Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Richard Breitenfeld, Opera Singer from Richenburg, Bohemia - a classical textbook error #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

We all know about "textbook errors" which are perpetuated >from generation
to generation. How they started is lost in the mists of time. Yet, here is
one which is easy to understand. Now we know the true facts, it can easily
be corrected. It has even crept into the Austria-Czech website and into the
Jewishgen cemetery project - Footnote 1.

You will remember that I researched the BREITENFELD family and they were
from a tiny place called Herrschaft *RICHENBURG* [Chrudimer Kreis] also
known as *Predhradi* [Bezirk Lusche or Luze, as it appears in the Vienna
and Prague vital records]. No-one has ever heard of *Richenburg*. It is a
dot on the map and in 1793 the BREITENFELD [Abraham and Valentin], with
their leased distillery and tannery, were the only Jewish family living
there - Footnote 2.

No wonder then when Richard BREITENFELD, the opera singer, was commemorated
in print and on the internet after his tragic death in Theresienstadt in
1942, everyone thought he came >from the well-known Bohemian town, Reichenberg

Thanks to Sigger Julius Muller, we now know that Valentin was the first
familiant of that name in *Richenburg* and he married Rebecca BROK. By
1794, there was a large family, Abraham Elias; Lazar; Marcus Lebl; Rosaria;
Anna; Theresia and Maria. Baby Ezechiel was born just after the census in

The family spread to Moravia too. We have Moravian links in Vienna today
via Gross Ullersdorf. Two of our Siggers, Peter Lowe [U.K.] and Ray Minkus
[Chicago] have BREITENFELD girls marrying into their families in Bohemia
and Moravia respectively. We know Peter's belongs to the *Richenburg*
clan but we are not sure yet about Ray's [Footnotes 3 and 4].

We also know that in 1809, Abraham SOBOTKA married Elias BREITENFELD's
daughter. Elias was a tenant distiller on the castle estate of *Rychemburk/
Richenburg* {Predhradi} near Hermanuv Mestec in the Chrudimer Kreis, owned
by the Kinsky family and later by the prince of Thurn and Taxis. In 1884,
Moritz SOBOTKA [1843-1918], the great-grandson of Elias BREITENFELD was
now living in Vienna and with the financial help of Baron SPRINGER he
formed the famous company 'Erste Wiener Export und Malzfabriks-Gesellschaft,
Hauser und Sobotka' in Stadlau. Note the alternative spelling *Rychemburk*.

You can see a picture of Richard BREITENFELD in this article:
Residence: March 1924, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Richard BREITENFELD is listed on Yad vashem but he has no testimony. Here
is his established life data: born 13 December 1869, *Richenburg* [Predhradi],
Chrudimer Kreis, Bohemia; died 16 December 1942, Theresienstadt. We know
that Richard was the great-uncle of our own Sigger Joe BREITENFELD >from
Australia, who is descended >from Valentin in *Richenburg*. The family had
remained in touch with Richard.

Richard certainly did not come >from Reichenberg [Liberec].

BTW - this is a wonderful example of the real genealogical research work
one can do collaboratively on our SIG.

Celia Male [U.K.]


1. Classic textbook errors I have found:

2. Reference to BREITENFELD family of Richenburg [Predhadri]:
1793 census of Bohemia, Vol IV Chrudimer Kreis p. 66 and 67.

3. Peter Lowe writes [I have his permission to quote]:

BERAN Emilia, IKG Rokitnitz born 28.3.1854 Rokitnitz Nr. 110
Father: BERAN Wilhelm, teacher, son of Ignatz >from Lusche - Hohenmauth
district; Mother: Rosalia, daughter of Jeremias BREITENFELD - trader
in Lusche

4. Ray Minkus writes [I have his permisson to quote]:
Naphtaly (believed to be aka Philip) Minkus was my g5 grandfather who
lived in Velke Mezirici. With second wife, Marianna, he had at least
three sons, the first of which was Joseph Minkus who married Linda
BREITENFELD. In turn, they had at least five children >from 1826 to 1837
in Velke Mezirici, which of course was known then as Gross Meseritsch,

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