personal data

Wallenstein Judith

Birth Name
First Name
Date of Birth
Place of birth
Bad Kissingen
Other family members

Parents: Mendel and Rachel Bamberger née Winter
Siblings: Ruth m. DotanMoses Löb (Martin)Benzion Seligmann Josef Friedel
Spouse: Stephan Wallenstein
Children: Abi, Hanna


Ludwigstraße 13 (now 18)

Dental assistant

November 1934 emigrated to Palestine

Date of death
Place of death


Judith Wallenstein, née Bamberger was born in Bad Kissingen on January 11, 1911 as the daughter of the dentist Mendel Bamberger and his wife Rachel, née Winter. The family lived in Ludwigstrasse. After Elementary School, Judith first entered the “Höhere Mädchenschule des Instituts St. Marien” (Mary Ward School) in Bad Kissingen, changed to Kissingen Realschule in May 1921 and graduated there in 1927 as one of the first girls after class 6 with perfect grades and the qualification to enter class 7 of a “Oberrealschule”. Her conservative class teacher only criticized her clothes (“Kleidung zu frei”).

She lived with her parents till 1928, moved to Frankfort/ Main for a short time and emigrated to Palestine in November 1934. The family belonged to the few Jewish families of Bad Kissingen who were convinced Zionists and, therefore, early decided to flee from Germany. In Jerusalem, Judith got to know Dr. Stephan Wallenstein from Hessian Nidda who had studied medicine in Gießen and settled as a general practitioner in Neuß/Rhine. He had emigrated to Palestine in October 1933. Judith Bamberger married the doctor, who was twelve years her senior, and had two children with him. In December 1945, their son Abi was born in Jerusalem, who was called Abraham after his grandfather. In May 1950, their daughter Hanna was born.

The family returned to Germany in 1958. The reason was not the dangerous situation of the young country of Israel which was fighting permanently with its neighbours for its existence. The reason was Stephan Wallenstein’s individualistic attitude which his son Abi remembers in retrospect: “My father was an individualist, wanted to be independent. In spite of working in his profession in a Jerusalem clinic, inside he was against the hierarchy. He was welcomed with open arms in Neuss and could reopen his practice immediately. When we went to my mother’s hometown of Bad Kissingen in our holidays, we always made a stopover in Nidda and visited the graves of our family in the cemetery” (Elfriede Maresch, Der legendäre Bluesmusiker Abi Wallenstein kommt nach Nidda, Kreisanzeiger Nidda, Juni 2018). The Wallensteins also preferred to return to Germany because of the climate, the language and the way of life. 

Judith’s husband – “a doctor with heart and soul” (Abi Wallenstein) opened a practice in the same house which he had had to leave in Neuß. And for the children moving was a great adventure; they soon found friends in their new home. Although Judith and Stephan Wallenstein came from strictly religious families, they educated their children very liberally and always emphasized the human and social side of religion in their education (See: Jüdische Allgemeine, Portrait der Woche, Der Mann mit dem Blues, April 29, 2013). Their daughter Hanna followed in her parents’ footsteps: After attending Nelly-Sachs-Gymnasium in Neuß, she studied medicine and became a pediatrist. Abi Wallenstein’s passion was music right from the start. He went to Hamburg in 1967, started studying sociology and, in the evenings, performed as a blues musician in rhythm-and-blues groups in the pubs of the city that was the center of the German and European blues and boogie-woogie music in those days. He gave up his studies and first had a part-time job as a screen printer until he could live on his music. Nowadays, Abi Wallenstein belongs to the great European Blues musicians and plays at international blues festivals as well as in pubs or street festivals. In 2018, Abi Wallenstein was awarded with the GermanBluesAward in the categories Solo/ Duo again. In 2002 he gave a concert together with Hubert Hofherr in Bad Kissingen, his mother’s hometown in the context of the first “Jüdische Kulturtage Bad Kissingen” (Jewish Cultural Days = festival held in Bad Kissingen every two years). (For more information on the blues musician Abi Wallenstein see press articles and websites below!)

After the Wallensteins had made their home in Germany again, they were very concerned in the 1960s to see the right-wing party NPD emerge again. In 1969, Judith returned to Israel with her husband and daughter, whereas their son Abi stayed in Germany. Stephan Wallenstein died in Haifa in 1973. After his death, his wife and daughter visited Abi Wallenstein in Hamburg. As the Yom Kippur War started at that time, they stayed in Hamburg for four months. Whereas Hanna made up her mind to stay in Germany for good and worked as a pediatrician in Düsseldorf, her mother first went back to Israel but returned to Düsseldorf some years later in 1976. She rented an apartment there and later moved into an Old People’s Home, in which she died on February 2, 2001.

Judith's husband Dr. Stephan Wallenstein
Judith Wallenstein with husband Stephan and Sohn Abi    
533_Judith Wallensteins Tochter Hanna
Judith Wallenstein's daughter Hanna


Photo credits

Passfoto Dr. Stephan Wallenstein © Israel's archives are going onlineexterner Link
© Abi Wallenstein