Holocaust victim – granddaughter of Johanna Ellissen

A two page summary of the descendants of David Ellissen, b. 14 Feb 1779-d. 25 Oct 1841, and Henriette Ellissen, b. 13 Jan 1779-d. 10 May 1850, can be found

Among them (at least) 13 fell victim to the holocaust, many known to people still living. A less well known victim, in all likelihood, was Julie Landau, b. 7 May 1870-d. 7 Jul 1942, the granddaughter of Johanna Ellissen (the one that married Leopold David Von Weisweiller, 1807-1871) through her daughter Helene Weisweiller, 1840-1908.

Helene Weisweiller married Ludwig Wollheim, 1830-1917, a Viennese notable (‘Commander of the Order of Franz Joseph with Stars’), and had two children: Oskar and Julie Wollheim. Dr Oskar Wollheim was a functionary in the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance in the 1920s, his name appearing in the League of Nations Treaty Series in a tax treaty with the Kingdom of Hungary. He was also evidently a friend of Wittgenstein’s in the 1930s “later brought to New York by Wittgenstein’s sister” (Wittgenstein in Cambridge: letters and documents 1911-1951, McGuiness ed., p. 181). I have yet to trace him in NY, though.

Julie Wollheim married Edwin Landau. Their story is given on a site called Mahnmal Koblenz (Koblenz Memorial). In translation from the original German, I summarise as follows.

Dr Edwin Landau, a lawyer and Jewish convert to Lutheranism, married Julie Wollheim in 1900 and they had two children, Ilse in 1902 and Edwin Maria in 1904. In his 50s, Edwin took part in WWI ranked as a commissioned cavalry officer (Rittmeister). He returned to the judiciary, retiring as the equivalent of a district or county judge (Amtsgerichtsrat) in 1927.

Edwin Maria Landau’s Wikipedia entry takes up his story. With two friends he founded a publishing house in Berlin called Die Runde (‘The Circle’) devoted to philosophical and cultural issues. Nazification forced him to cease publishing activities in 1935 and (along with several of the authors published by Die Runde) to emigrate, going to London in 1938. Travelling back from a visit to Switzerland in 1939, he became caught up in the outbreak of WWII, where he was interned in a series of French internment camps before successfully seeking political asylum in Switzerland in 1943.

He became a Swiss citizen after the war, married there, and worked as a publisher and editor. His major works were to publish the writings of the German writer Reinhold Schneider, 1903-1958, who analysed from a Catholic perspective how Christians should respond to state oppression, Nazi persecution and anti-Semitism, and to promote the study of the French poet Paul Claudel, a right-wing Catholic who, however, spoke out against Nazification and the Nuremberg Laws, and was suspected of being involved in the escape of Paul-Louis Weiller, 1893-1993 (greatgreatgrandson of David Elllissen through another line), through Morocco and Cuba to Canada. Edwin Maria Landau died in 2001.

Reinhold Schneider on a stamp.

Paul-Louis Weiller.

Ilse Landau became a physiotherapist and, despite being a practising Christian, was also forced out of work because of her Jewish background. Edwin Snr and Julie, now in their 70s, were evidently forced to ‘sell’ their house in Koblenz (i.e. to non-Jews) and move in with Ilse in Berlin, now married to Dr. Friedrich Oppler, a magistrate and, being Jewish, also forced from his job. Friedrich Oppler’s Wikipedia entry relates how he was interned in Sachsenhausen for some months in 1938 and how he and Ilse fled across the Soviet Union in 1940 to find sanctuary in Brazil for the duration of the war.

Edwin Snr died in 1941, leaving his widow Julie Landau alone in Berlin aged in her 70s. Facing the hopeless situation of impending deportation, very likely with no means, her son imprisoned in France and her daughter safe but unable to render help, she committed suicide in July 1942. She is listed in the Gedenkbuch. Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945, Bundesarchiv (German National Archives), Koblenz 1986 – a victim of the Holocaust.

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