The Family of Heinrich and Laura Teitelbaum

Laura Teitelbaum
Laura Teitelbaum

Heinrich Teitelbaum was born on 17.04.1890 in Obljassy (Poland), son of Jankel Itzek Teitelbaum and his wife Feige Mandelbaum.

On 16.03.1913 Heinrich Teitelbaum married Laura Menaszes, the daughter of Wolf and Rachel Lisel Menaszes. Laura, (often written Lara) had been born on 22.01.1895 in Vienna.

The couple had two children:

Alfred Teitelbaum * 05.12.1913
in Vienna
Alfred was a trained butcher and deregistered for Munich on April 1, 1934. In the same year he married Erna Elias. On August 20, 1934 they emigrated to Palestine.
Max Teitelbaum * 13.02.1918 in Gunzenhausen Max was a trained car mechanic and most recently worked as a gardener intern. On August 10, 1935 he moved to Munich and emigrated to Palestine on January 19, 1937.

Hospet 1              and                 Gerberstraße 11

The young family came to Gunzenhausen from Fürth on July 3, 1914. They moved here several times: Their first apartment here was in Hospet 1 from 1914, which they had rented from Andreas Horrelt.

Heinrich Teitelbaum was a cap maker by trade and had his own cap and hat shop at Gerberstrasse 11. He sold it to Dora Strauss in 1920. That year he also deregistered his hat shop and repair shop as a business.

Marktplatz 48
Marktplatz 48

As of 1928 they rented rooms from the Rosenfelder family at Marktplatz 48. Just five years later, this address was renamed Adolf-Hitlerplatz 48. The Nazi regime had begun, and the Teitelbaum family felt its effects on the Jews from the start.

T e i t e l b a u m   Max , bachelor, car mechanic

Gunzenhausen, Adolf-Hitler-Platz 48

Questioned on the matter, he testified:
I was living with my mother in the house of Sigmund Rosenfelder.  On the 25th  March 1934 around 13.00 h Kurt Bär, who I knew personally, came to the front of the house where we had our flat and opened the house door. As he did this he shouted out to the daughter Fränzi Rosenfelder and said to her she should get her father.  When he arrived, Bär said: "We’re eating and drinking schnaps and stringing up the Jews."

Then he left. I didn’t actually see Bär but I heard him precisely and recognized him.
I don’t know if he was in uniform or not.

On the afternoon in question I didn’t leave the house and my mother and I went to bed around 19.30 h. At about 22.00 h I heard several people shouting, which woke me from my sleep. They were calling: "Out with the Jews, out with Rosenfelder."

I got out of bed, as did my mother. Our flat was on the ground floor and I could see through the window, as the crowd had pulled off one of the shutters, that about 80 people were outside, who didn’t stop shouting and screaming. I got dressed and my mother wanted to send me to the police station, which I refused as it would have been hopeless. In the meantime people had come in through the back door which wasn’t locked and had gone up to the Rosenfelder flat on the first floor. But Rosenfelder wasn’t there and the crowd came down again. They went through the inside to the front door, which was locked, forced it open – I don’t know what they used to do that – and let in the people who were standing in front of the house. There were Hermann, the baker’s son, Bertelshofer, bricklayer’s mate, Senft, tailor’s assistant, Schneider from Ansbacher Strasse, Ganser from the spice shop, Bertold, gardener’s assistant. I didn’t see whether these people pushed their way in through the backdoor, and I don’t know who forced the front door. Some three of these people I have named were in SA uniform. I didn’t see if anybody was there from the Arbeitsdienst (office of labor). Bertelshofer was the ringleader of the men who came to our kitchen door, he was at the front and shouted „there’s another door, we’ll go in there.” Then the others followed him and pulled me outside. Hermann the baker was particularly active.  When they saw me, the men I mentioned said „what shall we do with this one?” And Hermann said „yes, he has to come too.” He told me not to put anything on, and took me to the front door. His companions stayed behind in our flat and I didn’t see them again. At the front door Kutter, a fitter’s mate at the Loos factory, came up to me and ordered me to go with them, which I did. He took me to the prison, the crowd stayed behind. There were still a lot of people in front of the house when they took me away, but they were quite quiet. The shouting in the street only lasted until they could get into the house, then it was quiet, my mother had fainted, but nothing happened to her. I myself wasn’t beaten up, nor insulted.

Mr. Kaiser, who I knew, took over when I got to the prison and said „it’s all the fault of your brother and Rosenfelder”, then he took me to the other prisoners. He wrote down my name and I was put into a cell with others.
Among the people involved I recognized Scheiderer, Kaiser and Bär.

Karl Bär ordered Scheiderer to bring the car out and to fill it up with petrol, which Scheiderer did and reported back that it was done.
I had the impression as if this action were reasonable. I didn’t see anyone being beaten or mistreated in any way in the prison.
I was arrested at about 22.30 h and then released on Monday (26.03.1934) at 22.00 by Obersturmbannführer Karl Bär. He said to me that I shouldn’t do anything in the future to cause any trouble.

g.b.u.u. Signed. M. Teitelbaum

Krankenhausstrasse 4 today
Krankenhausstrasse 4 today

Laura and Heinrich Teitelbaum divorced in 1934. From 1936 she lived in the house of the Knoll family at Krankenhausstraße 4.

In a short report in the daily newspaper 'Altmühl-Bote' on March 14th, 1930 there was an interesting message.

Ms. Laura Teitelbaum, a Polish national who has lived in Gunzenhausen for 15 years, applies for naturalization for herself and her two sons. After there are no objections to this from any point of view and the income situation has been settled, the city council decides to forward the application in a favorable manner. The two National Socialist city council members Bär and Keller voted against naturalization.

Laura Teitelbaum, née Menaszes, emigrated to New York on August 11, 1937.

Source: Gunzenhausen city archive

So far, the further fate of the family was unknown to us. But in June 2023, descendants of Heinrich and Lara Teitelbaum visited us for the first time.

Here they are in front of the house in Hospet 1 where Max Teitelbaum was born.

Rachel Tamari Chester, the granddaughter of Max Teitelbaum, born in Gunzenhausen in 1918, visited us along with her husband Luis Rodriguez.
They live in Florida and New York with their two children Kaya and Aiden from Rachel's first marriage. She grew up in New York, the daughter of Yehuda Tamari, Max Teitelbaum's only son. She has three brothers.

Max and his brother Alfred were the sons of Heinrich and Laura Teitelbaum, who divorced in 1934. Heinrich had already moved to Vienna and continued to work there as a hatter. There he is said to have mainly made fur hats.
Laura and her two sons stayed in Gunzenhausen and she now had to take care of the family on her own. When they rented from the Rosenfelder family at Marktplatz 48, she was able to clean their business premises. However, she did the bookkeeping for a number of other businessmen in town. She had originally learned this profession in Vienna.
She also found a new partner here, David Krämer, whom she married. She emigrated to New York with him in 1937. There, too, she worked as an accountant – in the large Philipp Moris cigarette factory.
Her two sons went to Israel, Alfred in 1934.
Max moved to Munich in 1935 (he was only 17 years old) and was prepared there for work in Israel in a Zionist youth group. The fallow land in Palestine should be made arable by them. Hence his training as a gardener trainee, because only practical workers were wanted.
After he was able to emigrate to Palestine in 1937, he lived on a kibbutz to farm the land. There he met the young Frieda from Riga in the Zionist youth group.
They married and had their only son, Yehuda. He was raised in the kibbutz. Parents could only see their children briefly once a day, because they lived and slept in the 'children's house'. They were the property of the community and should be raised by it.
Max worked as a captain on a fishing ship.
In Israel he changed his name from Teitelbaum to Tamari, which is said to have the same meaning. Teitelbaum is a Middle High German variant for date tree, in Hebrew Tamari.

When Yehuda was 14 years old, Laura, Max's mother, wrote that she was seriously ill and that he and his family urgently needed to move to her in the USA.

The young family left Israel with a heavy heart and moved to the USA. However, Laura was not that ill at all, she just wanted to have her children with her and lived for many more years.

Max built a house in New York in the Franconian style, which he painted that way – yellow with green shutters.

Yehuda studied there and became an engineer for medical technology. He developed important machines for the care of newly operated heart patients, or for open-heart surgery. He now owns nine international patents for it!!!

His wife  was a professor in New York. In retirement she became a rabbi. They had four children, including their daughter Rachel, who has now visited us in Gunzenhausen.

Rachel is a dietician and develops meal plans for people with diabetes and other medical conditions. She is also an artist - Jewish-inspired art. She makes artistic paper cuts.

Her husband Luis Rodriguez is an IT manager in New York.

According to stories told by his daughter Miriam, Alfred, Laura Teitelbaum's second son, was a rebel who had to flee from the Nazis in Gunzenhausen because he had messed with them. A week after the Palm Sunday pogrom in 1934, he reported to Munich.

There, together with a friend, he burned the lists with the names of the Jews in the town hall.

So he had to flee from there as early as 1934. He went to Palestine with his young wife. However, he soon emigrated to New York, where his mother was living.

Rachel wrote us an email after the visit:

... I want to thank you for the amount of time and care you put into our visit to Gunzenhausen.  From the incredible personal tour you gave us around town, to the kindness you and your husband showed by opening your home to us.  In addition, surprising us with Anita and the history and stories she shared.  What a beautiful memory I will always have!

There are no words I can find that can accurately communicate the depth of my appreciation to you.  Your respect for Gunzenhausen's Jewish history has been illustrated through your dedication, commitment, hard work, and tireless effort you have put forth, towards studying and highlighting Judaism (as a whole) and a greatly important part of history...