Monday, July 27, 2009

Letters from Germany, 1933-1936



Letters from Germany 1933-1936


On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, and on the day when Ahmadinejad can stand up in Geneva at a UN conference on racism and be given an international podium to lash out his hate against Israel and America, I feel it is important to send you 4 letters written by a 20 year old German girl to a penpal, my mother, in New Zealand, between the years 1933 and 1936. She did not know that my mother was Jewish, thus we have a rare opportunity to see the reaction of the "ordinary "German to the rise of Hitler. I have coloured these parts in blue, and you can see how the mundane chit chat of a young girl becomes more and more entwined with the overtones of the Nazi doctrines. The change in tone over the years in the German woman's letters is telling and chilling as she describes her adoration and support of Hitler.

The letters, which were kept by our mother, are over 70 years old, and are in a delicate state. I managed to transcribe almost all of what was written there, but there are some places where the paper was torn, or the wording illegible, thus there are some gaps.

The family have donated the letters to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem , where they will be carrying out the proper preservation of the material.The archivist at Yad Vashem was very anxious to receive the letters as it turns out that they have no documentation of this sort, I.e. The simple German  citizen's reaction to the rise of Hitler.

You are welcome to pass them on by email or use them in any other forum.







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