Siblings: Ludwig, Else, Paul, Martha, Gustav, Friedel Ehrlich
Spouse: Adele Leven
Children: Fred (Fritz), Felicitas (Liesel) m. Schreiber:
Ludwigstraße 17 (now 10)
April 1937 emigrated to London
Franz Ehrlich came from a long-established Jewish commercial family. His grandfather Samuel Ehrlich had been given the license for cloth trading in 1841 and had later opened a textile shop in Obere Marktstrasse. His son Felix Ehrlich had further expanded the family business and was awarded the title of “Royal Bavarian Supplier of the Court”. Since 1887, he ran a flourishing fashion shop at the corner of Ludwigstrasse and Kurhausstrasse. After his marriage to Clara Oppenheim, Franz was born in 1885 as the third of seven children.
Presumably after finishing Realschule, Franz Ehrlich learned his trading business in a big firm in England. (In his autobiography, Joske Ereli mentions 1908 as the year when his uncle Franz Ehrlich finished his professional training in London.) However, this statement coincides with his time as “Einjährig Freiwilliger” (Volunteer of One Year) from April 1907 till April 1908, which is clearly documented. It can, therefore, be assumed that his time in London was after his time at school and before his military service.) At that time, he lived with his uncle Ludi in London. On April 1, 1907, he reported for duty as “Einjährig Freiwilliger” at Infantry Regiment 9. After his release from military service, he studied medicine at Munich University for two semesters but earned his living as a bank official in his hometown. Right at the beginning of World War I, he was sent to the Western Front, was wounded in action several times, got some military awards, and was eventually appointed lieutenant of the reserve. After the war, he was a member of “Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten” (Reichsbund of Jewish front soldiers) that had been founded in 1919. Its aim was the defense against anti-Semitism in Germany by reminding of the fact that about 85,000 German Jews had fought in World War I, about 12,000 of whom were killed in the war.
Franz Ehrlich married Adele (Dele) Leven from Unna/ Westphalia and had two children with her. Fritz (Fred) was born in 1922, Felicitas (Liesel) in 1926. After his father’s death in 1918, Franz took on his parents’ fashion shop together with his brother Ludwig. They had a representative new edifice built in Ludwigstrasse and strengthened the excellent reputation of the business. Just like his brother Ludwig, Franz also committed himself to the social life of his hometown. He was the commander of the voluntary fire brigade, chaired the local group of “Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten”, the aim of which was the defense of Jewish soldiers in World War I against anti-Semitic defamation. He resisted against the rise of Anti-Semitism of the Kissingen National Socialists early on. For instance, he filed charges against a Nazi parade in which hate songs against Jews had been sung in front of the Synagogue. (See H.J. Beck, Kissingen war unsere Heimat, p. 582ff.)
When the situation of the family got more and more dangerous in the Nazi era, Franz Ehrlich and his family emigrated to England in April 1937 where they were supported by Uncle Ludi, a wealthy uncle of Franz. They found shelter on his country estate in Bexley/ Kent before they moved to Birmingham. (See J. Ereli, p. 68) The family stayed in England after the war, only their daughter Liesel who had joined the Zionist Movement married Herbert Schreiber and emigrated to Israel.
Franz Ehrlich died in England in 1961 at the age of 75.
Joske Ereli, Von Hampi Ehrlich zu Jossl Ereli- Meine Lebensgeschichte
Hans-Jürgen Beck, Kissingen war unsere Heimat, Stand April 2017, S.582ff
Datenbank Ancestry, Familienstammbaum
Porträtfoto © Datenbank Ancestry, Familienstammbaum
Soldatenfoto: © Hartwig Heymann
Feuerwehr-Foto © Sammlung Bötsch, Stadtarchiv Bad Kissingen
Foto und Werbeanzeige Modehaus Ehrlich: © Stadtarchiv Bad Kissingen