Translation of “Vater und neun Jungen”, Der Schild, Journal of the German Union of Jewish Front Soldiers (Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten, 1922-1938), 6 March 1936.
In the year 1936 when his article was published, eight of the nine Löwenhardt brothers were still alive. One, Salomon-Georg, had died in 1923 of severe war injuries. The article lists the brothers in chronological order by year of birth. One of these eight, Hermann, had emigrated to the United States in 1921. One, my grandfather Adolf, could no longer endure the Nazi persecution and fled to The Netherlands during 1936. The remaining six brothers continued living in Germany. Only one of them, Julius, survived Nazism. [J.L. May 2021]
In the two exhibitions on the participation of Jewish families in the World War [One] and earlier wars, the reader will find names and dates only. And yet he knows that hidden behind these cool facts are human and family destinies, suffering and struggle, sacrifice and bravery, loyalty and honour!
Space would not allow us to unfold even part of the data that we know in relation to the names and dates listed here. These reports relate to all fronts of the World War that drew its circle of fire over three continents. They tell about the losses and the numerous wounded and about so many distinctions in the face of the enemy. At the conclusion of these considerations we want to publish more extensively on just one family, as an example for all: on the Löwenhardt family that sent no less than nine sons into the world war. By the example of this one family one can assess the fates related to all other family names.
Levi Löwenhardt was born in Oberhemer, Iserlohn district, on 1 July 1840. On 15 October 1863 he enlisted in the army as an active soldier. In three wars – 1864, 1866 and 1870-71 – he was a front soldier.
His military passport lists these facts: “7th Army Corps, 2nd Batallion infantery, 7th Westphalian Landwehr Regiment Nr. 56. Levi Löwenhardt from Oberhemer, entered the standing army on 15 October 1863 as replacement in the 8th Company. Released into the reserves on 26 September 1866 to Oberhemer, Iserlohn District because of military duty fulfilled. Medals and decorations: E.K. 66 R. [Iron Cross 1866]. Further has participated in the 1866 campaign against Austria, in the battles of Münchengräz and Königgräz. Private First Class [Gefreite] Löwenhardt has participated in the campaign of 1870-71.”
When in 1898 former Private First Class Levi Löwenhardt, veteran of the three German unification wars, died, he left his widow Mrs. Pauline Löwenhardt with nine sons. Without exception all of them have fought in the front lines during the World War. We lack the space to describe what each of them has witnessed; the following should suffice:
Georg: Landst. Inf. E.K. II, later died from the consequences of his severe war injuries;
Isidor: Landst. Inf.;
Max: NCO Inf., E.K. VI, four times injured, alt. ged. (?);
Hugo: Landwehr Art., Frontehrenkreuz, alt. ged., later Reichswehr, 1920 participated in suppression of the Ruhr Uprising, alt. ged.;
Emil: Jäger, participated in suppression of the Ruhr Uprising, alt. ged.;
Adolf: Paramedic Private First Class, E.K. II, Front Honorary Crosss II, severe war-disabled, […]
Julius: Artillery Private First Class, military volunteer, E.K. II, wounded honorary cross;
Siegmund: Infantery […] E.K. II, wounded, volunteer into active service after training of seven weeks;
Hermann: Machine Gun Section, […], E.K. II, four times wounded and serious gas poisoning.
It is clear that of the nine brothers, six were wounded. Two brothers each were wounded four times and one of these [Hermann] suffered serious gas poisoning as well. One brother [Salomon] died later from serious war wounds. Two brothers served as volunteers. Two brothers participated in post-war fighting, one of them [Hugo] in the Reichswehr. Six of the nine brothers received the Iron Cross. But the other three ‘went through’ nothing less. And the same goes for their mother at home. She had given birth to them in pain, now they were at the fronts of the Great War. When in 1917 she celebrated her seventieth birthday she received this appreciative letter:
The Chief of the Military Cabinet
Berlin, 25 September 1917
Following from the Crown Request of 30 July of this year, his Majesty the Emperor and King has granted you a grace gift of 200 M. considering the fact that you have provided nine sons to military service, in appreciation for the raising of so many defenders of the fatherland. (…)
By order, sign. Hoffmann
And it will have been an even nicer gift that all nine boys received front vacation for this day. In 1933 at an advanced age of 86 years, Mrs. Pauline Löwenhardt, widow of a war veteran of three campaigns and mother of nine front warriors in the World War, blessed the temporal. We could ascertain that several of the nine brothers are members of the RjF, German Union of Jewish Front Soldiers. Siegmund Löwenhardt in Dortmund-Hörde is co-founder of the local branch in Essen.