German SIG #Germany INTRO -need help translating many family holocaust victim letters #germany


I have just learned about this group and I'm glad I've found you. As you read
my note, please know that I have searched extensively locally for help with my
request. I hope someone out there can help me.

My mother Charlotte KATZENSTEIN (married name Charlotte Cohen) left Dusseldorf
Germany in 1939 as a young adult and came to Boston. My grandfather and
grandmother wrote her hundreds of letters and postcards for about 3 years until
the letters abruptly stopped. My grandparents and other family members were
transported to the Ghetto Minsk where they perished.

My mother saved the letters and gave the bundle to me shortly before she died.
I did not know the letters even existed until she gave them to me.

I have been working for several years to get the letters translated but it is
difficult to find people who can read the older German form of script. One
local couple has helped me. He, an ex-G.I. >from WW2 and she, a former resident
of Germany. This couple has worked with me for over 4 years and continues to do
so, but the process is slow. At this point I still have over 100 letters to

I've been told that you may be able to help me with this project. I would be
happy to pay someone for this service and since I know it is a lot - I would be
happy to work with several people concurrently.

My mother's family on the maternal side were the HARTOCHs. They owned and
operated the HARTOCH department stores in Dusseldorf for several generations.
The HARTOCH store filed for bankruptcy just before the Nazis came into power.
Although there are papers that show this, I often wonder if there were political
reasons underneath.

As I have read through the 80+ letters that have been translated - I have had
the privilege of getting to know my mother's parents through their words. I am
very eager to get the rest of the story so that I can pass this information on
to my children and my sister's children.

I also have a video taped interview with my mother's cousin Gunter KATZENSTEIN -
now living in Stockholm - who is the only Minsk survivor >from the city of
Dusseldorf. Happily, Gunter (almost 90 years old) is in very good health and I
was able to meet him in Dusseldorf and at his home in Stockholm a year and 1/2
ago. He was able to tell me a great deal about what happened to my Grandparents
after they boarded the transport to Minsk. I hired a videographer and have
about 2 hours of my interview with Gunter. His story is incredible.

My sisters and I would be happy to have the originals of these letters become
part of the permanent collection of The United States Holocaust Museum after
they have all been translated.

If you are reading this and can help me with the translation of these letters in
any way or know someone who could lead me to a translation source, I would be
very grateful. Sincerely,

Susan Roseman, Maryville, TN

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