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ph0ebus

German Orphanage Postcards

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ph0ebus

Hi all,

My grandmother (Else Schlossinger) and her sister Kaethe were orphaned during the Great War and it is still a mystery to our family as to what happened and how they got there. I have obtained three postcards, two of which were written to my grandmother in the Waisenhaus (Orphanage) in Frankfurt Am Main in 1916 (one she sent herself) but I cannot make out the sender's name, the name of the Orphanage nor can I read the content. If someone would be kind enough to at least tell me who the senders were and, if you are interested, at least the gist of what the text says, I would be immensely grateful.

Here's card 1:

StraussFamilyPortraitReverse-full.jpg

Here's card 2:

StraussFamilyPortraitReverse2-full.jpg

Here's the one my grandmother sent:

GenealogyPictures008.jpg

If you have questions for me please do not hesitate to ask.

-Daniel

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bob lembke

Daniel;

I can have a go at it, but not for a day, or probably two. I have vital issues to address immediately. Evidentlially the cards were pasted into an album, leading to the loss of some text. Such is common and as a child I damaged some family mail from the period to harvest nearly worthless postage stamps. The ravages of time!

There are a number of tools for investigating civil matters for the period, but they vary from area to area, and sometimes blocks of information were destroyed in WW II bombing. For example, all Hamburg municipal records from 1926 to 1944 were destroyed in the great firestorm raid. One resource that I use is the Berlin Adressbucher, which are on-line from 1799 to 1953 or thereabouts. I know similar resources are available for war-time Hamburg. I do not know about Frankfurt a/M. Luckily Germans love to complile documentation, lists, etc.

Bob Lembke

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fritz
Hi all,

My grandmother (Else Schlossinger) and her sister Kaethe were orphaned during the Great War and it is still a mystery to our family as to what happened and how they got there. I have obtained three postcards, two of which were written to my grandmother in the Waisenhaus (Orphanage) in Frankfurt Am Main in 1916 (one she sent herself) but I cannot make out the sender's name, the name of the Orphanage nor can I read the content. If someone would be kind enough to at least tell me who the senders were and, if you are interested, at least the gist of what the text says, I would be immensely grateful.

Here's card 1:

StraussFamilyPortraitReverse-full.jpg

Here's card 2:

StraussFamilyPortraitReverse2-full.jpg

Here's the one my grandmother sent:

GenealogyPictures008-full.jpg

If you have questions for me please do not hesitate to ask.

-Daniel

Hello Daniel,

I guess our expert in Thessaloniki is enjoying his holiday-time. He is fantastic in deciphering such scripts.

Perhaps I can help you. But it will need some time to make this Sütterlin-scrip readable.

By the way: Wernigerode is just 50 km from my residence!

Kind regards

Fritz

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bob lembke

Fritz;

You are right, our Greece-based Pal is an absolute virtuoso, simply brilliant at this.

I am slow at this work, and while I still am participating a bit on the Forum, I still can't take a couple of hours now. (I have the impression that Adrian can do this in his sleep, while playing chess, quickly.) I have pressing legal and medical issues to deal with in the next day or so. But the project is great. I will check in later.

Bob L.

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ph0ebus

Hi Fritz and Bob,

Anything you can glean from these would be appreciated, even if these are comparable to the Feldpost type cards, which are largely vague in their content, other than what I belive Bob has previously called the 'bad food, warm socks' content (which could also apply to orphanage life).

I am of the mind now that the last card is made out to Kate Lowenstein, who was Else's aunt (thus the "Liebe Tante!' salutation, which largely the only thing I can make out in the body of that card) and who was killed with her husband Willi in the Holocaust.

-Daniel

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bob lembke

I can now put perhaps an hour aside, although I am still beset with issues. (I think that I could be going down on a torpedoed ship, and still be posting on the GWF with my Blackberry!) I have printed off the first card. I have to say, from experience, that the text editor used by the GWF is going to mangle my transcript, as I need some fidelity in reproduction of what I actually write to what the Forum displays. I just got a thought, I can represent blank spaces, such as where the adhesive tore off some of the script, with "x"s or some sort of other symbol. (I was thinking of sending the work to you off-line.)

I will try that. I will also mark doubtful letters, some due to letters overstamped or overwritten by other material, in addition to my own incompetence.

I will work off-line and then post chunks as produced. Do you want me to translate the transliteration?

Bob

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egbert

1st postcard reads as follows:

An die Schüelerin Else Schlösinger

Waisenhaus

Frankfurt am Main

Seilerstrasse

Wernigerode, 19.6.16

……. Else !

…. du Antwort von mir …… aber gerne diese …. Damit du dir ein Bild von unseren Kindern machen kannst. Wie geht es dir ? Schreibe doch bitte öfters an uns, ich freue mich doch so sehr damit. Das Onkel im Schützengraben ist musst du wohl wissen. Wenn ihn der liebe Gott nur beschützt. Liebe Else, hoffentlich kannst du nun dieser Tage deiner lieben Mutter mit deinem Besuche erfreuen, sei nur stets gut und fleissig, dann wird es dir deine Lehrerin gern erlauben. Zudem ich hoffe doch bald ein grossen Brief von dir zu bekommen.

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bob lembke

I will plunge into it. Rather than work off-line and present a finished product, I will work on-line and others are free to put their two cents' worth in as well. I am starting with Card #1, the writing is odd, different scripts together, etc. I do not have an Umlaut here, I will use, foer example, ue for an Umlaut u. I will underline blanks for missing text, and underline letters if I am not sure.

Card #1:

Postmark:

Wermatrod__

19. 6. 16. 8-9 V

June 19, 1916 8-9 AM

Address:

Die Schuelerin Else Schlosinger (certainly not Schlossinger)

The schoolgirl Else Schlosinger

_____________________ Waisenhaus

_____________________ Orphanage

Frankfurt a/M.

S__ __ lerstr.

S __ __ ler Street

Text:

________________________________ _____igeoode 19/6 16.

Sch__________________________________st Du R___tvoot

von n______________ _____________ir aber gerne

diese Kao_________________________ damit Du dir

ein Bild von u____________________ Kindern

mach____ k_____st. _________goht es dir

schreibe doch bitte aftnos an uns, ich

_______ __________ doch so sehr damit. Dass

Onckel in Schutzengraben ist v____st da

wohl vissen _____ ihn s. l. G____ nur beschutzt

L. Else hoffentl k______t ___ nun dieser

Sehr deine l. Mutter mit d_________Besuchn

___________, sie nur stats gut, u, flassig

dann wurd es die deine Lah_______ ____

__lauben, _______ ich hatte _____ht bald eine

grossen Brief von dir zu bekammen.

Rotate

Grusste u. kukt. dich herztlich deine

Tante Kathe

Aunt Kathe

Going to break, the letter is from Else's aunt Kathe. The script seems to me like a jumble of scripts, and some usages seem non-standard. (Very common in this stuff). Mosdt of the above I can easily translate, but have not. As I would, the sense would develop, and questions drop away.

Bob

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bob lembke

I bow to Egbert, who knows this stuff at least forty-seven times as well as I do. He, additionally, has the benefit of actually knowing German. Gruss aus Philadelphia, Egbert!

Bob

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ph0ebus

Hi Bob and Egbert,

Wow, I already now know quite a bit more than before. So, using Egbert's translation, Google Tranlation coughed up the following:

At the Schüelerin Else Schlösinger

Orphanage

Frankfurt

Seiler Road

Wernigerode, 19.6.16

... .... Else!

.... you answer me ... ... but like this .... To you a picture of our children can make. How are you? But please write to us often, but I am so much with it. The uncle is in the dugout, you probably know. If it only God protects. Dear Else, hopefully now you can these days to love your mother happy with your visits, it just always good and hard, then you allow your teacher likes. Moreover, I hope it soon became a great letter from you to get.

I take this as meaning that Willi Löwenstein (Else's uncle, and Kathe's husband) was fighting in the war in the trenches. Would you agree? If so that is news to me.

-Daniel

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fritz

Hi,

good results, indeed. Sorry to be late with my assistance, but hope to have more time at this weekend to start with my enigma-machinery.

By the way, Daniel. Google map-information has good results for Wernigerode, Schloßstr. 9. The town was not damaged in WW2 and this house may still exist.

Seilerstr. in Frankfurt am Main seems to be today a commercial zone with fabrics etc.

See you later

Fritz

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egbert
Hi Bob and Egbert,

Wow, I already now know quite a bit more than before. So, using Egbert's translation, Google Tranlation coughed up the following:

At the Schüelerin Else Schlösinger

Orphanage

Frankfurt

Seiler Road

Wernigerode, 19.6.16

... .... Else!

.... you answer me ... ... but like this .... To you a picture of our children can make. How are you? But please write to us often, but I am so much with it. The uncle is in the dugout, you probably know. If it only God protects. Dear Else, hopefully now you can these days to love your mother happy with your visits, it just always good and hard, then you allow your teacher likes. Moreover, I hope it soon became a great letter from you to get.

I take this as meaning that Willi Löwenstein (Else's uncle, and Kathe's husband) was fighting in the war in the trenches. Would you agree? If so that is news to me.

-Daniel

oh my god, please forget this awful chinese translation -its really rubbish and misleading. better wait for somebody who has time and translates from german to proper english.....

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ph0ebus
oh my god, please forget this awful chinese translation -its really rubbish and misleading. better wait for somebody who has time and translates from german to proper english.....

Agreed. Thank you egbert for your help so far. Indeed, Google translate is pretty awful.

-Daniel

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apwright

Only just seen this! Haven't been home much recently, but it's raining today...

Here's the first card (bits in [ ] are guesses! Some punctuation and capitalization corrected):

[An] die Schülerin Else Schlösinger

Isralitisches Waisenhaus

Frankfurt a/M

Seilerstr.

[Wern]igerode 19/6 16

[Meine liebe E]lse!

Sch[... ...]st Du Antwort

von [?mir ... ?d]ir aber gerne

diese Kar[te ?senden] damit Du dir

ein Bild von u[nsere]n Kindern

machen kannst. [Wie] geht es dir[?]

Schreibe doch bitte öfters an uns, ich

freue mich doch so sehr damit. Daß

Onkel in Schützengraben ist, wirst du

wohl wissen. wenn ihn d. l. Gott nur beschützt.

L. Else hoffentl. kannst Du nun dieses

Jahr deine l. Mutter mit deinem Besuche

erfreuen, sei nur stets gut u. fleißig

dann wird es dir deine Lehrerin [?gern]

erlauben. Indem ich hoffe recht bald einen

großen Brief von Dir zu bekommen

[up the side but continuing]

grüßt u. küßt Dich herzlich deine

Tante Käthe

Translation:

To the pupil Else Schlösinger

Israelite Orphanage

Frankfurt am Main

Seilerstraße

Wernigerode, 19 June 1916

My dear Else,

[first sentence incomplete but probably means something like:] You have already received a reply from me, but I wanted to send you this card so that you can see what our children look like. How are you? Please write to us often as it always makes me happy. You will already know that Uncle is in the trenches. I only hope God will protect him. Dear Else, I hope you will be able to cheer up your mother with a visit this year. Just be good and work hard always, and your teacher will be happy to allow it. Hoping to receive a long letter from you really soon, love and kisses from your Aunt Käthe

Adrian

P.S. Thanks for the kind words above, chaps!

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apwright

Card 2:

An Die Schülerin Else Schlösinger

Waisenhaus

Frankfurt a/M

Seilerstraße

Meine liebe Else!

Hoffentlich geht es Dir recht

gut, u. machst in der Schule

gute Fortschritte, wir würden

uns sehr freuen wenn Du

einmal was von Dir hören

ließest. Unsere kleine Ruth

die wir nicht mit phortografieren

lassen konnten, da die in

Leipzig [?waren], ist unberufen

ein goldiges Ding. L. Tante

würd dir von ihr [?erzählen].

Also schreibe doch [???]

einmal u. sei recht ?herzlich

gegrüßt u. geküßt von

deiner Tante Käthe

[another hand continues:]

Liebe Else. Wie du siehst,

bin ich in Wernigerode, wo

es mir sehr gut gefällt. Wenn ich

wieder nach Frankfurt komme, besuche

mich. Es grüßt dich deine Tante

[?Helen] Plaut

My dear Else,

I hope you are well and that you are making good progress at school. We would be very happy if you would drop us a line some time. Our little Ruth, whom we couldn't have photographed at the same time because [?they] were in Leipzig, is a sweet little thing - touch wood [or whatever it is one says in English to ward off evil spirits from someone you have just spoken highly of!]. Your aunt would be able to tell you about her. So you should write [...] some time. Love and kisses from your Aunt Käthe.

Dear Else,

As you can see, I am in Wernigerode and I like it very much here. When I get back to Frankfurt, come and visit me. Regards from your aunt, [?Helen] Plaut

Adrian

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apwright

Card 3:

Abs. Else Schlößinger

Frankfurt a/M Seilerstr. 24

[on the ruled lines between the postmarks:]

1916

15. Oktober

ich gra-

tuliere

1916 - 15 October - Congratulations! [?birthday/anniversary or something?]

Frau

K. Löwenstein

Wernigrode/i. Harz

Burgstraße № 9

Liebe Tante!

Wie geht es denn bei Euch? Ich hoffe, daß

alles gut ^geht, wie [... ... ...] ist. Ich

lag vorige W[oche im] Krankenhause.

Jetzt geht es mir aber wieder gut. Wie

geht es deinen Kindern und Onkel.

Du freust dich doch sicher, über mei-

ne Phortografie. Ich schicke auch

Tante Franz. eine. Hoffentlich schreibst

du mir bald. Noch mit herzlichen

Grüßen und Küßen verbleibe

ich deine dichl. Else

Dear Aunt,

How are you all then? I hope everything is fine [?as I am too]. I was in hospital last week, but I am alright again now. How are the children and Uncle? I trust that you'll like my photo. I'm sending one to Aunt Franz. [?Franziska] too. I hope you write to me soon. With lots of love and kisses I remain your ever-loving Else

Adrian

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egbert
... Unsere kleine Ruth

die wir nicht mit phortografieren so fortgehen

lassen konnten, da die wir in

Leipzig waren, ist unberufen

ein goldiges Ding.

Edited by egbert

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apwright

Hmmm, bin mir nicht so sicher, Egbert! Seem to be too many letters for so fortgehen.

Note that Else also spells Phortografie with an R in the 3rd card. Perhaps it was a common error - all these newfangled words! :)

I assume (hope!) that the picture on the reverse is a family portrait minus Ruth. If the sentence was "whom we couldn't allow to leave like that" (with so fortgehen), then Ruth would be there... I think. Unless she was too young to be taken to be photographed. Er, I'm not sure myself now!

Adrian

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SiegeGunner
Hmmm, bin mir nicht so sicher, Egbert! Seem to be too many letters for so fortgehen.

Note that Else also spells Phortografie with an R in the 3rd card. Perhaps it was a common error - all these newfangled words! :)

Sorry to arrive late at the the party when most of the hard work has already been done. Congrats to all concerned, as ever. It isn't so fortgehen as the letters are all joined up and there is a vowel, almost certainly an 'o', between the 't' and the 'g'. I would agree with Adrian that it's phortografieren.

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Christina Holstein

The Forum strikes again! How amazingly moving to hear the voices coming through from so long ago. Did you know your grandmother, Adrian?

Christina

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ph0ebus

QUOTE (apwright @ Aug 7 2009, 02:33 AM)

Translation:

To the pupil Else Schlösinger

Israelite Orphanage

Frankfurt am Main

Seilerstraße

Wernigerode, 19 June 1916

My dear Else,

[first sentence incomplete but probably means something like:] You have already received a reply from me, but I wanted to send you this card so that you can see what our children look like. How are you? Please write to us often as it always makes me happy. You will already know that Uncle is in the trenches. I only hope God will protect him. Dear Else, I hope you will be able to cheer up your mother with a visit this year. Just be good and work hard always, and your teacher will be happy to allow it. Hoping to receive a long letter from you really soon, love and kisses from your Aunt Käthe

Adrian

Hi Adrian,

Fantastic! This is what appears on the front of the card:

LowensteinFamilyPortraitObverse-full.jpg

So, this card indeed is from Kathe Löwenstein; the picture is of Kathe, Julius and Ruth Löwenstein. I know that Willi Plaut fought in the war, and he was one of Else's uncles...but would you take this to mean that Kathe's husband Willi Löwenstein is also in the trenches? I would be most interested in your opinion about that.

I will post the fronts of the other two cards with their respective translations (and who is in them) next. I cannot thank everyone enough!!

-Daniel

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ph0ebus

QUOTE (apwright @ Aug 7 2009, 03:21 AM)

Card 2:

My dear Else,

I hope you are well and that you are making good progress at school. We would be very happy if you would drop us a line some time. Our little Ruth, whom we couldn't have photographed at the same time because [?they] were in Leipzig, is a sweet little thing - touch wood [or whatever it is one says in English to ward off evil spirits from someone you have just spoken highly of!]. Your aunt would be able to tell you about her. So you should write [...] some time. Love and kisses from your Aunt Käthe.

Dear Else,

As you can see, I am in Wernigerode and I like it very much here. When I get back to Frankfurt, come and visit me. Regards from your aunt, [?Helen] Plaut

Adrian

Hi Adrian,

Could the other signature be for Fran Plaut? I do not know of a Helen Plaut; Franziska Plaut was Kathe Löwenstein's sister, which would make sense.

As promised, here is the front of card 2:

LowensteinFamilyPortraitObverse2-full.jpg

That would be Kathe, Julius and Willi Löwenstien, with little Ruth off somewhere else. smile.gif

I think touch wood is right, and is the equivalent to knock on wood these days...

Next will be Else's picture with her card.

-Daniel

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ph0ebus

QUOTE (apwright @ Aug 7 2009, 03:35 AM)

Card 3:

Dear Aunt,

How are you all then? I hope everything is fine [?as I am too]. I was in hospital last week, but I am alright again now. How are the children and Uncle? I trust that you'll like my photo. I'm sending one to Aunt Franz. [?Franziska] too. I hope you write to me soon. With lots of love and kisses I remain your ever-loving Else

Adrian

Hi Adrian, all...

Here's is little Else's card:

ElseSchlossinger-full.jpg

Can someone give me some sense as to why she would be in an orphanage if her mother (and perhaps her father too) were alive? Perhaps life was so hard for the family during the war they were unable to take care of them properly and sent them away where they would get better care?

There is something faintly written on the front of this card...can anyone make it out?

-Daniel

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ph0ebus

Hi all,

I found one more card last night sent to the orphanage; this time I will post the front and back at once. I now know the boy on this card is Julius Löwenstein:

JuliusLowensteinasYouth-full.jpg

Here's the reverse...again, apologies for the damage; it was like this when I got it.

JuliusLowensteinasYouthReverse-full.jpg

I see mention of her Uncle Willi in there...I think.

-Daniel

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Christina Holstein

What an extraordinary story and what fascinating photos.

As to why she was in an orphanage, I think it is most likely that her mother couldn't take proper care of them and they were taken into care, perhaps temporarily. My maternal grandmother lost her husband from natural causes in early 1917 and 6 weeks later her youngest child also died. The local vicar offered to take my mother and her brother 'on the parish', as he supposed Grandma wouldn't be able to look after them. He got a flea in his ear! My grandmother, having lost two in 6 weeks, was determined not to lose the other two as well. Perhaps your grandmother's mother wasn't in a position to object.

I heard of a similar case not so long ago in the Metz area of France. A woman there had been reunited with two of her three daughters, who had been taken into care in the 1950's while she found herself a job following her husband's death. The appalling thing was that the authorities put the three girls up for adoption without their mother's knowledge or approval and when she contacted the home - only 6 months later - the girls had gone to America. She only met them again in the 1990s.

Christina

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