Remembering the Holocaust Through My Family

Last week I applied to have my German citizenship restored.  This is because I would be German if not for the Holocaust. That is, everyone in the generations before me on both my mother and father’s sides were German and Jewish. Some of them stayed and survived for various reasons (say because their ancestors had converted a few generations earlier and according to the various rules of the Nazis they were no longer Jewish), some (my grandfather for one) were killed, and some left in time for Brazil, Israel, England, and the United States.

So I’ve provided the necessary documentation and expect to get my German citizenship before long.  Why?  It may surprise some, but I feel very German. I was raised with German food, German activities, and so forth.  My father was a specialist in German politics and I spent a lot of time in Germany (years, in fact) as a child. I speak German fluently. My family was assimilated and so I have German relatives who are Christian because their ancestors converted and in 2005 I met many of them for the first time when the University of Frankfurt celebrated my great-grandfather who was a famous brain specialist and started the Edinger Institut there. As for my mother’s family, they were from Berlin and managed to get out so late because of our cousin Lotte Passer who was already in London. Lotte died last month at the age of 99.  You can see a moving interview with her here.  I’ve always been fascinated that my parents were interned as enemy aliens on the Isle of Man because England was at war with German and they were, after all, German. Lotte died last month at the age of 99.  You can see a moving interview with her here.  Another cousin Werner Isler, came to the States. An avid music lover, he passed away last month as well; you can hear his lovely piano playing here.

Over the years I’ve done many posts related to the Holocaust. Here are a few of them:

4 Comments

Filed under Holocaust

4 responses to “Remembering the Holocaust Through My Family

  1. This sounds like a great endeavor to help keep your German heritage alive. Unfortunately, I think we often forget to use our ancestral roots to guide us as we move forward through our modern lives. Good luck.

    Like

  2. Monica, I have a great deal of respect for what you’re doing.

    Like

  3. Monica, how marvellous to see the film of Lotte, and how pleased I am that I had the opportunity of meeting such a remarkable person. Thank you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s