personal data

Adler Karl

First Name
Karl (Kalonymus, Kalman)
Date of Birth
Place of birth
Bad Kissingen
Other family members

Parents: Hirsch and Therese Adler née Rosenthal
Siblings: JohannaLotteSuse Adler
Aunt: Jeanette Adler
Spouse: Miriam (Fanny) née Cohn
5 children, among them Varda and Tirza


Theresienstraße 5b (today 10)


April 1937 emigrated to Palestine

Date of death
Place of death


Karl (Kalman) Adler was born on August 30, 1912 as the first child of the goods dealer Hirsch Adler and his wife Therese, née Rosenthal in Bad Kissingen. Together with his younger sisters he had a wonderful, carefree childhood in the spa town. In those days life in Bad Kissingen still seemed to be calm and peaceful. What the Jewish community had to offer appeared to be – thanks to the numerous Jewish visitors of the spa from Germany and abroad – diverse and sophisticated. In addition, Hirsch and Therese Adler undertook a lot of things with their whole family. They especially enjoyed playing chess, checkers, and ping pong with them and talk long walks with the whole family. But they also attached importance to acquainting their children with the Jewish religion and the Thora. The children were supposed to be deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and to regard themselves as loyal German citizens at the same time. Hirsch Adler was deeply influenced by the German Enlightenment and the humanitarian ideal of Lessing, Goethe, and Schiller.

Therefore, the Adlers were hit more badly by the massive growth of anti-Semitism in Bad Kissingen at the beginning of the 1930s. The boycott of businesses on April 1, 1933 abruptly changed the situation from one day to the next. They found themselves confronted with a lot of agitation and restrictions. The boycott of their business hit them especially hard economically. Living and surviving became harder and harder. Karl, who had attended Kissingen Realschule, had studied at the Israelitic teachers’ training school ILBA in Würzburg from 1929 to 1932. After that he worked shortly as a teacher in Hammelburg, before he attended further education at a yeshiva and a retraining (called “hachschara”) for his emigration to Palestine in order to get better chances of receiving an immigration permit from the British Mandate Management. In 1935, Karl Adler, who called himself Kalman Nesher in Palestine, received the long-waited-for permit. He also spent some time in Bad Mergentheim and Halberstadt.

On April 7, 1937, he emigrated to Palestine and settled in the religious kibbutz of Hafetz Haim, which he had co-founded, to work as a teacher and librarian. Some years later he got acquainted with Miriam Cohn there, who had been born in Hamburg and was a kindergarden teacher. She had first emigrated to Rotterdam and later lived in Copenhagen, where she got her entry visa for Palestine and could emigrate there in 1940. They married in February 1942 and had five children, among them Varda (b. 1943) and Tirza (b. 1947). Kalman lived in Haifa till 1981. He died on October 6, 1999 at the age of 87.

(Hans Jürgen Beck)

5_Karl Adler mit seinen Schwestern Johanna, Lotte und Suse
Karl Adler with his three sisters Johanna, Lotte and Suse
Passport Miriam Cohn (spouse of Karl Adler)


Mitteilungen der Familie
Meldeakten Stadt Bad Kissingen
Biographische Datenbank Jüdisches Unterfrankenexterner Link
Hans-Jürgen Beck, Kissingen war unsere Heimat, S. 775 (Informationen basieren größtenteils auf: Tirza Cohen, Jerusalem, The Story of the Adler Family of Bad Kissingen, unveröffentlichtes Manuskript vom August 2010; Übersetzung Hans-Jürgen Beck)
Israel's archives are going onlineexterner Link 

Photo credits

Passfotos Karl und Miriam Adler © Israel's archives are going onlineexterner Link
© Tirza Cohen