: London, Probate Date: 11 Oct 1988, Probate Registry: London, Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 

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.