The Jews of Königsberg at the turn of the 20th century

„It’s the family, Baby!“ Jewish history bases on family networks

Life in Königsberg

Königsberg became very beautiful […] city councillor Samuel Magnus built on Gartenstraße in Tragheim his secluded, small palace with great artistic sensibility and decorated in fine period tastes […]; to complete the final stages we delivered there very expensive carpets, furniture, sheers, draperies.” (Aron Liebeck)

Magnus Königsberg Gartenstr

The house of the Samuel Magnus family, Garten Street 4

Between 1900 and 1908, the tea merchant and unsalaried city councillor Magnus, who was the chair of the directors of the Jewish community, was in the top echelon of Jewish society. Wellrespected upper middle class families lived in Tragheim or the theatre district. The majority of the Jews lived on the streets south of Cathedral Island. Kaiserstraße, Selkestraße and Schnürlingstraße would be the typical addresses.

Schnürling Street

The Sandmann brothers and their friends in front of their house at Weidendamm 34

Family

Around the turn of the century, a large Jewish family actually counted as capital. It was common that the family members would work together to run the business or expand their roles in its economic enterprises. Being socially active in support of special goals frequently bonded family members. Over and above that they gladly
celebrated their closeness both privately and publicly.

The family of Margarete und Hugo Falkenheim
(1856–1945). Falkenheim was a physician,
professor at the Albertina, and later the chairperson of the Jewish congregation.

Margarete Falkenheim with her four children
Siblings from the Salomon Aschkanasy family
(right: Gusti Alsen, an expressionist author)
The family of Flora and Max Klewansky 1896
The family of the tea merchant Alexander Magnus, painted by Jenny Magnus
The Sandmann family in front of their house at Weidendamm 34
Johanna Königsberger with her son Salomon and friends in a Königsberger pastry shop
The sons of the Heymann family 1897
Glaser family
Margarete Falkenheim with her four children and both grandmothers
Salomon Königsberger as preparatory school graduate
Birth announcement for Samuel Sambursky in the “Hartungsche Zeitung”
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Director's Cut

Ralph Salinger and Michael Leiserowitz at Kaliningrad Central Station in summer 2019.

Ralph from Israel is a descendant of the Sandmann family and an honorary citizen of Vilkaviškis in Lithuania. We travelled on the tracks of his ancestors by train from the city in Lithuania to Kaliningrad and got off at the original central station of the Königsberg of the 1920s.

Sandmann – Salinger Family in front of their house in Königsberg.

At the grave of the most famous Königberger. In a few years it will be normal to combine a visit to Poland and Lithuania with a detour to Kaliningrad. Museums and memorials for the Jewish inhabitants of the region are currently being established in many places.

Kindergarten in Goltzallee

We visited the former Goltzallee (today Ulitsa Gostinaya). Here the relatives of Ralph Salinger once had opened a kindergarten. Today there still seems to be a kindergarten.