Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Kanthal Family Papers
Object Name Collection
Catalog Number RG-174
Extent of Description 0.2 linear foot (1 box), 1.783 MB (11 files)
Creator Michael Kanthal
Admin/Biographical History Lieselotte Sara Kanthal (nee Katz) was born April of 1922 in her parent's apartment in Laubach, Germany. In one of the two birth certificates in this record group, as well as her passport, April 20th is stated as her birthdate; however, in a letter written by her brother Alfred, and the second birth certificate, it is claimed her birthdate was actually April 10th. Lieselotte was one of five children including: Margarethe Berta Sara Katz, born 12 December 1923 in Laubach; Ella Sara Katz, born 19 September 1888 in Florsheim; and Alfred Israel Katz, born 7 August 1892 in Laubach. Their father, Michael Alfred Katz of Laubach, was a tradesman married to Ella Katz, the home wife of a merchant.

Lieselotte began the process of emigration to the United States from Germany in 1940 and was granted legal permission to do so in the span of a year, beginning 16 February 1940 until 15 February 1941. On 18 April 1940, she boarded a train from Brenner-Bahnof, to receive her official Immigration visa from the American consulate in Stuttgart on 4 March 1940, and her emigration process officially began.

Justin Kanthal, born 12 May 1913 in Germany, left his homeland, eventually becoming a cook for a hotel in Palestine for 2 years. After this period, he moved to the United States, and began to work for a Delicatessen in New York, where he remained for 6 years. His last known employment at this establishment was August 1942 and on the 14th of the same month, he began his 3 year and 3 month, military service with the Army, separating on 17 October 1945.

The 30 year old Justin Kanthal and 21 year old Lieselotte Katz were married on 27 November 1943 in New York, New York. While Justin was serving the Army in Italy, Lieselotte resided in the New York apartment. She received her certificate of naturalization on 19 July 1945 from the Southern District of New York.

Ella Schwarz-Katz (nee Honig) presumably married into the Katz family, was taken from her home on 6 December 1939 and was a captive of the Nazi party for nearly 4 years. She was taken first from Cologne and brought to the ghetto, Riga, where she remained until November of 1943. She was then taken to the concentration camp Kaiserwald, and then transferred to Riga to work in manufacturing for another year. With the impending threat of the Russians, she was again forced to relocate in autumn of 1944, to the Stutthof concentration camp. In December, she was forced to relocate once again, with no real destination in mind; she participated in forced freezing cold marches for over a month, until she was liberated by the Russians on 26 January 1945.
Copyrights No restrictions on use.
Language of Material German, English, Italian, and Czech
Scope & Content The Lieselotte Kanthal documents focuses more exclusively on Lieselotte, but also includes a document about her husband, Justin Kanthal, and letters written by her family members.

Folder 1 contains emigration documentation which includes: her passport, displaying the multiple consulates she traveled to in order to receive emigration permission; a certificate from a neighbor named Theka Hess, that confirms she knew Lieselotte for a year from 1 January 1939 to the day of her emigration, 17 June 1940; and her certificate of naturalization, obtained on 19 July 1945 in New York City. Folder 2 contains family papers pertaining to the Kanthals, including: A copy of Lieselotte's birth certificate obtained on 30 December 1986 in Laubach; a second copy of Lieselotte's birth certificate obtained on 11 December 1967 in Laubach; Justin Kanthal's Separation Army Qualification Record; and the Certificate of Marriage uniting Lieselotte and Justin on 27 November 1943.

Folder 3 contains 6 photocopied letters sent between Lieselotte's mother and siblings. The first letter was addressed from Frankfurt on 24 June 1941, to Karl and Marbel. The writer is searching for help, because everyone had departed except the writer, who needs help going further. The letter is unsigned. The next letter is dated on 18 August 1941, and discusses the financial needs of the Katz daughter, Berta, who had broken her leg; she needed money for medical bills as well as an affidavit, and the other siblings weren't helping. Letter three is undated, but is addressed, 'from your mother.' It begins as an update of an individual named, 'Jimgard,' and her travels out of Germany and into Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It also discusses financial issues, and a number of items sold to neighbors, for profit. The fourth letter is written from Berta to her sister, Ella. It includes updates on multiple people, including the fact that Margot and 'Liesele' were on the ocean, and that she will greet them. The fifth letter, written from Frankfurt on 29 October 1937, is for the often referred to Kaufman, and includes two portions; the top is written by the brother [-in-law], Alfred, and includes the names, birthdates, and places of birth of each of the Katz children, advocating for Marta and Karl's need of an affidavit. The second part of letter five, is written by the mother, insisting Kaufman follow Alfred's directions. The final letter was addressed from Frankfurt on 1 April 1941 from the mother, who says Leo Kaufman should put in a good word for an affidavit. She is saddened by her abandonment, wishing she had more help from her children.

Folder 4 is a typewritten copy of the firsthand account of a Holocaust survivor named, Ella Schwarz-Katz (nee Honig), written after her release from a concentration camp in January 1945. The paper spans a period of 3 years and 10 months, beginning on 6 December 1941 and ending on 26 January 1945. The first page begins with the description of the 4 and a half day train ride taken from Cologne, to the Moscow Suburb ghetto, Riga where she shared a single room with upwards of 25 people, and was painfully aware of the murder of the newest and existing transports. She was part of the 25% of ghetto inhabitants to survive after the ghetto discontinued in November of 1943, when she began her forced journey to Kaiserwald concentration camp. She remained in Kaiserwald for a short period, until chosen to work in a female labor unit for the A.E.G., a major German Manufacture, with 1000 other women in Riga. In autumn of 1944, the Russians were approaching, and they were relocated to Stutthof, where she shared a room with 1200 other women, in a camp of 50,000 polish prisoners and 45,000 Jews. She was chosen by the B.D.M. (female arm of Nazi Party) to relocate again with 200 other women. She was liberated by the Russians on 26 January 1945, from a dancehall she and the other remaining 65 women were locked into after the BDM soldiers fled.

All digital files are related to Thekla (Tekla) Kanthal, and her deportations. Materials include biographical notes, transportation and deportation documents, and an excerpt from a memorial book. Thekla lived in Langenselbold, Germany before being deported to Theresienstadt on September 1942. She was later deported to Auschwitz on the Eb transport on May 18, 1944 where she perished.
Subjects A.E.G- German Electric Company
American Vice Consolate, Stuggart, Germany
Auschwitz (concentration camp)
B.D.M: League of German Girls
Bertel Grunabramn- Wohlestrasse 4
Bromberg, Poland
Cologne, Germany
Danzig, Poland
Deutsche Effecten - und Wechsel - Bank Frankfurt a.M.
District Court of the United States at the courts of New York
Fort Dix, New Jersey
Florsheim, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt Police President
Frankfurt Magistrate
Hanau, Germany
Industrial Fair building in Koln-Deutz (Cologne)
Italian Consulate in Frankfurt
Jaggens hospital
Kaiserwald (Concentration Camp)
Kassel, Germany
Langenselbold, Germany
Laubach, Germany
Marriage License Bureau-Borough of Manhattan
Municipal Building, Manhattan
New York, New York
NSV: Nazi's Red Cross
Park Ave, Delicatessen, N.Y.
Registrar: Eckert/Mz
Registry Office: Laubach
Riga, Latvian Ghetto
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Skirotawa Ghetto
SS- Schurzstaffel
Stuttgart American Consult
Stuttgart, Germany
Stutthof (concentration camp)
Theresienstadt (concentration camp)
Tilset, Russia
The City of New York Office of the City Clerk
Thorn, Poland
Uehlfeld, Germany
United States of America Southern District of New York
World War, 1939-1945-Deportations from Germany
W.W. Von Schlichten, Maj. Agd (b. unknown, d. unknown)
Imagefile 003\RG174-14.JPG
Containers 1