Further On the trail of Mrs Flegenheim

Further research on Antoinette Flegenheim(er) first class passenger on the Titanic.


Antoinette Flegenheim(er), née Berta Antonia Maria Wendt, divorced Antoinette White-Hurst – first class passenger on board of Titanic – new discoveries. 

At the end of 2015, I received a special kind of gift. Frau von Lojewski, a descendant of the family of Antoinette Flegenheim had found my article in the internet. She had known little about Berta Antonia Maria Wendt, but could now close a gap in her family research. She provided me with the dates of siblings and relatives. Working together, we were able to clarify some details of the family tree. Here I would like first to report about these and the joy we felt that Fr. v. Lojewski finally also found out the date of death of Antoinette White-Hurst – which I deal with later. The father of Berta Antonia Maria Wendt (from here A F) was been the Prussian royal forester Wilhelm Carl Ferdinand Wendt. The son of the royal forester Carl Ferdinand Wendt, he was born in October 1831 at Nothwendig estate, in the district of Czarnikau in the former Prussian governmental district Bromberg (now Bydgoszcz in Poland). He died on 9 March 1903 in Dalldorf near Berlin. There is a reference to his death below.

The mother of A F was Pauline Dorothea Wagner, born 1834 in Potsdam – she died on 3 March 1916 in Berlin-Adlershof. She had a brother, Friedrich Albert Wagner, born on 31 March 1832 in Potsdam who died on 23 September 1884 in Berlin-Kreuzberg. His profession was musical director. Their parents were the bookseller Johann Friedrich Wagner, born 1809 in Potsdam (died in Dalldorf about 1855) and Anna Dorothea Zimmermann, who was born at the forester’s house Rittel, in the district of Conitz in Pommerania – today Chojnice in Poland.

Wilhelm Carl Ferdinand Wendt and Pauline Dorothea Wagner married in 1855 and had seven children.

  1. Georg Leo Friedrich Wilhelm Wendt, born out of wedlock in 1853 in Potsdam. The documents say he was a publican and later forester at the “Alte Försterei” in Berlin-Adlershof. This forester’s house still exists and gave its name to the stadium of the football team “1. FC Union Berlin”. He married twice and died in 1918 in Berlin-Adlershof.
  2. Margarethe Martha Hedwig Wendt, born 1858 at the forester’s house in Dreilinden near Berlin, died 1898 in Berlin. She married the manufacturer, and for some time, local politician, Carl Eduard Liebe. They had two children – Susanne Pauline Auguste Else Liebe and Carl Eduard Curt Liebe, born 25 October 1887, died 6 November 1940 in Hartheim. (see below for the circumstances of his death).
  3. Auguste Ottilie Therese Wendt, born 1861 in Gandenitz, district of Templin, died 1864 through accidental drowning.
  4. Berta Antonia Maria Wendt (A F), born 11 May 1863 in Himmelpfort, district of Templin.
    She married on 1 November 1890 in Manhattan, New York, Alfed Flegenheimer (born 28 December 1869 in Frankfurt on Main). He died relatively young on 23 November 1907 in New York and his body was transferred to Frankfurt to be buried there. The family name of Flegenheimer is to be found quite often amongst Jewish families in Hesse and the Palatinate. His parents came from Frankfurt. On 31 December 2015 a  Herr Szanckower from the Jewish cemeteries administration in Frankfurt phoned, and told me that he was buried on 2 February 1908 in the cemetery at Rat-Beil-Straße 10 (row 46 D, 528). A F had married again to a British officer White-Hurst but was divorced.
    Collection Abilio Dias Ferreira
  5. Juliane Johanna (Henny) Wendt, born 1866 in Himmelpfort. She was married to the actor and         stage manager Johann Friedrich August Hermann Dieckhoff. He had been adopted and was given the name of the well-known actor’s family. In former East Germany, there was an actor bearing this name. She was the one who has been mixed up with her sister Antonia, by a reporter of the Berliner Lokalanzeiger when he carried out his research on who was the Berlin-Charlottenburg female passenger on board of Titanic. In the same newspaper I had found a photo of A F. The actor was been born on 3 February 1844 in Berlin and died there on 27 December 1910. The couple had an apartment very close to the A F’s Charlottenburg address in Windscheidstraße.

  6. Collection Gerhard Schmidt-Grillmeier
    A F  had lived during her stays in Berlin at the apartment on the left side.
  7. Alexander Otto Wendt, born 1867 in Himmelpfort, died 1888 in the hospital of Berlin-Friedrichshain.
  8. Anna Elisabeth Hermine Wendt, born 1871 in Berlin, married to Richard Rudolf Max Wüst, born 1867, date of death unknown. Her second husband was a Mr Schürger and she died on 30 November 1943 in Frankfurt. Her daughter from the first marriage was Margarethe Toni Johanna Wüst, born 1890 in Berlin – she had married in 1938 in Frankfurt. One can assume that A F later went to Frankfurt to live with her only surviving sister.

Their father’s occupation of forester meant that the family moved as he was assigned to work in different Prussian regions. Unfortunately I learnt during my recent research that an American firm for genealogic research used my discoveries about A F and her parents, siblings and husbands (sometimes even using the same identical explanations of my previous article about A F) but using a different name than mine. I wrote asking them why they were not using my name as the source - no answer!

Paul Elliot Whitehurst’s relative Jane Lowe had sent me photos of him (Americans used the form of White-Hurst which was also used by A F.

Collection Jane Lowe

Now about the tragic events of the family.

It is striking that A F’s grandfather from her mother’s line Johann Friedrich Wagner, died in Dalldort as did her father Wilhelm Carl Ferdinand Wendt. Dalldorf was later re-named Wittenau (after Witte a former mayor of this village). It was known as the location of a “lunatic asylum” – the later Karl-Bonhoeffer-Nervenklinik in Berlin-Reinickendorf (district Wittenau). The patients’ documents do not exist any more – so one can only guess what kind of illness they were suffering from. A conclusion could be that in the case of A F’s nephew, Carl Eduard Curt Liebe, who had suffered from hereditary epilepsy. At that time treatment for epilepsy was quite poor.

From Frau von Lojewski I learnt, A F had, on her frequent visits to Europe, visited her family members. She also invited her nephew C E C Liebe to New York and they travelled in 1897 on the Fürst Bismarck .This misled some American researchers and they thought her maiden name was “Liche” – they had read the passengers documents as Liche instead of Liebe. It took some effort, to explain and convince, for example Encyclopedia Titanica, about the correct maiden name of A F. Unfortunately “Antoinette Flegenheim, née Liche” is still wandering around in the internet.

Carl Eduard Curt Liebe must have died under terrible circumstances. Because of the euthanasia programme of the criminal National Socialist regime, he was murdered on 6 November 1940 in the National Socialist killing institution Hartheim. He had lived in Munich. A F who had lived in Munich too – in 1923 at Nibelungenstraße 30 (today Arnulfstraße 300), in 1928 at Menzinger Straße 17 (today 71) in 1938 at Nibelungenstraße 90 and until 1939 at Kaulbachstraße 22. She left Munich in 1939.

address book Munich 1938 –

Collection G. Schmidt-Grillmeier

It is possible she went to live near her sister Anna Elisabeth Hermine Schürger and her niece Margarethe Toni Johanna Wüst in Frankfurt on Main. From the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt I got the information that Antoinette White-Hurst lived from 1941 until her death in 1943 at Guiolettstraße 34.

Guiolettstraße 34, Frankfurt/Main - Collection D. v. Lojewski

As can seen below, Frau von Lojewski found out when Berta Antonia Maria White-Hurst (Antoinette Flegenheim - White-Hurst) had died. This can be seen as drawing the final line under research on the former so-called “society queen” and wife of a “diamond king”.

With the help of Herr Schlüter and Herr Hausmann from the City of Frankfurt/Main administration it was possible to find the burial places of Antoinette White-Hurst as well of her nephew Kurt (Curt) Liebe. She probably got the funeral urne with his ashes (but usually it is not sure whose ash was in it) from the “killing institution” Hartheim. Anyway both urnes were at the mausoleum IV N 9 at the Frankfurt Central Cemetery. Juliane Johanna Dickhoff (Henny) took care of it. After the end of the burial time in 1976 her urn was taken from the mausoleum to a burial place VI 23 c at the same cemetery – but this does not exist any more.

With permission of  Harald Fester.

Collection Friedhofsverwaltung Stadt Frankfurt/Main

Gerhard Schmidt-Grillmeier

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Antoinette Flegenheim

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