Siblings: Sarah, Kehla, Seligmann Bär, Iyras m. Adler, Moses Löb, Adelaide m. Jutkowski
Ehefrau: Gertrude née Drielsma
Promenadestraße 5c (today 17)
February 1939 emigrated to Palestine
Simcha Simon Bamberger was born on December 27, 1899 in Schrimm (now Srem) near Posen/ Poznan (Poland) as the son of Rabbi Seckel and his wife Nannette Bamberger. When his father got his appointment as a rabbi, the family moved into the spa town. In July 1915, Simon graduated from the Royal Realschule of Bad Kissingen with great success. In the last two years of his time at Kissingen Realschule, he was also a member of the Bavarian “Wehrkraftverein” (society to support the military) which had been formed by 40 young officers of the Munich Garrison in November 1909 and was officially founded a quarter of a year later, in Mid-March 1910. It quickly established itself as some sort of a Bavarian branch of the German Boy Scouts, which was under the protection of Prinzregent (Prince Regent) Luitpold and was avidly promoted by the military authorities. No wonder, as its aim was a “Hebung der Wehrhaftigkeit” (improvement of the defensiveness) by means of a close relationship between the army and the schools. At its centre, there were physical training and a premilitary education of the boys. As there were often not enough gyms, hiking played an important role. In 1913, there were 18 local groups with 300 leaders, most of them active or inactive officers, and 3100 boys. Simon Bamberger’s membership in the local group of Bad Kissingen of “Wehrkraftverein” indicates patriotism as one of his basic attitudes and an enthusiasm for the Youth Movement of those days. “As such”, says the certificate of good conduct issued to Simon Bamberger at the beginning of June 1917, “he has proved himself in any respect. Avidly, he took part in all military exercises with constantly great interest and accordingly, has acquired the trust and full satisfaction of his leaders by means of his conscientious fulfilment of his duties. He has been educated according to the guidelines for the education of youths for the military.”
At the end of his time at school, Simon Bamberger went on to study at the Rabbinical School in Berlin like his father. In 1923, he handed in his doctor’s thesis at Würzburg University. About 1924/25 he became a teacher at the Talmud-Thora School in Cologne. In 1928/29 he became the rabbi of the Israelite Religious Society of Stuttgart as the successor of Jonas Ansbacher. In Stuttgart, he joined the Masonic lodge “Licht am Stein” that had been founded in 1913.
When Moses Löb and his brother Simon went to Bad Kissingen in November 1938 to visit their father’s grave on the fourth anniversary of his death, they were arrested together with their sister Kehla during the Pogrom Night. In the afternoon of November 10, the two rabbis and other Jews of Bad Kissingen were chained together like felons and driven through the town from the prison of the district court to the Jewish cemetery. The sons of the former rabbi of Bad Kissingen asked the policemen to spare them this dishonoring and humiliation and promised them not to try to escape. However, the policemen didn’t respond to that. When they had arrived at the cemetery, they and the other Jewish captives had to dig up the earth in a place the policemen indicated to them. Bad Kissingen police believed to have found out that “some time ago, diverse pieces of incriminating material” had been buried in the Jewish cemetery. Instead of the “incriminating material” they had expected the police only found some no longer usable books and Thora Scrolls that had been interred in a grave of their own according to Jewish custom. After the digging had finished, the Jewish captives were once again chained hand to hand and guided back to the prison of the district court in a degrading fashion. Moses Löb and Simon Bamberger were even cynically forced to pay the tourist tax of 10 Reichsmark for their stay in Bad Kissingen. Then the two brothers were deported into Dachau Concentration Camp but were later released.
After his release Simon Bamberger emigrated to Palestine in February 1939 where he became the principal of a religious middle school and a rabbi at a synagogue in Bnei Brak. There, he died in 1957 at the early age of 58. Dr. Bamberger was married to Berlin-born Gertrude Drielsma, who had been a citizen of the Netherlands before her emigration.
Partly based on Hans-Jürgen Beck: Bad Kissingen war unsere Heimat, pp. 433ff. and 442ff.
Biographische Datenbank Jüdisches Unterfranken
Familienfoto © Dr. Shaul Yutav, Tel Aviv
Ehepaar Bamberger © Israel's archives are going online