Wohlgemuths of Koenigsberg

Bette Wohlgemuth's maiden name

This was an unexpected small step forward. The death record for Elly Ringel lists her mother Bette Wohlgemuth's maiden name as Katz. Bette was the one in Walter's narrative who kisses Elly and Helga goodbye at the Berlin train station, never to see them again.

Wolgemuth-Spektor connection?

One more quickie and then I have to get back to work. While we're waiting for Walter's trip report, I'll pass on this tidbit he shared with me by phone from Vilnius. While researching Rabbi Spektor in Kaunus, he learned of yet another person who claimed to be a descendant. That in itself is not surprising, but the kicker is that this gentleman's last name is Wolgemuth, which is also the maiden surname of our grandmother Elly on Helga's side of the family.

Wohlgemuths and Spektors

Ugh! Down with the flu and/or severe jetlag, so am taking it easy today. Let me use this opportunity to clarify some of what Tanya and I learned, starting with the Wolgemuth-Spektor connection. In fact, Eli Wohlgemuth of Montreal did NOT claim that the two families were related. Rather, he said that his great-great grandfather, Rabbi Yishai Wohlgamuth (the name, by the way, means 'good natured' in German) (1809-1898), the chief rabbi of Memel from 1836-1881, was a good friend of our great-great-great grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Spektor, the rabbi or Gaon of Kovno (Kaunus).

A Few Things Are Illuminated...

This is the first draft of a piece I expect will show up soon in the New York Jewish media--probably in shortened form. I thought I'll put the full version up here first.

A FEW THINGS ARE ILLUMINATED: A WILD AND CRAZY ROOTS TRIP TO THE OLD COUNTRY

By Walter Ruby

“Searching for family roots is like snorting crack cocaine. The rush it gives will hook you for the rest of your life.”

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