Ilse Schoenholz biographical sketch

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 1995.A.0403
Level of Description
  • German
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium




Biographical History

Ilse Schoenholz (1924-1994) was born in Bochum to store owners Ferdinand (1885-1944) and Ella (nee Kaufmann, 1884-1943) Sternberg. Her parents' store was boycotted when the Nazis came to power, and she was sent to England on a Kindertransport in August 1939. Her parents were deported to the Riga ghetto in early 1942. Her father was tranferred to the Kaiserwald concentration camp in June 1943 and executed in August 1944. Her mother was transferred to Auschwitz in November 1943 and murdered. Ilse lived with various families and in refugee homes in London, Llanelly (Wales), and Manchester, studied French at Exeter, and became a naturalized English citizen in 1948. She was engaged to Holocaust survivor Walter Schoenholz, from Recklinghausen, in 1951. The couple immigrated to the United States in October 1952 and were married in December.

Archival History

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Funding Note: The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Walter Schoenholz donated the Ilse Schoenholz biographical sketch to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1994.

Scope and Content

Ilse Schoenholz's seven page narrative describes her childhood in Bochum, Germany, antisemitism in her apartment building and at school, how the police and neighbors refused to help when her family's store was vandalized during Kristallnacht, and the forced liquidation of the store and the confiscation of her mother's jewelry and silver. She recounts her journey to England on a Kindertransport and explains that, through relatives, she was able to keep in touch with her parents until they were deported to the Riga ghetto. She details aspects of her life in England including her concerns about her parents, living with various families and in refugee homes in London and Manchester, attending school in England, becoming a naturalized English citizen, and helping plan celebrations of Goethe's 200th anniversary.

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: Walter Schoenholz



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.