Much of the following is taken from remarks made by "Opapa"
and his first cousin Dr. Emmerich (Imre) RECHNITZER regarding their
legend holds that the RECHNITZER family originated in Spain.
Sometime around the 15th century, an immigration began which took this
family, as well as many others, via Italy to the Austro-Hungarian area
of the Hapsburg Empire. They eventually sojourned in the town of
Rechnitz, where Count Batthyany permitted migrants to live and work on
his land and pay taxes to him for this privilege. The family's
Spanish name was dropped as the ruling monarchy would only accept
Hungarian or German names. The Batthyany family had a number of
castles, including one in Körmend. It is speculated the
RECHNITZER family assumed their name after departing Rechnitz, first
for Sümeg, then for Körmend.
Moritz RECHNITZER (1821-1912) of
Körmend, son of Jacob RECHNITZER and Charlotte
was a soap and brick manufacturer. His wife, Johanna AGLAR
(1831-1911), was the daughter of Benedikt AGLAR and Terez (aka Kata?)
KAUDERS. Benedikt was a wealthy tanner who employed 12 artisans
and several apprentices. He also owned a
banking firm and his Sephardic family had roots in Salonika,
Greece. Oil portraits painted around the 1840s show Jacob and
Charlotte to be rather well-to-do for the time: Jacob had a heavy
gold chain over his vest and Charlotte wore a violet silk dress with a
large gold and lapiz brooch. Physically, in general the RECHNITZERS
tended to be tall and blond, and their son Moritz was no
exception. Moritz was very accomplished as a soap and candle
maker and became the master of his guild. He also served as the
gabbai for the synagogue, owned a small farm and brick kiln, had a
hospital built for the town and paid for the education of poor but
gifted Jewish boys.
Moritz and Johanna had five children: Ignacz
(1850-1881), Miksa (Max, 1851-1918), Mayer Edmund (Ödön,
1852-1905) and Herman (1854-1908).
Ignacz followed in his father's footsteps,
became a soap manufacturer and moved to
Zalaegerszeg. He married Regina SCHWARZ. They had two sons,
Jenõ and Istvan, who both changed their surname to REVESZ.
Regina, a very stately woman, married Ignatz
(1843-1925). Their eldest son Salamon (1871-1923) changed his
first name to Friedrich Solomon and his surname to PALLIN.
Younger son Jenõ (1872-1963) became Eugen. Both sons were
Szombathely and the family later moved to Graz, Austria.
Ignatz was a very
religious man and was head of the Jewish congregation in Graz.
Regina contracted either a kidney or heart ailment after the birth of
her second son and died at the age of thirty-one. Friedrich married Olga MAUTHNER and
co-owned a grain trading company
and an electric milling
company with his father, and was the Counsel of the Chamber of Commerce
in Graz. He received the title "Kommerzialrat" as the State
Railroad Counsel for the Ministry of Railroads in Vienna. In WWI
he served as a reserve Lieutenant in the Balkans, where he
contracted pernicious anemia. He eventually succumbed to this
ailment, a tragedy as it is a treatable illness today. Olga perished in Maly Trostinec, a small
just east of Minsk and the site of the Einsatzgruppe (mobile killing
unit) massacre of some 4,000 Jews. Eugen
became an ear, nose and throat physician in Graz and later was the
Medical Counsel Primarius
at the Rothschild Hospital in Vienna from 1939-1946. He and his
Charlotte, nee PLACHTE, survived the entire period of Nazi occupation
in Vienna. During the last days of the battle for Vienna, when
both the Russians and Germans bombarded the city, Charlotte caught a
lung infection and died in 1945. Eugen moved to the United
States, where his daughter lived, in 1946.
Max operated an iron and specialty shop.
He married Fanny BLAU (1856-1923), a woman poetic in nature and a good
Their children were Elvira (1878-1942), Imre (Emmerich, 1880-1966?),
Olga (1882-1942), Viktor (aka Gyözö, 1886-1942) and
Elsa (1896-1943). Max had a series of business reversals and
succumbed to complications from the Spanish Flu in 1918. Of Max
children, only Emmerich survived the Holocaust.
blonde, married the equally blonde Irma UNKNOWN (1887-?). They
lived in Vienna. Their daughter Lizzi (1922-1946) escaped to
England on a Kindertransport in February 1939 at the age of 16.
She married Horace Edwin CHANT, an engineer, in London in 1942 and they
may have moved to Bournemouth. Lizzi died in 1946, probably of
meningitis, at the age of 24, a sadly short marriage and life.
According to the notes on their daughter's Kindertransport file,
Viktor and Irma hoped to emigrate to a neutral country. However,
that was not to be. Viktor and Irma were
Vienna Oct. 19, 1941 to the Lódz/Lichtmannstadt Ghetto, where
Viktor contracted typhus and/or tuberculosis. Though scheduled
for deportation from Lódz to Chelmno, Irma sought successfully
to delay their deportation due to Viktor's illness by securing a
physician's affidavit that her husband was "permanently bedridden and
so weak that he cannot be transported without endangering his life" and
that furthermore "for his care the presence of his wife is
necessary". But Viktor died May 7th, 1942 and so Irma
requested another delay to attend her
husband's funeral, for which she received a reprieve of only a few
days. It is assumed that Irma was deported to Chelmno around May
11th, and murdered there.
Viktor and Irma RECHNITZER were in Lódz at the same time as
Viktor's second cousin, Irma (nee RECHNITZER) and Theo MENZEL.
See "Two Irma Rechnitzers at Lódz" for more about this sad
coincidence and "RECHNITZER/Graz2" (link at the bottom of the page) for
information about Irma and Theo MENZEL.
Elvira, Elsa, Olga and three of
Emmerich's six children all perished in concentration camps. A
fourth child, a charming girl with a sunny disposition, died of
tuberculosis of the brain at a young age. Emmerich's two
surviving sons were both able to leave Austria for the United States
prior to the war in 1938, where they became successful in their
respective professions of ophthalmology and mechanical engineering.
Edmund, an industrialist and a particularly
handsome man, the only one of the siblings with black hair, married Ida
STOLZER. Their children were Vilma, b. 1888, Irma, b. 1889 and
Anna, b. 1891. Vilma married Aron GABOR, a high school
professor, in Körmend in 1914, and they moved to
Timisoara, now Romania. Irma perished in a concentration camp,
and Anna married Police Captain von ROHENCZY of Szombathely. Anna
survived the war and lived out her life as a pensioner in Hungary.
Herman married Joanna SCHLENGER. They
In several nice instances of genealogical
synchronicity, Eugen POLLAK's granddaughter and the webmaster of this
lived in the same neighborhood, used to belong to the same
synagogue, and have mutual friends, though they didn't know it until
they collaborated on this project! In another twist of genealogic
fate, Eugen's cousin Emmerich RECHNITZER's grandson lives in the same
town as the webmaster, and they had the opportunity to meet
recently. Eugen's granddaughter and Emmerich's grandson had lost
track of each other--indeed, Emmerich's grandson had no idea of the
existence of his 3rd cousin, as dates on a family tree erroneously
indicated her birth year as the year of her death. When each of
these descendants independently contacted the webmaster in order to
participate in this project, the webmaster immediately recognized their
connection and was able to re-unite this family!
© Copyright 2008 Judy