Uffenheim & Friedberg to Nuremberg to NYC
This part of the family can trace its German roots back to the 1500's in Thalmaessing Germany.
The first recorded name that we can find is Abraham O. (died on Tamus 11, 1846) who married Meile (who was born in 1776 and died on Av 21, 1851) and had at least one child named David O. (born Nov. 9, 1825 and died April 25, 1908)who married Karoline Schulein (born in 1828 and died in 1864). They had at least one child named Gabriel O. (April 28, 1862 and died on April 13, 1903) who married Hannchen Schwartzbart (April 19, 1864 and died in 1927)
and had four children Martin O., my grandfather (born on August 29, 1892 and died on June 13, 1968)who married Elsie.
Albert O. who married Marguerite Bing and has a son Anthony O. who married Marilyn and daughter named Hannah (Anne) who married Henry Steinhardt and who had two sons Norman and Robert.
Anthony and Marilyn have two children, Marjorie and Douglas.
Martin's other sister Elsa married Max Guggenheimer and had a son named Kurt who married Inge Bodenheimer and had two sons named Peter and Ronald.
Bertha the other sister had no children.
Elsie (born on April 20, 1902), my grandmother had one brother, Louis who married Erna Grunstein and had a daughter named Ursul. Elsie's parents were Max (born on August 12, 1867 and died on January 10, 1942 in New York City) and Paula or Pauline (born February 6, 1870 and died on October 7, 1939 in New York City). Max's parents were Loser, who died in Hochst im Odenwald, and Janet Lehman from Reichelsheim. The maternal side of the family was Sephardic and lived in Bamberg until moving to Friedberg. Paula's parents were Heinrich, who was born in 1830, and who married Regina.
Max Kramer had a brother Harry, who owned Ye Olde Chopp House in NYC and who gave Max (and his family) the affidavit to be able to come to America. Martin and Elsie had one child, Lisa, who married Henry Landman over 60 years ago and is my mother.
Martin was born in August 1892 in a small town called Uffenheim, Germany. He moved to Nuremberg around the time of WWI and served in the German army. He was stationed in Nuremberg since that was one of the places where kosher food could be obtained. Martin was a proud Orthodox Jew. He married Else who was from Friedberg Germany. They settled down in Nuremberg and had a daughter named Lisa. Being politically active as well as religious, Martin did not get along with his local group of Storm Troopers even in the late 1920's, especially one Nazi named Herr Streicher. The story that I was told as a child, was that my Opa kicked Herr Streicher in the behind on the street and ran away. But when the Nazis came to power, this prank was not forgotten.
In early 1933, once Hitler gained control of the Reichstag, Herr Streicher threatened Martin with his life. So in March of 1933, Martin fled to Strassburg, France. After a week or so in hiding, his wife and daughter left the country with no suitcases, going for a vacation to Strassburg. In 1938, they saw the synagogues burning across the Rhein and decided that France was no place for a Jew and applied for visas to come to America. They landed in America on Washington's Birthday 1939. No one in my mother's immediate family was killed during the Holocaust. My grandfather was able to get his brother and sisters out too. Both of his parents died of natural causes when he was rather young. After the war he returned to Germany many times. On three of those times, he brought back some Torah scrolls; one of which is now back in Munich and another is in Erlangen.
This is a picture of the Synagogue at Hans Sachs Platz which the Nazis burnt to the ground in August 1938, three months before Kristallnacht. Nuremberg was an early stronghold for the Nazis.
This is a picture of the apartment house where Martin, Else and Lisa lived before they left Nurnberg, taken in the late 1920's. Martin and Else are in the window on the 3rd floor.
This is a picture of the house today. It was rebuilt after the bombings of World War II.
Sign approaching Uffenheim. This was taken when my family made a visit in the summer of 1989 when we visited Uffenheim.
This is a photo of my great grandfather sitting in the middle with the hat, beard and "X" mark, having drinks with other local Uffenheimers in the 19th Century. Gabriel's family lived in Uffenheim for generations.
My grandfather (Martin) is probably the shortest soldier in the picture lying in the front to the right. He served as a German soldier in WWI and was stationed in Nurnberg because there he could get kosher food.
Opa as a young man. He became an orphan around this time of his life.
A picture of my Opa in WWI with his dog Putzi.
My grandfather, Martin with his two sisters Bertha and Elsa.
My grandfather, Martin with his two sisters Bertha and Elsa in the 1960's.
My grandfather and his brother Albert wearing his WWI uniform.
My grandfather, Martin with his two sisters Bertha and Elsa and brother Albert.
This is a picture of my greatgrandparents. Gabriel and Hannchen.
This is the stateless passport that my grandfather got in France.
This is a photo of the pre-war house and shoe store in Uffenheim.
This is a photo of the same house and shoe store in Uffenheim in 1985.
This is one of the buildings where I saw a "Jewish Star", but then learned that it just meant that a tavern was in the building. During this trip I tried to spot anything that looked Jewish in Uffenheim. All I could find was these non-Jewish stars and a street sign that stated, "Judengasse" which was a clue that Jews once lived in this town.
Here is another Jewish Star. It was next to the Agricultural Museum.
This is the cemetery at Ermetzhofen, which is a little town next to Uffenheim where the Jews in that area were buried for centuries. There is a Jewish star on the gate and a sign next to the building where the bodies were prepared for burial that states that it is a federal crime to vandalize this cemetery.
This is a picture of my mother praying in front of her grandfather's tombstone. If you look closely you can see 3 marble stones that I brought from America to place on the base of the tombstone in Jewish tradition. I was afraid that the area was overgrown and that we wouldn't be able to find any stones at the grave. I was correct. Look how high the grass was and imagine looking for stones in the wet grass.
This is a picture from 1947 showing Opa in front of his mother's grave. We used these old photos to find the proper graves since it is hard to read the writings. Most of the older tombstones were only with Hebrew letters. Those in the 1800's began to use both Hebrew and German text. Opa fixed the tombstone from his father by inserting a granite panel, which I doubt was there originally. You can see it on the tombstone above in front of my mother.
This cemetery started a long time ago and people were buried starting at the top of the hill and moving downwards. THEN ALL BURIALS STOP IN the 1930's. No more Jews were buried there, because there were no more Jews living there.
This is a postcard that my Opa mailed to me and my brother when I was a little child. You can see that he wrote to us in German.
This was given to me by Opa when I was 3 years old on my birthday. Again, it is in German. I would speak simple English to Opa and he would answer in simple German.
Martin, standing next to one of the Torahs that he saved and brought to America. One Torah has been returned to Congregation Beth Shalom in Munich and another is now in a Synagogue in Erlangen and the third is in California.
An Ark mantel also brought to America by Martin was donated to Jewish Museum in New York City. One must remember that there was no interest, no use, no caring for Jewish items in Germany during or right after the war. There was even little interest in German-Jewish items in the 1950's-1980's.
This is a photo of my greatgrandfather Max and greatgrandmother Paula holding my mother in Nurnberg in 1927.
This is a photo of Max when he was younger.
This is a photo of Max and Paula.
We are not sure, but this may be Max's mother Janet.
The birthplace of my grandmother (Elsie) in Friedberg Germany. Photo taken around 1910.
This picture shows the ground floor of my great grandparents store called David Groedel & Soehne. It was a kitchen store.
This is a picture taken around 1930 with my mother standing in front of the store.
This is a picture of my mother standing in front of the store in 1989. It still sells kitchen things. But with new owners.
This is where the Mikvah from 1620 is located. My grandmother (who was the daughter of the Cantor for the Synagogue) used that Mikvah.
This shows the steps down to the running water, which was a Ritual bath.
This shows the Jewish cemetery, which I believe was bombed during the war.
This is a plaque for the Jews who died in WWI.
This is the stateless passport that my grandmother got in France in 1933. She then came to America in 1939.
This is a picture of my mother Lisa before she got married right after WWII.
This picture was taken in the early 1960's at the pier of the S.S. United States terminal. It shows my grandparents and mother and me picking up my grandparents from one of their trips back to Germany. My grandfather only lived around 5 more years after this picture was taken. He is walking slowly off to the side with a cane.
This is the picture of my family today in New York. It shows Henry and his wife Lisa and their two sons, Rick and Bob. Bob has a wife Bonnie and three children named Jaimee, Darra and Michael. Else, Lisa's mother, my maternal grandmother, is also in the picture. The picture was taken in 1992, she has died since.
MY FATHER'S SIDE OF THE FAMILY FROM AUGSBURG
Landman Family from Augsburg, Germany...
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