Adolf Vyth and his Wife and Children
I had not come across the surname Vyth until I discovered an extensive Vyth branch from Kalkar in our Mendels family tree. When I told my mother Edith about the Vyth connection a few years ago, she remembered that a man with that surname, a survivor like her, had visited her in the 1960s or 1970s to ask if she could explain how they were related. Sadly, she had no answer for him.
One of our distant Vyth relatives was Adolf Vyth (b. 1906), who was born on this day 117 years ago. My grandfather Max Devries (1890-1958) and Adolf were fourth cousins. It is unlikely that they knew each other, since they were born 350 km apart, my grandfather close to the Dutch border, Adolf in Klein-Krotzenburg, Hesse, not far from Frankfurt am Main.
In 1933, Adolf married Sophie née Lindemann (b. 1905) and the following year the couple had twins, Manfred and Margot.
A 1937 ad in a Jewish newspaper, ‘Der Israelit’, in which Sophie offered her services as a seamstress, shows that the family was living in Frankfurt by December 1937.
Like so many other Jewish men, following ‘Kristallnacht and until at least February 1939 Adolf was imprisoned in Buchenwald.
According to the May 1939 census, Adolf was now at “Aufbaulager Dumte” bei Borghorst, a forced labour construction site.
On 11 November 1941, the Vyth family was deported on Transport Da 53 from Frankfurt to Minsk, where they arrived on 17 November.
While the dates of death are not known for the Vyth family, based on the information available about this transport it is clear that Adolf, Sophie, Manfred and Margot would have died or been murdered, potentially at the Maly Trostenets killing field, sometime between 17 November 1942 and 21 October 1943, when the Germans destroyed the ghetto.
Adolf’s father Moritz (1876-1917) had moved from Kalkar, the hometown of our Mendels ancestors since the 1700s, to his wife’s hometown of Klein-Krotzenburg when he married Lina née Hirschmann in 1904. Moritz was killed in World War I on 20 August 1917. His grave can be found in the German Military Cemetery in Langemark-Poelkapelle, Belgium.
Lina was deported from Frankfurt to Theresienstadt on 1 September 1942. From there she was transported to Treblinka on 29 Sep 1942, where she was murdered on 1 Oct 1942.
Moritz’s older brother Gustav Vyth (1873-1943) was the head of the Kalkar Jewish community and for five years a member of the local council. In January 1937, he and his wife Jenny nee Levor (1876-1943) decided to escape to the Netherlands. They went into hiding but were arrested in January 1943 and taken to Westerbork.
Gustav and Jenny were deported from Westerbork to Sobibor on 25 May 1943 and killed there 3 days later. Their son Kurt was deported with his wife Eva née Landsberg from Westerbork to Theresienstadt on 4 September 1944. Both survived. Gustav’s and Jenny’s daughter Grete also survived, by emigrating to South Africa via the Netherlands.
Moritz’s younger brother Marcus Vyth (1881-1943) and his 2nd wife Irene née Anschel had also fled to the Netherlands, as had Moritz’s daughter Lotte and son Paul with their families. On 16 November 1943, Moritz and Irene were deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz, where they were murdered 3 days later.
Lotte and her husband Benjamin van Engel (b. 1908) were deported from Westerbork to Auschwitz on 19 May 1944. Lotte was killed there 11 days later. Benjamin survived initially but was transported to Dachau in February 1944 and on to an unknown location a few weeks later. His date and place of death are not known. The couple’s young son Daniel (b. 1942) had already been deported from Westerbork to Sobibor on 18 May 1943, where he had been killed 3 days later.
Paul and his wife survived with their young daughter and had another daughter after the war. They stayed in the Netherlands.
In October 2020, Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) were installed in front of Gustav’s and Marcus’ former Kalkar home. Detailed information, including photos, is provided on a dedicated website.
No Known Survivors
I have not found traces of any surviving members of the Vyth family from Klein-Krotzenburg. If you know of any other descendants of Moritz and Lina or are a descendant of Grete, Kurt or Paul Vyth from Kalkar, I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for helping me commemorate the lives of the Vyth family from Klein-Krotzenburg as well as the lives of the Vyth families from Kalkar on the 117th anniversary of Adolf’s Vyth birth.
* Where applicable, images are hyperlinked to their source website.
- Der Israelit – Compact Memory
- Deportation from Frankfurt/Main to Minsk, 1941/11/11 – Arolsen Archives
- Find a Grave
- Gemeindeblatt der Israelitischen Gemeinde Frankfurt am Main – Compact Memory
- Index cards from the Judenrat (Jewish council) file in Amsterdam
- Israelitisches Familienblatt – Compact Memory
- Joods Monument
- Mapping the Lives
- Money administration cards of prisoners of CC Buchenwald, 1937 – 1945 – Arolsen Archives
- Memorial Book – Victims of the Persecution of Jews under the National Socialist Tyranny in Germany 1933 – 1945
- Stolpersteine in Kalkar
- Transports to Extinction: Holocaust (Shoah) Deportation Database – Yad Vashem
NB: I only provide links to online sources that are available free of charge
Published 3 Feb 2023
© Ruth, www.ruthsfamilyhistory.net, 2023