Family : Aron Oppenheimer

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Voss Strasse 42

The Oppenheimer family were the proprietors of a fabrics & haberdashery shop located in the Voss-Strasse (where the Müller department store is situated today). The shop was run by Friederike together with her daughters Betty and Else. Later on Else's husband Ludwig Willner also worked there. Increasing repressions by the Nazis forced the shop's closure during the winter of 1936/37.

Ludwig Willner then left Goch, emigrating in 1937 to the USA, to live with his brother-in-law Fritz Oppenheimer, in Queens, N.Y. His wife Else, with their children Lea and Eva remained in Goch until the summer of 1938. Then they too, managed to emigrate to the USA; arriving there in September 1938.

In 1938 mother Friederike moved to Leipzig, to live with her daughter Betty, who had been working in a Jewish old-people's home there since 1935, in which her mother also resided from 1938 on to 1941. Betty's son Joseph lived in a Jewish children's home in Dinslaken from 1934 until the "Kristallnacht". He then went to join his mother Betty in Leipzig. He later was evacuated to Belgium - on a "Kindertransport" (children's transport) organized by the Red Cross. He managed to go into hiding during the wartime German occupation of Belgium. He made aliyah to Eretz Israel after the war. There he was blessed with 5 children and many grandchildren. Shortly before her imminent deportation to a concentration camp, Friederike Oppenheimer passed away at the old-people's home in Leipzig. Her daughter Betty was unable to escape deportation: Betty Seligman (neé Oppenheimer) was murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp.

The father, Aron Oppenheimer, was the Melamed (teacher) of the Goch Jewish school (equiv. cheder) and Chazzan of the Goch Shul (synagoge). He passed away in 1929. The Oppenheimer family had eight children, of whom: Else, Fritz and Hermann emigrated to the USA, Betty (Seligmann) was deported to and murdered in Auschwitz, whereas Ferdinand, Arthur, Henriette and Grete made aliyah to Eretz Israel

(1) Mitgliedslisten der israelitischen Gemeinde, des Männer-, Frauen-, und Sportvereins vom 1. April 1938. Wiener Library, StA Goch, Karton J4 - Gestapo Akten

Emigration to the USA
Family: Ludwig Willner

Emigration to Palestine (Eretz Israel)
Family: Dr. Arthur Oppenheimer

Information about family members,
who left Goch before 1933

Photographs: Aron & Friederike Oppenheimer

Preparation for a life in Palestina
Margarete Hichenberg

A bitter youth in Germany
Joseph und Betty Selgimann


Family name

First name

c.e. date & place of b.

c.e. date of death




comments (c.e. dates)


née Cohen


24.10.1867 Kalkar

12.11.1941 Leipzig

Voss-Str.  42

Aron Oppenheimer (dec. 1929)

  • Else, Grethe, Henriette, Betty, Arthur, Ferdinand, Hermann, Fritz

Moved in 1938 to the Jewish Home for the Aged in Leipzig, where her daughter Betty worked. She was the sister of Abraham Cohen of Calcar


née Oppenheimer


31.10.1896 Goch


killed Auschwitz

(Dinslaken Neustr. 43)

Mendel Seligmann (dec. 1927)

  • Joseph Seligmann born. 13.2.1925 Goch

Lived in Goch periodically until 1935. Moved to Leipzig. Deported from there.




1.4.1883 Goch

Voss-Str. 42


  • Sales assistant, lived until 1938 in Goch. She is listed as a member of the Jewish congregation as of 1 April 1938
  • emigrated to Israel
  • (Father Aron Oppenheimer)




13.2.1925 Goch


(2 Tishri 5749)

Kfar Haroe/ Israel


  • 5 children and many grandchildren

Lived from 1934 until the "Kristallnacht" in a Jewish Children's Home in Dinslaken. Then he joined his mother Betty Seligmann née Oppenheimer in Leipzig. Evacuated to Belgium in Red Cross children's transport. From there emigrated to Israel


née Oppenheimer



Voss-Str. 42
New York (Queens, Poughkeepsie)

Ludwig Willner
married 13.2.33

  • Eva 30.9.1936 Goch
  • Leah 3.4.1934 Cleves

Emigrated to the USA in 1938 with her two children. Else Willner & daughters were still listed as members of the Goch Jewish congregation in that year. Her husband Ludwig had left Goch in January/February 1937 when Nazi repressions made running his business impossible. He thus went to the USA - to live with his brother-in-law in Queens (NY) where Else & children joined him a year later. Else lived in Queens until 1977 when she moved to Poughkeepsie




30.9.1936 Goch

Voss-Str. 42

  • Susan Weiner Gross
  • Lisa Weiner Gross

Emigrated to the USA with her mother in 1938. Later lived in New Jersey





New York (Queens)

Voss-Sstr. 42

Else Willner

  • Eva 30.9.1936 Goch
  • Leah 3.4.1934 Cleves

Salesman - worked in the Oppenheimer store, on its closure he emigrated to New York in 1937. Lived at first with his brother-in-law Fritz Oppenheimer. Followed to the USA in 1938 by his wife Else and their daughters






Poughkeepsie NY

Voss-Str. 42

Howard Cohen
dec. 9.27.1982
  • Daniel Cohen
  • Deborah Peckham

Emigrated to the USA with her mother in 1938. Lived at first in Queens (NY), then in New Jersey - latershe lived with her daughter in the vicinity of Boston (MA). Became a teacher and then studied law in which she practiced until the onset of her terminal illness in 2007


Aron and Friederike Oppenheimer

Aron Oppenheimer
Friederike Oppenheimer,
née Cohen

Resident in Goch between 1933 & 1938

Leah Willner
aged 4 years (1938)

Eva Willner
aged nearly 2 years
9. May 1938

Else Willner
née. Oppenheimer
Ludwig Willner

Betty Seligmann
née. Oppenheimer
Joseph Seligmann
(12 years)
Friederike Oppenheimer
née. Cohen
Henriette Oppenheimer


Left Goch prior to 1933

Dr. Ferdinand Oppenheimer
1930's to
Eretz Israel
Photo: Leah & Daniel Cohen

Hermann Oppenheimer
1930's then
emigrrated. 1940/1941 to the USA
Photo: Leah & Daniel Cohen
Friedrich Oppenheimer
(photo from 1937)
emigrated to the USA (New York)
Photo: Leah & Daniel Cohen
Dr. Arthur Oppenheimer
1930's to Eretz Israel,
Kibbutz Ein Harod
Photo: Dr. Micha Ofir

Grete Hichenberg
née. Oppenheimer
(photo from 1950) to Eretz Israel
Relig. Kibbutz Yavneh.
Photo: Dr. Micha Ofir


The Oppenheimer-Cohen family store
Voss-Strasse 42

Cohen (Oppenheimer) family store
after the 1936 closure
Voss-Str. 42 (today the Müller store site)
The family resided in the upper storeys above the shop.
Photo: Daniel & Leah Cohen
Inside view of the store (1.12.1936)
Ludwig and his wife Else as well as Henriette Oppenheimer
worked in the textile & clothing business
The store was forced to close at the end of 1936.
Photo: Daniel & Leah Cohen


Graves of Aron Oppenheimer family members
in the Goch cemetery
(Kalkarer-/Reeser Strasse)

Headstone of Aron Oppenheimer
Cemetery Kalkarer/Reeser Str.

Headstone of Jette Oppenheimer
Aron Oppenheimer's mother

Caroline Bruckmann née. Oppenheimer
sister of Aron Oppenheimer

Babette Oppenheimer
sister of Aron Oppenheimer


(1) Stadtarchiv Goch, Mitglieerlisten der israelitischen Gemeinde, des Männer-, Frauen-, und Sportvereins vom 1. April 1938. Wiener Library, StA Goch, Karton J4 - Gestapo Akten

(2) laut Zeugenbericht des Sohnes Josef Seligmann unter Yadvashem

Neben den im Impressum angegebenen allgemeinen Quellen sind hier insbesondere zu nennen:

Dateiname: foppen_l.htm
Datum: 28.12..2007
Translation: Graham Warrener
Erstellt von: Ruth Warrener
Fotografien/Bilder: Ruth Warrener, Leah und Daniel Cohen, Dr. Micha Ofir
Stadtarchiv Goch