Reni Steinitz
News from the Family Archives
Paper presented at the family meeting June 2006

right click to save the text as a DOC file


News from the descendants of Moshe Laib Steinitz

The family history I wrote with the help of many relatives material is finished. The paper version with the pictures that I could get is displayed on the table there, where I also put all other papers, life stories, and books which I received from various people. For most of you it is known already in one or another version.

It’s a pity that I got the auto-biography of Ernst from Miriam too late. But I know, this is a never ending story. As one result of our meeting somebody may feel stimulated to write what he/she knows about the offspring. New editions will come, I am sure. I hope to get help with that.

Miriam translated most of the story (the last chapter “After the war” has to be translated); I thank her very much.

But I already begin to prepare a second part - I hope, together with Jossi.

News of other descendants of Salomon Steinitz: “Are we related?”

As a child I walked around with a encyclopaedia, proud that a Steinitz was written in it: The first World Champion of Chess. But as you know, we never found a relationship to us.

Later attempts to find relatives included for example to ring up all Steinitz in Berlin, but these were without success . With the internet we could make a big step forward. Jan and Erika found many Steinitz’; and so we came in contact with Peter Silton and the branch of my grandmother Else Jacobsohn, which dates back to Simon von Cassel, 15th century.

We have a lot of candidates with question marks.

  • We would be happy to welcome Lucy in our family. Up to now she is a relative by choice.
  • My husband Claus was in Ecuador in 2002 and there he met the paintress Trude Steinitz (stage name Trude Sojka). (A book about her paintings is exhibited on the table.) Freed from Auschwitz 1945 she went to Ecuador, where a brother lived. 1948 she married Hans Steinitz. Hans had written a lot about his ancestors – but unfortunately the family never found the papers. So we don’t know: Are we related? Lucy met them in the 80’s too.
  • From a friend in Mannheim, Germany, I got this information:
    1945, march 28th, a captain and physician of an American battalion, Franz Steinitz, who spoke German, managed the earliest capitulation of a German city by telephone. Today there is a tablet with his name at the building where this capitulation took place. I am in contact with two descendants of a Franz Steinitz: Terry Hall and Michael Hadas. But we are not sure, whether he is the same one. We are working on it.
  • We are trying to find the link of the ancestor Isaak Steinitz of Rosita Hunzinger (Berlin) and Dominic Steinitz (London) to our tree.

There are more candidates. What I know about the branches I wrote down. Maybe Jossi has one or another surprise to us?

But we had two successes. The first:

Many years ago I got a call from a Josef Kornweitz (known as Jossi). He wanted to know, wether his grandmother Rosa Steinitz belongs to our family. I couldn’t find her. But Jossi didn’t give up. He came to me and when he looked at the photos I have at the wall upstairs, he stopped in front of – I think Sigismund – and said: “He looks precisely like my brother.” Later on he came back from Poland and showed me a large packet of archive material. He had found the link! 

Since then he is often in polish archives and every time he finds news of the family. I got from Jossi all the material from the 17th and 18th century in my family history.

The second success:

Several months ago I got an email from a Mr. Saurma in Heidelberg, who is in contact with Jim Falk in Australia. Jim is a descendant of the Cassirer clan, very well known.

He asked, whether Jeannette Steinitz, wife of Marcus Cassirer, was related to our branch. Was it possible, that there was an influential father in the background, who wished to give his daughter to a rich man in marriage? Not really.

That reminds me of a Jewish joke, but I can tell it only in German.

Mosche Grün ist vor den Nazis ohne jede Habe nach England geflohen und ist in einer ärmlichen Pension untergekommen. Er bekommt einen Telefonanruf: „Ich will Baron Rothschild sprechen, bin ich falsch verbunden?“ „Und wie falsch Sie verbunden sind!“

Back to Jeannettes father: Salomon was not at all influential, he was – as you know – a teacher in a Jewish school. And the Gleiwitz Magistratus wrote 1813, when Salomon and 8 other Jews got Prussian citizenship, that they couldn’t pay for the “Stempel” because

„selbige in der größten Armuth sind und bei ihrem Alter nur vom Bettel-Brod ihrer Glaubens-Genoßen leben“

But I could tell Jim who the father of Jeanette Steinitz was. And so - I thought - we had found a whole new branch.

Up to then I had in my family tree only a daughter Rosalie of Marcus Cassirer and Jeannette Steinitz. And I found that their granddaughter Edith, who was married to Paul Geheeb, founded the well-known Odenwaldschule in Germany. Proud of this discovery I wrote to several relatives. From Michael Steinitz, son of Ezra, I got the short answer: “Of course we know, that we are related to Edith Geheeb.” That was it.

But yesterday I found a letter of Ezra. He wrote about the Cassirers, that they were related by cousins and had very close connections. So he really didn’t know that there is a direct connection from Salomon to Edith.

I will not tell more about Cassirer family (I made an abstract in German). Please, have a look at the internet site There is a universe of the Cassirer clan which Jim Falk wrote.

That’s for the moment all I can say about new branches of our big family.