deportation from Frankfurt without a trace #germany


Renee Stern Steinig <rsteinig@...>
 

According to close family, my father's sister was
deported >from Frankfurt am Main c. June 1942, never to be
heard >from again. She is presumed to have perished but I
have been unable to locate any record of her deportation
and death.

Berta STERN was born in Meerholz (20 miles east of
Frankfurt) on 13 July 1890 and continued to live there
after her marriage to Siegmund JOSEPH (1878-1931) of
Gauersheim. In July 1938, after the Jewish community of
Meerholz disbanded, Bertha moved to Frankfurt and her
only child, Otto JOSEPH (1922-1986), went to England.
Berta's presence in Frankfurt (address: Eiserne Hand 5)
is documented in the 1939 Gestapo census, in a letter she
wrote to my parents in July 1941, and in a series of
cablegrams and receipts that painfully reflect the
family's futile efforts in 1941 to get Berta from
Germany to Lisbon and then to Cuba.

Otto's widow believes that Berta was still in Frankfurt
when her younger sisters, who lived elsewhere in the
city, were deported to Kowno on 22 Nov. 1941.
Unfortunately, Otto is no longer alive, so I cannot ask
him for details on his last contacts with his mother.

Berta is not listed in the old or new editions of
Gedenkbuch and there is no record for her in the
International Tracing Service index files. In the online
version of the Gedenkbuch, I tried searching by a variety
of spellings, by first and last name only, by maiden name,
by birth date only, by birth place, etc. -- still without
results.

Some questions:

- Do others have relatives whose deportations from
Germany are undocumented? It's silly, I suppose, to
believe that the Nazis, in their reputed thoroughness,
didn't miss names.

- At what point was it impossible to communicate by
mail with a Jew still living in Frankfurt? (Could Otto,
living in England, have corresponded with his mother
after Nov. 1941?)

- If Bertha died while still in Frankfurt -- a suicide
perhaps? - can I trace her death?

- Finally, does anyone recognize the name Gustav
Harburger? According to the Gestapo census, he was
living at Berta's address in 1939. Gedenkbuch shows that
he was on the same transport as Berta's sisters. I don't
know whether he and Berta were at the same address at
that time. If they were, there'd be reason to believe
that Berta too was deported on 22 Nov. 1941.

Thank you for any insights you can offer. Renee

Renee Stern Steinig Dix Hills, New York, USA genmaven@...

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