upheimand its Annihilation
Book Pages 196 - 203
soap manufacturer, 2 Judenberg
Translated by: Markus Ganser
DR . ANTJE KÖH LE RSCH MI DT
Alfred Samuel Erlebacher, born August 10, 1897 in Diedelsheim, Germany; merchant, OO Rosa Erlebacher, née Wertheimer, born October 30, 1897 in Kippenheim, Germany.
– Albert Erlebacher, born September 28, 1932 in Ulm. Family emigrated to Milwaukee in Wisconsin, USA, on October 31, 1937.
|Sophie Erlebacher, Jul. Levigard, Jul. Regensteiner.||Alfred Erlebacher as a student at secondary school|
There are no further facts about the education and schooling of the Erlebacher brother and sisters. Obviously, after leaving school, Alfred joined his father’s business and became a soap producer and trader.When he was twenty years old, he was called to war, being enlisted to the German army in Geislingen near Stuttgart on November 15, 1917, becoming a private bound to fight on the Western front in the last year of the war.
Judenberg 26.In this time the unemployment rate in Germany was steadily rising, reaching 15.7% in 1930. What is also interesting about the advertisement is the wide range of goods provided by the soap factory, covering articles for washing and ironing plus a great variety of grease and oil products.
According to the
picture of the house, which must have been taken after 1928 as it already
puts Alfred Erlebacher as the owner, which he officially became in November
1929 by decision of the district court, the shop must have been quite small
despite the broad range of goods they had in stock. As taking photographs
was still something special in those times, we can assume that both
individuals in front of the house belonged to the business; it is very
likely, but not 100% sure that the picture shows Alfred and Rosa Erlebacher.
When the Erlebacher family emigrated in 1937, they were still able
to keep most of their furniture and household items by organizing a ship
carrier via Rotterdam to New York with the Barr, Moering & Co. GmbH shipping
agency in Stuttgart. A list signed by town councilor Dilger by order of the
mayor Marxer details out the individual property items of the Erlebacher
family, which clearly reveals how big the control of the Nazi authorities
Due to the technical possibilities
of the Internet and the great support from Dr. Yitzhak Heinrich Steiner, we
have access to the extensive correspondence between Rosa‘s parents, Lina and
Maier Wertheimer, her sisters Selma and Hermine, and between her brothers
Ernst and Heinrich Wertheimer. The original documents from 1937 to 1954 are
stored at the Milwaukee Area Research Center and provide insight into the
family relations and living conditions.A main characteristic of
these personal letters is that the family members really cared for one
another under these adverse circumstances. The main interest was to find a
way and help the relatives who still remained in Germany in their emigration
efforts. In this context, Ernst Wertheimer was trying to get his parents
Lina and Maier and his brother Heinrich to Tel Aviv. Hermine Wertheimer
succeeded in emigrating to Johannesburg in 1937, where she started a new
life under very simple conditions, being subject to help from abroad in the
Life in the USA
During the first two years Alfred Erlebacher was a temporary worker at different companies. In 1939 he got a permanent contract including standard wage. In a letter dated June 3, 1939 he stated:
„Once I received the contract, I sent an affidavit to my parents-in-law, so that they could make an immigration request for South Africa. Unfortunately this takes too long. In the past, it would have gone along smoothly. Now, it is not sure if things are going to turn out well, just a hope. Things aren’t going well here at all. Here, there are many Jews and half of the non-Jewish white people are to a lesser, or to be more precisely, to a greater extent anti-Semitic, even National Socialist. How this is going to turn out politically is not really predictable. For the time being, new emigrants are only allowed in exceptional cases, and I hope that we don’t have to migrate again one day.”
„If things work out the way we have right to believe, the future will be brighter for us and we will be able to save some money for the family. In this regard, we are thinking particularly about Selma. Heaven knows what will happen to her if she stays in Germany. As you know, she has the affidavit for the US, and please don’t stop to convince her to come over as soon as possible. You are the only ones that can do something for the ‘Laupheimer’, because neither Ernst nor I live in a neutral country. We can’t even write to Laupheim. We don’t intend to send you letters to be forwarded, but we will address the Red Cross for this as soon we find some time. Please send them our regards and keep an eye on what’s going on with Selma.
In the American Consulate in Stuttgart alone, between 45000 and 50000 individuals and families are registered. I have a number between 18 and 19000 and according to current calculations I have to wait about two years. But we don’t lose hope that it’s getting better. And meanwhile I am also looking to make it to another country (England), but this is equally difficult. In this case too, thousands of young girls and families are waiting. You don’t happen to have friends in England who could help to find a job there?”
Albert Erlebacher, Professor em.
Throughout their life, Alfred and Rosa Erlebacher kept up close relations with their relatives who were spread across the whole world. Their son Albert successfully passed his school exams and followed an academic career. It is owing to him that the mail correspondence of his parents was archived and filed. Albert Erlebacher is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin holding a Ph.D. in research about Civil War and Reconstruction. He married Dolores Adler on June 28, 1961. The couple has a son named Seth Allen Samuel Erlebacher. Dr. Albert Erlebacher and his son visited Laupheim in 1988, following the invitation by the Laupheim mayor Ottmar Schick. Unfortunately, a follow-up contact could not be established in the course of writing the memory book.
Adreß- und Geschäfts-Handbuch für die Oberamtsstadt und die Bezirksgemeinden Laupheim.
Erlebacher Family Papers, 1937–1954. Milwaukee Small Collection
59.1 cubic ft.,
Museum zur Geschichte von Christen und Juden Schloss
Standesamt Laupheim. Familienregisterband
V. S. 262.
Weil, Jonas: Verzeichnis von Kriegsteilnehmern der israelitischen Gemeinde Laupheim. Laupheim