Wilhelm Frank Family

The banker Wilhelm Frank, born 1852, son of teacher Hermann Frank and his wife Marianne born Brand, was the builder of the house Nuernberger Strasse 5.

Hermann and Marianne Frank moved to Gunzenhausen with their four children in about 1854/55, because Hermann became a teacher at the Jewish elementary school starting in 1855. All the children had been born in Demmelsdorf before that.
Their children were born in Demmelsdorf:

Ida * June 12, 1849
Heinrich * November 23, 1851
Wilhelm * December 24, 1852
Gertrud * August 31, 1854

Apparently the family remained in that town, because all four children got married there and started businesses there.

Ida married David Blumenthal, and they lived at Hensoltstrasse 27.

Heinrich had a cheese wholesale business at Ansbacher Strasse 4.

Gertrud was the wife of the teacher Wolf Wolfromm in Cronheim.

Wilhelm founded the “Wilhelm Frank CO” bank in 1880 in the existing building at Bahnhofstrasse 13.

Announcement in the “Gunzenhauser Anzeigeblatt” on June 22, 1880
For all business related banking we recommend our prompt and reliable service. Gunzenhausen Wilhelm Frank
Photo of Bahnhofstrasse 13, today it’s the China Restaurant
Photo of Bahnhofstrasse 13, today it’s the China Restaurant

Around 1880 the bank relocated into Nuernberger Strasse 5, which Wilhelm Frank had built.

Photo of Nuernberger Strasse around 1910
Photo of Nuernberger Strasse around 1910, second house from the left is the ”Bankhouse Frank”.

In 1881 Wilhelm married Dina Stern who was born on October 28, 1862 in Feuchtwangen.
They had one child:
Albert Frank * December 2, 1882 in Gunzenhausen, + November 9, 1922 in Munich.

Albert officially became a citizen of Gunzenhausen on October 16, 1908. As of 1908 he became the manager of the Gunzenhausen branch of the Bayerische Handelsbank, which his father had been before him. A few years later he was transferred to Munich to the bank’s stock exchange headquarters, where he became the manager within a short time.

On December 24, 1908 Albert Frank married Selma Rosenfeld, who was born August 3, 1887 in Crailsheim.

They had two children:
Johanna * October 7, 1913 in Gunzenhausen
Julie * January 26, 1919 in Munich

The birthplace of daughter Julie would indicate that the familiy had moved to Munich before her 1919 birth date, because Albert Frank had been transferred there.
After Albert’s untimely death in 1922 his wife Selma remained in Munich.

In 1937, forced by the political move to put all Jewish businesses into the hands of Aryans, she sold the bank house Nuernberger Strasse 5 to the Bayerische Vereinsbank. In 1939 she was still living in Munich with her daughters.

Both daughters, Johanna and Julie, emigrated to the USA together on December 15, 1940. We do not know what happened to their mother after that.

After the bank manager Albert Frank had moved away from Gunzenhausen Mr. Merk succeeded him. He lived on the third floor in the house. Mrs. Federschmidt, the familiy’s housekeeper, told us about the incidences that took place in the house across the street, from Nuernberger Strasse 4, on March 24, 1934. She was also able to witness what happened in the garden of house Bahnhofstrasse 12. She still remembers Fanny Rosenfelder’s terrified screams, when her brother Jacob was found hanged on that Sunday.

The second bank manager was Josef Wolfromm, the son of Wilhelm Frank’s sister Gertrud Frank, who was married to Wolf Wolfromm.

Heinrich’s cheese wholesale business at Ansbacher Strasse 4 was left to his sister Ida,’s daughter Sophia, his niece. Sophia’s was married to Heinrich Neumann.
Johanna and Julie Frank had emigrated to St. Louis Mo on December 15, 1940. This information was received by the Archive in Gunzenhausen from the City Archive in Munich on November 3, 2000.

Since Fredi Dottenheimer of Burgstallstrasse had also emigrated to St. Louis, we asked his son Steven and daughter Faye if they knew the two ladies. We wrote to them and received the following answer on December 7, 2005:

I spoke to my brother and neither one of us ever heard our father discuss Johanna or Julie Frank. We looked in the St. Louis directory and it seems neither one is alive or possibly they moved to another city. If we can help in any other way, don't hesitate to ask. We're hoping to be in Germany again next October and look forward to meeting you then.