Sophie or Sophia Herzenberg

Female 1869 - 1941  (72 years)


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  • Name Sophie or Sophia Herzenberg 
    Born 8 Aug 1869  Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died From 30 Nov 1941 to 8 Dec 1941  Rumbula, Rīga, Rīga, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Abt From 30 Nov 1941 to 8 Dec 1941  Rumbula Forest, Rīga, Rīga, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4058  Petersen-de Lanskoy
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2014 

    Father Abraham Herzenberg,   b. Abt 1840, of Pilten (Piltene), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Apr 1900, Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 60 years) 
    Mother Therese or Taube Herzenberg,   b. 10 Nov 1846, Pilten (Piltene), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Apr 1931, Rīga, Rīga, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married Bef 1867  of Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1666  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family David Herzenberg,   b. 17 Jul 1864, Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1935, of Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 70 years) 
    Married 7 Jan 1890  Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Robert Herzenberg,   b. 13 Dec 1892, Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 1980, Ostermalm, Stockholm, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     2. Eugenie or Genja or Jenny Herzenberg,   b. 18 Oct 1896, Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt From 30 Nov 1941 to 8 Dec 1941, of Rumbula Forest near Rīga, Rīga, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years)
     3. Flora Herzenberg,   b. 8 Feb 1898, Jelgava (Mitau), Courland, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt From 30 Nov 1941 to 8 Dec 1941, of Rumbula Forest near Rīga, Rīga, Latvia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years)
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F1651  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • RESEARCH_NOTES:
      1. Per email of 17 Jul 2007 from Nina Kossman www.ninakossman.com . Nina is a descendant of Klara/Robert/Joseph/Lemchen/Joseph Herzenberg. Note that Mitau, Courland was part of the tsarist empire, but later it became known as Jelgava, Latvia.
      A. "A photograph of Klara Herzenberg (daughter of Robert Herzenberg) can be seen at <http://www.ninakossman.com/leonidkossman/brenson_herzenberg.html> [underscore between brenson and herzenberg]. It should also be noted that in Piltene, where our 18th century Herzenbergs lived, there is an old Jewish cemetery in which almost all are Herzenbergs." Nina is coordinating an effort to restore the Piltene cemetery and please contact her if you are able to assist financially.
      B. Children of Robert Herzenberg and Emilie Kahn:
      a. Daughter Rosete (Rosa), b. 14 Apr 1854 in Mitau, d. 2 Nov, 1862 in Mitau.
      b. Daughter Seba, b. abt. 1856, d. 1859 in Mitau.
      c. Daughter Feige/Fanny, b. 26 Jul 1857 in Mitau, d. 31 Oct 1862 in Mitau.
      d. Daughter Klara, b. 4 Dec 1859 in Mitau, m. 12 May 1883 in Mitau, d. 17 Jun 1939 in Riga. Husband Isidor (Isac-Aisak, Itzig), son of Isak-Aisik (Itzig, Isidor) Brensohn, b. 27 Sep 1854 in Mitau, d. 31 Dec. 1928 in Riga. (Photo of Isidor and Clara on file with me.) Of Isidor's and Clara's four children - Ruth, Ellen, Theo, and Robby, only one - Theo - survived the war as he was not living in Latvia at the time (photo of the four children on file with me).
      i. Ruth Brenson (1889-1941) was born in Yelgava, Latvia. While temporarily staying in Moscow she met Stephan Kossman, whom she married around 1910. she had two children: Nora (b. 1911) and Leonid (b. 1915). Ruth was killed by the Nazis in Riga, Latvia. (Photo of Ruth on file with me.) The family lived in Moscow, at Chistye Prudy 11, in a ten-room apartment in a five-story building; later they moved to an apartment on First Meschanskaya. Since Stephan Kossman was a merchant of the Frist Guild, it was no longer safe for his family to live in the city after the Bolshevik takeover. The Brenson-Kossman family left Moscow for Riga - where Ruth's father lived - in the beginning of 1918. Stephan Kossman was born in 1877. When he was about seven years old his father, Leontii Kossman, took him to live in Londonwhere Leonitii had started a fur business. After Leontii's death, Stephan took over the business. His job took him all over Europe and in the very beginning of the 20th century he lived in Leipzig for several years, in Berlin, in London, etc. He married Ruth Brenson in 1909 and came back to Moscow to live. Eight years later, following the October Revolution, the family left Russia. He died in Riga, Latvia, in 1928. This couple had two children: Leonid and Nora.
      1. Leonid Kossman is a philologist, writer, and teacher whose language textbooks have helped millions of people. Born in Moscow in 1915, as a child in Riga, Latvia, he spoke German and Russian at home and Latvian in the neighborhood. After graduating from a German high school he studied law at the University of Latvia and worked as a drama critic for a Latvian Newspaper, Tsinia. When the Nazis occupied Riga he escaped into Russia, soon joined the Soviet army, and was severely wounded. He spent the rest of the war in Kazakhstan where he slowly regained sight and movement. After the war he studied English and western literature at Moscow State University, graduated, and taught English and German at the Maurice Thorez Linguistics Institute (which later became the Moscow State Linguistics University, or MGLU). During this period his two textbooks for Russians learning German were published. With his wife and two children he emigrated to the US via Israel in 1972, and worked here as a college languages teacher and as a writer for the German-American Daily Staatszeitung and for the German-Jewish American weekly, Aufbau. In the late 1970s he started writing books to help other Russians in learning English. In authorized, and pirated, editions of these books have circulated very widely, and have even been adopted by American university Russian courses. Most recently he has been writing short stories and he published a historical novel "Above Water" in 2003 (the book deals with he effects of Nazism on the life of a Harry Rosen, a Latvian Jew).
      2. Nora.
      ii. Ellen was born 188? and died 1941; she was an orthopedic phsysician and he rhusband, Yakov Meltzer, was a pianist; they had a son Anatol and all three were killed by Germans in Nazi-occupied Latvia (photo of the three with son at age 6 on file.)
      e. Son David, b. 17 Jul 1864 in Mitau, m. 7 Jan 1890 in Mitau, d. bef 1935. Wife Sophia, dau. of Abram Herzenberg, b. 20 Aug 1869 in Mitau, d. 1941 in the "ghetto."
      f. Son Alexander, b. 16 Apr 1866 in Mitau.
      g. Son Leonhard, b. 24 Jul 1868 in Mitau.

      2. Courland (Kurzeme in Latvian, Kurland in German) is the historically distinct area of modern day Latvia bounded by the Baltic Sea to the west, Lithuania to the south, and the Dvina River (now Daugava) to the North. Its historic capital was Mitau (now Jelgava). It had ice-free Baltic ports with commercial and strategic importance. At its height Courland was a prosperous and cultured German-speaking Duchy. Courland was a separate Gubernia (Province) of the Russian Empire from 1797-1918. 50-60% of the Jews living in Riga just north of Courland had family roots in Courland. The names of the various towns have changed now that the area is part of Latvia (new-old as of early 1900s):
      Aizpute-Hasenpoth
      Jelgava-Mitau
      Kuldiga-Goldingen
      Liepaja-Libau
      Piltene-Pilten
      Talsi-Talsen
      Ventspils-Windau

      3. Website of Peter Bruce Herzenberg of London, England (since relocated to South Africa). Website is no longer functioning as of 7 Aug 2007. Copies of much of his data from the website in my possession. He indicates references by codes, which pertain to the original source and file held in his database, which I have not seen. I have no key to the sources except HL is Leonardo Herzenberg, HG is Gail Herzenberg, PC is probably Piltene Cemetery records, LA is probably Latvian Archives, FA is probably Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Latvian researcher hired by Harold Hodes), and YL is Len Yodaiken (Israeli researcher hired by Harold Hodes); however, he lists the main researchers and their contributions in a lengthy report which I include in full in the notes of the earliest Herzenberg of this database. In regards to this individual:
      HL 108/50 shows Sophie b. Mitau, d. Riga, md. to David Herzenberg.

      4. Received 30 Apr 2009 a copy of the following from Irene Gottleib Slatter entitled "Archival Reference about Brenson Family. It was prepared for Nina Kossman Dec 2006 and is report no. 3-K-7622; 7794N by Latvijas Valsts Vestures Arhivs (Latvian National Archives), Slokas iela 16, Riga, LV-1007. The following is only a partial transcript concerning this individual; please see the notes of Isidor Brenson within this database to see full and complete transcript including sources and documentation:
      "...David, son of Robert Herzenberg, born on July 17 of 1864 in Mitau, 2nd guild merchant, since 1915 - 1st guild merchant, the Hereditary Honourable Citizen. His wife Sophia, daughter of Abram Herzenberg was born on August 20 (Gregorian calendar) of 1869 in Mitau. According to the birth records Klara Herzenberg was born on August 8 (Julian calendar) of 1869 in Mitau, her father was Abram Herzenberg and mother Teresa, daughter of Joseph, nee Herzenberg. We suppose that Sophia and Klara might be one and the same person. The marriage of David and Sophia was registered on January 7 of 1890 in Mitau. They had children:
      - son Robert, born on December 13 of 1892 in Mitau.
      - daughter Jenny (Eugenia), born on October 18 of 1896 in Mitau.
      - daughter Flora, born on February 8 of 1898 in Mitau.
      Since 1935 a widow Sophia and her daughters Eugenia and Flora lived in Riga at Lacplesa Street 9, apt. 11. In 1939 Robert Herzenberg, a correspondent by profession, his wife Beila and son David-Harry were registered as living in Riga at Lacplesa Street 9, apt. 11. They left for Sweden in August - September of 1939. Eugenia married to Lev Wolozhinski, born on January 15 of 1891 in Riga. Sophia, Eugenia, Lev were struck off the house register of Lacplesa Street 9 in July 19-21 of 1941 (during Nazi occupation), obviously they were sent to ghetto. Lev Wolozhinsky was killed in July of 1941. Flora married to Nechemy/Nikolay Friedlender, born on December 21 of 1880 in Mitau. They lived at Elizabetes Street 27, apt. 2 and were struck off the house register on August 14 of 1941 a moved to Maskavas Street 171, apt. 4. According to the records of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission for 1945, Nechemy and Flora were killed in 1941."

      5. Received 30 Apr 2009 a copy of the following from Irene Gottleib Slatter entitled "Archival Reference about Brenson Family. It was prepared for Nina Kossman Dec 2006 and is report no. 3-K-7622; 7794N by Latvijas Valsts Vestures Arhivs (Latvian National Archives), Slokas iela 16, Riga, LV-1007. The following is only a partial transcript concerning this individual; please see the notes of Isidor Brenson within this database to see full and complete transcript including sources and documentation:
      "...David, son of Robert Herzenberg, born on July 17 of 1864 in Mitau, 2nd guild merchant, since 1915 - 1st guild merchant, the Hereditary Honourable Citizen. His wife Sophia, daughter of Abram Herzenberg was born on August 20 (Gregorian calendar) of 1869 in Mitau. According to the birth records Klara Herzenberg was born on August 8 (Julian calendar) of 1869 in Mitau, her father was Abram Herzenberg and mother Teresa, daughter of Joseph, nee Herzenberg. We suppose that Sophia and Klara might be one and the same person. The marriage of David and Sophia was registered on January 7 of 1890 in Mitau. They had children:
      - son Robert, born on December 13 of 1892 in Mitau.
      - daughter Jenny (Eugenia), born on October 18 of 1896 in Mitau.
      - daughter Flora, born on February 8 of 1898 in Mitau.
      Since 1935 a widow Sophia and her daughters Eugenia and Flora lived in Riga at Lacplesa Street 9, apt. 11. In 1939 Robert Herzenberg, a correspondent by profession, his wife Beila and son David-Harry were registered as living in Riga at Lacplesa Street 9, apt. 11. They left for Sweden in August - September of 1939. Eugenia married to Lev Wolozhinski, born on January 15 of 1891 in Riga. Sophia, Eugenia, Lev were struck off the house register of Lacplesa Street 9 in July 19-21 of 1941 (during Nazi occupation), obviously they were sent to ghetto. Lev Wolozhinsky was killed in July of 1941. Flora married to Nechemy/Nikolay Friedlender, born on December 21 of 1880 in Mitau. They lived at Elizabetes Street 27, apt. 2 and were struck off the house register on August 14 of 1941 a moved to Maskavas Street 171, apt. 4. According to the records of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission for 1945, Nechemy and Flora were killed in 1941."

      BIOGRAPHY:
      1. 28 Jul 2007 Http://www.herzenberg.net/leo/htmlrh/Content.html copyrighted by Leo Herzenberg:
      "An meinen Sohn (To my son) Leonhard Herzenberg von (from) Robert Herzenberg. Memoirs written during the 1940's." Translated during the 1990's by Leonardo (Leonhard) Herzenberg. The entire memoir is quite lengthy and included in its entirety in my notes with Joseph Herzenberg, the original known ancestor, in this database. The following is only the portion dealing with this part of the family:
      "When Uncle Abraham died the eldest son, Leo, was married in Petersburg. Also the daughter Fanny. Laura and Alice were married in Moscow, and Sophie in Mitau. At home were Ludwig, [44] in the firm, Harry who was still in the gymnasium, and the two girls, Roberta, of my age, and Klara, a little older. Ludwig, whom the mother worshipped, took over running the business. Harry entered the business as an apprentice. Ludwig decided on moving the business to Riga, why I don't know. The beautiful old house in Mitau was sold. Everything in Mitau was liquidated. Instead of the princely living in Mitau, aunt Therese moved into an old dark rental house on the Schwimmstrasse in Riga. I believe she had no happy time there. I don't know how Ludwig ruined the business so quickly. It ended when I was on a vacation trip to Germany in the summer of 1904, when I received the news from my father that I should visit aunt Therese in Berlin. [45] I met her, with Klara and Roberta, in a shabby room of a pitiful pension near the Elsasser gate. They had just had lunch, which consisted of a can of sardines with bread. The firm Abraham Herzenberg in Riga had failed. They had lost everything, and had fled to Germany, and were totally dependent on the support of children and siblings...
      SOPHIE Herzenberg was very beautiful and cultured . She played the piano very well, and painted, but only by copying; she also accomplished spottily in burn painting . She married her cousin David Herzenberg in Mitau. It was a very unharmonious marriage, even though there were three children, Robert, Genja, and Flora. [55]
      David had very little understanding for Sophie, who was a very modern woman. They lived in Mitau in the nice old paternal house. David led the firm of his late father. When Uncle Abraham died and the firm Abraham Herzenberg was moved to Riga, Sophie and the children moved there also. David usually came to visit in Riga on Sundays - it did not come to a divorce, but in practice they lived separated. David worked and earned in Mitau, and Sophie lived and dissipated [lebte und verlebte] in Riga, always surrounded by a swarm of admirers. I don't know exactly when David died, Robert had finally become a businessman and lived and married in Reval, and lastly lived in Stockholm. Sophie and the girls led a wandering life, alternately in Riga and Germany. Always from the earnings of the business in Mitau and from the sale of the house. Finally they settled down in Riga, where Genja and Flora [56] had married a few years earlier."

      2. The following undated paper was written late 1969 in Nice, France by Catherine Werblovsky Olympieff (also known as Ekaterina Werblovskaya Olympieva) at the request of Patrick Landau through his aunt Alice Nikitina. Patrick's father, Vladimir Landau, even though he was Catherine's cousin, had less knowledge on the family then Catherine. Catherine was the granddaughter of Edouard and Rebecca Herzenberg. The letter was written a couple of years before Catherine's death after she entered into an assisted care facility in Nice. The paper was recently found among personal items previously gathered about 1969 by her daughter Irene Nadia de Lanskoy Petersen. Portions of the letter were written in three languages: English, French, and Russian. Irene, in transcribing the letter, notes that the letter was hard to follow and to make sense of. Irene's transcription dated 31 Jul 2007 with her notes added in [ ].
      "What concerns the father and mother of our mother's: Mother's father: Edouard Ocipovitch Herzenberg [or Gerzenberg] Edward son of Joseph Herzenberg born: in Mitava [or Mittau] not far ___, Baltic Provinces - not far from Riga. He died at 76 years of age (had diabetes and malaria) from lung congestion after flu. His wife was his cousin.
      Rebecca Herzenberg also married a first cousin. I am not sure of the name of her father; she died in Moscow when I was 6 years old (70 years ago). [Death would be approximately 1899?]
      They were probably married in Mitawa and came to Moscow young, because all their children were born in Moscow. The eldest 1) Elizabeth 2) Sonja [or Sonia] (Sofia) mother of Manja or Mania who now lives in Moscow, who had a sister Nadja or Nadia who was born in Moscow. Sonia's husband was Adolf Schneider - son of Aaron Schneider - who had 3 more sons: Nicolas, Alexander, Serge and a daughter Elizabeth Schneider. She got married with Martin Behr (English nationality); they had two children and lived in Moscow. Mrs. Elizabeth Behr died in London (after the Russian Revolution she lived in France, later in England.) Her brother Adolf Schneider was a brother-in-law of our mother's of course.) [This is a repeat of the above.] The Behrs had 2 children. Elisabeth Behr died in London (probably her husband Martin Behr died before.) Mrs. Behr's daughter Olga died in London about a year ago [1968-69?], her brother George Behr still lives in London is married (has 1 daughter who is married too and has 2 boys, 8 and 7.
      So my mother Elisabeth was the eldest daughter of Edward and Rebecca Herzenberg born in Moscow like her sister Sonia, the next sister Flora born in Moscow. Flora, married Joseph Offenbacher, had one son Lotar (my first cousin as well as yours). She, her husband, and son died in Germany during the war of Hitler (son Lothar). [Irene notes that another family account says that Lothar committed suicide on account of the war.] [His father] Joseph Offenbacher had an older brother Vasily [William or Wilhelm] Offenbacher who married a cousin of our mother's - Fanny, daughter of Abra[ha]m (whom all children of Edward Herzenberg used to call Uncle Abraham.) He was the husband of Grandfather Edward Herzenberg's sister Theresa. His family name was also like all: Herzenberg. Theresa Herzenberg had many children - daughter Fanny, sons Ludwig, Harry, and 2 other sons and another daughter Sophia married to another Herzenberg (all those marriages were between cousins) who had three children, Robby (Robert) who lives in Sweden and 2 daughters Clara and Roberta (died in Riga - Bolshevik Revolution). [I am not sure if Clara and Roberta are correct for this family grouping.] After Flora Herzenberg, the 4th daughter was my Aunt Anjuta [Anna Herzenberg-Landau]. Then there was another one Genga (Eugenie) married Harry Taube from Riga - were killed by Hitler's army. She was the 5th daughter of Edward Herzenberg. The 6th was Lilja [Lilia] (1st wife of Uncle Max Landau - died in Davos, Switzerland from TB.) Then was another daughter Milja, died very young (she was the 7th daughter). The youngest daughter Tonya [Tonia] died in Moscow. Then there were two brothers, the oldest Ivan (John) married a French young girl from Mussidan, Dordogne, France. She was daughter of the Mayor of that town. Died in the north of Russia where - she was sent sick and was sent with her to Mourmansk (north of Russia). Uncle Vanja's [Vania, Ivan, John all same name wife Lydia died there [note her maiden name was Lydie Buisson]. Uncle Vanja died too in Bolshevik Revolution. Their 3 children: Micha (Michel) died probably in Moscow; his brother Andrei (Andre) Herzenberg and Suzanne Hindzee (Herzenberg) - 1st husband (French) Volant. She has a daughter in Toronto married in Toronto (Alja [or Alice Nikitina] knew her) who has two children, boy and girl. The father's family name is A. [Albert?] Statter - wife Lydie (Suzanne's daughter) - son Albert. [Irene's note: last known address was 33 Stonegate Road, Toronto, Canada, M8Y-1V8; phone 416-251-6295.]
      There was yet other families related to us through our mother's. It was a well known dentist. His name was Kovarsky. His wife was the cousin of our mother's. They had a lot of children - 3 brothers Misha (Michael), Leva (Leon), 2 daughters Choura (Alexandra). Chura who now is same age as Suzanne [Herzenberg Hindzee] - the only one alive. I forget the name of the eldest brother deceased. Manja (Mania) in Moscow knows more about that family. What was the name of the mother cousin of our mother's-probably it was yet another of the Herzenberg family. As Alja [Alice Nikitina] will be going to Moscow she will be able to find out more form Manja [Mania]. Then there was yet another family related to the wife of our grandfather through the husband or wife Idelson. There was a girl Lisa Idelson and her brother. I think that Manja must know something about them. They lived in Moscow. I used to go see them with my mother when I was about 8 or 10 years old.
      Now George Behr has written from London thanking me for my sympathy condolences on account of the death of his sister Olga Behr. She must have been older than 78 years. he thought that his aunt on his father's side, Nina Karlovna died in Moscow, as well as his cousin Leija, but I think it is relatives on the side of his father Bahr, and the cousin is perhaps of the Schneider family (it is possible that the cousin is still living). All these people lived in Moscow.
      Now what concerns the Packschwer family. The one that came to see you with the Vietnamese wife has passed away. His name was Julien Packschwer born in Vitebesk, Russia. He was 72. His younger brother Saveijn (Sahva) engineer in London named himself Packshaw, died in England 3 weeks before Julien, leaving a widow (2nd marriage) and 2 children. It was the death of his younger brother that caused reaction on Julien Packshwer. He died 3 weeks after him. He was found on a street in Nice, France with a cerebral hemorrhage-fell in the street. Police took him to the hospital St. Rock where he died at 19 hours in the evening and remained in a coma. His car 2 CV (small) stayed in the parking where he had left it. It was only his Vietnamese wife [Mado] returning from Saigon 1 month after his death that was able to retrieve that car from the parking. Yet another day or two, it would have been impounded. But as it was the widow herself then came. They did not charge her anything. But as the car was her husband's-she has to wait by inheritance law to be able to sell it and divide up in 4 parts to his children. The eldest son of another marriage Leon is an eye doctor in Paris, then 3 other children. Oldest Robert in Montreal, CA; another son in ___ was in the navy for 3 years. The oldest was in the Air force, married a girl from Morocco - they are going to have a child soon. The daughter Irene married, has a little boy, the husband is serving in the military; they live in Cayrons near Vence, France in the Packshwer house. The widow/mother Mado inherited ¼ of the sum, the children ¾ divided in 4 for each of the 4 children. Through a real estate in Vence, Julien's house of 1000 sq. meters is worth 18 million francs. If the children keep the house, they will in turn need to give on fourth of the cost to the widow who also has the right to half of his monthly pension of 30,000 francs. She came to see me day before yesterday and told me all these details. So here you have it-the relatives. The mother of the Packshwer father was 1st cousin of our mother's through the daughter of the sister of our grandfather Edward Herzenberg maiden name Theresa Herzenberg died in Nice, born I think in Mitawa [Mitau], Baltic Provinces. She was buried with her husband in Nice at the Caucade cemetery.
      Now I add what George Behr wrote from London that his wife Janet has seen Aunt Anjuta [Anna Herzenberg] in Monte Carlo, then he wrote about his cousin in Moscow who he thinks has passed away (he is going to find out about it from Manja-he asked their address in Monaco). She was the daughter of the oldest sister Polina Aronovna of his mother. Here is what concerns that family... [Balance of letter missing]."

      DEATH:
      1. Http://www4.yadvashem.org Holocaust database: Sophie Herzenberg nee Herzenberg was born 20 Aug 1869 in Mitau, Latvia in to Abraham and Therese Hertzenberg. She was married to David. Prior to WWII she lived in Riga, Latvia. Sophie perished in the Shoah during the war in Riga. This information is based on a Page of Testimony submitted 20 Oct 1988 by her grandson Harry Herzenberg residing at Aladdinsvägen 20, 16138 Bromma, Sweden.

      2 Email from: "Nina Kossman" Aug 16, 2007 and Aug 19, 2007. She has memoirs written by Isidor Brenson in German. Currently it is being translated into Latvian by Riga's Museum of the History of Medicine. It is also being translated into English for Nina:
      Yes, I know of that family [David and Sophie Herzenberg]. In fact, I had stones installed in the Rumbuli forest in memory of Sophie Herzenberg and her two daughters, Yevgenia and Flora, as well as in memory of the daughters' husbands. In the latest installment (part 3) of the translation of my g.gfather's memoir there is a mention of a historical "Herzenberg" house (Herzenbergsche Haus) in Jelgava and, a few pages later, of his meeting, in the summer of 1872, a thirteen year girl, Clara Herzenberg (his future wife), in the home of her parents where he accepted a position as a tutor. But so far there isn't much detail about the Herzenbergs; only that years before 1872, as a seven and eight year old boy, he had played with Clara's little sisters, Rosa and Fanny, until his visits to the house were discontinued due to their illness (and subsequent death). There is a paragraph that describes the historical meaning of the Herzenberg House, yet it doesn't seem that the events that took place there in 1726 have anything to do with the Herzenbergs per se.
      Later email: "Here's the translation of the passage from my g.g.father's memoir which mentions the "Herzenberg House":
      "Among the oldest buildings of the city which have historical importance is the Herzenberg House (Herzenbergsche Haus) on the corner of Catholic St. and Big St. This house is a historical landmark building because it was there that in 1726 Moritz Saksonski was hiding from the Poles. He was freed by the life guards of the duchess Anna Ioanovna. Moritz Saksonsky was invited to the palace, but due to his thoughtlessness, he lost the good will of his benefactors and had to flee, disguised as a coachman, from his last place of refuge on the Usmas island, which, by that time, was surrounded by the Russians." I couldn't find anything on Google about Moritz Saksonsky. Usmas is a camping site in present-day Latvia. I'll keep you posted if I find anything else that gives clues to the past of the Herzenbergs."

      3. There is a website dedicated to the infamous events of Rumbula Forest near Riga. Some comments from the website http://www.rumbula.org/remembering_rumbula.shtml: Rumbula (Rumbuli in German) Forest, near Riga, Latvia, became the mass murder site and grave of 27,800 Jews from the Riga Ghetto on November 30 and December 8, 1941 (10th and 18th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar). Only 3 people who arrived at the Rumbula killing site escaped death. Family members of some who perished survived the war, and a number of them live today in Latvia, the U.S., Europe and Israel. This site is an introduction to the mass murders at Rumbula Forest for educational and research purposes. It is maintained on a non-commercial basis. The acts that took place in Rumbula Forest in late 1941 are documented here through historical accounts and personal memoirs. Also included are accounts of modern-day anti-semitic activity in Latvia and of the dedication of the Rumbula Forest Memorial in 2002.

      4. The following accounts are copied from JewishGen.Inc and report the holocaust actions of Libau which affected many Herzenbergs. It was also typical of many of the nearby areas as well:
      A. Translation of an Excerpt Relating to Libau, From the Book Published by Mr. Mendel Bobee in Yiddish
      "With the outbreak of hostilities in the East, Libau was bombarded on 22.6.41 [June 22, 1941]. A very small portion of the local population could flee the next day because the trains were overloaded with the children and families of the officers and civil servants serving in Libau.
      Before the war the Russians organised "Workers Guards" in which many Jews participated. These Guards were the first to see action. The first attack on the town was repulsed, but in this first action the number of casualties was very high and, as it happened, most of the casualties were Jewish boys.
      The Germans occupied Libau on 29.6.41 [June 29, 1941]. The radio stations of Koenigsberg, Danzig, and Memel broadcast in Latvian highly inflammatory tirades against the Jews. With the entry of the German Army in Libau the Nazis distributed a pamphlet in Latvian to revenge the acts of "the bloodthirsty Jews who have expelled the good sons of the Latvian People to the USSR" The Latvian military and police forces under the command of the Latvian Generals Dankers and Bengersky joined the German forces and gladly participated in their infamous propaganda.
      Orders were published to hand over all valuables, radios and other means of communications. The meagre food portions were cut and the infamous "Aizsargi," in their alleged searches for weapons, invaded Jewish homes and robbed, beat up and killed. With the conquest of Libau by the Germans the Jewish population counted 9,000 souls and immediately the systematic extermination started. The first victims were 33 Jewish workers who reported to work the next morning after the occupation. They were killed the same day in the "Rainis Park" in Neu-Libau.
      Another order was published saying that all Jewish males between the ages of 16-65 had to come every morning to the "Hauptwachplatz" from where they were dispatched to different stations of work, accompanied by beatings and curses. No one was sure he would return home at night, as indeed many did not. The Jews were commanded to dismantle with their own hands the Great Synagogue - "The Chor-Schul" - and to destroy the Sifrei Tora. After the destruction of the building the Latvian Press claimed that the cellars of the Synagogue contained hidden weapons and Latvian property.
      In these first weeks around 2000 Jews were killed and on the 24th [of] July, 3000 more men were assembled on the "Hauptwachplatz" and after their papers and valuables were taken from them, they were transported to a small fishing port near the Lighthouse at the entrance of the Port. They were all killed then and there. The Jewish population of the smaller surrounding towns like Grobin, Hasenpot, etc. were all killed in their different small towns, and only a few were deported to Libau. The murderers took special satisfaction when they killed on Yom Kippur Day 50 old men and women. After complaints from Latvians living near the Lighthouse about the noise, the executions there were stopped.
      Soon another order was published saying that Jews were not to leave their homes on the 15th and 16th [of] December. They were then told by Latvians to dress warmly as they were about to be sent to work in distant places. The truth was they did not go far, only 7 kilometres, to Shkeden, and there on the beach another 3000 Jews were massacred. It was later reported that some of the killers could not bear any more the sight of these bestialities and literally went crazy. The German Commissar named Laze heard about these massacres and asked Berlin either to stop these or change the means of exterminations. He argued that the killings were disrupting his plans for the work the Jews were carrying out for the German Army. The laconic reply he received from Berlin was "economic considerations are not to be taken into account in solving that problem."
      Another 375 Jews were killed on 12.2.42 [February 12, 1942] and by the end of June 1942 the Ghetto of Libau was founded. On the 1st of July the Ghetto was entirely cut off from the remaining population, and in the Ghetto, 816 people including 175 males were settled. Eleven houses were prepared for the inmates, and the preparation of the buildings, etc. was made by Jews especially selected for their good physical condition. In spite of overcrowding in the Ghetto houses, the inmates led an orderly life which was mostly due to the devotion of Mr. Israelit, a senior Jewish functionary in the town, who was assisted by Mr. Kagansky, the lawyer. Life as such in the Ghetto, with a small synagogue, a library and a small ambulatory clinic was not too difficult. The German Commander named Kretscher was rather an exception between the thousands of German officers, and treated the Jews relatively humanely. The Ghetto existed 18 months and was dismantled on the 18th of October 1943, when all were packed into railway cattle cars and transported to the "Kaiserwald" Camp near Riga. Of those who were sent there, 360 people were sent to the Auschwitz Crematorium. From the "Kaiserwald" Camp many were also sent to the "Riga-Reichsbahn," "A.E.G." and other camps in and around Riga. With the Russians approaching Riga, most of the Libauers were evacuated to Germany through Danzig and Stutthof, and were dispersed between the camps in Germany itself.
      When Libau was liberated, 40 living Jews were found out of the 9000 who had lived there until 1941."

      B. Libau Revisited, by Raya Westermann-Mazin
      "My first visit to Libau was in 1945, less than 2 months after the end of the war. At that time it was a closed city and the special laissez- passer had been difficult to obtain. I found eleven Jews in town, who had survived by miracles. After having dug up all the details available about the destruction of my family and friends, I listened for long hours to their stories, to the whole chronicle of the past 4 years, enveloped and absorbed in a nightmare in a nightmare for which there were hardly any adequate words in any human language. When I left I was sure that this was for good.
      In 1961 I came with my family from Odessa to Riga for a summer vacation. It was good to meet old friends, to enjoy the cool Baltic summer, to bathe in the sea and to linger in the white sand of the Riga Bay under the high fir trees. What suddenly made me lose my piece of mind was the last news about Libau: the city had been declared open by the Soviet authorities, with no need for a laissez-passer any more. Even Shkeden, the place in the "Kriegshafen" where the "Aktionen" had taken place, was open territory now; the centres of gravity of the naval port had evidently been moved elsewhere. Human bones had been found in the area of 8 kilometres where the shooting had taken place. The mass graves had been so close to the beach that the sea, penetrating the shallow sands, had washed them up to the surface. The authorities had permitted the Jewish community to take the bones to the cemetery and to bury them. There had been a memorial service, a gravestone had been put up.
      The plane which took me to Libau in 45 minutes hardly deserved the proud definition of an aircraft. It was a primitive little thing, not soundproofed, which held 15-20 passengers who sat lulled and dulled by the deafening noise of the engine. It had been raining and the plane was bumping up and down from one cloud to the other. Only at noon when we landed the sun broke through.
      Libau had changed. Sixteen years ago the whole centre and the adjoining streets had been a vast heap of ruins with mutilated skeletons of houses sticking out here and there, the grass sprouting out of the dust which had cemented the stones in the four years of the war. I had felt shaken then but I had not felt stranger. It still had seemed a part of myself - this beautiful, small Baltic town. That it looked victimised, violated and ruined was an integral part of the tragedy which had happened to it and to me.
      This time, venturing out into the city of my hotel at the Rosenplatz, I felt like a tourist in a strange town. The roses on the square, all shades from white to pink to purple, looked as lush and well groomed on their long stems as before, but now there were some renovated buildings and Russian-style cafeterias around the square. New modern houses were making up a new Weidenstrasse and part of the Kornstrasse which had been destroyed, but these were completely new streets, awakening no memories whatsoever. The names of the streets had been changed, the signs were in Latvian and Russian. There were many uniforms, mostly naval.
      "You go straight down the Ulichstrasse till the entrance to the "Fisherhafen," I had been advised by old Libau friends. The street had not changed. Although it looked much smaller and narrower than in my memories, the wide branches of the old lime and acorn trees still cast the same deep shadow over the sidewalk, with the breeze rustling lightly in their ample foliage. The entrance to the "Fisherhafen" was changed: some new stone houses had been put up. The plaque I had come to see was on one of the walls. There was an inscription in Latvian and in Russian: "To the victims of Fascism" killed during the German occupation. One cannot put flowers on a wall, so I put mine down on the ground - to my father and to all the others.
      It was already rather late in the afternoon but there might still have been time to drive down to the cemetery. Only...I didn't feel like it. Nobody I had come to visit here had been quietly put to rest in that peaceful place. Then, all of a sudden, I knew where I really wanted to go.
      To admit the truth, I have no recollections whatsoever of the 8 or 10 kilometres' drive from Libau to Shkeden on that summer day of 1961. Never during all the coming years would even a single memory surface or a single vision arise of the surrounding landscape. The taxi might have been speeding through a vacuum as far as I was concerned. The last thing which stuck in my memory was hiring it at the stop near the Central Market Place where I had bought a huge bunch of red roses. The driver was a Russian and I had felt relieved that he was not a Latvian. "This is a long drive," he said giving me a strange side-glance as I slipped into the seat beside him. But he didn't ask any questions and we drove in silence.
      It was a sunny day but I didn't feel it. In my mind I was in snow and cold and winter, back to all I had been told of this last journey - the death march of the Jews of Libau. This way they had gone in buses in December 1941, and in sledges and carts or more primitive vehicles in February 1942. As many times before I tried to imagine what my mother must have thought and felt, or my aunts, or my friends or other people I had known. I don't think I even came close to it, but there was no getting away from it, neither from the stories I had heard, nor from the photographs I had seen in Libau in 1945, fresh from the lab, pictures of people on the snow, stripped naked, in the background the Latvian "aizsargi" with their rifles, the earflaps of their caps down, and the collars of their uniforms up against the biting cold...
      The driver had stopped the car. "Well...?" he said turning to me, "That's as far as we can go." "Leave your taximeter on," I replied getting out of the car.
      The vast terrain was unbelievably quiet. One could hear the humming of the insects flitting by in the sun, or a sudden shriek of a seagull from the nearby sea. There was only a very light breeze, the blue surface was scarcely rippled by tiny waves, only far away there were a few white crests. A couple of old wooden watchtowers showed that this had been maritime border region some time ago. The dunes were very low and when I turned away inland from the sea they stopped altogether. The ground was sand everywhere, only a few clusters of sharp grey-greenish sea grass were growing here and there.
      I saw the obelisk from afar. It was a simple unspectacular four-edged cone of white limestone. When I came up to it, I read the stereotyped inscription in Russian and Latvian dedicated to the "Victims of Fascism" during the war. This time there was a number of the people killed. I don't remember it exactly but it was unbelievably high. There had never been so many Jews in the whole Baltic states. I had, however, heard that Eichmann's twisted bookkeeping had brought the Hungarian Jews to die on this sandy beach, and probably there had also been others. The word "Jew" was mentioned nowhere on any inscription. By now, however, I was used to this sort of Soviet post-mortem discrimination.
      As I had done the day before, I here, too, put down my roses and resumed my wandering. There were many empty cartridge cases of different calibre's on the ground. I bent down to look at them but I did not pick them up. Then I found the bone. It was an ulna, one of the two bones connecting the wrist with the elbow. It looked very dry and frail, it was small, that of a child probably not older than ten or twelve years. I don't know why I saw a little girl before me, it could as well have been a little boy. I took it back to the obelisk and started to dig a hole in the ground having no other instruments than my bare ten fingers. As I could not find a stone on the sandy ground I put some roses on the tiny grave and rose to my feet.
      It was a long walk back to the car. If the town had looked much smaller in comparison to what I had remembered, this sandy plain felt vast and endless and larger than life.
      A few hours later I was on my way back. Strapped to my seat in the same little bee of a plane I looked down at the city vanishing quickly beneath the wings. There was no regret or nostalgia that this was, I knew, the last time I would be seeing it.

      C. Witness for the Prosecution, by Arnold Engel
      "I waited a long time for this day. I thought the day would never come. The room in the new hotel - Intercontinental in Hanover - was spacious, warm and well lit. I got up early on this Friday, April 3rd, 1970, shaved and gave a look at my watch.
      It was 7:30 in the morning. One more hour. One more hour and I will face him. Will I recognise him? Will I be able to look into his eyes? I opened the curtain and looked outside. The new, modern television tower looked yellowish, as the sun was rising, and the light snow from the night before was starting to melt.
      I had a cup of coffee and hailed a taxi-cab: "Zum Landesgericht bitte."
      It was a ten minute ride. A police car rushed by blowing its horn, which sounded exactly as the Gestapo horns: pipi-pipi-pipi-pipi, the same sound of the police van which picked up Anna Frank and millions of others.
      The guard on duty at the court house directed me to the court room. It was early. I and "his" attorney were first. The court session was called for 8:30. Two minutes before, they started to come. One by one, in groups of three or four.
      Then I saw him. I recognised him at once. How could I have ever thought that I would not remember him? Aged, but still tall, slim, blondish and his trade-mark: cool, murderish, motionless eyes.
      The court clerk called to order. The judges entered. The jury looked bored. The defenders looked somewhat nervous, the defendant tried to remember if he ever saw me. He whispered something to his lawyer. Everything became quiet in the court room No. 127.
      Who is this man? It was said that he was once so powerful, that he helped to wipe out a whole town, he killed Children, shot hundreds of old people, young people, men, women, Jews and others all in one day, and managed to wash his bloody hands, have a few drinks and spend that evening joking or dancing, playing games or reading a newspaper - as if nothing had happened that day.
      After stating my name, address and birthday I was asked by one of the judges:
      "Mr. Engel, do you recognise any of these gentlemen?"
      "I do, sir."
      "Please point out, whom do you recognise?"
      "Him, Erich Handke."
      "Please tell us what do you know about Erich Handke?"
      For twenty-nine years I had dreamed about having the opportunity to testify against this brutal man - Handke. I knew that he was alive somewhere in Germany. One week after Hitler attacked the USSR, the Wehrmacht entered our small town of Libau on the Baltic Sea. Close to 9,000 Jews lived in Libau before the war - out of a population of 56,000.
      Libau had a rich Jewish community with two noted synagogues, a Jewish trade school, a Yeshiva, a Jewish private school, high school and a Jewish sports stadium, a yacht club and all the usual organisations, including the known sport club "Maccabi"." There were very few real rich Jews, but also very few were poor. Always a shipping and trading city plus its location at the white sandy Baltic seacoast, the city did its share of progress in tourism, in export and in import.
      Soon after the Wehrmacht, the Gestapo arrived, under leadership of SS-Obersturmfuehrer Dr. Fritz Dietrich, SD-leader Wolfgang Kigler, and Erich Handke who seemed to be in charge of everything, but mainly to solve the Jewish question.
      The first mass destruction of the Libau Jews took place on the hot summer day of July 27, 1941. The Jews were ordered to appear on the Hauptwachplatz. Known as ever law-abiding, the Jews obeyed the orders. At the square they had to stay at attention. Many were beaten up and had to undergo terrible treatment by the SS-men.
      Erich Handke was on the warpath. Kicking, shouting and slapping, he ordered hundreds of Jews to be thrown on ready brought trucks. As the number of Jews present diminished, he noticed a tall handsome, grey- haired gentleman, who was none other than Dr. Schwab, a well known local physician. Handke killed him in a brutal manner; this murder was witnessed by the hundreds of Jews who were still standing at attention on the square, where I used to come as a child and watch the fire engines being cleaned. During that day, on a hot July, over three thousand Jews were executed near the lighthouse in the vicinity of the sandy beach, where people used to bathe.
      Handke did not stop here. He was everywhere. Almost daily he would appear somewhere. Wait for them with their yellow rag, marked Jews marching from work, tired from their slave labour, hungry from not eating - and with a "blitz" he would start to attack.
      It would take up this and many more journals to describe all the "heroic deeds" of this bloodthirsty murderer. When a day passed by and he did not destroy a human life, he would order one of his Jewish slaves to find some pigeons and bring them to him in a hurry. Once they brought him the pigeons, he would take them, one by one and squeeze their heads off, by placing the birds between the door of his office and pulling the door shut.
      By 1942, one year later, there were only 800 Jews alive. A Ghetto was created and the 800 moved into it on the 1st of July, 1942. The Libau Ghetto was liquidated on the 6th of October, Yom Kippur day, and the inmates were sent to the Kaiserwald near Riga concentration camp, and when the number dwindled to less than 500 they were sent to the Stutthof death camp near Danzig.
      Today, there are less than 80 Jews who survived the war, the camps and Handke. Many do not have the strength to testify against the Scharfuehrer (Staff Sergeant) Erich Handke, born 10 November, 1914 (SS #371241) in Lisa, Germany; many do not recall the exact dates, locations or even if Dr. Schwab was attacked at the Firemen's Square or in the women's jail (where the Jews were once more screened before being sent to their death). The German court at Hanover tried their best to have Erich Handke with his eight other cohorts convicted, they have travelled to the USA and Israel, and were permitted to interview survivors now residing in the USSr.
      But, because of the time elapsed, the reasons I gave before, Erich Handke may be walking the streets a free man at Tailfingen. I do not regret that I went to Hanover, that I once more faced this mass-murderer Handke. I am glad, that I was able to be a witness for the prosecution."

      BIRTH:
      1. Date is only an unsubstantiated guess by Kenny Petersen.

      BURIAL:
      1. Website Find-a-Grave (Find A Grave Memorial# 90592253) accessed 28 Nov 2013 for the Southern Jewish Cemetery (Södra Judiska Begravningsplatsen) was created in the 1940`s and lies south of the Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården) in Sköndal in the southern parts of Stockholm. Address and plot: Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; plot: block U, nr. 84:
      Beila "Berta" Herzenberg; birth: Sep. 10, 1896, Estonia; death: Dec. 20, 1981 at Ostermalm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden. (Find A Grave Memorial# 90592253.)
      Robert Herzenberg; birth: Dec. 13, 1892, Russian Frederation; death: Dec. 7, 1980 at Ostermalm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden. (Find A Grave Memorial# 90592221.)
      David Herzenberg; birth: Nov. 25, 1925, Ostermalm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden; death: Nov. 21, 2008 at Sodermalm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden. (Find A Grave Memorial# 90592288.)
      Photo of grave stone accompanies website with the following inscription:
      "[Two letters in Hebrew alphabet.]
      Herzenberg
      Robert, F. 13.12.1892, D. 7.12.1980
      Berta, F. 10.9.1986, D. 20.12.1981
      Harry, F. 25.11.1925, D. 21.11.2008"
      Separate entry with photo of memorial plaque in the same cemetery on the "Holocaust Memorial Wall": Sophie Herzenberg, b. and d. unknown; died in Riga. (Find A Grave Memorial# 83585145.)

      SOURCES_MISC:
      1. Leonardo Herzenberg http://www.herzenberg.net/