The Ringels in Berlin—time of prosperity

Betty Twiasschor was apparently separated from her husband Pinkas

Back in Berlin after getting married in London, Betty and Pinkas produced two daughters, Edith and Geena, in the following years, let's say before 1920. I have not found their birth records and there are not any residence records for the family in those years. The next time Betty shows up it is in a 1926 address book and she is  living at 54 Lothringer, apparently without Pinkas. 

In my experience with German address books it is usually the husband's name that is listed. When a women is the head of household, she is listed under her married name with her maiden name identified. That's how Betty's listings read: Betty Twiasschor, geboren Ringel. She is in the directory in 1926, 1929, 1931 [recheck these] that I have found so far. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the address is an apartment adjacent to another one where her sister Rosa lived with her two children. Later Rosa moved to the Tiergarten district, but they shared a floor of an apartment building for at least five years, maybe more. 

I lose track of Pinkas through these years but he shows up again rather dramatically in 1944, when he is among the passengers on a celebrated refugee ship that came to the United States, and who were held for nine months at a military base in Oswego NY. The ship had refugees from various locations. Pinkas Twiasschor came from a intern camp in Italy, where he had been a prisoner. The plight of the refugees was the subject of a Congressional investigation and a 1983 best-selling book, Haven, by Ruth Gruber.

The image shows Pinkas registering for the U.S. military while in the Fort Ontario refugee camp. Later, he re-enters the United States at Niagara, New York, and becomes a legal U.S. immigrant.

So what was the deal with Betty's marriage to Pinkas? Am I reading too much into the address listing? Maybe they stayed together until he was possibly forceably expelled from the country in the so-called Polen-aktion of October 28, 1938. That is exactly what happened to his brother-in-law Israel Goldstein, who, on grounds of his Polish birth, was separated from his family on that day in Berlin, transported to the Polish border and forced to leave German territory. 

I learned all about his experience, and what happened next to Israel and Dina Goldstein, at a wonderful site that tells the stories behind Berlin's memorial "stumbling stones," or Stoperstine. Read on.

The missing husbands of the Ringel sisters are now accounted for

Yesterday I wrote that I had not yet learned the histories of the two husbands of Hermann Ringel's sisters Rosa and Pessel (known as Betty). That was so yesterday.

I woke up this morning to email from Rodney who had already seen that and had done a little digging of his own. He also pointed out that I was in error yesterday when I wrote that only the front of the Ringel-Wohlgemuth marriage record was available. He found the back and sent it along, showing that the two marriage witnesses were Isaak Wohlgemuth and the merchant Martin Horowicz, who lived at Lothringer Straße 14. 

Anyway, about the husbands, Rodney had found a 1920 death certificate for David Schattner and a 1911 marriage record for Pessel Ringel and Pinkas Twiasschor. Neither record was straightforward. Schattner actually died in May 1917, apparently a military casualty of the First World War, but his death was not officially recorded until three years later. The Ringel-Twiasschor nuptual did not take place in Berlin as would be expected, but in a district of London, for some reason yet to be discovered. 

Thanks, Rodney. I surely would have found these records on my own at some point, but it is always nice to have a boost. The London business seemed especially odd. I brewed a pot of coffee and got to work. 

The David Schattner information was perfectly easy to confirm, though the circumstances of the military battle in which he was felled are yet to be ascertained. The record, shown here, says the place of death was Pecs, Hungary, which would have been behind the lines of battle on the Balkan front of the war. Perhaps he was wounded in battle and evacuated to Pecs, where he died. The reporting snafu was unfortunate, but possibly understandable with the confusion of war. Presumably, Rosa received notification of his death in a more timely way. Also, I expect she received a government pension after that. 

As Walter pointed out when I told him this morning, it means that Helga's cousin Wolfie, later the Israeli Ze'ev Sharon, who was born in 1913, grew up without a father. More to reflect and ponder on that in the future. Now, it on to the Twiasschor situation, which I'll cover in the next post. 


There was a second Ringel son, Solomon, who did not survive

After all the other Ringel news, this item seems anticlimactic, but it is nevertheless significant that Schija and Feigl Ringel had a fourth child. Salomon Ringel was born on April 15, 1893, and he died on December 18 of the same year. His birth and death records are among the new Ringel vital records that have become available recently from the Berlin Landesarchiv. You have to wonder how the death of a young son affected the Ringel parents and their other children. Hermann was five years old at the time, the sisters a few years older.

It is interesting to think that Helga, who only had aunts, would also have had an uncle if young Salomon had survived.. 

The Ringel sisters and their children lived in adjacent apartments on Lothringerstraße

We already knew that Betty Twiasschor and her two daughters Edith and Gina were living at Hermann's old address at Lothringerstraße 4A in the late 1920s and early '30s. Today we discover from Berlin address directories that Betty's sister Rosa Schattner and her children Margot and Wolfie (Zeev) lived in 1929 and 1930 at Lotheringerstraße 4B. 

Both sisters were evidently widowed already by 1929. (I have yet to learn the histories of their two husbands.) Hermann lived there himself before his marriage, which we now know was in the spring of 1922. Their mother Fanny Ringel had lived there too until her death the year before. I'm thinking that Hermann held on to the property and later set up his sisters there where they were each widowed.  

Actually there is a slight anamoly with the address. In the earlier records, it is recorded as I have shown. In the later telephone directory records, the address is given as Lotheringstraße 54-4a and Lotheringstraße 54-4b. I think it is the same place but that the number 54 was added to the address some time in the mid-1920s. Also, the 4a and 4b seem to suggest adjacent apartments on the fourth floor.

I didn't know about the 54 business when I tried to find the place when I was in Berlin in 2018. Lothringerstraße had been renamed to Torstraße after the war, and it is a major avenue on the north border of the old Scheunenviertel district. At the time, I couldn't find a good candidate for No. 4, but when I look now on Apple and Google Maps, I see that Torstraße 54 is right at the place where Rosa Luxembourg Straße and Alte Schonhauser Straße come together, which was perfectly located close to Hermann's several places of business.

Mostly there are new buildings at that busy intersection today, but the image above from Google Street View shows a building at Torstraße 56 that looks like it could go back to the 1920s or before. Could that be similar to the building, or the exact right one, where our Ringels lived in two apartments on the top floor?


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