The Family of Simon & Emma (née Gassenheimer) MARCUS

Emma.Simon WEDDINGIn 1888, 25-year-old Emma Gassenheimer of Themar, the eldest daughter of Samuel and Charlotte Gassenheimer, married 27-year old Simon Marcus.

Simon was the only son of Meyer Markus — spelled with a ‘k’ — and his second wife, Mina (née Liepmann), and the youngest of six children (although two may have died in infancy). Born in 1861, he grew up with at least three step-siblings from his father’s first marriage to Berta Blumenthal: Therese, b. abt 1849, Hannchen b. and x f.

Simon was born in Gross Schulzendorf, a village of some 500 residents about 30 km south of Berlin. The Markus family, however, lived in Mittenwalde, a town of about 3,000 residents, of whom 28 were Jews. Meyer Markus died in Mittenwalde in 1902; we do not know about his wife.

Simon Marcus Soldbuch-1Simon served in the army in 1881 and 1882 and his family preserved both his Soldbuch or Paybook (at right) and his Schiessbuch, a record of the shooting instruction he received. They tell us that Simon had changed the spelling of his last name from a ‘k’ to a ‘c’ although confusions clearly arose.

How and when Emma and Simon met is not known, but they were married and formed a family in Dessau in the 1890s — Paul, b. 1891, Siegfried, b. 1893 and Erich, b. 1896. Paul and Siegfried completed their High School graduation/Abitur at the  Friedrichs-Gymnasium in Dessau in 1912.

The Marcus Boys-websiteVarious Marcus men fought in World War I. Simon Marcus’s cousin, Max, lost his life in the war on 17 March 1916. Emma and Simon’s three sons fought and returned home; the youngest, Erich, was wounded. In 1915, mother Emma acquired a Travel Pass that allowed her to travel within Germany for a two-year period starting July 1915. Given the wartime circumstances, she could not travel is designated no-go zones.

The Travel Pass was issued by the Halle an der Saale police authority and indication that Simon and Emma had moved from Dessau to Halle a/d Salle by then.

Emma Marcus AusweisThe 1916 Halle Adressbuch of 1916 is the first to have an entry for Simon Marcus. {The other Marcus listing is that of Max Marcus, Simon’s cousin, who was killed on 17 March 1916 in the First World War.]

Other members of Emma’s family already lived in Halle, including younger sisters Minna Frankenberg, b. 1872, and Elise Ney, b. 1876; and  brother Georg, b. 1874, with his wife, Selma (née Schwab), and their daughter, Ruth, b. 1904 in Halle.1916 Halle AB Marcus

Simon & Emma Marcus both died in Halle a/d Salle  — Simon in 1925 and Emma in 1932 — just as their sons were marrying and forming their own families. Paul Marcus became a medical doctor; Siegfried, a lawyer; and Erich took over the family business. The three brothers married and two of them formed families: Paul and Hertha (née Loeb) Marcus had a daughter, and Siegfried and Emma (née Becker) Marcus had three sons.

emma 1932 (1)flores

 


Emma Gassenheimer Grab

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The Nazi Regime immediately threatened the lives and welfare of the Marcus families in Halle. The boycott of 1 April 1933 not only targeted Jewish businesses but also the practices of doctors and lawyers. The three sons were all able to leave Germany and two, Paul and Siegfried, escaped before the terrible events of the 1938 November Pogrom. Paul and his family left in 1938 for Montevideo, Uruguay. Siegfried left Germany alone in October 1938 and initially entered the United States with a temporary status; after some to-ing and fro-ing (see ‘Siegfried Marcus’), he obtained permission to immigrate into the United States on a permanent basis in 1941. Unfortunately, however, Siegfried’s family was only able to join him ten years later. Erich and his wife, Karola, immigrated into the States in April 1939.

Simon’s and Emma’s sons died in the 1960s and 1970s, but their children have established themselves in the countries which gave their fathers refuge: Uruguay and the United States. It is the grandchildren who have provided the information and images on this page. In fact, until they contacted us in June 2014, we did not know that there was an Emma Gassenheimer, the eldest daughter of Samuel and Lotte Gassenheimer. The City of Themar archives hold no trace of Emma, nor do the usual resources about Thüringen’s Jews such as the Siegfried Wolf database, Juden in Thüringen 1933-1945: Biographische Daten, 2000.

Simon’s history is more challenging to reassemble: Simon’s Pay Book from the Prussian Army in the early 1880s confirms his place of birth as Gross Schulzendorf, a village of 500 residents about 30 km south of Berlin. Then a 1938 document confirming Simon Marcus’s birth, signed by the Registrar of Zossen, adds another valuable piece of information, the name of Simon’s mother, Mina Liepmann. Seventy-five years after the document was issue, this piece of paper has provided Mina Liepmann’s great grandchildren with an important piece of the puzzle.

See the Nackommenliste/Descendants List of Samuel & Lotte (née Stein) Gassenheimer for Emma’s family.

Below is the Nachkommenliste/Descendants List for Lewie & Hize MARKUS, Simon’s grandfather and grandmother. The Marcus grandchildren would welcome learning more about the family. Should anyone reading this page have additional information, please contact s.meen79@gmail.com. We would be pleased to hear from you.

  • Lewie MARKUS, b. abt 1790, d. 12 Oct 1871 Budzyn
  • ∞ 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
  •                4. Rudi? MARKUS
  •      2. unnamed MARKUS, b. abt 1859
  •      2. unnamed MARKUS, b. abt 1860
  •  ∞ (2) Mina LIEPMANN
  •      2. Simon MARCUS,*  b. 14 Jun 1861 Mittenwalde, m. 1888, 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 Uruguay
  •           ∞ Hertha LOEB, b. 13 Jan 1906 Neuwied, d. 04 Jun 1994 1961 Uruguay
  •                4. MARCUS
  •                4. Renate MARCUS, b. 08 May 1935, d. Jun 1937
  •           3. Siegfried MARCUS, b. 03 Jun 1893 Dessau, d. 29 Apr 1979 NY
  •           ∞ Emma 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

* Simon Marcus spelled his name with a ‘c’ — Marcus. His older brother, Max retained the ‘k’.

Sources:
Many thanks to Dr. Bernd Ulbrich, who shares whatever traces are to be found in the resources of his city, Dessau, of families with connections to Themar.  Although few in number, the items provide us with important detail about the lives of the Marcuses in Dessau — first, a mention in the Jewish newspaper for Dessau, the Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt für Anhalt und Umgegend, Dessau, 28. Oktober 1932, of Emma Marcus’s (née Gassenheimer) death in Halle an der Saale. Dr. Ulbrich also provided the information about Paul & Siegfried and their Abiturs.

 

We wish to thank once again the members of the Marcus family for sharing their knowledge and memories with us. The picture below was taken in 1967 and members of several Gassenheimer families, not just the Marcus family, were present.

 

From Left to Right: Siegfried Marcus, Christa Marcus, Erich Marcus, Herbert Friedman , Lotte Friedman , Dieter Marcus , Peter Marcus , Emma Marcus
(Siegfried and Erich are brothers, Emma Marcus née Becker is the wife of Siegfried, Lotte is also known as Ruth Friedman née Gassenheimer (the daughter of Georg and Selma (née Schwab) Gassenheimer, Dieter and Peter are sons of Siegfried and Christa Marcus née Werner is the wife of Dieter)