Bela ROSENTHAL / Berlin, Germany / Theresienstadt

bela1 bela1a bela2 Surname: ROSENTHAL
Name: BELA
Birth Date: August 17th 1942
Birth Place: BERLIN, GERMANY
Father Siegfried Rosenthal born April 2nd 1896 Meseritz (now Mezhirichi, Ukraine)
Murdered in Auschwitz March 4th 1943
Mother’s Name: Else Rosenthal nee Schallmach born Dec 24th 1902 in Posen (now Poznan, Poland)
Murdered in Theresienstadt on May 31st 1944

BELA’S STORY
My mother and father met in Berlin in 1941 and got married there on November 13th 1941. I was born on August 17th 1942 in Berlin.
But our family life did not go on for long. My father was deported to Auschwitz were he was murdered in March 1943 and my mother and I were sent to Theresienstadt where my mother died in May 1944.
I, thanks to unknown heroes, survived and was brought to England after the war and later adopted.
As long as I remember I wanted to know about my lost biological family.
My first success (mixed with the sadness I found out about this after her death) was finding that I had a maternal aunt named Selma who had survived and lived in Germany where she died in the 1980’s.

But till this year, 2005, I had no Rosenthal relatives. Then my unknown first cousin in Haifa found me after checking his uncle’s name in Yad Vashem’s database. From the Page of Testimony he realized that his uncle whom he had last seen in March 1941 in Berlin before his family escaped to South America, had later become the father of a daughter and that this daughter had survived the Holocaust. That was of course me.
We have now met, and it is wonderful to have relatives. Through my Israeli cousin I have also found my Australian relatives whom I will meet later this year. It is a real miracle.
My Israeli cousin has told me many stories about my father, but I hope you will help me locate the relevant information

GERMAN POW IN THE USSR IN WORLD WAR ONE.
bela3My father Siegfried Rosenthal volunteered for the German Army in 1915 and served in Regiment No. 46 in the 5th Army Corps.
Fairly early in the war, he was taken POW by the Russians.
The day the other German POWs were returned to Germany after World War One, my father had typhus and could not travel. As a result of this he stayed in the USSR till he was finally returned to Germany in 1938.
Where will I be able to locate my father’s military file in Germany? Where would any information about possible negotiations for his release from the USSR to Germany be kept?

MY FATHER’S FIRST FAMILY IN THE USSR
During the years my father lived in the USSR, he married and had children and lived on a Kolchoz. His wife probably died. But what happened to his children when he went back to Germany? Will I be able to locate these children – my halfsister/s and/or halfbrother/s? How many were they? When were they born? What were they called? Are any of them still alive?

MY FAMILY TREE
Perhaps the following names will turn up in somebody’s family tree and help me learn about my more distant relatives.
PATERNAL GRANDFATHER: Isidor Isaac Rosenthal born Sept 20th 1869 in Mezhirichi
Died Feb 7th 1925 Berlin
PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER: Minna Rosenthal nee Stensch
born Nov 24th 1864 in Mezhirichi ( 1865?)
died June 21st 1935 Berlin
PATERNAL UNCLE: Kurt Rosenthal born April 3rd 1899 in Mezhirichi
Escaped to Australia
PATERNAL AUNT: Paula Bochner nee Rosenthal born August 1st 1900 Mezhirichi
Married to Leo Leibl Leon Bochner
Escaped to South America.
MATERNAL GRANDFATHER: Benjamin Schallmach born Nov 4th 1865 in Poznan
Died Nov 4th 1932 in Berlin
MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER: Auguste Gustel Schallmach nee Breslauer born Oct 19th 1872 in Poznan
murdered in Auschwitz after May 16th 1944
MATERNAL AUNT: SELMA SCHALLMACH born Aug 28th 1896 Poznan
survived Holocaust
Died in the 1980’s in Germany
MATERNAL AUNT: BELLA SCHMALLMACH Born around 1890, probably in Poznan
Probably emigrated to the States in 1923

Previous Comments

written by Kristina Paylor, March 16, 2009
Hello Bela, 

I don’t recognize any of your family names, but I wonder if you knew if your Rosenthal family who escaped to South America, had been owners of a wholesale textile business in Berlin. My great uncle, Adolf Reich, co-owned such a company in Berlin, before he was deported to Auschwitz in 1943, and killed. My father has said Adolf’s business partner had the last name of Rosenbaum, or Rosen-something, and he knew their family escaped to South America. I think he said Argentina, but I could be wrong. I’m glad you have found some of your family. My great aunt, Martha (Reich) Ledwoch, was also in Theresienstadt from 1943 through the end of the war. Perhaps she met you and your mother. I hope you find more of your family.
Kristina Paylor

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