Sisters Hedwig and Martha Neumann

These two photos came together in a random batch of old photos from German ebay. I was so happy to find a connection between the two photos! This is what I could find out.

The first photo shows a group of friends kind of dressed up for some fun event.

The text on the back says:

To remember the Alpenfest on March 21st, 1909, at the Germania Halls in Chausseestr. Mrs. Gerlach, Curt with Lilli (?), me, Mr. Gerlach, Mr. Goldberg“.

Someone had scribbled “Hedwig Neumann” on the photo. I wonder if this was our Hedwig?

The Germania Halls (Germaniasäle) in Berlin was a popular and exquisite address for parties and receptions. I’ve found an old photo of the location on the Internet (Source HERE).

The first rppc was addressed to one Miss Il. Neumann in Viktoria Luisen-Platz 6 in Berlin. Who was she to Hedwig, a sister? I wish I could also find something about the other guests in the photo – Mr. and Mrs. Gerlach and Mr. Goldberg. But without their first names it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

The second photo shows a group of teenagers.

The text on the back explains the occasion:

Dear sister! Thank you for the card. Pity you couldn’t be here. It was fun. Sending you a photo of my confirmation. Best regards from all to everyone, yours lovingly your sister Martha

This rppc was sent from Lippehne (Lipiany in today’s Poland). I find one Martha Grethe Frieda Elisabeth Neumann, born on January 10th, 1896, to parents August Neumann and Anna née Mützel. Martha’s father was a butcher from Lippehne, born in about 1855. Martha married one Hugo Adam Louis Paul Möhring, a bank clerk, in November 1917 in Lippehne. Adam was 7 years her senior. I’m pretty sure this was the Martha who signed the rppc. But which one in the photo was Martha? Pity she didn’t mark herself in it for us to identify.

The addressee of this second rppc was her sister Miss Hedwig Neumann. And if you compare the adresses on both rppcs, you notice they were the same. A quick look into the 1909 addressbook of Berlin shows that Hedwig was living in the residence of one Mr. Wehner, Dr. jur. and public prosecutor. I was wondering if Hedwig was working for him as help or assistant., and I was soon to find out.

So what became of Hedwig? Using the search criteria “Lippehne” and Martha’s parents’ names, I find one Hedwig Anna Auguste Neumann marrying one Karl Wilhelm Albert Weilshäuser in Berlin in 1911. Hedwig had been born on September 18th, 1882 in Lippehne. The marriage record states that she had been a cook by profession (so that is probably what she was doing in the household of Mr. Wehner in 1909!). A fun fact is that her husband, the clockmaker Albert Weilshäuser, had been born in Lippehne too. A sad fact is that Albert passed away in November 1923 at the age of just 39 years. Unfortunately I don’t know if the couple had any children or if Hedwig stayed in Berlin after her husband’s death, or if she ever re-married.

Hedwig had signed her marriage record and that is a familiar handwriting from the rppc:

Source: Ancestry

Next I wondered if there were other Neumann siblings? Let’s not forget, in March 1909, a Miss Il. Neumann was living in that same address with Hedwig, perhaps another sister. Hedwig and Martha’s father August Neumann’s death in 1923 was reported to the authorities by one clockmaker Carl Neumann, their brother. Carl had been born in August 1891. He married one Dorotea Emilie Charlotte Fraedrich in Lippehne in 1921.

The older brother Otto Karl August Neumann, born in 1881, followed their father’s career choice and became a butcher too. He married one Emilie Auguste née Marquardt in 1912.

I also find one Anna Maria Neumann, born in 1885 to the same parents, marrying one Ernst Karl Otto Fehr in 1910 in Lippehne, surely another sister. Ernst Karl Otto was also a butcher, like the siblings’ father August. perhaps even trained by him.

Amazing how much information two real photo postcards and some quick genealogy-detective work can bring to light! I hope there is someone out there, related to Hedwig and Martha. I would love for the photos to find their way back home!

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