What we Know:
Birth Name: Katz
First Name: Abraham/Adolf
Date/Place of Birth: 16 November 1862/Bibra, Sachsen-Meiningen
Date/Place of Death: 15 November 1935/Meiningen, Thüringen
Age at Death: 72 years
Years in Themar: at least 15 years, 1888-1903.
Adolf Katz’s roots were in a large family from the village of Bibra, His great-great grandparents, Abraham & Paule Katz, were living in Bibra in the late 1700s when a son, Joseph (Adolf’s grandfather), was born in 1790. By the early 1800s, Abraham & Paule had a family of four children: Joseph, b. 1790, Siesse, b. 1796, Mendel, b. 1799, and Abraham, b. 1802.
These four children in turn formed families: the work done to date on the Descendants List of Abraham & Paule identifies about 150 members of the Katz family born in Germany before 1945. Many remained as part of the large Jewish community of Bibra: in 1833, about one-fifth (104=20%) of Bibra’s total population was Jewish; this proportion remained constant through to 1885 (134 Jews in a total population of 663)
In 1812, Joseph Katz, Adolf’s grandfather, married a woman named Elka, a name that would not repeat itself in the family cycle of naming until Adolf and Meta named one of their daughters Elka in 1890. According to the Bibra Birth Register, Joseph and Elka had five children; the youngest, Ludwig b. 1832, was the father of Adolf.
In January 1862, Ludwig Katz married Hannchen (née Stoll); Adolf was their first child, followed by two daughters in 1864 and 1866. Hannchen died in 1869, and Ludwig then married Esther (née Stoll), who was probably a cousin of Hannchen. Ludwig and Esther had four children but only two — Julius, b. 1872, and Max, b. 1876 — survived infancy.
Ludwig Katz was a leader of the Jewish community of Bibra. He and Esther remained in Bibra until their deaths, Ludwig in 1902 and Esther in 1908.
Of Ludwig’s five children, we only have traces of the three sons — Adolf, Julius, and Max. Two of the brothers left Bibra: Adolf, the eldest, who is the link to Themar, and Max, the youngest who moved to Erfurt. We do know that Adolf and his wife, Meta Schwab, who was born in Rimpar in 1859, were in Themar in the late 1880s; Themar Birth Register records a birth in September 1888. Adolf and Meta remained in Themar for over a decade, although we have few hints of their presence there — an occasional advertisement in the local newspaper, Zeitung für Themar, tells us what products Adolf sold — in the ad above it is material to make shirts/Hemden and bedding/Bettbarchent. But the ads do not give an address nor do others.
Max Katz also left Bibra, moving first to Meiningen. In 1907 he married Hannah Wallmann, b. 1883 in Berenburg. Their first child, Ludwig, was born in Meiningen in 1908; in 1912, they moved to Erfurt, where a daughter, Elisa, was born in 1913. In April 1930, Ludwig Katz travelled to the United States; whether he stayed or not is as yet unknown. Elisa Katz became a nursery-school teacher in Erfurt.
Since the information about Julius Katz requires further clarification, we shall postpone providing any for another day.
In January 1933, when the Nazi Regime began, the families of all three brothers were in Germany. Adolf and Meta Katz died in 1935 and 1937 respectively and the story of their children is told in the previous page.
Max Katz, the youngest brother, was able to flee the Nazi horror; he, his wife, and his daughter, Lisa, were able to leave for Shanghai in May 1939. Max died in Shanghai in February 1942. At the end of the war in the Pacific, Lisa Katz moved to Australia to join her second husband, Eugen Gumpert. They in turn sponsored the immigration of Hannah Katz, Max’s widow, into Australia in 1948.
The Descendants List below is of the family of Ludwig Katz, son of Abraham & Paule Katz.
- Ludwig Lazarus KATZ, b. 01 May 1832 Bibra/Grabfeld, d. 12 Sep 1902 Bibra/Grabfeld
- ∞ (1) Hannchen STOLL, b. abt 1835, m. 07 Jan 1862, d. 1869
- 1. Adolf KATZ, b. 16 Nov 1862 Bibra, d. 15 Nov 1935 Meiningen, m. 1887
- ∞ Meta SCHWAB, b. 17 Nov 1859 Rimpar, d. 18 May 1937 Meiningen (Note 1)
- 2. Hedwig KATZ, b. 15 Sep 1888 Themar, d. 27 Sep 1888 Themar
- 2. Martha KATZ, b. 18 July 1889 Themar, murdered Minsk Ghetto
- ∞ HAHN
- 2. Elka KATZ, b. 16 July 1890 Themar, dep. 13 June 1942 to Warsaw Ghetto
- ∞ Berthold GOUDSMID, b. abt 1878, d. abt 1933 Dessau
- 3. Ruth GOUDSMID, b. 28 May 1922 Dessau, murdered Sobibor
- 2. Hugo KATZ, b. 20 Sep 1891 Themar
- 2. Bettina KATZ, b. 30 Nov 1892 Themar, d. May/June 1939 Dessau (suicide)
- 2. Josef KATZ, b. 27 Dec 1893 Themar, dep. 10 Aug 1942 from Drancy/France to Auschwitz
- 2. Max KATZ, b. 17 Feb 1895 Themar, d. 20 Aug 1895 Themar
- 2. Siegfried KATZ, b. 22 Jan 1896 Themar, d. Jun 1896 Themar
- 2. Erich KATZ, b. 16 June 1898 Themar
- 2. Walter KATZ, b. 31 Mar 1900 Themar
- 2. Irma KATZ, b. 30 May 1903 Themar, murdered 09 Jul 1943 Sobibor
- ∞ Berthold Maurits ZUIKERBERG, b. 26 Feb 1877 Winschoten/Holland, murdered 09 Jul 1943 Sobibor
- 1. Emlie KATZ, b. 30 Oct 1864 Bibra/Grabfeld
- 1. Ernestine KATZ, b. 24 Oct 1866 Bibra/Grabfeld
- ∞ (2) Esther STOLL, b. 10 Dec 1843, d. 25 Jun 1908
- 1. Hulda KATZ, b. 18 Mar 1870 Bibra/Grabfeld, d. 17 Dec 1870 Bibra/Grabfeld
- 1. Julius KATZ, b. 03 Feb 1872 Bibra/Grabfeld
- 1. Victor KATZ, b. 17 Nov 1873 Bibra/Grabfeld, d. 23 Mar 1875 Bibra/Grabfeld
- 1. Max KATZ, b. 19 Apr 1876 Bibra, m. 1907, to Shanghai 1939, d. 16 Feb 1942 Shanghai
- ∞ Hannah WALLMANN, b. 01 July 1883, Bernburg/AS, to Shanghai 1939, to Australia 1948
- 2. Ludwig KATZ, b. 12 Aug 1908 Meiningen, to USA 09 Apr 1930
- 2. Elisa/Lisa KATZ, b. 24 Jan 1913, Erfurt, to Shanghai 1939, to Australia 1947
- ∞ (1) Jakob ASCHENDORF
- ∞ (2) Eugen GUMPERT
We wish to thank Mr. D. Sichel who has made his research in the Bibra Birth-Marriage-Death Registers available to other researchers through postings to the geni.com website.
Note: 1. re: Meta Schwab: The information that we presently have about Meta Schwab comes from the Family Register in the Themar Matrikel records, and the entry in the Siegfried Wolf data (Juden in Südthüringen: Biographischen Daten 1933-1945) compiled in the 1990s from available records, mostly in the former DDR, after the Wall fell. In December 2015, we received an email providing information about the Schwab family of Rimpar and identifying three possibilities in the Index of the Jewish Register of Rimpar. However, the Schwab female born in 1859 is identified as “Merle” not “Meta,” so we’re unable to confirm parents or siblings at this time.
Ancestry.com, online Datenbank
Das Bundesarchiv. Gedenkbuch: Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945 (online).
Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands.
Grossert, Werner. Geschichte Der Dessauer Juden: Verfolgung, Vertreibung, Deportation, 1933-1945. 2004.
Jüdische Gemeinde Themar (Kr. Hildburghausen). Matrikel 1820-1938, Koblenz: Bundesarchiv 1958
Staatsarchiv Thüringen Meiningen. Geburtsregister jüdischer Gemeinde Themar 1876-1937.
Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, courtesy Dr. Ulbrich
Stamboden von Nederlands Joodse families
Werkstatt Gedenkkultur in Dessau-Roßlau, STOLPERSTEINE für Dessau-Roßlau: Ein Beitrag zur lokalen Gedenkkultur, Broschüre. Dezember 2008
Wolf, Siegfried. Juden in Thüringen 1933-1945: Biographische Daten. Band 1. 2000.
Yad Vashem. The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names (online)