Friday 5.6.11 – (Insert Witty Title Here)
Today we took the train to Essen to find the Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute for German-Jewish history at the University of Duisburg-Essen to see if they able to help me find more information on my ancestors from Duisburg. At first it looked like they were actually on the university campus so we walked to the campus from the train station but could not find what we were looking for so after asking a few people where the street was we finally decided to head back to the shopping district we had passed to find somewhere with free WiFi and for some lunch. After Google Mapping it we saw that were practically right on top what we were looking for and also happened to be housed old Jewish Synagogue which was the other thing we wanted to check out. So off we went and after being told that the person we wanted to talk to was out to lunch we decided to take a walk to find a very special street sign that was in the area. The street in question was Steeler Strasse. After we took pictures with us holding the Terrible Towel we went back to the synagogue to walk around the museum that was being installed there. We then went to meet with the the guy who could possibly help who ended up being the director of the organization. I introduced myself; telling him who I was, what my areas of historical and genealogical research were, and the names I was looking for in Duisburg. I also mentioned the book Geschichte der Duisburger Juden which was co-authored by Israel Neumark, the father of my mother’s first cousin’s husband Menachem. Israel was the son Manass Neumark, the first Rabbi of Duisburg, however unlike my Dutch ancestry, the marriage of Lena and Menachem is the only connection between the Levy and Neumark families as Manass was born in Poznan. I asked him if he could translate some things in the book for me since my German is not so good. So after some more conversation he was unfortunately unable to give me any more infomation than what I already had but he and a fellow researcher took my card and said they would get back to me on any Levy, Cohn, or Neumark information they came across either in the book or elsewhere. I was able to leave them with more information on not only my branch but some other Levy related branches such as the Orzegow’s. After we were done we headed to Cologne at the suggestion of people we met with, however I had developed some temporary foot problems and was unable to walk comfortably anymore that day, so I sat in a park near the train station while my mom went to take pictures of a big church that ended up being further than she expected. So after coming back we headed to the train station and went back to Frankfurt to get on the overnight train to Vienna.