Category Archives: Genealogy

The Jarolim Family: My Uncle Fritz & Military Resistance

The Jarolim Family: My Uncle Fritz & Military Resistance

When it comes to my mother’s family, the topic of military service is fraught. I’ve written before about the fact that my grandfather Herman Rosenbaum served in World War I but was not rewarded for his service by such basic decency as not being deported from Austria and sent to his death. I’ve also writtenContinue Reading »

This American Life (in Vienna): Parallel Playlists & Professions

This American Life (in Vienna): Parallel Playlists & Professions

Since I started  exploring my family stories on the pages of this blog, I’ve often wondered what my life would have been like had my parents not been forced to leave Vienna. Several Hypotheticals There are many variables I’m ignoring here, of course. My mother liked to say that my father fell in love withContinue Reading »

Survival in Vienna: My Badass Cousin Bruno

Survival in Vienna: My Badass Cousin Bruno

Here’s another long-time-coming post from my blog archive, this one dating back to July when my cousin Andreas Oberndorfer first discovered this blog and contacted me. I wrote about Andreas’s fascinating past, the missing links in his family — and mine — in the post Redheads, Resisters, & Red Light Districts, 1: Valerie Oberndorfer-Kornmehl.  IContinue Reading »

Rolled Beef, Wolf Blitzer & More Buffalo Kornmehls

Rolled Beef, Wolf Blitzer & More Buffalo Kornmehls

In my backlog of unfinished posts, this one — started in November 2019 — seemed the most timely for this pandemic Passover. It’s partly elegiac, which fits the current mood, but it’s also about finding new family. And about endurance. A deli-denying newscaster plays a part in the narrative too. Fake news!  Rolled Beef, ReduxContinue Reading »

Redheads, Resistors & Red Light Districts, 1: Valerie Oberndorfer-Kornmehl

Redheads, Resistors & Red Light Districts, 1: Valerie Oberndorfer-Kornmehl

Freud’s Butcher is the gift that keeps on giving. Just when I think I’m about finished with the story of my maternal grandparents’ family, another member turns up. This time it is Andreas Oberndorfer, grandson of Valerie Oberndorfer-Kornmehl and nephew of my second cousin once removed, Bruno Oberndorfer-Kornmehl. My newfound Viennese relative appeared out ofContinue Reading »

Dayenu: A Kornmehl Reunion in Vienna

Dayenu: A Kornmehl Reunion in Vienna

Dayenu: It would have been enough. That phrase, repeated as a refrain in a Passover song that offers a litany of thanks for blessings piled upon blessings, has been going through my head sporadically since last October, when I gave a talk at the Freud Museum in Vienna. It’s been an amazing journey, albeit oneContinue Reading »

The Wedding Photo

The Wedding Photo

It all started on a Facebook group I belong to: A posted photo of a Holocaust victim who had committed suicide rather than be captured by the Nazis led to a larger discussion of the topic. Somehow, I hadn’t realized that many Jewish women and men took their lives, either to avoid being taken orContinue Reading »

Mystery Adoptions & Cryptic Crypts: Finding Cousin Erika

Mystery Adoptions & Cryptic Crypts: Finding Cousin Erika

UPDATE: I was wrong. I hate that — especially since it means the mystery of Erika remains unresolved.  What happened? Sometimes I think that if I wait long enough, relatives will turn up to resolve all my genealogical issues — or at least clarify them.  The original post, below, posited that two childless members ofContinue Reading »

Freud’s World & A London Reunion

Freud’s World & A London Reunion

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes in the Freud’s Butcher universe, but it’s like the proverbial tree falling in the forest: If a blogger doesn’t post about events, did they really happen? They did, and they will–and here’s the proof. Psychology Today I’ve made many forays into discussions of Freud’s life —Continue Reading »

Writing Challenge Wrapup: Black Sheep & Single Genealogists

Writing Challenge Wrapup: Black Sheep & Single Genealogists

As the 2018 Family History Writing Challenge comes to a close, I observe that I solved a few mysteries; came up with several more; and reaffirmed the importance of genealogists who pass along stories rather than genes.  A Divorcee and a Bastard (That’s A Technical Term) It seems that my great uncle and aunt, AdolfContinue Reading »