The Jewish teacher Max Levite

A school class with Mr. Levite
A school class with Mr. Levite 1932

Max Levite was the last Jewish head teacher in Gunzenhausen, from 1922 until 1938. He was born in Mönchsroth on 28.10.1878, his parents were Feis Levite, trader, and Lina Leiter from Dinkelsbühl. He married Selma Herz from Mittelsinn on 9.12.1907.

Mr Levite moved to Gunzenhausen from Forth to become the teacher for the Jewish community (1922) and as of January 1924 he assumed the position of Community Secretary, receiving an annual compensation of 100 Marks.
When Cantor Rehfeld retired in October 1933, Mr Levite was entrusted with the responsibilities of prayer leader on Sabbath and religious holidays. In the school he taught all the Jewish primary school children as well as those who did not move over to a secondary school.

The couple had five children.
Fritz, *03.05.1909 in Forth
Hans,  *08.05.1911 in Forth
Suse, *22.06.1918 in Forth
Ludwig, *18.12.1923 in Gunzenhausen
Ernst, *18.12.1923 in Gunzenhausen and +14.06.1925 in Gunzenhausen.

Fritz went into business, he moved to Würzburg on 18.12.1930 and then registered in Schopfloch on 7.8.1933. The family didn’t leave Gunzenhausen until 23.11.1938, by which time hardly any Jewish familes were left in the town. They first moved to Stuttgart and then to Buttenhausen. Two of the sons were no longer living at home, Hans had emigrated to Palestine in 1936 and Ludwig followed him in August 1938. Suse also managed to join her brothers in Palestine, although she only left Gunzenhausen in November 1938 together with her parents. The fate of the oldest son, living in Schopfloch, is unknown.
Mr and Mrs Levite were declared dead on 22.8.1842 in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp.

Mr Uri Kellermann wrote to us from Jerusalem in January 2007

The Israeli Ministry of Defence has set up a website describing the lives of soldiers killed in action.

Under „Levite“ you can read:
Ludwig Levite, son of Selma and Max, born in Gunzenhausen on 18.12.1923 (Jewish date 10. Tevet, so exactly 83 years ago)

His father was the head teacher of the Jewish primary and elementary school there. Ludwig emigrated to Palestine in 1938. At the beginning he lived with his brother Hans in Hadera, he then moved to Haifa to study at the technical college there.

He volunteered for the British Army in 1941 and was sent to the Transport Unit 462, where mainly Jewish soldiers were serving. He fought in the battles of the Sahara.

On 01.05.1943, together with his unit, he was on the ship Erinpura, on convoy detail from Alexandria in Egypt to Malta. The convoy was bombed by German pilots and the Erinpura sank within minutes.

The original Hebrew text can be found at