Dora Susan Schocken

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Dora Susan Schocken (Landauer)

Birthplace: Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany
Death: May 06, 2005 (89)
Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Paul Landauer and Hedwig Landauer
Wife of Theodore Ernst Schocken
Mother of Miriam Schocken; Naomi Landau and Private User
Sister of Elsbet Landauer Spiro; Herta Newton and Marianne (Miriam) Butschowitz

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Dora Susan Schocken

Born: 1916 in Augsburg. Father’s occupation: factory owner. Flat: 4 Schießgrabenstraße. Company: 25 Färberstraße.

The textile factory “M.S. Landauer” was situated in Augsburg-Oberhausen. Dora’s father, Paul (b. 1879 in Augsburg), was one of several co-owners from the Landauer family (the name of the company came from its founder, the weaver Moses Samuel Landauer, who was born in 1808 in Hürben—today a city district of Krumbach). In 1910, Paul Landauer married Hedwig Schnebel from Nuremberg (b. 1890). The couple had four daughters: Elsbeth, Herta, Dora, and Marianne. They all attended Maria-Theresia-School. Dora was the third child. She attended the school from 1926 to 1935 in classes 1–G9. On June 2, 1930, Dora celebrated her “confirmation” in Augsburg, together with eight other Jewish girls (Bat Mitzvah: the feast of religious maturity for Jewish girls; it can be celebrated individually after a girl’s 12th birthday, but in Augsburg it was held annually or after even longer intervals for several age groups together, similar to the Protestant confirmation). Dora passed her maturity exam (“Abitur”) in 1935. A few years later, she emigrated and married Theodor Schocken (b. 1914 in Zwickau, Saxony). Theodor was the second son of Salman Schocken (1877–1959). Salman was the owner of a firm which comprised several department stores in Germany, and he was the founder of the “Schocken Verlag” as well. This publishing house issued a wide range of Jewish literature from 1931 to 1938, when it was oppressed by the Gestapo. Among the books published by Schocken were Die Schrift, the famous translation of the Hebrew Bible into German by Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber, and the works of Franz Kafka. Salman Schocken emigrated to Palestine in 1934. He founded another publishing company there and a third one in 1945 in the USA where he had fled in 1940. Theodor stayed in Germany until 1938. He worked in leading positions in his father’s department store chain as well as in the publishing house. In 1938, the firm “Schocken”—including a department store at Augsburg—was “Aryanized”. Theodor went to Palestine and later on, together with his father, to the USA. Georg Spiro, who was a cousin of Theodor and had married Dora Landauer’s sister Elsbeth, had also been a manager of the Schocken firm. Elsbeth and Georg emigrated with their children to Ramat Gan, Palestine (near Tel Aviv). Around 1938, the Landauer factory, which had been in possession of the Landauer family for four generations, had to be sold below value and was “Aryanized”, too. In 1939, Dora’s parents, Paul and Hedwig Landauer, emigrated to Ramat Gan just like their daughter Elsbeth. Dora herself emigrated to the USA, where she and Theodor Schocken—who called himself “Theodore” by now—married in 1941. Around that time, Dora got her B.A. in social working. Theodore fought against national socialist Germany in the US Army. After the war, he worked for his father’s American publishing house. For some time, he was a member of the board of the German firm “Merkur AG”, into which the Schocken department stores had been transformed. After Salman’s death in 1959, Theodore and his brother-in-law, Herzl Rome, took over Schocken Books. Today, Schocken Books is a division of Random House Inc..

Dora and Theodore had three daughters. Theodore died in 1975, he was 60 years old. Dora’s parents both died in Ramat Gan, Israel: Paul in 1976, Hedwig in 1979. Dora was a social worker at Grasslands Hospital (Westchester County Medical Center), Westchester, New York. Dora Schocken, née Landauer, died in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in 2005.

(Dora Schocken’s daughter Naomi Landau added to this biography of her mother.)

Sources and further reading: Augsburg State Archives, copy of a chronicle of the company “M. S. Landauer”. The appendix, “Die Nachfahren des M. S. Landauer und seiner Frau Klara aus Hürben bei Krumbach,” ends with March 15, 1936. Obituary of Dora Schocken, née Landauer, New York Times, May 7, 2005. Obituary of Theodore Schocken, Time, March 31, 1975. Anthony David, The Patron: A Life of Salman Schocken, 1877–1959, New York, 2003. Konrad Fuchs, Ein Konzern aus Sachsen. Das Kaufhaus Schocken als Spiegelbild deutscher Wirtschaft und Politik 1901 bis 1953, Stuttgart, 1990. Saskia Schreuder and Claude Weber, in conjunction with Silke Schaeper and Frank Grunert, eds., Der Schocken Verlag / Berlin. Jüdische Selbstbehauptung in Deutschland 1931–1938. Essayband zur Ausstellung “Dem suchenden Leser unserer Tage” der Nationalbibliothek Luxemburg, Berlin, 1994.

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Dora Susan Schocken's Timeline

April 9, 1916
Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany
March 12, 1945
New York, NY, United States


May 6, 2005
Age 89
Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States
United States