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The Frankenberg Family

The brothers Löb and Nathan Frankenberg came from Marisfeld to Themar in the 1880s.

Löb Frankenberg (1816 Marisfeld - 1894 Themar) married Jette Hermann (1826 in Henrichs - 1903 in Themar). Their children are Nathan Löb (1853 in Marisfeld - 1920 in Themar), Emma (1855 in Marisfeld - 1912 in Themar), Sara (1857 in Marisfeld - 1941 Themar), Amalie (1862 in Marisfeld - 1931 in Meiningen), Louis (1865 in Marisfeld - 1934 in Themar), Meta (1866 in Marisfeld - 1955 in Dinslaken, she survived the Theresienstadt Ghetto) and Samuel.

Samuel Frankenberg, born 20.12.1859 in Marisfeld married Karoline Schloss (born 7 April 1860, presumably in Gleicherwiesen). Her son Nathan was born on August 30, 1888 in Themar.

Samuel and Karoline Frankenberg left Themar together with their son Nathan on July 23, 1890 and moved to Schleusingen. Here they ran a cattle trade and a small shop with cutlery in Langen Gasse/Bertholdstraße 3.

Das Frankenberg-Haus in Themar (Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: The Frankenberg-House in Themar (Henry Frankenberg)

Von links: Karoline, Sohn Nathan, Samuel Frankenberg (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: From the left: Karoline, son Nathan, Samuel Frankenberg (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Werbeanzeige aus dem Henneberger Kreisblatt

Photo: Advertisement from Henneberger Kreisblatt

Das Frankenberg-Haus in der Bertholdstraße 3 vor der Sanierung (Sammlung: Kerstin Möhring)

Photo: The Frankenberg-House in Bertholdstraße 3 before the renovation (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

Das Haus nach der Sanierung (Sammlung: Kerstin Möhring)

Photo: The house after renovation (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

Die Haustür Bertholdstraße 3 (Sammlung: Kerstin Möhring)

Photo: The front door Bertholdstraße 3 (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

Karoline Frankenberg died on 25 February 1932 in Schleusingen, her husband Samuel Frankenberg also died there on 16 August 1936. They were both buried at the Jewish cemetery in Schleusingen.

Grabstein Karoline Frankenberg (Sammlung: Kerstin Möhring)

Photo: Gravestone Karoline Frankenberg (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

Grabstein Samuel Frankenberg (Sammlung: Kerstin Möhring)

Photo: Gravestone Samuel Frankenberg (Collection: Kerstin Möhring)

Nathan Frankenberg worked after his marriage as a cattle dealer in Bertholdstr. 3. His wife Hedwig Frankenberg, born Mittel, born April 4, 1893 in Unsleben/Krs. Neustadt a. S., moved from Unsleben to Schleusingen on September 25, 1922.

Vermählungsanzeige im „Henneberger Kreisblatt“

Photo: Wedding announcement in "Henneberger Kreisblatt"

Hedwig Mittel (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: Hedwig Mittel (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Nathan Frankenberg (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: Nathan Frankenberg (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Ilse, born on December 14, 1925 in Schleusingen and Heinz, born on September 23, 1927 in Schleusingen, attended secondary school in the city.

Ilse Frankenberg (rechts) mit ihren Schleusinger SpielkameradInnen (Sammlung: Ilse Frankenberg)

Photo: Ilse Frankenberg (right) with her Schleusinger playmates (Collection: Ilse Frankenberg)

Die Geschwister Ilse und  Heinz Frankenberg (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: The siblings Ilse and Heinz Frankenberg (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Die Geschwister Ilse und  Heinz Frankenberg (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: The siblings Ilse and Heinz Frankenberg (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Heinz als Schüler (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: Heinz as a pupil (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Weihnachten 1931: Nathan, Hedwig und Heinz am Wohnzimmertisch (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: Christmas 1931: Nathan, Hedwig and Heinz at the living room table (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

On July 23, 1937, the 1st deputy of the city of Schleusingen wrote the following letter to the tax office, Department of Foreign Exchange Management in Rudolstadt: "Subject: Departure of the Jew Nathan Frankenberg from Schleusingen to U.S.A. - The full Jew Nathan F r a n k e n b e r g, [...] had previously been resident here, has today applied for the issuance of a passport. F. wants to leave for the U.S.A. and - according to his statements - prepare the emigration for his family by securing an existence there. First I gave up the F. the provision of a certificate of harmlessness from the local tax office with regard to taxation. From a political point of view, there were no concerns about leaving the country. I hereby give notice of the F.'s intention." In the following he gives information about the departure plans:

- of the Secret State Police Station in Erfurt
- of the NSDAP district administration in Steinbach-Hallenberg
- the President of the State Tax Office in Berlin
- of the Customs Investigation Office in Berlin via branch Meiningen
- of the Reichsbanknebenstelle in Suhl.

A few weeks later, during a city walk with his wife, Nathan was arrested in September 1937 under the pretext of "racial disgrace" and sent to the Schleusinger prison.

After a few days, on 26 September 1937, his wife received the news of her husband's suicide. The family could not believe this, because Mrs. Frankenberg visited her husband every day in prison and brought him his food. They both hoped to be released soon.
Nathan Frankenberg was the last Jewish Schleusinger to be buried in the cemetery.

Ehemaliges Gefängnis in der Gartenstraße, heute Wohnhaus (Sammlung: Hans Schulz)

Photo: Former prison in Gartenstraße, today residential building (Collection: Hans Schulz)

Die letzte Beisetzung auf dem jüdische Friedhof 1937 (Sammlung: Möhring)

Photo: The last funeral at the Jewish cemetery 1937 (Collection: Möhring)

Hedwig Frankenberg left Ilse and Heinz Schleusingen together with their children on November 2, 1937 to move to the USA on August 18, 1938. Hedwig died in 1971. Heinz/Henry Frankenberg died on 8 April 2017 at the age of 86 in the circle of his family in New York. His sister Ilse Botie, née Frankenberg, lives with her family in the USA.

Henry und seine Frau Terri Frankenberg 2008 (Sammlung: Henry Frankenberg)

Photo: Henry and his wife Terri Frankenberg 2008 (Collection: Henry Frankenberg)

Henry Frankenberg tells about his life

Henry Frankenberg tells about his life: Video recording

If your browser does not support the video, you can download it here. Watch the video

Henry Frankenberg's memories

On the following page you can read an excerpt from a letter by Henry Frankenberg, in which he tells of his memories of the time in Schleusingen.

Letter from Henry Frankenberg


The question about the alleged suicide of Nathan Frankenberg did not let me rest. Every day Hedwig visited her husband in the Schleusinger prison and brought him the food, they talked confidently about their future. Why should he take his own life? So I looked for clues and found the so-called suicide map in the Thuringian State Archives Gotha (ThStA Gotha: File: 87, Suicide Statistics 1923 - 1944: October 26, 1937: Suicide of the Jew Nathan Frankenberg), but such a map could cover up deeds.

2008 I was able to find the daughter of the prison employee after a lot of research. As she told me, the W. family, her father, mother and she lived in a wing of the prison. So they heard and saw many things. She could still vividly remember when Nathan Frankenberg was taken to prison. "One day two men came to him alone. They stayed overnight. I heard the cries of Mr Frankenberg in my room. It was terrible. The next day my father found Mr Frankenberg dead in his cell. I was very shocked, and so was my father."

That was proof that Nathan was tortured to death and had not committed suicide. The suicide card only served to cover up the murder.