Samuel Wolf Rosenfelder

Several of the Rosenfelder families lived in Gunzenhausen, most of them (except Marktplaz 16) were descendants of a Rosenfelder from Dittenheim. Our branch goes back in time to Samuel Wolf Rosenfelder, a salesman in Dittenheim, husband of Klara, who was also born a Rosenfelder. After the birth of their three children they moved to Gunzenhausen, as did other Rosenfelders at that time, because the Christian community of Dittenheim made life difficult for its Jews. Consequently, there were no Jewish residents in Dittenheim by the end of the 19th century.

Their first son Levi, born on 19.07.1843 in Dittenheim, was granted Gunzenhausen residency in 1872. In the same year he bought, in partnership with his brother Julius, the house on Marktplaz 48 for the amount of 7,700 Florins.

Marktplatz 48 - clothes shop Rosenfelder
Marktplatz 48 - clothes shop Rosenfelder

A year later, on December 2nd 1873, Levi married his first wife Elise Lieblich, born 1848 in Windsbach. Of this marriage three children were born.

  1. Sigmund *30.05.1876
  2. Heinrich *30.06.1877 +25.07.1877
  3. Eugen *30.06.1878 +01.05.1879

Only the first son, Sigmund, survived to adulthood, the two other boys having died in infancy. Their mother died shortly after, in May 1880, at the age of 32.

On April 1881 Levi remarried in Pleinfeld his second wife Therese Herzog of Roth. Of this marriage three children were born:
Bertha * 15.04.1882
Anna * 22.09.1883 + 26.10.1884
Metha * 04.04.1885


The picture shows Sigmund Rosenfelder and his stepsisters Bertha and Metha.

Bertha married Solomon Kaufman, moved to Ludwigsburg, bore two children and died in 1923. Of her two children her son Walter, born 08.05.1907, lived until 1980 in Ludwigsburg, and her son Fritz lived until 1949 in Chile.

Metha married Simon Dreyfus, moved to Karlsruhe bore three children, 2 girls and a boy - Max, who immigrated in 1936 to the U.S.A. The rest of the family, including the daughter Flora, who was already married and had a child, were all exterminated in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Levi's brother, Julius Joel Rosenfelder, born 17.02.1848 in Dittenheim, married in 1878 Mina Lieblich, born in 1851 in Windsbach, the sister of his brother's wife, Elise. She too died young, at the age of 38, after giving birth to 7 children.

Wilhelm * 22.07.1879 Gunzenhausen + 18.09.1879
Eugen * 22.01.1881 Gunzenhausen  
Albert * 04.05.1882 Gunzenhausen + 16.10.1883
Karolina * 10.07.1883 Gunzenhausen vanished in Riga
Heinrich * 31.10.1884 Gunzenhausen + 02.03.1885
Frieda * 06.07.1887 Gunzenhausen KZ Auschwitz
Emanuel * 13.07.1889 Gunzenhausen vanished in Lithuania
Sigmund and Mina Rosenfelder
Sigmund and Mina Rosenfelder

Julius remarried as well, to Klara Blumlein of Untereisenheim. They had no children.

When Julius died in 1903, his children inherited their half of the house on Marktplaz 48.

Later, in 1908, they sold their half to their cousin Sigmund, as they all married and moved to Fuerth.

Eugen is the only sibling whose fate is unknown: he might have been the only survivor of this big family.

Thus, in 1908 Sigmund Rosenfelder was the sole owner of Marktplaz 48. Two years earlier, on 03.07.1906, he married Mina Lehmann born 27.12.1885 in Gunzenhausen, daughter of Abraham and Julie, born Iglauer. They ran a garment shop on the ground floor.

Advertisement from 13.09.1912 in "Gunzenhauser Anzeigeblatt"
Advertisement from 13.09.1912 in "Gunzenhauser Anzeigeblatt"
The clothes shop Rosenfelder on the right
The clothes shop Rosenfelder on the right
Mina Rosenfelder and her daughters Franziska (left) and Lotte
Mina Rosenfelder and her daughters Franziska (left) and Lotte

Three daughters were born in the house:
Elisa * 23.08.1908 + 26.04.1912
Franziska * 12.01.1911
Lotte Marie * 26.12.1915

During world war I, starting in 1914, Sigmund served as a soldier, and later returned  and continued to run the shop. The family was generally respected and well integrated in town. However, in the mid twenties violent harassment started to take place, against the Jewish citizens of Gunzenhausen, and  increased considerably after 1933. After the pogrom of March 24th 1934, they realized that for their own good, they had better leave the country, (e.g. "the story of the Teitelbaum family").

Franziska (Frenzi) and Lotte Marie Rosenfelder (left)
Franziska (Frenzi) and Lotte Marie Rosenfelder (left)

On 16.03.1936 Sigmund Rosenfelder sold his house to the Vogels. The whole family - Sigmund, Mina and their two daughters, Franziska (25) and Lotte Marie (21) – left Gunzenhausen several months later in November 1936, on their way to Palestine - Israel today.

The new owner, Arthur Vogel, had good connections with the Wehrmacht and used the shop for selling new and second-hand military clothing gear.

Later it  became a specialty shop for professional clothing for bakers and butchers etc.

Shortly after the war ended the Vogels were informed about the American military government resolution that all acquired properties previously owned by Jews, would be put under military occupation property control, unless the current owner provided a statement from the original Jewish owner or his legal inheritors, confirming that they had not sold the house under coercion, threat, or any other unlawful circumstances.

As the Vogels couldn't provide the necessary written documents, in 1958 they were required to pay for the house again.
An S. Oliver chain boutique is currently situated in the house.

Dana Arditty informs about the Rosenfelder family

No contact has been established with the Rosenfelder family until the 7th of February 2005 when we received from Dana Arditty, the Granddaughter of Sigmund and Mina Rosenfelder from Jerusalem, the following Email with new and additional information about the family:
My second-cousin Hazel Green wrote me and gave me the link to your school research site about the Jews of Gunzenhausen. I was fascinated and pleased to read about your project on the Internet.

My name is Dana Weinbach-Arditty, my grandparents were Sigmund and Mina Rosenfelder, of 48 marktplatz. (Mina - formerly Lehmann sister of  Ernst, of Burgstallstrasse 7). My mother, Franziska (Frenzi) Rosenfelder, was their daughter.

I speak and read German, but unfortunately do not write the language.

Your story about the house ends with the words: "Am 16.03.1936 verkaufte er das Haus an das Ehepaar Vogel. Aber erst speter, am 09.11.1936 zog die Familie Rosenfelder - Sigmund und Mina mit ihren beiden Tochtern Franziska (25 Jahre) und Lotte Marie (21 Jahre) - aus dem Haus aus und wanderte nach Palästina (heutiges Israel) aus".

Let me fill you in a little about the whereabouts of the Rosenfelder family. My grandfather Sigmund couldn't handle the deportation, and died a year after his arrival in Palestine in 1938. My grandmother Mina (or as I called her Oma Nona) lived in relative poverty, as she arrived with one small suitcase of her personal belongings and no financial funds. She had no profession, and didn't speak the local language. She died in 1958. My mother, who married in Israel and became Franziska (Frenzi) Weinbach, bore three children: My brother Benny (Sigmund) born 1944, my brother Giora born 1946, and I myself Dana, born in 1952. We are all married now and have our own children.

My mother never spoke a lot about the "bad times" in Gunzenhausen, and preferred to remember the better periods. The little I do know is that the Rosenfelders were very happy with their life. My grandfather, Sigmund, served in the Kaiser's army during World War I, and was in French captivity for 3 years.

Sigmund Rosenfelder (second row lef) 1916 as a soldier
Sigmund Rosenfelder (second row lef) 1916 as a soldier

They were first and foremost proud Germans, Judaism came second. They started to suffer from anti-semitism, pogroms from members of the Nazi party, and estrangement from the rest of Gunzenhausens residents, including friends, before and after Hitler came to power in 1933.  When the riots started, my grandfather (Sigmund) had to flee the house several times from the rear door, not to be caught by the rioters - citizens of Gunzenhausen, as per the evidence of the Teitelbaum son, ("Die Geschichte der Familie Heinrich und Laura Teitelbaum")  in which my mother Frenzi is mentioned. According to my aunt Lotte, Frenzi not only opened the door, she stood firmly and held back the rioters until my grandmother helped my grandfather escape through the rear door. They were relatively spared from looting and destruction of the house contents, due to the fact that one of the "gang" members was a classmate of my mother's, apparently infatuated with her. My grandfather escaped, crossed the Altmuhl behind the house and ran to the fields. He had to stay away until the situation calmed down. On the other hand,  their neighbor next door, named Emma (I don't know her family name) helped them with food and supplies any time they couldn't get out of the house, during those difficult times from 1933 to 1936. She was the only one to do so.

The house on Marktplatz 48, according to my mother, was "sold"? for a ridiculous amount of money, that hardly covered the travel expenses and boat tickets to Palestine. However, they were lucky to get permits to enter Palestine under British rule, and so save themselves from terrible death in concentration camps.

My grandparents (Sigmund & Mina) never got over their deportation. They continued as much as possible to lead a "German" life in Israel. They spoke read and wrote only German, even cooked German cuisine when possible. However my mother (Franzi) built a new life with a lot of nostalgia for the "former" Gunzenhausen, as did my aunt Lotte with her three children. Both sisters unfortunately are not with us anymore.

I was 16 (1969) when I visited Gunzenhausen with my mother, father and my brother Giora. We asked my mother to knock on the door at Marktplaz 48, so that we might be allowed to see the interior, but she declined. Even then, 33 years later, she was afraid and emotionally unable to do so. It took a lot of persuasion in the first place to get her consent to enter Gunzenhausen at all. She cried a lot, and wouldn't return in the future. My aunt Lotte refused to visit Gunzenhausen.

ID of Franziska Rosenfelder
Franziska Rosenfelders Personalausweis
Franziska (Frenzi) Rosenfelder in 1939
Franziska (Frenzi) Rosenfelder in 1939

I’m sorry the story is a painful one, but those were ugly days. However, I'm really proud of you, your teacher and your school, for investigating and dealing with those sad times in the history of your people and mine.

I will be happy to talk to you, answer any questions you might still have, and present to you the pictures I have.
I will also be glad to have you as my guests here in Jerusalem Israel, where I live.

Best regards
Dana Arditty