Gustav Theilheimer

Gustav Theilheimer © Walter Stoll

Gustav Theilheimer, son of Raphael Löw und Therese Bauer, was born on 25.03.1866 in Dittenheim.
In 1885 his parents bought the first half of the house on Brunnenstrasse 15, where he helped his father with sales.

On May 4th 1898, he took over his fathers half for 3,000 M. He was granted residency in July.

That same year, on August 18th, he married Rosa Waldmann, daughter of Veiß Nathan Waldmann and Regina Steiner, who lived on Hensholtstraße 6. She was born on 26.12.1869 in Dittenheim.

Rosa und Gustav Theilheimer as a young couple © Walter Stoll

The couple had six children:
Thekla * 19.05.1899
Regina * 26.05.1901 + 05.09.1902
Bella * 03.11.1902
Hedwig * 04.01.1904
Richard * 30.03.1905
Feodor * 18.06. 1909

Gustav Theilheimer worked as a cattle dealer and also as a hops buyer for bee breweries. We think the family was wealthy because they bought another house on Weissenburger Strasse 9 for 1,000 M in 1911. This house was sold again in 1919.

Rosa Theilheimer died on September 8th 1929, her husband Gustav on March 8th 1933.

Johanna Theilheimer © Walter Stoll

It was a great pleasure for us when we got an eMail from Mr Walter Stoll, a descendant from the Theilheimer family, who lives in California. So we know many details about the fate of this great family.

Johanna (known as Hannchen) born Dittenheim 20-07-1873, was a sister from Gustav Theilheimer. She died in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in early 1940s. Johanna came to the USA in 1906 and returned to Germany in 1913. After my Grandmother Rosa Waldman died in 1929, Johanna lived in the house at Brunnenstrasse 15 and helped take care of the household for her brother (my grandfather) Gustav until his death in 1933. Johanna lived there until the family sold the house to the upstairstenants, the Gebhart family in 1935. This was a sale at the "Nazi forced reduced price." This injustice has never been rectified

Gustav and Rosa Theilheimer Family

Thekla Theilheimer © Walter Stoll

The history of the Theilheimer children, all of whom born in the Gunzenhausen house, and their descendants is as follows:
Thekla Theilheimer: Born 19-05-1899, died 02-10-1978 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thekla married Bernhard Gutmann (1897-1967) of Heidenheim on March 26, 1926. They emigrated to Avigdor, Argentina in early 1938 and remained there. They had no children.
Regina Theilheimer: Born 26-05-1901, died a few months later.

Bella und Max Stoll © Walter Stoll

Bella Theilheimer: Born 03-11-1902, Died 27-01-1988 in Berkeley, California USA. As a teenager Bella went to Nürnberg to go to business school (Handels-Schule) and then worked as a secretary in Nürnberg, coming home to Gunzenhausen on weekends.

On January 1.1935 Bella was married to Max Stoll (born 16-05-1899 in Noerdlingen, died 20-03-1980 in Denver, Colorado USA). They lived in Nuernberg where Max had a business as a metal dealer. While still living there they had 2 children, Gerhard and Walter. In May 1939 they were able to leave Germany and get to London England. In August 1940 the family emigrated from England to the United States where they lived in Denver, Colorado.

In 1983 the widowed Bella Stoll moved to Berkeley California to be near her 2 sons and grandchildren who were in the San Francisco area. She remained there until her death.

Bella Theilheimer Stoll's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren:
Gerhard Stoll: Born 24-06-1936 in Fuerth, Germany. Emigrated to USA with his parents and now lives in San Francisco, California. His 4 children and Grandchildren are:

1. Miriam Stoll (born 09-6-1961). Lives in Burlington, Vermont.
Her children are:
Jacob Stoll Edwards ( December 1996)
Eva Maxine Edwards (09-07-1999)
Annabelle Edwards (20-01-2002)
2. Malaika Stoll (born 08-09-1967) Lives in Menlo Park, California.
Her child is:
Leila Bliss Stoll (born 21-01-2003)
3. Abraham Stoll (born 19-09-1969) Lives in San Diego, California.
His children are:
Ella Adams (born 27-2-1995)
Marion Adams (born 29-7-1996)
4. Emily Price (born 02-11-1979) Lives in Burlington, Vermont.
No children.

Walter David Stoll: Born on 17-04-1938 in Fürth Germany. Emigrated to the USA with his parents and now lives in Berkeley, California. Married on September 18.1960 to Diane Grimes (born 26-12-1938) of Denver, Colorado. Their children and grandchildren are:

1. Tekla Ann Stoll (born 10-6-1962). Lives in Corvallis, Oregon.
Her child is:

Eli Stoll Yoder (born 03-5-1999)
2. Kira Rachel Stoll (born 22-9-1964). Lives in Oakland, California.
No children.

3. David Samuel Stoll (born 24-5-1966). Lives in Denver, Colorado.
His child is:
Zachary Scooter Stoll (born 23-8-2002)

Hedwig and Bertold Maier © Walter Stoll

4. Hedwig (Hedl) Theilheimer Born 04-01-1904, died 25-12-1980 in Denver, Colorado.
As a teenager Hedwig also went to Nurnberg to Business School (Handels-Schule) and worked as a bookkeeper and secretary in Nürnberg coming home weekends to her family in Gunzenhausen.
In 1937 Hedwig emigrated to London, England where she remained through World War II. She then emigrated to the United States settling in Denver, Colorado where on May 8, 1948, she
married Berthold Maier, formerly of Bruchsal. They had no children.

Richard Theilheimer © Walter Stoll
5. Richard Theilheimer: Born 31-03-1905 and died 19-11-1975. Richard worked in Sales position in Germany until he emigrated to New York City in 1935 after the infamous Nurnberg Laws made it impossible to work in Germany.
On April 10,1937 Richard married Charlotte Strauss (Born 05-06-1911 Nürnberg, died 11-07-1975 New York City). In the USA Richard was a production manager in the garment industry, specifically, children's wear.
He had one daughter:
Linda Theilheimer: Born 04-06-1947 New York City and now lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey Married on February 2, 1969, to Roy Levi.
They have 2 children:
Daniel Levi (born 24-11-1971) married to Kelly Koenig on October 16, 1999. Twins are expected July 2003. They live in New York City.
Karen Levi (born 11-02-1976). Lives in Los Angeles, California.
Feodor Theilheimer © Walter Stoll

6. Feodor Theilheimer: Born 18-06-1909, died 24-12-2000 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
After Realschule in Gunzenhausen, Feodor studied three years at Oberrealschule in Nuremberg. He then studied mathematics and physics at the University of Erlangen. In 1928 he went to Lithuania to study at the Teishe Yeshiva and three years later returned to attend the Hildesheimer Rabbiner Seminar in Berlin. In 1932 he concentrated on mathematics at the Friedrich-Wilhelms -Universität zu Berlin and received his doctorate in mathematics in 1936, one of the last Jews to graduate, if not the last.
Not allowed to teach in Nazi Germany, Feodor emigrated to the USA in 1937. After various teaching positions in the USA including a professorship at Trinity College, Feodor went to Washington, DC where he worked for the US Navy as a mathematician in the field of research and development for ship design and construction. He also taught part-time at the University of Maryland and American University.
In 1948 Feodor married Henny Rubel, formerly of Hochspeyer, and they lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland. They had one child, Rachel Theilheimer:
Rachel Theilheimer. Born 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Rachel is married to Jonathan Beard and they live in New York City.
They have no children.

Betty Rosenheimer from Burgstallstrasse 4 wrote us a letter in 2001 saying that Feodor Theilheimer had passed on. He had gone to high school with her, and was a genius in her opinion.
© Walter Stoll

Gunzenhausen Memories von Feodor Theilheimer as told to his daughter Rachel Theilheimer

My father was 16 years old when he left Gunzenhausen and came back only on occasional visits after that. So he lived in Gunzenhausen from 1909 to 1925.

Supposedly there were about 60 Jewish families in Gunzenhausen. There was a Jewish school, a Protestant school and a Catholic school. When he went to the Jewish school there where about 30 students all in one room. He always listened to what the teacher explained to the higher classes. He only went to that school for four years and afterwards he went to the Realschule.

The Realschule was also in Gunzenhausen. In Heidenheim or Berolzheim, nearby smaller towns where Jews also lived, there was no Realschule. You had to pay a small tuition for the Realschule, which was non-sectarian and had an entrance examination. Each religion taught its own religious subjects. Hauptlehrer Marx, who taught the Jewish children in their own school, also came to the Realschule to teach religion to the Jewish children there.

After Hauptlehrer Marx retired, another teacher, Levite, came to take his place. They had a son Fritz, another Hans, a daughter Susie, and two twins whose names my father doesn’t remember (Ludwig und Ernst). Both of the twins are no longer alive. One died during the war in Israel. My Father thinks Fritz lives in Tel Aviv and has a bookstore.

In contrast to the Gymnasium, which focussed more on the Humanities, the Realschule was more science-oriented. In the Realschule you started with French as your foreign language and in Gymnasium with Latin. If you attended a Realschule in the time before the First World War, you were only obligated to do one year’s army service. Therefore in the sixth year you had obtained “das Einjährige”. There was no Gymnasium in Gunzenhausen and also no Oberrealschule (both include the last three years before  university, but the Realschule does not). That is why my father left Gunzenhausen at 16 to continue his education.

Absolvia 1925 © Walter Stoll

From 1919 on Mr. Kurzmann taught French and English in the Realschule. Before that Mr. Tachauer was the French and English teacher.

In Gunzenhausen there was no rabbi. They belonged to the “Rabbinat Ansbach”. The synagogue was built around 1880. Before that there was also on there, somewhat smaller than the newer one. There was one person who was both hazzan and schochet. There was no shammas.

Gunzenhausen has a Jewish cemetery. Smaller towns in the area (again, my father gives Heidenheim and Berolzheim as examples) did not have one and Jews from there were buried in Gunzenhausen.

My grandparents were both born in Dittenheim, a small town outside of Gunzenhausen. In approximately 1880 the Theilheimers moved from Dittenheim to Berolzheim and then to Gunzenhausen.  The Waldmanns had moved from Dittenheim to Gunzenhausen earlier than that. The Theilheimers were among the last of the Dittenheim Jews to migrate to Gunzenhausen. After end of the 1880’s no Jews remained in Dittenheim. We don’t really know why the Jews left. There may have been anti-semitism even then.

Many Jews were cattle dealers. My grandfather was one. The other grandfather, Nathan Waldmann, was also a cattle dealer. My father assumes that both of his grandfathers were also cattle dealers. He thinks his father’s father dealt in different commodities, too. Jews were also in the textile business and were shop owners. Surprisingly enough there were also two bankers among the sixty Jewish families. A third Jewish banker sold his bank and it became a branch of the Handelsbank and, later, the Vereinsbank.

At that time my grandparents married they were both living in Gunzenhausen. Nathan Waldmanns wife Fanny came from somewhere in Schwaben, somewhere near Augsburg (Kriegshaber near Ansbach). She moved to Gunzenhausen when she married him.

Every year on the first evening of Rosh Hashonna Onkel Nathan came in to the Theilheimers, who lived very near to the synagogue, to wish them a good year. After he died, Bruno Waldmann continued that tradition. The Waldmanns also came to lunch at the Theilheimers on the day of my father’s Bar Mitzvah. Coming to other people’s houses for a meal was much less common then that it is now.

Of course they saw each other in everyday ways during the year, too. My grandfather went to Strauss’ to play cards. The butcher, Strauss also had a restaurant, where they play cards. Nathan Waldmann probably also came to play or watch and talk. Else Strauss, the daughter, now lives in New York and is close friends with my cousin Linda’s aunt Susie.

There were four families named Hellmann in Gunzenhausen. One couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary (50 years of marriage) during the time my father remembers and they are the only such couple he can remember.

There were two families named Rosenfelder. Throughout my father’s time in Gunzenhausen there was a doctor named Rothschild. His son, Max, lives in New Jersey and is a rabbi. My father has seen him, though not for many years.

Benno Levi had a shoe store. Nathan Waldmann recently mentioned to my father that his daughter, Bianca, has just turned 60. My father has two shoe horns from his shop.

These are my father’s memories of Gunzenhausen and the Jews there.

Rachel and her husband © Franz Müller

In 2004 Feodor's daughter Rachel and her husband visited Gunzenhausen, especially the house in the Brunnenstraße and the cemetery. There is the only relict from their grandparents tombstones, a plate in the wall. Many of the headstones that were left during the Dritten Reich, were re-erected after WWII and individual relicts integrated into the wall that surrounds the cemetery. The relatives who continue to visit often have great difficulties in locating the graves.

In 2008 Walter Stoll visited us at our school together with his wife Diana and his daughter Kira. He brought us many photos, which we could add to the story and he told us interesting facts about his family e.g. that his parents suffered the Reichskristallnacht in Nürnberg when he was a five month old baby.