The Fate of Caroline Blumenfeld Hoxter and Her Children: Final Chapter

As we saw, by the middle of 1940, all three of Caroline Blumenfeld Hoxter’s daughters and their families were safely out of Germany. Toni and Gerda were in the US as were their children, and Betty and her family were in Palestine.

But what about their mother Caroline? Last we knew she, having lost her husband Simon in 1932, had been living in Marburg with Toni and her family after Toni’s husband Sally was driven out of his haberdashery business in Hersfeld by Nazi persecution. But Caroline was not with Toni and Sally when they left for America in 1940 nor was she with Gerda and her family when they left Germany in 1939. Nor was Caroline with her daughter Betty in Palestine.

Tragically, Caroline was still in Germany. At some point she moved to Frankfurt, and in 1942 she was taken to Theriesenstadt where she died on February 17, 1942. Her daughter Betty (here spelled Beti) filed this Page of Testimony with Yad Vashem:

Caroline Hoxter, Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, filed by her daughter Beti Openheimer, found athttps://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1617046&ind=1

In her speech to middle school students in 2020, Caroline’s granddaughter Jane explained why Caroline had been unable to leave Germany with her family:1

Before we left [Germany], my sister and I went to see our grandmother who was blind and could not come with us. Much later she was deported to Thereisenstadt concentration camp. She was then in her late 80s. We were informed that she died of natural causes. Can you imagine for someone that old to travel for three weeks in a cattle car? It is still very hard for me to think about that and accept it.

Jane rightfully questioned whether her grandmother’s death was in fact from “natural causes.” Subjecting an elderly and blind woman to the conditions she must have experienced on that cattle car and then at Theriesenstadt surely contributed to her death as much as if she’d been gassed or shot by the Nazis.

I am very grateful to Andre Guenther from Tracing the Tribe who located Caroline’s death certificate from Theriesenstadt; she died from “enteritis darmkatarrah” or what we might call gastroenteritis.

At no point during the Shoah Foundation interview with Arthur Goldschmidt,2 did the interviewer ask about the fate of his grandmother Caroline Blumenfeld Hoxter, and Arthur did not bring it up himself. I don’t know whether this was an oversight or whether he simply could not bring himself to speak about what happened to his grandmother. I imagine the family must have been devastated by what happened to her. Peter, Jane’s son, told me that his mother still gets emotional when she talks about her grandmother Caroline and what happened to her.

But Caroline was blessed that her three daughters and her grandchildren all escaped and survived the Holocaust.

Her daughter Toni died in New York on April 21, 1956,[^3] two years after her husband Sol, who died on May 13, 1954, in New York.3 Their daughter Miriam died on January 7, 1988, in Queens, New York,4 followed by her husband Rudolf on January 21, 1993, in Los Angeles.5 They were survived by their daughter and her family.

Their son Arthur Goldschmidt shared this photograph of his parents with the Shoah Foundation:

Toni Hoxter and Sally (Sol) Goldschmidt. Arthur Goldschmidt, Interview 8542,  Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation,  November 10, 1995. Accessed 15 August 2021, from the archive of the University of California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, found at https://sfi.usc.edu/what-we-do/collections

Toni’s sister Betty/Beti lived the rest of her life in Israel and died on December 15, 1975, at the age of 86. She was predeceased by her husband Max, who died May 25, 1961, in Israel. They were survived by their daughter Lotte, who married Theo Kleeman in Israel and who died June 26, 1998, in Israel, and their son Shimon, who died August 14, 2012, in Haifa, Israel. Today they have grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Israel.6

The youngest sister Gerda died in New York on April 13 1974,7 two years after her husband Adolf, who died March 18, 1972.8 They were survived by their two daughters. Their daughter Alice Lore Goldschmidt married Richard Oster,9 with whom she had two children. Alice died on January 13, 2014.10

Their other daughter Jane Inge Goldschmidt married Ralph Keibel on August  11, 1950,11. Peter shared with me his parents’ wedding photograph.

Jane and Ralph had two children, including my cousin Peter. Jane is still living and is 98 years old. Imagine—she gave that speech to the Vermont middle school group when she was almost 97 years old. Just remarkable.

As for Arthur Goldschmidt, whose interview helped me tell this story, after World War II he returned to New York City where he met and married his wife Ruth Herz. As he told the story, they met in January 1950, were engaged by April, and married in August 1950. Ruth was also a refugee from Germany. She was born on April 18, 1922, in Holzheim, Germany, to Eugen Isaak Herz and Lilli Weinberg.12 Her father had died in 1932, and her mother was killed in the Holocaust.

According to her obituary, “Ruth left Germany at age 16 via the Kindertransport and spent nine years on the run, in hiding, in a displaced persons camp, and then came to the US where she was able to build a good life. She met her husband Arthur Goldschmidt on a blind date that blossomed into their beautiful marriage on August 27, 1950.”13 Ruth and Arthur had two children. It was clear from the video of the interview that they both still adored each other 45 years after their marriage began.

Arthur Goldschmidt and his wife Ruth during the Shoah Foundation interview. Arthur Goldschmidt, Interview 8542,  Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation,  November 10, 1995. Accessed 15 August 2021, from the archive of the University of California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, found at https://sfi.usc.edu/what-we-do/collections

Arthur worked for many years at a dairy company on Long Island, so the skills he learned back in the 1930s from the Zionist organization that prepared him to work on a kibbutz in Palestine/Israel held him in good stead. He died on January 15, 2021, in New York; he was 96 years old.14

It was an honor to watch his interview the Shoah Foundation. He was amazingly matter-of-fact through almost the entire interview, answering questions calmly and saying that he and his family survived because they were able to get out early enough. He didn’t seem angry or resentful at all—until the very end when the interviewer asked him a simple and straightforward question about what he hoped the world had learned. He then broke down in tears, unable to speak, finally saying in essence that we must never forget and that we must never let it happen again.15

Today Caroline Blumenfeld Hoxter has many living descendants in Israel and in the US. She may not have survived the Holocaust, but her daughters and their families did, and they and their descendants carry on her legacy.

I am deeply grateful to my cousin Peter Keibel for sharing so much of his information and his family photographs with me and especially for sharing his mother’s speech about her experiences before and during the Holocaust.


And this brings me to the end of not only Caroline Blumenfeld Hoxter’s story and that of her children and grandchildren, but also to the end of the story of Abraham Blumenfeld IIA since Caroline was the youngest of his eight children. Now I will turn to Abraham’s younger siblings. First, his brother Isaak, the second child of my four-times great-uncle Moses Blumenfeld.

 


  1. Jane Inge Goldschmidt Keibel, Speech to Hazen School, Hardwick, Vermont, 2020, shared by Peter Keibel. 
  2. Arthur Goldschmidt, Interview 8542,  Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation,  November 10, 1995. Accessed 15 August 2021, from the archive of the University of California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, found at https://sfi.usc.edu/what-we-do/collections 
  3. Toni Goldschmidt, Age: 70, Birth Date: abt 1886, Death Date: 21 Apr 1956, Death Place: Queens, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 4251, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965 
  4. Sol Goldschmidt, Age: 72, Birth Date: abt 1882, Death Date: 13 May 1954, Death Place: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 10469, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Death Index, 1949-1965 
  5.  Miriam Lauter, Social Security Number: 112-05-7561, Birth Date: 23 Apr 1911, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11375, Flushing, Queens, New York, USA, Death Date: 7 Jan 1988, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  6. These dates came from Peter Keibel, Betty’s nephew. Email from Peter Keibel, November 17, 2021.  I have no official records for them. 
  7. Date is from her grandson, Peter Keibel, FamilyTree on Ancestry.com, found at https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/52614823/person/372143503930/facts 
  8. Date is from his grandson, Peter Keibel, FamilyTree on Ancestry.com, found at https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/52614823/person/372143503930/facts 
  9. Alice L Goldsmith, Gender: Female, Marriage License Date: 18 Jul 1950, Marriage License Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, Spouse: Richard Oster, License Number: 18819, New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Manhattan; Volume Number: 27, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 
  10. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/130447894/alice-oster : accessed 02 December 2021), memorial page for Alice Oster (unknown–13 Jan 2014), Find a Grave Memorial ID 130447894, citing Mount Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mom (contributor 48202874) . 
  11. From their son Peter Keibel, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/52614823/person/372143503829/facts 
  12. Peter Keibel Ancestry Family Tree, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/52614823/person/372145394061/facts; Ruth Goldschmidt
    Age: 29, Birth Date: 18 Apr 1922, Issue Date: 12 Jun 1951, State: New York
    Locality, Court: Eastern District of New York, District Court, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Index to Naturalization Petitions of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1865-1957; Microfilm Serial: M1164; Microfilm Roll: 63, Ancestry.com. U.S., Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995. The other information came from Arthur Goldsdchmidt’s Shoah Foundation interview. Arthur Goldschmidt, Interview 8542,  Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation,  November 10, 1995. Accessed 15 August 2021, from the archive of the University of California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, found at https://sfi.usc.edu/what-we-do/collections 
  13. “Goldschmidt, Ruth,” The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 03 Jan 2021, Sun • Page A14 
  14.  Arthur Goldschmidt, Social Security Number: 099-24-1370, Birth Date: 9 Aug 1913, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 11415, Jamaica, Queens, New York, Death Date: 15 Jan 2010, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  15. Arthur Goldschmidt, Interview 8542,  Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation,  November 10, 1995. Accessed 15 August 2021, from the archive of the University of California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, found at https://sfi.usc.edu/what-we-do/collections 

Moses Blumenfeld IIA’s Grandchildren: Did They Survive The Holocaust?

By 1939, all three of the children of Moses Blumenfeld IIA had died, leaving behind their children, the seven grandchildren of Moses Blumenfeld IIA. Their fates were determined by the Nazis. This post will examine the fates of the children of Moses’ daughter Antonie Blumenfeld Katz and her sister Hedwig Blumenfeld Kaufmann as well as that of Antonie’s husband Moritz Katz.

Antonie’s husband Moritz Katz stayed in Marburg after Antonie died in 1939 until he was deported to Theriesenstadt on September 7, 1942; he was killed there on September 11, 1944, at the age of 73. He and Antonie were survived by their two children, Artur Katz and Margarete Martha Katz Jacobsohn. Those two children survived by leaving Nazi Germany and immigrating to Palestine (now Israel) in the 1930s.

Moritz Katz Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=1627679&ind=1

Artur was a lawyer in Berlin until the Nazis deprived of him his right to practice law after 1933. According to his nephew Yoram Jacobson, Artur soon left for Palestine, where he changed his name to Avraham (which was probably always his Hebrew name). According to a profile on MyHeritage, Avraham was married to Edith (Hannah) Walter, and they had three children. I have no other sources so far to verify that information. Avraham Katz died on October 22, 1978, in Haifa, Israel.

Artur Avraham Katz gravestone on Gravez, found at https://gravez.me/en/deceased/275CF393-EB17-4B26-8BBF-D82EC06FEB94

Antonie’s daughter Margarete Martha Katz had married Friedrich (Fritz) Max Jacobsohn sometime before they immigrated to Israel in 1939. Fritz was born in Hanover, Germany, on July 13, 1899; his father’s name was Abraham. I have no information about his mother. Fritz, an insurance agent, had been taken to Buchenwald Concentration Camp after Kristallnacht in November 1938 and was determined to leave Germany once he was released. With the help of his brother-in-law Avraham Katz, he and Margarete immigrated to Palestine/Israel on July 24, 1939. They became citizens of Palestine on October 20, 1941.1

Margarete and Fritz Jacobsohn Palestine citizen certificate, found at the Israel State Archives website at https://www.archives.gov.il/

Margarete and Fritz had one child, their son Yoram, who was born on November 27, 1944, in Haifa. Yoram Jacobson became a prominent Kabbalist and Hasidic scholar. He taught at several academic institutions in Israel, including Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University, and overseas, including at Harvard. He was also the author of many books and articles. Yoram was married twice and had four children.

Fritz Jacobson died August 24, 1963, in Haifa. He was 64. He was survived by his wife Margarete Katz Jacobson, who died forty years later on April 12, 2003, at the age of 96. They were survived by their son Yoram and his children. Yoram died April 16, 2017, in Israel. He was 72.

Although Moritz Katz died at the hands of the Nazis in Theriesenstadt, the two children he had with Antonie Blumenfeld survived by immigrating to Palestine. Today they have living descendants in Israel.

The story of Antonie’s sister Hedwig Blumenfeld Kaufmann does not end as well.

Hedwig’s daughter Anna Kaufmann and her husband Julius Leyser did not go to Palestine with their cousins. They did, however, leave Germany for Amsterdam, but sadly that was not enough to escape the Nazis. Anna, her husband Julius, and their two young sons Ernst and Hans were all deported from the Westerbork detention camp in Amsterdam to the extermination camp at Sobibor on July 23, 1943, and were murdered there. Anna was 42, Julius was 45, Ernst thirteen, and Hans eleven.  An entire family wiped out, including two young boys.

Anna Kaufmann Leyser page of testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=3827826&ind=1

Julius Leyser Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=808099&ind=1

Ernst Leyser Page of Testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=8897102&ind=1

Hans Leyser page of testimony at Yad Vashem, found at https://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=8897103&ind=1

Hedwig’s son Albert Kaufmann survived the Holocaust by immigrating to Brazil. His marriage to his first wife Dorothy had ended before she died on March 31, 1938, in Berlin, Germany.2 Albert had traveled to Brazil in 1924 before he’d married Dorothy, so perhaps he knew it was a good place to immigrate.3 He died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 10, 1986, at the age of 84. According to his death record, he was survived by his second wife Georgina Correa. She was born in Brazil in 1921, the daughter of José Correa de Mendonça and Anna Emilia da Conceicao.4 The death record indicates that Albert left no children. He died from cancer.

Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Registro Civil, 1829-2012,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6QQP-KV?cc=1582573&wc=9GYK-DPJ%3A113334201%2C120190503%2C122537201 : 7 January 2019), Rio de Janeiro 02ª Circunscrição Óbitos 1985, Nov-1987, Jan image 172 of 304; Corregedor Geral da Justicia (Inspector General of Justice Offices), Rio de Janeiro.

UPDATE: I received an email today (1/5/22) from the daughter of Paul Blumenfeld. I learned from her that Albert Kaufmann did have a daughter named Inge and that Inge had two sons. So Albert Kaufmann, and thus his mother Hedwig Blumenfeld Kaufmann, do have living descendants!

The story of the family of their brother Ernst will be told in the next post.


  1. The immigration papers for Fritz and Margarete (Katz) Jacobsohn can be found at the Israel State Archives website at https://www.archives.gov.il/. You can also see them here at Friedrich Max Jacobsohn and Margarete Katz immigration documents from Israel Archives. Some of the information in this paragraph also came from the online interview with Fritz and Margerete’s son Yoram, found here
  2.  Dorothy Kaufmann, Maiden Name: Schimmelpfennig, Gender: weiblich (Female)
    Age: 30, Birth Date: abt 1908, Death Date: 31 Apr 1938, Civil Registration Office: Wilmersdorf, Death Place: Berlin, Berlin, Deutschland (Germany), Certificate Number: 545, Berlin, Deutschland; Landesarchiv Berlin; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Laufendenummer: 1625, Ancestry.com. Berlin, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1955 
  3. Albert Kaufmann, ship manifest, Albert Kaufmann, Gender: männlich (Male), Ethnicity/Nationality: Hessen, Marital Status: ledig (Single), Departure Age: 22, Birth Date: abt 1902, Residence Place: Marburg, Departure Date: 9. Jul 1924 (9 Jul 1924)
    Departure Place: Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany), Destination: Buenos Aires
    Arrival Place: La Coruna; Vigo; Rio de Janeiro; Buenos Aires; Brasilien; Uruguay; Argentinien, Occupation: Kaufmann, Ship Name: Württemberg, Shipping Clerk: Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft)
    Shipping Line: Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft), Ship Type: Dampfschiff, Ship Flag: Deutschland, Accommodation: 3. Klasse, Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 316, Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 316; Page: 90; Microfilm No.: K_1856, Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 
  4. Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Registro Civil, 1829-2012,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:77HZ-FXW2 : 9 April 2020), Albert Kaufmann in entry for Georgina Correa Kaufmann, ; citing Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; Corregedor Geral da Justicia (Inspector General of Justice Offices), Rio de Janeiro. 

My Cousins Karoline, Franziska, and Rosa: Unanswered Questions, Tragic Endings

The second, third and sixth children of Meier Blumenfeld and Sarah Strauss, Karoline, Franziska, and Johanna are three about whom I know very little, but I will report what I do know and hope that eventually I will discover more information. (I will discuss the fourth child Rosa and fifth child Sophie out of order in the next post.)

Karoline Blumenfeld was born on February 27, 1869, in Momberg.

Arcinsys Archives of Hessen, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 608, p. 6

She must have married a man named Dannenberg because her death record shows her surname as Dannenberg. That death record is unfortunately the only other record I have for Karoline. I cannot find a marriage record, even after searching on Ancestry and JewishGen and on two databases of vital records for the Hesse region. One profile on Geni and several Ancestry trees report that her husband’s name was Sally Dannenberg, but there are no sources given to corroborate that information.

Karoline died on August 18, 1919, in Frankfurt at the age of fifty. Sadly, that is all I could learn about her life. I don’t know when she married or whether they had children.

Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 10823
Year Range: 1919, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Deaths, 1851-1958

Meier and Sarah’s third child Franziska was born on November 3, 1870, in Momberg.

Arcinsys Archives of Hessen, HHStAW Fonds 365 No 608, p. 7

She married Aron Oppenheim on October 10, 1905, in Marburg, Germany. Aron was fifteen years older than Franziska; he was born on February 5, 1855, in Rhina, Germany, to Salomon Oppenheim and Ester Klebe. He had been previously married to Hannchen Klebe, with whom he’d had a number of children. Franziska was thirty-four when they married, and Aron was fifty. I could not find any record of children born to Franziska and Aron.

Franziska Blumenfeld, Gender: weiblich (Female), Age: 34, Birth Date: 3 Nov 1870
Marriage Date: 10 Okt 1905 (10 Oct 1905), Marriage Place: Marburg, Hessen (Hesse), Deutschland (Germany), Civil Registration Office: Marburg, Father: Meine Blumenfeld, Mother: Sarchen Blumenfeld, Spouse: Aron Oppenheim, Certificate Number: 101, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5620, Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930

Aron died on June 7, 1921, in Halle, Germany. He was 66 years old.1 Franziska survived him, but tragically she was sent to the Therienstadt Concentration Camp by the Nazis on August 18, 1942, from Frankfurt where she was then living. She died there a month later on September 28, 1942. She was 71 years old.

Meier and Sarah’s sixth child, Johanna, like Karoline and Franziska, is a sibling about whom I know very little. Johanna was born on December 22, 1878, in Marburg, Germany.

Johanna Blumenfeld birth record, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5557 Description Year Range: 1878 Source Information Ancestry.com. Hesse, Germany, Births, 1851-1901

Tragically, the only other record I have for Johanna is her record with Yad Vashem. According to that record, Johanna was deported on October 20, 1941, from her home in Frankfurt to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in Poland, where she was murdered on March 15, 1942. I had never heard of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto before seeing this listing at Yad Vashem, but learned it was another name for the Lodz Ghetto, which I had known about. You can read more about it here. Johanna was 63 when she was killed.

Thus, two of Meier and Sarah (Strauss) Blumenfeld’s daughters were murdered by the Nazis, Franziska and Johanna. As far as I know, neither of them had children nor did their sister Karoline. They thus have no living descendants.

Fortunately, the remaining three siblings—Rosa, Sophie, and Hugo—left Germany long before the rise of Hitler and have stories that do not end tragically. Their stories come next.


  1.  Aron Oppenheim, Age: 66, Birth Date: abt 1855, Death Date: 7 Jun 1921
    Death Place: Halle-Nord, Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Deutschland (Germany)
    Civil Registration Office: Halle-Nord, Spouse: Franziska Oppenheim, Certificate Number: 417, Stadtarchiv Halle (Saale); Halle (Saale), Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: A 2.1; Signatur: A 2.1 3_S_1921_1,
    Ancestry.com. Halle (Saale), Germany, Deaths, 1874-1957 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sometimes What You Learn Is Unbearable

As I wrote last time, Gelle Katzenstein, the oldest daughter of Jakob Katzenstein and Sarchen Lion, married Moses Ruelf of Rauischholzhausen. They had ten children together, six of whom lived full adult lives: Esther, Minna, Bette, Rebecca, Juda, and Pauline. They were my second cousins, twice removed. This post will tell the story of the families of Esther and Bette.

Esther, born May 26, 1857, in Rauischholzhausen, married Sussman Bachenheimer on June 25, 1874. (Schneider, Die Juedischen Familien im ehemaligen Kreise Kirchain,  p. 345.) He was also born in Rauischholzhausen on December 25, 1850. They settled in Kirchhain, Germany. Together Esther and Sussman had four daughters: Helene (1876), Rosa (1877), Bertha (1879), and Minna (1881).

Helene died the day after she was born:

Helene Bachenheimer birth record June 3 1876
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4977

Helene Bachenheimer death record June 4, 1876
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5061

The other three daughters lived to adulthood, and their parents lived to see all three married with children.

Rosa was born on August 10, 1877, in Kirchhain:

Rosa Bachenheimer birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4978

According to Matthias Steinke and Doris Strohmenger from the German Genealogy group on Facebook, the language in the left margin indicates that her name, Rosa, was added after the birth record had been recorded. It also indicates that her father’s name was Sussman, not Simon, as indicated on the original record.

Rosa married August Felix Katzenstein on November 20, 1900, in Kirchhain.

Marriage record of Rosa Bachenheimer and August Felix Katzenstein
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5028

August was born April 26, 1849 in Jesberg, the son of Meier Katzenstein and Auguste Wolf.

August Felix Katzenstein birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 920; Laufende Nummer: 3807

August was Rosa’s first cousin, once removed. He was the grandson of Jakob Katzenstein and Sarchen Lion through their son Meier, and Rosa was their great-granddaughter through their daughter Gelle and granddaughter Esther.

August and Rosa had two children: Margaretha Grete Katzenstein (1901) and Hans Peter Katzenstein (1905).

Rosa’s younger sister Bertha was born August 5, 1879, in Kirchhain.

Bertha Bachenheimer birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4980

She married Josef Weinberg on November 11, 1903. Josef was born in Lauterbach, Germany, on March 4, 1876, the son of Abraham Weinberg and Fanni Simon.

Marriage record of Bertha Bachenheimer and Josef Weinberg
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5031

Bertha and Josef had one child, a daughter named Ruth born on August 28, 1904.

Minna, the youngest daughter of Esther Ruelf and Sussman Bachenheimer, was born on March 5, 1881, in Kirchhain.

Minna Bachenheimer birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 4982

She married Meier Wertheim on March 15, 1906. Meier was born on November 23, 1878, in Hatzbach, Germany, the son of Isaac Wertheim and Bertha Wertheim.

Marriage record of Minna Bachenheimer and Meier Wertheim
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5034

Minna and Meier had five sons born in Hatzbach: Herbert (1906), Kurt (1908), Walter (1915), and Gunther (1924).

Thus, by 1924, Esther Ruelf and Sussman Bachenheimer had six grandchildren, all born and living in the Hesse region of Germany. In the next twenty years their lives were all completely changed.

First, Sussman Bachenheimer died on March 8, 1924, in Kirchhain. He was 73 years old. The marginal comment here reports that his name was legally changed from Simon to Sussman in 1907.

Sussman Bachenheimer death record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5109

Then on June 11, 1934, Esther Ruelf Bachenheimer’s daughter Bertha Bachenheimer Weinberg died at age 54; Bertha’s husband Josef Weinberg died just three months later on September 9, 1934. He was 58. They were survived by their daughter Ruth, who was thirty years old when her parents died.

Bertha Bachenheimer Weinberg death record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 903; Signatur: 903_11031

By the time Bertha and Josef died in 1934, the Nazis were in power in Germany, and life had already changed for Jews living there. Some Jews were beginning to leave the country.

On September 23, 1935, Herbert Wertheim, the son of Minna Bachenheimer and Meier Wertheim, left Germany and moved to what was then Palestine, now Israel. Six months later in March, 1936, his younger brother Walter joined him there.

Esther Ruelf Bachenheimer died on August 16, 1936, at age 79. Not long after, her daughter  Minna Bachenheimer Wertheim and her husband Meier left Germany to join their sons in Palestine; they arrived there with their youngest son Gunther on September 10, 1936.

Death of Esther Ruelf Bachenheimer HStAMR Best. 915 Nr. 5121 Standesamt Kirchhain Sterbenebenregister 1936, S. 22

Ruth Weinberg, the daughter of Bertha and Josef Weinberg, also soon left Germany. She and her husband Hugo Schleicher and their daughter arrived in New York City on May 16, 1940. Hugo, who had been a lawyer in Germany, was working in Brooklyn at the Weingarten Agency of Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1942 when he registered for the World War II draft; the family was living in Manhattan.

Hugo Schleicher World War II draft registration
The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147

Thus, as of 1942, the only child of Esther Ruelf and Sussman Bachenheimer who was still in Germany was Rosa Bachenheimer along with her husband, August Felix Katzenstein, and their two children Margaretha and Hans-Jacob. Why they did not follow the other family members to either Palestine or the US is a mystery and a tragic one.

All four of them, as well as Margaretha’s husband Rudolf Loewenstein, were deported on April 22, 1942, to a concentration camp in Izbica, Poland, where they were murdered. Rosa, August, Margaretha, and Hans-Jacob were all my cousins, since Rose and August were both descendants of Jakob Katzenstein, my great-great-grandfather’s brother. Four more of my family members whose lives were taken by the Nazis. (The links are to their entries in Yad Vashem’s database.)

And heartbreakingly, the list does not end there. Esther Ruelf’s younger sister Bette also had family who were killed in the Holocaust. In fact, Bette has no living descendants.

Bette was born on December 3, 1860 in Rauischholzhausen. On January 26, 1886, she married Gustav Schaumberg of Schweinsburg. He was born in May 1857 to Isaak and Gutroth Schaumberg.

Marriage record of Bette Ruelf and Gustav Schaumberg
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 8456

Bette and Gustav had four children born in Schweinsburg: Siegfried (1886), Rosa (1888), Flora (1891), and Selma (1897).

Sigfried Schaumsberg birth record November 16, 1886
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 8429

Rosa Schaumberg birth record October 13, 1888
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 8431

Flora Schaumberg birth record July 14, 1891
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 8434

Selma Schaumberg birth record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 844

As far as I’ve been able to determine, only Flora ever married. She married David Haas on December 14, 1914.  I cannot find any record indicating that they had had children.

Marriage record of Flora Schaumberg and David Haas
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Collection: Personenstandsregister Heiratsregister; Signatur: 915; Laufende Nummer: 8484

Sadly, the youngest child of Bette Ruelf and Gustav Schaumberg, Selma, died in Marburg, Germany, on March 3, 1931, when she was only 33 years old:

Selma Schaumberg death record’
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 5737

My colleagues Matthias Steinke and Doris Strohmenger at the German Genealogy group helped me translate this record also.  It reads: “The director of the university-hospital here has reported, that the unemployed (without profession being) Selma Schaumberg, 33 years old, residing and born in Schweinsberg, county of Kirchhain, unmarried, in Marburg in the hospital at the 3rd March of the year 1931 past midday at 5:30 is deceased.” There is no cause of death given.

Perhaps Selma was in some ways fortunate. She did not live to suffer under Nazi rule.

Her father Gustav Schaumberg died on July 30, 1938, when he was 81 years old; his wife Bette Ruelf Schaumberg died April 9, 1940; she was 79. They also in some ways may have been fortunate to die when they did, although by the time they did, they must have already experienced much suffering and humiliation by the Nazis.

Bette Ruelf Schaumberg death record
Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; Wiesbaden, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Sterberegister; Bestand: 915; Laufende Nummer: 8568

But at least they may have died with some hope that their remaining children would survive.

They did not. Siegfried was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp on April 3, 1942; he was then sent to the death camp in Hartheim, Austria on August 12, 1942, where he was killed. (JewishGen volunteers, comp. Germany, Dachau Concentration Camp Records, 1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.)

A month later Siegfried’s sisters Rosa and Flora were also deported. They were both sent to Theriesenstadt along with Flora’s husband David Haas. Rosa was then sent to Auschwitz on January 23, 1943, where she was put to death. Flora and her husband David were both sent to Auschwitz on May 16, 1944, where they also were murdered. (The links are to their Yad Vashem entries.)

Thus, not one of the children of Bette Ruelf and Gustav Schaumberg survived the Holocaust.

Can anyone not understand why it is so depressing, frightening, and maddening to see people marching with swastikas in our streets?