1942

  • January 20: At the Wannsee Conference, the Nazis plan the formal implementation of the 1941 decision to murder all the Jews of Europe.
  • January: Deportations to Riga Ghetto continue.

The deportations included Themarens living elsewhere in Germany.

On January 19, 1942, Gertrud (Trude) Walther Goldmann, born in Themar in 1890, was deported. She was the daughter of Selig and Charlotte Palm Walther, one of the original families to come from Marisfeld in the 1860s. She had married Hermann Goldmann and left Themar and was living in Berlin in the late 1930s. She was deported to Riga with her husband, Hermann, on a transport of January 1, 1942.

On January 25, 1942, Selma Stern (née Schloss), b. 1888 in Oberwaldbehrungen, was rounded up in Berlin and deported to Riga. Selma was the daughter of Samuel and Philippine Schloss (who died in the mid-1930s); she had lived most of her adult life in Themar, first as the wife of Emil Bär and then as the wife of Hermann Stern. From 1939 on, she tried unsuccessfully to emigrate and had moved to Berlin in the hopes of finalizing her emigration.

On January 27, Ernst Gassenheimer, born 1870 in Themar, was deported with his daughter-in-law, Edith Schettmar Gassenheimer (age 32), the wife of Herbert. Ernst and Edith had moved from Themar in late 1939 to Gelsenkirchen, the home of Edith’s parents, Carl and Emma. On the 27th of January, six Schettmar family members and Ernst Gassenheimer were rounded up in Gelsenkirchen and deported to Riga. On March 26th, they were murdered in the Bikernieki Forest in what is called the Second Dünamünde Action (a total of 1840 Jews were killed in this Action.)

About 1000 Jews (from around Weimar, Erfurt, and Leipzig) were deported to Bełżyce Ghetto near Lublin. They either died in the ghetto or were transported to one of the killing centres (e.g., Belzec, Majdanek or Sobibor) to be murdered.

Two Themar families were deported to Bełżyce — the Neuhaus family with 5-year old Inge Neuhaus and her parents, Arthur and Elsa Grünbaum Neuhaus, and Max Müller II and Clara Nussbaum Müller, the parents of Herbert, Meinhold, and Willi, all of whom had escaped earlier.

From elsewhere in Germany, Margarete Gassenheimer Jäger, daughter of Ernst Gassenheimer, born in Themar in 1902, was deported from Glaucha. Rosa Freudenberger Müller was deported from Arnstadt. Rosa was the widow of Sigmund Müller, b. 1876 in Themar, and the sister of Frieda Freudenberger Müller, the wife of Max Müller I.

  • June — Deportations to the “east” continue.

On June 24, 1942, Martha Müller Steindler, born in 1906, the daughter of Max Müller I and Frieda Freudenberger Müller, was deported to Minsk. Her husband, Max Steindler, brother of Pauline Steindler Müller (wife of Leopold Müller) was deported with her. The two were rounded up in Berlin, where they had moved in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to emigrate. Both perished.

  • June 2: Deportations of German Jews to Theresienstadt begin.

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, Heydrich had said that Theresienstadt would be a ghetto for elderly Jews over the age of 65, for Jews with WWI decorations, or invalids of WWI.

  • September 20: The Germans transport 877 Jews from Weimar, Halle and Leipzig to Theresienstadt Ghetto. They were brought to Theresienstadt under the pretext that they would be well taken care of in old-age homes.

This transport included the seven Jews still living in Themar —
Hugo and Klara Schloss Grünbaum, ages 74 and 68. Hugo was dead a month later, Klara a month after that.

Max Müller I and Frieda Freudenberg Müller, ages 69 and 68. Both Frieda and Max died in November 1943.

Markus Rosenberg and Else Kahn Rosenberg, ages 58 and 56. Markus died in Theresienstadt less than a year later (12 July 1943), but Elsa was deported to Auschwitz on May 18, 1944.

Meta Frankenberger Krakauer, age 74. Meta survived and was in Theresienstadt at the time of liberation.

The transports to Theresienstadt included other Jews who had been born in Themar but were living elsewhere in Germany at the time of the deportations —
Elise Gassenheimer Ney, b. 1876 in Themar, sister of Ernst and Minna Gassenheimer (and aunt of Margarete Gassenheimer Jäger). A widow, she was deported on September 20, 1942 from Leipzig. She was dead several weeks later.

Minna Gassenheimer Frankenberg, b. 1872 in Themar, the sister of Ernst and Elise Gassenheimer (and aunt of Margarete Gassenheimer Jäger), was probably deported with her husband, Nathan Frankenberg, b. 1863 in Marisfeld. We know that Nathan, age 79, was deported on September 19, 1942 and was dead on December 6, 1942. Their son, Siegfried, b. 1895, who was living outside of Prague with his wife, Hertha Frankenberger, were deported to Theresienstadt on June 9, 1942. Two years later they were transported to Auschwitz where both Siegfried and Hertha perished. Minna survived.

Hedwig Sachs Sachs, b. 1866 in Themar, cousin of Moritz Sachs and aunt to the Sachs children. A widow, she was deported, age 76, to Theresienstadt on December 2, 1942 and was dead by January 9, 1943.

Minna Grünbaum Rosenthal, b. 1872, sister of Hugo Grünbaum and sister-in-law of Klara Schloss Grünbaum. A widow, she was deported, age 70, on September 20 and was dead by early March 1943.

Martha Frankenberger Katz, b. 1887 in Themar, daughter of Nathan and Berta Rosenthal Frankenberger, and sister of Lucie Frankenberger Heinemann, and Ida Frankenberger Katz, both of whom had been deported to Riga Ghetto in the first deportations of November 1941.

Martha married Leopold Katz (b. 1876) and was living in Essen when the transports to Theresienstadt began. Martha, age 55, and Leopold, age 66, and their 19-year-old son, Günther, were transported to Theresienstadt on July 21, 1942. Leopold died in Theresienstadt two years later; Günther was transported to Auschwitz on September 28, 1944 and was dead by March 14, 1945; Martha was deported to Auschwitz on October 4, 1944 where she perished. Another son, Werner, manged to escape to Scandinavia.

  • September 30:

Rosa Schloss, the sister of Selma Schloss Bär Stern, who lived in Themar during the 1930s, was rounded up in Bad Nauheim and deported from Darmstadt. The exact destination is unknown but is believed to be Treblinka.

Sources:
City of Themar, Archives
Das Deutsche Bundesarchiv, Gedenkbuch
Yad Vashem, The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names
Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA.
Nathan Michael Gelber and Stefan Krakowski. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. p. 312.
Andrea Neuwierth, Gelsenkirchener Juden Im Nationalsozialismus: Eine Kollektivbiographische Analyse über Verfolgung, Emigration Und Deportation, 2002.
Anne Prior. „Wo die Juden geblieben sind, ist […] nicht bekannt”: Novemberpogrom in Dinslaken 1938 und die Deportation Dinslakener Juden 1941-1944. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2010.