Conditorei Albert Danziger

My great great grandfather Albert Danziger (1823 - 1896) was a Conditor (confectioner) living in Kattowitz.

The earliest record of his business premises that I've identified is a photograph dated 1867, one of a series taken that year around Kattowitz by L.A. Lamche. The building was at Friedrichsplatz 7.

A series of address books for the town of Kattowitz record the presence of the business and, in some cases, the home address of the owner. The 1894 address book, the earliest that I've located, shows that by then the business had moved round the corner to Friedrichsplatz 1, at the west end of the square. At this time Albert was living at Johannesstrasse 1/3, a short walk to the south of the square.

What happened to the business following Albert's death in 1896 is not certain; however, it appears that as late as 1914 it was still owned and operated by his family, and as late as 1920 it was still trading under Albert's name (as can be seen in the photo below). Of Albert's sons, nothing is known of Ferdinand or Julius, although family recollections are that they both died young from diabetes. It is likely that the only surviving son was Isidor who, around the time of his father's death, was moving from the role of director of Weichmann's sawmill to setting up his own timber merchants business.

Leo Woerl's Illustriert Führer durch das Oberschlesische Industriegebiet, published in 1904, lists (p. 19) two Konditorein mit café in Friedrichsplatz, identified as Krones and Ollendorf. Albert Danziger's business is not mentioned by name, but the significance of the "Ollendorf" name becomes clear a decade later.

The next address book that I've located was produced in 1910. It lists the business under Albert's name, but does not mention an owner. No Danzigers appear at Johannesstrasse 1/3, Albert's former address; indeed none of the Danzigers listed in Kattowitz in 1910 is a known relative of Albert.

The 1914 Upper Silesia business address book shows (p. 141) that the business was still at Friedrichsplatz 1 and was still known as Albert Danziger's Konditorei; the owner is listed as the widow Bertha Ollendorf geb. Danziger. Bertha Danziger, a daughter of Albert, married Julius Ollendorf. A 1913 advertisement for Zuntz coffee and tea list among its stockists a "Jul. Ollendorf Cond." in Kattowitz. The 1913 advertisement implies that Julius had been running a Conditorei in his own name, while his wife, Bertha, was running the Danizger establishment. Woerl's 1904 record could refer to Julius' or Bertha's business.

A photograph dated 1920 shows the business was still trading as Albert Danziger's Conditorei & Cafe, more than 50 years after it was founded.

An article in a Katowice newspaper (see page 6) names Julius Allendorf (probably a mis-transcription of Ollendorf) in connection with the business, and says that it passed into the hands of Franciszka Liczbiński in the interwar period; a 1923 advertisement for Ksawery Liczbiński's Cukiernia i Kawiarnia (confectionery shop and cafe) at the same address (Friedrichsplatz having been renamed Rynek), and a 1925 advertisement which gives the proprietor's full name, would appear to confirm this.

Clearly, the Danziger name lived on in the town's collective memory: Liczbiński was advertising his business as "(formerly Danziger's)" as late as 1928.

Franciszka Ksawery Liczbiński died in tragic circumstances in 1933 ( Górnoślązak, R. 32, Nr. 247, 26 October 1933, page 2). Five years later, with Rynek now named Plac Marsz. Piłsudskiego, the business was in the hands of his son Marian Liczbiński.

Other Danzigers were connected with Albert's Conditorei following his death, although their roles are not clear.

One of the Danzigers listed in the 1914 Kattowitz address book (p. 191), identified only by the initial S, lived at Grundmannstrasse 29 but had the same telephone number, 502, as the Conditorei in Friedrichsplatz 1 and so must have had a family connection with it. This S Danziger is described only as a Kaufmann, and the entry for Grundmannstrasse 29 confirms that this is the only Danziger at this address. Albert had no known sons whose forename began with S, but this could be Albert's daughter Selima using her maiden name, or a widow of one of Albert's sons. However, the 1911 address book lists a Max Danziger at the same address, so the S Danziger could be a relative of Max. A family member recalls talk of a "Tante Cilly" connected with the Conditorei.

The 1914 Upper Silesia business address book also lists an R Danziger in its Kattowitz section (p. 142): the entry states only Konditorei, and gives no further details of his business. The only R Danziger listed in the 1914 Kattowitz address book is a Richard, descibed as a Kaufmann, with nothing linking him to the late Albert's business.

The end of the block containing the Rynek 1 (formerly Friedrichsplatz 1) premises has been demolished, as has the end of ul. sw. Jana (formerly Johannesstrasse) containing Albert's residence. However his original premises stands today on the northern edge of the square.

Friedrichsplatz 7

Friedrichsplatz 1