Finding Max Blumenfeld and His Family: A Postscript

Yesterday I Zoomed with four of my Blumenfeld cousins—Richard, whose been my research partner for quite a while now, his first cousin Jim, who is also a wonderful genealogy researcher, and the two surviving grandchildren of Max Blumenfeld, Max and Omri. We spanned three continents—Omri in Israel, Richard in Switzerland, and Max, Jim, and I in New England. We chatted for an hour, but could have gone on much longer and hope to continue the conversation another time.

During our conversation, we uncovered the answer to a question we still had been unable to answer despite all our research: when did Anna Grunwald Blumenfeld, Max Blumenfeld’s widow and Omri and Max’s grandmother, leave Italy and immigrate to Israel/Palestine? The records that Richard had obtained from Merano said she’d left in 1939, but Max had pointed out that that wasn’t possible since he and his sister were cared for by their grandmother Anna during World War II while their mother Edith worked with the Italian Resistance. Their father Josef had immigrated to the United States on November 1939.

For our Zoom, Omri had prepared a wonderful slide show of family photographs, some of which I’ve already shared on this blog, and some that were new to me. Among those photographs was one that helped to answer the question of when Anna arrived in Palestine. The photograph shows Anna in Palestine with two of her grandsons, Omri’s brothers Gideon and Hillel. Anna was holding Hillel, who was just a very small baby, and the photo was inscribed in Hebrew with the words, “Hillel is born! Oma [Anna] arrives! 29 May 1946.” So now we knew that Anna had only recently arrived in Palestine in May of 1946.

Here is another photo taken the same day showing Anna with Gideon and Hillel and their parents Fritz and Dora.

But then how do we explain the records that said Anna had left Merano in 1939? Well, Max had the answer to that question. Max explained that Anna and her daughter Edith and the two grandchildren, Max and his sister Margherita, all left Merano in 1939 and moved to Milan. Max has no memories of life in Merano since he was only a toddler when the family moved. But that would explain why the Merano records report that Anna left that place in 1939.

Max and his family stayed in Milan for several years, and then when Italy adopted laws persecuting the Jews in about 1942, his mother Edith was able to use her connections to obtain permission to leave Milan and move to the countryside outside of Milan.  The family remained there for the duration of the war, hiding the fact that they were Jews. They spoke Italian (although they all could also speak German) so that they could pass as Italian, and Max and his sister went to church on Sundays. In fact, Max and Margherita were not aware of the fact that they were Jewish and also didn’t know that their father was still alive—all to prevent the children from accidentally revealing the fact that they were Jews.

After the war, Edith took her children to America so they could all be reunited with Josef, and Anna went to Palestine to be with her son Fritz and his family, as depicted in the photograph above.

We spoke of many other interesting things during our Zoom, and there were many stories and many moments of laughter interspersed. It was truly a delightful hour and one I will always cherish and remember.

Thank you to Omri, Max, Richard, and Jim—all of whom are my fifth cousins, four people I never would have known if not for doing genealogy research.

And that, dear readers, is the magic of genealogy.

Finding Max Blumenfeld, Part III: Finding His Grandsons

Although my cousin Richard and I had learned that Max Blumenfeld died in Merano, Italy, in 1936, we still didn’t know where and when his wife Anna died. We had some hints, but nothing definite. Her son Fritz’s marriage record in 1940 seemed to suggest she was still living in Italy. But her daughter Edith’s failure to list her mother on the 1946 ship manifest as her nearest relative in Italy, the place Edith had last resided, seemed to indicate that either Anna had died by then or had left Italy.

We were hoping that one of Max and Anna’s grandchildren might know the answers, and so I turned to locating those grandchildren. We knew that Max and Anna’s daughter Edith had two children with her husband Joseph Bermann, so I started to search for them. They all appear together on the 1950 US census, living in New York City. Joseph was practicing medicine, and Edith was working as a secretary for a general export business. Their two children Margherita (spelled Margaret on the census) and Max were 14 and 12.1 As of 1958, Edith and Joseph were still living in New York City.

Joseph Bermann, passenger manifest, The National Archives At Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger Manifests of Airplanes Arriving At San Juan, Puerto Rico; NAI Number: A3534; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, Ancestry.com. Puerto Rico, U.S, Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists, 1901-1962

According to FindAGrave, Joseph died on May 1, 1966; he was 68.2 Edith died two years later on August 12, 1968. She was only 61.3 They were both buried in Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. They were survived by their two children. Their daughter Margherita died on August 21, 2008;4 she was 72. Max, however, was as best I could tell, still living.

After using Google and other online tools, I finally located what I assumed was Max Bermann’s Facebook page. I noticed that he had a Facebook friend named Omri Bar Sadeh. You may recall that Hermann Blumenfeld, Max Blumenfeld’s older brother, had a son Hans who had changed his name to Hanan Bar Sadeh after immigrating to Israel/Palestine. I used the Google Translate tool and learned that “sadeh” means a cultivated field. So Bar Sadeh means son of a cultivated field. Since Blumenfeld translated from German as field of flowers, it made sense that Hanan had adopted a name that meant he was the son of a cultivated field, or a field of flowers, or a “Blumenfeld.”

So when I saw that Max Bermann had a Facebook friend with the surname Bar Sadeh, I assumed that this other person must be a descendant of Edith’s first cousin, Hanan Bar Sadeh. But David Lesser had reported that Hanan had no children, so I was not certain. Was it just a coincidence that Edith’s son Max had a friend with that surname? Or was this Facebook friend one of his cousins?

On Omri Bar Sadeh’s Facebook page, there was a video in Hebrew. I could not understand it, but I could translate the comment that had been included with the post, and it indicated that the video was about Omri Bar Sadeh’s brother Gideon Bar Sadeh. When I googled that name, I found this page:

Bar-Sadeh, Gideon

Son of Moses HaKohen and Devorah. He was born in Ein Harod on June 16, 1942, and completed his twelfth grade at the Kibbutz Ha-Meuchad School there. He had a penchant for drawing and found talent in his paintings. He would decorate his notebooks and make handsome posters and posters. He was quiet and humble in his ways. Was an animal breeder and loved them. Was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces in October 1960. On October 18, 1962, he fell in the line of duty and was brought to eternal rest in Ein Harod.

I knew that Edith Blumenfeld Bermann had listed her brother Fritz on her ship manifest in 1946 indicating that he was residing in “En Charod,” Palestine. Could Gideon have been Fritz’s son, I wondered? Fritz had married a woman named Devorah so that fit the puzzle. But then why did it say Gideon’s father was named Moses?

Then I remembered seeing on the IGRA website that in 1942 Fritz Blumenfeld, residing in En Harod, had been identified as “Moshe (Fritz) Blumenfeld, son of Max.” And given that Max’s father’s name had been Moses, it made sense that Fritz’s Hebrew name was Moshe and that he was named for his grandfather and adopted that name as his primary name in Israel.

Record located on the Israel Genealogy Research Association website at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

With that additional insight, I realized that I had found the family of Fritz Moshe Blumenfeld and that Fritz, like his cousin Hanan, had changed his surname from Blumenfeld to Bar Sadeh for the same reasons. Just to be sure, I asked David Lesser if he would watch the video posted on Facebook about Gideon, and he confirmed that the video says that Gideon’s parents were Fritz and Devorah.

I sent messages to both of the surviving grandsons of Max and Anna (Grunwald) Blumenfeld, hoping that I would eventually learn what happened to Anna and the rest of the story of their family. Much to my delight, I heard from both of them.

Max Bermann, Edith’s son, was born in Merano, Italy, where his father Giuseppe (later Joseph) Bermann was born. That’s where the family was living (along with Anna) after Joseph left for the US in 1939. Although the family was originally supposed to follow once Joseph was settled, the war intervened, and they could not leave Italy. Max was just a toddler at the time. His grandmother Anna became the primary caregiver for his sister and him because their mother Edith was often away. Max later learned from his sister that Anna was acting as a courier for the partisans during the war.

Max shared with me this photograph of Merano, where he and his father were born, as well as this photograph of his father and his father’s father, Max Bermann, both of whom were doctors at the Waldpark Sanitorium in Merano. The elder Max Bermann is the man with the long black beard and his son Joseph/Giuseppe Bermann, the younger doctor in the white coat, is standing next to him.

Dr Max Bermann and his son Dr Joseph Bermann in Waldpark Sanitorium, Merano, Italy. Courtesy of the family

When the war ended, Edith brought her children to the US, but Anna went to live with her son Fritz and his family in Ein Harod in Palestine. Neither Omri nor Max knew exactly when Anna immigrated, but as I was doing some of the final edits for this post, Richard emailed me with new information he’d found online—a database of information about the Jews of Merano.

There was an entry for Anna Grunwald Blumenfeld that reported that “Anna Grünwald-Blumenfeld came from Berlin and lived in Merano since 23.4.1936. On 22.8.1938 she was recorded in the census of “Jews” living in Italy by the fascist authorities as permanently resident in Merano. On 13.2.1939 her file received the note: “di razza ebraica”. On 1.4.1939 she fled to an unknown place, according to the registration office of the municipality of Merano. Later, April 1939 is given as the date of the flight abroad.”5 Thus, it would appear from this record that Anna left Merano for Palestine in April, 1939.

But as noted by Max and by my reader Teresa, this cannot be accurate. Max knows that his grandmother did not leave in 1939 because she cared for him during the war years. It appears more likely that these Merano records are inaccurate and that Anna was in Italy at least until the end of the war.

Now that I knew that Anna had survived the war and had immigrated to Palestine, I searched again on the Israel Genealogical Research Association website and found this record:

Anna Grunwald Blumenfeld died on September 7, 1946, in Ein Harod; she was only 61 years old. She had survived the move from Germany to Italy, the loss of her husband Max in 1936, World War II, and then a move from Italy to Palestine. She was survived by her daughter Edith and her family and her son Fritz and his family.

Anna and Max Blumenfeld’s grandson Max Bermann shared these lovely photographs of his family. First, some photographs of Anna and Max:

Anna Grunwald Blumenfeld Courtesy of the family

Anna Grunwald Blumenfeld and Max Blumenfeld Courtesy of the family

Max Blumenfeld Courtesy of the family

This photograph is of Max and Anna’s children Fritz and Edith as well as, on the right, Fritz’s wife Dora Salpeter Blumenfeld.

Fritz Blumenfeld, Edith Blumenfeld Bermann, and Dora Salpeter Blumenfeld Courtesy of the family

And this final photograph from Max shows him and his sister Margherita with a soldier they met when they visited Palestine (now Israel) with their mother after the war.

Margherita and Max Bermann in Italy shortly after the end of World War II with a soldier from Palestine. Courtesy of the family

Omri also shared some photographs, including this one of his grandmother Anna’s gravestone.

Anna Blumenfeld, Ein Harod Photo courtesy of Omri Bar Sadeh

In addition, he shared photographs of the gravestones of his parents Fritz (Moshe) and Dora/Devorah and his two brothers Gideon and Hillel.

Gideon, as we saw, died fighting for Israel on October 18, 1962.

Gideon Bar Sadeh, Ein Harod Photo courtesy of Omri Bar Sadeh

Omri’s father Fritz Moshe Blumenfeld Bar Sadeh died December 12, 1977 in Ein Harod; he was 67. Devorah Salpeter Blumenfeld Bar Sadeh, outlived her husband by almost 23 years and died at 92 on November 27, 2000, in Ein Harod.

Dora and Fritz Bar Sadeh, Ein Harod Photo courtesy of Omri Bar Sadeh

Fritz and Devorah’s middle child, their son Hillel, died from cancer on December 30, 1996, in Ein Harod. He was only 50 and left behind a wife and four children.

Hillel Bar Sadeh, Ein Harod Photo courtesy of Omri Bar Sadeh

I am so grateful to my fifth cousins Max and Omri for sharing their family’s stories and their own stories and their photographs with me and allowing me to share them with you. I now have answers to all the questions I had when I first started searching for what happened to Max Blumenfeld after he married Anna Grunwald in 1906, thanks to the incredible help of Richard Bloomfield, David Lesser, Max Bermann, and Omri Bar Sadeh.


  1. Joseph Bermann 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: 5665; Sheet Number: 72; Enumeration District: 31-675, Ancestry.com. 1950 United States Federal Census 
  2. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/173690239/joseph-bermann : accessed 18 May 2022), memorial page for Joseph Bermann (unknown–1 May 1966), Find a Grave Memorial ID 173690239, citing Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by BKGeni (contributor 46895980) . 
  3. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/173690238/edith-bermann : accessed 18 May 2022), memorial page for Edith Bermann (unknown–12 Aug 1968), Find a Grave Memorial ID 173690238, citing Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by BKGeni (contributor 46895980) . 
  4.  Margherita M. Bermann, Social Security Number: 085-30-0023, Birth Date: 22 Aug 1935, Issue Year: 1954-1956, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 12550, Newburgh, Orange, New York, Death Date: 21 Aug 2008, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5.  There were also entries for Max and for their two children Fritz and Edith. Max’s entry confirmed that he died on March 7, 1936 and is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Merano. Edith’s entry reported that she had “married Josef Bermann on January 30, 1935. After a stay in London in the spring of 1935, she lived in Merano from April 8, 1935. On August 22, 1938, Edith Bermann was included in the census of “Jews” living in Italy by the fascist authorities. On February 13, 1939, her file received the note: “di razza ebraica”. Edith Bermann, who stayed in Milan again and again, fled to Milan.” Fritz’s entry in the Merano Jewish database reported that he “had lived in Merano since October 3, 1936, where his sister was married to the doctor Josef Bermann. On August 22, 1938, Fritz Blumenfeld was recorded by the fascist authorities as permanently residing in Merano in the census of “Jews” living in Italy. According to the registration office of the municipality of Merano, Fritz Blumenfeld fled to Palestine on May 15, 1939.” 

Clementine Blumenfeld Abraham’s Family: Her Sons Escaped; She, Her Husband, Daughter, Son-in-Law, and Grandson Did Not

I have returned from my break, and unfortunately, I have another sad post to publish about my third cousin, twice removed, Clementine Blumenfeld Abraham. Clementine was the youngest child of Moses Blumenfeld IIB, and like her siblings Hermann and Bertha, she and much of her family were killed in the Holocaust.

Clementine’s daughter Lilli married Leon Gerstenhaber sometime before June 23, 1937, when their son David was born in Metz, France.1 Leon was also born in Metz, France; he was born to Simon Gerstenhaber and Dinah Beiser on November 31, 1901.2

Martin Abraham, Clementine’s older son, traveled from Germany to France in 1932, perhaps to visit his sister Lilli, and then in the spring of 1936, he immigrated to Palestine. The documents below including his German passport are from his Palestinian immigration file found at the Israel State Archives. Martin married Corinne Bloch, who was born in Trimbach, France, on May 13, 1912. She immigrated to Palestine in 1938, and they had one child together born in the 1940s.

 

Martin’s brother Walter also immigrated to Palestine, arriving just a couple of months after Martin on July 24, 1936, as seen in these documents from the Israel State Archives.

Unfortunately, Clementine, her husband Richard Abraham, their daughter Lilli, and her husband Leon and their son David did not follow Martin and Walter to Palestine. They were all killed at Auschwitz. Richard was deported from the Drancy concentration camp to Auschwitz on Transport 40 on November 4, 1942. Clementine was also deported from the Drancy Camp to Auschwitz on Transport 62 on November 20, 1943. Lilli and her family were also sent from the Drancy concentration camp in France to Auschwitz on January 20, 1944 on Transport 66.

Clementine Blumenfeld Abraham, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=612790&ind=2

Richard Abraham Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=612794&ind=2

Lilli Abraham Gerstenhaber Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1949660&ind=2

Leon Gerstenhaber Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=13857240&ind=1

David Gerstenhaber, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1390876&ind=2

Thus, three of Moses IIB’s five surviving children—Hermann, Bertha, and Clementine—and most of their children and grandchildren were killed by the Nazis. I am totally drained by telling their stories and reading these Pages of Testimony. I am also so grateful that Israel exists to provide a sanctuary for those who escaped.

The remaining two children of Moses IIB and Sara Blumenfeld, Salomon and Max, were more fortunate than their other siblings.

 

 

 

 


  1. See Page of Testimony for David Gerstenhaber filed by Hilde Schattner at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1390876&ind=2 
  2. See Page of Testimony for Leon Gerstenhaber filed by nephew Michael Gerstenhaber at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=13857240&ind=1 

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 

In Honor of Yom HaShoah and Yom HaAtzmaut: Hermann Blumenfeld and His Family

After Moses IIB and Sara (Stern) Blumenfeld died, Moses in 1911, Sara in 1928, they had five surviving children and eleven grandchildren.

Hermann and his wife Helma had two children: Hilde Nomi and Hans. Bertha and her husband Ludwig Fernich had two children: Jenny and Else. Salomon and his wife Malchen or known more often as Amalie had three: Gretel, Jenny, and Hilde. Clementine and her husband Richard Abraham had three: Lilli, Martin, and Walter.  Max and his wife Johanna Gruenwald had one child, a son Fritz.

Of those twenty-one family members, only about half are known to have survived the Holocaust. In addition, some of the great-grandchildren of Moses IIB and Sara were also killed in the Holocaust. This post will tell the story of Hermann Blumenfeld, the oldest child of Moses IIB and Sara. It is an appropriate post for today, just a day after Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and just six days before Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, because although Hermann and his wife Helma were murdered in the Holocaust, their two children survived by escaping to what was then Palestine, but what became the independent state of Israel in 1948.

Hermann Blumenfeld and his wife Helma were deported from Frankfurt to the Littmanstadt Ghetto in Lodz, Poland, on October 19, 1941, and were killed sometime thereafter.

Hermann Blumenfeld, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem by his daughter Hilde, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1899981&ind=1

Helma Lillienstein Blumenfeld Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem by her daughter Hilde, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1899975&ind=1

Fortunately, their two children both left Germany earlier and eventually immigrated to what was then Palestine.

Hilde Nomi left Germany for Oslo, Norway, on August 19, 1933, and then entered Palestine on April 22, 1936. She applied for citizenship there on May 23, 1938, when she was living near Haifa and working as a teacher. She became a Palestinian citizen on June 21, 1938. You can see her full immigration file at Blumenfeld Hilda _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה

Hilde Blumenfeld, Palestine Immigration file found at the Israel State Archives at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/

She remained in Palestine, later Israel, and married Isaac Schattner in Jerusalem on February 17, 1942.

Marriage record of Hilde Blumenfeld and Isaac Schattner, found at the Israel Genealogy Research Association at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

Hilde Nomi died on January 2, 2012.

Her brother Hans arrived in Palestine on July 1, 1935, when he was seventeen. He applied for Palestinian citizenship on September 13, 1938, and was granted citizenship on October 16, 1938. He was working as a laborer at that time and living in Jerusalem. His full immigration file can be seen here: Blumenfeld Hans _ מחלקת ההגירה – ממשלת ארץ ישראל – בקשות לאזרחות _ ארכיון המדינה

Hans Blumenfeld Palestine immigration file found at the Israel State Archives at https://www.archives.gov.il/en/

Hans remained in Palestine, later Israel, and married Ruth Herman in Jerusalem on August 8, 1941. His marriage record confirmed my earlier assumption that he was in fact the son of Hermann and Helma Blumenfeld.

Marriage record of Hans Blumenfeld and Ruth Herman, found at the Israel Genealogy Research Association at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

In 1947, Hans changed his first name to Hanan.

IGRA website found at https://genealogy.org.il/AID/

At some later point Hanan changed his surname to Bar Sadeh. He and his first wife Ruth were divorced, and in November 1954, he married Esther Asch, daughter of Hillel and Fredericka Asch. I am indebted to David Lesser of Tracing the Tribe who translated the headstone and then went even further and found the wedding announcement for Hanan and Esther on p. 3 of the November 22, 1954, issue of Hatzofe (the Observer), an the Israeli newspaper.  David translated the announcement as follows: “Hanan Bar-Sadeh (Blumenfeld) son of Herman, Divorcee, Germany Tel-Aviv to Esther Ash Daughter of Hillel, Single, Germany Tel-Aviv.”

According to their gravestone, Esther was born May 29, 1925, and died on June 25, 2006. Hans died on September 1, 2004.

Hanan Bar-Sadeh gravestone found at GRAVEZ at https://gravez.me/en/deceased/9A0712A0-3749-4251-A557-E8EDAA465AF2

Thus, because they were able to escape to what was then Palestine and is today Israel, the children of Hermann Blumenfeld and Helma Lillienstein survived the Holocaust. Unfortunately, Hermann and Helma did not.

Nor did Bertha Blumenfeld Fernich and most of her family, as we will see next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Meier Blumenfeld’s Children: The Benefits of Teamwork

As I turn to Meier Blumenfeld, Giedel Blumenfeld’s youngest son to survive to adulthood, the first thing I want to do is thank my cousin Richard Bloomfield for all his help in finding the children of Meier Blumenfeld and researching their fates. This was a true example of teamwork in the best sense. Richard is fluent in German and was able to read documents and contact people in a way that I never could have. He is also an extraordinary researcher—thorough and reliable. Together we’ve solved some perplexing mysteries, but I give him the bulk of the credit in pulling this one together. I hope this post will inspire others to find those with whom they can collaborate on their research. Two heads are definitely better than one.

Meier Blumenfeld (labeled as Meier III on my tree) was born on November 2, 1879, in Kirchhain, Germany, to Giedel  Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld.

Meier Blumenfeld III birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4980, Year Range: 1879, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

On April 5, 1905, Meier married Emma Oppenheim, in Hersfeld, Germany. Emma, the daughter of Aron Oppenheim and Hannchen Klebe, was born in Wehrda, Germany, on September 8, 1883. 1

Marriage record Emma Oppenheim and Meier Blumenfeld III, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1905, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

So far, so good. But finding Meier and Emma’s children was much more challenging.

According to numerous unsourced trees on Ancestry, Meier and Emma had only one child, a daughter Giedel Trudchen, born in Kirchhain on March 2, 1905, a month before Meier and Emma married. I was very skeptical of these trees at first since I could not find any records for this child; in addition, the date of birth seemed unlikely.

However, with substantial help from my cousin Richard Bloomfield, we have enough circumstantial evidence to conclude that a woman named Gertrud Blumenfeld was the daughter of Meier Blumenfeld and Emma Oppenheim. According to this marriage record, a Gertrud Blumenfeld was born on March 2, 1906 (eleven months AFTER Meier and Emma were married) in Gotha, Germany. Unfortunately, the marriage record does not name the parents of the bride and groom, and the birthplace of Gotha initially threw Richard and me as Meier was from Kirchhain and Emma was born in Wehrda and lived in Hersfeld at the time of their marriage.

Marriage of Gertrud Blumenfeld and Erwin Mayer, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1927, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

But a closer look at the marriage record for Gertrud indicates that although she was living in Hersfeld when they married, she was born in Gotha.

And a closer look at Meier and Emma’s marriage record revealed that Meier was living in Gotha at the time of their marriage in 1905.

This, and more evidence described below, led me to conclude that Gertrud Blumenfeld, born in Gotha on March 2, 1906, was very likely the daughter of Meier and Emma.

Meier, Emma, Gertrud, and Erwin were deported on October 20, 1941, from Frankfurt to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, where Erwin was killed on December 3, 1942, Emma on January 10, 1943, and Meier on February 2, 1943. No date of death was given for Gertrud. The fact that Gertrud and Erwin were deported from the same place (and living on the same street in Frankfurt) and to the same destination as Meier and Emma on the same day further supported the conclusion that Gertrud Blumenfeld Mayer was their daughter.

So I am convinced that Meier and Emma did have a daughter Gertrud. But was she killed in the Holocaust? Yad Vashem says she was. But there are some Arolsen Archives documents that suggest otherwise.

This document dated October 2, 1950, says that Erwin’s wife “ausgewandert nach USA”—emigrated to the USA.

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

And even more surprising, this one says she emigrated with “2 kinder”—two children.

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

Was Yad Vashem wrong? Had Gertrud survived? I did find two documents indicating that she had been in the Lodz concentration camp, but nothing about her surviving the war or coming to the US.2 Had she had two children who immigrated with her to the US? So far I cannot find any evidence of Gertrud in the US or of two children.

But much to my surprise, Richard soon discovered that Meier and Emma had two more daughters after Gertrud, two daughters who did not appear on those Ancestry trees that show only one child, Gertrud, for Meier and Emma.

First, Richard found an Arolsen Archive document for a single woman named Ruth Blumenfeld, born August 17, 1920, who’d been residing at the same address as Meier and Emma in Frankfurt, 11.1 Beethovenstrasse. Emma would have been 37 when Ruth was born, so an older mother, but certainly not inconceivable (no pun intended). This document indicated that Ruth was in the US.

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

And then Richard located records showing a Bertha Blumenfeld who had immigrated to the US on March 4, 1940. The ship manifest reports that she was nineteen years old, born in Hersfeld, and a nurse. More revealing is that she listed her father Meier as the person in her prior residence and an uncle Herman Bloomfield as the person she was going to in the US. I wrote about Herman here, an older brother of Meier. This certainly corroborated the conclusion that Bertha  was the daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld.

Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 33, Ship or Roll Number: George Washington, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

Year: 1940; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 33, Ship or Roll Number: George Washington, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

This declaration of intention tied Ruth and Bertha together as one person and confirmed her birthdate and birthplace as August 17, 1920, in Hersfeld.

Ruth 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, Description: (Roll 588) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 461501-462400), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Ruth Blumenfeld, as she was known in the US, married Leo Friedman on March 21, 1942. According to the New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 on Ancestry, the transcription of their license lists Ruth’s parents as Meier and Emma Blumenfeld. Leo was born August 4, 1909, in Crailsheim, Germany, to Louis and Dina Friedman.3 I don’t know whether Ruth and Leo had children. They settled in Queens, New York; Leo died in November 1982,4 and Ruth in February 1984.5

Perhaps the 1950 census will reveal whether they had children. I tried searching on the archives.org site, but there were just too many entries and the artificial intelligence used to scan the names is too imprecise to be able to do a search on a common surname. So I have to wait until the census is better indexed on Ancestry or FamilySearch.

UPDATE! Now that the 1950 census is partially indexed on Ancestry, I was able to find Leo and Ruth and learned that in fact they did have two children born in the 1940s. Now to find them and learn more.

But Richard also found a reference on Geni to a third daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld, a daughter named Hanna born between Gertrud and Bertha Ruth in 1910 in Hersfeld. But we could find no records or other sources for Hanna.

And then I located a website for the Stolpersteine laid in Hersfeld that opened up more avenues for research. Richard transcribed and translated the German text pertaining to the family of Meier (Max) and Emma Oppenheim Blumenfeld:

Max Meier Blumenfeld was born on 2 November 1879 in Kirchhain. About 1910 he took up residence on Dudenstreet, which at that time was the Kaiserstrasse. In house number 16, which belonged to his father-in-law Aron Oppenheim, he opened a shop for “raw products” [I assume “groceries”]. Later he expanded his assortment to include textiles and tobacco products. He was also active in the Jewish Congregation in Hersfeld and was its president for many years.

M. Blumenfeld was from a family that had lived in Kirchhain for generations at Brieselsstrasse 12. In the center of the city the Blumenfelds possessed a stately home which served his [Max] brother Gustav until the end of 1938 as dwelling and place of business ….

Emma Blumenfeld (born 9 September 1883) had lived with her husband and daughter Gertrud (born 2 March 1906) in Gotha before moving to Hersfeld. Emma née Oppenheim was born in Rhina on 9 September 1883, in the house at Oberland 14.

Max and Emma Blumenfeld left Bad Hersfeld on 19 December 1938, hoping to find some protection from the daily discrimination in the anonymity of the big city of Frankfurt. After having lived in the house at Beethovenstrasse 11 for just short of three years, they had to board the first train with deportees from Frankfurt on 20 October 1941 which carried over 1100 Jews to the Ghetto at Lodz. …

Emma’s date of death is recorded as 10 January 1943. The last sign of life from Max Blumenfeld is dated 2 February 1943. Blumenfeld’s daughter Gertrud and her husband Erwin Mayer also died in the Ghetto at Lodz. Daughter Hanna, born 1910, who had moved to Saarland in 1932, was murdered at Auschwitz. Only the youngest daughter Bertha Ruth, who had moved at a 16-year-old to Frankfurt, survived the Holocaust.

This passage confirmed that Meier, Emma, Gertrud, and Erwin had died in Lodz. It also confirmed that Bertha Ruth had survived, and it reported that there was a middle daughter Hanna who had been killed at Auschwitz after moving to Saarland, Germany, in 1932.

Richard then located a second site devoted to Stolpersteine installed in Hersfeld, and that one included this additional information about Hanna, the middle daughter of Meier and Emma:

Siegfried, the youngest child [of the family Levi] (born 1908…) moved 1932 with his wife Hanna née Blumenfeld (from Duden Street) to Merzig/Saar. Siegfried Levi had attended teachers’ college in Würzburg.

Now we knew that Hanna had married Siegfried Levi and moved with him to Merzig, Saarland, Germany, in 1932.

Although the Stolperstein biography indicated that Hanna Blumenfeld Levi had been killed at Auschwitz, there is no entry for a woman with that name listed at Yad Vashem. However, there is a listing for a Hannah Blumenfeld with the birth name Levi, and she was born in Hersfeld on July 18, 1910. Richard and I both feel that the married name and birth name was transposed in the listing and that this is in fact Hanna Blumenfeld Levi, the middle daughter of Meier and Emma Blumenfeld.  According to Yad Vashem, she had lived in Luxembourg and France during the war and had been deported from Drancy, France, on September 7, 1942, to Auschwitz, where she was killed.

But then Richard and I were confused by a listing on Ancestry from the Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982 database that includes Hanna Levi, born in Hersfeld on July 18, 1910, and states that she had a visa for Cuba.6 After Richard consulted with the author of the Hersfeld Stolpersteine site, we concluded that although Hanna may have had a visa for Cuba, she never actually immigrated and was killed at Auschwitz. Her husband Siegfried, however, did survive and ended up immigrating to the US after the war.7

Thus, from starting with my doubts about whether Meier and Emma Blumenfeld had any children, I am now persuaded by the documents that Richard and I found that they had three daughters. The youngest, Bertha Ruth, escaped to the US. The middle child Hanna was killed at Auschwitz. And the oldest Gertrud was also most likely killed in the Holocaust. Why the Arolsen Archives document says she and two children escaped to the US remains an unanswered question. I hope that that document is correct, but all other evidence suggests otherwise.

GeorgDerReisende, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

GeorgDerReisende, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

On that sad note, I now have completed the saga of Giedel Blumenfeld, who died so young and left nine children behind. Two of those children left for America as young adults (Markus/Max and Sara/Sadie). The oldest child Moritz had died in 1932, but his children escaped to the US in time. Two of Giedel’s other daughters came to the United States in the 1930s (Bertha and Franziska) as did her son Hermann, his wife, and two of their sons. Hermann’s other two sons escaped to South Africa where they died as young men.

But three of Giedel’s nine children—Dorchen/Dorothea, Salli, and Meier—and almost all of their children were killed in the Holocaust.


  1. Emma’s father Aron later married Franziska Blumenfeld, Meier III’s second cousin, after his first wife Hannchen Klebe died. Franziska Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich, (Female), Age: 34, Birth Date: 3. Nov 1870 (3 Nov 1870), Marriage Date: 10. Okt 1905 (10 Oct 1905), Marriage Place: Marburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany)
    Civil Registration Office: Marburg, Spouse: Aron Oppenheim Father: Meine Blumenfeld,
    Mother: Sarchen Blumenfeld, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5620, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2. Lodz, Name: Gertruda Mayer, [Gertruda Blumenfeld], Gender: F (Female)
    Birth Date: 20 Mar 1906, Profession: Sekretaerin, Address: 97 Flat 2a Muhl Gasse
    Residence: Lodz, Poland, Deportation Date: 20 Apr 1943, JewishGen.org Volunteers, comp. East Europe, Registers and Listings from Ten Jewish Ghettos, 1939-1942. Gertruda Mayer, Gender: weiblich (Female), Birth Date: 2 Mrz 1906 (2 Mar 1906)
    Apartment Number: 68, Street Address: Hanseaten 4, Residence Place: Litzmannstadt, Polen (Poland), Occupation: Sekretär, Previous Address: Frankfurt, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Washington, DC; Poland, Lódz Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944; Record Groups: RG-15.083M; File Name: rg-15_083m_0219-00000393, Ancestry.com. Poland, Łódź Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944 (USHMM) 
  3. Ruth Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marriage Age: 21, Birth Date: Aug 1920, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Date: 21 Mar 1942, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St.
    Residence Place: New York, Manhattan, Occupation: Factory, Father: Meier Blumenfeld
    Mother: Emma Blumenfeld, Spouse: Leo Friedman, Certificate Number: 5247
    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: 1942, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  4.  Leo Friedman, Social Security Number: 064-12-5373, Birth Date: 4 Aug 1909
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: Nov 1982, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  5.  Ruth Friedman, Social Security Number: 102-14-8791, Birth Date: 17 Aug 1920
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: Feb 1984, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Hanna Levi, Birth Date: 1910-07-18, Birth Place: Hersfeld, Last Residence: Ettelorueck, Luxembourg, Comments: Passport reference: Allem. 474/40, Visa to: Cuba
    Source: Luxembourg, immigrants to Americas via Bayonne, France, ca. 1945-1946 (Liste des Luxembourgeois a Bayonne, n.d.), Record Set, Page: D51.12,5, JewishGen. Jewish Holocaust Survivor List from the files of World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982 
  7. E.g., see Siegfried Levi, 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 

Salli Blumenfeld and His Family: A Branch With No New Leaves

Although the last few posts have had their sad stories—young children who died, a horrible accident taking the life of a young mother, a young man dying at 29 from a heart attack—I was at least spared the pain of writing about the murder of my relatives by the Nazis. Sadly, I now must return to such horrific stories as I turn to the two youngest sons of Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband Gerson Blumenfeld, Salli and Meier. First, I will tell the story of Salli Blumenfeld.

Salli Blumenfeld was born in Kirchhain on March 25, 1878.

Salli Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4979, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Salli married Fanni Wetterhahn on May 9, 1906, in Hersfeld, Germany. Fanni was born there on May 29, 1879, to Isaak Wetterhahn and Karoline Simon.

Salli Blumenfeld Fanni Wetterhahn marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 907, Year Range: 1906, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Salli and Fanni had two children. Siegfried was born on July 25, 1907, in Kirchhain.1 According to several trees and other secondary sources, a daughter Kathe Karoline was born to Salli and Fanni on November 4, 1910; I don’t have any record tying this child to Salli and Fanni, however. I do have one record showing that a woman named Kathe Karoline Blumenfeld was born in Kirchhain on November 4, 1910, but that record does not identify her parents.2 For now I will assume she was the daughter of Salli and Fanni.

Salli and Fanni’s son Siegfried married Betti Reutlinger on February 24, 1935, in Frankfurt. Betti was born on May 28, 1908, in Frankfurt. Her parents were Julius Reutlinger and Sophie Weil.3

But then this story turns tragic. Salli and Fanni and their presumed daughter Kathe Karoline were all killed in the Holocaust.  They were all deported from Kassel to Riga, Latvia, on December 9, 1941, and died sometime thereafter.

Only Salli and Fanni’s son Siegfried and his wife Betti escaped in time. They arrived in New York on October 21, 1938, with Betti’s mother Sophie Weil and sister Martha Weil.

Siegfried Blumenfeld ship manifest, Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 59, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

On his Declaration of Intention dated March 1, 1939, Siegfried reported that he was a factory hand. He and Betti were living in New York and had no children.4

In 1940, Siegfried and Betti were living with her mother Sophie and brother Walter in New York.5 Siegfried was working as a machine operator. His World War II draft registration lists his employer as Burros and Burros. By that time he had changed his surname to Bloomfield.

Siegfried Bloomfield, 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

Siegfried died at the age of 55 in June 1963;5 Betti outlived him by 34 years. She died March 4, 1997, at 88.6 I have not been able to find any record that Siegfried and Betti ever had children. If that is true, it appears that this is another branch of the family of Giedel Blumenfeld and her husband Gerson Blumenfeld that has no living descendants.

Next, the story of Giedel Blumenfeld’s youngest son to live to adulthood, Meier Blumenfeld.


  1. Siegfried Bloomfield, [Siegfried Gerson Blumenfeld], Gender: Male, Declaration Age: 31, Record Type: Declaration, Birth Date: 25 Jul 1907, Birth Place: Kirchheim Germany, Arrival Date: 21 Oct 1938, Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA, Declaration Date: 1 Mar 1939, Declaration Place: New York  Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Spouse: Betti, Declaration Number: 429824
    Box Number: 295, 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 
  2. Käthe Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Nationality: Deutsche Julen, Residence Age: 28, Record Type: Residence, Birth Date: 4 Nov 1910, Birth Place: Kirchhain, Sojourn Start Date: 2 Sep 1939, Residence Place: Marburg Marburg an der Lahn, Sojourn End Date: 8 Dez 1941 (8 Dec 1941), Notes: Foreigners who were living in the location during the war – permanently or temporarily, Reference Number: 02010101 oS, Document ID: 70454281, Arolsen Archives, Digital Archive; Bad Arolsen, Germany; Lists of Persecutees 2.1.1.1, Ancestry.com. Free Access: Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947 
  3. See Note 1. Betti Paula Bloomfield, [Betty Bloomfield] [Betti Paula Reutlinger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 May 1908, Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 4 Mar 1997, Father: Julius Reutlinger, Mother:
    Sophie Weil, SSN: 104124761, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  4. See Note 1. 
  5.  Siegrfried Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 066-14-7836, Birth Date: 25 Jul 1907, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Death Date: Jun 1963, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. Betti Paula Bloomfield, [Betty Bloomfield] [Betti Paula Reutlinger], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 May 1908, Birth Place: Frankfort, Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 4 Mar 1997, Father: Julius Reutlinger, Mother:
    Sophie Weil, SSN: 104124761, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 

Hermann Blumenfeld II and His Family: Leaving Germany in Time

It was a bit of a relief, telling the stories of Max Bloomfield I and his sister Sadie Bloomfield, since both left Germany almost fifty years before the Nazis came to power. Even though both suffered tragic losses—Max lost two young daughters from terrible illnesses and Sadie lost a daughter to a horrible freak accident—I knew that they and their descendants would not be killed in the Holocaust.

Now I return to a sibling who stayed in Germany, but who managed to leave in the 1930s along with his family and escape from Nazi persecution. Hermann Blumenfeld II was the seventh child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld; he was born on March 26, 1876, in Kirchhain. He lost his mother Giedel when he was only seven years old.

On May 21, 1902, Hermann II married Rickchen Lomnitz in Bischhausen, Germany. She was born in Bischhausen on November 6, 1874, to Salomon Lomnitz and Esther Lorge.

Marriage record of Hermann Blumenfeld II and Rickchen Lomnitz, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 923; Laufende Nummer: 905, Year Range: 1902, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Hermann II and Rickchen had four sons. First, they had twins; Gustav and Siegwart were born on January 3, 1904, in Marburg, Germany.1 Then came Max, born on December 23, 1905, in Marburg.2

Their fourth son was Julius Blumenfeld, born October 27, 1907, in Marburg. For a long time I was skeptical about the existence of this fourth son, who was listed on several family trees but with no sources.3 I am very grateful to Richard Bloomfield for tracking down the actual birth record for Julius.

Julius Blumenfeld birth record obtained by Richard Bloomfield from Marburg Archives

Before Richard obtained that birth record, the only actual record I could find for a Julius Blumenfeld born on that date was a record of prisoners held at Dachau concentration camp; that record indicates that a man with that name and birth date and place was imprisoned at Dachau on October 26, 1935, and released on July 25, 1936, but it does not indicate who his parents were.4

Hermann and Rickchen and their sons all escaped from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Max arrived in the US on July 6, 1936, listing his occupation as a merchant and his prior residence as Vienna.5 His brother Gustav arrived in the US next on October 1, 1937, listing his occupation as a baker and his prior residence as Marburg.6

Then their parents arrived the following year on June 3, 1938, Hermann II listing his occupation as a baker, same as his son Gustav. Traveling with them was Hermann’s younger sister Franziska, the youngest child of Giedel and Gerson Blumenfeld to survive to adulthood and their tenth child. Franziska was 55 and unmarried when she immigrated to the US with her brother Hermann and sister-in-law Rickchen.

Hermann Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1938; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 91, Ship or Roll Number: Hansa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

In 1940, Hermann, Rickchen, Gustav and Max were all living together along with Hermann’s sister Franziska in New York. Only Gustav and Max were employed, Gustav as a novelty salesman and Max as an office clerk for a garment company. They had all adopted the surname Bloomfield by then.

Hermann Blumenfeld and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02670; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 31-1885, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Max Bloomfield (II, since he had an uncle who also changed his surname from Blumenfeld to Bloomfield) married Fridl Waldmann Aal, a widow with one child, on September 13, 1941, in New York.7 Fridl was born on March 20, 1909, in Windheim, Germany, and was, like Max, a refugee from Nazi Germany, having arrived on July 6, 1938, with her young daughter.8

When he registered for the draft in 1942, Max was working for the Gibraltar Manufacturing Company.

Max Bloomfield II, 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

Max’s brother Gustav was self-employed when he registered for the draft, but I do not know what his occupation was; perhaps he’d returned to baking.

Gustav Bloomfield, 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

Meanwhile, Hermann II and Rickchen’s other sons, Gustav’s twin Siegwart and the youngest son Julius, had gone to South Africa instead of the United States. Finding out what happened to Julius took the assistance of the genealogy village, in particular, my cousin Richard Bloomfield and Tracing the Tribe member Michael Moritz.

Given that Hermann Blumenfeld II’s naturalization papers listed only three sons—Gustav, Siegwart, and Max—I assumed that Julius must have died before Hermann filed his declaration of intent in 1941 or perhaps even before Hermann and Rickchen immigrated in 1938. But I had no idea when or where Julius died or whether he’d ever left Germany.

Herman 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, Description: (Roll 610) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 481301-482200), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

I posted a question on Tracing the Tribe on Facebook.  Not long after I posted my question, Michael Moritz again came through for me; he found that Julius had immigrated to South Africa, and then found Julius’ marriage record and death record. On December 8, 1937, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Julius married Charlotte Rosenfeld, who was 27 at that time and born in Germany.

Marriage of Julius Blumenfeld and Charlotte Rosenfeld, “South Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:8BTM-6BN2 : 1 February 2021), Charlotte Rosenfeld in entry for Julius Blumenfeld, 1936.

Sadly, Julius died just five months later on May 10, 1937, in Johannesburg, South Africa, from sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 29, and I have little doubt that his experiences at Dachau contributed to his early death.

Julius Blumenfeld death certificate, “South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BY-V7P6-W?cc=2998108 : 15 September 2019), > image 1 of 1; Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Transvaal.

His brother Siegwart also died young. He died in South Africa on June 18,1945, when he was 41, from lymphosarcoma. According to his death certificate, he was single and I assume had no children.

Siegwart Blumenfeld death certificate, “South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Death, 1869-1954,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:WSSF-4NN2 : 29 October 2019), Siegwart Blumenfeld, 18 Jun 1945; citing Death, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, Department of the Interior. Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Transvaal.

Back in the US, Hermann Blumenfeld II died in New York on August 12, 1944; he was 68.9 His wife Rickchen died six years later on October 19, 1950; she was 75.10 Their son Gustav died on January 28, 1966, at the age of 62;11 as far as I’ve been able to determine, Gustav never married or had children. Max Bloomfield II died in July 1981 at age 75.12 I’ve not found any children from his marriage to Fridl Waldmann, who died at age 96 on September 23, 2005.13

I am hoping that perhaps I’ve missed something and that one of Hermann II and Rickchen’s sons had children and that there are living descendants since this is one of the few branches of Giedel Blumenfeld’s tree that managed to escape Germany in time. But at the moment I have no indication that Hermann Blumenfeld II has any living descendants.

UPDATE 5 30 2022

Good news! I received an email from a distant cousin by marriage who informed me that he had discovered that Max Bloomfield and Fridl Waldmann had a son born in the 1940s. I have now learned a bit about that son, my fifth cousin, who is living in California and has an adult daughter as well. So there are at least two living descendants of Hermann Blumenfeld II.


  1.  Gustav Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 130-03-0510, Birth Date: 3 Jan 1904
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10467, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Jan 1966, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. On his naturalization application, Hermann reported that both Gustav and Siegwart were born on January 3, 1904. Hermann 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. The declaration of intention is inserted in the post at a different point. 
  2. Max Bloomfield, 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 
  3.   Some of the trees listing Julius as the son of Hermann and Rickchen also attached sources showing a Julius Blumenfeld who came to the US, married a Rose Hymann in 1950, divorced her in 1971, and died in 1974. But there was nothing that linked that Julius to Hermann and RIckchen. In fact, those records don’t even include a birth date or place; the only commonality is the name Julius Blumenfeld. Obviously, as you will see, these trees are incorrect. 
  4. Julius Blumenfeld, Birth Date: 27 Oct 1907, Birth Place: Marburg/Lahn, Arrival Date: 26 Oct 1935, Arrival Country: Germany, Prisoner Number: 8505, Arrival Notes: arrived 26 Oct 1935, Disposition Notes: released 25 Jul 1936, Description: prisoner
    Page: 487/Sch., Original Notes (desc. / arr. / dis.): Sch./ zug. 26 Oct 1935/ entl. 25 Jul 1936, JewishGen volunteers, comp. Germany, Dachau Concentration Camp Records, 1945 
  5. Max Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 135, Ship or Roll Number: Europa, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  6. Gustav Blumenfeld, ship manifest, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 9; Page Number: 38, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  7. Max Bloomfield, Gender: Male, Race: White, Marriage Age: 35, Birth Date: 23 Dec 1905, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Affidavit Date: 9 Sep 1941, Marriage Date: 13 Sep 1941, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St., Residence Place: New York City
    Occupation: Paymaster, Father: Hermann Bloomfield, Mother: Rickchen Bloomfield
    Spouse: Fridl Aal, Certificate Number: 16130, Current Marriage Number: 0, Witness 1: A. Wertheim, Witness 2: H. Katzentend, 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 
  8. Fridl Waldmann Aal, Declaration of Intention, The National Archives at Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NAI Title: Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1/19/1842 – 10/29/1959; NAI Number: 4713410; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: 21, (Roll 548) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 426401-427400),
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943 
  9. Herman Blumenfeld, Age: 68, Birth Year: abt 1876, Death Date: 12 Aug 1944
    Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 17482, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 
  10. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/204634106/rickchen-blumenfeld : accessed 12 March 2022), memorial page for Rickchen Blumenfeld (6 Nov 1874–19 Oct 1950), Find a Grave Memorial ID 204634106, citing King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by danthecan (contributor 48474884) . 
  11.  Gustav Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 130-03-0510, Birth Date: 3 Jan 1904
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10467, Bronx, Bronx, New York, USA, Death Date: Jan 1966, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/204626960/gustav-bloomfield : accessed 12 March 2022), memorial page for Gustav Bloomfield (3 Jan 1904–28 Jan 1966), Find a Grave Memorial ID 204626960, citing King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by danthecan (contributor 48474884). 
  12.  Max Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 065-05-5748, Birth Date: 23 Dec 1905
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1981, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  13.  Fridl Bloomfield, Social Security Number: 109-16-6128, Birth Date: 20 Mar 1909, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, Death Date: 23 Sep 2005, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

Dorothea Blumenfeld Haas, Daughter of Giedel Blumenfeld Blumenfeld: A Family Destroyed

As I turn to the tragic story of the fourth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld, Dorothea Blumenfeld Haas, I only wish she, her sons, and her grandchildren had followed many of Dorothea’s siblings and her only daughter out of Germany before it was too late.

As we saw, Dorothea was born on December 26, 1869, in Kirchhain. She married Joseph Haas on August 12, 1898, in Kirchhain. He was born on October 3, 1863, to Wolf Haas and Johannette Schei in Grenzhausen, Germany.

Dorothea Blumenfeld and Joseph Haas marriage record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5026, Year Range: 1898, 
Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Dorothea and Joseph Haas had three children. Walter Haas (presumably named for Joseph’s father Wolf) was born on August 23, 1899, in Hoehr Grenzhausen, Germany. Thank you to Aaron Knappstein for obtaining Walter’s birth record as well as many of the records included in this post.

Walter Haas birth record

His sister Gertha Giedel Haas (presumably named for Dorothea’s mother Giedel) was born in Hoehr Grenzhausen on November 5, 1901.

Gertha Haas birth record

And Gustav Haas was born on December 7, 1908, in Hoehr Grenzhausen.

Gustav Haas birth record from Grenzhausen

Walter Haas married Irma Weinberg on May 11, 1933. Walter’s occupation was a cattle dealer.

Marriage record of Walter Haas and Irma Weinberg

 

Irma was born on January 5, 1901, in Hartenfels, Germany, to Isaac Weinberg and Ida Gerson.

Irma Weinberg birth record

Walter and Irma had two children. Ilse was born in Grenzhausen on July 22, 1934.

Her brother Ingfried was born on February 5, 1937, in Grenzhausen.

Ingfried Haas birth record from Grenzhausen

Thank you to Aaron Knappstein for obtaining the birth records for Walter, Gertha, Gustav, Ilse and Ingfried Haas and for Irma Weinberg and the marriage record of Walter and Irma.

Tragically, almost every member of this family was murdered by the Nazis. Joseph Haas died January 2, 1932,1 so was spared seeing what happened to his wife, children, and grandchildren. Dorothea,2 her sons Gustav3 and Walter,4 and Walter’s wife Irma5 and their son Ingfried6 were all deported to the Minsk concentration camp in either November or December, 1941, and died there in 1942, according to their memorials on Yad Vashem.  Little Ingfried was only four years old.

Walter Haas Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=5674520&ind=1

Irma Weinberg Haas Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1205033&ind=2

Ingfried Haas Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=5859525&ind=1

Walter and Irma’s daughter Ilse7 had been smuggled out of Germany to the Netherlands for safety before her family was sent to Minsk, but then Ilse was deported from the Netherlands to the Sobibor concentration camp on March 13, 1943, where she was murdered. She was only eight years old.

The entry on FindAGrave for Ilse provides this biographical note:

Ilse was born on July 22, 1934 in Höhr, Germany. She later moved to the Netherlands as a German Jewish refugee. During the war, she lived at an orphanage for Jewish children in Den Haag, Netherlands. German authorities forcibly closed the orphanage in March 1943, sending most of the children and staff to Sobibor on March 10th, where they were murdered on March 13th. Ilse was one of the children killed. She was just 8 years old.

The Dokin website provided this photograph of Ilse:

Ilse Haas. Courtesy of Zina Bee on FindAGrave, located at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/187427809/ilse-haas

The only member of this extended family who survived was Dorothea and Joseph’s daughter Gertha, who arrived in New York on December 2, 1939, from Frankfurt, where the Haas family had relocated at some point, whether willingly or not.8

The manifest reported that Gertha was going to her aunt, “J. Bloomfield,” at 1162 Grant Avenue in the Bronx.

Gertha Haas, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 40, Ship or Roll Number: Rotterdam, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

I wasn’t sure who this could be. Using Stevemorse.org, I located on the 1940 census a Johanna Bloomfield, a 70 year-old widow born in Germany, living at the address listed on Gertha’s manifest. Searching my tree, I realized that she was Johanna Tannenbaum, the widow of Max Bloomfield, born Markus Blumenfeld, younger brother of Gertha’s mother Dorothea. Max and Johanna’s story will be told in my next blog post.

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

Gertha sailed from Rotterdam, but listed her last residence as Frankfurt. Her ship left Rotterdam on November 22, 1939, almost two months after World War II started when it was very difficult to leave Germany. How was Gertha able to escape when her mother, brothers, and niece and nephew could not? I wish I knew her full story.

Gertha filed her Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen on March 29, 1940.

Gertha Haas, 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 583) Declarations of Intention for Citizenship, 1842-1959 (No 457001-457900), Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1943

Almost three years after safely immigrating to the US, Gertha married Julius Hecht on October 10, 1942.9 Julius was also a refugee from Nazi Germany. He was born on June 23, 1890, in Limburg, Germany, to Abraham Hecht and Regina Stern. He arrived in the US even later than Gertha—on September 9, 1941— and had also been previously living in Frankfurt, but sailed from Spain.10 Julius was 52 and Gertha was 39 when they married, and they did not have children. Julius and Gertha both died in 1974 within two months of each other, Julius in May,11 Gertha in July.12 He was 83, and she was 71.

Sadly, there are no direct descendants of Dorothea Blumenfeld and Joseph Haas to tell their stories. Perhaps I will find a cousin who can tell me more about this family that was almost completely wiped out by the Nazis.

 

 


  1. Joseph Haas, Birth Date: 3 Oct 1863, Death Date: 02 Jan 1932, Age at Death: 68
    Burial Plot: 1, Burial Place: Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). 
  2. Dora Haas Blumenfeld entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514166&ind=1&#160;
  3. Gustav Haas entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514218&ind=1&#160;
  4. Walter Haas entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514400&ind=1&#160;
  5. Irma Weinberg Haas entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=11514250&ind=1&#160;
  6. Ingfried Haas, entry at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=5859525&ind=1&#160;
  7. See entry at https://www.wiewaswie.nl/nl/detail/98928585&#160;
  8. Gertha Haas, ship manifest, Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 40, Ship or Roll Number: Rotterdam, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  9. Gertha Haas, Gender: Female, Race: White, Marriage Age: 39, Birth Date: Nov 1902, Birth Place: Germany, Marriage Date: 10 Oct 1942, Marriage Place: New York, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Residence Street Address: 564 W. 160 St., Occupation: Operator, Father: Josepha Haas, Mother: Dora Haas, Spouse: Julius Hecht
    Certificate Number: 19972, 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: 1942, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1908-1910, 1938-1940 
  10. Julius Hecht, Gender: männlich (Male), Birth Date: 23. Jun 1890 (23 Jun 1890)
    Birth Place: Limburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Limburg, Mother: Regina Hecht, Father: Abraham Hecht, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 912; Laufende Nummer: 3277,
    Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901. Julius Hecht, Gender: Male
    Declaration Age: 51, Record Type: Declaration, Birth Date: 23 Jun 1890, Birth Place: Limburg Germany, Arrival Date: 9 Sep 1941, Arrival Place: New York, New York, USA
    Declaration Date: 3 Mar 1942, Declaration Place: New York, Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Declaration Number: 515161, Box Number: 390, 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 
  11.  Julius Hecht, Social Security Number: 083-18-7875, Birth Date: 23 Jun 1890, 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, Source Information
    Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  12.  Gerda Hecht, Social Security Number: 101-16-4049, Birth Date: 5 Nov 1902
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 10033, New York, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: Jul 1974, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 

A Family Decimated by the Nazis: The Children of Abraham Blumenfeld III

I am really struggling with how to best tell the stories of the seven of the nine children and eleven grandchildren of Abraham Blumenfeld III who were still living when the Nazis came to power because their stories are just so devastatingly tragic. Of those seven remaining children, only one escaped in time. The other six were all killed in the Holocaust as were many of those eleven grandchildren.

Telling their stories one by one is important so that each name and each life is honored and remembered. But it is also important to see and feel the impact on the entire family, a family of nine siblings. Only one of those nine survived beyond 1945. All the others were killed by the Nazis, except for one (Hermann) who died of natural causes when he was 48 and one (Moritz) who was killed in battle in 1916, fighting for the very same country that would slaughter his siblings just a few decades later. In other words, almost an entire family was wiped out by the Nazis. Generations of Blumenfeld descendants never had a chance to be born because their ancestors were killed for being Jewish.

With that bigger picture in mind, let me tell the story of what happened to each of these descendants of Abraham Blumenfeld III and Friedericke Rothschild. This is a very sad and painful post, but each of these individuals deserves to have their story told.

Dina Blumenfeld and her husband Salomon Heldemuth were deported to Theriesenstadt on August 18, 1942, and then to the Treblinka death camp on September 23, 1942, where they were murdered. Dina was 71, Salomon was 76.

Salomon Heldenmuth Page of Testimony, Yad Vashem, at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1475415&ind=1

Fortunately, all three of Dina and Salomon’s children escaped and survived. Leopold had married Frieda Kneip on June 28, 1929, in Gelnhausen, Germany. Frieda was born in Gelnhausen on July 10, 1906, to Seligmann Kneip and Bella Mayer.1

Marriage of Leopold Heldenmuth and Frieda Kneip, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 913; Signatur: 1173, Year Range: 1925, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Leopold (Leo or Leon in the US) and Frieda arrived in New York on June 25, 1936.2 Interestingly, they are listed in the 1939 England and Wales Register, living with Leopold’s younger brother Siegfried in London.

Leopold and Siegfried Heldenmuth on 1939 England Wales Register, The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/246A, Enumeration District: AKDS, Ancestry.com. 1939 England and Wales Register

But on November 24, 1939, Frieda and Leopold returned to New York,3 and they are listed on the 1940 US census, living with Frieda’s mother and brother as well as Leopold’s brother Siegfried. Leon, as he is listed here, was working as a real estate broker, and Siegfried made artificial flowers.

Leopold and Siegfried Heldenmuth on 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02668; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 31-1831, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

Leopold and Siegfried’s sister Gertrude had married Moritz Lion on May 25, 1921, in Hohensolms, Germany. Moritz was born March 4, 1897, in Sankt-Goarhausen, Germany. Gertrude and Moritz arrived in New York on August 17, 1939.4

Marriage of Gertrud Heldenmuth and Moritz Lion, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 911; Laufende Nummer: 4677, Year Range: 1921, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Leopold died on May 11, 1950, at the age of 54.5 His sister Gertrude, who lost her husband Moritz on October 13, 1963,6 died on July 23, 1969 at 71.7 Their brother Siegfried died on May 15, 1972; he was seventy.8 Frieda, Leopold’s widow, remarried and lived until she was 94; she died on January 20, 2001.9 Since none of Dina and Salomon’s children had children, there are no descendants.

Dina’s sister Auguste and her husband Menko Stern were also killed in the Holocaust. Menko had been sent to Buchenwald after Kristallnacht They were deported to Theriesenstadt on September 7, 1942 and then to Treblinka on September 29, 1942, and so died within just a few days of Dina and Salomon. Their son Max was taken to the Warsaw Ghetto on March 31, 1942, where he also was killed. I have no records for Julius Stern, but according to the article written about the Stolpersteine laid for his family, he escaped to Argentina in 1936, where he died in 1985.

Nanny Blumenfeld and Jakob Stern faced the same fates as their sister and brother, Auguste Blumenfeld and Menko Stern. They were both taken to Kassel, Germany, where on June 1, 1942, they were deported to the Sobibor death camp and killed there on June 3, 1942. Their son Arthur was taken to the Majdanek concentration camp, where he was killed on September 27, 1942. Only Manfred (known as Fritz) escaped in time; he fled to Palestine, according to the article written on the occasion of the installation of the Stolpersteine for his family. I have not, however, been able to find any record of his immigration to Palestine.

Nanny Blumenfeld Stern page of testimony, Yad Vashem, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=421480&ind=1

Jakob Stern page of testimony, Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1659946&ind=2

Arthur Stern page of testimony, Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=530549&ind=1

Hugo Blumenfeld, the sixth sibling, never married or had children. He was deported from Frankfurt to Theriesenstadt on August 14, 1942, and then to Auschwitz on October 16, 1944, where he was killed. His sister, the seventh sibling, Bertha Blumenfeld, also single, also was deported to Theriesenstadt but from Koeln (Cologne) on June 15, 1942; she was then taken to Auschwitz where she was killed just four days before her brother Hugo on October 12, 1944.

The baby of the family, Emma Blumenfeld Wetterhahn, and her husband Siegmund and their daughter Trude Ruth Friedericke Wetterhahn, the youngest grandchild, were also murdered by the Nazis. Emma and Siegmund were deported from Frankfurt on November 22, 1941, to Kaunas, Lithuania, and killed there three days later on November 25, 1941 during the Ninth Fort massacre during which the Nazis shot and killed almost 5,000 Jews. You can read more about this horrific slaughter of innocent people like Emma and Siegmund on the Yad Vashem site here.

Emma and Siegmund’s daughter Ruth Wetterhahn was living in Berlin when she was taken to Auschwitz on March 1, 1943, and killed there. She was seventeen years old.

Thus, six of the seven children of Abraham Blumenfeld III who were still living when Hitler came to power—Dina, Auguste, Nanny, Hugo, Bertha, and Emma—as well as their spouses and three of their children–-Max Stern, Arthur Stern, and Ruth Wetterhahn—were killed by the Nazis.

But unfortunately that does not end the death toll because at least three of the children of Hermann Blumenfeld III, who died in 1928, and Jeannette Stern, who died in 1915, were also killed by the Nazis. Julius Blumenfeld was deported from Kassel to the ghetto in Riga, Latvia, on December 9, 1941, and was killed sometime thereafter. His sister Frieda Blumenfeld was deported from Kassel to the Riga ghetto at the same time and was deported from there to the Stutthof concentration camp on August 9, 1944, where she was later killed.

Hermann and Jeannette’s son Max (Meir) Blumenfeld was more fortunate. Although I do not have any information about how he escaped, he died in Rehovoth, Israel, on September 22, 2004, at the age of 91.10

In addition, Hermann Blumenfeld III’s second wife Ida Stern and their son Kurt Siegfried Blumenfeld were also murdered by the Nazis. Ida was deported from Kassel to Riga, Latvia, on December 9. 1941, along with her stepchildren Julius and Frieda. Kurt was deported from Wurzburg, Germany, to Krasnystaw,Lublin,Poland, on April 25, 1942, and killed sometime thereafter.

As for Alfred Blumenfeld, who appears on several Ancestry trees as the fourth child of Hermann and Jeannette, I have no records of his birth or his death (or anything else), so I don’t know whether he was also a victim of the Holocaust.

Only one of the seven children of Abraham Blumenfeld III who were still living in the Nazi era escaped Germany in time, and I only have minimal information about her. Katincka Blumenfeld Heymann, the third child, and her husband Samuel Heymann immigrated to Brazil in the summer of 1939 just before World War II started. I have no further information about their lives, but they had no children after their daughter Frieda died in 1911 at ten months of age. There are no descendants of Katincka and Samuel.

Katincka Blumenfeld Heymann, Digital GS Number: 004542368
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Samuel Heymann, Digital GS Number: 004560417
Ancestry.com. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965

Six of the seven living children and seven of the twelve living grandchildren of Abraham Blumenfeld III and Friedericke Rothschild were killed by the Nazis. Thirteen innocent lives snuffed out for no reason other than ugly, baseless hatred. And sadly, as far as I know, only three of the grandchildren who survived might have had children to carry on the names and the legacy of their parents and grandparents. Someday I hope I can find them if they exist, or perhaps they will find me.

 

 

 

 


  1.  Frieda Vanallen, Social Security Number: 090-14-8045, Birth Date: 10 Jul 1906
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 90212, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA, Death Date: 20 Jan 2001, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Saligmann Kneig, Gender: männlich (Male), Age: 27, Birth Date: 20. Jun 1876 (20 Jun 1876), Marriage Date: 19. Mai 1904 (19 May 1904), Marriage Place: Biblis, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Biblis, Spouse: Bella Maÿer, Reference Number: 854, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Signatur: 854, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930 
  2.  Frieda Heldenmuth, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: German;Hebrew (German), Marital status: Married, Age: 29, Birth Date: abt 1907, Birth Place: Germany
    Other Birth Place: Gelnhausen, Last Known Residence: Frankfurt, Germany
    Place of Origin: Germany, Departure Port: Hamburg, Germany, Arrival Date: 25 Jun 1936, Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA, Year: 1936; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 11; Page Number: 129, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  3.  Frieda Heldinmoth, Gender: Female, Departure Age: 33, Birth Date: abt 1906
    Departure Date: 24 Nov 1939, Departure Port: England, Ship Name: Britannic
    Shipping Line: Cunard White Star Limited, Destination Port: New York, USA
    The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; BT27 Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and Successors: Outwards Passenger Lists; Reference Number: Series BT27-162316, Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 
  4.  Gertrud Lion, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: Hebrew, Age: 42, Birth Date: abt 1897, Birth Place: Germany, Other Birth Place: Alfeukidan [sic], Departure Port: Le Havre, France, Arrival Date: 17 Aug 1939, Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA
    Ship Name: Manhattan,Year: 1939; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 2; Page Number: 154, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  5. Leo Heldenmuth, Birth Date: 6 Dec 1895, Birth Place: Federal Republic of Germany, Death Date: 11 May 1950, Claim Date: 16 Nov 1950, SSN: 104146398, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. 
  6. Moritz Lion, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 4 Mar 1897, Death Date: 13 Oct 1963
    Claim Date: 25 Oct 1963, SSN: 092121940, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  7.  Gertrude Lion, Gender: Female, Age: 71, Birth Date: abt 1898, Residence Place: Murray Hill, New York, New York, USA, Death Date: 23 Jul 1969, Death Place: New York, USA, Certificate Number: 56308, New York State Department of Health; Albany, Ny, Usa; New York State Death Index, Ancestry.com. New York State, U.S., Death Index, 1957-1969 
  8. Fred Heldenmuth, Race: White, Marital Status: Never Married (Single), Birth Date: abt 1902, Residence: Bridgeport, Connecticut, Death Date: 15 May 1972, Death Place: Bridgeport, Connecticut, Age: 70 Years, State File #: 09057, Connecticut Department of Health. Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2012 
  9.  Frieda Vanallen, Social Security Number: 090-14-8045, Birth Date: 10 Jul 1906
    Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 90212, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA, Death Date: 20 Jan 2001, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. 
  10. Meir Max Blumenfeld, Name in Hebrew: מאיר מקס בלומנפלד, Hebrew Name: מאיר מקס, Birth Date: 1913, Death Date: 21 Sep 2004 / ו תשרי תשסה, Death Place: Kaplan Hospital, Rehovot /בי”ח קפלן, Age at Death: 91, Burial Date: 22 Sep 2004, Burial Plot: סא ד 29, Burial Place: Rehovot, Israel, Father Name: Herman /הרמן, Mother Name: Yenta /ינטה, JewishGen, comp. JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR).