Jewish Individuals in Themar, 1865-1943
Most of the members of the Jewish community lived in the family groupings identified here. And individuals who at first glance might seem to be outside of families can often be identified as relatives of families: Klara Eisenfresser, for example, was the sister of Karoline Eisenfresser Mayer. Klara came to Themar sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s and stayed until she left with her sister for Berlin, where the two 90-year old women died. Nanny Rindsberg Steindler was the mother of Pauline Steindler Müller, co-owner of the S. M. Müller department store. Bertha Stern Nussbaum, whose name appeared on the list of the Jewish community of January 17, 1939, was the mother of Clara Nussbaum Müller and grandmother to Herbert, Meinhold and Willy. She lived in Themar for a period of time in late 1938 and early 1939.
Some individuals bear the name of families associated with Themar and may well be members of those families but as yet we don’t know the exact parental link; we know, for example, from Oskar Stapf’s 1962 list that Alfred Wather had 3 children but as yet we cannot actually name those children.
Other individuals have links to existing families as cousins or as employees: Edith Wertheim of Walldorf, for example, was nanny to Elly Plaut and her daughter, Hanna, born in 1935. We can locate Edith within her own family in Walldorf and follow her journey out of Germany to the United States in 1939 and subsequent marriage. Hanna Isner was a niece of the Ernst Gassenheimer family.
But in the end there are several people, such as Helmut Lorch, b. whose connection to Themar is unknown and may well remain so. Interestingly, as with Edith Wertheim, we can follow Helmut Lorch’s journey from Germany to Shanghai and subsequently to the United States.
Here is what we presently know:
Otto Baer, born 1895 in Themar of Samuel and Charlotte Palm Baer. Otto survived Auschwitz and returned to Berlin, but otherwise we know nothing about him or his background.
Alfred Compart, born in 1861 in Themar
Klara Eisenfresser, b. 1848 Oberthulbam was the sister of Karoline Eisenfresser Mayer. When exactly she came to Themar is unknown, but her name is on the lists of Jewish citizens from 1935 on. Her name is also on Oskar Stapf’s 1962 list.
Hanna Isner, born 1922 in Burghaslach, is a niece of the Ernst Gassenheimer family.
Fritz Katz, born 1912 in Münzenberg, worked in Themar for a number of years. He was rounded up in the November 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom and sent to Buchenwald. Dr. Ernst Ledermann, the Gotha resident who wrote letters on behalf of a number of the Themar men imprisoned in 1938, wrote a letter on behalf of Fritz Katz. Upon his release from Buchenwald, Fritz returned home and left for the States. He died in Seattle in. Any direct connection to a Themar family is as yet unknown.
Norbert Gassenheimer, born 1895 in Themar. There is a suggestion that Norbert escaped to England and found initial refuge at Kitchener Camp. His name is not to be found among those sent to Australia or Canada as enemy aliens, and all trace of him has been lost.
Helmut Lorch, born 1918 in Bad Lippspringe
Karoline Mayer, born 1874 in Burghaslach (this is not the wife of Meier Mayer)
Bertha Stern Nussbaum
Edith Wertheim, born 1921 in Walldorf. Edith was the nanny for the child of Arthur and Elly Plaut, born in 1935. Edith emigrated to the United States with her family.