Steiner-Kunstler family. Collection

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This collection contains 13 photos of the Steiner-Kunstler family, including a picture taken during a vacation at the beach, a wedding photo of Kornelia (Nelly) Steiner, a photo of the employees of a carpenter's workshop in Hungary, a photo of the Hungarian violinist "Tibi", and several studio portraits of the Steiner children and grandchildren.
ca. 1923
Hungary
Steiner-Kunstler family
Digitally stored at Kazerne Dossin
Madeleine Steiner, Private collection, Brussels
KD_00115
item
13 digitised images (13 photos)
The included photo of André Mondschein (alias André Louis Steiner) was used to complete the "Give them a Face" portrait collection (KD_00017) and the commemoration wall at the Kazerne Dossin museum
Lajos (Louis) Steiner was born in Döbrököz, Hungary, on 23 November 1873. He became a painter of buildings and married Josephine Kunstler on 5 February 1899. Josephine had been born in Jászárokszállás, Hungary, on 23 December 1881. Their first son, Andor, was born in Josephine’s home town on 3 August 1901. The family then moved to Újpest where five more children were born : Emeric, Marishka or Maria (b. 09/07/1905), Julie (b. 17/06/1907), Jenö or Eugène (b. 04/02/1909) and Kornelia or Nelly (b. 18/11/1919).
In 1925, oldest son Andor Steiner emigrated to Belgium and settled in Brussels. Lajos Steiner and his youngest son Jenö (Eugène) were then invited to come and work for the Etablissements Edmond Doulière, a Belgian company manufacturing grinding wheels for the glass industry. In April 1929, Lajos, his wife Josephine Kunstler, and their five youngest children received their visa and settled in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels. Youngest daughter Kornelia still went to school and was a violinist who would later on play at the conservatory in Brussels.
Before their emigration in 1929, Marishka Steiner had married Tinerie Tauzig and Julie Steiner had become the wife of Joseph Teszler. However, it seems that both their spouses remained in Hungary, and it is likely that Marishka Steiner returned to Budapest before 1940. In the 1930s, the Steiner family expanded further. Oldest son Andor married Gertrude Kraus (b. 18/06/1902 in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia) on 9 November 1929. Their son Nicolas Steiner was born in Brussels in 1930. Sadly, as of 1936, Lajos Steiner’s health deteriorated rapidly. He returned to Hungary in 1937, where he passed away in Budapest on 11 December 1939. It is likely that son Emeric Steiner accompanied his father and never returned to Belgium. Emeric’s fate remains unknown. Youngest daughter Kornelia Steiner married Oskar Mondschein (b. 06/06/1918 in Berlin, Germany). Their son André Louis was born in Brussels on 5 March 1940.
When Nazi-Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940, Josephine Kunstler still lived in Belgium. With her were probably four of her children : Andor, Julie, Jenö and Kornelia. Josephine and her daughters all rented apartments in the same building, located at Rue Joseph Van Camp in Schaerbeek. In October 1942, they were denounced by the Dutch property owner. Josephine Kunstler, Julie Steiner, Kornelia Steiner and her son André Louis Steiner (also André Mondschein) were arrested. All were killed after deportation from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport XII on 10 October 1942. It is likely that Kornelia’s husband Oskar Mondschein was also killed during the Holocaust.
After the arrest of his family members, Andor Steiner, his wife Gertrude Kraus and their son Nicolas went into hiding at the home of misses Timmermans at Rue Van Cost 70, in Brussels. They had to sell their personal belongings to pay for their expenses and Gertrude also helped at misses Timmermans lingerie workshop. In July 1943, Andor Steiner was arrested in the street. He was killed after deportation from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport XXIIA on 20 September 1943. Gertrude then placed her son Nicholas in hiding in institutes at several locations, including Couvin and Cul-des-Sarts. She herself remained with misses Timmermans until liberation. Both Gertrude and her son Nicholas survived the war.
Youngest son Jenö Steiner had married the Belgian catholic woman Marie Heyters before the war. Their daughter Madeleine Steiner had been born in Schaerbeek on 6 March 1939. Jenö Steiner was presumably the only member of the Steiner-Kunstler family who survived the war. His marriage to a non-Jewish woman partly protected him from deportation. However, during the war he did not go out much and he switched addresses regularly, moving back-and-forth between his own house at Rue Georges Raeymaekers and the home of his mother-in-law at Rue Camille Simoens in Schaerbeek. The Steiner-Heyters family was left alone, although they were confronted with the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst when German agents came to collect the family radio. All members of the Steiner-Heyters family survived the war.
Madeleine Steiner, granddaughter of Lajos (Louis) Steiner and Josephine Kunstler, kindly permitted digitisation of several family photographs during a visit to the Kazerne Dossin documentation centre in 2012. The photos were rescued during the war by her father, Jenö (Eugène) Steiner who had married the non-Jewish Marie Heyters and who was thus partially protected against deportation.
Madeleine Steiner, 2012

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