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Ida Erlanger (Kohn)

Birthplace: Nuremberg, Middle Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
Death: July 28, 1969 (79)
Sanatorium Sonnenhof, Tegernsee, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany (Myocardial infarction; heart attack)
Place of Burial: Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Kommerzienrat Max Josef Kohn and Pauline Kohn
Wife of Dr. jur. Theodor David Erlanger
Mother of Renata Erlanger Wolff and Liselotte Franziska Erlanger Manfredi Glozer
Sister of Sofie Kohn; Eugen Kohn; Otto Kohn; Dr. phil. Hugo Stefan Kohn; Bruno Ernst Kohn and 6 others

Managed by: Thomas Föhl (c) busy writing again
Last Updated:

About Ida Erlanger

See photos and document under the "Media" tab

Ida was born into a banking family. She was musical and played several instruments. She was skilled at embroidery and was passionate about the music of Mozart. She was sent to England to study at a private girl's school circa 1908, then returned to Germany and married Theodor Erlanger, a lawyer, in 1912. She and Theo lived in Munich and bought a summer home -- an old inn -- in Bad Tölz, where Theo's large collection of Bavarian peasant folk art was housed. The family was Jewish, but numerous carefully staged photos exist showing them in Tölz dressed in "peasant clothing" (19th century rural Bavarian Christian-style garments) that they purchased from local farmers. In some of these photos, Ida is showing playing an antique lute; she knew many Medieval German (non-Jewish) folk songs.

Theo was a German army officer in World War One. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war in France. During this period of chaos, Ida took their two daughters to live in the summer house, where they could find food. My mother told me that Ida used "an old antique illustrated botany book" to identify edible plants, and that they got eggs from a local farmer's wife. After Theo returned, the family's life in Munich resumed, and the Tölz home was again used as a getaway for weekends and vacations.

When Hitler came to power, the family (and a number of relatives from urban areas) retreated to Bad Tölz, hoping to lay low in the countryside, in the belief that "the troubles" would blow over. Ida got the idea that if the family received baptism as Lutherans, that would stop any problems, but of course, it did not. (According to my mother, she chose the Lutheran denomination because virtually all of the residents of Bad Tölz were Catholics, and thus being a nominal Lutheran would exempt her from having to actually attend a Christian church.) This strategy failed when the family was reported to authorities as Jewish by Ida's daughter Lilo's Aryan boyfriend, and so all of the family members who had come to Tölz had to leave, singly and in groups.

Ida first emigrated to England, where her brother Bruno lived. Theo was briefly taken to a concentration camp but was released due to his membership in the Freemasons. Eventually Theo, Ida, and their two daughters, along with a few other family members, were reunited in the United States. After the end of the war, Theo sued to reclaim their summer home in Bad Tölz and he and Ida continued to spend summers there and winters in New York.

Ida kept "pet" frogs all her life, from childhood to old age. She had type II diabetes.

mtDNA h6a1a1a

Death data from "Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad" 8/11/1969 German Consulate, Munich

Freeport, IL, USA July 29, 1969

Mrs. Ida Erlanger

Funeral service for Mrs. Ida Erlanger of Germany, mother of Mrs. Ernst Wolff, Freeport Route 3, was held today in Germany. Mrs. Erlanger, 79, died last week in Germany.

She had resided here with her daughter for a few months before going back to Germany. Surviving besides Mrs. Wolff are another daughter in California; five grandchildren; a greatgrandchild; and two sisters.

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Ida Erlanger's Timeline

July 5, 1890
Nuremberg, Middle Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
June 6, 1913
Age 22
Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
June 12, 1915
Age 24
Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
July 28, 1969
Age 79
Tegernsee, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany