Ludwigstraße 3 (now 9)
1938 emigrated to New Zealand
Else Wolff, née Neumann was born in Bad Kissingen on August 10, 1895 as the daughter of the respected fashion merchant Karl Neumann (1860-1942) and his wife Klara, née Löwenthal (1869-1915). Her father came from West Prussian Jastrow and had lived in the Franconian spa town since October 1893. He married Klara Löwenthal who came from a long-established Jewish family of Bad Kissingen. Their two children Julius and Else were born in 1894 and 1895. Since 1902, the family lived in Ludwigstrasse where Karl Neumann had opened a flourishing men’s clothes shop. In 1913, he had an imposing four-story building for his residence and shop built by the Nuremberg architect Albert Mayer in the style of late Art Nouveau (Wikipedia article “Ludwigstraße 9 Bad Kissingen”) that now belongs to the architectural monuments of Bad Kissingen.
Else Wolff’s curriculum vitae is only patchily known. At least at the end of World War I, she was married to Dr. Edwin Wolff who came from Körlin in West Pomerania. He had studied veterinary medicine in Berlin and Munich and got his doctorate by Royal Veterinary Collegiate Berlin in 1910. During World War I, he served as a soldier and got awards for his bravery. After the war, he first worked in a group practice in Eastern Germany. Else Wolff was registered for a longer visit to her parents with her son Erich again and left Bad Kissingen for Körlin (registration files of Stadt Bad Kissingen). Else Wolff and her husband also had two daughters. Since about 1924, the family lived in Hamburg where Dr. Wolff had a veterinary clinic and was the owner of a little pharmaceutical factory (Firma “J.J. Köpcke, Chemisch Pharmazeutische Fabrik, Hamburg”).
When her brother Julius Neumann was taken into “Schutzhaft” (protective custody) in 1933, Else Wolff stood up for his release and then took him up in her apartment in Hamburg. The Wolff family could escape Nazi annihilation policy in time.In 1938, the family emigrated to New Zealand and lived in Lower Hutt where Dr Wolff opened a vet’s practice again.He was highly respected by his customers and his colleagues who appreciated of him because of his high moral principles and his big efforts in solving veterinary problems.
In the face of increasing discrimination and disenfranchisement by the Nazi authorities, Else’s father and her brother tried to find a chance of also emigrating to New Zealand, but they failed because of bureaucratic obstacles. (H.-J. Beck, Kissingen war unsere Heimat, p. 510ff).
After the war, Else – and after her death – her husband Edwin filed claims for the retribution of her father’s/ brother’s heritage in Bad Kissingen. Karl and Julius Neumann had had to sell their stately estate in Ludwigstraße 9 (now). In a settlement in 1952, the new owner Otto Almstedt pledged to pay a compensation of 100,000 deutschmark to Edwin Wolff.
Else Wolff didn’t have much time in her new home country. She died in Karori, a district of Wellington City in February 1950 and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery there just like her husband who died three years later in January 1953.
H.-J. Beck, Kissingen war unsere Heimat, Stand April 2017, S.510ff
Meldeunterlagen der Stadt Bad Kissingen
Wikipedia-Artikel Ludwigstraße 9 Bad Kissingen
Datenbank Ancestry, Östliche preußische Provinzen, Polen, Personenstandsregister 1874-1945
Hamburger Adressbücher 1924 -1938
Nachruf Dr. Edwin Wolff, New Sealand Veterinary Journal, Vol.1 1953
Datenbank Ancestry, Friedhofsregister Neuseeland, 1800 - 2007
Georg Möllers,Jüdische Tierärzte im Deutschen Reich in der Zeit von 1918 bis 1945, Dissertation Hannover 2002; S. 105 und 269f
Wellington City Council, Cemeteries
Sta Wü Finanzamt Würzburg Vermögenskontrollakten 201 Wolff Else
StaWü WB IV A 693 Wolff Else