NauenThen

Breslau II

April 25, 2014

Tags: Breslau

The Neue Synagogue was destroyed in 1938, during Kristallnacht
I know my dad's family was Reform, & I know they were moderately well-to-do, so I think it's a pretty good guess that this was his synagogue.

I wonder why his family left Breslau? Was it like leaving Boston for New York? It's about the same distance & with much more opportunity in the bigger city. His parents had little Hans & Charlotte (I can't remember if she was older or younger). Was it in-law trouble? Or maybe the relatives were in Berlin & Breslau was just a waystop?

My father's been gone almost 30 years, my oldest sister more than 10—who would know the answers to any of this? Frustrating but thrilling to have new questions. And why didn't I ever wonder about this before?

Update: My mother says Dad's father had gone to Breslau to work in a department store; they weren't from there. Also, his sister was older.

"A true Berliner comes from Breslau"

April 25, 2014

Tags: Breslau

Breslau, in 1900, where my dad was born in 1906
I'm reading a noir mystery called Death in Breslau, by a Polish novelist named Marek Krajewski, which I bought because it's where my father was born.

The 1900 census listed 5,363 people (just over 1% of the population) as Polish speakers, and another 3,103 (0.7% of the population) as speaking both German and Polish. The population was 58% Protestant, 37% Catholic (including at least 2% Polish) and 5% Jewish (totaling 20,536 in the 1905 census). The Jewish community of Breslau was among the most important in Germany, producing several distinguished artists and scientists.

My father was born halfway between (more…)