Julius Langweil 1851-1935

Judr. Erwin langweil
Ing. Artur langweil
Margareta Langweilová

The eldest son of Salomon Langweil, Julius, followed in the footsteps of his father as the head of the Jewish congregation in Budyně and he took over the tannery. He continued in the tannery industry even after moving to Prague. Thanks to his merits, he was nominated for a title of the imperial councillor. He and his wife Florabrought into the world three children: Erwin, Artur and Margareta..

His first son, Erwin, studied law. His career culminated by the position of director general of the Pečky sugar refinery (earning 22,000 crowns per month). When the political situation got worse and the Jews were exposed to ever growing risks, Erwin, thanks to his social position and wage, had the possibility to flee before the Nazis. In February 1939, Erwin and his wife Eliška applied for an emigration passport to leave for Africa. They succeeded and in February 1948 they got a citizenship in Kenya. They earned a living by farming in Ol Kalou, a town about 150 km northward of Nairobi. Erwin died in 1954. He kept his Jewish roots as Hebrew was inscribed on his tombstone in Nakuru. His wife Eliška outlived him by 32 years. She is buried in Nairobi. Erwin’s son Bedřich and daughter Lene (married to MUDr. Walter Löwy) saved their lives in the same way through Africa. Bedřich finished studying law as well as Erwin. He was married twice. The first marriage to Emilia resulted in a divorce after three years. The second marriage to Gerda Eliška lasted almost sixty years. We do not know much about their life, just that both Bedřich and Gerda Eliška died in Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, Bedřich’s first wife Emilie did not experience a happy-end to her life story. In less than a year she married JUDr. Arnošt Lowositz. Their lives and lives of their three children came to an end in gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Julius’ second-born son, Artur, was a building engineer. Artur, as well as his son, died before the war. After her husband death, Artur’s wife Růžena moved to Paris. Records of the Prague Police Headquarters contain a list of items which Růžena moved to Paris. The list may bring a smile to one´s face: 1 piano, 5 writing tables, 4 lounges, 38 chairs, 4 beds, 35 cushions, 20 curtains, 3 boxes of books, etc.

Julius’ third child was a daughter named Margareta Greta. She married Arnošt Berka, a director of the Cooperative of Agricultural Distillery and an acting director of the Czechoslovak Spirituous Commission. During the First Republic, Berka was considered to be one of the most important Czechoslovak philatelists. Undoubtedly, he was a proactive man who was preparing for various options in the future. His position was honorary consul of Haiti in Czechoslovakia, which he held by the end of the 1930s, provided him many possibilities. In March 1939, he and his wife set sail for America by the ship Zaandam from Rotterdam and settled down in Chicago. He succeeded in exporting the most precious pieces of his collection, despite leaving two more suitcases and a package of stamps back home. Margareta’s son, Egon, and his girlfriend, Jarmila, escaped to Chicago in the same way. In America, Egon became a famous photographer.

Margarete’s daughter, Hana, found a safe shelter from the Nazis in England. She travelled departed there with her second husband Pavel Taussig. They lived in the same center of London, in Kensington. She even took her son, Martin, from her first marriage. Hana’s first husband, František Fischmann, a chemical engineer, perished in the Lodz ghetto.

Foresighted departure for safe haven
Julius’ descendants represent people who were financially secure and made a good estimate of risks. They left in time and thus their family lineage continues.