The Rothschilds of Vöhl
Vöhl, in the state of Hesse in Germany, is a small, picturesque village. For nearly 300 years it was home to a thriving Jewish community. Both Jew and Gentile worked side-by-side, joined the same organizations, and coexisted without animosity. All of that changed under the Nazi regime. Many of the Jewish residents were able to emigrate to other, safer countries. Many were not. And on 5 September 1942, the last three Jews — Selma Rothschild, Johanna Frankenthal, and Rickchen Katzenstein — were deported to the Thersienstadt Ghetto. There are currently no Jews living in Vöhl.
Through nothing short of a miracle, the erstwhile synagogue survived! Shortly before the pogrom of November 9/10th of 1938, known as Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass”, Alfred Ascher Rothschild, acting on behalf of the Jewish Community Board, sold the building to a newly-arrived Gentile family. The Star of David rose window was removed, leaving the building to look like every other half-timber-framed building in town. It remained a residence for many years. In 1999, the building went up for sale. Kurt-Willi Julius, Karl-Heinz Stadtler, and a handful of others sought to preserve and restore it. They formed a club, received funding from the city, purchased the building, and set about the loving and time-consuming task of restoring it. A website was created — synagoge-voehl.de — and the restoration of the synagogue is well-documented there.
I stumbled across the website around 2003 or 2004, began emailing with Kurt-Willi and Karl-Heinz, trying to find a connection between my g-grandfather. It took until 2017 to find that connection, and since then my research has exploded! My sincere, heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Karl-Heinz Sadtler and the Förderkreis Synagoge in Vöhl, ev, for all of the hard work they’ve put into restoring the synagogue and using the website as a valuable source of information for the descendants of all the Jews of Vöhl.
With this blog, I hope to share the information about the various members of the family tree, to describe how certain pieces of information were discovered, and to explain how conclusions were reached. Unless otherwise indicated, the source of the information comes from http://www.synagoge-voehl.de. To understand why I started this blog and my connection to the Rothschilds of Vöhl, see the page “About the Blog“
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