- The Odenheimer family papers consist of correspondence, family history and genealogy, immigration files, photographs, and restitution files documenting the history of the Odenheimer family in Odenheim, Germany, Kurt and Ilse Odenheimer’s immigration to the United States in 1939, Marie and Isidor Odenheimer’s deportation to and internment in southern France in October 1940, the deaths of Isidor and Julius Odenheimer in concentration camps, and Marie’s immigration to the United States in 1941.
Correspondence primarily consists of letters exchanged between the Odenheimer family in Germany and later as refugees in France with their relatives in America, particularly in Toledo and New Orleans. Included are letters from Marie Odenheimer while she was interned at Gurs, a refugee in Marseilles, and aboard the SS Winnipeg on her way to the United States; letters from Julius Odenheimer while he was interned at Les Milles; and correspondence between Kurt and Ilse Odenheimer after they immigrated to the United States with their parents who were still in Europe. Family history includes clippings, interviews, personal narratives, family trees, and Yad Vashem testimony documenting the Odenheimer, Herz, Lowell, Merzbacher, and Wertheim families.
Immigration files include German and French financial and customs records documenting the Odenheimer family’s efforts to clear European emigration requirements; applications, affidavits, correspondence, and travel documents related to their efforts to immigrate to the United States; and Russian transit visas applications related to their unsuccessful efforts to immigrate via Russia.
One photograph depicts an Odenheimer family reunion in Germany in approximately 1934. Isidor Odenheimer is standing fourth from the left in the fifth row; Julius Odenheimer is standing third from right in the third row; Sigmund Odenherim is seated fourth from right in the second row; and Kurt Odenheimer is seated third from left in the first row. Five unlabeled photographs were taken aboard a ship and might depict Marie Odenheimer’s immigration to the United States aboard the SS Winnipeg and the SS Evangeline.
Restitution files include certificates documenting Marie Odenheimer’s internment and Isidor Odenheimer’s death at Gurs, and correspondence, financial records, affidavits, and property records documenting the Odenheimer family’s efforts to receive restitution for real estate, property, and financial assets lost during the Holocaust.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Odenheimer
- Collection Creator
- Odenheimer family
Isidor Odenheimer (1883-1940) was born in Odenheim, Germany and inherited a grocery and dry goods store from his father. He married Marie Herz (1897-1971) from Kochendorf, Germany in 1921. Their children were Kurt (1922-2004) and Ilse (1924-1996). Isidor and his brothers Julius (1881-1941) and Sigmund (1886-approximately 1941) were imprisoned in Dachau for several weeks following Kritstallnacht. Kurt and Ilse immigrated to the United States in August 1939 with their father’s sister, Frieda Elsas, and were picked up in New York by their mother’s sister and brother-in-law, Siegfried and Lina Metzger from Toledo. Marie and Isidor applied for their visas three weeks after applying for their children’s visas, so their wait was much longer. They tried to immigrate in the spring of 1940 through Genoa, but Isidor suffered a heart attack, and by the time he recovered, Italy had entered the war, blocking the Italian exit route. Marie tried to immigrate through Russia and Japan but was unable to obtain Russian transit visas. Marie, Isidor, and Julius were deported with other Jews from Baden to internment camps in southern France in October 1940. Isidor died in Gurs in November 1940. Marie was released from Gurs and stayed in Marseilles until she boarded the SS Winnipeg bound for Martinique. The ship was diverted to Trinidad, and Marie arrived in America aboard the SS Evangeline in June 1941. Julius Odenheimer was interned at Les Milles and deported via Drancy and Auschwitz in August 1942. Ilse Odenheimer married Henry B. Jacobsen in 1946, and Kurt Odenheimer married Gertrude Mendelson in 1947.