The Family of Benno Landau

Translation by Lesley Loy

Benno (Simcha Bunim Meir) Landau, a trader, was born on 13.07.1868 in Lodz, at that time part of the Russian empire.  He was the son of the merchant Rafael Landau and his wife Debora, née Weinstock.

                  Benno and Iska Landau      © Julian Landau

On 06.01.1888 he married Iska (Yiska) Zander, born on 17.08.1868 in Zychlin/Russia.  She was the daughter of Gaskel Zander and Perla Sbeschenscher.

House Sonnenstraße 7 today


The family took up residence in Gunzenhausen in February 1905 and lived at Sonnenstrasse 17.  




Schillerstraße 7 today




They later lived at Schillerstrasse 7 .




Ansbacher Straße 2 today



Since October 1909 they lived at Ansbacher Strasse 2. 

The Landau family had registered several businesses. The archive lists:

1905 Registration of trading in soap and soap powder

1906 Registration of trading in artificial mineral and soda water - deregistered again in 1907.

1910 Registration of small-scale trading in table mustard and Russian tea

1911 Registration of trade in candles on a small scale

After that there was obviously no further registration. Benno Landau fell ill and spent many years in a sanatorium in Cologne, where he died on November 7th, 1938. He is buried there. His wife Iska had died before him on June 16, 1936 in Lodz and was buried there. To this day we do not know exactly how long the Landau family lived in Gunzenhausen. They were still here in 1923 because their son Max had finished secondary school that year.

The couple had six children, the first two were born in Russia and the following four in Gunzenhausen. The last two children were twins, born one day after the other.

The children of the Landau family 

Ester Landau *23.01.1895 in Zychlin; 1923 she married Menasse Prinz from Krumbach. The couple emigrated to the USA, where they set up cheese production.
Rachel Landau *14.04.1904 in Zychlin. Her nephew Julian Landau wrote us, that she'd married Shmuel Nosson Groskopf. She and her husband were living in Lodz in 1934. Rachel had returned to her father's homeland with her husband. Their mother Iska also moved there with them. She died in Lodz in 1936 and is buried there.
However, the Jewish ghetto there existed since 1939 and served, among other things, as an intermediate station before deportation to an extermination camp. Rachel did not survive the Third Reich, she became a victim of the Shoah. It is not clear whether she was killed in the Ghetto or in a concentration camp. Her Hebrew name was Alte Rachel.
Max (Mordechai) Landau *06.03.1906 in Gunzenhausen + 09.05.1993 in the USA. On 19.08.1930 Max married Mirjam Kraus +15.01.1972
Wolf Landau *11.04.1908 in Gunzenhausen
Emil Landau *23.10.1909 in Gunzenhausen
Jakob Landau *24.10.1909 in Gunzenhausen, Emil and Jakob were twins

Max Landau attended secondary school in Gunzenhausen. At that time, the classes led from the fifth to the tenth grade and finished with the mid-school certificate. He was obviously a very good student, as evidenced by the testimony we have received from his son, Julian Landau.

1923 graduation class of the secondary school. Max Landau is the sixth from left © Julian Landau


According to his son Ronald, Max Landau emigrated to the USA in 1929 to earn money for his marriage.

On August 19, 1930 he returned to Germany and married Mirjam Kraus in a Munich synagogue.


          Mirjam and Max Landau’s wedding invitation © Julian Landau

After their wedding the couple emigrated to the United States.  They had four children :

Ronald Wolf *26.08.1932
Julian Jacob *04.05.1935
Sidney Nethanel *21.06.1939
Irene Sandra *30.04.1944

Their sons Ronald and Julian were kind enough to send us information and photos of the family of Max and Mirjam Landau in March 2004.  Ronald now lives in the USA, Julian in Israel.

Fortunately, descendants of Max Landau have now visited us. In 2021 his great-grandson Max Roberts came from New York.
He is in training to become a rabbi and spends a year in Munich
so that his German wife Hannah can complete her medical studies here.







In 2022 Max Landau's son, Dr. Ronald Landau, came to Gunzenhausen together with his daughter Dr. Jaclyn Roberts and grandson Hillel. They visited places in the city that had been important to their ancestors.



So far we only know the fate of Rachel and Max. Unfortunately, we haven't met the other siblings yet.