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Hedwig Freudenthaler née Ottenheimer (1893 - 1945)

Hedwig Freudenthaler, née Ottenheimer

Hedwig (Edwige) Ottenheimer was born in Heinsheim on February 19, 1893. She was the eldest daughter of the trader Moses Ottenheimer (1861 - 1942) and his wife Hannchen née Kaufmann (1867 - 1932). Moses and Hannchen Ottenheimer had seven children, all born in Heinsheim: Hedwig, Adelheid (*1894), Eduard (*1897), Jakob (*1898), Sophie (*1901), Nellie (*1905) and Ruth (*1916).

On January 6, 1920 Hedwig married in Heidelberg the merchant Ludwig Freudenthaler (1889 - 1928). The couple had two daughters: Anna was born in Heidelberg in 1925, Hilde was born in Steinsfurt in 1926.

Ludwig Freudenthaler was accountant in the firm Eichtersheimer and later started his own firm dealing with building materials in Steinsfurt. He died in 1928 in Richen from the aftereffects of his war injuries. He is remembered on the WWI-Memorial in the synagogue. 

After his death the widow moved to Heinsheim with her daughters, where her parents still lived. But her mother died already in 1932.


Moses Ottenheimer Hedwig Freudenthaler, her father Moses Ottenheimer and the elder daughter Anna were deported from Heinsheim to Gurs in October 1940. Her father was brought to a hospital several times and died in Perpignan on March 29, 1942.


Hedwig was deported on 14. August 14, 1942 with Transport 901-14 from Drancy internment camp to the  extermination camp Auschwitz II–Birkenau and murdered. In 1957 the Amtsgericht Mosbach issued an official death declaration for Hedwig Freudenthaler. As time of death the end of WWII (May 8, 1945, 12 pm) was fixed.


Hilde & Annie Freudenthaler

Daughter Anna was able to escape from Gurs and hide in France. She married Léandre Weil in 1946. The couple lived in Paris where Anna died in 2010.

Daughter Hilde went to school in Heilbronn when the deportation to Gurs happened in Baden. She was later transported first to the Theresienstadt Ghetto and from there to the KZ Auschwitz. She had to do slavework in a subcamp. When this was evacuated she went to KZ Gross-Rosen and from there to the Buchenwald concentration camp. She was finally liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Hilde emigrated to the USA. In 1947 she married Fred Bodenheimer. She died in Baltimore on August 1, 2015.

A number of family members of Hedwig Ottenheimer who had moved from Heinsheim were taken from their places of living and murdered.


There is an entry for Hedwig in the memorialbook of the Bundes-Archive (869314).

There are several entries for Hedwig in the Yad Vashem data base (3175483, 3801900, 6665921, 6811317, 8076364 und 8076387).

In the German Wikipedia (Artikel Jüdische Gemeinde Heinsheim) she is remembered:

1940 lebte noch Moses Ottenheimer mit seiner Familie in Heinsheim, der am 22. Oktober 1940 zusammen mit seiner Tochter Hedwig Freudenthaler und dem Enkelkind Anna nach Gurs deportiert wurde. Moses Ottenheimer starb 1942 in Südfrankreich, seine Tochter im gleichen Jahr in Auschwitz.


Entries in the registers in Heinsheim, Heidelberg and Steinsfurt

Material from the Stadtarchiv Sinsheim „Steinsfurt”

Material from the Stadtarchiv Bad Rappenau. We thank the archivist there who searched and collected that material and provided it for us.

We got the photos, which are from the „Jews' passports”, from the town archive in Bad Rappenau, which allowed us to use them here.

Photo of Anna and Hilde courtesy Hilde's grandchildren.