The Ringels in Berlin—the Nazi years

The Ringel family endured Nazi persecutions in the 1930s leading up to Hermann's sudden death in July 1938 on the eve of his family's planned flight from Germany. In October, Elly and Helga escaped the country, leaving behind their German legacy. The Nazi authorities seized and sold the assets of the Hermann Ringel Co. 

Wasserreich family shows up in a Montevideo cemetery

I think I found the final resting place of Erich Wasserreich and his wife and daughter. Wasserreich was the Hermann Ringel business partner who we think acted dishonorably following Hermann's death in 1938. According to Helga Ruby's memory as recorded by Walter in "The Early Lives of Stan and Helga Ruby," Hermann's business partner made off with funds Hermann had hidden away to finance the Ringel family's escape from Germany.

In my recent review in Berlin of the aryanization files of the Hermann Ringel & Co. business, I saw several pieces of correspondence from shortly after Hermann's death that show Wasserreich attempting to gain sole ownership of the company. A later letter in the file from a Nazi official reports that Wasserreich had since departed Germany for Montevideo. In all the correspondence, Wasserreich's full name is given as Erich Ignatz Wasserreich. 

Now here we see a Chajim Ignacy Wasserreich buried in a Montevideo Jewish cemetery on October 5, 1950. Missing is the given name Erich, but the middle name, cemetery location and age all align perfectly what we know of Hermann's deceitful partner. Wasserreich's wife Else (died 1968) and daughter Eva (died 1994) are buried with him.

It appears that Eva married and she may have left living children. Not that they would bear any responsibility for Wasserreich's suspected dishonesty, but it would be interesting to see how they are getting along in Uruguay.

The burial listing from the Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) is below. 

(Other Surnames)
Date of Death
Date of Birth
/ Age
More Information
Cemetery Name / Section
City / Country

Age: 71 
View Full Burial Record
Cementerio Israelita de La Paz / 
Montevideo / Uruguay

WASSERREICH, Chajim Ignacy
Age: 60 
View Full Burial Record
Cementerio Israelita de La Paz / 
Montevideo / Uruguay

Age: 81 
View Full Burial Record
Cementerio Israelita de La Paz / 
Montevideo / Uruguay

Book excerpt with info on the Wasserreichs

I came across this book excerpt that gives a flavor for the life of the Wasserreich family in Montevideo in the 1940s. The author Eva Ross was born in Austria as Eva Stoessl. The uncle David she describes below had the surname Stossl, which is the married name of Erich Wasserreich's daughter. 

Making a Rose After the Diaspora: An Autobiography

by Eva E. Ross

pp 54-55

On weekends in the summer we would go to the beach; if my uncles picked us up in their car we would go to Carrasco, a nicer and more exclusive beach. We could also take the bus, but they were always terribly crowded and we had to stand the whole way for 30 minutes. Coming back in the evening it was even worse; people would hang like grapes from the bus. Nevertheless, Montevideo was a city where one could live quite well without a lot of money or a car. The transit system was very good, going from east to west and south to north, but often overloaded. One could stay on the beach all day without paying a penny, and food was not expensive.

My uncle David, who had divorced his first wife with whom he had a son, Ernesto, was dating a very pretty young German refugee by the name of Eva Wasserreich, who had come with her parents from Berlin where her father had been a prosperous businessman. New her father was selling butter from door to door! My uncle’s hobby was horseback riding, and with his factory taking off, he was able to afford a car and to join the equestrian club. He taught Eva to ride also and they went riding every weekend in winter, but in summer they loved to go to the beach. As the club was near Carrasco and the best beach happened to be there as well, we sometimes had the opportunity to get a ride in their car to Carrasco.

David and Eva eventually got married and moved into an apartment near her parents. We often had meals together, especially for the Jewish holy days. My uncle would often say to me, a twelve-year-old, “Children should be seen but not heard.” Or, “You keep quiet, you are too young to participate in this discussion.” Such comments did not encourage me to be outgoing. 

Video: At Weissensee, graves in the overgrowth

Found! Hermann Ringel’s sister Betty Twiasschor

Until now, we didn't have much information about Hermann Ringel's sister Betty. We knew about Rosa Ringel Shatner, the mother of Zeev, who died with her daughter Margot after a roundup in Belgrade. We knew Betty had two daughters, Edith and Gena, who later lived in London. 

Today I was searching in the Yad Vashem database in order to mention it in my article, Searching on Ringel and Rzeszow, the eleven matching records included one name, Zierel Apfelbaum, that was familiar to me, and another, Betty Twiasschlor, that just seemed weird. I checked up on Zierel and saw she was a daughter of Schija Ringel's brother Judah, thus Hermann's first cousin. She also came to Berlin and married Josef Apfelbaum. She was deported from Berlin 9/27/1942 and perished at Auschwitz.

At first I paid no attention to Betty with the funny last name, but when I idly clicked through the detailed information I saw that her maiden name was Ringel and she was born in Rzeszow in 1880. There are actually two records about her in the YV database with slightly different information about her date and place of death. I will copy both records in full below. 

So then I started looking in Ancestry and JewishGen to see what I could find out about a Betty Twiasschor in Berlin. Well, there was another Twiasschor family in Berlin (the name goes back to several towns in east Galicia/Ukraine), so that made the search slightly difficult. This other Twiasschor was in business and had phone and address listings in many directories. He and his wife were also deported and their family sponsored a Stolpersteine for them, so most of the Google hits are about that. 

However, several of the directories had an address for another Twiasschor resident, possibly a widow, at an address on Lothringerstrasse that looked familiar. I checked and confirmed that it was indeed the same building as one of Hermann Ringel's old addresses. Several other directory listings had tantalizing bits. One listing was for the Geschwister Twiasschor, meaning siblings. Another listed Fanny Twiasschor, geboren Ringel, as the occupant. (I don't know if Fanny was another name for Betty or if that is someone else, but the name sure rings a bell.)

I didn't see anything about an Edith or Gina at first, but then this 1945 item in Die Aufbau showed up. The Aufbau was the German language Jewish paper that published lists of victims and survivors after the war. It also covered happier news, such as this paid announcement of the engagement of Edith Twiasshor and Rudi Krausz in London. I am not sure what "fly" means, but it seems to suggest the bride came originally from Berlin and the groom from Vienna. 

I am pretty sure this must be Helga's cousin Edith. I don't know if she was still married to Herr Krausz when we visited Edith and her sister for tea in 1961. I had the impression they were both unmarried but what did I know? 

Other than the Aufbau item, there wasn't any other information I could find about Edith or Gena. But now we have their birth surname and have learned of their mother's fate. Both of Hermann's sisters were killed in extermination camps. 

See the detailed info about Betty below. 

  Deportations from Berlin Murdered Jews from Germany
Last Name Twiasschor Twiaschor
First Name Betty Betty
Maiden Name Ringel Ringel
Gender Female Female
Date of Birth 03/05/1882 03/05/1882
Place of Birth Rzeszow,Rzeszow,Lwow,Poland Rzeszow,Rzeszow,Lwow,Poland
Citizenship Germany  
Permanent Place of Residence Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany
Place during the War Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany
Origin of Deportation Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,
Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany
Destination of Deportation Sobibor,Extermination Camp,Poland Eastern Europe
Place of Death   Majdanek,Camp,Poland
Deporation Date and Details 13/06/1942 Transport from Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany to Warszawa,Ghetto,Poland on 14/04/1942
Status according to Source murdered missing
Source List of Jewish victims from the Memorial book "Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933 - 1945" prepared by the German Federal Archives Source Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Nazionalsozialismus, Freie Universität Berlin, Zentralinstitut für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1995 (Memorial Book of the Jewish victims of National Socialism in Berlin, Free University of Berlin)
Type of material List of murdered Jews from Germany List of deportation from Berlin
Item ID 11647578 4137642


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