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The Jewish Community of Laupheim and its Annihilation

  Book Pages 358 - 364


LÖWENTHAL, Ludwig, "Louis",



City councilor and hop tradesman, 65 Kapellenstrasse


Translated by
: Saada Sarah, Tarmoussi Salma, Gomez Larrambe Peio
Supervisor: Dr. Robynne Flynn-Diez,
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg,
Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen Englischabteilung


[Ludwig ''Louis'' Löwenthal, born January 3, 1850 in Laupheim died May 30, 1918 in Laupheim] OO [Mathilde Löwenthal born January 12, 1857 in Laupheim, died July 7, 1929 in Laupheim]


      Selmar (Sepper) Löwenthal born March 30, 1878 in Laupheim, emigrated to the USA.


      Irma Löwenthal born in 1879 in Laupheim.


View of M. Löwenthal und Sohn residential building and hop warehouse

Drawing by Johann Anton Brenner, Günzburg, 1877

(From: Alt-Laupheimer Bilderbogen, vol.2, page 289)

Letterhead from Marx Löwenthal

(Archive: Michael Schick)


Louis Löwenthal

Louis was a descendent of an old-established Laupheim family. Even his great grandfather Isak, who died in 1834 in Laupheim at the age of 96, was buried there. Their ancestors came from Buchau or Aulendorf. In 1696 the Jewish community Aulendorf no longer existed. Most of them had moved to Buchau.

Isak-Sekel Levy (1738-1834) is the oldest ancestor. He was known as the Nestor (after a Greek mythological hero known for his bravery and speaking skills) of the Jewish communities according to a Beisitzer list of 1828. In this same year the Jews were forced to add a surname, so he chose Löwenthal while his brother Josef chose Löwenstein. After the death of Abraham Löwenstein in 1875, the paternal line of the Löwenstein family no longer existed.

The tombstones of Isak Sekel N1, Marx N4/12 and David Löwenthal N16/12 1 were each decorated with a Levitenkanne. This is a symbol which refers to the Levite origin. In the temple the Levites had to be ritually purified so they washed the priest's hands before the Korban.

On the list of inhabitants of 1863 there were only seventeen Jews with full citizenship, and 152 as Beisitzer. The Löwenthals were one of those families. Because of various marriages, they were related to the families Bernheim, Einstein, Nördlinger, Hofheimer, Steiner, Kirschbaum etc.


Marx Löwenthal

(1776-1856) Marx was a son of Isak-Sekel and the forefather of all Löwenthal hop tradesmen.  As his oldest son he inherited the company, a cattle trade, and lived in one fifth of the house at Judenberg 22-24. His father and grandfather had already lived in this building, the first longhouse, constructed for the Jewish families by the Baron, Damian von Welden.

In the mid-19th century Marx established the M.Löwenthal und Sohn Hopfenhandel (Hop Trade) company. In 1877 a large residential and office building was built at the Kapellenstrasse 75, as well as a hop warehouse, which was located on the back of it. The architect was Mr. Werkman, who at the time was the official Amtsbaumeister. In 1907 an oast with an 82 feet (25 meters) tall steam chimney was added



In the 19th century, hop was also grown in the Laupheim area as well as in Ochsenhausen, Warthausen, Dietenheim and Wain.

“The hop gardens of Laupheim were located in Weihertalösch and along the fields on both sides of the Walpertshofer Strasse all the way to the Bastelwald. The so called Hasenwirts (Knolls hop house), which is nowadays a residential house, and the hop road in front of the airfield keep the memory alive of hop growing in Laupheim.” 3.

Louis Löwenthal

Louis was a hop merchant and took over the company M.Löwenthal und Sohn after the death of his father Simon (1811-1874). Louis was married to his cousin Mathilde (born. Löwethal), daughter of his uncle Nathan Löwenthal, who lived at Kapellenstrasse 63. He was a member of the shooting club, the town council and a committee member of the Verschönerungsverein (Association for the Beautification of Laupheim). Louis and the building inspector Werkmann were especially appreciated for the organization of the great three-day agricultural festival which was held in September 1910 and was one of the biggest festivities at that time in Laupheim. The occasion was the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Agricultural District Association. 150 guests were welcomed by Theodor Ehemann (district administrator) to the hall of the guesthouse Zur Post.

Louis Löwenthal died May 30, 1918.

''He is not listed in the register of deaths; maybe he died –like his wife– in Frankfurt and was buried there? His widow Mathilde Löwenthal, born Löwenthal, died on July 7th, 1929 in Frankfurt and was buried 3 days later in Laupheim.” 4


Salomon Löwenthal

Louis’s brother, Salomon, was born in 1846. He married his cousin Rosalie, daughter of his uncle Nathan. Since 1893 he had been a copartner of the company M. Löwenthal und Sohn.


Isaak Löwenthal

Isaak, another brother, was born in 1848 and lived in New York. He worked as a businessman. Later when he returned to Laupheim, he was able to live off his previous earnings. He died November 30, 1929 in Laupheim. His family status is unknown.

After Louis and his brother Salomon Löwenthal left the company in 1910, Selmar (Sepper), Salomon Löwenthal’s son from Ulm, took over the business. Their hop business was still running good even after Hitler’s rise to power.

In June 1935 Mayor Marxer writes to the district administration regarding the Jewish question:

“The great importance of the Jew’s fiscal capacity in Laupheim’s economy is reflected in the documents. The business profits obtained by the M. Löwenthal und Sohn Co. in 1935 will increase substantially according to the temporary memorandum of the finance office.” 5

On July 16, 1937 the company and its property were bought by the Steiner Grundbesitzverwaltung GmbH Laupheim, which was changed into Simon H. Steiner GmbH in 1966.

In 1972 the company Landmann und Sohn GmbH Fürth/Bavaria purchased the residential building and the hop warehouse. They sold the property to Dr. Gernot Huxoll and his wife Renate in 1982.

However, after the couple Huxoll was able to acquire a property at Lange Strasse 53, the dilapidated buildings in the Kapellenstrasse were resold to the GWO (Association for House Building Oberland) in Laupheim in 1983. Josef Braun wrote:

“Although the house to the right seemed neglected due to its shuttered windows, one could still take pleasure in it. Relic hunters dismantled the wonderful solid oaken entrance door, (which had a perfect, handmade, door grill decorated with plenty of small rosettes) as well as the roof light, and some pieces from the inside; even the beautiful weather cock was taken down. The pleasant building was eventually declared a ruin. For this reason it didn’t take much longer for the building to be demolished, removing yet another piece of the beautiful architecture to be found in Laupheim’s old streetscape.”
John H. Bergman wrote the following in a letter to a Löwenthal descendant from Ulm:
“Years ago I fell in love with the front door at the Kapellenstrasse 65, the house where Louis and Mathilde lived. The nail holes to which the Mezuzah was once affixed are still visible on the wall. Attached you will find a picture, which I, however, would like to have back as soon as possible!”  
In April 1985 the Mack family from Friedberg requested permission to build a market. Plans were made, but the construction project was abandoned.7

Prior to that the GWO Laupheim had submitted concrete development proposals for the creation of a residential complex. This correlated ultimately with the District Council’s urban goals and in 1988 condominiums began to be constructed after the demolition of the buildings, including the 88.6 feet (27 meters) high chimney.



The front door of the Löwenthal’s property in which John Bergmann fell "in love",

 has been preserved: During the restoration of the Oxen in Kapellenstrasse, the architect G. Mann

has used it as a front door for the Stallschänke restaurant. (Picture: Robert Eß)


LAUPHEIM - The senior citizen’s club offers an interesting lecture on Wednesday January, 22 at 2:30 pm. Where was the Hopfenhandel Löwenthal & Sohn located and how does it look there today? Questions like this will be answered by Theo Miller in his diversified slide presentation ''Laupheim then and now'' in the hall of the Catholic parish hall. Guests are welcome. The photos below show the location of the company Löwenthal und Sohn then and now.

(Foto: Archiv Theo Miller SZ v. 17. 1. 2003)



''Louis'' Löwenthals children:


Selmar (Sepper) Löwenthal born March 20, 1878 in Laupheim, was one of Max Bergmann’s (1879-1952) friends. He and other people from Laupheim were involved, for example, in the great carnival parade in Bronnen in 1911.

“They managed to borrow many original uniforms that were no longer in use from the Ulmer Garrison's commander, as well as weapons for the infantry.” 8

He was a member of the Radfahrerverein (Cycling Club) and, like his father Louis, of the Schützenverein (Shooting Club). “The two Löwenthals never fail to come” said Wilhelm Preßmar in 1910 in his Laupheimer Schützenmarsch. Furthermore “since Selmar got married he's as tame as a lamb.”

An invitation that Selmar and his friend Max received still exists. John H. Bergman writes:

“The party was held December 13, 1907 at 8 o’clock in the Schloss Schenke (Castle Bar), which at that time was a very popular place. Wearing a tailcoat or a vest was mandatory! Certainly the food must have been expensive.” 9

On August 2, 1914 he was requested to enlist, and did so as a sergeant. However, he was promoted to Vizewachtmeister in the same year, and to Wachtmeister January 1, 1915. He was awarded several medals for his merits, as well as the Iron Cross. Because of the regiment commander, Major Hartenstein’s anti Semitism, he wouldn’t get any further promotion. After defensive battles, military advances, trench warfare and retreat battles, he was dismissed November 20, 1918. 10

In the second row from the bottom to the left, Selmar;

to the right, his father Louis; and Paul Gerhardt in the front.

(From: Alt Laupheimer Bilderbogen, page 30)


The Laupheimer Radfahrerverein, 1983.

In the front, Raff, next to him, Selmar Löwenthal (with a hat)

(From: Braun, Alt Laupheimer Bilderbogen, page 41)

Selmar got married in Laupheim. After the war he settled down in Frankfurt. He owned a company that sold coated abrasives. Frequently he visited the Bergmanns in New York and exchanged old memories with them11. His sister, Irma Löwenthal, was born in Laupheim in 1878. In 1922 she had her bat mitzvah, a ceremony that Jewish girls undergo at the age of 12, when they are regarded as having religious maturity and are fully accepted in the community. It may be compared to Catholic and Protestant confirmation.

A picture from 1893 shows Irma Löwenthal with a Bergmann daughter. Nothing is known about her later whereabouts.

Flora Bergmann (left) and Irma Löwenthal posing as laundresses.



1) „Der Jüdische Friedhof Laupheim“, Nathanja Hüttenmeister.

2) Plans from Notary’s Office in Laupheim.

3) Josef K. Braun, „Altlaupheimer Bilderbogen“, volume I, page 168.

4) „Der Jüdische Friedhof “, page 459. Louis Löwenthal didn’t die as it says in 1910, but in 1918.

5) Archive Biberach, writing from June, 6 1935

6) Josef K. Braun, „Altlaupheimer Bilderbogen“ volume II, page 288.

7) Stadtbauamt Laupheim, archive

8) "Altlaupheimer Bilderbogen" volume I, page 197

9)  The Bergmanns from Laupheim, John H. Bergmann

10) Erinnerungsblatt an den Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918 für die israelische Gemeinde Laupheim

11) John H. Bergmann in a letter on December, 20 1987

12) Gerstenberg, "Judentum - Geschichte, Lehre und Kultur": Upon reaching the age of 13 years, boys are regarded as Bar Mitzva (son of the commandment) and as such are responsible for their own religious actions. For instance, from this point on they have to fast during Jom Kippur and are regarded as minyan members of the synagogue. At the age of 12, girls are considered as Bat Mitzva (daughter of the commandment). Their celebration was first introduced at the beginning of the 20th century.


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