Chapter 9: Die Themarerjuden/Jewish People of Themar

My mother used to say, “Zwei jungle hat die Mama,” in the local dialect, which means “Mama has two boys.” She also had an another expression — “Sieht es Jung hab ichs net gesacht, Ich zermalm dich.” Which meant  “do see you boy, didn’t I tell you? I’m going to squash you?” Which was followed by her knuckles over your skull, I got a lot of that.

97. Walter Rosenbaum, 26 March 1939.

Walter was the son of Lotte Rosenbaum, née Gassenheimer. He went to the U.S.A. [in 1946]

98. Willi Müller, Themar, c. 1935-6.

Willi is standing in front of the “Turnhalle” or gym (site #70 on map), which was across from their house (site #71 on map) on the corner of Turner and Meininger Strasse. The Müllers [Max Müller II und Klara Müller née Nussbaum] had 3 sons, Herbert, Meinhold, and Willi. We spent a lot of our Shabbats there. Mr. Müller had an encyclopedia, which I liked to read in. He also had a subscription to  Der Stürmer, one of the vilest anti-Semitic Nazi papers. He thought it was funny, after all he had served in the German Army in WW I. Meinhold and Willi supposedly escaped to Sweden, about Herbert I don’t know. In 1936, the Müllers bought an automobile to help in their business in selling yard goods in the villages. It was one of the first German-built Fords. Ford was allowed to build a car in Germany as thanks for his support of Hitler, with propaganda (very anti-Semitic) in the U.S.A. and direct financial contributions to the Nazi Party. The Fords made quite a profit on the Nazi war effort.

[Editor’s note: Meinhold did go to Sweden, Willi went to Palestine, and Herbert went to the United States with his wife, Flora Müller, née Wolf.]

99. Theo Steinschneider.


This was Theo Steinschneider from Hannover, a nephew of the Grünbaum family of Themar. They sold ticking and bedding material on Bahnhofstrasse (site #62 on map). They had a son [Hans, b. 1916 in Themar] who went to Palestine in 1933. I bought his bicycle. Theo also went to Palestine.

100. Moritz Sachs, 1947, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

The Moritz Sachs family — we were strongly interconnected. Moritz Sachs had a bicycle shop in Themar, he repaired and sold them. He had spent some years in Chicago, U.S.A. in his youth and spoke fluent English. I found that out one day in San Francisco. We always thought it was funny how he got on his bike from behind. We called it the “Moritzaufstieg” or the “Moritz mount.”

[Editor’s Note: The Sachs home and bicycle shop was in Georg-Kempt Strasse, site #13 on map.]

101. Mrs. Sachs looking out of the upper window of the Sachs house.

[Editor’s Note: Klara/Clara Katz Sachs, born 1870 in Mühlfeld, Thüringen, died in Themar in 1937.]

102. Anna Sachs Kleeman, 1946 Shanghai.

Anna Sachs was my first customer for anything I ever made. At about 12 years of age, I made a star with transparent colored paper and plywood, to put a light bulb inside. Her new husband [Harry Kleeman] liked it, so they bought it to hang in their hallway in Berlin. He was a dental technician. We met again in Shanghai, where Mr. Kleeman died very soon.

[Editor’s Note: Harry Kleeman, b. Dec. 1894 in Berlin, died in 1954 in San Francisco, California.]

103. Hilde Sachs, Themar c.1935.


Hilde married Albert Gassenheimer and they went to South Africa [in 1936], where Albert worked as a mechanic. They later divorced and Hilde remarried and now lives in the U.S.A.  Fedor Sachs was also in Shanghai and worked with Kleeman. He also now lives in the U.S.A. The youngest son of Moritz and Klara Sachs, Robert, made it to Israel, but had a stroke at a very young age and is confined to a wheel chair.

[Editor’s Notes: Moritz Sachs died in Napa, California in1960; Feodor died in 1988 in San Francisco. Anna died in Daly City, California in 1991, Hilde in San Francisco in 2001. Robert Sachs, b. Nov. 1915  in Themar, escaped to England, not Palestine. Here he met and married Regina Frank, b.1919 in Vienna, and they had their first child in England. The Robert Sachs family came to the United States in 1948 and Robert died in 1997 in San Francisco, Regina in 2001]

Photo 104 below. Mr. Moritz Sachs becomes a citizen of the United States of America, along with his daughter Anna and her husband, Harry Kleeman c. 1952-53

105. The Wertheims of Walldorf.


The 3 children of our Matzah maker, named Wertheim, from a little town not far away named Walldorf. He would come around in the fall, in a buckboard and get his orders for Pesach. But he sent the finished Matzah by railroad. We spent holidays together. There were High Holiday services in Walldorf, Erich and I helped make up a Minyan for pay, food and lodging. There was an old wooden Synagogue on a hill, like a fort.

So when I got the enclosed pamphlet, I said “WOW! What a surprise!” and my hair stood on end, I knew after 2 sentences what it was. “Jews for Jesus” yet, O brother!

Next Chapter 10: Meiningen

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Material from M. Rosengarten, Themar, Thüringen: My Home Town may be reproduced in part or whole, in any print or electronic format for non-commercial purposes provided that the author, editor, copyright holders, and publisher ( are acknowledged.
© 2011 Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. © Sharon Meen, Vancouver, British Columbia