T’was some sixty years ago, or thereabouts. I am eight, ten years, twelve perhaps. In the nightstand in my parents’ bedroom I find a mysterious document. It is a stack of carbon copies of typed sheets. ‘General Police, Gelderland Province. Political Branch’ is printed in the left upper corner.
Julius Löwenhardt, Oberhemer 1887 – Mühlhausen (GDR) 1973 Julius Löwenhardt (יוליוס לבנהרט), Sterkrade 1902 – Haifa (Israel) 1947 Julius (Jules) Löwenhardt, Dortmund 1907 – Deventer (Netherlands) 1971 Julius Löwenhardt (Lev-Ary?), Duisburg 1908 – Frankfurt 1960s (?) Considering the large number of family members, in itself it is not terribly surprising. But remarkable it is. […]
The Jewish section of the General Cemetery in Dortmund-Wambel, Germany. The lawns are immaculately kept. On a sunny day in July 2010 I find the grave of my great-grandmother Pauline Löwenhardt, buried here in 1933. I am roaming the gravesite and suddenly I stumble upon a simple gravestone that gives me a shock.
SEARCHING FOR THE CHUPPAH OF MY GRANDPARENTS Cattle-dealer Herman Weijl is a respected man. In the Oldenzaal kehillah, the Jewish community, he is one of the parnassim, members of the governing board. 1 It is 19 November 1914 and Herman’s only daughter is getting married. Herman is 59 years old, for 21 years he has […]
PLETTENBERG was still on my to-do list. One of the few family related towns I had never visited. It is the birthplace of my great-grandmother Pauline Lennhoff. From Plettenberg in Nordrhine-Westfalia she moved some thirty kilometres north and settled in Oberhemer with Levi Löwenhardt. Between 1873 and 1892 they had twelve children, nine boys and […]
Sometimes it’s sheer luck. Someone else has done the work for you, you didn’t even know. The story is waiting for you to find it.