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Friday, July 20, 2018

Family Holocaust Records from International Tracing Service




As documented in an earlier post, at the end of 2016, I visited the International Tracing Service with Hans-Peter Klein.  At the end of the visit, I left an extensive list of family members, mostly victims, seeking whatever documents in which they were mentioned that were housed at ITS.

Links to these documents and brief descriptions of the individuals are listed below.  The purpose of posting all this is twofold: First to make this information available to any interested parties and second to give an example of the huge resources available at the ITS.

ABRAHAM, Sophie nee Aron born on 02 02 1886 ITS - 31 documents

ARON, Sophie "Doris Aron"
Birth: 02 Feb 1886 Neuwied, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Adolf ARON
Mother name: Amalie DAVID
Marriage: 02 Apr 1886
Spouse name: Julius ABRAHAM
Spouse's parents' Moses ABRAHAM, Johanna SCHOEMANN
names:
Death: 09 Jun 1943 Kulmhof (Chelmno) extermination camp; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Abraham, Sofia Sofie Sophie
née Aron
born on 02nd February 1886 in Neuwied / - / Rheinprovinz
resident of Karden, Neuwied and Köln
Deportation destination:
from Köln
22nd October 1941, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
09th June 1943, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto

From Yad Vashem:
Source: Pages of Testimony
Last Name: Abraham
First Name: Sophie
Maiden Name: Aron
Father's First Name: Adolf
Mother's First Name: Amalie
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: 02/04/1886
Place of Birth: Neuwied,Koblenz,Rhine Province,Germany
Marital Status: MARRIED
Spouse's First Name: Julius
Permanent Place of Residence: Cochem,Koblenz,Rhine Province,Germany
Profession: HOUSEWIFE
Place during the war: Koeln,Koeln,Rhine Province,Germany
Place of Death: Lodz,Lodz,Lodz,Poland
Date of Death: 09/06/1943
Type of material: Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name: Salm
Submitter's First Name: Alex
Relationship to victim: RESEARCHER
Is the Submitter a Survivor?: YES
Status victim at creation of list: murdered/perished
Item ID: 1141501

FEINER, Johanna born 15 06 1925 ITS - 23 documents

FEINER, Johanna
Birth: 15 Jun 1925 Frankfurt am Main, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Siegmund FEINER
Mother name: Thekla "Thekla Haymann" HAIMANN
Death: Bet. 15 Jun 1942-1945 Sobibor extermination camp; Presumed perished in
Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Feiner, Johanna
born on 15th June 1925 in Frankfurt a. Main / - / Hessen-Nassau
resident of Lehmen and Bendorf-Sayn (Heil- und Pflegeanstalt)
Deportation:
from Koblenz-Köln-Düsseldorf
15th June 1942, Sobibor, extermination camp

From Yad Vashem:
Last Name Feiner
First Name Hanna
Gender Female
Age 14
Date of Birth 1926
Place of Birth Lehmen,Mayen (Koblenz),Rhine Province,Germany
Father's First Name Sigmund
Mother's First Name Thekla
Marital Status Teenager
Permanent Place of Residence Lehmen,Mayen (Koblenz),Rhine
Province,Germany
Citizenship <> (<>),Germany
Profession Student
Status according to Source murdered
Submitter's Last Name Moss
Submitter's Last Name Leopold
Submitter's First Name Ruth
Relationship to Victim Cousin
Source Yad Vashem - Pages of Testimony Names Memorial Collection
Type of material Page of Testimony
Item ID 7180829

FEINER, Siegmund born on 05.10.1870 ITS - 18 documents

FEINER, Siegmund
Birth: 05 Oct 1870 Lehmen, Mayen-Koblenz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Emanuel FEINER
Spouse name: Thekla "Thekla Haymann" HAIMANN
Spouse's parents' Hermann HAIMANN, Bertha ARON
names:
Death: 12 Jun 1943 Theresienstadt Ghetto; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Feiner, Siegmund Sigmund
born on 05th October 1870 in Lehmen / Mayen / Rheinprovinz
resident of Lehmen
Deportation:
from Trier-Köln
27th July 1942, Theresienstadt, ghetto
Date of death: 12th June 1943
Place of death: Theresienstadt, ghetto

From Yad Vashem:
Last Name Feiner
First Name Sigmund
Gender Male
Place of Birth Lehmen,Mayen (Koblenz),Rhine Province,Germany
Father's First Name Emanuel
Marital Status Married
Spouse's First Name Thekla
Permanent Place of Residence Lehmen,Mayen (Koblenz),Rhine
Province,Germany
Citizenship <> (<>),Germany
Status according to Source murdered
Submitter's Last Name Moss
Submitter's Last Name Leopold
Submitter's First Name Ruth
Relationship to Victim Niece
Source Yad Vashem - Pages of Testimony Names Memorial Collection
Type of material Page of Testimony
Item ID 7180832

FEINER, Thekla nee Haimann born 25 05 1883 ITS - 19 documents

HAIMANN, Thekla "Thekla Haymann"
Birth: 25 May 1883 Plaidt, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Hermann "Hermann Haymann" HAIMANN
Mother name: Bertha ARON
Spouse name: Siegmund FEINER
Spouse's parents' Emanuel FEINER
names:
Death: 08 May 1945 Auschwitz Extermination Camp; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch
Feiner, Thekla
née Haimann
born on 23rd May 1883 in Plaidt / Mayen / Rheinprovinz
resident of Lehmen
Deportation:
from Trier-Köln
27th July 1942, Theresienstadt, ghetto
15th May 1944, Auschwitz, Konzentrations-and extermination camp

From Yad Vashem:
Last Name Feiner
First Name Thekla
Gender Female
Place of Birth Frankfurt am Main,Frankfurt a. Main
(Wiesbaden),Hesse-Nassau,Germany
Marital Status Married
Spouse's First Name Sigmund
Permanent Place of Residence Lehmen,Mayen (Koblenz),Rhine
Province,Germany
Citizenship <> (<>),Germany
Status according to Source murdered
Submitter's Last Name Moss
Submitter's Last Name Leopold
Submitter's First Name Ruth
Relationship to Victim Niece
Source Yad Vashem - Pages of Testimony Names Memorial Collection
Type of material Page of Testimony
Item ID 7180831

FERSE, Jeanette born on 21.04.1852 ITS -73 documents

KANDER, Scheunchen Jeanette "Jeanette Hanette Kander"
Birth: 14 Apr 1852 Riede, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Leiser "Elieser Kander" KANDER
Mother name: Veilchen "Veile Gutheim" GUTHEIM
Marriage: Wanne-Eickel, Gelsenkirchen, Westfalen, Germany
Spouse name: Isaak FERSE
Spouse's parents'
names:
Death: 14 Aug 1942 Theresienstadt Ghetto; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Ferse, Jeanette Hanette
née Kander
born on 19th April 1852 in Riede / Wolfhagen / Hessen - Nassau
resident of Wanne - Eickel
Deportation destination:
from Dortmund
29th July 1942, Theresienstadt, ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
14th August 1942, Theresienstadt, ghetto

FRANKENBERG Rosa nee Kander ITS -27 documents

KANDER, Rosa
Birth: 04 Jun 1881 Riede, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Jonas KANDER
Mother name: Veilchen SCHLOSS
Spouse name: Jakob FRANKENBERG
Spouse's parents' Salomon FRANKENBERG, Sofie KATZ
names:
Death: Bet. 18 May 1944-1945 Auschwitz Extermination Camp; Presumed Perished in
Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Frankenberg, Rosa Röschen
née Kander
born on 03rd June 1880 in Riede / Wolfhagen / Hessen - Nassau
resident of Kassel
Deportation destination:
from Kassel - Chemnitz
07th September 1942, Theresienstadt, ghetto
18th May 1944, Auschwitz, extermination camp

From Yad Vashem:
Source: Pages of Testimony
Last Name: Frankenberg
First Name: Rosa
First Name: Roza
Father's First Name: Yona
Mother's First Name*: Felitzia
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: 03/06/1881
Place of Birth: Riede, Kassel, Hesse-Nassau, Germany
Marital Status: MARRIED
Spouse's First Name: Yaakov
Permanent Place of Residence: Meimbressen, Kassel, Hesse-Nassau, Germany
Profession: HOUSEWIFE
Place during the war: Theresienstadt, Litomerice, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia
Place of Death: Auschwitz, Biala Malopolska, Krakow, Poland
Type of material: Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name: Frankenberg
Submitter's First Name: Yehuda
Relationship to victim: SON

FRANKENBERG, Ludwig ITS - 11 documents

FRANKENBERG, Ludwig
Occupation: Merchant
Birth: 20 May 1906 Meimbressen, Kassel, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Jakob FRANKENBERG
Mother name: Rosa KANDER
Spouse name: Grete
Spouse's parents'
names:
Death: Feb 1936 Dresden, Sachsen, Germany; Perished in Holocaust
I trust that a brother would know if his brother was murdered as indicated in the
Page of Testimony below, it is interesting to note that a Ludwig Frankenberg of the
same age (within a year) from Meimbressen whose father was Jakob came to the
USA in 1926 with plans to be a permanent resident. The conclusion is that he
returned to Germany.

From Yad Vashem:
Source: Pages of Testimony
Last Name: Frankenberg
First Name: Ludwig
First Name: Elieser
First Name: Eliezer
First Name*: Ludvig
Father's First Name: Yaakov
Mother's First Name: Roza
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 20/05/1906
Place of Birth: Meimbressen, Kassel, Hesse-Nassau, Germany
Marital Status: SINGLE
Permanent Place of Residence: Muehlheim, Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany
Profession: MERCHANT
Place of Death: Drezden, Dresden Bautzen, Saxony, Germany
Date of Death: 02/1936
Type of material: Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name: Frankenberg
Submitter's First Name: Yehuda
Relationship to victim: BROTHER

HAIMANN, Julius born 14 Jul 1885 ITS - 17 documents

HAIMANN, Julius "Julius Haymann"
Birth: 14 Jul 1885 Plaidt, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Hermann "Hermann Haymann" HAIMANN
Mother name: Bertha ARON
Death: Bet. 15 Dec 1941-1945 Riga Ghetto, Latvia; Presumed Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Haimann, Julius
born on 14th July 1885 in Plaidt / Mayen / Rheinprovinz
resident of Hannover
Deportation destination:
from Hannover
15th December 1941, Riga, ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
officially declared dead
-----------
He was sentenced to a fine of 20 Reichsmark for not adopting the name
Israel.

Hirsch, Kurt ITS - 3 documents

HIRSCH, Kurt
Birth: 05 Nov 1920 Weinsheim, Bad Kreuznach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Moses HIRSCH
Mother name: Susannah "Sani Leib" LEIB
Death: Nov 1999 United Kingdom; In his sleep
Person Notes: 
From his nephew Robert Stern:  Kurt left for England, joined the British Army

HIRSCH, Moses born on 25.07.1883 ITS - 29 documents

HIRSCH, Moses
Occupation: Haendler
Birth: 25 Jul 1883 Mandel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Isaac HIRSCH II
Mother name: Johanna SCHOENFELD
Marriage: 21 Sep 1913 Niederemmel, Bernkastel-Wittlich, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Spouse name: Susannah "Sani Leib" LEIB
Spouse's parents' Isaac LEIB, Johanna RICHARD
names:
Death: Bet. 1942-1945 unknown place of deportation; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Hirsch, Moses
born on 25th July 1882 in Mandel / Kreuznach / Rheinprovinz
resident of Weinsheim
Deportation destination:
1942, unknown place of deportation
Date/Place of Death:
officially declared dead
From Robert Stern, his grandson:
The youngest brother, Werner, was taken by the German authorities (~1941). My
distraught grandmother sent my grandfather to determine his location, to see if he
could be retrieved. My grandfather Moses did so, only to disappear also.
From ITS documents:
Werner was executed for smuggling cash

HIRSCH, Sara born on 27.10.1890 ITS - 2 documents

LEIB, Susannah "Sani Leib"
Birth: 27 Oct 1890 Niederemmel, Bernkastel-Wittlich, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Isaac LEIB
Mother name: Johanna RICHARD
Marriage: 21 Sep 1913 Niederemmel, Bernkastel-Wittlich, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Spouse name: Moses HIRSCH
Spouse's parents' Isaac HIRSCH II, Johanna SCHOENFELD
names:
08 Apr 1942 Weinsheim, Bad Kreuznach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany; Perished in
Holocaust: Suicide
Death:
From Robert Stern:

My grandmother, Susannah (called Sani all her life) Leib (not Leid) was moved
upstairs to a small room in her house. German gentiles moved into the house. She
committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule given to her by a family friend,
a doctor, that my grandfather regularly used to play cards with. She died the last
day of Passover, 1942. I looked up the date on one of those eternal Jewish
calendars.

She is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Bad Kreuznach (there since 1672), I
visited. Her name is mispelled, as Lieb,instead of Leib. Who was responsible for internment? Unknown.
I believe the following entry from the Gedenkbuch to be Susannah Leib as the
death date coincides with the last day of Passover, 1942:

Hirsch, Sara
née Leib
born on 27th October 1890
resident of Weinsheim
Date/Place of Death:
08th April 1942
suicide

Information found at the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany
indicated that she had poisoned herself.

Hirsch, Werner ITS - 10 documents

HIRSCH, Werner
Occupation: Upholstery Apprentice
Birth: 23 Aug 1922 Weinsheim, Bad Kreuznach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Moses HIRSCH
Mother name: Susannah "Sani Leib" LEIB
Death: Bet. 1941-1945 Location Unknown; Unconfirmed: Presumed Perished in Holocaust
From Robert Stern, nephew:
The youngest brother, Werner, was taken by the German authorities (~1941). My
distraught grandmother sent my grandfather to determine his location, to see if he
could be retrieved. My grandfather Moses did so only to disappear also.

Kander, Louis born 24 07 1879 ITS - 32 documents

KANDER, Louis
Occupation: Cattle dealer
Birth: 24 Jul 1879 Riede, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Jonas KANDER
Mother name: Veilchen SCHLOSS
Spouse name: Recha "Regina Gruenewald" GRUENEWALD
Spouse's parents'
names:
Death: Bet. 09 Dec 1941-1945 Riga Ghetto, Latvia; Presumed perished in Holocaust
Jonas and Veilchen Kander moved to Gudensberg and lived there with their son
Louis Kander (Fritzlarer Strasse / Untergasse). They celebrated golden wedding in
October 1920.
Louis and Recha Kander moved from Gudensberg to Kassel, Mittelgasse 51 on
28.05.1935. Since 01.01.1938
they lived in Schillerstrasse 9.

From Gedenkbuch:
Kander, Louis
born on 26th July 1878 in Riede / Wolfhagen / Hessen - Nassau
resident of Kassel
Deportation destination:
from Kassel
09th December 1941, Riga, ghetto

KANDER, Mathilde born on 16.01.1882 ITS - 1 document

KANDER, Mathilde
Birth: 15 Jan 1882 Riede, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Jonas KANDER
Mother name: Veilchen SCHLOSS
Death: Fate in Holocaust Unknown

No information on her fate was found at ITS:

Kander, Regina Recha nee Gruenewald born 20 02 1880 ITS - 12 documents

GRUENEWALD, Recha "Regina Gruenewald"
Birth: 20 Feb 1880 Oppenheim, Mainz-Bingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Spouse name: Louis KANDER
Spouse's parents' Jonas KANDER, Veilchen SCHLOSS
names:
Death: Bet. 09 Dec 1941-1945 Riga Ghetto, Latvia; Presumed perished in Holocaust
Jonas and Veilchen Kander moved to Gudensberg and lived there with their son
Louis Kander (Fritzlarer Strasse / Untergasse). They celebrated golden wedding in
October 1920.
Louis and Recha Kander moved from Gudensberg to Kassel, Mittelgasse 51 on
28.05.1935. Since 01.01.1938 they lived in Schillerstrasse 9.

From Gedenkbuch:
Kander, Regina
geb. Grünewald
* 20.02.1880 in Oppenheim
wohnhaft Kassel
Deportation: ab Kassel
09.12.1941, Riga

From Yad Vashem:
Source: Pages of Testimony
Last Name: Kander
First Name: Recha
Maiden Name: Gruenwald
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: 1880
Place of Birth: Oppenheim,Mainz,Hesse,Germany
Marital Status: MARRIED
Spouse's First Name: Louis
Permanent Place of Residence: Gudensberg,Kassel,Hesse-Nassau,Germany
Profession: HOUSEWIFE
Place of Death: Riga,Ghetto
Type of material: Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name: Plaut
Submitter's First Name: Carlos
Submitter's First Name: Karlos
Relationship to victim: COMMUNITY MEMBER
Status victim at creation of list: murdered/perished
Item ID: 3642590

Levi, Klara geb Rosenbusch born 18 12 1898 ITS - 2 documents

ROSENBUSCH, Clara
Birth: 18 Dec 1898 Borken (Hessen), Germany
Father name: Josef ROSENBUSCH
Mother name: Johanna KANDER
Marriage: 04 Dec 1936 Melsungen, Hessen, Germany
Spouse name: Ernst LEVI
Spouse's parents' Moses LEVI, Sophie LINDNER
names:
Death: 09 May 1974 Chicago Illinois

LÖWENSTERN, Heinz born on 02.01.1908 ITS - 61 documents

LOEWENSTERN, Iwan Heinz
Birth: 02 Jan 1908 Wanne-Eickel, Gelsenkirchen, Westfalen, Germany
Father name: Julius LOEWENSTERN
Mother name: Rosalia FERSE
Death: 06 Jul 1943 Lódz (Litzmannstadt) Ghetto; Perished in Holocaust
Person Notes:

From Gedenkbuch:
Löwenstern, Iwan Heinz
born on 02nd January 1908 in Wanne - Eickel / Gelsenkirchen / Westfalen
resident of Herne and Korbach
Deportation destination:
from Prag
03rd November 1941, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
06th July 1943, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto
Last Letters From The Lódz (Lodsch) Ghetto
Name: Heinz Ivan Loewenstern
Birth Date: 2 Jan 1908
Deportation Place and Date: Prag V, 03-Nov-1941
Transport List Number: E-234
Eviction Warrant: III/875
Address: Cranachstr. 11
Exemption Decision: nadkontyngent
Exemption Letter Date: 5/2/1942
Other Information: Ausg. 06-Jul-1943
Microfilm Reel / Page Number(s): 302/195-198
Poland, Łódż Ghetto Work Identification Cards, 1940-1944
Name: Hans-Heinz Löwenstern
Gender: Männlich (Male)
Employment Start Date: 3 May 1943
Address: Rubensstr 2
Business: Feuerwehrkommando
Profession: Feuerwehrmann
Photo: Y
Worker Signature: Y
Acquired Skill: Feuerwehrmann
Worker Number: 541/43
Comments:
Legtimationkarte (authorization notice) #1445: standard language permitting the
'above named person' to be on the streets within the Ghetto after curfew
East Europe, Registers and Listings from Ten Jewish Ghettos, 1939-1942
Ghetto: Lodz
Name: Heinz Loewenstern
Gender: M (Male)
Birth Date: 2 Jan 1908
Profession: Arbeiter (worker)
Address: 2 Flat 40 Rubens Strasse
New Address: 11 Cranach Strasse
Move Type: ABG
Move Date: 06 Jul 1943
Transfer From: Prag I

LÖWENSTERN, Julius born on 19.04.1882 ITS - 36 documents

LOEWENSTERN, Julius
Occupation: Kaufmann
Birth: 19 Aug 1882 Korbach, Waldeck-Frankenberg, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Emil LOEWENSTERN
Mother name: Giedel Julie KANDER
Marriage: 03 Jun 1906 Herne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Spouse name: Rosalia FERSE
Spouse's parents' Isaak FERSE, Scheunchen Jeanette KANDER
names:
Death: Bet. 1942-1945 Location Unknown; Presumed Perished in Holocaust

From: http://www.gedenkportal-korbach.de/71-80.html
Julius Loewenstern was a merchant in Wanne-Eickel. Volunteering, he was for
many years the representative of the Jewish community in Wanne-Eickel. The
family was deported in 1942 (presumably to Theresienstadt or Lublin) and is lost,
the declaration of death of all family members was in 1952 by the District Court
Gelsenkirchen.

From Gedenkbuch:
Löwenstern, Julius
born on 19th April 1882 in Korbach / Kreis des Eisenberges / Waldeck
resident of Wanne - Eickel
Place of Imprisonment:
until 16th December 1938, Sachsenhausen, concentration camp
Deportation destination:
1942, unknown place of deportation

LÖWENSTERN, Rosalie nee Ferse born on 28 12 1879 ITS - 42 documents

FERSE, Rosalia
Birth: 28 Dec 1879 Oberlistingen, Kassel, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Isaak FERSE
Mother name: Scheunchen Jeanette "Jeanette Hanette Kander" KANDER
Marriage: 03 Jun 1906 Herne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Spouse name: Julius LOEWENSTERN
Spouse's parents' Emil LOEWENSTERN, Giedel Julie KANDER
names:
Death: Bet. 1942-1945 unknown place of deportation; Presumed Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Löwenstern, Rosalie
née Ferse
born on 28th December 1879 in Oberlistingen / Wolfhagen / Hessen - Nassau
resident of Wanne - Eickel
Deportation destination:
1942, unknown place of deportation

STEEG, Albert born on 28.11.1877 ITS - 20 documents

STEEG, Albert
Birth: 28 Nov 1877 Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Father name: Louis STEEG
Mother name: LILIENFELD
Marriage: 1900 Neuwied, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Spouse name: Fina "Lina Fina Steeg" HAIMANN
Spouse's parents' Hermann HAIMANN, Bertha ARON
names:
Bet. 15 Dec 1941-1945 Riga - Kaiserwald Concentration Camp; Perished in
Holocaust
Death:
A directory of Baltic victims of the Holocaust listed Albert at the same address as
Fina Lina. They were deported on the same day to the same place. Fina Lina was
listed as Fina Lina Steeg geb Haimann. The conclusion with fairly high probability
is that they were husband and wife.

From Gedenkbuch:
Steeg, Albert
born on 28th November 1877 in Bochum / - / Westfalen
resident of Hannover
Deportation destination:
from Hannover
15th December 1941, Riga, ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
Riga - Kaiserwald, concentration camp
officially declared dead

Steeg, Fina nee HAIMANN, born on 10.12.1877 ITS - 28 documents

HAIMANN, Fina "Lina Fina Steeg"
Birth: 10 Dec 1877 Plaidt, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Hermann "Hermann Haymann" HAIMANN
Mother name: Bertha ARON
Marriage: 1900 Neuwied, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Spouse name: Albert STEEG
Spouse's parents' Louis STEEG, LILIENFELD
names:
Death: 18 Oct 1944 Stutthof Concentration Camp; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Steeg, Lina Fina
née Haimann
born on 10th December 1877 in Plaidt / Mayen / Rheinprovinz
resident of Hannover
Deportation destination:
from Hannover
15th December 1941, Riga, ghetto
Stutthof, concentration camp
Date/Place of Death:
18th October 1944, Stutthof, concentration camp

Stern, Frieda Franziska nee Rosenbusch born 26 07 1886 ITS - 28 documents

ROSENBUSCH, Frieda "Franziska Rosenbusch"
Occupation: Operated furniture store
Birth: 26 Jul 1886 Borken (Hessen), Germany
Father name: Josef ROSENBUSCH
Mother name: Johanna KANDER
Marriage: 11 Nov 1908 Borken (Hessen), Germany
Spouse name: Josef STERN
Spouse's parents' Hesekiel STERN, Julie TERL
names:
Death: Bet. 1941-1945 Poland; Presumed Perished in Holocaust
See http://www.stolpersteine-melsungen.de/index.php?id=435 for a family narrative
In the Reichspogromnacht Friedrich Stoehr, butcher in Melsungen, saved Frieda
Stern and her daughter against the Nazis. He stood in the door of the house
Rotenburger Strasse 3 and did not let the Nazis go in. Frieda Stern was deported to
Eastern-Europe.

From Gedenkbuch:
Stern, Franziska
née Rosenbusch
born on 26th July 1886 in Borken i. Hessen / Homberg / Hessen - Nassau
resident of Melsungen
Deportation destination:
Poland

Stern, Meta nee Hirsch ITS - 1 document

HIRSCH, Meta "Margareta Hirsch"
Birth: 22 Jun 1914 Mandel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Moses HIRSCH
Mother name: Susannah "Sani Leib" LEIB
Marriage: 25 Dec 1934 Rüdesheim, Bad Kreuznach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Spouse name: Ludwig STERN
Spouse's parents'
names:
Death: 03 Sep 2007 Seattle, Washington

Süsskind, Hedwig nee Aron born on 01 11 1894 ITS - 18 documents

ARON, Hedwig
Occupation: teacher
Birth: 01 Nov 1894 Neuwied, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Father name: Adolf ARON
Mother name: Amalie DAVID
Spouse name: Hugo Hirsch SUESSKIND
Spouse's parents' Susskind SUESSKIND II, Friederike (Rika Recka) WERTHEIM
names:
Bet. 22 Oct 1941-1945 Lódz (Litzmannstadt) Ghetto; Presumed Perished in
Holocaust
Death:
she was reference for sister's trip to US in1922

From Gedenkbuch:
Süsskind, Hedwig
née Aron
born on 01st November 1894 in Neuwied / - / Rheinprovinz
resident of Köln
Deportation destination:
from Köln
22nd October 1941, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto
From International Tracing Service in Bad Arolson

Süsskind, Herbert born on 11 06 1934 ITS - 2 documents

SUESSKIND, Herbert
Birth: 11 Jun 1934 Cologne, Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Father name: Hugo Hirsch SUESSKIND
Mother name: Hedwig ARON
Death: 01 Oct 1942 Kulmhof (Chelmno) extermination camp; Perished in Holocaust
Person Notes:

From Gedenkbuch:
Süsskind, Herbert
born on 11th June 1934 in Köln / - / Rheinprovinz
resident of Köln
Deportation destination:
from Köln
22nd October 1941, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
01st October 1942, Kulmhof (Chelmno), extermination camp
officially declared dead

From Yad Vashem:
Source: Pages of Testimony
Last Name: Susskind
Last Name: Suskind
First Name: Herbert
Father's First Name: Hugo
Mother's First Name*: Hedvig
Mother's Maiden Name: Aron
Gender: Male
Marital Status: CHILD
Permanent Place of Residence: Koeln,Koeln,Rhine Province,Germany
Place during the war: Koeln,Koeln,Rhine Province,Germany
Age: 8
Submitter's Last Name: Liebmann
Submitter's Last Name*: Liman
Submitter's First Name: Frida
Status victim at creation of list: murdered/perished
Item ID: 8208665

SÜSSKIND, Hirsch Hugo born on 30.11.1885 ITS - 21 documents

SUESSKIND, Hugo Hirsch
Birth: 30 Nov 1885 Atzbach, Lahn-Dill-Kreis, Hessen, Germany
Father name: Susskind SUESSKIND II
Mother name: Friederike (Rika Recka) WERTHEIM
Spouse name: Hedwig ARON
Spouse's parents' Adolf ARON, Amalie DAVID
names:
Death: 12 Jul 1944 Lódz (Litzmannstadt) Ghetto; Perished in Holocaust

From Gedenkbuch:
Süsskind, Hugo Hirsch
born on 30th November 1885 in Atzbach / Wetzlar / Rheinprovinz
resident of Atzbach and Köln
Deportation destination:
from Köln
22nd October 1941, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto
Date/Place of Death:
12th July 1944, Litzmannstadt (Lodz), ghetto

From Yad Vashem:
Source: Pages of Testimony
Last Name: Susskind
Last Name: Suskind
First Name: Hugo
Mother's First Name*: Rika
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 30/10/1885
Place of Birth: Ausbach,Kassel,Hesse-Nassau,Germany
Marital Status: MARRIED
Spouse's First Name*: Hedvig
Spouse's Maiden Name: Aron
Permanent Place of Residence: Koeln,Koeln,Rhine Province,Germany
Profession: TEXTILE MERCHANT
Place during the war: Koeln,Koeln,Rhine Province,Germany
Type of material: Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name: Liebmann
Submitter's Last Name*: Liman
Submitter's First Name: Frida
Relationship to victim: SISTER
Status victim at creation of list: murdered/perished
Item ID: 1343581

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kristallnacht as Reported by Life Magazine in its 2nd Anniversary Edition


Last week I received a mailing from the USHMM of the new exhibit “Americans and the Holocaust.”  It reminded me of my impulse purchase a couple of years ago of the Life Magazine issue dated 28 November 1938 and that I should be including it in my donation to the museum of family restitution correspondence. 

The cover shows smiling baby having a second birthday as this was the 2nd anniversary issue of the magazine.  The cover is ironic given that the issue devotes 9 pages to Kristallnacht and conflict in Jerusalem. 

What did Americans know about what was happening in Germany?  Take a look:
Here are links to the relevant pages: 






Germany’ two head men try out charm on baby: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Qg0z4ljz7fM_iFQdi7IqeQWwOqarFEWn


Life on the Newsfronts: Roosevelt raps Nazis: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Z3iUWSZMYReWg4-2M5zDhXwCCsTbW97f

In Jerusalem, the world’s holiest city…: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YnCLIpqe00Uer0s0XjIPrRmy5mq04DM5


Do you know these ambassadors? Joe Kennedy plans to move German Jews to sparsely populated countries: https://drive.google.com/open?id=18ygIwl5vGkTyMtMSQxnLc0dXdcB0I-sV

I have been unable to find another source confirming the Joe Kennedy item.  This interview from the JFK Library should have confirmed it, but, it does not:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1893IRzo1gUuasd829T5CwG2cCitRIdZI



Thursday, March 2, 2017

“While I wasn’t looking, the Holocaust went from memory to history”

“While I wasn’t looking, the Holocaust went from memory to history”

Reading this simple sentence evoked a strong visceral emotional response when I read The Book of Joseph, a play by Karen Hartman presented by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. In a nutshell, it clearly expressed my frequent regrets since my parents died. I not only lost them, but the opportunity to hear directly and understand fully what they and their families experienced in nazi Germany. Their memories are now lost to me and I am left to the imperfect, incomplete family history that I have been trying to construct.

Please take the hint and learn from your older family members.  You’ll only regret it if you don’t.

----------------------------------------------------------

The Book of Joseph by 
Karen Hartman                                                                                                                                  

After the tragedy of losing his parents in a car crash, Richard Hollander, found a briefcase with various documents and over 200 letters stamped with swastikas.  He  and his father Joseph never discussed his father’s past in detail.  Joseph escaped Poland before the war.  Richard knew little more. Dealing with his grief, he left the briefcase and its contents untouched for 15 years.

When he finally opened the briefcase, he found a previously unknown autobiography that told his father’s story of leaving Poland to escape the Nazis having failed to convince his mother and married sisters to join him. They ultimately were murdered in the Holocaust. The autobiography and other documents told of the torturous time he spent fighting to stay in the US and simultaneously seeking a way to rescue his family in Krakow.  He finally earned US citizenship by joining the army and the war in Europe.

The 200+ letters, in Polish and German, addressed to his father, told a richly detailed story of their lives under the Nazis in Krakow and of the continued efforts of Joseph to rescue them.  The letters offer a rich perspective of what Jews in Krakow endured and of the steadily shrinking life-space the Nazis imposed.

Taking the title from a line in one his Grandmother’s letters to his father, Richard Hollander with Christopher R. Browning and Necham Tec, edited Every Day Lasts a Year, a book which tells Joseph’s story, describes Krakow during the Nazi occupation and includes the letters.   It also describes the experience that Richard and his family had in understanding what they had discovered in that briefcase.

The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre commissioned Karen Hartman to write The Book of Joseph, a play adapted from Every Day Lasts a Year.  Its world premiere was January 29, 2017 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, directed by Barbara Gaines. The last performance of the world premiere is on March 5, 2017.  The excellent reviews that it has received suggest that other theater companies will be presenting performances in the future.

The play is presented in two acts.  In the first act, Joseph’s family members tell their own stories through the reading of their letters to Joseph.  The staging and lighting artfully bring these characters to life.  It’s not just the family members speaking, but a family movingly tells its story.  Joseph’s actual letters to his family in Krakow, did not survive, but Ms. Hartman has crafted a Joseph whose letters simultaneously show his aching frustration and his desire to keep his family hopeful. 

Act two is the story of Richard Hollander and his family, as the contents of the briefcase are revealed to them and they work to understand their meaning and get to know the family they barely knew existed.

The Book of Joseph is especially meaningful for me as I too discovered letters after my mother died and I too left them unread for too long (8 years in my case) 

In contrast to the remarkable story told by the Hollander family letters, mine number only ten with large gaps in time in between them and only hint at their lives. Read them here: Letters to My Mother 


I highly recommend The Book of Joseph.  But, rather than write a full review, let me refer you to the review by Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune.  He took the words right out of my heart. Click here to read Chris Jones' review

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS)


Once again, I call attention to Hans-Peter Klein and his good works in support of descendants of the Jewish Communities of North-Hessen.   I asked him for advice in scheduling a visit in October of this year to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany.  ITS holds in its archives some 30 million documents recovered from the Nazi regime.  It makes these documents available in order to provide information on the fates of victims of Nazi persecution.  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington also has access to the full ITS database.

As I have come to expect from Hans-Peter, he joined me on the visit to the ITS that he arranged.  We had a revealing and emotional three hour visit there.  Our host spent the entire time with us and provided surprising documentation of my grandparents’ and aunt’s fate.  In addition, while we were there, she found information on many other members of my family and promised to eventually send more.


The ITS recently published an article about Hans-Peter and our October visit: 



Sunday, April 17, 2016

German Jewish Genealogy: A Case Study - JGSI

Below are links to the presentation slides and hand out

presented to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois April 17, 2026




Saturday, April 9, 2016

German Birth, Marriage and Death Record Template Translations

Irene Peters recently posted a link on the Jewishgen.org German Special Interest Group (GerSIG) Email Discussion Group of broad interest which is listed below.  In the event that the included Dropbox link becomes unavailable, links to the PDF versions of her translations of Birth, Marriage and Death record templates are available here:

Birth Record Template

Marriage Record Template

Death Record Template

Also see the posting in this blog on access to Hessen vital records:  Access to Hessen Vital Records:

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 00:09:57 +0200
X-Message-Number: 3

Dear GerSIGers,

I noticed that with the digitization of many of the German civil
records more and more posts are being made to ViewMate asking for
assistance with and translations of such records.

In order to help with the pre-printed portions of these birth,
marriage and death records I have created English translations for
these forms and put them on Dropbox (thanks for the suggestion, Roger
Lustig).

These documents are in Word (i.e. .docx) format as well as in .PDF
format. Each has an image of a real record attached to it with the
respective translations underneath (numbered, to make it easier to see
what is what).

NOTE: This will not help with the handwritten parts but at least it
can provide the context for those, I hope.

The Dropbox link is:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/or7dnm3giljml7i/AAALntDAIhZF2U8kYcRbyXm3a?dl=0

If you see mistakes etc. please let me know privately.

Best regards, Irene Peters, Berlin, Germany - iupfamilyresearch@gmail.com

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Stories of kindness and the profound effect that one act can have on our lives.



Arthur Obermayer is the founder and primary sponsor of the Obermayer German Jewish History Awards. These awards are given annually to recognize non-Jewish Germans and their efforts to preserve the memory of Germany's former Jewish communities.

It's now Arthur's turn to be recognized for his efforts as he struggles with terminal illness.

National Public Radio station WBUR in Boston produces Kind World, a series of radio/podcast programs which celebrate acts of kindness.  Episode 21, Not Just Some History celebrates three layers of kindness acts: the remarkable deeds of the Germans who receive the Obermayer Awards, those of Arthur in rewarding, recognizing and encouraging those acts and lastly, the loving acts of Arthur's family to support him as he deals with his illness.

I think you'll find this short seven minute program, produced by Erika Lantz of WBUR, to be moving and inspirational.

Sad Post Script:  Mr. Obermayer died January 10, 2016

http://www.wbur.org/2016/01/11/obermayer-dies

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/329386/arthur-obermayer-progressive-boston-philanthropist-dies-at-84/

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Documents from the Jewish Community of Neuwied, Germany

INTRODUCTION

The International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies had its conference in Jerusalem this year with about 800 in attendance. Last year's conference was in Salt Lake City and Seattle will be the host for 2016. Each meeting provides an opportunity for Jewish genealogists to meet, network and attend a wide variety of presentations and other experiences. One of this year's activities was a visit to the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.


The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem, established in 1939, holds a vast collection of medieval to present day archives of hundreds of Jewish communities, local, national and international Jewish organizations and many private collections.  Their long range plans include making digital copies available on the internet. Their online record store can be searched to see a portion of what’s available, but visiting in person is the primary way to gain access.

From their web site:

“Central Archives staff members cannot conduct actual research, as staff of the Central Archives is too small to do so, even for a fee. At best we can inform you whether we have relevant genealogical material from a particular community for a particular time period. You are then welcome to come to the archives or send someone on your behalf to do the research. In some cases, members of the Israeli Genealogical Society can be privately solicited to do research for a fee. Nothing, however, is as good as a personal visit to the Archives, since additional research possibilities not thought of at the outset often crop up in the course of research.”

DOCUMENTS FROM NEUWIED

In preparation for my visit, I submitted a list of records of interest to me. The Archive responded that only two documents from Neuwied, Germany were available, setting low expectations.

While there were “only” two documents, they were quite interesting and useful. They were both clearly original documents of their time and were of a type that I had never seen.  They were original documents of the Jewish community of Neuwied with information on my family.





The first was clearly of interest, but its purpose was not clear. While sitting in the archive with limited time, I was unable to figure out this puzzle. The handwriting was difficult and faded. On top of that, I have difficulty reading the old script. I took photos of all the pages that might have relevance to my family, hoping to figure it out later.

Each pair of pages listed an individual with columns of text and numbers. Whetting my interest, I found a page for Salomon Aron, my second great grandfather and another for his brother Sussmann Aron.  Of note, is that these were the first in my family to take the Aron surname when patronymics were banned in the 1800s and surnames required.

As an example, here is Salomon Aron’s page:



Understanding had to wait. 

At the conference, during the day which included JewishGen.org's German Special Interest Group sessions (GerSIG), I attended a very interesting presentation by Fritz Neubauer, a resident of Bielefeld, Germany and an Obermayer Jewish German History Award nominee. (He discussed the recent find of an archive of letters that German Jews submitted to local registrars in 1939 announcing their assumed new given names as required by law. Men were thereafter called Israel and women Sara.) After his presentation, I asked Fritz to help figure out what this first book was about.

He determined fairly quickly that this book was the book of financial accounts for the Jewish community. It took us a few minutes to decipher the title on the cover. It reads “Contos der Gemeindeglieder” or “Accounts of Congregation Members”. Each pair of pages included a journal of billings to each member and a journal of amounts paid - essentially double-entry bookkeeping.  The billings were for items including synagogue seats, student tuition and student taxes.  The first years' entries included the names of children for whom charges were billed, but later just included the number of children covered. The earliest entries were in September, 1856, the last in 1866.

An accounting book like this can provide information to support family history research.  For example, I found the page for Alexander Jacoby, who I believe to be my 3rd great uncle.  His first wife died in 1859 leaving him three children.  He then remarried and had a child with his new wife.  His ledger page in the book showed him paying student fees and taxes for his children. My prior research had shown that he died while his second wife was pregnant with their second child.  The book includes a page that was started for the widow Jacoby. She continued to be billed for and pay for student fees for the children from her husband's first marriage.

Books like this are apparently fairly unusual to find .  Neither Fritz nor I had ever encountered such a document. But once fully understood, it will yield a variety of information including what ages children would be when they started and finished school, when families joined or left the community, the economic cost of being a community member, as we’ve seen, when members died and probably more. 

In retrospect, I should have taken photos of every page, instead of those just relevant to my personal research. The long range plans of the Archive are to scan their collection and make it available online.  In the meantime, the images I captured from Contos der Gemeindeglieder are available here: Contos der Gemeindeglieder.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The second book I reviewed was a register of all students in the Jewish school of Neuwied from 1894 to 1938. It was labeled "Schülerverzeichnis". The value of this list was more apparent at the outset and I took photos of every page: Schülerverzeichnis. Each student is named; the information for each includes date and place of birth, father's name and other demographic information as well as their report card. Here is the first page:



As it starts with student number 116, either this book is a continuation from a prior book or the early pages were lost. 

Student 123 was of interest to me.  He was Sally Aron, listed as son of Adolf Aron. Adolf was my 2nd great uncle, the son of Salomon Aron, mentioned above.  I had not found any record of Adolf having a son Sally due to the unavailability of most vital records for this period in Neuwied.

I was aware of a Sally Aron who was memorialized as killed in World War I (yes, fighting for Germany, as many of my family did), but could not connect him to my family.  But the Sally Aron listed in the student record had the same birthday. As I looked at the records, his birthday was just a month after Salomon Aron had died. Following tradition, Sally was named after his grandfather, as was my grandfather who was born two years later than his first cousin of the same name.

I have forwarded my photos of both books to Rolf Wüst of Neuwied,  He generously offered to transcribe the student listing.  His transcription is available here

DEUTSCH-ISRAELISCHER FREUNDESKREIS NEUWIED

Mr. Wüst is the former Chairman of the Deutsch-Israelischer Freundeskreis Neuwied (German-Israeli friends of Neuwied). Under his leadership, this group placed 255 stolpersteine (memorial stones placed in the pavement in front of the former homes of Holocaust victims)  


This brochure describes this remarkable accomplishment:







Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review of The List by Martin Fletcher


The List by Martin Fletcher; Thomas Dunne Books; Reprint edition (October 11, 2011)

Having spent most of my adult life with my head in the sand regarding the Holocaust, I eventually focused on learning what led to this horrible period and what happened to Jews during the war, but not the time after the war.  I occasionally mused on what it must have been like for those who survived the camps and those who escaped before the war and worried of the fate of their dear ones.

Fletcher’s The List takes you into that time.  It looks into the lives of a few Jewish refugees in England and Palestine after the war. Mr. Fletcher’s novel is based on real events in 1945-46 experienced by people like his parents, George and Edith Fleischer.  While not their story, the main characters are, fittingly, a couple named George and Edith Fleischer. 

In London, George and Edith experienced culture shock and joined a rapidly evolving subculture of European Jewish refugees.  They lived in agony, worrying for missing family who disappeared.  George maintains the tear-stained list of their missing family members, suffering as news leads him to cross out names.  Edith’s Cousin Anna, indelibly damaged by her time in Auschwitz, finds and joins them in London.  Her story in London, but not Auschwitz, is told.

The List portrays the everyday challenges and suffering of these strangers in a strange land. Beyond those, it tells of the threat of an ultimately unsuccessful but terrifying London movement to send Jewish refugees “home” in order to free space and jobs for returning soldiers.

The List draws the contrast between these Jews in England and those in Palestine.  The Jewish refugees in London were trying to blend in, take English names and become English.  In Palestine, an ultra-Zionist group employed extreme violence to force the British to raise or eliminate quotas on Jews immigrating to Palestine or to force the British to leave Palestine and let the Jews and Arabs fight it out.  The List shows the irrationality of Britain’s policies in Palestine and the disparity of the response of various Jewish communities.

I recommend reading The List to understand Jewish post-war London from the perspective of those refugees who were fortunate enough to get there. Some portions will be difficult for those who were refugees or their children.

The List recalled a document that my cousin Gerald Stern in England sent me.  It was issued by The German Jewish Aid Committee in conjunction with The Jewish Board of Deputies to Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe. It brings a stark reality to the book’s story.  Here is the cover:




It’s in English and German and has the following sections:

·         ORGANIZATIONS Useful for our Visitors

·         HOW TO REGISTER with your Local Police

·         The TOLERANCE AND SYMPATHY of Britain and the British Commonwealth

·         WORK WHICH IS ALLOWED and WORK WHICH IS NOT ALLOWED

·         BRITISH MONEY – WEIGHTS AND MEASURES


You can read it here

Friday, July 25, 2014

First Stolpersteine Laid in Borken (Hessen) 10 Jul 2014



My wife Jackie, my son Zach, my daughter Joni and my granddaughter Sydney traveled to Borken (Hessen) Germany to participate in a ceremony on July 10, 2014 at Gunter Demnig's installation of stolpersteine remembering my mother and her parents and sister who perished in the Holocaust. The stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) are pictured below and are intended to have people think of my mothers family and their fate as they pass by where they lived before the horrors of the Nazi regime.  The stolpersteine project is fully explained at: http://www.stolpersteine.eu/en/




Background:

In 2011 I visited Borken with Hans-Peter Klein (see other posts about Hans-Peter in this blog).   We tried in vain to find my mother’s house. In my mind was the possibility that someday I would seek to have stolpersteine placed there. We knew the address, but the street numbering system changed after the war, so we couldn't find it. We had a picture of what I believed to be their home and walked the neighborhood looking unsuccessfully for houses that matched.  Hans-Peter was later able to determine where the house stood and that it had been razed in 1971.

(It turned out that Mr. Thomas Mainhardt, who lives near where my mother's home had been, attended the ceremony and had a photo album which included pictures of my family's home.  I left Borken with all the photos on a thumb drive.)

With this information, the process that led to the placement of the stolpersteine took over two years.  I first wrote to Bürgermeister Hessler in May, 2012 indicating my interest in the project. Hans-Peter and I met with him and Ingo Sielaff, Borken's historian in November of that year to discuss the project.  Mayor Hessler was very supportive and asked Hans-Peter to coordinate. He asked that I contact other descendants of Borken Jews and let them know of his support should they wish to install stolpersteine for their family members.  As of July, 2014, there are no other projects pending.

We then began a long correspondence to coordinate the schedules of the Mayor, my various family members and, of course, Mr. Gunter Demnig who personally installs all stolpersteine.  Finally, we set on July 10, 2014.

Once the date was set, then all the arrangements had to be made.  All I needed do is arrange air travel from Seattle, Chicago and Boston, a car in Germany that could handle 5 passengers and their baggage, hotel arrangements, coordinating with people in Germany I wanted to see and figuring out things to do other than the stolpersteine specifics which included some things that 9 year old Sydney would enjoy.  Not a small job.

As you'll see by the description and pictures below, Hans-Peter and Ingo had planning to do as well.

The following article was in the Borken newspaper announcing a stolpersteine kick-off meeting. The translation is below.



First Stolperstein Installation in Borken
In memory of the Jewish family Speier

Borken. On Thursday, July 10, the artist Gunter Demnig will lay the first four stumbling blocks in the core city of Borken. They shall remember the Jewish family Speier. In the 1930s,  Levi, Franziska, Ursula and Brunhilde Speier were among the over 150 Borken Jewish residents and lived near the Protestant city church. While Brunhilde Speier, born Rosenbusch, [Brunhilde was born Speier; Franziska was born Rosenbusch] was able to flee to the United States, her parents and her sister were victims of the Holocaust. They were murdered in November 1941 in Kaunas Fort IX in Lithuania. The first Stolperstein laying in the city of Borken, was initiated by the U.S. citizen Dennis Aron, grandson of Levi and Franziska Speier, who will be present with his family.

Information Evening

On Wednesday, June 25, at 7pm, there will be a kick-off event for the Stolperstein laying at the Museum Café "steam coal" in the Theme Park Coal & Energy Borken mining museum. It will be moderated by Hans Peter Klein, Melsungen, and Ingo Sielaff, Borken. Hans Peter Klein is an expert on Jewish history in the Schwalm-Eder district and was recently awarded the prestigious Obermayer German Jewish History Award in Berlin. Ingo Sielaff is a historian and director of the Hessian Brown Coal Mining Museum of the City of Borken. The aim of the event is to draw attention to the laying of the stumbling blocks and bring Jewish history interested citizens together. The two speakers will present the work of Gunter Demnig, recall to memory the history of the Speier family, provide information about the possibility of sponsorships and report on the current state of research on regional Jewish history.                                                                                                                                                               Sb.

Photo Caption: They were Jewish residents in the city of Borken. The couple Levi and Franziska Speier with their daughters Brunhilde and Ursula, who lived in the 1930s “at the church" [the street name] in Borken (Photo: Dennis Aron, USA).                                                                                                                                                                  Sb.

The Stolpersteine Installation and Ceremony

The installation was scheduled for 4pm.  Borken would be the third town that day in which Gunter Demnig would lay stolpersteine.  He lays about 400 per month.

To start the day, Hans-Peter Klein took my family and me on a tour of towns of our ancestors which were close to Borken.  We visited three Jewish cemeteries, saw two of the homes where our ancestors lived, visited the Breitenau Holocaust Memorial which is housed in a monastery built in 1113 and served as a prison and concentration camp and learned some family history.



Then it was time to meet the mayor before the ceremony.  When we arrived at the town hall, we were treated like visiting dignitaries by Bürgermeister Hessler and the city of Borken.  We learned a bit of town history.  Then Jackie and I and Hans-Peter were invited to sign the Golden Book of Borken which is quite an honor. (Gunter Demnig signed later as well)


From the Left: Heinz Meier, president of the city-parliament (Stadtverordnetenvorsteher) of Borken,
Jackie Aron, Joni Swenson, Zachary Aron,
 Ingo Sielaff, Borken Historian and Mayor Bernd Hessler.
Dennis Aron signing.

Gunter Demnig installing the stolpersteine
Link to video of Mr. Demnig. Video by Vera and Justin Klein
The stolpersteine were installed in the street in front of where the Speier house once stood at 84/85 An der Kirche.  The home was demolished in 1971 and replaced with the apartment building which stands today.

Dennis Aron speaking.
The text of his speech is included at the end of this blog entry.
Mayor Hessler at the podium.  To his left,
Hans-Peter Klein who translated Mr. Hessler's
comments into English.

The ceremony was attended by local citizens.
Link to video of Ceremony. Video by Vera and Justin Klein
Deborah Tal-Ruttger of the Gudensberg, Germany Jewish
Community sang a prayer for the dead.

Link to video of Ms. Tal-Ruttger. Video by Vera and Justin Klein

Jackie Aron, Pastor Jochen Löber, Dennis Aron and
Zachary Aron.  Pastor Löber gave a prayer at the ceremony.

Link to Video of Pastor Löber. Video by Vera and Justin Klein
Jackie, Zach and Dennis Aron walking with
Gunter Demnig

Mayor Hessler, the Aron family and Hans-Peter Klein at
the memorial to the Borken synagogue which was destroyed
on Kristallnacht in 1938.
Link to Video by Vera and Justin Klein.

A reception was held at the Historisches Rathaus (Historic Town Hall)
originally built in 1611
Mayor Hessler presented gifts to all the family members at the reception.  Food and beverages were served.  It was a nice and relaxing end to an emotional day.
The following morning we were given a nice send-off with a private tour of the

Hessisches Braunkohle Bergbaumuseum (Hessian Brown Coal Mining Museum) given by Mr. Ingo Sielaff,

Museum Director, Borken Historian and one of the facilitators of the events of our visit to Borken.  I had asked him to focus on Sydney; it worked:  at the end of the trip she said one of the highlights was "Ingo's museum"

This was a remarkable time for me and my family.  For me it provided the satisfaction of completing a life goal that I had set to ensure the memory of my mother's family where they lived.  For my family, they got to see the land of their roots, to see some of their ancestral homes and to understand, firsthand, this important part of our family history.  I am very grateful to Hans-Peter Klein, Mayor Hessler, Ingo Sielaff and all those that made this possible.

*   *   *   *

An article appeared on WWW.HNA.DE: Gedanken stolpern: Erinnerung an das Schicksal der jüdischen Familie Speier.  WWW.HNA.DE is the website of Hessische/Niedersächsiche Allgemeine Zeitung (Hessen/Lower Saxony General Newspaper). I have included a translation of this article as it provides a nice description of the proceedings:

Thoughts stumble: Remembering the fate of the Jewish family Speier

Borken. The house in which they lived no longer exists, but in Borken, in the street "An der Kirche" (At the Church) four stumbling blocks now remember the fate of Speier family. These are the first stumbling blocks that were laid in Borken.

Looking back: (standing from left) Hans-Peter Klein, Mayor Bernd Hessler, Joni Swenson, she is the daughter of Dennis and Jacquelyn (Jackie) Aron, son Zachary, granddaughter Sydney Swenson, center Dennis Aron with Gunter Demnig.Photo: Zirzow
The starting point was a conversation between Mayor Bernd Hessler and Dennis Aron who had traveled from the United States in fall 2012. His mother Brunhilde Speier, who had escaped overseas in 1937, lived with her parents Levi and Frances Speier and her sister Ursula in a house near the Borken church, all three were 1941 victims of the Holocaust,.
Do not forget
Now Dennis Aron was there along with his family, when the artist Gunter Demnig laid the stumbling blocks. Pastor Jochen Löber recalled that it was important not to forget people who once belonged to us. The pastor, it was important to recognize that a Stolperstein stumbles not the feet, but the view is "stumbled" because you involuntarily stay in front of these small, bright shiny nameplates.
"They should stimulate thought and put our feet onto the path of peace and tolerance. In the spirit of Jesus, the Jew from Nazareth "said Löber in his final prayer.








Remember: The stumbling blocks in Borken.Photo: Zirzow
Mayor Bernd Hessler recalled that in 1930 a total of 153 people in 38 Jewish families lived in Borken and worked as teachers, butchers, livestock traders and businessmen, and that after the end of World War II no more Jews lived in the mining town.
Now, thanks to the information from Dennis Aron, we know lot more about the former family Speier. Hessler stressed that the stumbling blocks not only remember a family fate, but also raises the social question of people dealing with each other: "stumbling stones should provide food for thought. They show how close Nazism has played outside our own front door. "
In his moving speech, Dennis Aron thanked the leaders of the city and especially in Gunter Demnig, whose personal merit it was to have laid stumbling blocks for more than 45,000 men, women and children who were persecuted and murdered in the Holocaust.
By Rainer Zirzow

The local newspaper, The Fritzlar-Homberger Allfemeine carried the above article and had a side-bar that isn't available on-line:


Translation:

Only one survived

Aron could not hold back the tears, as he reported on the fate of the Speier family.  Thus, the audience learned that the family Speier received a travel visa for only one person, and decided that Brunhilde Speier should grow up with her father’s sister in the U.S. On November 25, 1941 the rest of the family was taken, along with another 2930 deportees, to Fort IX in Kaunas, Lithuania, and  herded into a ditch and shot by an SS death squad.  

The American reported further, that his mother Brunhilde never spoke of Germany, because the memories were too painful for her. After his mother’s death, Dennis Aron found letters in German that his grandmother wrote to her daughter in the years 1938-39. He put back most of the letters unread, because their contents were too difficult to cope with after the death of his mother. After the death of his father in 2008, he found the letters again and read the sad insights to the fate of the Speier family. This also applied to Ofra Karo who traveled especially from Israel, because her grandparents Flora and Sally Stern were neighbors of the family and also suffered under Nazi rule.  

After Deborah Tal-Rüttger, a well-known representative of Jewish culture in North Hesse, recited the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer, everyone gathered at the Memorial to the former Jewish synagogue. (ZRZ)  

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Presentation by Dennis Aron at the stolpersteine ceremony

I am Dennis Aron.  We are here to remember my mother Brunhilde Aron nee Speier, her father Levi Speier, her mother Franziska Speier nee Rosenbusch and her sister Ursula Ruth Speier who lived at this address. 

Today we install Stolpersteine in their memory, the first in the town of Borken.  This is all thanks to the support and efforts of Bürgermeister Bernd Heßler and Mr. Ingo Sielaff of Borken and my friend, Mr. Hans-Peter Klein of Melsungen.  Also joining us is Ofra Karo of Israel whose grandparents were neighbors of my family living in the adjacent home on Bahnhofstrasse.

I am especially grateful to Mr. Gunter Demnig who is personally responsible for stolpersteine memorials for more than 45.000 who were lost in the Holocaust. He originally conceived of stolpersteine as a way to remember victims of the Holocaust and continues to show unlimited energy and commitment to preserving their memory.  I am also grateful to his support staff who helped fit this stolpersteine installation into his busy schedule.

Some of my family is here to learn about their family roots and to help preserve the memory of their ancestors.  Here is my son Zachary Aron, my daughter Joni Swenson and her daughter Sydney Swenson, and last but not least my wife Jackie.

We are standing where the Rosenbusch family, a German-Jewish family, lived for many generations. In 1920, Franzisca Rosenbusch married Levi Speier of Guxhagen. They came to live with her mother Johanna in the house that stood here.  In 1921, my mother was born. In 1924 her sister was born. The family lived as ordinary German citizens. My grandfather was a cattle dealer in partnership with his brother in Guxhagen.  My grandmother and her mother ran the household.  My mother and her sister lived typical German lives, learning to cook and sew from their mother and grandmother. All was normal for the Speier family until the Nazis took power and began their reign of terror.

As the curse of Nazism spread, it became clear that Jews should leave Germany.  The family obtained only one exit visa. They decided to send Brunhilde, on December 30, 1937, to live with Levi’s sister in Chicago in America.  Levi, Franziska and Ursula perished.

My mother never spoke of Germany; the memories were too painful.  In 2002, after she died, I found letters in German that she received from her mother during 1938-39.  Their contents were emotionally challenging for me, just after losing my mother, so I put them away without reading them.

In 2008 after my father died, I again found the letters and decided it was time. Hans-Peter Klein kindly transcribed them so I could read them. The letters tell the very sad story of the increasing urgency of their desire to leave Germany, their unsuccessful attempt to send Ursula away on a kindertransport, the rapidly diminishing Jewish community in Borken and their increasing desperation. They knew they had to leave Germany. They did not succeed. In 1939, they moved to Frankfurt.

On November 22, 1941, my mother’s parents and sister were in a group of German-Jews gathered for deportation in Frankfurt’s Municipal Great Market Hall on Hanauer Landstrasse. All 992 of them boarded a transport train scheduled to take them to Riga.  Inexplicably, the train took them instead to Kowno in Lithuania.   Upon arrival on November 25, 1941, all occupants of this train with other deportees from Munich and Berlin - a total of 2,934 people – were herded into the trench of Kowno’s Fort IX and shot by an SS killing squad.

We come here today to remember my mother, my grandparents and my aunt, who lived in the house which stood here.   They were observant Jews; they followed the old traditions.  Each Jew who came through the Holocaust emerged, forged by the experience in his or her own unique way. As I matured, I realized that, among other things, my mother’s experiences led her to be a mostly unobservant Jew.  As a result, my brother and I do not observe the old ways. But had we grown up in Borken, we would practice Jewish tradition.  I am grateful to Ms. Deborah Tal-Ruttger for helping us to honor my family’s tradition by saying the Kaddish prayer for mourners.

With the placement of these stolpersteine, the citizens of Borken will now remember their former neighbors and friends when they walk here. It is a comfort to their family that Borken now welcomes home Levi, Franziska and Ursula Speier.

Once again, my thanks to Bürgermeister Bernd Heßler, Mr. Ingo Sielaff, Mr. Hans-Peter Klein and Mr. Demnig for all their support and help in bringing us together today for this ceremony.

The Memorial Book for the Victims of the National Socialist Persecution of Jews in Germany lists 58 individuals, born in Borken, who perished or were lost in the Holocaust and 17 who were listed as Borken residents.  Hopefully over time, they too will be remembered with stolpersteine. Bürgermeister Heßler has expressed interest in supporting the families of former Borken residents in having stolpersteine installed for their lost family members.

May the world, now and forever, be without hate, racism and anti-Semitism. 


Thank you all!