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19 th century stories
The first Jews of Dorsten
Dorsten 1820: "Violence in
the synagogue itself"
Eisendrath Family in Dorsten
The family name
Julia Eisendrath - portrait of
a Jewish Mama
Eulogy at the grave of
Julia Eisendrath
Jewish real property in Dorsten
Nathan Eisendrath emigrates
David Samson Eisendrath
Establishing in the USA
Migration of Jews from Europe
to North America
20 th century stories
Simeon B. Eisendrath, architect
Nathan Wolff and the Eisendrath family
Strouss, Eisendrath & Company
Visits to Europe since the 1920s
1933: A Protest Letter to
President Hindenburg (1933)
The Letter in full text
The Eisendrath branch in Zaandam/Netherlands
The last jewish place in Dorsten
Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath
Charles R. Eisendrath: An
identity and family history that
are inextricably linked (1999)
21 st century stories
Adam Eisendrath: The German Heritage Quest - February 2000
Dorsten contacts and
visits 2001-2007
Family Reunion 2010
The journey of two prayer books
Who and why?
The Dorsten research group
and the Jewish Museum
of Westphalia
 
* The signature in the header above
is that of Samson Nathan Eisendrath
(from the year 1840)
 
 
Nathan Wolff and the Eisendrath family

We are very interested in an envelope which we recently acquired. It was addressed to Nathan Wolff in Gelsenkirchen near Dortmund, Germany and sent by an American company by the name of Strouss, Eisendrath & Drom. It was stamped in Chicago on 19 September 1895. Reading this after 125 years, it is quite surprising that the letter arrived at all, addressed as it was – Gelsenkirchen near Dortmund. We do not know what the letter said. 

Who was this Nathan Wolff? Surprisingly there is a close connection to the Eisendrath family. 

In 1895 Nathan Wolff (1837-1925) was working as a businessman in Gelsenkirchen. We have not yet been able to find out exactly what he did or where he was born. In 1869 he married Berta Eisendrath in Chicago. His wife was born in Laer in 1849 and emigrated to the USA in 1866. An 1870 US census states that Nathan Wolff is married and living in Chicago. But just two years later in 1872, the Westphalia/Lippe Register of Jewish Births, Marriages and Deaths announced the birth of Isabella Wolff in Gelsenkirchen, daughter of Bertha and Nathan Wolff. We do not know when the young family returned to Germany and settled in Gelsenkirchen. Bertha and Nathan Wolff had two more children, Jenny and Kurt Wolff. 

We now know the family relationships. Bertha Wolff is Louis Eisendrath’s stepsister. In 1866 they emigrated to the USA together. The Wolff and Eisendrath families get on well. Louis Eisendrath and his family travel a lot, also to Europe, and visit Germany, England, France and the Netherlands. Their address in Germany is always Dr. Kurt Wolff, now a judge in Cologne. 

“Anyhow, in 1925 we were in Köln. My grandfather looked up one of our cousins who was a divorce magistrate and judge in Köln. His name was Kurt Wolff, and evidently he must have been related to Tante Eva. I do not know. Anyhow, Kurt was very nice. He was about my father`s age. My father wanted to meet some of the relatives who lived in and around Köln, and suggested to Kurt that he contact and invite them to a dinner, which my father would give before leaving Köln. This Kurt did and it was obvious that perhaps 40 different relatives came to my father’s dinner party, I remember distinctly that Kurt asked my father what he should order for the banquet, or rather the other way round, my father asked Kurt and Kurt immediately answered “Hummer”. He said, these people have not had lobster for many years and it would be a real experience for them to have it at your party. And so it was. They got their lobster and they enjoyed it most thoroughly”. (from letters Joseph L. Eisendrath jr/Chicago/USA to Elisabeth Cosanne-Schulte-Huxel 1989/1990). 

On 31 March 1933 the SA and SS stormed the Cologne court on Reichensberger Platz and arrested all the Jewish judges and attorneys. They were driven to police headquarters in an open vehicle and subjected to maltreatment. Dr. Kurt Wolff was one of the victims of this action. At the end of 1935 he had to give up his position as judge. On 22 October 1941 Dr. Kurt Wolff, his fiancée Cläre Weinberg and his widowed sister Jenny Wolff (married name Lazarus) were deported from Cologne to the Lodz ghetto. Kurt Wolff was murdered in Auschwitz in August 1944. 

(Information: NS Documentation Center of the City of Cologne, Nina Matuszewski, 26 January 2021) 

 

When the Stolperstein was installed, it was not yet known that in summer 1944 Kurt Wolff had been transported from Lodz to Auschwitz.

 
   
 

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