Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hello?


Dear Sir/Madam,
I am searching for an article published sometime in 1946 or 1947 about my mother.
The article was published with the attached photo and was a story about recovering this young girl from Poland after the holocaust and bringing her safely to Germany to live in Dachau.
It’s possible names mentioned in the article may have included:
Joasia or Joanna P_____ (my mother and the girl in the picture)
Zdislaw P______
Or
Mietek D____
I would appreciate it if you were able to help me find this article, or suggest where I might find it.
Thank you in advance,
Karen K...

That was the  email (translated) I sent to the newspaper that was in print in southern Germany during and after the war.  I received their response this morning and admittedly reacted poorly to what I saw as elements of  ignorance.  Of course it was not the fault of the respondent, however since bringing myself closer emotionally to the background of my family, I find myself  often uncomfortable and dismayed.  As my goal for this project is to promote understanding between races and nations and to  eliminate hatred and intolerance, I had to do some deep breathing and think carefully before I sent  my response vs my initial reaction below.     Rest assured, I did not respond in such a fashion, but sent back  a polite thank you. I'm learning that it's easier to state my goal and much harder to feel it. 

Dear Mrs K...,
Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately we do not do research articles of this nature.  The option to use the online archive does not cover articles of this period.  I assume that your relative lives in Poland.
 Well...no....Perhaps you didn't read my email properly - she was rescued from Poland as she had no family left there.   Of the surviving Jews, few wanted to return to the hell hole they left.
In Warsaw there  is the German Historical Institute, where you can research online from 1992 through  today. Whether the newspaper however has the volumes back to 1945 , I do not know. 
Mmmmm...let me think about that. ...Warsaw was completely destroyed - I wonder why he might think Warsaw might have a deep collection of German newspapers from that period?
Maybe there is the option that your relative could  come to Munich and browse in the Bavarian State Library or the Institute for Contemporary History and could even search for the article. Our archive is no public archive.

Sure, no problem.  I'll just have my mother jet on over from Australia.....  

I was truly grateful for the the addresses and phone number of the state library that he provided me.   Perhaps  I shall have more luck there.




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