Pauline Nachod Schönberg (1848-1921)

Pauline was born April 7, 1848 in Prague, during a time of revolution. Her family belonged to the Altneuschul in the old Prague ghetto. In 1869 her family moved to Leopoldstadt in Vienna (Taborstrasse 4), where she married Samuel Schönberg from Szécsény, Hungary in 1872. Her family was poor and her father Josef Nachod had to apply for a waiver of fees for the marriage license. The wedding took place in the Leopoldstadt Temple, the largest synagogue in Vienna’s very Jewish second district.

Pauline and Samuel had four children. The first child, Adele (1872), died as an infant. The other three were Arnold (1874), Ottilie (1876) and Heinrich (1882). In December 1881, Pauline’s brother and sister-in-law died in the Ringtheater Fire, leaving two young daughters, Mela and Olga. Pauline took the two girls into her home. In 1889, Pauline’s husband Samuel died in 1889 from a bad medicine prescription, leaving Pauline, age 41, a widow with her three children and two foster children. Her son Arnold called her “very self-sacrificing, unselfish, selfless, and humble.”

In her later years, Pauline moved to Berlin to be with her daughter Ottilie. She died in 1921 and was buried in a Protestant cemetery. The cemetery book was burned in a fire, and during the Nazi period her daughter Ottilie had a new death record created to make it seem that Pauline was Protestant, although she was Jewish and had never converted. As a result, her grave site was not preserved and no longer exists.


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