Fleeing to Frisco: How One Jewish Family Escaped Nazi Germany and Rebuilt Their Lives
March 24 - August 31, 2021
Leo Wollenreich was a prominent and successful cattle trader in Straubing, Germany prior to World War II and was later forced to sell his property and home to an elite Nazi family. Leo was later imprisoned at the Dachau Concentration Camp in 1938. After his escape, he and his wife Irma fled to Portugal and eventually settled in Lebanon, Texas (now known as Frisco) and established a cattle trading business with the help of his cousin, Dallas philanthropist Stephen K. Khan. The Wollenreichs were active members of the Frisco community.
This story was brought to the Frisco Heritage Museum by current Frisco residents Jesse and Lupe Sanchez. Jesse worked on the Wollenreich ranch for 30 years as a cowboy, and Irma Wollenreich gifted that land to Jesse and Lupe upon her death in 1988.
The exhibit features original handwritten letters by Irma in search of her mother in Germany, family photos, newspaper articles. Judaica, Irma’s original cookbook, and a 300-year-old Shabbat/Shabbos lamp that resided in the family home. The lamp is on loan from Temple Museums, The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, Ohio.
Special thanks go to the following individuals and organizations for making this exhibit possible:
Heritage Association of Frisco
Jesse and Lupe Sanchez, Frisco residents
Dr. Dorit-Maria Krenn, State Archives, Straubing, Germany
Elisabeth Böhrer -- historian specializing in Schweinfurt, Germany
Yad Vashem--Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem, Israel
Naomi Teveth, Tel Aviv, Israel, author of the Wuerzburg Database on JewishGen
Sue Koletsky, Director of Temple Museums, The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, Ohio
Frisco Heritage Museum
The 16,000 square foot museum houses exhibits and objects connected to the development to Frisco and the North Texas region.
Please check our Social Media pages for information on current Frisco Heritage Museum gallery exhibits and Heritage Village events. You can find us on Facebook @friscoheritagemuseum and Instagram @friscoheritagecenter .
Frisco Heritage Village
After touring the museum, stroll the grounds of the four-acre Frisco Heritage Village. You will see:
- Calaboose (Jail)
- Steam Locomotive and Caboose
- Gaby's Blacksmith Shop
- Frisco Railroad Depot
- Smith-Muse House
- Crozier-Covington-Sickles House
- Lebanon Church
- School House
- Log Cabin
- The Sisters Fountain
Frisco Public Art Program
Be sure to enjoy our Frisco Public Art pieces while at the Heritage Center.