Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss, Part VI: Her Daughter Rebecca Strauss Meyer

The youngest of the children of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss to survive to adulthood was their daughter Rebecca Strauss Meyer. Although her name was spelled Rebekka on her birth record and on the ship manifest and Rebecka on her naturalization papers and on her son’s draft registration, she ultimately adopted the more typical American spelling of her name, Rebecca, as seen on her Social Security application and her gravestone as well as the 1940 and 1950 census records. For purposes of simplicity, I will also use that last spelling in this post.

Rebecca was a 57 year old widow when she arrived in New York in 1938, a year after her children Rudolph and Ilse had immigrated. In 1940, Rebecca was working as a maid for Julius and Selma Katz in New York City.

Rebecca Strauss Meyer, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02673; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 31-2010, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

I could not locate her son Rudolph on the 1940 US census, but on October 16, 1940, when he registered for the draft, he was living in Albany, New York, and listed his mother Rebecca as his contact person; she was residing in New York City. Rudolph was working for Cotrell & Leonard, a manufacturer of graduation caps, gowns, and hoods in Albany. They were considered the original American manufacturers of those items. The 1941 Albany directory lists Rudolph as a presser for Cotrell & Leonard.1

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

Rudolph enlisted in the US Army on September 6, 1943.2 He petitioned for naturalization two months later in December, 1943, and at that time he was already married to Ruth Leah Cohn. I don’t have a marriage record for them, but Ruth was born in New York City on September 26, 1908, to Benjamin Cohn and Hilda Lesser. She and her family were living in Albany in 1930 where her father was a tailor.3

Rudolph Meyer petition for naturalization, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21, Description, Description: Petitions For Naturalization, Ancestry.com. Tennessee, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1888-1992

Rudolph and Ruth had one child in the 1940s, and Rudolph was discharged from the army on October 31, 1945.4 In 1950, they were living in the Bronx, and Rudolph was now an accountant for motion pictures distributors. Ruth was an elementary schoolteacher.  Rudolph’s mother Rebecca and Ruth’s father Benjamin were also living with Rudolph and Ruth and their child, and Benjamin was working as a tailor.

Rudolph Meyer and family, 1950 US census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: 2831; Sheet Number: 21; Enumeration District: 3-1173
Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census

Rudolph’s sister Ilse Meyer was working as a nursemaid for a family in New York City in 1940. On August 31, 1941, she married Friedrich/Frederick Scheer in New York City.5 He was born in Regensburg, Germany, on November 2, 1906, to Markus and Hanna Scheer, and had immigrated to the US on May 9, 1937. Friedrich entered the US Army on November 16, 1942.6 Ilse and Friedrich (using Fred after the war) had one child born in the 1940s. In 1950 they were living in New York City, and Fred was an accountant for the Comptroller of the City of New York.7

Ilse Meyer, 1940 US census, ear: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02640; Page: 63A; Enumeration District: 31-732, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Sadly, Ilse died just six years later on December 23, 1956, at the age of 46. She left behind her husband Fred Scheer and their child, who was only eight years old.8

Three years later, Ilse and Rudolph’s mother Rebecca died on September 22, 1959; she was 78.9 Rebecca had survived her husband Albert, who’d died young in 1928, raised her two children alone, immigrated at 57 to the US, and then survived the death of her daughter Ilse. She was survived by her son Rudolph and her grandchildren.

Rudolph died on August 28, 1984; he was 76 and was survived by his wife Ruth and their son.10 Ruth outlived Rudolph by eighteen years; she was 94 when she died on December 6, 2002.11

Thus ends the saga of the family of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss and their children. Their children all left Germany in time and survived the Holocaust, but there was still some tragically early deaths in the family. But fortunately there are numerous living descendants of Dusschen and Isaac.


I will be taking next week off to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. When I return, I will write about Dusschen’s younger brother and the fifth child of Isaac Blumenfeld and Gelle Strauss, their son Meier. Unfortunately, his story does not have many happy endings.

In the meantime, I wish all who celebrate (and everyone else) a sweet and healthy New Year! Shana tova!

 

 


  1. Rudolph Meyer, Residence Year: 1941, Street Address: 41 Steuben, Residence Place: Albany, New York, USA, Occupation: Presser, Publication Title: Albany, New York, City Directory, 1941, Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 
  2. Rudolph Meyer, enlistment record, National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 05872; Reel: 251, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 
  3. Ruth L Cohn. Birth Date: 26 Sep 1908, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
    Certificate Number: 51794, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Birth Index, 1878-1909; Benjamin Cohen and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Albany, Albany, New York; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0044; FHL microfilm: 2341137, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  4. See Note 2, supra. 
  5. Ilse Meyer, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marriage Age: 31, Birth Date: Aug 1910
    Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Date: 30 Aug 1941, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 241 W. 101 St., Occupation: Nurse, Father: Albert Meyer Mother: Rebecca Meyer, Spouse: Friedrich Scheer, Certificate Number: 15061, Current Marriage Number: 0, Witness 1: Mrs.rRebecca Meyer Witness 2: Mr. Fred Gaertner, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1941, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  6. Frederick Scheer, Petition for Naturalization, he National Archives at Fort Worth; Fort Worth, Texas; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Title/Description: Naturalization Petitions, 1943, pt 2, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1852-1991; Friedrich Scheer
    Gender: Male, Race: White, Marriage Age: 34, Birth Date: 2 Nov 1906, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Affidavit Date: 25 Aug 1941, Marriage Date: 30 Aug 1941, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 241 W. 101 St., Residence Place: New York City, Occupation: Stock Clerk, Father:
    Markus Scheer, Mother: Hanna Scheer, Spouse: Ilse Meyer, Certificate Number: 15061
    Current Marriage Number: 0, Witness 1: Mrs.rRebecca Meyer, Witness 2: Mr. Fred Gaertner, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1941, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  7. Fred Scheer and family, 1950 US census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: New York, New York, New York; Roll: 4376; Sheet Number: 3; Enumeration District: 31-2172, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census 
  8. Else [sic] Scheer, Age: 46, Birth Date: abt 1910, Death Date: 23 Dec 1956, Death Place: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 27062, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/233510287/ilse-scheer: accessed 29 August 2022), memorial page for Ilse Scheer (1910–1956), Find a Grave Memorial ID 233510287, citing Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA; Maintained by dalya d (contributor 46972551). 
  9. Rebecca Meyers [sic], Gender: Female, Age: 78, Birth Date: abt 1881, Residence Place: New York, USA, Death Date: 22 Sep 1959, Death Place: New York, USA
    Certificate Number: 64679, New York State Department of Health; Albany, Ny, Usa; New York State Death Index, Ancestry.com. New York State, U.S., Death Index, 1957-1970;   Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/233491260/rebecca-meyer: accessed 29 August 2022), memorial page for Rebecca Strauss Meyer (1881–1959), Find a Grave Memorial ID 233491260, citing Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA; Maintained by dalya d (contributor 46972551). 
  10. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36600273/rudolph-meyer: accessed 29 August 2022), memorial page for Rudolph Meyer (1908–1984), Find a Grave Memorial ID 36600273, citing Forest Green Park Cemetery, Morganville, Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA; Maintained by Kat (contributor 19409629). Rudolph R Meyer, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 17 Mar 1908, Death Date: 28 Aug 1984, SSN: 129055912, Enlistment Branch: ARMY, Enlistment Date: 27 Sep 1943, Discharge Date: 31 Oct 1945, Page number: 1, Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010. 
  11. Ruth L Meyer, Age: 94, Birth Date: 26 Sep 1908, Death Date: 6 Dec 2002
    Death Place: New Jersey, USA, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; New Jersey Death Index, 2001-2017, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Death Index, 1848-1878, 1901-2017 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irvin and Betty Strauss, 1950 US census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 3466; Sheet Number: 77; Enumeration District: 1-997, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


  1. Max Strauss and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02497; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 3-1461, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  2. Herbert Strauss, Army Enlistment records, National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 04643; Reel: 186, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 
  3. U-T San Diego () , obit for STRAUSS, HERBERT M. “HERBIE”, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/14171898479354C0-14171898479354C0 : accessed 25 August 2022) 
  4. Irvin Strauss, Gender: Male, Age: 32, Birth Date: abt 1917, Marriage Date: 28 May 1949, Marriage Place: District of Columbia, USA, Spouse: Betty A Farber, Film Number: 002320035, Ancestry.com. Washington, D.C., U.S., Marriage Records, 1810-1953 
  5. This information came from an Ancestry family tree that was apparently created by Betty and Irvin’s grandchild, so I am assuming it is accurate. In addition, I found two references to her date of birth in other places. Betty F. Kupinsky, Death Age: 89, Birth Date: 7 Dec 1924, Residence Place: Bethesda, Maryland, Death Date: 1 Dec 2014
    Obituary Date: 5 Dec 2014, Ancestry.com. U.S., Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection, 1847-Current. 
  6. Ruth Brunell Strauss, Petition for Naturalization, The National Archives at Fort Worth; Fort Worth, Texas; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, Title/Description: Naturalization Petitions, 1954 – 1955, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1852-1991 
  7. Augusta Strauss, [Augusta Schoemann], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 13 Jun 1888, Birth Place: Odenheim Bad, Federal Republic of Germany, Father:
    Elias Schoemann, Mother: Karolina Mannheimer, SSN: 054205349, Notes: May 1943: Name listed as AUGUSTA STRAUSS, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. 

Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss, Part III: Her Children Bertha and Moritz and Their Lives in America

By 1940, the five surviving children of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss—Bertha, Moritz, Hermann, Meier (Max), and Rebekah—were all living in the US. Their children were also safely in the US as were their spouses (although Rebekka’s husband Albert Meyer had died in 1928). It almost seems like a miracle that not one of Dusschen’s children had been killed in the Holocaust. In this post and the next three I will continue the stories of each of those children. This post is about the oldest child, Bertha Strauss Herz and her family and about the second oldest child Moritz Strauss and his family.

Bertha, the oldest child, was living with her husband Morris Herz and their daughter Henrietta (Henny on the 1940 census), their son-in-law Alfred Gaertner, and granddaughter Ingeborg in New York City where both Alfred and Morris were working as tailors, Alfred for a mail order house and Morris for a retail tailor shop.

Herz and Gaertner family 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02674; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 31-2030, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Morris and Bertha’s son Manfred Edgar Herz had changed his name to Fred Edgar Herz and registered for the World War II draft under that name on October 16, 1940. At that time Fred was living in Charleston, West Virginia, and working for the Interstate Home Equipment Company.

Fred Herz, World War II draft registration, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for West Virginia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 216 Description Name Range: Hern, Author-Hess, William Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

He enlisted in the US Army on June 21, 1943, and was honorably discharged on October 12, 1945.1 By that time, he had obtained a license to marry Zelma Anderson Risher, as announced in the March 22, 1945, issue of the Knoxville (Tennessee) News-Sentinel. Both Fred and Zelma were residing in Charleston, West Virginia, at that time.2 They did not have children, although Zelma had a daughter from a prior marriage.

Meanwhile, Fred’s mother Bertha, the oldest of the siblings, died at age 71 in New York on October 31, 1942.3 She was survived by her husband Morris and children Henrietta and Fred and granddaughter Ingeborg. Morris outlived Bertha by almost twelve years; he died on January 8, 1954, at the age of 78.4

Henrietta’s husband Alfred Gaertner died in December 1968,5 and she followed him fifteen years later on August 2, 1983.6 They were survived by their daughter Ingeborg and her family. Fred Herz and his wife Zelma both died in Palm Springs in 1987, she on January 20,7 and Fred on June 9, 1987.8

Bertha’s brother Moritz (Morris in the US) Strauss, who had been in the US since 1889 when he was a teenager, was living in the Bronx with his wife Therese in 1940. He was now retired.9

Their daughter Blanche had married between 1930 and 1940; her husband was Irving Heller, and he had lost his first wife, Frances Lippmann, on July 13, 1937.10 Although I cannot find a marriage record for Blanche and Irving, I assume they married sometime between July 13, 1937, and April 17, 1940, when the 1940 census was enumerated, as they appear together on that census as husband and wife, living in New York City with Irving’s son Lester. Irving was the owner of a wholesale egg business, and Blanche was still a teacher in the New York City public schools.

Irving Heller 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02674; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 31-2063, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Morris Strauss died on October 20, 1947, in New York; he was 74.11 He was survived by his wife Therese and daughter Blanche.

In 1950, Therese was living with Blanche and her husband Irving Heller in New York, where Irving still had the egg business and Blanche was still teaching.

Irving Heller 1950 US census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: New York, New York, New York; Roll: 4378; Sheet Number: 83; Enumeration District: 31-2222, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census

Therese died three years later at the age of 80 on October 22, 1953.12 Irving Heller died on February 19, 1970; he was 78.13 Blanche lived another twelve years; she died on March 15, 1982, at the age of 84.14 As Blanche had had no children of her own with Irving, there are no biological descendants of Morris and Therese, although Irving’s son from his first marriage may have been adopted by Blanche.

My next post will be about Bertha and Moritz’s next oldest sibling, Hermann Strauss, and his family’s life in the United States.


  1.  National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 09895; Reel: 51, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946; Manfred Edgar Herz, Gender: Male,Birth Date: 18 Feb 1909
    Death Date: 9 Jun 1987, SSN: 235266471, Enlistment Branch: ARMY, Enlistment Date: 5 Jul 1943, Discharge Date: 12 Oct 1945, Page number: 1, Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 
  2. The Knoxville News-Sentinel – 22 Mar 1945 – Page 8. 
  3. Bertha Herz, Age: 71, Birth Year: abt 1871, Death Date: 31 Oct 1942, Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 21563, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  4. Date obtained from the Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, NJ, where Morris and Bertha are buried. 
  5.  Alfred Gaertner, Social Security Number: 052-07-5367, Birth Date: 9 Aug 1895
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Dec 1968, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6.  Henrietta Gaertner, Social Security Number: 094-46-9690, Birth Date: 14 Nov 1901
    Issue Year: 1969, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Aug 1983, Sociial Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  7. Zelma A Herz, [Zelma A Anderson], Social Security #: 234303318, Gender: Female
    Birth Date: 1 Apr 1906, Birth Place: West Virginia, Death Date: 20 Jan 1987, Death Place: Riverside, Mother’s Maiden Name: Snyder, Father’s Surname: Anderson, Place: Riverside; Date: 20 Jan 1987; Social Security: 234303318, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997 
  8. See Note 1, supra. 
  9. Morris Herz, 1940 US Census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02467; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 3-251A, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  10. Frances Heller, Age: 40, Birth Year: abt 1897, Death Date: 13 Jul 1937, Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 16513, Wills and Probates: Search for Frances Heller in New York Wills & Probates collection, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948; Frances Lippman, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 8 Mar 1925, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
    Spouse: Irving Heller, Certificate Number: 7528, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  11. Morris Strauss, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marital Status: Married, Age: 74
    Birth Date: 19 Jan 1873, Birth Place: Germany, Residence Street Address: 150 Bennett Ave, Residence Place: New York,Death Date: 20 Oct 1947, Hospital: Beth Abraham Home, Death Place: New York City, Bronx, New York, USA, Death City Ward: 9
    Cause of Death: Cerebral Thrombosis, Old Right Side Hemiplegia General, Arteriosclerosis, Burial Date: 22 Oct 1947, Burial Place: Union Field Cemetery
    Occupation: Butcher, Father’s Birth Place: Germany, Mother’s Birth Place: Germany
    Father: Isaac Strauss, Mother: Duse Strauss, Spouse: Theresa Strauss, Informant: Theresa Stauss, Informant Gender: Female, Informant Relationship: Wife, Executor: Therese Strain, Executor Relationship: Wife, Certificate Number: 10219, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Bronx; Year: 1947, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  12. Theresa Strauss, Age: 80, Birth Date: abt 1873, Death Date: 22 Oct 1953, Death Place: Bronx, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 10571, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965 
  13.  Irving Heller, Social Security Number: 093-10-9363, Birth Date: 5 Dec 1891, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10040, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Feb 1970, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  14. Blanche Heller, Race: White, Age at Death: 84, Birth Date: 8 Apr 1897, Death Date: 15 Mar 1982, Death Place: Dade, Florida, United States, Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998 

Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss, Part II: Escaping from Germany

I know it’s been a while since my last genealogy post. Between the death of my cat Smokey and all the chaos involved with moving, I’ve had neither the time nor the inclination. But now I am dipping my toe back in genealogical waters.

As seen in my last Blumenfeld post, three of the seven children of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss left Germany in the late 19th, early 20th century for the United States. Moritz, the oldest son, left in 1889 and married there and had two children. Bertha, the oldest daughter, married in New York in 1901 and had her first child there, but returned to Germany by 1909 when her second child was born. And Meier, the third son and fifth child of Dusschen and Isaac, immigrated to the US in 1904 and remained, marrying and having two children born in the US.

During that same period, most of Dusschen and Isaac’s children who were still in Germany also married and had children. But unfortunately, the youngest child of Dusschen and Isaac, their son Sali (spelled Sally on this gravestone), died at a young age. He was only twenty years old when he died on February 12, 1906.

Hermann, the second son and fourth child, married Julie (Julchen) Alexander in Wetter on June 22, 1906. Julchen was born to Abraham Alexander and Roschen Rosenblatt on May 30, 1881, in Waltersbruck, Germany.

Marriage record of Hermann Strauss and Julchen Alexander,Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 9573, Year: 1906, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hermann and Julchen had three children. Sally (later Robert) was born in Wetter on July 3, 1907.1 He was presumably named for Hermann’s brother Sally who had died the year before. A second child Max was born to Hermann and Julchen on May 28, 1910, in Wetter.2 And their daughter Ilse was born in Marburg on February 3, 1915.3

Dusschen and Isaac’s sixth child Rebekah married Albert Meyer on May 14, 1907, in Bonn, Germany. Albert was born in Bonn on July 18, 1872.4 Rebekah and Albert had two children: Rudolph Raphael, born in Bonn on March 17, 1908,5 and Ilse, born in Bonn on August 20, 1910.6

Thus, by 1915, Dusschen and Isaac had nine grandchildren with two more to be born between 1916 and 1920. Four of those grandchildren were in the US with their parents, and the others were all in Germany.

Sadly, Isaac Strauss did not live to see the births of those last two grandchildren. He died on October 2, 1916, in Wetter.7 He was survived by his wife Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss, who died twelve years later on October 11, 1928. They were survived by six of their seven children, four of whom were still living in Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933.

Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss death record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 9652; Laufende Nummer: 915
Year Range: 1928, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Fortunately, three of those remaining in Germany were lucky to leave in time to escape being killed in the Holocaust. Hermann, the only surviving brother who was still in Germany, arrived in the US on November 28, 1934, with his wife Julchen and daughter Ilse. Their younger son Max had preceded them by nine months, immigrating to the US on February 5, 1934.8

Hermann Strauss ship manifest, Year: 1934; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 11; Page Number: 83,Ship or Roll Number: Manhattan, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Their older son Sally had immigrated years before, arriving on October 28, 1926, when he was nineteen. When he filed a Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen on October 19, 1927, he was using the name Sol, working as a salesman, and living in New York City.9 He became a naturalized citizen in 1933 in Rockford, Illinois, and changed his name to Robert Sally Strauss.

Robert Sally Strauss naturalization record, National Archives at Chicago; Chicago, Illinois; ARC Title: Petitions for Naturalization for the United States District and Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950; NAI Number: M1285; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: RG 85  Description: Index to Naturalization Petitions, S-352 H· to S-362 Vyncenz, Ancestry.com. Illinois, U.S., Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991

Hermann’s sister Bertha Strauss Herz, who had previously lived and married in New York, returned to the US with her husband Morris (Moritz on the manifest) Herz on August 16, 1936. Their daughter Henrietta arrived on the same ship with her husband Alfred Gaertner and their eleven-year-old daughter Ingeborg. Both Alfred and Morris listed their occupations as tailors on the ship manifest. Alfred, who was born in Brohl, Germany, on August 9, 1895, had married Henrietta in Bonn on July 29, 1923, and their daughter Ingeborg was born on February 22, 1925.10

Herz and Gaetner families, ship manifest, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 10; Page Number: 47, Ship or Roll Number: Britannic
Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Bertha and Morris Herz’s son Manfred Edgar Herz did not immigrate until July 28, 1939. On the ship manifest he listed his occupation as auto mechanic and his last residence as Frankfurt.11

Rebekka Strauss Meyer was the last sibling to come to the US, arriving on March 25, 1938.12 She had lost her husband Albert on May 26, 1928, in Bonn. Rebekka’s children had arrived before her, Rudolph on April 12, 1937, listing his occupation as an insurance agent,13 and Ilse on May 9, 1937. Ilse was working as a nursemaid in New York when she filed her declaration of intention on August 4, 1937.14

Only one sibling remained in Germany as of 1939, the third child of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss, their daughter Kathinka, who had never married. She died on November 8, 1940, in the Krankenhaus Judische Kultusvereinigung (the Jewish Religious Association Hospital) in Frankfurt from a bile duct obstruction and jaundice. She was 65 years old. Kathinka was survived by her five surviving siblings and their children.

Kathinka Strauss death record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Signatur: 11114; Laufende Nummer: 903, Year Range: 1940, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

All five of those siblings and all the grandchildren of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss were safely out of Germany by that time and survived the Holocaust. More on their lives in the US in the next two posts.


  1. Sol Strauss, Declaration of Intention, 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, Description
    Description: (Roll 379) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 248601-249750), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  2. Max Strauss, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marital Status: Single, Marriage Age: 28
    Birth Date: 28 May 1910, Birth Place: Walter Germany, Marriage Affidavit Date: 2 May 1939, Marriage Date: 7 May 1939, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 4520 Broadway, Residence Place: New York, Manhattan, Occupation: Route Salesman, Father: Hermann Strauss, Mother:
    Julie Strauss, Spouse: Betty Heinemann, Certificate Number: 5322, Current Marriage Number: 0, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1939, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  3. Ilse Strauss, [Ilse Strauss Wurzburger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 3 Feb 1915, Birth Place: Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 23 Feb 2006, Father: Herman Strauss, Mother: Julia Alexander, SSN: 059077009, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. Rebecka Meyer, 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, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  5. Rudolph Raphael Meyer, Record Type: Naturalization, Birth Date: 17 Mar 1908
    Birth Place: Bonn, Prussia, Germany, Arrival Date: 12 Apr 1937, Arrival Place: New York NY, Naturalization Place: Tennessee, USA, Spouse: Ruth Cohn Meyer, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.c.; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. Tennessee, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1888-1992 
  6. Ilse Meyer, Record Type: Petition, Birth Date: 20 Aug 1910, Birth Place: Germany
    Arrival Date: 1937, Residence Place: New York, USA, Petition Date: 4 Aug 1937, Petition Place: New York, USA, Court: District Court, Court District: Southern District, New York, Description: (Roll 1449) Petition No. 433501 – Petition No. 433836, The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944; Series: M1972; Roll: 1449, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1882-1944; Rebecka Meyer, 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, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  7.  Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 9640; Laufende Nummer: 915, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  8. Max Strauss ship manifest, Year: 1934; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 3; Page Number: 120, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  9. See Note 1, supra. 
  10. Alfred Gaertner, 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 514) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 392101-393200), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  11. Manfred Herz, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 19; Page Number: 37, Description Ship or Roll Number: New York, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  12. See Note 4, supra. 
  13. See Note 4, supra. 
  14. See Note 5, supra. 

Dusschen Blumenfeld Strauss and Her Seven Children, Part I: Three Who Went to America

I have been busy with moving to a new house, but will now return to the Blumenfeld branch of my family tree and to Dusschen Blumenfeld, the fourth child of Isaac Blumenfeld, who was the second child of Moses Blumenfeld I, my four-times great-uncle. As I wrote about here, there were two granddaughters of Moses Blumenfeld I with the name Dusschen Blumenfeld, the other being the daughter of Abraham Blumenfeld IIA. To keep them straight, I am referring to Abraham’s daughter as Dora and Isaac’s daughter as Dusschen, although Isaac’s daughter was also sometimes known as Dora.

Dusschen Blumenfeld was born on December 25, 1848, in Momberg, Germany.

Dusschen Blumenfeld birth record, LAGIS Hessen Archives, Geburtsregister der Juden von Neustadt 1824-1884 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 628)

She was 21 when she married Isaac Strauss on May 19, 1870, in Amoeneburg.  Isaac was born in Amoeneburg on January 23, 1839, to Samuel Strauss and Jettchen Rosenbaum,1 and he was Dusschen’s first cousin since his father Samuel Strauss and Dusschen’s mother Gelle Strauss were brother and sister.

Marriage record of Isaac Strauss and Dusschen Blumenfeld, Archives of Hesse, HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 50, p. 12

Isaac had been previously married.2 His first wife, Bettchen Reis, died on April 17, 1869, in Amoeneburg3 after giving birth to their second child Emanuel, who was born on April 12, 1869, and died two weeks later on April 26, 1869.4 Isaac was left to raise his daughter Jettchen Strauss, who was not yet three years old when her mother and infant brother died. Isaac married Dusschen a year after losing his first wife Bettchen.

Dusschen and Isaac had seven children together, the first five all born in Amoeneburg.

Their first born was Bertha, born on July 20, 1871.

Berta Strauss birth record, Arcinsys Hesse Archives, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 49 p 11

Second was Moses, also known as Moritz, born on January 19, 1873.

Moses Strauss birth record, Arcinsys Hesse Archives, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 49, p. 11

Then came Kathinka, born December 18, 1874.

Kathinka Strauss birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 173, Year Range: 1874, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

The fourth child was Hermann, born October 1, 1876.

Hermann Strauss birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 175, Year Range: 1876, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Maier, also known as Max, came next; he was born on February 12, 1879.

Maier Strauss birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 178, Year Range: 1879, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

The sixth child was Rebekka, and she was born in Wetter, Germany, on February 8, 1881, so the family must have relocated from Amoeneburg by that time.

Rebekka Strauss birth record, Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 9521, Year Range: 1881, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Finally, the seventh and last child born to Dusschen and Isaac was their son Sali, born May 29, 1885, also in Wetter.

Sali Strauss birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 9525, Year Range: 1885, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Several of Isaac and Dusschen’s children left for the United States in the late 19th century. Just four years after his youngest sibling Sali’s birth in 1885, the oldest son Moritz left Germany for the United States. He was only sixteen when he arrived in New York City on May 30, 1889.5 On June 7, 1896, Moritz Strauss married Therese Wolff, daughter of Israel Wolff and Sarah Lion, in New York. Therese was also an immigrant from Germany; she was born in Nalbach, Saarland, in 1873.6

Moritz and Therese had two children born in New York. Blanche was born on April 8, 1897.7 In 1900, the family was living in New York City, and Moritz, now known as Morris, was working as a butcher. Their second child Irving was born  on August 24, 1901.8

Morris Strauss 1900 US Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1097; Page: 15; Enumeration District: 0340; FHL microfilm: 1241097, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

On August 5, 1904, Morris became a naturalized citizen.9 By 1910, Morris and his family had moved to the Bronx, and Moritz owned his own butcher shop. He must have felt that he had achieved the American dream.

Morris Strauss 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 30, New York, New York; Roll: T624_996; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 1405; FHL microfilm: 1375009
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

Then tragedy struck when Irving Strauss, just thirteen years old, died on February 7, 1915. According to his death certificate, Irving died from acute osteomyelitis of the humerus, “cause unknown.” The humerus in the long bone in our arms, and osteomyelitis is inflammation of a bone or bone marrow caused by an infection. Pyemia, or blood poisoning from bacteria, was a contributory cause; my guess is that the infection spread from the blood stream to his bone. Even today such an infection is not a simple one to treat, but it’s much less likely that young Irving would die from it today than in 1915.

Irving Strauss death certificate, Certificate No. 919, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Bronx; Year: 1915

In 1920, the surviving members of the family, Morris, Therese, and Blanche, were living in the Bronx, and Morris was still working as a butcher.10 Blanche, now 22 years old, was working as a teacher in the New York City public schools. Blanche was still living with her parents in the Bronx and teaching in 1930, and her father Morris was still working as a butcher at that time.11

Moritz was not the only child of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss to come to the United States. Moritz’s older sister Bertha also came to New York City.  She married Morris Herz there on January 27, 1901. Morris was born on February 18, 1875, in Bonn, Germany. He was the son of Max Herz and Susanna Weber.12 I don’t know when he or Bertha arrived in New York. Their first child Henrietta was born in New York on November 14, 190113, but their second child, Manfred Edgar Herz, was born on February 18, 1909, in Frankfurt, Germany.14 So Bertha and Moritz must have returned to Germany between the births of their two children, and, as we will see, they remained there until the 1930s.

But the third oldest son of Dusschen and Isaac Strauss, like his brother Moritz, came to the US to stay.  Maier (also spelled Meier or Meyer and later known as Max) Strauss arrived in New York on June 7, 1903. He was 24 and had last been living in London. He was working as a baker when he filed his declaration of intention to become a US citizen four years later on November 19, 1907.

Max Meier Strauss declaration of intention, 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, Vol 021-023 19 Oct-23 Nov 1907 (No 9985-11484), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Max Meier married Augusta Schoenmann in New York on October 7, 1914. Augusta was born in Odenheim, Germany, on June 13, 1888, to Elias Schoenmann and Karolina Mannheimer.15

Meier and Augusta’s first child, Irving, was born February 8, 1917.16 When Meier registered for the World War I draft on September 12, 1918, he owned his own bakery in New York, and his family was living at the same address as the bakery.

Meier Strauss, World War I draft registration, Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

A second child, Herbert, was born to Meier and Augusta on September 26, 1919, in New York.17 In 1920, the family was still living at the address of the bakery listed on Meier’s draft registration, and Meier was still working as a baker.18 But by 1930, the family had moved to Hoboken, New Jersey. Meier, now listed as Max, was still a baker.19

Back in Germany, meanwhile, the rest of the family of Dusschen Blumenfeld and Isaac Strauss was also expanding during these years.


  1. Isaac Strauss birth record, Arcinsys Archives of Hessen, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 49, found at https://arcinsys.hessen.de/arcinsys/digitalisatViewer.action?detailid=v1510942 
  2. Marriage of Isaac Strauss and Bettchen Reis, Trauregister der Juden von Amöneburg 1824-1893 (HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 50) p.11 
  3. Death record of Bettchen Reis Strauss, Arcinsys Archives of Hesse,  HHStAW Fonds 365 No 51, p. 8 
  4. Birth record of Emanuel Strauss, Arcinsys Archives of Hesse,HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 49, p. 10; Death record of Emanuel Strauss, Arcinsys Archives of Hesse, HHStAW Abt. 365 Nr. 51, p. 8 
  5.  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: US District Court for the Eastern District of New York (058-059), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  6. Moritz Strauss, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 7 Jun 1896, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Therese Wolff, Certificate Number: 9594, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937; “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:2:997Z-4HVD : 21 June 2022), Entry for Moritz Strauss and Theresa Wolff, 1896. 
  7. Blanche Strauss, Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 8 Apr 1897, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 17565
    Father: Moritz Strauss, Mother: Theresa Strauss, Mother Maiden Name: Wolf, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1897, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  8. Irving Strauss, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 24 Aug 1901, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E. 10 Str 364, Certificate Number: 33487, Father: Maurice Strauss, Mother: Theresa Strauss
    Mother Maiden Name: Wolff, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1901, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  9. Moritz Strauss, Petition Age: 31, Record Type: Petition, Birth Date: 19 Jan 1873, Birth Place: Germany, Arrival Date: 30 May 1889, Arrival Place: New York, New York
    Petition Date: 5 Aug 1904, Petition Place: Kings, New York, USA, 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, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  10. Morris Strauss, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 5, Bronx, New York; Roll: T625_1137; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 286, Enumeration District: 0286; Description: Bronx, Assembly District 5, Tract 121 (part) bounded by Westchester Ave, Whitlock Ave, E 165th, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  11. Morris Strauss, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 0625; FHL microfilm: 2341222; Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  12. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:2:997C-9L4Q : 21 June 2022), Entry for Morris Herz and Bertha Strauss, 1901. 
  13. “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:2:9979-QK94 : 11 February 2018), Entry for Henrietta Hertz, 14 Nov 1901; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 44441 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,983,411. 
  14. Manfred Edgar Herz, Record Type: Naturalization, Birth Date: 18 Feb 1909, Birth Place: Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, Arrival Date: 28 Jul 1939, Arrival Place: New York NY, Naturalization Place: Tennessee, USA, National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.c.; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States; Record Group Number: 21, Ancestry.com. Tennessee, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1888-1992 
  15. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:2:997C-CG23 : 21 June 2022), Entry for Meier Strauss and Auguste Schoemann, 1914. Mrs Augusta Strauss
    Gender: Female, Age: 35, Birth Date: 13 Jun 1888, Birth Place: Odenbeim Bei Bruchal, Baden, Germany, Residence Place: New York, Passport Issue Date: 21 Mar 1924
    Spouse: Max Strauss, Has Photo: Yes, Certificate Number: 381929, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 2449; Volume #: Roll 2449 – Certificates: 381850-382349, 21 Mar 1924-22 Mar 1924, Ancestry.com. U.S., Passport Applications, 1795-1925 
  16. Irvin Strauss, Race: White, Age: 23, Relationship to Draftee: Self (Head). Birth Date: 8 Feb 1917. Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA. Residence Place: Washington, District of Columbia, USA, Registration Date: 16 Oct 1940, Registration Place: Washington, District of Columbia, USA,Next of Kin: Max Strauss, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 221, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  17. Herbert Milton Strauss, Race: White, Age: 21, Birth Date: 26 Sep 1919, Birth Place: New York City, New York, Registration Date: 16 Oct 1940, Registration Place: New York City, Bronx, New York, Next of Kin: Augusta Strauss, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New York City, 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147, ncestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  18. Meier Strauss and family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 13, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1209; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 957, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  19. Max Strauss and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0262; FHL microfilm: 2341084,
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 

Salomon Blumenfeld: An Entire Blumenfeld Family Who Survived the Holocaust

Moses IIB’s third child Salomon Blumenfeld and his wife Malchen Levi and their three daughters all left Germany in time and avoided being killed by the Nazis and thus were much more fortunate than Salomon’s siblings, Hermann, Bertha, and Clementine, and their families.

In fact, Salomon’s middle daughter Hilde left Germany even before Hitler came to power. In May 1929, when she was only seventeen, Hilde sailed from Hamburg to New York, listing an uncle, her mother’s brother Salli Levi, as the person she was going to and her occupation as a clerk.

Hilde Blumenfeld 1929 ship manifest, Year: 1929; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 2; Page Number: 42, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

When she filed a declaration of intention to become a US citizen on June 2, 1931, she was living in New York City and listed her occupation as a German-English stenographer.

HIlde Blumenfeld 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, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

But Hilde apparently never became a US citizen and did not remain in the US. Sometime before March 1934, she married Ludwig Felix Meinrath, and together they immigrated to Brazil. Ludwig was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1902, and immigrated with his parents Leopold and Anni and siblings to Antwerp, Belgium sometime before 1916.1 I don’t know whether they stayed in Belgium or where and when Ludwig and Hilde were married. But in 1934 they left for Brazil where they remained. They had at least one child, who was born in the 1930s.

Ludwig and Hilde Meinrath 1934 ship to Rio de Janeiro, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 424; Page: 385; Microfilm No.: K_2003, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

Hilde’s parents Salomon and Amalie/Malchen followed her to Brazil several years later. They arrived on March 29, 1939. Salomon listed his occupation as “comerciante” or merchant.

Salomon Blumenfeld, Digital GS Number: 004909061, Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Amalie Blumenfeld, Digital GS Number: 004913595, Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Meanwhile, Hilde’s older sister Gretel had married David Katz on January 24, 1930, in Kirchhain; David was the son of Mendel Katz and Jettchen Levi and was born in Nenterhausen, Germany, on February 11, 1897.

Marriage record of Gretel Blumenfeld and David Katz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5058, Year Range: 1930, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

This remarkable photograph, which had a long caption labeling all those in it, was found on several Ancestry trees as well as on Geni. It was taken at Gretel and David’s wedding and shows many members of the two families. Of particular interest to my research, the middle row shows Salomon Blumenfeld on the far left next to David’s mother Jettchen, then the bride Gretel and groom David, then Gretel’s mother Amalie and at far right David’s father Mendel. In the bottom row, Salomon and Amalie’s daughter Jenny is seated second from the left, and Lilli Abraham, Salomon’s niece, is seated fourth from the left.2

Wedding of Gretel Blumenfeld and David Katz Source: Unknown

Gretel and David had one child born in 1931. They all immigrated to the US on August 18, 1939. David listed his occupation as teacher.

Katz family, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 19, Ship or Roll Number: Hamburg, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

In 1940 they were living in New York City with several lodgers, and David was working as a schoolteacher.3

In August 1946, Gretel’s parents Salomon and Amalie sailed from Brazil to New York, Salomon arriving on August 14 and Amalie on August 29. Salomon’s entry on his manifest indicates that he was going to his daughter Gretel in New York and that he intended to stay permanently. It also indicated that he needed cataract surgery and had other medical issues.4 Amalie’s manifest similarly reported that she was going to Gretel, intended to stay permanently, and had a medical issue.5

Many trees report that the other daughter of Salomon and Amalie, Jenny, married Siegmund Rudolf Warburg on July 25, 1933, and that Siegmund was born in Berlin on May 26, 1896, to Otto Warburg and Bertha Cohen. But something doesn’t add up.

I found the birth record for Siegmund.

Siegmund Warburg birth record, Landesarchiv Berlin; Berlin, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Laufendenummer: 95, Ancestry.com. Berlin, Germany, Births, 1874-1908

But I also found (after some searching because Ancestry had them indexed to the wrong image) a Siegmund Warburg with a different wife, Ilse, and two children, Gabriel and Thomas, sailing from Hamburg to New York on August 31, 1933. Was this a different Siegmund Warburg, also born in 1896 (37 years old) and having last lived in Berlin? Entirely possible.

Warburg family, ship manifest, Month: Band 417 (Aug 1933), Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934

Yet I cannot find any record attaching Jenny Blumenfeld to a man named Siegmund Warburg. The only references I could find (other than the unsourced trees) was a Shoah Foundation interview with Jenny’s sister Hilde that lists a “Geny Varbuk” as her sister.6 I requested access to the interview, hoping this would answer my questions, but alas, it was in Portuguese, and I can’t understand it. I am hoping I can get a transcript and translate it, but I don’t know if that exists. Also, Richard Bloomfield found Jenny’s gravestone on Billiongraves, and it has her name (in Hebrew) as Jenny Warburg.

Jenny Warburg, Yekhi’am cemetery, Akko, Israel, found at Billiongraves.com at https://billiongraves.com/grave/%D7%92%D7%A0%D7%99-%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%92/22732522

But when I searched on Billiongraves at that same cemetery, I could not find anyone named Siegmund Warburg. That, of course, doesn’t mean anything since Billiongraves doesn’t include everyone, but it also doesn’t help connect Jenny to Siegmund.

Perhaps Jenny was Siegmund’s second wife, but then she didn’t marry him in July 1933. Or maybe she married someone else named Siegmund Warburg and not the one married to Ilse. I don’t know, and I am still searching for answers. Maybe someone who knows Portuguese will listen to the Shoah Foundation testimony and hear Jenny’s sister talk about Jenny’s marriage and fill me in.

In any event, Salomon Blumenfeld’s entire family escaped Germany in time and were not killed by the Nazis, unlike Salomon’s siblings Hermann, Bertha, and Clementine.

The story of the remaining child of Moses Blumenfeld IIB, Max, was harder to uncover and will be discussed in my next series of posts.


  1. Louis Felix Meinrath, Birth Date: 1902, Birth Place: Keulen, Immigration Date: 1901-1915, Immigration Place: Antwerpen, Belgium, File Number: 119901, Page: 438
    FHL Film Number: 2234442, Ancestry.com. Belgium, Antwerp Police Immigration Index, 1840-1930 
  2. The photograph may have first appeared on Geni on the profile of David Katz. I have written to the manager of that profile to ask for the photo’s source, but have not heard back. 
  3. Katz family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02675; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 31-2085, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  4. “New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G94V-SWMS?cc=1923888&wc=MFK4-H6D%3A1030138201 : 2 October 2015), 7158 – vol 15390-15391, Aug 14, 1946 > image 1317 of 1489; citing NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). 
  5. Malchen Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1946; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 12; Page Number: 63, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  6. Interview with Hilde Meinrath, USC Shoah Foundation; Los Angeles, California; Visual History Archive: The Holocaust, Free Access: USC Shoah Foundation, Holocaust – Jewish Survivor Interviews 

Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich: Another Family Destroyed in the Holocaust

Another tragic story. There are times I can barely bring myself to write about what happened to so many of my relatives. Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich was my third cousin, twice removed.

Bertha, the second child of Moses IIB and Sara Blumenfeld, was born in 1876 and married Ludwig Fernich in 1900, as we saw. They had two daughters, Jenny, born in 1904, and Else, born in 1905. Jenny had married Julius Asser in 1926, and they had two children, Kurt and Lissy, born in 1926 and 1927, respectively.

It appears that Bertha’s husband Ludwig died sometime before January 18, 1939 since he is not included in the marginal note on their marriage record made on that date, which reported that Bertha had had Sara added to her name to identify her asJewish as required by Nazi law. My assumption is that Ludwig must have died or the note would have indicated that Israel had been added to his name. But I’ve been unable to locate an actual death record for Ludwig.

Marriage record of Bertha Blumenfeld and Ludwig Fernich, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5028
Description
Year Range: 1900
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Bertha, her daughter Jenny, son-in-law Julius Asser, and grandchildren Kurt and Lissy Asser were all deported to the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 and were killed during Holocaust. Kurt and Lissy were young teenagers. Although I cannot fathom how a human being kills another human being for no reason, I find it especially hard to imagine how anyone kills innocent children who haven’t even had a chance to live life.

Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=3579289&ind=1

Jenny Fernich Asser, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1882529&ind=2

Julius Asser, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1853283&ind=1

Kurt Asser Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1853448&ind=1

Lissy Asser Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1797444&ind=1

But Bertha’s younger daughter Else and her husband Josef Hauswirth did escape in time. Else had married Josef on August 19, 1932, in Dortmund, Germany, where Josef was born on January 8, 1904. They immigrated to the US on June 24, 1937, and settled in New York City,1 where in 1940 they were living at 153 West 80th Street and both were working as operators in the fur trade; Else was now using the name Ellen.2 On his World War II draft registration, Josef indicated that he was self-employed, so apparently this was their own fur business. And I was lucky to find Josef and Ellen on the 1950 census, my first real research use of the 1950 census! They were still living in New York City, and Josef was the owner of a fur business.

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

By 1958 Ellen and Josef Hauswirth were registered to vote in Los Angeles, California.3 They both died in California, Joseph on April 16, 1987,4 Ellen on March 12, 1998.5 As far as I can tell, Josef and Ellen did not have children as none was living with them in either 1940 or 1950 or when they immigrated. Did they choose not to have children because of the Holocaust? We will never know.

Thus, Bertha Blumenfeld Fernwich has no living descendants today. Most of her family was murdered by the Nazis, and her only surviving child Else/Ellen had no children.


I will be taking a much needed break from blogging next week. I will be back on May 17.


  1. Else Fernich Hauswirth Petition for Naturalization, The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944; Series: M1972; Roll: 1440, Archive Roll Descriptions: (Roll 1440) Petition No· 430413 – Petition No· 430800,
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Naturalization Records, 1882-1944 
  2. Ellen and Josef Hauswirth, 1940 US Census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02636; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 31-559, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  3. Josef Hauswirth, Residence Date: 1958, Street Address: 6052 Willouchby Ave, Residence Place: Los Angeles, California, USA, Party Affiliation: Democrat, California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 
  4. Josef Hauswirth, Social Security #: 123039073, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 8 Jan 1904, Birth Place: Other Country, Death Date: 16 Apr 1987, Death Place: Los Angeles
    Mother’s Maiden Name: Kempler, Place: Los Angeles; Date: 16 Apr 1987; Social Security: 123039073, Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997 
  5.  Ellen F. Hauswirth, Social Security Number: 119-09-1530, Birth Date: 9 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 90048, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA, Death Date: 12 Mar 1998, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Max Bloomfield: An American Immigrant Who Never Forgot His Family Back Home

As mentioned in my earlier post, when Dorothea Blumenfeld’s daughter Gertha came to the US in 1939, she listed on the ship manifest an aunt named “J. Bloomfield” who lived at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx as the person she was going to. I determined, based on that address and the name, that J. Bloomfield was born Johanna Tannenbaum and that she was the widow of Dorothea’s younger brother Markus Blumenfeld (Gertha’s uncle), who became Max Bloomfield in the US. (Because Max also had a nephew who adopted the name Max Bloomfield, I have labeled this Max, the uncle, Max Bloomfield I.)

Max’s immigration story, however, is quite different from that of his niece Gertha as well as that of his older sister Berta and the children of his brother Moritz, who all came to the US in the 1930s to escape Nazi Germany. Max had left Germany fifty years earlier, long before Hitler came to power.

Max, as we saw, was born Markus Blumenfeld in Kirchhain, Germany, on December 3, 1871, the fifth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld. His mother Giedel died when he was only eleven years old, and five years later when he was only sixteen, Markus left home and immigrated to America, arriving on August 3, 1888. On the ship manifest he listed his occupation as “dealer.”

Markus Blumenfeld passenger manifest, Year: 1888; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 1; List Number: 1061, Ship or Roll Number: Lahn, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

What could have led a sixteen-year-old boy with a father and seven siblings back home to leave Germany? It’s hard to imagine why he left or how he managed when he arrived in New York on August 3, 1888.

Markus settled in New York and by 1894 had become Max Bloomenfeld, the name that he was using when on March 28, 1894, he married Johanna Tannenbaum Kahn, a widow who was also an immigrant from Germany. Johanna, who was born in 1868 to Mayer Tannenbaum and Minna Strauss,1 had arrived in the US on November 15, 1887.2 She had married Herman Kahn exactly four years later on November 15, 1891.3  Herman died less than a year after they married; he was 23 and died of an intestinal obstruction and general peritonitis on August 2, 1892.4 Johanna was already pregnant at that time and gave birth to their son two months later on October 10, 1892; she named the baby Herman in memory of his father, a father he never met.5

Then a year and a half later on March 28, 1894, Johanna married Max “Bloomenfeld.”6

On June 15, 1897, Max filed his naturalization petition under the name Max Bloomfield and reported his occupation as a butcher. He used the surname Bloomfield for the rest of his life.

Max Bloomfield naturalization petition, 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, US District Court for the Southern District of New York (058-059), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

On the 1900 census, Max and Johanna were living in New York with Johanna’s son Herman, a ten month old daughter Minnie, and several of Johanna’s relatives. Max reported his occupation as carpet layer, as did his brother-in-law Max Tannenbaum.

Max Bloomfield 1900 US census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0808; FHL microfilm: 1241116, Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

I initially thought that Minnie was Max and Johanna’s first child, but a closer look at the 1900 census record alerted me to the fact that there had been two children born before Minnie. Johanna reported that she had had four children, two of whom were living. Given that her first husband died before the birth of their first child and within a year of their marriage, I assumed that the two other children who died were her children with Max, and I set out to locate their records.

I was able to locate both of those children. Gertrude Bloomfield was born on April 17, 1895, and died a month later on May 19, 1895. She died from a condition I’d never heard of before: erysipelas simple. According to WebMD, it is “a common bacterial infection of the skin. It affects the upper dermis (upper layer of the skin) and the lymphatic vessels within the skin. The condition begins with the breaking of the skin, followed by bacterial invasion. Erysipelas face occurs when the bacteria causes tender and bright red rashes to appear on the facial skin. Erysipelas infections usually affect the face and the legs but can occur anywhere on the skin.” According to Gertrude’s death certificate, she had this all over her body. Today it can be treated with antibiotics, but in 1895 that was not an option, and one month old Gertrude could not fight off the infection.7

Gertrude Blumenfeld death certificate

Ella Bloomfield, born October 16, 1896, a year after Max and Johanna lost Gertrude, died on October 26, 1898, at the age of two from complications from asthma.8 I can’t imagine how Max and Johanna must have felt after losing two daughters like that.

So in fact Minnie was Max and Johanna’s third child, and by the time she was born on August 9, 1899, both of her older sisters had died.9 Fortunately, Minnie survived to live a long life.

Max, Johanna, Herman, and Minnie were still living in Manhattan when the 1905 New York State census was taken, and Max now listed his occupation as a dyer.10 Johanna gave birth to their son Gerard Milton Bloomfield on December 4, 1905, in New York.11 I’ve not located any birth or death records for a child of Max and Johanna born between Minnie’s birth in 1899 and Gerard’s birth in 1905, but I wondered whether Johanna and Max had lost any more children between those two births.

The 1910 US census indicates that in fact there had been no other children born, as Johanna reported that she had had five children, three of whom were living (Herman, Minnie, and Gerard). The family had moved from Manhattan to the Bronx between 1905 and 1910, and Max now reported that he was a carpet cleaner.12  The 1915 New York State census found them all still living together in the Bronx, and Max was still cleaning carpets for a living.13 The same held true in 1920 as well, but by then Max was the owner of the carpet cleaning business, and his daughter Minnie was working as a stenographer in the business while his stepson Herman was also in the business. They were now living at the 1162 Grant Avenue address in the Bronx where Max’s niece Gertha would later look for Johanna when she came to the US.14

The following year Minnie Bloomfield married Richard Leon Altman on December 4, 1921, in New York.15 Richard was born in Port Jervis, New York, to Adolph Altman and Selma Schafronsky on July 31, 1897. On the 1920 census, Richard was living with his parents in New York and working as a salesman of cloaks and suits.16

The 1925 New York State census lists Max, Johanna, and Gerard Bloomfield as well as Herman Kahn and his wife Frances  (nee Gutman) all living together in the Bronx where Max and Herman were still in the carpet cleaning business and Gerard, now 20, was a student.17 Meanwhile, Minnie and Richard had also settled in the Bronx, and by 1925 had two children, Lawrence, born in 1922, and Gloria, born in 1925. Richard continued to work as a cloaks and suits salesman.

Altman family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 65; Assembly District: 08; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 16, District: A·D· 08 E·D· 65, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1925

In 1930, Max and Johanna and their son Gerard were still living at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx, and Max continued to own the carpet business, presumably with his stepson Herman, who also listed his occupation as owning a carpet business. Gerard was working as a lawyer.18 Minnie and her family were also living in the Bronx, and her husband Richard now owned a cleaning business.19

Sadly, Max died three years later on September 13, 1933, in New York; he was 61 years old.20 He was survived by his wife Johanna, stepson Herman Kahn, daughter Minnie, son Gerard, and two grandchildren. He did not live to see his son Gerard marry and have children of his own, giving Max a total of five grandchildren. He also did not live to see that a number of his siblings and their children would come to the US to escape Nazi Germany, including his niece Gertha who listed Max’s widow Johanna as the person she was coming to in the US.

On December 19, 1937, Max and Johanna’s son Gerard married Kathryn Federman, daughter of Morris Federman and Esther “Queenie” Mendel. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 24, 1908. In 1930, she’d been living with her parents in Manhattan and working as an art teacher. Gerard and Kathryn had three sons.21

Now widowed, Johanna Tannenbaum Bloomfield was living with a servant at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx in 1940. Her daughter Minnie and her family were living in an apartment in the same building and apparently right next door. Richard was still managing the cleaning business.

Johanna Bloomfield, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02467; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 3-268C, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Richard Altman family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02467; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 3-268C, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

And Johanna’s son Herman Kahn and his family were also close by, living at 1420 Grand Concourse in the Bronx; Herman was still in the carpet cleaning business.22 Gerard and his family were also nearby at 1000 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Gerard working a lawyer in his own practice while his wife Kathryn worked as a high school teacher.23

Johanna Tannenbaum Kahn Bloomfield died in October 1955 and is buried with Max at Mt Zion Cemetery in New York, according to FindAGrave. According to the Mt Zion Cemetery website, she was buried on October 30, 1955. (I was unable to locate any death record for Johanna.) She was 87 years old and was survived by her sons Herman Kahn and Gerard Bloomfield, her daughter Minnie Bloomfield Altman, her daughters-in-law and son-in-law, and five grandchildren.24

Herman Kahn only survived his mother by two years; he died on September 22, 1957, at the age of 64; he was survived by his wife Frances, their two children, and his half-siblings Minnie and Gerard and their families.25

Gerard Bloomfield also did not live a very long life. He died of a heart attack when he was 69 on September 10, 1975. According to his obituary, he was a member of the Mayor’s Economic Council in New York City at the time of his death and had a history of civic involvement. He was survived by his wife Kathryn and their three sons and grandchildren.26

Minnie Bloomfield outlived both of her brothers as well as her husband Lawrence, who died in 1982.27 Minnie died on March 8, 1990, in Hollywood, Florida, at the age of 90. She was survived by her children and grandchildren.28

The story of Max Bloomfield (born Markus Blumenfeld) and his family has its tragic elements; losing two young daughters must have been heartbreaking. But overall his story—coming to the US as a teenager and building a life, a business, and a family in the US—is so different from the stories of the families of his older siblings Moritz and Berta, who escaped from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, and especially different from the story of Max’s sister Dorothea, whose entire family was almost completely wiped out by the Nazis except for her daughter Gertha.

The fact that Gertha named Max’s widow Johanna as the person she was going to in the US indicates that even after over fifty years in the US, Max’s family was still in touch with their Blumenfeld relatives back in Germany. Max may have assimilated into American life, but it appears that he never forgot his family back in Germany.

 


  1. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24HX-4TD : 10 February 2018), Max Bloomenfeld and Johanna Taunenbaum Kahn, 28 Mar 1894; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,439,745. 
  2.  Johanna Dannenbaum, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: German, Age: 19
    Birth Date: abt 1868, Place of Origin: Germany, Departure Port: Bremen, Germany, Destination: USA, Arrival Date: 15 Nov 1887, Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA
    Ship Name: Fulda, Year: 1887; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 16; List Number: 1466, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  3. Hannah Tannenbaum, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: 15 Nov 1891, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Herman Kahn, Certificate Number: 14282,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  4. Herman Kahn Sex Male Age 23 Death Date 1 Aug 1892 Death Place Manhattan, New York County, New York, United States Death Place (Original) Manhattan, New York, New York, United States Birth Year (Estimated) 1869 Father’s Name Emanuel Father’s Sex Male Mother’s Name Sarah Kahn Mother’s Sex Female Record Type death Certificate Number cn 28859, New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949″, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W68-YJC : 3 June 2020), Herman Kahn, 1892. 
  5. “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W9X-C98 : 11 February 2018), Herman Kahn, 12 Oct 1892; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 39106 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,269. 
  6. See note 1. 
  7. Name Gertrude Bloomfield, Sex Female, Birth Date 17 Apr 1895, Birthplace Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, Birthplace (Original) Manhattan, New York, Race White, Father’s Name Max Bloomfield, Father’s Age 23,Father’s Birthplace Germany, Mother’s Name Hannah Danober, Mother’s Age 27, Mother’s Birthplace Germany, “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WSH-CQY : 11 February 2018), Gertrude Bloomfield, 17 Apr 1895; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 17037 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,314. Gertrude Blumenfeld Sex Female Age 0 Death Date 19 May 1895 Death Place Manhattan, New York County, New York, United States Death Place (Original) Manhattan, New York, New York, United States Birth Year (Estimated) 1895 Father’s Name Max Blumenfeld Father’s Sex Male Mother’s Name Johanna Blumenfeld Mother’s Sex Female Record Type death Certificate Number cn 17713, “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949”, database, FamilySearch  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2W62-FDD : 3 June 2020), Gertrude Blumenfeld, 1895. 
  8. Ella Bloomfield Sex Female Birth Date 16 Oct 1896 Birthplace Manhattan, New York, New York, United States Birthplace (Original) New York City, New York, New York Race White Father’s Name Max Bloomfield Father’s Age 24 Father’s Birthplace Germany Mother’s Name Hannah Dannenbaum Bloomfield Mother’s Age 29 Mother’s Birthplace Germany, “New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WSR-C5T : 11 February 2018), Ella Bloomfield, 16 Oct 1896; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference 46730 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,343. Ella Bloomfield, Sex Female, Age 2, Residence Place Manhattan, New York City, N.Y.
    Burial Date 27 Oct 1898, Burial Place New York City, N.Y., Death Date 26 Oct 1898
    Death Place Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, Death Place (Original) Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, Birth Date about 17 Oct 1896
    Birthplace New York, Marital Status Single, Race White, Father’s Name Max Bloomfield
    Father’s Sex Male, Father’s Birthplace Germany, Mother’s Name Johanna Bloomfield
    Mother’s Sex Female, Mother’s Birthplace Germany, Certificate Number cn 30322, “New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WXM-1X7 : 3 June 2020), Ella Bloomfield, 26 Oct 1898; citing Death, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,951. 
  9.  Minnie Altman, Social Security Number: 068-38-6048, Birth Date: 9 Aug 1899
    Issue Year: 1963, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 33019, Hollywood, Broward, Florida, USA, Death Date: 8 Mar 1990, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  10. Max Bloomfield and family, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 30 E.D. 08; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 14, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1905 
  11.  Gerard Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-12-6905, Birth Date: 4 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10471, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Sep 1975, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12. Max Bloomfield and family, 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 32, New York, New York; Roll: T624_996; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 1421; FHL microfilm: 1375009, Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census 
  13. Max Bloomfield and family, 1915 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 11; Assembly District: 32; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 17, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1915 
  14. Max Bloomfield and family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Bronx Assembly District 1, Bronx, New York; Roll: T625_1130; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 26, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  15. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24WJ-54S : 10 February 2018), Richard Altman and Minnie Bloomfield, 04 Dec 1921; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,316. 
  16. Richard Leon Altman, World War I Draft Registration, Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918; Altman family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 21, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1224; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 1443, Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census, Selma Altman death record, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1939, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  17. Max Bloomfield and family, 1925 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 38; Assembly District: 02; City: New York; County: Bronx; Page: 8, District: A·D· 02 E·D· 38, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1925 
  18. Max Bloomfield and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Page: 45A; Enumeration District: 0149; FHL microfilm: 2341202, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  19. RIchard Altman and family 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Page: 29A; Enumeration District: 0149; FHL microfilm: 2341202, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  20.  Max Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marital status: Married, Age: 61
    Birth Date: 3 Dec 1871, Birth Place: Germany, Years in US: 45 Years, Death Date: 13 Sep 1933, Death Street Address: 1162 Grant Ave, Death Place: New York City, Bronx, New York, USA, Cause of Death: Chronic Myocarditis, Acute Coronary Thrombosis
    Burial Date: 15 Sep 1933, Burial Place: MT Zion Cemetery, Occupation: Carpet-Eleaner
    Father’s Birth Place: Germany, Mother’s Birth Place: Germany, Father: Gersen Blumenfeld, Mother: Gitel Blumenfeld, Spouse: Johanna Bloomfield, Executor: Johanna Bloomfield, Executor Relationship: Wife, Certificate Number: 7827, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Bronx; Year: 1933, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  21. Gerard M Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 19 Dec 1937, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Kathryn Federman, Certificate Number: 28519, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 ; Catheryne Federman, Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 24 Oct 1908
    Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York City, Kings, New York, USA, Residence Address: 49th Brooklyn 1122, Certificate Number: 35855, Father: Morris Federman, Mother:
    Queenie Federman, Mother Maiden Name: Mendel, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Brooklyn; Year: 1908, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909. Federman family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 26A; Enumeration District: 0442; FHL microfilm: 2341291, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census 
  22. Herman Kahn and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02464; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 3-175, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  23. Gerard Bloomfield and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02468; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 3-291,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  24. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/80993503/johanna-bloomfield : accessed 07 February 2022), memorial page for Johanna Bloomfield (unknown–Oct 1955), Find a Grave Memorial ID 80993503, citing Mount Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Athanatos (contributor 46907585). 
  25. Herman Kahn, Birth Date: 12 Oct 1892, Death Date: 22 Sep 1957, Claim Date: 3 Oct 1957, SSN: 058100609, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  26.  Gerard Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-12-6905, Birth Date: 4 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10471, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Sep 1975, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. “Gerard Bloomfield of Economic Panel,” The New York Times, September 11, 1975, p. 44, found at https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1975/09/11/76604030.html?pageNumber=44 
  27. Richard L Altman, Race: White, Age at Death: 84, Birth Date: 31 Jul 1897
    Death Date: 13 May 1982, Death Place: Broward, Florida, United States, Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998 
  28. Minnie Altman, Race: White, Birth Date: 9 Aug, Death Date: 8 Mar 1990
    Death Place: Broward, Florida, United States, Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998; death notice, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    10 Mar 1990, Sat • Page 34 

Moritz Blumenfeld’s Children and His Sister Berta Blumenfeld: Escape from Germany

As I slowly return to my genealogy work after losing my mother, I am weighted down by the world itself as well as other matters. I hope to get back to my regular posting schedule, but I am taking it slowly for now.

With that note, I will return to the history of my Blumenfeld family, picking up where I left off with the family of my second cousin, three times removed, Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband, Gerson Blumenfeld, my first cousin, four times removed, and Giedel’s first cousin, once removed.


When their mother Giedel Blumenfeld Blumenfeld died in 1883 at the age of 38, there were nine surviving children. Moritz, the oldest, was 16 when his mother died, and Franziska, the youngest, was just days shy of her first birthday. Their lives all took different directions, some living their whole lives in Germany, others immigrating as young adults to America, others coming to the US in the 1930s after Hitler came to power. Those choices had huge consequences for them and for their descendants. I will tell their stories separately while trying to keep in mind the bigger picture. This post will tell the story of the two oldest surviving children, Moritz and Berta (or Bertha).

Moritz was married to Blanka Bauer in 1895, according to the history of the Strauss family compiled by by Rabbi Isaak Strauss and Salomon Koppel Strauss, entitled Anleitung zum Stammbaum der Familie Strauss, and printed in 1910 by L. Schwann in Dusseldorf. I have not yet been able to locate an actual birth or marriage record for Blanka, but her death and burial records indicate that she was born in Merlau, Germany, on May 9, 1868, to Loeb Bauer and Fradchen Blumenfeld.1

Moritz and Blanka had four children. Gerda was born on June 16, 1896, in Kirchhain, Germany.

Gerda Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4997. Year Range: 1896, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Flora was born on June 9, 1898, in Kirchhain.

Flora Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4999, Year Range: 1898, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Gustav was born January 5, 1900, in Kirchhain.

Gustav Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5001, Year Range: 1900, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

A fourth child, Herbert, was born on May 9, 1904, according to Anleitung zum Stammbaum der Familie Strauss by Rabbi Isaak Strauss, and Salomon Koppel Strauss.  I could not locate an actual birth record for Herbert, but that is consistent with his age at death as listed on his death record.2

After giving birth to these four children, Blanka died on January 17, 1909, when she was 40 years old, assuming the accuracy of her burial record on JewishGen. Her death record says she was 38 years old. Either way, she was very young and left behind her husband Moritz and their four young children. Thus, like their father Moritz, those four children grew up without their mother.

Blanka Bauer Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5094, Year Range: 1909, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Moritz remarried on April 18, 1911, in Frielendorf, Germany. His second wife was Friedericke Plaut, who was born in Frielendorf on February 20, 1876, to Abraham Plaut and Betti Moses.

Marriage record of Moritz Blumenfeld and Friedericke Plaut, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 920; Laufende Nummer: 1591, Year Range: 1911, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Various sources indicate that Moritz and his second wife Friedericke had one child together, a son named Alfred born on August 2, 1912, but he is not listed in the 1910 Strauss Stammbaum book cited above since it predated his birth. The only record I’ve been able to locate for an Alfred Blumenfeld born on that date is a 1935 list of Jewish students at a school in Frankfurt in the collection of the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum; it indicates that he was from Marburg and that he had left for South America.3 There is nothing that ties this record to Moritz and Friedericke, but, as we will see, there is one piece of evidence that indicates that there was a son named Alfred who ended up in South America.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Nazi Documentation-Munich Municipality (M.1.DN), 1925-1948; Record Group: RG-68.094M; File: rg-68.094m.0004.00000103, Ancestry.com. Munich, Germany, Nazi Documentation Regarding Jews, 1919-1946 (USHMM)

On May 1, 1922, Moritz’s son Herbert Blumenfeld died; he was only seventeen years old. I don’t know his cause of death, but how tragic to lose a son at such a young age.

Herbert Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5107, Year Range: 1922, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Just ten years later, Moritz Blumenfeld himself died January 20, 1932, in Kirchhain, at the age of 65, according to a burial record listed on JewishGen.

When Moritz died, not one of his surviving children was married. The first to marry was Gustav Blumenfeld, who married Paula Blum on August 26, 1934, in Kassel, Germany. Paula was born in Mellrichstadt, Germany, on March 7, 1901, to Michael Blum and Ida Gutmann.4 Gustav and Paula did not have any children.

Fortunately, all the children of Moritz Blumenfeld left Germany in time to escape the Holocaust. Gerda and Flora left together, arriving in New York on April 4, 1935. They both changed their surnames to Bloomfield.5

Flora and Gerda Blumenfeld passenger manifest, Year: 1935; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 107, Ship or Roll Number: Washington, 
Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Their brother Gustav and his wife Paula arrived two years later on July 30, 1937, along with Berta Blumenfeld, Gerda, Flora and Gustav’s aunt and the sister of  their father Moritz Blumenfeld.  She was 69 years old at that time.6

By 1940, all three siblings were settled in New York. Gustav and Paula were living with his sister Gerda and with his aunt Berta (now Bertha) Blumenfeld in the Washington Heights neighborhood where many German Jewish refugees settled in the 1930s. Gustav was working as a salesman in a retail store, Paula as an operator for a manufacturer, and Gerda as a nurse for a private family.

Blumenfelds 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02676; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 31-2115, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Flora Blumenfeld was working as a governess and living with a family with a five-year-old boy in the Bronx.7 Later that same year, Flora married Felix Viktor Vorcheimer. Felix was born in Thuengen, Germany, on May 4, 1896, to Adolf and Ida Vorcheimer,8

Bertha Blumenfeld died on December 16, 1944, in New York. She was 76 years old. She never married so has no descendants.9

Her nephew Gustav Blumenfeld died on April 2, 1945, in New York. He was only 45 years old.10 His widow Paula remarried in Detroit, Michigan, on April 14, 1951; her second husband was Moritz Marx.11

Flora and Gerda died within two months of each other. Flora died on March 17, 1974,12 and Gerda on May 19, 1974. 13 They were 76 and 78 years old, respectively.

As for Alfred Blumenfed, the youngest child of Moritz Blumenfeld, his son with his second wife Friedericke Plaut, as mentioned above, I have no official records that I can definitively tie to him. But this lovely death notice for Flora and Gerda certainly indicates that they had a brother named Alfred and that he, as the school register mentioned above indicated, had gone to South America. When he placed this death notice in the Aufbau newspaper, “Alfredo” was living in Cordoba, Argentina.14

Aufbau Newspaper, May 31, 1974, p. 25

The text translates as:

My sister, our cousin Gerda Bloomfield (Blumenfeld) (formerly Kirchheim/Kassel) was released from her long and patiently endured suffering on May 19, 1974, in the 78th year of her life. She followed her beloved sister Mrs. Flora Vorchheimer, née Blumenfeld, who died in the 76th year of her life after a short illness on March 17, 1974. We shall cherish their memory. Alfredo Blumenfeld, Cordoba, Argentina, and cousins.

The good news about this family is that they all escaped from Nazi Germany in time. But the sad news is that I’ve not located any descendants living today. Bertha Blumenfeld had no children. None of the children of her brother Moritz Blumenfeld and his first wife Blanka appear to have had children, and it appears from the obituary for their daughters Flora and Gerda that their half-brother Alfred also did not have any children as he only mentioned cousins, not nieces and nephews, among the mourners of his two sisters. But as I learned from my experiences with Albert Kaufmann, there is always the possibility that I just haven’t found those descendants yet.

 

 


  1. Blanka Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 40, Birth Date: abt 1869
    Death Date: 17. Jan 1909 (17 Jan 1909), Death Place: Kirchhain, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Kirchhain, Father: Löb Bauer
    Mother: Fratchen Bauer, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5094, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  2. Herbert Blumenfeld death record, Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5107, Year Range: 1922, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958 
  3. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Nazi Documentation-Munich Municipality (M.1.DN), 1925-1948; Record Group: RG-68.094M; File: rg-68.094m.0004.00000103, Ancestry.com. Munich, Germany, Nazi Documentation Regarding Jews, 1919-1946 (USHMM) 
  4. Gustav Blumenfeld, Declaration of Intention, 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, Description: (Roll 529) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 407701-408700),
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943. Paula Marx [Paula Blumenfeld] [Paula Blum] Gender: Female, Birth Date: 7 Mar 1901
    Birth Place: Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: Nov 1992, Claim Date: 29 Dec 1965 Father: Michael Blum Mother: Ida Gutman  SSN: 07812568, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  5. E.g., Gerda Blumenfeld/Bloomfield Petition for Naturalization, 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: (Roll 1302) Petition No· 371676 – Petition No· 372046, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  6. Gustav and Paula Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 41, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. Berta Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 7; Page Number: 62, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. 
  7. Flora Blumenfeld, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02466; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 3-235B, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  8. Flora Bloomfield [Flora Blumonfeld] Gender: Female Race: White Marriage Age: 42
    Birth Date: Jun 1898 Birth Place: Kirchhain, Germany Marriage Date: 14 Aug 1940
    Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 630 W. 122nd St., Occupation: None Father: Moritz Blumonfeld Mother:
    Blanka Blumonfeld Spouse: Felix Viktor Vorchheimer Certificate Number: 11414, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1940, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  9. Name: Bertha Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marital status: Single
    Age: 76, Birth Date: 27 Dec 1867, Birth Place: Germany-Kinschhain, Residence Street Address: 245 Ft Washington Ave, Residence Place: New York, Years in US: 7 1/2 Years
    Death Date: 16 Dec 1944, Death Street Address: 245 Fort Wahington, Death Place: New York City, Manhattan, New York, USA, Burial Date: 17 Dec 1944, Burial Place: Cedar Park Cem,N J, Occupation: Retired Housework, Father’s Birth Place: Germany
    Mother’s Birth Place: Germany, Father: Gerson Blumenfeld, Mother: Gudel Blumenfeld
    Certificate Number: 26617, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1944, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 
  10. Gustav Blumenfeld, Age: 45, Birth Year: abt 1900, Death Date: 2 Apr 1945
    Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 7811, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  11. Paula Blumenfeld [Paula Blum] Gender: Female Race: White Age: 49
    Birth Date: abt 1902, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage License Place: Wayne
    Marriage Date: 14 Apr 1951, Marriage Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA
    Residence Place: Detroit, Michigan, Father: Mike Blum Mother: Ida Gutman
    Spouse: Moritz Marx, County File Number: 802137, State File Number: 480889
    Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 377; Film Title: 82 Wayne 479850-483199; Film Description: Wayne (Dates TBD), Ancestry.com. Michigan, U.S., Marriage Records, 1867-1952 
  12. Flora Vorchheimer Social Security Number: 095-42-4853 Birth Date: 9 Jun 1898
    Issue Year: 1964 Issue State: New York Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Mar 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13. Gerda Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 081-14-2849, Birth Date: 16 Jun 1896, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: May 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  14. This also indicates that all those trees that say that Alfred died in Frankfurt in 1933 are not correct. 

Florence Goldschlager Cohen: A Life Filled with Love

Thank you to everyone who commented or emailed or texted me to express their condolences regarding the loss of my mother. I am deeply grateful to you all for your support during this difficult time. I hope to be back to regular blogging soon.

I wanted to share a little more about my mother’s life. She was born on October 15, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the third child of my maternal grandparents, Isadore Goldschlager and Gussie Brotman, whose stories were told in my family history novel, Pacific Street. My mother Florence was twelve years younger than her brother Maurice and thirteen years younger than her sister Elaine and so was very much the baby in the family. Her family lived in a small four unit building in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn at 1010 Rutland Road. My grandfather was a milkman whose route was overnight and whose earnings were limited, although my mother said she never felt poor. There was always good food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Goldschlagers 1931

My mother loved growing up in Brooklyn. Her best friend Beatty lived in the building, and as I wrote about here,  I was able to reconnect my mother and Beatty about six years ago after they’d been out of touch for seventy years.

My mother was a good student although being left-handed back then meant that the teachers tried to force her to write with her right hand. But she was too left-dominant for that. She was a voracious reader from a young age and visited the local library in Brooklyn often to borrow books.

Florence and Elaine Goldschlager

When she was eleven, her parents decided to move to a new apartment complex in the Bronx called Parkchester where my aunt had moved after she got married. My mother was devastated to leave behind her friends especially Beatty and her beloved dog Sparky.

Beatty and my mother c. 1940

But she adjusted to life in the Bronx and made new friends and graduated from high school in 1948.

Florence Goldschlager 1948

Two years later she met my father at a Jewish singles camp, as I described here. They were married in 1951 in New York and had a long and happy marriage until my father died in 2019.

Florence and John Cohen 1951

My mother was a stay-at-home mom until 1965 when she decided to get a job as a teacher’s aide in the local elementary school. Because she proved to be so skilled as a teacher, she soon moved up to be a resource room teacher working with children with different learning styles and challenges. She was a devoted, well-respected, and beloved educator for many years, and even after she retired from full-time teaching, she continued to tutor children for most of the rest of her life.

She had many interests and never stopped loving books as well as theater, music, travel, knitting, cooking, gardening, Cape Cod, and especially animals. She was absolutely crazy about dogs and cats, and our home was always filled with both. She had a wonderful sense of humor and incredible taste in clothes, decor, food, and art.

But perhaps the most important thing I can say about my mother is that she was an unbelievably kind, loving, and compassionate woman—especially to her family, but also to her students, her colleagues, her friends, and everyone who ever had the good fortune of spending any time with her. I know I will keep her close to my heart for the rest of my life.

You can learn more about my mother and her life in her obituary found here.

Ny mother and me, c. 1954