Jan 28 2010


Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:21 am

I have a daughter, age 11, and this story caught my eye.

German exhibit sheds light on fate of Jewish Berliners

Doris Kaplan died at age 11, but what exactly befell this German Jewish girl remains unknown to this day.

In March 1942, she went from Berlin to the Warsaw Ghetto. Shortly afterward, any trace of her disappeared. Perhaps she died of disease in the ghetto, perhaps she was sent to Treblinka and murdered in the gas chambers, like thousands of others. The only thing known for certain is that she did not survive the Holocaust.

Kaplan is one of 131 Jews, all residents of the Schoneberg district of Berlin, whose stories are being told at an exhibition that opens this week at the Berlin municipality, entitled “Wir Waren Nachbarn” (“We Were Here”).

The residents of this Jewish district were all expelled from their homes in a single day, never to return. Now, thousands of letters, personal documents and pictures are helping to bring their stories to life.

Some of the residents’ names are well-known: Albert Einstein, author Carl Zuckmayer and photographer Helmut Newton. But most, like Doris, were ordinary people whose fate never interested anyone before.

Doris was born in 1931 in Guben, in eastern Germany. Her father, Ernst Kaplan, was a physician, her mother, Elisabeth, a nurse. In 1940, her parents sent her to live with friends in Berlin, hoping she would be safe there until the family found a way to leave Germany.

Until her death two or three years later, she wrote her parents every Sunday. Her letters survived the war and are now on display.

More at the link. We must never forget.