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The Schwarzschild Family Two Centuries of the Black Shields


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The Schwarzschild Family Two Centuries of the Black Shields A Family History Tracing the Descendants of Moses Martin Schwarzschild and Henriette Sabel

Bound Biographies


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Copyright Š 2009 Produced in association with

Bound Biographies

Heyford Park House, Heyford Park, Bicester, OX25 5HD www.boundbiographies.com

All attempts have been made to trace and acknowledge the copyright holders of any images used


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Dedication This book is dedicated to our great-grandparents, without whom none of this would have been possible.

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Acknowledgements Special thanks... ...to Dr Tony Gray of Bound Biographies who wrote and masterminded this project; ...to Alison Worton, who did much of the early spadework and sent out the original questionnaires; ...to Leon Mestel, whose knowledge of our family, especially Karl and Martin, was invaluable; ...to the various ‘captains’ of the chapters – Hans Müller, Theodora Straker, Naomi Harriman (without whose fortuitous telephone call this volume would never have happened), and Thomas and Gordon Black, who conceived and steered the project from its initiation to completion; ...and to all the enthusiastic respondees to the questionnaires from the members of the family spread far and wide across the globe.

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Contents

Contents Acknowledgements Contents Preface Introduction Historical Background The First Generation: Moses Martin Schwarzschild and Henriette Sabel The Astronomer: Karl Schwarzschild and Descendants The Artist: Alfred Schwarzschild and Descendants The Stock Broker: Otto Schwarzschild The Philosopher: Hermann Schwarzschild and Descendants The Chess Player: Robert Schwarzschild and Descendants The Professor’s Wife: Clara Emden (nÊe Schwarzschild) and Descendants Conclusion

ix xi 1 5 27 45 71 107 117 133 197 259 ix


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Preface Many years ago, when we were building up the Peter Black company, we would attend various parties and social events, and there was always somebody boasting about the size of grant they had obtained to build a factory here or there. If it was a Jewish dinner party it was the same script but involved reparations, not grants. Several years ago Martin Dunn, who works with us, made us aware of some unclaimed insurance money available for families who had been driven out of Germany by the Nazis. We duly submitted a claim. I knew that my grandfather had been one of seven children, but I had no recollection of the names or where the members of the family fitted in. The claims were submitted under the names of Alfred, Otto and Robert Schwarzschild. Approximately a year later Martin greeted me with good news. Our claim under the name of Alfred had been successful and we were the recipients of significant funds. For a short period we calculated how we should divide these. Two weeks later we received a surprise phone call from Naomi Harriman. She had absolutely no knowledge of our claim. The purpose of her phone call was to introduce herself to her second cousins, and she expressed her enthusiasm for genealogy and the family tree. She travelled to see us and we were delighted to meet her and were totally surprised by her extensive knowledge of all the members of the family. Clearly, we were not to be the exclusive beneficiaries of the insurance money. I have decided to deal with the funds as set out in the attached schedule. I hope this will meet with your approval.

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Cheque amount Martin Dunn / Alison Worton – expenses in association with work undertaken in pursuit of the claim over a long period of time Tony Gray – expenses relating to producing the book on the family history Naomi – payment for running and maintaining the family liaison office

£56,000

This leaves a balance of approximately

£26,000

£10,000 £15,000 £5,000

Having taken tax advice, and in the spirit of how these funds were obtained, I propose placing the balance in a charitable trust run by Gordon and myself. These funds are available to everyone in the wider family for causes related to the Holocaust and or Israel. Any requests for charity should be submitted to Naomi stating clearly the amount, the name of the charity, and the registered number of the charity, where applicable. Naomi will then forward these to us and we will deal with them accordingly. I hope everyone believes that this is a fair and more meaningful way of dealing with the proceeds, both now and in the future. I have asked Naomi, and she has accepted, to maintain the family records. She will be responsible for liaising with all members of the family, providing introductions, contacts, requests and changes of address. Naomi’s email address is naomiharriman@hotmail.com Best wishes

Thomas


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Introduction Seven children, fifteen grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and countless other descendants and relatives, all from the same couple, Moses Martin and Henriette Ottilie (nÊe Sabel) Schwarzschild. Now spread over the four corners of the world, this book is the story of the Schwarzschild family. The occasion for the writing of this history was the discovery of some funds that made the research and composition possible. However, the reason for recording this history is much more important – to know and understand where a family has come from, and how it has developed, has a value in its own right. Choices had to be made about the extent of the research, and what to include. To follow the descendants of the seven children of Moses Martin and Henriette seemed to make some logical sense. But even restricting it to these family groups means that a fascinating story remains. The generations span nearly 200 years, two world wars, and the most enormous social and technological change that the human race has ever seen. For the older generations, it is a chance to record their stories and their memories, accounts that will be lost once they are gone. For the newest generations, it is a chance to see where they have come from, and what has gone into their family to make them what they are today. In particular, this story is about a Jewish family. This is important, not because it is the defining feature of the Schwarzschilds or their descendants, but because of the period of history through which this family lived and survived. The families that spread across the world did so because they fled from Nazi Germany at the onset of the Second World War.

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For this reason, to understand the origins of the family, an opening chapter will look at the history of the Jewish people, and how the Schwarzschilds came to be where they were at the end of the nineteenth century. Subsequent chapters will then look at each family sub-group, charting the memories of that family’s eldest members, and bringing each branch up-to-date with contemporary details about each member – facts and figures which may enable the family to keep in touch with each other, which will prove useful when someone comes to rewrite this project in another 200 years! The story is fascinating, at times moving, and hopefully entertaining too. Much care has been put into making sure the factual detail is correct, and in tracing as many leads as possible. If there are mistakes of fact, then we apologise; if there are mistakes of memory, then we hope you can be forgiving. Ultimately, we hope that this account excites you about the Schwarzschild family, about the fact that you are a part of it, and perhaps that it encourages you to stay in touch with your wider family. Notes regarding the text: 1. In preparation of this volume, all living members of the family were sent a short questionnaire to complete. The returned questionnaires were used to fill in basic information about that person, together with writing up more detailed information and anecdotes about their ancestors and wider family. Where a member of the family has returned a questionnaire, the basic information they provided about themselves is repeated verbatim at the beginning of their section. When certain sections were not completed, the entries are similarly omitted in their section. So, for example, in the religion question, if the entry does not appear, then it is simply because the respondent chose not to fill it in – it does not necessarily imply an atheistic stance! Where respondents have included memories about other family members, this has mostly been moved and edited to fit in with the narrative about that person elsewhere in the book, or edited to make it fit the general style of the book.

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2. As will become clear in the relevant chapter, Paul and Hans Schwarzschild changed their names once they had settled in the UK. Paul became Paul Shields, Hans became Peter Black. All of Peter’s grandchildren on Thomas’ side have Shields as a middle name to carry on the family name. It is worth noting this now to avoid any further confusion. 3. Spellings have been standardised – anglicised versions of place names have mostly been used. Clara Schwarzschild’s name has been written consistently as ‘Clara’, and her daughter’s name as ‘Klara’. As Hans Müller wrote, “About my grandmother’s first name, we do not know the correct spelling. However, she always signed her letters with ‘Clärchen’, as her daughter Klara Bernasconi told me. So I suggest you use the French spelling ‘Clara’ Schwarzschild. This will avoid confusion.” 4. The questionnaires sent to family members included space for current mail, email and telephone details. The master list is to be kept and maintained by Naomi Harriman. Please contact Naomi for a full list, and keep her updated with any changes of information. 5. Family trees are not provided for all branches of the family, but at specific moments where it is thought they would help in making sense of the various relatives and descendants.

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Historical Background: Jewish Roots There are nearly one hundred living direct descendants of Moses Martin and Henriette Schwarzschild. Moses and Henriette were Jewish, and so were their seven children. Yet out of the living descendants, only a handful are religiously observant Jews. So does this Jewish ancestry matter? Perhaps in a way unlike any other religious faith, Judaism is not merely about religion, it is also about race – it is best to talk of the Jewish people, rather than the Jewish religion. So for contemporary descendants of Moses and Henriette, it is not an issue of whether they are religiously observant – rather, it is important to know something of the Jewish history of the Schwarzschilds, so that there is some understanding of where they came from. And where they came from is determined, to a large extent, by the fact that they were Jewish. Who is a Jew? There are three main ways in which someone would define himself or herself as Jewish. They are practitioners of Judaism and have a Jewish ethnic background; they are converts to Judaism without Jewish parents; or whilst not practising Judaism they identify themselves as Jewish because of their family’s Jewish descent. Judaism is commonly thought to have begun in around 1800 BCE. The Merneptah Stele, dated to around 1200 BCE, is the earliest archaeological record that tells of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. According to the Bible, King David established the united kingdom of Israel and Judah, ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel. Central to the religious element of Judaism was the establishment of a central Temple as a place of worship. After the building of the first Temple under Solomon, the ten northern tribes split off to form

Merneptah Stele

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Iberian Peninsula 1270-1492 (adapted from Muir’s Historical Atlas, 1911, from the Internet Medieval Source Book)

the Kingdom of Israel, and with the conquering of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BCE the first Jewish Diaspora began. The Babylonians destroyed this First Temple in 586 BCE, but following the Babylonian Captivity the Persian King Cyrus permitted the rebuilding of a Second Temple completed in 516 BCE. There then followed a number of different occupations, from Hellenistic Greek control (Alexander the Great), the Ptolemies, the Seleucids, the brief Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes in 152 BCE, and then Roman rule with Herod as a Jewish client king. During the Roman occupation, many Jews were expelled and sold into slavery throughout the Roman Empire. A common categorisation of Jews splits the people into two groups – Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazi Jews. A Sephardic Jew is one who descends from a group of Jews located in the Iberian Peninsula, that is Portugal and Spain. It is this line that Moses Martin was descended from. Ashkenazi means German in Hebrew, and indicates central Europe as the base for this line of Jews. The word ‘Sephardi’ comes from a Hebrew name for a biblical location, ‘Sepharad’, which was probably located in the region of modern Spain (though this is still disputed). The definition becomes more significant as an identifier of this group of Jews following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497.

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The early history of the Jewish people in Spain and Portugal has been traced through biblical and archaeological connections, indicating that Jews were present in the area from as early as the seventh century BCE. However, it is generally thought that significant immigration occurred during the Roman colonisation of the area from 200 BCE onwards. This immigration was greatly increased after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, and so, as elsewhere, the Diaspora spread into Iberia. The apostle Paul makes some possible mention of the Spanish Jewish communities in his letter to the Romans (Romans 15.24, part of the Christian Scriptures), dated to the very early decades of the Christian calendar, and there is subsequent reference in a Jewish Midrash (a form of commentary) on Leviticus. Decrees from the fourth century Council of Elvira refer to the behaviour of the Jews of Hispania. These Christian edicts appear slightly anti-Semitic to a modern mind, although it does seem to be the case that the Sephardic Jews were able to co-exist with the Christian Church fairly well, especially in comparison with other locations. In the fifth century, the Iberian Peninsula came under the control of the Visigoths who, by and large, were not concerned with the religious and social practices of the Jewish community. Only when the Visigoth monarchy converted to Catholicism in 587 did the Jewish community begin to come up against strong hostility – including expulsion, forced conversion, and even execution. All this was to change when Muslims took control of the land. After years of Catholic anti-Semitism, the Jewish community viewed the invading Muslims as liberators – even to the extent that Muslims would leave Jews in charge of ‘liberated’ towns as the Muslim forces progressed. So, for example, Cordoba was left in the hands of the Jews once the Moors had invaded and moved on.

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In 711 Tariq ibn Ziyad was victorious, and the lives of the Sephardic Jews became more tolerable. They were free of the Catholic persecution, and hence many Jews actually emigrated to Iberia so that they could prosper. The interaction with Muslim beliefs enabled the Jews to reinvigorate their apologetic, and the tolerant relationship between the communities, together with the adoption by Jews of Arabic as their main language for intellectual discourse, allowed Jews to prosper professionally and economically. Together Jews and Muslims built a civilisation based in Cordoba known as ‘Al-Andalus’, arguably more advanced than any other civilisation in Europe at the time. Image of a Jewish cantor reading the Passover story in Al-Andalus, from a 14th Century Spanish Haggadah

This ‘Golden Age’ of Sephardic Judaism is most closely associated with the reign of Abd al-Rahman III (882-942), when much freedom was given to the Jews, and they were encouraged to flourish academically – with all the benefit of Arabic science and research which many of the Christians had ignored or suppressed. Sephardic Jews were perhaps most notable for their work as translators of ancient and contemporary texts, laying the foundation for much of the learning that was to feed into the European Renaissance. When the centralised governance of the Muslims collapsed and was replaced by localised power, Sephardic Jews continued to flourish, and in fact it gave them many more opportunities professionally. However, as the Golden Age of Muslim rule faded, faced with the growth of the Christian Reconquista, Sephardic Jews looked to a bleak future. Fundamentalist Islamic sects gave the Jews the choice of conversion or death, and so many emigrated. As the Reconquista gained strength, Sephardic Jews were faced with a mixture of the old anti-Semitism of the Catholics, together with a strange tolerance based largely on the fact that these educated Sephardic Jews were useful to the new regime. This mixed approach enabled some Jewish communities to prosper and contribute to the new establishment, whilst others suffered at the hands of persecution and suspicion. The Golden Age was

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gone, and this period of ambivalent tolerance prevailed until conditions became much worse in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In 1391 anti-Jewish riots broke out in several Spanish cities and the situation got worse for the Jewish communities. In 1492 the Spanish Inquisition resulted in around 200,000 Sephardic Jews being expelled, and then approximately 37,000 from Sicily. With the marriage of Manuel I of Portugal to the daughter of a Catholic monarch, the 1497 decree forced the expulsion or conversion of all Jews. The Sephardim either went into hiding or, more significantly, they fled. The Spanish Inquisition then followed a great massacre of Jews in Lisbon in 1506. Sephardic Jews spread across the world, but took with them their name, their learning, and specific aspects of their culture. Prior to the end of the fifteenth century, the Iberian Peninsula had large Jewish communities spread across it. After the Catholic monarchs ordered the expulsion of the Jews, the Sephardic communities relocated across the Ottoman Empire, parts of northern and western Europe, and even parts of America. Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews share the same tenets of Judaism, following the Babylonian Talmud and the Shulkhan Arukh. Differences arise in customs and in liturgy. For example, on Passover, Sephardic Jews eat kitnyot, rice and corn products. Other differences concern dress, wedding ceremonies, the storing of Scriptures, and prayers.

Francisco de Goya’s depiction of the Inquisition’s tribunal

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Frankfurt am Main The Schwarzschild family was formed and then flourished within the European city of Frankfurt. Understanding the history of the city, and something of the nature of the Jewish community in that city, will help in understanding the family.

Frankfurt in 1612 by Matthias Merian

Of the great urban Jewish communities of the Middle Ages, only those of Hamburg, Worms, Frankfurt, and Prague (a German-speaking city) survived into the eighteenth century. In the eighteenth century, Frankfurt was perhaps the most oppressive place for Jews in Western Europe. Only Rome and the Papal States treated Jews as harshly. Jewish settlement in Frankfurt – as in Cologne – probably began during the first century, when it was a Roman military outpost. In 1311, Jews were still listed as equals in the citizenship rolls. In 1424, they were struck from the rolls as ‘enemies of the Cross of Christ’ and locked into a walled ghetto. Their cemetery, one of the oldest in Europe, with thousands of tombs stacked one atop the other in five layers, remained intact until it was razed by the Nazis.1 The number of Jews in Frankfurt was significantly increased towards the end of the Middle Ages by emigrants from Nuremberg, causing Frankfurt to become the leading Jewish community over and above Nuremberg across the empire. The evidence for this 1. Amos Elon, The Pity of it All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany 1743-1933 (London: Allen Lane, 2002), 24-5.

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is the numerous requests the magistrates of Frankfurt received from other cities regarding information about how to proceed in cases dealing with Jews. The Chief Rabbi presided over a commission of twelve for civil cases, and the reports of this commission for the period 1645 to 1808 are in the community archives. In 1509 Pfefferkorn arrived in Frankfurt with an imperial edict threatening to confiscate the Jews’ books. As a result of this, in April 1510 the Jews had to surrender all their books. Only when they sent a special plea to the emperor were their books returned to them in June. Fifteen years later the Jewish community faced expulsion and this was only avoided by the actions of the municipal council. However, at this time Jews were restricted in business and could not build their houses higher than three storeys. The result of this was to crowd the community even closer together – in 1543 there were 43 Jewish families in Frankfurt, and by 1612 there were 454. On 22 August 1614 Vizenz Fettmilch and his men attacked the Judengasse, ransacking and clearing it within half a day. The guilds wanted more say in town politics. They demanded action against the Jews: cutting back on numbers, chopping in half the interest rates they charged, etc., which got the merchants and craftsmen on board. When discussion broke down between the council and guilds, the guilds took their anger out on the soft target – the Jews. All 1,380 inhabitants of the Jews Alley were driven out of town, only being allowed back on 28 February 1616.

Illustration showing the humanist Johannes Reuchlin (kneeling) and wringing his hands while Johannes Pfefferkorn stands by him in a master's robes. Woodcut, Cologne, 1521

The Jewish population had taken refuge in the cemetery and pleaded to be allowed to leave, and so 1,380 Jews left Frankfurt and went to Offenbach, Hanau, and Höchst. The Fettmilch attacks destroyed the synagogue, the cemetery and the Torah scrolls. Ultimately the emperor sided against Fettmilch, although the Jews did not return until 1616. At this time their street was protected by the emperor, as announced in a notice affixed to the three gates at the entrance. By 1618 there were 370 families living in 195 wooden houses. These were named according to signs suspended outside the houses, names such as those of animals (ox, duck, wild duck, etc.), fruits (green apple, red apple), trees

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(fir, elder, nut), or other objects (tongs, scales, wine cup). Sometimes a house was just named after the colour of the shield outside, e.g. red = ‘Rothschild’, black = ‘Schwarzschild’ (of which more see below). As the Jews returned to Frankfurt, a new epoch in the history of the Jews of that city began. Despite still being banned from owning property, their prospects improved – they began lending money and traded in second-hand goods (something sparked off by the fact that Jews were forbidden to sell new goods). Commerce gradually increased, and this relative stability meant that by 1694 there were 415 Jewish families in the city. Some 109 persons worked as moneylenders and dealers in second-hand goods, 106 dealt in dry goods and clothes, 24 in spices and provisions, nine sold wine and beer, three were innkeepers, and two had restaurants.

Fettmilch uprising

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the city had significant status, indicated by the reception given to a group that presented gifts to Joseph I on his visit to Heidelberg in 1702. In 1711 a fire in the rabbi’s house destroyed much of the Jewish community and the synagogue, although the rabbi was accused of having started it himself and was forced to leave the city. When the Judengasse was rebuilt it was widened, and the residents were given official recognition in the city. Once again the community was hit by fire, religious friction took place amongst the Frankfurt Jews thanks to a messianic Jewish sect, and arguments broke about between two rival groups, the Kann and Kulp parties. In 1764, for the first time the Jews were allowed to appear in public at the coronation of Joseph II and swear allegiance to the emperor. At around this time there were 205 houses in the Judengasse, but once again the community suffered loss due to fire as in 1796, 140 houses were burnt down when the French bombarded the city.

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At the end of the eighteenth century, Jews were still prevented from leaving the ghetto after dark or on Sundays and Christian holidays. The Frankfurt ghetto consisted of a single dark lane, the Judengasse, foul-smelling and dank, sunless because of its narrowness and its tall, over-crowded houses. Originally established to house some two or three hundred souls evicted from the Christian parts of town, the ghetto soon had to serve a population five or six times larger. The city government rejected all pleas to enlarge it. By 1743, some 3,000 Jews (10 per cent of the population) crowded into a space originally intended for three hundred in conditions of squalor and congestion unknown elsewhere in the city. Frankfurt was a city of hard-boiled businessmen, bankers, and wholesale merchants commonly known as ‘peppersacks’ and ‘barrel-squires’. A major European trading center, it was host twice a year to Europe’s most important fair. Goethe lamented that the inhabitants of Frankfurt lived in a frenzy of making and spending money.2 At the end of the eighteenth century, Frankfurt’s Jewry was still struggling:

A city map from 1628 showing the curved Judengasse where the Schwarzschild family would eventually live

Try as they might, Jews in Frankfurt were less successful in promoting their civic interests than Jews elsewhere in French-dominated Germany. With Frankfurt in mind, Heine wrote: 2. Amos Elon, op. cit., 26.

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Malice and stupidity Like street dogs used to mate Their brood can still be recognised By their sectarian hate. While in 1792 the troops of the French Revolution had been welcomed as liberators in nearby Mainz, in Frankfurt, which they briefly occupied, they were booed by both Jews and Gentiles.3 In the period of the Weimar Republic, Frankfurt became known for its business and academic worlds. As Elon writes, Frankfurt was another great center of Weimar learning. Its university, founded after the war, was the only German university where republican professors were not outnumbered by conservatives pining for the old order; its charter outlawed all racial and religious discrimination. At its famed Institute of Social Research, German and European sociology flourished. The institute was generously endowed by Hermann Weil, a Jewish grain merchant who after making a fortune in Argentina had returned to his native city.4 As the eighteenth century ended, the Jews of Frankfurt received permission to live among Christians and they were subsequently granted full civic equality. Bizarrely, this positive move resulted in a backlash when, in 1816, the city excluded Jews from the municipal government. However, protests ensured that by 1864 all restrictions were removed by when a new synagogue had been completed. In 1817 there were 4,309 Jews in Frankfurt; in 1858, 5,730; in 1871, 10,009; in 1880, 13,856; in 1890, 17,479; and in 1900, 22,000 in a total population of 288,489. 3. Ibid., 93-4. 4. Ibid., 362.

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The Schwarzschilds in Frankfurt In chronicling the history of the Schwarzschild family, perhaps the most important document is the tree constructed by Dr Louis Neustadt in 1886. This archive, written in German, traces the family back to the sixteenth century. Here follows an excerpt from the introduction he wrote to the family tables: Genealogical tables of a family will always remain an abiding monument of respect, and where the increase of the descendants leads to the loosening of devotional bonds, they can serve to secure them, they can revive the long-vanished remembrance of a common descent. When, as in Frankfurt, the older families can still prove a residency which goes back centuries, the genealogist does not just render important service to the sense of respect of the family members, but also to an even greater extent to the study of history. The direction now prevailing in modern historical research pursues local sources with great eagerness and uses it, so to speak, as the firm foundation for the building up of the history of territories.

Frankfurt synagogue built in the second half of the nineteenth century

With the year 1348 begins the great series of accounts books, which encompass the whole town budget. Under the ‘index of names’ [innemen] there is a particular title ‘of the Jews’ [von den judden] under which the resident Jews who had acquired the status of permitted resident [stättigkeit]5 from the town council are listed with their name, house and tax. To distinguish between those bearing the same name, the preference was to state the home town or the kinship relationship to a fellow-member of the community [Gemeinde].6 So one obtains a sound basis for determining the lineage and with this the permanent domicile of a family. With some searches I have been able to trace back families through centuries until the time of the old Jews Lane [Judengasse] by the cathedral.

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For the last three centuries, since the rebirth of the Frankfurt community,7 after the Fettmilch disturbances8 had been dealt with, the most important sources for genealogy come from within the community itself. Unfortunately a large part of these are still in private hands and it is very much to be wished that such monuments of the past, whose loss cannot be made good in any way, could, at private or official instigation, be kept efficiently in a central location, under the supervision of an official, in which they could be made accessible to common use. To these belong the Mohel books, a primary source for the ascertaining of dates of birth, and the old death registers of the Beerdigungs-Brüderschaft [literally ‘funeral brotherhood’] among others. The use of the epitaphs which are now registered {Mazewoth], which reach back to the year 1272, is still made very difficult. The so-called community9 archive, a couple of cupboards of unfiled documents and codices, lacks an archivist and set office hours and is thus hardly usable for scientific investigation. The most valuable is the sequence, beginning in 1645, of notary office’s books and the

Frankfurt am Main, from postcards collected by Hermann’s descendants

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5. Translator’s note: Stättigkeit: Jews needed official permission to settle permanently. In return, they had to pay taxes, and render extra services. Kaiser Karl IV ordered in 1366 that the Jews were not allowed to have master craftsmen, make their own laws or have their own courts. The rules imposed by the Stättigkeit were at times very onerous, going beyond trade to encompass things like movement and dress. Bear in mind that by 1613, there were 2,700 Jews in Frankfurt, a sizeable minority of the population. In 1616 this number was limited to 500 families with permanent permitted residence, and only 12 weddings per year from outside the community. This didn’t stop the Jews from thriving, as this was the most important Jewish community in Germany. 6. Translator’s note: Gemeinde is a major problem in this piece: it normally means ‘community’ but is also used in German to describe a local government area. Here it seems to mean quite clearly ‘community’ as opposed to ‘municipality’. 7. Translator’s note: Gemeinde: again, ‘community’ seems obvious, as opposed to ‘municipality’. 8. The rebirth alluded to here is the restoration of the community after the Fettmilch uprising, as discussed above.


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permitted residence register (1618-1796). Very little goes back to the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Up to now, no Frankfurt family has been traced back continuously to the middle of the sixteenth century. For putting this right10 the fine tradition of adding to their forenames that of their father is very useful to the genealogist. It is known that a number of the old Frankfurt families got their names from the house name sign, such as Rothschild [red sign], Grünschild [green sign], Hahn [cock], Dann [then], Schiff [ship], Stern [star], Hecht Buchsbaum [pike box tree, no comma in text], Schwarzadler [black eagle], Baer [bear], Rapp [black horse], Woog [sea surge], Fleisch [meat], Strauss [posy/ostrich – could be either], Kann [jug], Sichel [sickle], etc.11 (at the red/green sign [zum roten, grünen Schilt], fir tree [Tannenbaum], Hanen [?],12 ship [Schiff], star [Stern], pike (fish) [Hecht], box tree [Buchsbaum], bear [Baeren], black horse [schwarzer Rappen], sea surge [Wogen], small bottle [Fläschel], ostrich or posy [Strauss can mean either], jug [zur kanne], sickle [Sichel]. The house ‘at the black shield’ [zum schwarzen Schilt] and its owner Liebmann I found for the first time in the account book of 1555.

9. Translator’s note: I think ‘community’ is right here, though it could conceivably be ‘municipal archive’. 10. Translator’s note: Herstellen: nowadays means ‘produce’: an older use was ‘repair, put back in order’ which is now ‘wiederherstellen’. I have taken this older use, as it seems to fit in better. 11. Translator’s note: The list which follows is given by the author as examples: With the house names I put the name first, so it can be identified more readily with the tables, and then give the translation in the square brackets. 12. Translator’s note: This seems to be some kind of geographical feature, and it crops up in lots of family and place names. May be a corruption of Hagen = ‘enclosure’.

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The house ‘at the black sign’ [zum schwarzen Schild] remained in the possession of the descendants of Liebmann Moses (Table V) [Taf.V]; as the family expanded, the different members split up into different houses, of which I have named several in the tables (Owl) [Eule], gold and red hat [goldner und roter Hut], weather cock [Wetterhahn], etc.). In the Hebrew registers there occurs an abbreviation of the family name Schwarzschild [black sign] and next to it the name Butche, which was still usual in the family in our century, but which they themselves have not been able to explain. I have come to the following conclusion: Liebemann, the first ‘zum schwarzen Schilt,’ came as a butcher from Niederrhein to Frankfurt, as several council minutes show. He married his daughter (according to the tax recorded in the accounts book) in 1594 to the Dutchman Salman von Daidenbach. Now Metzger [butcher] is ‘butcher’ in English. The trade of butcher, which was tied to a privilege of the council and granted to only four community members, remained in the family till the end of the last century, till Jakob Butche (X 1767, Table IX, 2) but only in one line: the descendants of Amschel (X 1705, Table VIIa); and only in these can the name of the trade be found, certainly conclusive evidence for the correctness of my assumption.

Portion of Table V from the Stammtafeln der von Liebmann Schwarzschild in Frankfurt am Main (1555-1594) by Dr Louis Neustadt

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The suggestion for the publication of the tables, which owe their origin to a family celebration, came from Herr Emanuel Schwarzschild (Table XIII, 3), who also went to the greatest trouble among the numerous branches of the family so that the undertaking could come into being.


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Historical Background

With the help of this family record, and the history of the Jews in Frankfurt, the historical and cultural context of the Schwarzschild family is now clear. However, the most important part of their history was about to take place: the events that would force them all to leave their homes and disperse round the world.

The ‘Black Shield’ (Schwarzschild) by Alfred Schwarzschild

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Table II from the German family tree, clearly showing (Moses) Martin Schwarzschild at the bottom of the tree, with the five sons that survived: Karl, Alfred, Otto, Hermann and Robert; Clara is not mentioned as she had not yet been born when the tables were constructed

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Nazi Germany The circumstances of the major wave of Jewish migrants to leave Europe for England in the 1930s were very different. The Jews of Germany and Austria were educated, integrated members of society. They mixed freely with their neighbours, many had fought as soldiers in World War I, and they were generally successful and well respected. The Nazi party’s rise to power, and Adolf Hitler’s appointment by Hindenberg as the German Chancellor on 30 January 1933, had catastrophic effects for Jews in Germany. Hitler scheduled new elections to a ‘bogus’ Reichstag on 5 March 1933, he intimidated his opponents, and a week before the election, the Reichstag itself went up in flames – possibly at the hands of the Nazis. As Elon writes, That was the beginning. The rest followed in rapid succession: Jewish-owned shops were boycotted; Jews were expelled from the National Academy and from government positions, schools, research institutes, and universities; they were banned from practising law and other professions and excluded from all national societies… A few weeks in spring 1933 sufficed to reduce the University of Göttingen, a world-renowned center of advanced physics and mathematics, to the level of a provincial college.1 The passing of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935 excluded Jews from many jobs, made it illegal for them to marry ‘Aryans’, and established them as second-class citizens. What had brought such anti-Semitic feeling to be so widely acceptable within Germany, within a land in which the Jews (and the Schwarzschilds) had felt at home and prospered, even contributed to? A major tenet of the Nazi

The burning of The Reichstag

1. Amos Elon, op. cit., 395.

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propaganda machine was that the Jewish people had contributed to Germany’s defeat in 1918, and were involved in the social and economic problems that the country had faced since the end of the First World War. A large number of Jews thought they would be safe, reassured by German friends that this trouble would pass. However, many Jews recognised the danger they were in and tried to leave Germany. Unfortunately, very few countries, including Britain, were willing to accept refugees, concerned as they were about unemployment and the need to avoid giving any excuses to anti-Semites at home. In Germany, the battle for a visa became increasingly tortuous. Chart from Nazi Germany, 1935, explaining Nuremberg laws

Fifty thousand Jews left Germany in 1933, thirty thousand in 1934, twenty thousand in 1935. The rest remained, at least for a while, unwilling or unable to leave. The rich had the fewest problems. Certainly, they had to abandon or sell their properties at drastically reduced prices; the Nazis further decimated their wealth by charging draconian ‘departure taxes’. But nearly all wealthy German Jews were able to save themselves. They were easily able to settle in England, America, or Switzerland, where money was always welcome.2 To obtain a British visa you needed a job or a sponsor in Britain. Desperate advertisements appeared in the Jewish Chronicle and other newspapers in Britain, appealing for work. Many women were admitted to Britain on domestic visas and employed by British families as cooks or housekeepers, although they were often highly educated and from professional or artistic backgrounds. The less fortunate, unable to obtain residence permits in most European countries or the United States, were forced to wander from land to land, some to as far as China. … In England, impecunious foreigners were admitted if they were prepared to work as domestic 2. Ibid., 399.

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servants. The difficulties exiles encountered in even this most liberal of European countries were evident in the case of one upper-middle-class Jewish doctor who applied for an entry permit as a tutor. The British visa officer in Paris informed him that work as a tutor did not constitute ‘domestic service’. If that was so, the doctor replied, he would be ready to work as a butler. The vexed visa officer rejected this possibility as ‘absurd’ since ‘butlering requires a lifelong experience’.3 The restrictions increased in the following years, limiting the work that Jews could do within Germany, and also the relationships they could legally have. By summer 1938 more than 250,000 German Jews had fled their homes, facing problems as to which countries would make them welcome as asylum-seekers. The problems worsened when, in the autumn of the same year, Hitler expelled over 10,000 more Polish Jews who had made Germany their home. The sudden overnight expulsion of these people, without any thought given to their destination or well-being, caused outrage and led to the revenge attacks of Kristallnacht. Anti-Semitic violence came to a head in Germany in the infamous events of 7-10 November 1938. After an enraged Jew fired upon a German diplomat at the embassy in Paris, reacting against his family’s expulsion from Germany, the Third Reich in Germany embarked on a careful, planned and swift persecution of the Jewish German population. Setting fire to hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish homes and businesses, the Nazis rounded up more than 30,000 Jews and took them to concentration camps. Crystal Night, or Kristallnacht, as it has become known, was a low point in the anti-Semitic feeling that had been sweeping Germany in the previous decade. As Hitler’s policies became more Smashed windows after Kristallnacht 3. Ibid., 400.

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widespread, so did the loathing and distrust of Jewish people within Germany. As anti-Semitic policies took hold, many German Jews attempted to leave the country before matters became too hard for them. All the Schwarzschild descendants fled their home country when the opportunity was given to them, prior to the events of 1938, and of course before the world entered its second vicious war of the twentieth century. Frankfurt, the Schwarzschild’s home town, was one of hundreds to see their synagogue destroyed deliberately by fire by the Nazis. Crystal Night was not the ‘Final Solution’, but of course was a foretaste of the even worse persecution that was to come. It was the clearest signal that German Jews, and in fact Jews under the reign of the Third Reich, were not to be welcome in their homeland. After the plundering and persecution that took place that night, Hermann Göring said that, “The Jewish problem will reach its solution if, in any time soon, we will be drawn into war beyond our border—then it is obvious that we will have to manage a final account with the Jews.” In all, about 50,000 adults were admitted to Britain as refugees between 1933 and 1939. The British Jewish community got together to offer financial and practical support. They were keenly aware that the public at large could become hostile if the refugees were seen to be costing the taxpayer money and as a threat to other people’s jobs. To obtain some understanding of the size of the emigration taking place in the pre-war years, the tables shown opposite may help.4 It is in this context that the Schwarzschild family evolved, and in which we see all branches taking the decision to leave Germany and flee for the safety of their families. 4. Doron Niederland, German Jews – Emigrants or Refugees? A Study of Emigration Patterns Between the World Wars (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1996), 240.

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Jewish emigration from the Greater Reich (including Austria and Czechoslovakia) Europe Great Britain France The Netherlands Belgium Switzerland Scandinavia Poland and other Eastern European countries Other countries Total

Number of Immigrants 40,000 30,000 20,000 15,000 8,000 5,000 30,000 5,000 153,000

Overseas Destinations United States Palestine South America Central America South Africa Australia Other countries Asia (mostly Shanghai) Total

Number of Immigrants 60,000 55,000 30,000 5,000 4,500 4,500 5,000 12,000 176,000

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Whilst details will be given in each chapter, it is helpful to note that the various families left Germany on the following dates: Karl’s daughter, Agathe, left to study in England in 1933, and Martin went to America in 1936. Alfred and his family escaped to London in 1938, whilst Alfred happened to be in England working on a commission. Hermann and his wife left Germany in 1938, their daughter having been put into an English boarding school when she was 16, eventually making Walton-on-Thames their home. Otto had already emigrated to the US in 1900, making his passport application in 1920, and thus enabling him to help members of his family fleeing the Nazis with financial contributions. Robert and Else were brought over to England by their children, Paul and Peter, in 1938. Clara and Jacob Emden left Germany early, in 1933, making Zürich their home thanks to Jacob’s nationality. It is apposite to record the fact that the following relatives of the Schwarzschild family died at the hands of the Nazis:

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Irene Herzenberg (née Haas), sister-in-law of Hermann, died in an unknown concentration camp. Lora Dilsheimer (née Kohlmann), sister of Suse Black, Peter Black’s wife, died in Auschwitz. Theodora Schwarzschild’s father, Hermann Luttner, was executed in Dachau in 1940/41 – he was not Jewish, but anti-Nazi and had been helping Jews.


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The First Generation: Moses Martin (1837-1916) and Henriette Ottilie Schwarzschild (1852-1922)

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The Sabel Family

The Neustadt family tree discussed in the introduction gives the detail of the ancestry of Moses Martin Schwarzschild. A more personal family tree was put together by Moses Martin’s son, the artist Alfred Schwarzschild, and is shown opposite. The tree has Alfred, his wife Theodora, and their three girls as its focus, and therefore follows the family trees of both Alfred and Theodora upwards for three generations (as it has survived). On the left-hand side of the tree, Alfred drew pictures of Moses Martin’s parents (his mother Clara – née Bass – and his strangely un-named father, a banker in Frankfurt am Main), and the parents of Henriette Ottilie and Perez Sabel. The story of the arrival of the Schwarzschilds in Frankfurt am Main has already been discussed, but it is worth spending a little time looking at the Sabel family. A fascinating source for the Sabels comes from an autobiographical piece written by Frederick Sabel, younger brother of Henriette.4 Whilst the piece does not directly mention the Schwarzschilds, it is worth including as it paints a fascinating picture of the family, the period, and its concerns. I am Frederick Jacob Sabel, usually called for short, Fritz Sabel, or by my nephews and nieces simply Uncle Fritz. I was born in Frankfurt am Main on 2 July 1865 in the family house in Hanauer Landstr. This house was in the front of the street, had a very long garden; in the back garden was a small country house occupied by my grandfather, Jacob Bechold, the father of my mother, Augusta.

4. The letter comes from the family papers of Thomas Black.

Fritz (Frederick) Sabel, 1869

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I would like the younger generations to realise that there was an intense family life, parents, children, grandparents, all played an important part, as lively then and as interested as intensively as the present generation, and the generations to come. Now you would like to know whom I can still remember personally. Naturally, I can remember best my own family. Both my grandparents were dead; my grandmother Sabel died in 1862, two years after my sister, Bettina was born, but she could well remember Grandmother Sabel of whom we have a photo, and a large oil painting now hanging in our sitting room at The Morton Hotel, Exmouth. Other members of the family I can remember well were my father’s younger brother and his wife Mary. He came to London in 1835 and was alive in 1885. He lived then in a cottage facing Hampstead Heath with his wife, and we often went there. He also sometimes came to the city at 85 Cannon Street. Previously he lived at Forest Hill. He was for a long time a successful paper and glass importer from Belgium, and was the first agent for the Belgium Paper Mill which remained even in my hands as late as the First World War. Uncle Ephraim was a charming personality, a brilliant talker and a very nice-looking man even in his old age. His wife Mary was also very good-looking and very jolly. They had many children of which I can only remember the eldest daughters Nellie and Pollie, and another sister whose name I cannot remember. She became religious at the end of her life and died as a Roman Catholic in a small village on the Rhine. Pollie married a Mr. Malcolm, a Scotsman from the Isle of Man, and is now known as Mary Malcolm and living at Bermuda. She has two daughters; one is Doris who married a doctor and also lives in Bermuda, and the other daughter is May

Perez family group, with Perez Sabel at the table and his wife seated with the veil

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who lives in England and is married. Pollie Malcolm had a son called Willie who often called on us. Later he went to Canada, returned on the outbreak of the First World War, went to Sandhurst for a few weeks, was then sent to Gallipoli where he was shot in the thigh on landing. He returned to Malta where Mary Malcolm his mother and Doris his sister looked after him, but he died unfortunately.

Auguste Sabel, mother of Fritz Sabel and Henriette Schwarzschild

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I have written already about my father’s other brother Uncle Frederick who came to England in 1848 after the revolution in Germany and joined his brother. He was a very remarkable man. They say that he could bend a poker by knocking it on the muscles of his upper arm. He could lift children by hanging them on his beard. He married a city merchant’s daughter and left some £10,000. I cannot remember her name but she was living in Geneva when I went to school there in 1879. I never saw her. Other members of the family I can remember are my father’s cousin named Sabel who had a hotel in Wesbaden. We went there sometimes. He had two sons and one daughter Sophia who married a doctor called Hayman. He was a very charming person. The eldest son was Max Sabel. After leaving Uncle Ephraim’s business, he started on his own and was for many years a well-known paper merchant in the city. I can remember his wife and daughter Tilly very well. His second son was called Adolf and died in Frankfurt years and years ago. His widow, whom we called Auntie Matilda, was our housekeeper after my father’s death in Frankfurt. She had two sons, the eldest Emile who was with his uncle Max in London for a little while then he went to New York. Her other son was called Robert Sabel. He was in the lace business, first in Frankfurt and later in Nottingham with Strauss Junior who was a brother of your Auntie Mary, the wife of Uncle Paul and Auntie Mary’s brother Karl Stiebel, who as most of you remember was the husband of Jenny Stiebel, now living in


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Edgware with her three daughters. Since the outbreak of the Second World War we have not heard from him and we presume he is not alive now. Other members of the family I can remember include a son of Uncle Ephraim, brother of Marian Malcolm. He was named Frederick Sabel. He went to Barcelona, in Spain, I presume where he was chief clerk in a flour mill. I do not think he left any family. I can remember the youngest son of Uncle Ephraim but not his name. He appeared to have great musical talent but died early. The eldest son of Uncle Ephraim emigrated to Canada and entered Winnipeg, I am told, just about 100 years ago, with his rifle on his shoulder as there was no big town of Winnipeg then. His descendants are still living in Winnipeg and are now small farmers. Until the outbreak of the Second World War I had many letters from one of the daughters but have not heard from them since. On my mother’s side many relatives were alive when I left Frankfurt in 1879. Most important of these were my mother’s brothers. She had three. One died very early and one sister married a bookseller in Mainz who was a most disagreeable man and she was very unhappy. She had a son and two daughters who visited us sometimes in Frankfurt. I believe I saw her only once. Of the three brothers of my mother, one died early and I did not know him but the other two, Moriz and Heinrich, played a very important part in our family life. They had a bookshop in the street called Neuekrame which was not very far removed from our school Philanthropin. They stocked all the school books, and published the translations of Shakespeare in German and the French Classics.

Jacob Bechold and his wife, parents of Auguste Bechold

Many of their books I still had until the Second World War but it appears that the box containing all the books which I inherited from my father have been lost except three, one which is printed in and has a note on it dated from Ephraim to Bettina. This Bettina who

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was born about 1810 was my father’s sister and supposed to be a very charming personality, after which my sister Bettina was named some forty years later. I might just mention here that another of my father’s sisters emigrated to Austria and married a Mr. Austerliz. The Austerliz family, i.e. the grandson and the great grandsons, fled to London in 1915. I met them several times, and the older man could remember his grandfather very well, i.e. the sister of my father Perez. Uncle Moriz and Uncle Heinrich, the two brothers of my mother, took me out almost every Sunday after my father’s death. Uncle Moriz died early and had no family. Uncle Heinrich left one son Jacob who afterwards became a publisher of a well-known scientific paper called Emschau and later a Professor at the University of Frankfurt. He married a very rich woman, daughter of Dr. Neuburghur, a well-known Frankfurt physician, and as Uncle Heinrich’s father left £60, 000, they bought and lived in a very beautiful house near Nieder Rath, a rural village in the forest of Frankfurt in the ’80s of the last century but now I suppose covered with small houses and railway junctions. This reminds me of the many excursions I made with my father Perez. He was very fond of open-air life and took me for many tramps in the then practically virgin forest of Frankfurt which covered the land from Frankfurt to Darmstadt on the Neckar. You could walk for hours and hours without leaving the canopy of the leaves of the trees overhead. I have already mentioned that my mother Augusta’s mother was a Goldsmidt. I cannot remember this grandmother, wife of Grandfather Bechold, but as mentioned before, her two nephews, Marius and Benedict Goldsmidt, were great friends of the family. I can also Perez Sabel, father of Henriette

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remember two brothers of Grandmother Bechold, Albert a bachelor and Moses, whose descendants still lived in Frankfurt on the outbreak of the Second World War. Now regarding pictures, drawings and photos... I have an almost lifesize drawing of my father Perez in pencil by my sister Henriette with a beard. The greater part of his life he had no beard, you see by his photos. Two photos of my father and mother about 1850. He is clean-shaven and has a kind of evening dress which was the custom by German professors of that time to wear when giving a lecture or a lesson. One photo of my mother as a young woman, standing upright in a very voluminous dress which I always have standing in front of me on my radio. Other pictures are modern and hardly suitable for mentioning in ancient family history but I will mention two as a painting by Alfred Schwarzschild of my wife Edith and myself. The general atmosphere, as mentioned before, in the life of the Sabel family in Germany during the early middle part of the last century up to the outbreak of the Franco-German War was easy. All parts of the populations and all religious sects (Protestants and Catholics or Jews) had, under the influence of the French Revolution and all the great ideals which then became spread over the greater part of Europe, a much easier life than the generations that followed. For example, during the lifetime of my father Perez, the family went at least once a week to the Opera House. The Rothschilds had a box on the first floor close to the stage and they gave it to my father at least once a week (Perez was tutor to two Rothschild girls). Then there were great concerts in a large hall called Sallbau, many lectures in which the population took part, even down to the lower middle classes. I have written of the change which came over Germany after the Franco-German War after the title of the Battle of Ideas.

Maier and Elle Sabel, parents of Perez Sabel

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This autobiographical note gives an idea of the wide-ranging Sabel family. It was Fritz’s sister, Henriette, who married Moses Martin Schwarzschild. Their father, Perez Sabel, was a well-respected teacher who merited an entry in a centenary volume celebrating 100 years of the Philanthropin, a philanthropic school for the Jewish community, where he taught Geography and Physics as his main subjects (which is mentioned above in the memoir). He was also recognised for his pre-eminence in Physical Education.1

Moses Martin Schwarzschild Moses Martin Schwarzschild was an established broker and money-lender, and well known in Frankfurt. He became wealthy during the time of German industrialisation, known as the ‘founder years’ in Germany, when companies started to be formed and Frankfurt was becoming an important financial market. Religiously more liberal than some of his relatives (another Moses Schwarzschild, from a previous generation, worked under the Head Rabbi Trier until 1834 and became head of the Rabbi Council until 1844), he sent his sons to the town’s Grammar School in the Junghofstrasse, rather than the Jewish school.2 Karl and Alfred went to the same school as Fritz Sabel, which is one reason why Uncle Fritz was to become so important in the children’s lives. The family home in Frankfurt am Main was in Leerbech Strasse, and it is in the back garden of this property that the impressive family portrait was taken. Unfortunately, due to bombing in the Second

1. Festschrift zur Jahrhundertfeier der Realschule der israelitischen Gemeinde (Philanthropin) zu Frankfurt am Main 1804-1904, 178. 2. For these details see ‘Der Frankfurter Astrophysiker Karl Schwarzschild’, von Paul Ansberg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 1973, 42; Ansberg was a publisher and historian in Frankfurt.

Perez Sabel in the Philanthropin book

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World War the house does not survive, but a drawing of the property by Alfred Schwarzschild, the artist son, illustrates the grandeur and wealth that Moses Martin managed to acquire for his family. In his memoirs, Paul Shields recalled that the house had a large drive at the side which was fully covered. This was so the coach and horses could stop on the way through to the back of the house where the stables were. This domed hall had a roof which was almost the same level of the house and had a very resounding acoustic. Paul remembered the sound of clattering horsehooves in that enclosure, a sound he never forgot.

Moses and Henriette’s wedding contract

Whilst the Schwarzschild family was wellknown in Frankfurt and beyond, the same was true of the Sabels, the family which Moses married into. As the memoirs from Frederick Sabel recorded above illustrate, the Sabels were a wide-ranging, wellrespected and wealthy family, and

Leerbach Strasse 10, Frankfurt am Main, drawn by Alfred Schwarzschild from photographs, with Hermann, Erna and daughter Miriam in the foreground; the house was destroyed by Allied bombers in the early 1940s

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Moses Martin

Back row: Robert, Alfred, Otto, Robert Emden Front row: Karl, Henriette, Moses Martin and Clara Henriette made a good match for Moses Martin. Maier Sabel, the father of Perez (so Henriette’s grandfather), was the owner of a chinaware shop in Wiesbaden, possibly explaining the affluence required to pay for high-quality family portraits. Moses and Henriette were married in 1871, and between 1873 and 1887 they were to have seven children. The third child, Paul, died in infancy, and

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Henriette and Moses Martin Schwarzschild

Moses Martin and one of his grandchildren

there is little remaining data about him. However, the six others were to go on to be remarkable individuals, and give rise to fascinating families of their own. Whilst little is known about the career of Moses and how his business developed and prospered in Frankfurt, the photographic evidence shows a businessman and his wife who had high regard for each

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other, and who were justly proud and fond of their children and grandchildren. Paul Shields recalled meeting Moses and having the impression of a very tall man with a long beard – although later on he was told that Moses was a slight man, but of course Paul’s only meeting with his grandfather was when he was three years old, so he may indeed have appeared very tall! Emma Müller has no memories of Moses, but recalls that Grandmother Henriette would often visit the family whilst on holiday in the summer. During World War I she would budget her bread ration over the week for the family. As an old person she would get one rationed egg, and Emma was always afraid that Henriette would drop it out of her trembling hands! Annelies remembers that Henriette was tall, respectable and quite stern, and the grandchildren were a little afraid of her, but always very respectful. All the grandchildren recall that Henriette was a great artist who would sit down every morning to draw – goats, Alfred, his mother Henriette and Hermann on a skiing trip in 1912 horses, the nature that was around her, children with flowers – and she would encourage the grandchildren to draw as well (hence possibly explaining the artistic flare that descended through Alfred and others in the family). Klara recalls travelling with her mother Clara to visit Henriette in Frankfurt shortly before her death in 1922. Paul Shields recalled that Henriette visited him and his family in Berlin. At the time the trip from Frankfurt to Berlin was a six- or seven-hour railway journey, but she would never stay longer than a

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week. She said that she had so many children and she liked to visit them all; so because of this she made a vow never to stay longer than a week, and she kept to it. Regarding religion, Moses Martin’s grandson, Paul Shields, recalled the following: My grandfather on my father’s side had left the Jewish synagogue and stopped being a member of it, because they were orthodox and he was a liberal-thinking Jew. Although he certainly was a Jew and never denied it, he did not like the orthodox side of it, the dogmatic side of religion, and perhaps it was in the spirit of the times where liberalism was in the growing phase of Germany that he was against all the hemming-in traditions of the ghetto-like atmosphere in which his family had started their life and had brought him up. In this light, his step was perhaps quite courageous, though perhaps relatively extreme. Subsequently his children grew up in a home where the Jewish tradition as a family certainly lived on, but where the insularity of the Jewish life was not followed and was much more open.

Henriette Schwarzschild with some of her grandchildren in October 1920 Agathe, Alfred, Martin, Toni, Annelies, Lotte, Emma, Karl, Hans and Robert

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The Schwarzschild Family

An interesting footnote to the Sabel family is that the name was used at the turn of the century to brand a range of motor vehicles. Sabella Cars were based in Albany Street, London, and was founded by Fritz Sabel, who later worked in paper manufacturing. They were only in operation between 1906 and 1914, and the first car built by Fritz was a handpropelled vehicle. The smaller cars had single and two-cylinder engines, but production didn’t start until the cyclecar boom of 1912-1913. The Sabella Cars 1913 catalogue boasts of the Sabella Runabout, “a four-wheeled vehicle eminently superior to any three-wheeled combination at present on the road. It is constructed to ensure comfort, safety and reliability, at a price within reach of the masses”. The Sabella 1913 Sociable Model sold for £99 (although hood, windscreen, lamps and horn were extra), and the Sabella 1913 Sporting Model for £100. Regarding the Sporting Model, the brochure boasted that, “this actual car was the fastest four-wheeler in the 1-hour Cyclecar race, on Saturday 9th November 1912, doing 47 miles 1540 yards in the hour, beating all the previous hour records”. The photo to the left shows the World War I air ace McGuigan driving a 1912 Sabella car – little else is known about this photograph. Thomas and Gordon Black preserve the only known remaining chassis of a Sabella car in the car collection inherited from Peter Black.

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Moses and Henriette

1913 Sabella Sporting

1913 Sabella Sociable

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Profile for Words by Design

The Schwarzschild Family  

A family history tracing the descendants of Moses Martin Schwarzschild and Henrietta Sabel.

The Schwarzschild Family  

A family history tracing the descendants of Moses Martin Schwarzschild and Henrietta Sabel.