What We Know:
Birth Name: Marcus
First Name: Simon
Date/Place of Birth: 04 Jan 1861 Groß Schulzendorf
Date/Place of Death: 22 Nov 1925 Halle a.d. Salle
Age at Death: 64 years
Connection to Themar: Husband of Emma Gassenheimer Son-in-law to Samuel & Lotte (née Stein) Gassenheimer/
In 1888, Simon Marcus married Emma Gassenheimer, the eldest daughter of Samuel & Lotte (née Stein) Gassenheimer and also the oldest child living in Germany. Emma’s two younger brothers, twin Simon and younger brother Bernhard, had left for America in the 1880s. Her twin Simon married in 1883 but there is no evidence that he returned to Themar with his new wife. Simon therefore was Samuel & Lotte Gassenheimer’s first in-law in Germany. Lotte Gassenheimer, however, died in February 1889 and thus did not live long enough to know her grandchildren; Samuel Gassenheimer would have known Simon for several years and greeted Paul Marcus upon his birth in 1891 but his death in April 1892 meant that the Marcus children grew up without maternal Gassenheimer grandparents.
We know some details about Simon Marcus thanks to the careful preservation of records by his grand- and great-grand children. For example, we have the photograph (see below) of Simon’s grandparents, Lewie and Hizie (née Wolf) Markus, from some time in the late 1800s. We also have the outline of the descendants of Lewie and Hizie that provide context to Simon’s background. At the right is his birth certificate that one of his sons acquired as part of the process of leaving Germany in the late 1930s. It tells us that, “on 4 July 1861, in the town of Groß Schulzendorf, a boy called Simon Marcus was born to Mine Liepmann, the wife of trader Meier Marcus.”
Simon was the only son of Meyer and Mina, who was his second wife. But he grew up with at least three step-siblings from his father’s first marriage to Berta Blumenthal: Therese, b. abt 1849, Hannchen b. 1856 and Lipmann, b. 1858 (The family knows that there two other births in 1859 and 1860 but no further details, suggesting that the children died in infancy). The Markus family lived in Mittenwalde, a town of about 3,000 residents, of whom 28 were Jews.
In the early 1880s, Simon did his military service as a musketeer. Once again, the family treasures include two intriguing documents: Simon’s Soldbuch/Pay Book and his Schiessbuch, the record of his instruction in shooting from 1 October 1882 until 30 September 1883. The two photo galleries below — click on the cover pages to access — let you walk through the pages of each document.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”18″ gal_title=”Simon Marcus Documents”]
We have only glimpses of Simon’s family in the late 1800s/early 1900s. We know that his father and two sisters died in the early 1900s: his father and his sister Hannchen in Chicago both died in 1902; sister Therese died in 1904 in Dessau. Simon’s cousin, Max Markus, one year older, was killed in WWI in March 1916. We have this one trace of the connection between the two families, a postcard sent by Lipmann Marcus, his wife and son Max in 1909 from Dessau to Simon in the small nearby town of Ballenstedt:
26 March 1909
Thank you for your loving greetings. I have been back from my travels for several days and had a very good time with our children. Otherwise, everything is as usual here.
With the warmest wishes from us all, Your sister-in-law F. . .
On top of postcard: “Best wishes, Max”
Best wishes Lipmann
Simon Marcus died in November 1925 — the occasion of his funeral resulted in the memorable photograph of the children of Samuel & Lotte Gassenheimer of Themar.
Below is the Nachkommenliste/Descendants List for Lewie & Hize MARKUS, Simon’s grandfather and grandmother.
The photograph at the right is of Lewie & Hize (née Wolff) Markus — spelled with a ‘k’ — and must have been taken in the 1860s. The text on the reverse side of the photo gives us Lewie’s approximate birth date and specific death date & place but only Hize’s name. The text at the bottom says “Great grand-parents of Erich Marcus [spelled with a ‘c’, born 4.3.1896 Dessau.” Erich’s nephew, Dieter Marcus, has shared this treasure plus the others on this page with us.
The Marcus grandchildren would welcome learning more about the family. Should anyone reading this page have additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be pleased to hear from you.
- Lewie MARKUS, b. abt 1790, d. 12 Oct 1871 Budzyn/Poland
- ∞ Hize WOLFF
- 1. Meyer MARKUS, b. 1819, d. 29 Mar 1902 Mittenwalde
- ∞ (1) Berta BLUMENTHAL (m. abt 1848)
- 2. Therese MARKUS, b. abt 1849 Mittenwalde, d. 03 Nov 1904 Dessau
- ∞ COHN
- 2. Hannchen MARKUS, b. 1856, d. Chicago abt 1902
- 2. Lipmann MARKUS, b. 1858, d. [Dessau]
- ∞ Wife/unknown name
- 3. Daughter MARCUS,
- 3. Max MARKUS, b. 26 Feb 1880 Dessau, d. 17 Mar 1916 World War I
- ∞ Wife/unknown name
- 2. unnamed MARKUS, b. abt 1859
- 2. unnamed MARKUS, b. abt 1860
- ∞ (2) Mina LIEPMANN May 1935 Halle a.d. Salle, d. June 1937 Halle a.d. Salle
- 2. Simon MARCUS,* b. 04 Jun 1861 Groß Schulzendorf, d. 22 Nov 1925 Halle a.d. Saale
- ∞ Emma GASSENHEIMER, b. 16 April 1863 Bibra/Themar, d. 15 Oct 1932 Halle a.d. Saale
- 3. Paul MARCUS, b. 1891 Dessau, d. 17 Jan 1961 Urugua
- ∞ Hertha LOEB, b. 13 Jan 1906 Neuwied, d. 04 Jun 1994 Uruguay
- 4. Renate MARCUS, b. 08
- 3. Siegfried MARCUS, b. 03 Jun 1893 Dessau, d. 29 Apr 1979 NY
- ∞ Emmi BECKER, b. 16 April 1904 Halle a.d. Saale, d. 05 Sept 1974 NY
- 4. Erich MARCUS, b. 01 Jun 1927 Halle a.d. Saale, d. 25 Jun 1998 W. Virginia
- 4. Dieter MARCUS, b. 21 May 1932 Halle a.d. Saale
- 4. Peter MARCUS, b. 02 Nov 1936 Halle a.d. Saale
- 3. Erich MARCUS, b. 04 Mar 1896 Dessau, d. 22 Mar 1975 NY
- ∞ Karola MENDEL, b. 12 Aug 1907 Halle a. d. Saale, d. 19 July 2002 NY