Photos of Auschwitz Survivor Elsbeth Midas with First and Second Husbands

Elsbeth was the youngest of the three daughters of Sophie and Lothar Midas. In 1943, she and her first husband Robert Gerst were captured while in hiding by the Nazis when in Amerongen, Holland. Rumors exist that they worked with the resistance. They were arrested and confined in Scheveningen* , a police prison in Holland. Later, as an Auschwitz prisoner, she was forced to participate in the medical experiments performed in Auschwitz Medical Block 10. For details on medical experiments in this setting, click HERE for quotation from the book, “The Nazi Doctors” by Dr. Robert Jay Lifton.

After the war, she returned to her family who had immigrated to New York City. She married her second husband, Harry Weilheimer and their life together was blessed with happiness until her passing in 1994.

Elsbeth remains in our minds as a tremendous example of what hope looks like before, during and after personally experiencing and witnessing the Nazis in action.

Click HERE  for details on Scheveningen Prison.(also known as Oranjehotel).

Below is a detailed chart showing the extraordinarily difficult journey Elsbeth and her first husband Robert were forced to make:

(Click on chart to enlarge)

(Click on chart to enlarge)

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Elsbeth with her first husband Robert

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(Robert and Elsbeth’s engagement announcement, May 17, 1938 in Amsterdam)

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(From Robert and Elsbeth’s wedding announcement, June 1, 1938 in Amsterdam)

Robert (Bob) Gerst, Elsbeth's first husband

Robert (Bob) Gerst, Elsbeth’s first husband

Uncle Robert Gerst – First husband of Aunt Elsbeth Midas
Born in Nüremberg on November 29, 1910
Died in Auschwitz on October 5, 1943

Captured in Amsterdam, when in hiding with Elsbeth
and transported to Auschwitz. She survived, he did not.

“In July 1943, after the Gersts had spent 3 years living under harsh Nazi occupation, eight Gestapo men stormed their hiding place and Elsbet’s excruciating odyssey began.”
Excerpt from Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper  (Cambridge University Press, 2005

Elsbeth (Midas) Gerst  Scheveningen Prison Registration Card

Elsbeth (Midas) Gerst’s Scheveningen Prison Registration Card. She  arrived on the night of July 19-20, 1943 and was given prisoner #4423. (Click on image to enlarge)

 

Robert Gerst Scheveningen Prison Registration Card

Robert Gerst’s Scheveningen Prison Registration Card. He arrived on the night of July 19-20, 1943 and was given prisoner  #4391. He was in cell #362.           (Click on image to enlarge)

Robert Gerst’s name appears in the Dutch “Digital Monument to the Jewish Community.” The Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands is an Internet monument dedicated to preserving the memory of all the men, women and children who were persecuted as Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and did not survive the Shoah. Every person in the Monument has a separate page commemorating his or her life. (To read more about the Digital Monument click HERE.)

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To see Robert’s page in the Digital Monument click HERE
Robert Digital Monument(For original Digital Monument image click HERE)

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A stone placed at Yad Vashem, a memorial for Bill’s uncle Robert Gerst, who was executed by hanging shortly after entering Auschwitz

A stone placed at Yad Vashem, a memorial for Bill’s uncle Robert Gerst, who was executed by hanging shortly after entering Auschwitz

To read Harriet’s poem in Robert’s memory click HERE

Below is a newspaper advertisement placed by Bill’s Aunt Hilde searching for her sister and brother-in-law, Elsbeth and Robert Gerst.

 INTERNATIONAL SEARCH CENTER Gerst, Elsbeth, maiden name Midas (born in 1916 in Fürth, Bavaria),  and Robert (Bob, born in 1910 in Nürnberg) last address: 4 Watteau Street, Amsterdam, probably deported in July 1942), ad placed by Hilde Dreifuss, maiden name Midas, 619 West 163rd Street, New York 32, N.Y.

INTERNATIONAL SEARCH CENTER
Gerst, Elsbeth, maiden name Midas (born in 1916 in Fürth, Bavaria),
and Robert (Bob, born in 1910 in Nürnberg) last address: 4 Watteau Street, Amsterdam, probably deported in July 1942), ad placed by Hilde Dreifuss, maiden name Midas, 619 West 163rd Street, New York 32, N.Y.

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Apartment house at Watteaustraat 4 (3 miles from the Anne Frank House) in Amsterdam, Holland where Aunt Elsbeth and Uncle Robert lived. After their capture they were deported to Auschwitz, where they were separated. When the war ended and Elsbeth was liberated from Auschwitz, she found out Robert had been murdered by the Nazis, shortly after entering the camp. When the young married couple were captured Elsbeth was 27 and Robert was 32. To read Elsbeth’s disturbing first hand report on her capture, CLICK HERE to the page in the book, Buried by The Times.

Note, Anne Frank and her family were in hiding from July 1942 until August 1944 when the family was arrested. Elsbeth and Robert were in hiding for three years prior to their arrest in August 1943. Thus, their times in hiding were somewhat similar. Neither ever could have dreamed of being mentioned together on a “BLOG,” such as ours, in the year 2012.

After Auschwitz – A New Life

Elizabeth and Harry Weilheimer married on December 14, 1947. The ceremony took place in a rabbi’s study, two and a half years after she was released from Auschwitz. Harry fled from Nuremberg to Cuba, with his parents and later they all immigrated to New York. Bill Mohr, age 12, was present along with other immediate family members.

Elizabeth and Harry Weilheimer married on December 14, 1947. The ceremony took place in a rabbi’s study, two and a half years after she was released from Auschwitz. Harry fled from Nuremberg to Cuba, with his parents and later they all immigrated to New York. Bill Mohr, age 12, was present along with other immediate family members.

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 Harry Elsbeth

(Click on image for a larger and sharper picture)

(Click on image for a larger and sharper picture)

For additional World War II related info click HERE

To access poetry related to World War II by Harriet Mohr click HERE

Harry                                                       A family picnic. Elsbeth on far left
……………………………………… ….Harry in foreground.

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Harry Weilheimer

 

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