Isaac Altmann

Friederika and Isaac Altmann written by Yoav Etsion

As you have discovered, Friederika Rosenau, called Ricka, married Isaac Altmann. The couple moved to Nurnberg and had four children: Theodore (Theo), Elsa, Paula, and Robert (Reuven).

Theo was born around 1890, and died in the 1950s in India. We are not sure if he was buried in Delhi or Calcutta. From the little we know about his life, he served in the Luftwaffe during the first world war, apparently as a bombardier. We also know that he studied several semesters at various German universities – a rare thing in those days.   He seem to have fled Germany during the 1930s, and during the war traveled through Africa, somehow ending up in India. t was only after grandmother's death that we have found a letter from the Jewish community in Calcutta informing her that they are taking care of him as he is sick and impoverished. My grandmother admired her big brother, and rarely spoke of him after his death – as she was saddened by his lonesome fate. This is the reason we know very little about him. We also found several of his university certificates.

Else was born on January 20, 1893 in Nurnberg, and died On Oct. 14, 1918, in Nuremberg. Else grew up to become a nurse. She died at the age of 25 ‑ a victim of the great Flew epidemic, which she apparently contracted nursing other patients. She is buried in the new Jewish cemetery in Nurnberg, located on Schniegliner Strasse 155.

Paula, my grandmother, was born on June 8, 1902, in Nuremberg, and died on February 8, 1997 in Jerusalem, Israel. In her youth, she was an active member of the Zionist Blau-Weiss movement, and later worked as a secretary in a Zionist organization. As a devoted Zionist, she wished to immigrate to Israel (Palestine), but her parents objected as it was uncommon for a single woman to travel alone. Towards 1933 they finally agreed that she travel for 6 months to visit her brother Robert, who immigrated 1 ‑ 2 years earlier. Shortly after she arrived in Israel, she received a letter from her parents not to return to Germany, because political situation there taken a turn for the worse. This letter probably saved her life. In Israel, she met her husband Ze'ev Pariser, and had 3 children: Eli, Micha, and Shlomit (my mother). More on Paula and Ze'ev Pariser below.

Robert was born on June 7, 1910 in Nuremberg, and died in 1993 in Be'er Tuviah, Israel. Like Paula, Robert was a devoted Zionist, and immigrated to Israel in 1931 ‑ 1932, where he settled in Be'er Tuviah. Part of the Zionist movement's goals were to create a new Hebrew speaking society, and most immigrants thus changed their names to Hebrew ones, either literaly translating their foreign names, or selecting new names with a similar sound. Robert Altmann thus changed his name to Reuven Alon. He married Chaya, and had three sons: Yoel, Gadi, and Yair. After Chaya's death, he married Ruth. I do not know the exact birth dates of his sons, but they were all born in the 1930s and 1940s, in Be'er Tuviah. Reuven (Robert) was followed by his 7 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. All of his descendants live in Israel.

Gravestone Altmann
Gravestone Altmann

Isak Altmann died on May 4, 1938, and Friederika died on September 25, 1939. They were buried in Nuremberg, alongside their daughter Else. I attach a photo of their tombstone, which I took only a few days ago in a short visit to Germany. During the troublesome times of the 1930s, Friederika spent much time with her sister Lina in Nuremberg, as she described in a letter to her children Paula and Reuven written in the summer of 1938, shortly after her husband Isak passed away.

Paula and Ze'ev Pariser

Paula Altmann met Ze'ev Pariser in Be'er Tuviah. Ze'ev was a construction worker, and later a became and independent contractor, and Paula was a housewife. The couple had three children:

Eli, born in 1933. Eli married Ya'el and had two sons - Ofer (1965) and Oozie (1967), and 10 grandchildren. After Ya'el died he married Zvia. They live in Gan-Yavneh in Israel.

Micha, born in 1937, and is named after Max Rosenau. My grandmother chose a Hebrew name that resembled the name "Max", in honor of her beloved uncle. Micha married Rachel and had two sons - Rami (1965) and Uri (1969), and 5 grandchildren. Micha and Rachel live in Jerusalem.

Shlomit (my mother), was born in 1945, and is named after her grandmother Friederika Altmann: the name is a translation of the name Friederika - Friede, or Peace, is pronounced Shalom in Hebrew. My mother married my father Arnon Etsion, and had three children - Udi (1974), Yoav (myself, born in 1976), and Gili (1983). My parents have 3 grandchildren, and live in Jerusalem. Paula were Ze'ev are followed by their 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

The only other descendant of the Rosenau family my grandmother kept in touch with is Max Lamb, who lives in New York. Expect for myself, all the descendants of Friederika and Isak Altmann live in Israel. I currently live with my family in Barcelona, Spain.

Yoav Etsion