Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Brzezinka Steuer Branch

Bernhard Steuer, son of Samuel and Eva (Fraenkel) Steuer lived in Zabrze County, a city in southern Poland, in the Silesian Province, Zabrze County. It is located 22 km northwest of Katowice and 304 km southwest of Warsaw. It lays on the Silesian Highland, by the Kłodnica River and its tributary, the Bytomka. Samuel was possibly born ca 1794, Upper Silesia (if he was in fact 69 years old at the time of his death on 27 Apr 1863) and Eva Fraenkel was born 1804 in Brzezinka and according to her Myslowice death record, she died on 11 Apr 1861 and was 57 years old.

In 1526 Zabrze became part of the Habsburg Monarchy (of Austria), and later annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the Silesian Wars. The settlement of Dorotheendorf was founded in 1774. The town became an important mining center after the first mine in Zabrze became operational in 1790. The town's synagogue, which was built in 1872, was destroyed in the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938.

Bernhard was an innkeeper (as was his father), restaurateur, and owner of a brick factory. He was born in Brzezinka, Upper Silesia, 17 Dec 1841. The village was first mentioned in 1474. In 1517 the Duke of Cieszyn sold the land around Pszczyna (Pless) to a Hungarian noble, Thurzo (originally from Krakow), thus forming the administrative and territorial division of Pless. Rosalie Wachsner Bielschowsky and her family, as well as Eva Wachsner Nothmann and her family lived in Pless. It’s no wonder that part of the family was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Samuel’s branch stayed mostly in the same area of Brzezinka.

It is known that Bernhard had three older brothers, Emanuel (born in 1827), Wilhelm (1834)
and Moritz (born in 1837) and an older sister, Friederike (born 28 Oct 1830). I believe that they also had another sister, Rosalie. I haven’t been able to prove it, but since she died at age 24 and Friederike married Rosalie’s husband 7 months later and they named their first born after Rosalie, Moritz named his youngest daughter Rosa and Bernhard also named one of his daughters Rosalie. It was very common back then for a man to marry the sister of his wife after her death instead of looking for a wife from another family. Their mother Eva died 11 Apr 1861, just 15 days after Emanuel’s youngest daughter was born. Both Friederike (Wachsner) and Moritz gave birth to daughters in 1863 and both named them after their mother Eva. Eva Wachsner was born 12 Aug 1863 and her cousin, Eva Steuer was born on 5 Dec 1863. Bernhard named his first born after his mother as well and she was born 29 Oct 1866.

Marriage Record for Bernhard Steuer & Jettel (Henriette) Eisner
Bernhard and Henriette had six children: Eva, Sigfried, Friedeike, Rosalie, Max and Emilie. Eva was born in Brzezinka and that is all that is known about her so far. Sigfried was born 5 Jan 1868, Brzezinka and married Rosa Lachmann. It’s unknown if they had any children. Sigfried died 31 Oct 1907 in Hamburg and is buried at the Judischer Friedhof Ohlsdorf Cemetery; plot A10 Nr. 444a in Ohlsdorf, Hamburg-Nord, Hamburg, Germany. Friederike was born 12 Jun 1869 in Brzezinka and died when she was 4 years 7 months old on 9 Jan 1874.
Friederike Steuer's Death Record
Rosalie was born 24 Aug 1870 in Brzezinka and died when she was just 3 months old on 22 Nov 1870, Brzezinka.
Rosalie Steuer's Death Record
Max (Moshe ben Shmuel) was born 7 Mar 1879, Brzezinka and married Karoline "Lina" Bry on 05 Jul 1911. Max and Lina had three children: Urlich (Dov Ber ben Moshe), Rudolf (Shmuel ben Moshe) and Renata. Max was the Director of Dresdner Bank, Berlin and was still living in Berlin and later in Riga, Latvia. His wife and two younger children emigrated to Sao Paulo, Brazil and his son Urlich and his young family left for the USA 3 weeks before Kristallnacht. On the 26th of October, 1942 Max was deported with Transport 22 from Berlin, Germany to Riga, Rigas, Vidzeme, Latvia. His name was found on the “List of murdered Jews from Germany found in Hall of Names”. Emilie, Bernard and Henriette’s youngest was born 29 Oct 1866 in Brzezinka and died on 30 Jan 1872, Brzezinka when she was 4 months old.

Bernhard Steuer's Death Certificate
Bernhard was only 46 years old when he did on 24 Mar 1887 in Hindenburg Klein-Zabrze, Prussia. His wife Henriette also died in Hindenburg, Zabrze County, Upper Silesia on 10 Nov 1930.

Rosalie would have been born in either 1823 or 1824 according to her death record. This would have made her the oldest of all the known children of Samuel and Eva.

Emanuel Steuer & Friederike Boehm Marriage Record
Bernhard’s brother Emanuel married Friederike Boehm, daughter of Bernhard Boehm & Handel Kamm on 2 July 1851 in Myslowitz. Emanuel was a merchant, trader and later a businessman. Emanuel and Friederike lived in Myslowitz and had five children: Rosemunda (31 Aug 1853), Sarah (3 Mar 1855), Louis (27 Feb 1857), Emilie (22 Oct 1859) and Caecilie born 27 Mar 1861. Louis died 13 Oct 1858 at a year and 7½ months old. Emilie died when she was a year and 3 months old on 21 Jan 1861. Caecilie married Leopold Hamburger of Gleiwitz, son of Moritz & Dorothea Danziger, on 21 Oct 1893.

Friederike Steuer & Moses Wachsner Marriage Record
Bernhard’s sister Friederike was the second wife of Moses Wachner. She was 23 years old and Moses was 31 years old when they married on 17 Aug 1853 in Brzezinka. Moses was a merchant and the son of Isaac and Sorel Wachsner. They had eight children who were all born in Brzezinka: Rosalie (28 Jun 1854), Isaac (13 Aug 1855), Heinrich (2 Mar 1857), Hannchen (28 Dec 1858), Marcus (8 Oct 1860), Siegmund (16 Mar 1862), Eva (12 Aug 1863) and Selma (10 Mar 1869).  It is through Friederike’s daughter Eva that the Nothmann’s become part of our family. Eva was Hirschel Zvi’s second wife. Hirschel had eight children with his first wife and three children with Eva. Their daughter Selma married her maternal uncle Heinrich Wachsner. Eva and Hirshel lived in Bierun, Upper Silesia and this where their children were born.

Many of the Nothmann descendants (including Nothmann, Bielschowsky and Apt) perished in the holocaust.

Moritz, Bernhard’s other brother, married Mandel “Minna” Gruenberg, daughter of Jacob Gruenberg & Marie Simon in 1860, Brzezinka. Moritz was a baker, merchant (1862) and an innkeeper during 1860-1865 according to his children’s birth records. Moritz and Minna had eight children: Wilhelm, Eva, Siegfried, Julius, Albert, Hugo, Margaretha and Rosa. Their first three children were born in Krasowy (Krassow in German) Myslowitz, Silesia. The others were born in Zabrze county – at least two in Bytom (Beuthen in German).

Wilhelm Steuer was born 5 May 1862 and married Johanna Herzfeld, daughter of Louis Herzfeld & Pauline Sorauer in 1891. It’s unknown if they had any children. Wilhelm died 12 Oct 1924 and is buried at the Nordfriedhof Cemetery, Section: Neu Juedischer Friedhof, Düsseldorf, Germany. His wife Johanna deported on 04 Oct 1942 from Berlin to Terezín on Transport I/71, no. 8247. She was murdered there in Terezín on 22 Oct 1942.

Moritz and Johanna’s daughter Eva married Wilhelm Zerkowski , son of Soelig Zerkowski & Marie Plotke on 25 Feb 1890 in Hindenburg, Prussia. They had a son Wilhelm “Willy” who was born on 04 Mar 1891 in Raschkow, Posen, Prussia. He died on 15 Oct 1915, Breslau, Prussia. Willy is buried at Friedhof Cosel, Section: World War I Field of Honor, Wroclaw (Breslau), Poland; Plot: Grabstelle 11.

Unknown what happened to Siegfried. Julius died when he was just 25 days old on 4 Apr 1867. Albert Steuer married Julia Wyngardt, daughter of Nathan Wyngardt/Wyngaard & Antoinette Buschhoff . They lived in Cologne, Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany and before the war they lived in Hemer. Their four children were all born in Cologne. Albert and Julia had four children: Margot, Ilse Sara, Alice and Ruth. Margot was born on 19 March 1901 and married Leopold Dreifuss. They had two children in Cologne: Walter (6 Jul 1922) and Helga (30 Aug 1924). Leopold was a tailor.
1940 Passenger List for the Dreifuss Family

Helga Dreifuss Epstein & Judy Epstein

They all emigrated to the USA via Liverpool on 22 Feb 1940 from the port of Liverpool. Leo and Margot lived in New York, where she was naturalized and also in Massachusetts. Walter still wasn’t a US citizen, but enlisted in the army on 13 Jun 1944. Helga graduated from Burbank Hospital School of Nursing, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Helga married Irving A Epstein and they lived in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. 

Leopold died 25 Dec 1968 in Miami, Florida. Margot died 15 Jan 1987 and both she and Leopold are buried at Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, Bergen County, New Jersey.

Ilse Sara was born 15 Sep 1904 and married Ernst Phillip Waldheim, son of Abraham Waldheim and Sophie Reinsberg in 1930, Iserlohn, Markischer Kreis, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Ilse and Ernst had two sons who were both born in Hemer: Hans "Harry" (9 May 1931) and Manfred Israel "Manny" (19 Jun 1935). They emigrated to New York 08 Feb 1941. Ernest was an auto mechanic and died on 27 Dec 1972 in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. Ilse died 27 Nov 1993 in Houston, Texas. Manny married Joan and he died of natural causes on 11 Mar 2002, Denver, Colorado.

Alice Steuer married Isidore Frankel in London, England. Alice is still alive at age 104! 

Ruth Steuer married Kurt Wallach, son of Carl Wallach & Lutka Rauch in 1935, Gevelsberg, Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. 

GhettoTerezín Death Certificate for Hugo Steuer

Hugo Steuer, son of Moritz and Minna, was born 4 Apr 1870 and perished on 20 December 1942 at Theresienstadt, North Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Margaretha Steuer was born 16 Oct 1871 and married Julius Michaelis, son of Adolf Michaelis & Malchen Baron on 16 Oct 1871 in Hindenburg, Prussia.
Margaretha Steuer & Julius Michaelis Marriage

Rosa Steuer, Moritz and Minna’s youngest, was born on 7 Oct 1874 and married on 25 May 1902 in Hindenburg, Prussia.  Paul Honigbaum, son of Salomon Honigbaum & Emilie Rosentein. Before WWII they lived in Breslau, Germany. During the war they were in Gruessau, Germany. Both Rosa and Paul were deported from Breslau to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Czechoslovakia on 27 Jul 1942 with Transport IX/1. Paul was murdered on 12 Feb 1943. Rosa was deported on 15 May 1944 from the Theresienstadt Ghetto to Auschwitz Birkenau, Extermination Camp where she was murdered.
GhettoTerezín Death Certificate forPaul Honigbaum
There are more descendants of Samuel and Eva (Fraenkel) Steuer, as well as other branches of the family – his siblings and their descendants who are not listed here. Here I wanted to give a better picture of some of the new people I recently found.
Samuel Steuer Death Record
The Wachsners and Nothmanns who married into the Steuer family and had children of their own will be in blogs of their own.

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