The Nathan Waldmann Family

Veis Nathan Waldmann, merchant, was born in Dittenheim in 1828, married Regina Steiner from Steinhart and moved to Gunzenhausen, where their family purchased the house at Hensoltstrasse 6 in 1870.

The couple had four children, their son Nathan, born in 1864, a livestock trader, inherited his father’s property in 1906.
He was married to Fanny Gumperz, born in Ansbach in 1870. They had nine children, three of whom died as children.

  • Regine *09.04.1895 in Gunzenhausen, +05.09.1902 Gunzenhausen
  • Hugo *19.05.1896 in Gunzenhausen, emigradet to Argentina
  • Bruno *23.09.1897 in Gunzenhausen, married a protestant girl from Gunzenhausen, Lina Schachner, *15.04.1903, Hensoltstrasse 34. He served in the army during the First World War, as did his brother Hugo. Both were awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class.
  • Julius *28.10.1898 in Gunzenhausen, remained in the family home in Gunzenhausen; he married Frieda Baum from Teunz.
  • Rosa *17.12.1899 in Gunzenhausen
  • Heinrich *07.02.1902 in Gunzenhausen, Lagerist und Packer, um 1939 in Nürnberg, Körnerstraße 123, gemeldet.
  • Irma *22.08.1903 in Gunzenhausen,  +29.10.1903
  • Erich *21.03.1905 in Gunzenhausen, +09.01.1906
  • Ludwig *25.03.1906 in Gunzenhausen, left for Palestine in 1935. He moved back with his family to Germany in 1956, unfortunately we don’t know exactly where. Later he went back to Israel.


Hensoltstraße around 1900.
Hensoltstraße around 1900.

The protestant wife of Bruno Waldmann lived in Hensoltstraße 34 (in the photo on the right hand side). Jewish families also rented accommodation there. From “Old Images of Gunzenhausen” (Gunzenhausen in alten Ansichten) by W. Lux

The young couple lived with the wife’s parents and had a son, Ludwig Bruno, *05.01.1926.

Father Nathan died in 1928, his widow Fanny, née Gumperz, inherited the house in 1930.

She rented out office space to Franz Scherb, who set up an agency for the Rosenbeck Bank of Hofheim, as well as an insurance agency.

House Bahnhofstraße 11
House Bahnhofstraße 11

Bruno Waldmann, who lived with his Christian parents-in-law at Hensoltstraße 34, opened a coffee shop at Bahnhofstraße 11 on Palm Sunday 1926. He had rented the space from Josefine Haase. He moved into this house with his family in 1932 but in 1934, as the reprisals against the Jewish citizens intensified, he ended the lease with Mrs Haase and moved back into his parents’ house at Hensoltstraße 6.

Waldmann, Bruno
Waldmann, Bruno

On 16th August of the same year he emigrated to Washington, his wife and son followed him a year later, on 01.09.1935.
We don’t know the reason for his abrupt departure from the town, but the Pogrom of 24th March 1934 did take place immediately in front of his coffee shop.

His mother left the town four days later and moved to Bopfingen.

The Hensoltstraße house was, however, only sold to Hans Schöberlein on 28th April 1937. He opened up a general grocery shop and sold sugar, smoked products, textiles and wooden shoes. The shop existed up until 1963.
The house now belongs to Erika Schmautz.

Guest book and Prayer book
In 1963 the "Israelitische Kultusgemeinde” donated a guest book to the caretakers of the cemetery so the visitors could leave their names and Addresses. The guest book begins with the entry of Ludwig Waldmann, now living in Herzlia in Israel. For more information about the history of the Jewish Cemetery of Gunzenhausen please click here.

Rosemarie Danner’s Account
Rosemarie Danner, Lina Waldmann’s niece, lives in Gunzenhausen. She told us the family story of Bruno and Lina Waldmann, together with photo. Ludwig Waldmann also sent us photos from the States.

Bruno Waldmann and family
Bruno Waldmann and family
Ludwig  Waldmann with cousin  Rosemarie, around 1933
Ludwig Waldmann with cousin Rosemarie, around 1933

Bruno Waldmann, living at Hensoltstraße 6, married a young protestant girl, Lina Schachner, who also lived in the Hensoltstraße, in the twenties. The young couple lived with the wife’s parents, who ran a restaurant.

The Waldmann family 1949 in front of their house in Washington D.C.
The Waldmann family 1949 in front of their house in Washington D.C.

Their son Ludwig was born in 1926 and in that same year they opened a coffee shop at Bahnhofsstraße 11.
They moved into the first floor there in 1932, but in 1934 their windows were smashed. As a result of that, Bruno left the town, emigrated to Washington and looked for work.

His wife and son Ludwig remained in Gunzenhausen.

As Bruno was very good at sport, he found a job with a sports club, and this enabled him to bring his family over a year later.

In 1945 their son Ludwig was sent to Germany as a GI, which means as a young American soldier, but he wasn’t allowed to visit his grandparents in Gunzenhausen during his posting. In the same year his young sister was born in Washington.

Post from the Waldmann's in Gunzenhausen only began to arrive after the war had ended. They sent a lot of care packages to their needy relations in Germany, full of food, clothing and “mad” American toys.

Lina Waldmann came on a visit to her hometown for the first time in 1953, travelling to Germany by ship with her daughter. Bruno didn’t accompany them. He only returned to Gunzenhausen ten years later, in 1963, together with his sister Rosa. It was to be his only visit.

Gunzenhausen station in 1963
Karl Däubler (Frieda Däubler’s son), Frieda Däubler (Lina’s sister), Luise Escherich (Lisa’s sister), Lina Waldmann, Bruno Waldmann at Gunzenhausen station in 1963

Lina visited her home town for the last time in 1976.  Bruno had already died

Lina and her two sisters in Germany in1963 (Luise, Lina, Frieda)
Lina and her two sisters in Germany in1963 (Luise, Lina, Frieda)

Their son Ludwig Waldmann has lived in Palm Beach Florida since he retired. He still does a lot of sport and keeps in touch with his relations in Germany

Photo 2006
Photo 2006

Ludwig Waldmann with his eldest son Byron; born 6th June 1950?) (married to Bonny) and granddaughter Darcy, here celebrating her high school graduation.  In the meantime she is studying at Georgia University.

Ludwig Waldmann with his son Billy (*23rd March 1958?) and his partner Brenda.
Ludwig Waldmann with his son Billy (*23rd March 1958?) and his partner Brenda.