Louis Katz of Kolberg

Wohlgemuth-Katz family names and towns

Here's a summary of the new Wohlgemuth-Katz information. 

Elly Ringel's father was Isaak Wohlgemuth, born 1865 in Stargard near Danzig. His parents were Leopold Wohlgemuth (dates unknown) and Friederike Paechter (1938-1910, died in Danzig). Isaak had a sister Rosa (or Roza). 

Elly's mother was Betty Katz, born 1875 in Kolberg, West Prussia, about 150 miles west of Danzig on the Baltic coast. Betty's parents were Kolberg merchant Louis Levin Katz (b. 1839) and Henriette Müllerheim (b. 1849). Betty had a sister Klara born a year later and then Henriette died the year after that at age 28. Louis remarried and the children were raised by the second wife Paula Perl Lewy. Paula also died when Betty was 18 and Louis took a third wife, Bertha. 

Betty and Isaak were married in Kolberg in April 1898. By now, he was living in Elbing near to Danzig, and that is where they began married life together. Their first child was Elly Wohlgemuth, born July 3, 1901 in Elbing. A second daughter Hilda Wohlgemuth was born Jan. 20, 1906 in Danzig. 

Betty's sister Klara married Siegfried Jacobson in 1904, but there is no record of children. 

We had heard information that Isaak was in business in Königsberg, 100 miles to the east, and that the family lived there. That is possible, but pending some evidence about Königsberg I'm inclined to believe the family stayed in either Elbing or Danzig until they later moved to Berlin when Elly was of marriageable age. 

Isaak died in 1929 and is buried at Wiessensee. I am pretty sure his sister Rosa is buried near to him. 

Yad Vashem has a centralized database of Shoah victims that includes all or most of those deported on more than 60 transports from Berlin to the east between October 1941 and early 1945. I can't find our Betty Katz Wohlgemuth in the database. 

Louis Levin Katz's death announcement was in the newspaper

I was led astray on Geni by some bad information about the Paechter family, but immediately afterwards it delivered some fantastic new information about the Katz family.

Check out the 1918 newspaper death announcement of our 2G grandfather, Louis Katz, the father of Helga's grandmother Betty Katz. Here is the Google translation.

Special announcement!
Tonight, after long and severe suffering, my dearest beloved husband, our good caring father, father-in-law and grandfather, [passed away]

the Rentier Louis Katz
in the 79th year of life.
In the name of the grieving bereaved,
Bertha Katz born Bernhard.

Kolberg, August 13, 1918
Weissensee, Berlin, New York

The funeral will take place on Friday afternoon at 4 a.m.
from the mortuary of the Jewish cemetery

Rentier is a little difficult to parse. In German it is "reindeer" but it is used in the French meaning of "a person living on income from property or investments." It sounds like a "landlord," but that word translates in German to "Vermieter." We have seen him previously described as a merchant and banker, but presumably he had retired and was living on the proceeds of his investments. 

Bertha Bernhardt, Louis's widow who placed the notice, was his third wife. They had married in 1894, when Louis was 55. However, she is the only wife that our aunt Hilda knew of in her restitution affadavit, and Hilda thinks that Bertha is her natural grandmother. 

I am fascinated by the listing of cities on the line under the date of death. Weissensee is the residence of Louis's daughter Betty Wohlgemuth. Berlin is the residence of his second daughter Klara Jacobson. Why is New York mentioned? We don't know of any other children.

How did this new information show up on Geni. It turns out the the Geni profile that I posted for Louis Levin Katz some years ago had been augmented with helpful new content from two other Geni users. The image was uploaded as Louis' profile photo, and there is a bunch of new family information that was also added. Louis mother Taube Conrad was given a new first name, Sabine. And two brothers of Louis that I did not know of were added.

They are Isidor Victor Katz, born 1826, and Jacob Katz, born 1829. There is no more detail on Jacob but the parentage information on Isidor's 1894 Berlin death record prove that he is a brother of Louis. 

The Geni user who posted the Isidor Victor Katz record also lists his six children. However, Betty Katz's cousin Amalie Katz is not among them. Remember that Amalie was the Katz cousin who arranged for Betty Wohlgemuth's burial, and then was deported to her death from Berlin a few months later. 

Perhaps Amalie is a daughter of Jacob Katz, or perhaps there is another brother of Louis Katz who could have been Amalie's father. 

Whatever else we can learn from it, it is eye-opening to read the funeral announcement of our great-great grandfather, appearing in a Kolberg newspaper in mid-August 1918. Allied forces in WWI had just begun the Hundred Days Offensive that led to their eventual victory with the Armistice of November 11.  

Times would be tough for the German population in the aftermath of the war. Maybe it was a blessing that the suffering of Louis Katz ended a few months before that. I would imagine that the Wohlgemuth family from Berlin was present at the funeral in Kolberg.. 

Thank you to the Geni user community for surfacing this fantastic new information. 


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