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Julius Rosenberg, 1910-1945

What We Know:
Family Name(s): Rosenberg
First Name
: Julius
Date/Place of Birth
: 30 January 1910/Themar, Thüringen
Else Kahn
Markus Rosenberg
Salesman for Ernst Gassenheimer
Year/Name of Spouse: 5 August 1933/Else Pabst, b. Darmstadt
: a daughter, Lotte, b. Darmstadt
Address in Themar:
Schulstrasse 3/known as Dr. Frickstrasse between 1933 and 1945.
Arrest/Release Kristallnacht, November 1938:
exact date of release unknown.
Date/Place/Destination of Deportation
: unknown; arrested in Weimar 1943, probably deported to Auschwitz
Date/Place of Death
: exact date unknown/declared dead 8 May 1945/probably Auschwitz
Age at Death: 35 years.

We know some things about Julius Rosenberg’s life in Themar. From Ernst Ledermann’s two letters to the Gestapo in November 1938, we know that Julius Rosenberg was the travelling salesman for Ernst Gassenheimer & Co., the big agricultural machinery business in Themar. Rosenberg travelled to clients throughout the small towns and villages of the Thüringen and Franken forests. At the time of his arrest in November 1938, he was involved in the wind up of the business required by the “Aryanization process,” which was to be complete by the end of the year. Ledermann argued that his presence and particularly his knowledge of the clientele and their whereabouts was critical to the orderly disposition of the business.

We also know that Julius was trying to emigrate: In his 28 November 1938 letter, Ernst Ledermann enclosed a telegram from New York that confirms that emigration papers are being prepared; on December 3, 1938, Ledermann wrote a second letter to state that Julius has received a “Bürgschaft für USA,”  that is, a financial guarantee regarding emigration that should make his claim of being able to emigrate stronger. We know that Markus Rosenberg’s sister, Ida Dahlerbruch née Rosenberg, sponsored the immigration of Elly Rosenberg to the United States in July 1939, so it’s probable that it was Ida and Moritz Dahlerbruch who sent the telegram and the financial surety on Julius’s behalf.

Julius Rosenberg was released from Buchenwald but not until well into December; the letter to city authorities registering the addition of ‘Israel’ to his name is dated December 13, 1938. Sadly, he was not able to emigrate; from the nuance of Ledermann’s letter, it is possible that Julius may not have applied for a passport before Kristallnacht — and afterwards it was too late for his application number to rise to the top of the list. He remained in Germany with his wife and child, continuing to make Themar his home base.

We know bits and pieces of his story from then until July 1943: one assumes that he did assist the Gassenheimers with winding down the business but, on December 29, 1938, Julius was forced to give up his driver’s license, and the Gassenheimers (Ernst, his daughter, Charlotte, and his daughter-in-law, Edith Gassenheimer, née Schettmar) left Themar in early January 1939 to move to Gelsenkirchen. In September 1939, Julius Rosenberg joined six other Themarenjuden in going to Gut Neuendorf, the Jewish training facility east of Berlin that trained Jews for the hoped-for emigration. In fall 1941 he was working steadily for Heinrich Meng & Co., Holzbearbeitungswerke in Erfurt and had permission to take the train outside of curfew hours. In 1941, in the discussion about what should happen to his Jewish/Christian daughter, Lotte, and schooling, it appears that Julius was hoping to go to Berlin and wanted to take his daughter with him. It didn’t happen; in July 1943, Julius was arrested in Weimar and deported to Auschwitz. His arrest marks the last known arrest of a Themaren Jew, living in Themar or elsewhere. Nothing further is known of Julius. In 1950, when Else Pabst, then living in Darmstadt, made enquiries about Julius Rosenberg, she was told that she should consider him “verschollen” — dead as of midnight, May 8, 1945. Else’s letter made no mention of Lotte.

Click on images for larger version.

Dr. E. Ledermann to Gestapo, 29 Nov. 1938 re: Julius Rosenberg. Source: Themar City Archives.

Response to Else Papst Rosenberg’s query as to fate of her husband, Julius Rosenberg. Source: Themar City Archives.