The Family of Sigmund Wertheimer
Sigmund Wertheimer, a merchant, was born on 08.08.1872 in Kippenheim to Josef Wertheimer and Mina, né Epstein. On 02.11.1897, in Eichstetten, he married the 25 year old Ernestine Epstein, daughter of the merchant Heinreich Epstein und his wife Rose, né Burger. Ernestine had been born on 16.09.1872 in Eichstetten am Kaiserstuhl.
The young couple first lived in Kippenheim, where their only son Hugo was born on 16.03.1899. Subsequently they must have moved to Strasburg, as it is from there that they arrived in Gunzenhausen in 1920.
We have not been able to find out why the family moved to Gunzenhausen, but another Wertheimer family had been living in the town since 1778 (Bahnhofstrasse 35). We have not been able to find out if they were related.
First they lived at Seckendorffstrasse 3 und ran a wholesale business. In 1924 their son Hugo became a partner and the business was now called Wertheimer & Co.
In January 1930 Sigmund Wertheimer purchased the house at Bühringerstrasse 20 und opened up a wholesale business in lining materials there. But then he sold it in the same year to Ludwig Däubler, a mechanic.
On 29.03.1932 their son Hugo married Dora Strauss, born on 06.08.1903 in Schwäbisch Hall. Apparently the couple lived in Strasburg, but a year later, on 08.11.1933 they moved from Strasburg to Gunzenhausen und rented rooms from the Walz family at Burgstallstrasse 14.
And then on 07.01.1934 they emigrated to New York.
As of 1934 their parents lived a few houses further on, at Krankenhausstrasse 10, renting from the Bergmann family. Two years later they moved to Seckendorffstrasse 2, to the house of the family of the banker Justin Gerst.
Sigmund Wertheimer and his wife remained in Gunzenhausen until 1938, although they had had terrible experiences in the town on 25. March 1934.
Testimony of a witness who participated in the pogrom of 25. March 1934 in Gunzenhausen:
……once B and the other men had handed over the Jews to be transported off, B said that he was now going to the Wertheimers. On this, I and other people who I don't know by name went ahead of the crowd to the Wertheimers' home in the Bühringerstrasse. On the way I and the rest of the crowd shouted aloud "Jews come out !" I stopped on the street in front of the Wertheimers' home *************
Extract from the testimony files of August 1934, state archives Nürnberg
The couple only moved away to Karlsruhe on 20.11.1938, just in time, one day before the deportation of Jewish men to Dachau.
According to Richard Lesser of Karlsruhe, Sigmund and Ernestine moved to Karlsruhe in 1939. From there the couple was deported to Gurs in 1940. Sigmund died on 11.05.1941 in the French camp Les-Milles, Bouches du Rhone, whilst Ernestine was able to emigrate to New York to her son, where she died on 29.05.1943.
Hugo and his wife both reached a biblical age! Hugo was almost 98 when he died on 14.02.1997 in Montclair, New Jersey and when Dora died on 02.05.2006 she was 102 years old!
As of 1937 the notary's office of Dr Georg Scherm was located in the house at Bühringerstrasse 20, and he purchased the house in 1950.All the deeds of sale that document the change of ownership of Jewish houses during the time of the Third Reich are signed with his name.
The house today belongs to the Fucker family. The architect's office of Hartwig Werner is on the ground floor.