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Martha Eichenberg

Martha Eichenberg

Female 1889 - 1988  (99 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Martha Eichenberg 
    Hebrew Birth 1 Che 5649 
    Born 6 Oct 1889  Goettingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Biography My maternal grandmother, Martha, was born Eichenberg. Martha was the eldest of four children, who apparently all grew up in a strictly orthodox home.

    They spent their formative years in a place called Schweitzer Reinecke, in what was then the Eastern Transvaal province. Albert Stern, their father, was a farmer, who came from the Fulda area in Germany.

    The marriage didn't last too long, and Martha  returned with the girls to Germany where they spent the First World War years. Martha later married Victor Gudenberg. They  had a son, Ulrich, who died tragically, aged sixteen. He dived into a pool and hit his head on the floor. There has been some suggestion that, being half Jewish, harassment from the Nazis led him to inflict this on himself. Martha never got over their loss, and said that she only lived half a life after this incident.

    Albert Stern got custody of the three sisters and they returned to South Africa when the first war ended. He too remarried, and the three girls had a miserable childhood with a stepmother who showed no affection for them at all.


    Martha was a concert pianist. She was a pupil of Artur Schnabel, and was at the start of a promising career when a marriage was arranged for her. Her husband was a very rough farmer, Albert Stern, who had been born in Eschwege, Germany, about 30 km from Gottingen, but had gone out to South Africa, and became both a farmer and a trader (of dubious ethics). They were married in Gottingen, and left immediately afterwards for South Africa.

    Martha, who by her own admission was very naive, described Albert as "an animal", and they produced three daughters in quick succession. Martha then divorced Albert, and was forced to leave the girls with him when she returned to Germany. Although born Jewish, Martha converted to Christianity. She remarried Viktor Gudenberg, a non-Jew, and they had a son, Ulla. (He died at a young age after a diving accident. It was never ascertained whether it had been an accident or suicide attempt, as Ulla had been victimised by the Nazis because of his mother's former relipon. He was also a strong swimmer.)

    During the war, Martha was denounced as a Jew by her neighbour, Frau Peraquin, and was sent to a concentration camp, but luckily was released after intervention by the Red Cross. During the last few years of her life, Martha had been ill with a circulatory disorder that necessitated the amputation of toes at different times. She had also lost her sight, but until the end her mind was lucid. Her favourite occupation was having people read poetry to her. She and Viktor resided in Hannover during the war until 1968, and then returned to Gottingen, where they both died. Martha was 99 years old. 
    Hebrew Death 9 Kis 5749 
    Immigration Schweitzer Reinecke, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Pianist 
    Residence Goettingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Schweitzer Reinecke, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Hannover, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 18 Nov 1988  Goettingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1205  Blank Family
    Last Modified 4 Apr 2011 

    Mother Johanna Stern,   b. 16 Jun 1859, Lindau Am Hartz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Apr 1941, Goettingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Family ID F614  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Oct 1889 - Goettingen, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Goettingen, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Hannover, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Nov 1988 - Goettingen, Germany Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Martha Eichenberg Stern
    Martha Eichenberg Stern

  • Sources 
    1. [S207] E-mail message, from Stanley Fajans.


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