Rosa Wohlemuth was an art dealer

Rosa Wohlemuth was an art dealer

Besides the death record, Ancestry was suggesting two other records of interest about Rosalie or Rose Wohlgemuth, and I found them at first to be unlikely. They were two ship manifests, one in 1883 and another in 1924, for voyages to America.

The second one, when she would have been 59 years old, had her name as Rose and gave an exactly correct birth date. It also included the unusual detail that her occupation was "Malerin," or painter. 

For the earlier passage when she would have been just 20 years old, only a birth year is given. Her name was Rosalie and her destination was Baltimore. 

I had never heard anything about any Wohlgemuth family members coming to America before the dislocations of the 1930s and '40s, so I tended to discount the possibility that our small-town Prussian girl might have been traveling the world at age 20, or that she might have later had a career as a painter or something related to painting.

But I did some more digging. First off, there are some painters and artists named Wohlgemuth, including a famous etcher from Dürer's day. But I found no trace of any artistic Rosa Wohlgemuth. 

Looking for Wohlgemuth listings in Ancestry's Berlin phone directory collection, there are quite a few Rose or Rosa or Rosalie Wohlgemuths. Viewing these with Ancestry's automatic German translation turned on results in some amusing search results. Wohlgemuth is variously rendered as good mood, cheerful or well being. Rosa in German means pink, so you need to watch for listings like Pink Well-Being. 

There is a residential address on Bambergerstrasse in the Bayerischeviertel that makes good sense, in an area populated by affluent German Jews. Rosa's sister-in-law Betty Katz, Isaac's widow, with whom she must have been close, lived nearby. 

That's speculative though. The business listing, however, is at the same address on Kantstrasse that is given on the death record. And, get this, the business is described as an "intermediator in paintings," seemingly some kind of art dealer. So maybe she was not a painter herself but was in business as a dealer or broker. 

Between the address confirmation and the painting connection, I am now convinced that this is our Tante Rosa. She seems to have lived a full and interesting life, and she died just before the worst of it, a few months before they began deporting Jews from Berlin.